The best lunchtimes are the ones not planned

X-Ray Audio

I was on my way back from the supermarket this lunchtime and walked past The Horse Hospital, Bloomsbury and saw an A4 sign on the door advertising an exhibition for “X-Ray Audio” a free exhibition about “Forbidden Music, Cold War Culture and Bootleg Technology.” How could I refuse…

It was about recordings cut into X-ray plates from the cold war period when certain music was forbidden. Here’s what it says about them on x-rayaudio.squarespace.com

“In the Soviet states during the cold-war era, most modern Western bands and music was banned for all sorts of reasons including ‘neo-fascism’, ‘mysticism’ and even ‘obscurantism’. Much Russian music was also forbidden for a variety of other reasons. Even certain rhythms were regarded unfavourably. But a vibrant, secret and risky trade grew up in what became known as ‘Bones’ or ‘Ribs’”.

“These Bones were medical X-Ray fluorography sheets unofficially obtained from hospitals, cut into discs and embossed with the grooves of bootlegged gramophone records – a kind of medical version of a DJ dub plate.”

To find out more about these illegal x-ray releases have a look here and to hear them go here.

xray

The exhibition runs only until the end of this week so if you like the sound of spooky recordings made onto x-rays go and have a look before it’s too late (30th January 2015)! P

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Welcome to Waterloo

Man CutThe other morning due to a diversion on my journey to work (thanks to engineering works at London Bridge) I noticed this great sign (above) opposite Waterloo train station, just down from Alaska Street.

Coronation StreetI was so intrigued, that on the lunchtime I went on the look out for the Russian hairdressers (I don’t have much barnet left so a “man cut” was out the question.) I didn’t find the hairdressers but I did find a brand new world (to me anyway) around Cornwall Road, Waterloo. There’s a posh cake shop, a smart old school looking Pub (The White Hart) and a derelict social club from years gone by.

Cake Emergency

Social club ghost

Take a stroll around Waterloo one lunchtime and you’ll be well surprised! P

*Talking of Alaska Street. The street is home to the famous Alaska Studios where this classic below from 1981 was recorded.

Hidden Hives of London (Version 2)

Mungo’s Hi-Fi – Stinger Riddim- Scotch Bonnet
Further to our last post Hidden Hives of London (Part 1) about inner city bees in Waterloo, we received an email from Mungo’s Hi-Fi after we sent the link to them.

It read “In a weird twist of synchronicity we recently did some research into inner city bees in Glasgow to make this little video. It’s called The Stinger.” And it’s a corker of a tune!

Thanks to Doug from Mungo’s Hi-Fi for getting in touch with us. Big up the Bee! P

Hidden Hives of London (Part 1)

beehive_2

Who’d have thought it, beehives opposite London’s commuter central, Waterloo Station which I found by accident the other day out on a lunchtime stroll.

These impressive hives are housed in the excellent garden project for the homeless, Putting Down Roots (ran by the charity St Mungo’s) at St Johns Church in Waterloo. More about the excellent work the project does here.

Beehive_1Whilst there I was told by one of the staff about the threat of the deadly Asian Hornet. God knows if they have reached these shores yet but let’s hope they don’t, as they are a deadly predator of the humble honey bee amongst other beneficial species. It’s one large insect as well, as the queens can be up to 3cm and workers 2.5 cm long. Keep em peeled!

beehive_3

From the deadly Asian Hornet back to St Mungo the patron saint of Glasgow. Here’s Mungo’s Hi-Fi named after the said Saint with a very apt tune…

Mungo’s Hi Fi Featuring YT – Serious time – Scotch Bonnet

Inner city bees, you just gotta love them! Do you know of any more urban hives? Please send your pics our way to londoninyourlunchhour@gmail.com P