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Issue 15: 9th November 1998

CONTENTS: Record Reviews. Feature: Mediaeval Baebes. Missing Links: Pink Floyd. Music & Art news and gossip. .

EDITED AND COMPILED BY Mr Slutto, Sigsworthy Craggs and Atilla the Hen

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* First of all I would like to apologise to the sexiest lady in cyberspace and to various other people who became subject to a drunken diatribe from the chicken of the western world and the other folk on the ISMO team who were involved in a mighty drinking binge on Saturday night. This also involved me making a number of transatlantic telephone calls and subjecting all and sundry to a barrage of sexual innuendo and quasi political bullshit. That`s what comes of knowing the editors of the world`s fastest growing music magazine. Hah!

* Considering I don`t even like the bloke’s music he gets an inordinate amount of space, but Ian Brown once of the massively over-rated Stone Roses is back behind bars and his on/off tour seems to be off again. As we’ve said before... does anyone really care? The only reason that he even gets a mention here is that he was once tangentally responsible for me getting laid, but that is another (and not very interesting) story.

* Did anyone see the wonderful Channel 4 (UK) dedicated to Prince (I dislike calling him `The Artist` and we ain`t got a bitmap to use for the squiggle that he has adopted as his current moniker. It was seriously good. He may be short and weird but by God he is one talented little guy. Bits and bobs of especial note were :

- The Secret gig where he played some of the meanest guitar we have heard since Hendrix
- The duet with Chaka Khan from the same gig
- Him inviting the Spice Girl with glasses (Speccy spice?) to call him SPUD

The last musician I ever met called SPUD was the bass player with a punk band called “Shaved Anus” who, not unsurprisingly never got a record deal, and it seems somewhat strange to me, at least that an appelation more usually associated with horny-handed artisans from the Old Country should be adopted by such a fey and talented artiste as Prince Rogers Nelson.

However, Senor SPUD came over as a witty and confident interviewee and his poise and savoir faire put the aforemention Spice Gurrrl in the shade. Compared to Senor SPUD (and indeed Chaka Khan) the spicey strumpet came over as just that. I wouldn`t mind having sex with her but I would hate to have to talk to her afterwards!

* Talking of The Spice Gurrrls it is interesting to see how Ms Halliwell has reinvented herself recently. In a much shown video clip she does her best to be Marilyn Monroe whilst singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Prince Charles at the sort of Gala bun-fight that I am sure that our revered heir to the throne (and I ain’t being sarcastic here - I for one think he is a damn good bloke) must find horribly embarrassing. She looked almost demure in a brassy sort of way and it will be interesting to see (from a sociological if not a musical point of view) where she goes next.

Meanwhile the other four are releasing a single 'Goodbye' which is described as being an amicable farewell to the aforementioned Ginger One, and it looks as if at least in public pop band splits have come a long way since the days when Lennon wrote “How do you sleep?” about Macca who responded by producing an album cover including a picture of two beetles fucking each other......

* An exception to this rule would seem to be DODGY whose split has been acrimonious in the extreme with the main man objecting in no uncertain terms to the other two carrying on with the band without him. Who cares? Apart from the first album (which was pretty wonderful) they weren`t much good anyway.......

Anyway - I`ve had enough for this week so in the absence of any other news (and note that we are the only music mag in the world NOT to comment salaciously on the marital problems of those OASIS boys), I`m going back to roost.

fare thee well............


Not surprisingly, there are loads of Floyd sites out there in cyberland. Here’s a cross-section:


A site created by a Floyd fan, for all Floyd fans, with an ongoing poll - where one can vote for best / worst album / track, etc. (Unsurprisingly, DSOTM tops the album poll.) There’s also a News Group section and a Chatroom.


A well-presented site including biographies, a discography (all official releases, with lyrics and covers (plus the solo albums), music samples as MIDI, interviews and articles on Pink Floyd and its members, MPEG videos from The Wall; and a page of links to other Floyd sites.


Reviews (including contributions - eg ‘Obscured’ (1971) and news (mainly denials of wild rumours) . Thumbnail picture galleries include 18 gig pics, 11 of Barrett and 23 of Gilmour.


Interactive, in that one can submit a review of a book, album, movie or web site. Also carries The Floyd Story, links and reviews - including sales: "You can buy Albums, T-Shirts, Books, Movies and more right from your browser!"


Cels and Drawings - the 'The Wall' art - have a look at the marching hammers, the 'flaming hair' wife, the face-in-the-wall, etc.


One can subscribe to The Steel Breeze newsletter, or just read year-by-year timelines. For example, the 1972 page begins with 3 Jan:

1/3/72 Rehearsals for Dark Side of the Moon begin, Bermondsey, South London. They rehearse here through Jan 15, 1972. Record Collector #204 (Aug 96)


Peculiar music/art news from around the world


Bob Kane, created `Batman,' dead at 83

LOS ANGELES (AP) Nov 5, 1998 - "Batman'' creator Bob Kane, who watched the comic book character become an American icon, has died. He was 83. Kane collapsed at his Los Angeles home Tuesday and was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his attorney, Jim Leonard, said Thursday. The cause of death was unclear.

Kane always was proud and astonished at the popularity of the hero he created for DC Comics in 1939. "Bob described himself as a doodler, so he found it absolutely amazing that one of his doodles should live this long and become the symbol that it is,'' Leonard said. "The day before he died he was sitting there looking at fan mail. They get stacks and stacks every day.''

Kane's "Dark Knight'' survived 60 years of incarnations. He began as a noirish figure of vengeance, did a buffoonish turn in the kitschy 1960s TV series, turned grim again in an adult graphic novel in the 1980s and became the star of a new series of multimillion-dollar movies, for which Kane was creative consultant. The comic continues to be published and read around the globe.

The villains have ranged from the insidious Joker to ration book counterfeiters in World War II and the modern ills of drug addiction and poverty. "He adapts to each era,'' Kane said of his creation in 1989. "He fights against all injustices in the world. He fights the battle for the little man.''

"Bob Kane is a giant in the field of popular culture, one of a handful of people who launched the comic book industry and who gave the world a group of characters so colorful and inventive that they continue to captivate every new generation,'' Jenette Kahn, president and editor-in-chief of New York-based DC Comics, said in a statement.

Kane was born in New York City on Oct. 24, 1915, his lawyer said. He broke into comic book work in the mid-1930s. Batman was born a year after the debut of "Superman'' when DC Comics editor Vincent Sullivan asked him to devise a new superhero.

Kane took inspiration from his childhood reading. "I remember,'' Kane said in an interview, "when I was 12 or 13 I was an ardent reader of books on how things began - the automobile, the steam engine, the parachute - and I came across a book about Leonardo da Vinci. This had a picture of a flying machine with huge bat wings. ... It looked like a batman to me.'' He also drew on the caped or masked heroes of movies, radio and pulp novels — Zorro, the Shadow and the Phantom.

And there was a somber 1930 movie, "The Bat Whispers,'' starring Chester Morris as a costumed villain who wore a full-face bat mask. The result, concocted in a single weekend, was the Batman. He lacked the powers of Superman, relying instead on strength, agility, a fortune in high-tech equipment and a fearsome bat mask and cowl to terrorize criminals.

The Batman is Bruce Wayne, a rich man who vows vengeance on criminals because, as a boy, he watched a robber gun down his parents. Kane is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Sanders Kane; a daughter, a grandson and a sister.



EUROPEAN approval of a British mission to hunt for traces of life on Mars was celebrated by space researchers last night, and two members of the pop group Blur are helping to promote the event.

The European Space Agency had backed the British-led Mars Beagle 2 lander in principle earlier this year. The head of the British-led consortium, Prof Pillinger said: "The very first thing I want is to meet the boys who are going to put Britain on Mars." The ESA said yesterday that although he had not met the target, there was enough support, in terms of work and funding, to back the next phase of the project: launching Beagle 2.

Scientists and engineers from the 15 companies and 12 universities backing Beagle 2 had worked in their spare time without pay. Now the mission has sufficient funding for the next phase, providing new opportunities to raise the rest of the money. Pillinger said he was confident that he could raise the rest from the Government and elsewhere.

The final hurdle for Beagle 2 will come at the end of next year, when the agency will assess the entire mission.

Prof Pillinger has had support from unlikely quarters. Inspired by John Glenn's space voyage at 77, two members of Blur are helping. Dave Rowntree, 34, the group's drummer, and Alex James, 29, bass, posed with a model of the Beagle 2 Mars lander at Sarn West studios in Ladbroke Grove, north London, to promote it. James said: "Beagle 2 is such a sexy mission. The question, 'Are we alone?' fascinates everyone and you don't need A-level physics to appreciate it." Rowntree was amazed that Beagle 2 had not achieved its funding target. "It is the big one, the next frontier and we have the chance to get there for peanuts."

Prof Pillinger's daughter, Shusanah, 22, a Cambridge University engineer and fan of Blur, said: "Dad is now the biggest Blur fan of the family. He has their tapes on all the time in the car." The musicians will provide the soundtrack for a computer-generated simulation of the Mars landing, when Beagle 2 will bounce down sandwiched between two air bags. Rowntree said: "Both Alex and I were schoolboy astronomers."

Beagle 2 will be aboard a European mission called Mars Express that will be launched in 2003. A landing on the planet is expected at around the end of that year. The Electronic Telegraph: Wednesday 4 November 1998


A BRITISH Rabbi said yesterday that he had sold a long extract from his sex manual Kosher Sex to Playboy magazine for a reported $200,000 (£121,000).

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has already had to resign from a London synagogue because of a row over the book. In it, he argues that Jews should not be squeamish about sex and should attempt to cement their marriages by experimenting beyond the missionary position.

Mr Boteach said yesterday that he expected a strong backlash from Orthodox Jews over his deal with Playboy. He said he was opposed to pornographic magazines but was delighted that he was able to use the pages of a magazine such as Playboy to get across his "serious message" that married couples should strive to become more sexually intimate in order to stay together. It is due to appear in the magazine's 45th anniversary issue in January.

Kosher Sex, published this year, strongly divided Jews. It contains detailed technical advice on how oral sex is entirely permissible but masturbation is certainly not kosher.

The author said: "I am not legitimising pornography. There is no way anyone can miscontrue my appearance in Playboy as an endorsement of the magazine.”

Kosher Sex has nevertheless been heavily criticised by some Rabbis for trivialising and sensationalising sex. Although Mr Boteach says he had to resign his post as a part-time minister at his north London synagogue, his work was praised by the Chief Rabbi, Dr Jonathan Sacks, after conservative Jews urged him to ban the book.

Mr Boteach, who once described the 11th Commandment as being "Thou shalt do anything for publicity and recognition", refused yesterday to discuss the price paid by Playboy but a spokesman for him said it was "in the region of $200,000". Telegraph, ISSUE 1249 Monday 26 October 1998



In this week's feature we take a look at the Mediaeval Baebes and at their new CD...


Mediaeval Baebes

Virgin CDVE 941. Released: 19 Oct 98


cd cover
Once in merrie England did dwell one dozen maids. So fair of face and voice, this comeley tribe, that many who should see these sylphs or hearken to these sirens lost forever his heart and forfeitted his soul to them.

One such was a wandering wizard, Siggsworthy Craggs. Feverish was the enchantment heady the rapture. Beauteous as a Dryad's kiss, deadly as a firedrake's breath.

"And the spell is yet unbroken
I am still their bidden slave
Til a casket from the wychwood
Bears my body to the grave."

Sing on, this sweet damnation of my heart...

Siggsworthy Craggs



It looks like Nigel Kennedy, Roberto Alagna, and Luciano Pavarotti can't cut it in the classical charts when challenged by a dozen temptresses chanting the hottest sounds of the thirteenth century.

The MEDIAEVAL BAEBES is an immensely talented vocal group (which also happens to imbue the presentation of Early Music with a certain Anglo-sex-on-legs kind of style). Now the BAEBES are back with a new album entitled WORLDES BLYSSE.

Their debut SALVA NOS (released last November) went straight into the Classical Chart at Number 2, stayed in the top ten for three months and beat off all the big names in the business; it was the eighth biggest seller of the year and the only classical debut to go silver in 1997; to date it's sold over 60,000 copies.

The band plans to build on this success with a new album WORLDES BLYSSE, meaning earthy delights. Most of the tracks are original compositions by Katherine Blake and the group's other members. The lyrics draw on 13th, 14th and 15th century poetry, set to music composed in the twentieth century in a medieval idiom. With its broader range of harmonies and stronger percussion, the album has a distinctively up-beat feel.

A 24 bit digital recording created by candlelight at CTS in Wembley, WORLDES BLYSSE is where 21st century technology meets 13th century culture, admirably illustrating The Times' contention that the MEDIAEVAL BAEBES are the ‘Spice Girls set loose in the court of King Henry VIII’.

But ignore the idiosyncrasies of image which the BAEBES play on with the zest of naughty children, and you are left with an extraordinary, balanced and highly proficient vocal ensemble.

As The Independent commented ‘they do what they do remarkably’, they ‘hold everyone in a hypnotic trance’, and their singing ‘makes ... the hairs stand up shiveringly on your neck’. It’s ‘mediaeval soul music’ (The Times).

Ultimately it's the quality of their artistry - and not their strikingly sensual appearance - which makes the MEDIAEVAL BAEBES such a success. After all, who’d listen to Pavarotti if he hadn't the talent, but appeared in a thong?

The MEDIAEVAL BAEBES are currently on tour; the remaining dates are:

Tue 10 Nov - Cardiff - St Davids Hall
Wed 11 Nov - Worcester - Huntingdon Hall
Fri 13 Nov - Kirkcaldy - Adam Smith Theatre
Sun 15 Nov - Cirencester - Sundial Theatre
Tue 17 Nov - Newark - Palace Theatre
Wed 18 Nov - Norwich - Waterfront
Sat 21 Nov - Croydon - Fairfield,Pagan Convention
Mon 23 Nov - Southport Arts Centre
Thu 26 Nov - Aylesbury - Civic Centre
Sun 29 Nov - Guildford - Civic Hall
Tue 01 Dec - Reading - Heaxagon Theatre

Sat 26 Jun '99 - Ludlow - Ludlow Festival


More CD reviews are on the ISMO website at

***** Fuck-off Brilliant
**** Pretty damn Good
*** Average but no Cigar, Mr President
** Could do better
* Shite

Agree or disagree with what we have written? Send your comments to us and if they are amusing or contentious enough we will add them to the reviews next time we update the site! Interactive ain`t we? (remember to specify which album you are commenting on!)

Man 'To Live For To Die' (Live 1970) Point PNTVP 108CD *

Unfamiliar with these drug-addled Welsh prog-rockers? Then don’t let this be the first Man CD you buy! The back cover of this ex-bootleg warns of ‘occasional sound discoloration’. What this actually means is general sound distortion, severe in places, and virtually inaudible vocals. - Slutto. NOTE: A favourable review written specifically for hardcore Spunk Rockers / prog-rock fans is on the ISMO website at

Faith Evans 'Keep the Faith' Arista/Puff Daddy Records 74321 61467 2 * (And it don’t deserve even that.)

Much of what I recently wrote about Nicole Ray [issue 14] applies here, only more so! Who in the name of Yog-Sot-Ot actually listens to this kind of dire bilge? Not only do the tracks leave you totally cold but after a while they become emminently irritating.This record is about as much fun as being trapped in a lift with Cannon and Ball. Sadly it is untrue that Puff Daddy is in fact Dale Winton. - Siggsworthy Craggs

Sarah Mclachlan 'Surfacing' Arista 07822-18970-2 ***

Any one who writes the lyrics 'you sleep in a church with voodoo dolls' is bound to be a hit with me. Miss Mclachlan is everything some of the other female “artistes” we’ve recently heard are not. That is, imaginative entertaining, and being in possesion of a lovely voice. Imagine, gentle reader, if you will a cross between Kate Bush and P.J. Harvey and you won’t be too far off the mark. Admittedly she isn’t in the same league as Bush and Harvey but she’s well worth a listen.The first track “Building a mystery” is excellent but the others don’t quite match up. - Siggsworthy Craggs

As is often the case with the ISMO reviews team, although I agree wholeheartedly with what Siggy-boy has to say I disagree with his conclusions. Whilst not in the same league as Kate Bush she is still a startlingly impressive talent who, by the way, is also the leading light behind the all female LILITH FAIR tour currently trundling its way around the United States. O`ill give it **** - Atilla The Hen

Faithless - 'Sunday 8pm' Cheeky CHEK CD503 ***

Lively drifty disco. Melodic and tuneful, and rather nice vocals: imagine Barry White doing slow spacey rap (if you can), with sometimes lumbering sometimes jaunty disco beats and drifty strings-driven backing, and that's broadly what you get here. Not that this is rap per se, but the vocals are delivered in that rather semi-unpunctuated concatenated style that's becoming so common nowadays. Girlie choruses pop up too, though. It's not balls-grabbing, but pleasantly listenable if you like that sort of thing.

'Faithless' are a pretty diffuse bunch - eg, Boy George sings lead on the sensitive and spacey disco song 'Why Go?' - 'why go, when you can stay with me: kick off your shoes...' If it was me asking that, the answer I’d get would probably be 'because you're bloody pissed on cider and more interested in watching Star Trek...'

The CD’s crap title and unappealing cover - a main street in Smalltown USA - seem hell-bent on suggesting boredom. The album's theme is life in general, so it all depends on your outlook, I guess. - Slutto


Reflections on life and music from Twitchy the tramp in his tawdry ditch.

One might think that being a gentleman of the road I would take very little interest in the music industry (why is it called “industry” anyway; it’s not as if they smelt stuff down?) The man in the street might think we of a trampesque nature would be more interested in dead voles or piccy’s of moss. Nothing could be further from the truth, why just last week Blur, Ian Dury,and Fields of the Nephilim played a benefit gig inside of my shin and on Monday, Napalm Death supported by some lodged pasta will embark on a tour of my wrist. It’s all to raise money for a small boy whose duvet has become entangled in a crab’s eyepole.

I still havn’t heard back from Alisha’s Attic.I invited them down to my place for a weekend of debauchery as I hadnt had “it” since 1974.Not so much as a thankyou, and to think I plastered the ditch in brand new odure as well. Ingrates!! Hope I have more luck at the weekend when I attempt to bait Saffron out of Republica into the ditch with a dead housemartin and some old crisp packets.


P.J. Harvey, Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach, Ministry of Sound, Mickey Simmonds, and much more.....

Since we began in Cyberspace we have been reprinting a potted history of this project since its roots as a badly photocopied fanzine thingy a decade ago. We can`t be bothered anymore so if you still want to read this stuff you can access it at the archive section of our web-site. If you are heartily sick of it (as we are) you don`t have to.

The archive section for back issues of the mag will be up and running within the next forty eight hours and things are, as they say, going well and looking good!




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