Bureau of Lost Culture
Memories of a Free Festival

Memories of a Free Festival

February 28, 2021
"The Sun Machine is Coming Down and We’re Gonna Have a Party"
CHRIS TOFU artistic director of Continental Drifts, lies down on the Bureau’s couch for a session of psycho(delic)analysis. We take a rambling trip through the British free festival scene of the 70s, 80s and 90s  - with deviations into the lost worlds of Europe’s squatting scene, the new age travellers and guerilla gigs. And we hear about Chris’s crazy countercultural life getting lost at Stonehenge as a wide-eyed 15 year old from Devon, being 'Bez’ in anarcho-punk-celtic-squattng band Tofu Love Frogs and gigging in a thousand fields along the way.

The image is courtesy the incomparable ALAN LODGE
To see his extraordinary archive of images of festivals and alternative culture: www.alanlodge.co.uk

For more on Continental Drifts
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Image Courtesy of Alan Lodge https://alanlodge.co.uk  
The Legend, Legacy and Lyrics of Syd Barrett

The Legend, Legacy and Lyrics of Syd Barrett

February 15, 2021
The story of SYD BARRETT, the doomed original founder of Pink Floyd has fascinated, obsessed and mystified generations of fans for decades.
The tragic trajectory of the psychedelic poster boy who had it all and ’lost it’ has all the hallmarks of an icarus myth. Yet, as our guest writer ROB CHAPMAN tells us, the myth has totally eclipsed the man, the legend obscured the legacy.  Rob's 2010 biography ‘A Very Irregular Head’ - the first to be authorised by Syd's family - set out to right the balance, to tell the human truths about a tragic but talented artist.
Rob joins us to talk about the new book he has edited: ‘The Lyrics of Syd Barrett’ (Omnibus Press) that gives a wonderful insight into the mind and art of someone who was yes, a crazy diamond but also a countercultural experimenter, an innovator and a psychedelic poet.
Along the way we did into the meaning of counterculture and fandom and hear about a newly resurrected poem of Syd's
For more on Rob Chapman
For the official Syd Barrett site
The Lost History of Skiffle - with Billy Bragg

The Lost History of Skiffle - with Billy Bragg

February 2, 2021
BILLY BRAGG pays a visit to the Bureau to lead us on an extraordinary whirlwind tour through the music that the counterculture forgot.
Along the way we hear about the emergence of The Teenager in post-war Britain, the massive impact of Rock Around the Clock, the Soho espresso bar culture of the 50s and the birth of British youth culture.
We explore why Skiffle, which soundtracked that youth culture for a few intense years and was the inspiration for musicians in The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who and The Rolling Stones, has been oddly forgotten.  And Billy explains why, as the first British DIY musical revolution, Skiffle provided the template for the Punk movement of the 70s that was to inspire him.
Along the way, we get educated about the post war 'trad jazz' movement, the cultural stranglehold of the BBC - and the terrific transformatory power of a guy - or a girl - with a guitar.
For more on Billy and his book Roots, Radicals and Rockers:
Billy's Top Five Skiffle Tunes
For more on the Bureau of Lost Culture
Soviet Hippies

Soviet Hippies

February 1, 2021

Forget California, swinging sixties London or the Paris riots for a moment, Estonian filmmaker Terje Toomistu joins us to talk about the hippie movement of the Soviet Union.

It had all the characteristics of Western hippiedom: long hair, groovy music, esoteric spirituality and drugs. The only thing missing perhaps was the radical public politics that would have pushed the repressive Soviet authorities into drastic, brutal  action  

Terji’s film, with its super groovy soundtrack of rare tunes, provides a fascinating glimpse into a moving, daring subculture that flourished east of the Iron Curtain. 

More about the Soviet Hippies film and Terje www.soviethippies.com

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