“You go for a whirl”

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Presented without comment. Sign up for my newsletter and get a year of stories, completely free. CLICK HERE to get started. [“You go for a whirl” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 13th July 2016]

“I’m so empty”

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Oh look, Garbage have a new album out. And it’s excellent.   Empty is the first single from Strange Little Birds. I’ve been listening to the album a lot for the last few days and I really like it. No sign of a Vancouver stop on the tour yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.   Sign up for my newsletter and get a year of stories, completely free. CLICK HERE to get started. [“I’m so empty” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 8th June 2016]

“got the muse in my head, she’s universal”

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Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Placebo released their first album but it is. I remember them appearing in one of the UK weekly music newspapers (NME maybe) and according to the interviewer, the record company was concerned they were taking off too quickly. Probably just hype but they certainly had an impact – great lyrics, catchy tunes and a lead singer who didn’t conform to the normal rock and roll stereotypes made them a huge hit. I was lucky enough to see them at Rock City in Nottingham and it was a great gig. Nancy Boy is one of my favourite tracks from that first album.   In 2003 they released a bonus disc with a couple of their albums featuring a bunch of cover songs, including this excellent version of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill.   Placebo are still going strong and are going on a 20th anniversary world tour this year. No idea if they’re coming to Vancouver yet, but if they are, I’ll be there. Assuming I can get tickets. And they aren’t too expensive Sign up for my newsletter and get a year of stories, completely free. CLICK HERE to get started. [“got the muse in my head she’s universal” by Philip … Read More

“Step right up to the modern freakshow…”

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Something different for this week’s video – here’s the book trailer for the UnCommon Bodies anthology that’s coming out November 24th. Check back tomorrow for the next UnCommon Bodies interview. You can find out more about my upcoming releases, and get four FREE books by signing up for my newsletter here. [“Step right up to the modern freakshow…” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 11th November 2015]

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 13 – Rocketing to Earth

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Our journey through the 1936 version of Flash Gordon is nearly over – there’s just one more chapter to go. At the end of last week’s episode we left our heroes sheltering from an attacking rocket ship (seemingly being piloted by their friend Prince Baron). Time to sit down with Flash, Dale and Zarkov for one last time as we watch Chapter 13 – Rocketing to Earth   Flash and the others escape through a convenient trap door, just as the tower is destroyed. Hang on! They cheated! There wasn’t a trap door last week! It turns out Prince Baron has been captured and the rocket ship was under Ming’s control all along. Flash and co clamber out of the wreckage of the tower but Vultan is injured. As they help him back through the tunnels beneath Ming’s palace they see Baron being taken to the dungeons. Flash fights off Ming’s guards and frees Prince Baron. The Flash Mob head back to laboratory, not realising one of Ming’s guards overhead their plan. Back in the laboratory, Zarkov explains that he wants Ming to attack them in the lab because they’ll be able to defend it. Ming falls for Zarkov’s ploy and dispatches guards to capture them and prepare the execution … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 12 – Trapped in the Turret

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It’s Saturday so it must be time for the penultimate chapter of the Flash Gordon Rewatch. At the end of the last chapter we left Dale being attacked by a Tigron (that’s a tiger to you and me).   Baron and Flash reach Dale just as she is attacked by the Tigron and, no thanks to Baron, Flash manages to kill the beast. Baron advises Aura that she should bond with Flash by helping him, rather than trying to kill the woman he loves. It’s a crazy idea but it might just work and Aura agrees. Meanwhile, Vultan and Zarkov are subdued by Ming’s guards. Zarkov is ordered to divulge the secret of his invisibility machine but refuses. Aura offers to take Flash and Dale back to her father and convince him to set them free. She takes them to Ming’s throne room and true to her word, Aura stops Ming from capturing Flash. Somewhere along the line Ming gets the impression Aura likes Prince Baron and he agrees that they should live in peace – at least until the earth men leave. To Zarkov’s distress Ming’s men destroy the invisibility machine (which is apparently the flimsiest piece of equipment ever designed and falls apart with one tap). … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 11 – In the Claws of the Tigron

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We’re almost at the end of the Flash Gordon Rewatch – just three more episodes to go. When we left Flash last week, he had vanished, just as he was about to be executed by Ming’s guards.   Ah ha! I was right. It was Zarkov and his wondrous “rays” playing tricks on the guards. Gambling with Flash’s life, Zarkov used his experimental ray to render Flash invisible. After a brief moment where it looks like Flash may not reappear, Zarkov successfully reverses the effects of the ray and Flash falls into Dale’s grateful arms. Seeing the invisibility ray as a way to defeat Ming, Flash volunteers to be turned invisible again and heads off to Ming’s throne room. Ming is sceptical when he hears of Flash’s disappearance and orders him captured, dead or alive. Just at that moment, Flash strikes and attacks Ming. Sparing Ming’s life, Flash demonstrates his power by fighting off Ming’s guards and then insists Ming let his friends go. Flash then warns Ming that he will always be watching him and leaves. The High priest claims Flash’s invisibility is caused by the anger of their god but Ming is having none of it. He plans to destroy the invisibility machine but Aura convinces him to … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 10 – The Unseen Peril

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I wish I could say I cunningly named my new novel, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet after this chapter of Flash Gordon and then timed the rewatch so that the two lined up nicely but I didn’t. Still, let’s just pretend I’m that organised and settle down to watch Chapter 10.   At the end of last week’s chapter, Flash had, thanks to the High Priest’s treachery been caught by the Fire Dragon. Luckily for Flash, Zarkov is carrying a hitherto unseen grenade and handily takes down the fearsome Fire Dragon. Zarkov realises Aura has drugged Flash. Our heroes are forced back to the palace where Zarkov will be able to revive him, although he may not be able to reverse the effects of the drug. Some time later, Flash is brought before Ming, ostensibly to receive his reward for defeating the orangopoid – his choice of bride! To Dale’s horror, Flash has no memory of either her or Princess Aura and declines Ming’s offer. Prince Baron, smart cookie that he is realizes Flash must have been given the draught of forgetfulness. Aura makes her move and takes Flash away, promising to explain how he knows her. King Vultan is incensed and promises to get Flash Gordon out … Read More

“A man of words is a man of lies”

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My wife and I got to see David Duchovny sing on Saturday. Yes, that David Duchovny. It was a fun evening, and Duchovny was even joined on-stage by another X-Files alumnus – Nicholas Lea who played Alex Krycek – and the two of them performed Knockin on Heaven’s Door. That means we’ve now seen Mulder, Scully, Cigarette Smoking Man and Krycek in person. I wonder what Mitch Pileggi is up to these days. To celebrate, here’s the video for the title track from Duchovny’s debut album, Hell or Highwater. [“A man of words is a man of lies” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 26th August 2015]    

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 9 – Fighting the Fire Dragon

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Having survived a sword fight with the Mighty Masked Swordsman of Mongo (who turns out to be Prince Baron, the rightful ruler of the planet and admirer of Princess Aura), Flash finds himself battling an un-killable orangopoid. Let’s see how Flash gets himself out of this mess in Chapter 9 of the Flash Gordon Rewatch – Fighting the Fire Dragon.   Hold on a minute! There wasn’t any talk of ancient legends last week! The High Priest tells Princess Aura about a spear that will apparently kill the orangopoid – presumably because he fancies her too. Aura grabs the spear, gives it Flash, and he does indeed use it to kill the creature. Outraged, Ming makes the High Priest responsible for finding the traitor who told Aura about the spear. The traitor’s punishment will be death. Uh, oh. To Dale’s delight, Vultan demands that Flash and the others be declared free and given the right to choose their brides. Ming stalls and, claiming the battlefield is no place for a party, declares they will be given their freedom (and their wives) in three days. Ming heads back to his palace, and Flash wishes a fond farewell to Prince Thun. As you might expect, once they are … Read More