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|M A Y 2 0 1 3
• • • New CD release: Fenella Fielding reads Colette
This double-disc CD package features Savoy's favourite star of radio, screen and stage, Fenella Fielding, reading a personal selection from the writings of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873–1954). Fenella played Colette herself in a theatre production staged in the West End and on Broadway, so is well-qualified to bring a personal insight to readings delivered in her own inimitable manner.
Fenella's recordings are embellished with musical arrangements by Savoy regular Stephen Boyce-Buckley; the violin improvisations are by Andrew Price. A 24-page booklet contains photographs of Fenella and of Colette, and features a glowing introduction by Monty Haltrecht, the late novelist, playwright, performer and theatre expert. Monty was a lifelong friend of Fenella's; he followed her theatrical career, and his affection shines through the most perceptive appraisal we've read of this remarkable woman.
left: Steve Boyce-Buckley. right: Fenella in her stage performance as Colette.
Fenella Fielding reads Colette retails for £12.00 plus post & packing.
|M A R C H 2 0 1 3
• • • Reverbstorm reviewed
"Savoy Books… [embody] a longstanding tradition of non-conformist and essentially anarchist thinking in Britain that also underpins Reverbstorm. Although presented in a single volume, the book began life in 1994 as an adult comic, published in the tradition of Dickens as a piece-work. It is tempting to say that is where the comparison with 19th-century literature ends. But the mire of Dickens's world, where stories of callous modernity and human degradation go hand in hand, runs throughout this book…. The novel gains a navigable structure as a kind of fall narrative, all given life and power through strong and memorable draughtsmanship."
Michael Paraskos, The Spectator, 9th March 2013
"One of the astonishing things about Savoy Books is how aggressive [they] have been not just toward sacred cows but toward their ostensible medium. Every Savoy production has pushed at the notion of what a book can be. Now here comes Lord Horror: Reverbstorm, a compendium that seems to have subverted every convention of the graphic novel before the genre even came into its own…. On a formal level, Lord Horror: Reverbstorm is a book in constant danger of exploding…. [It] realizes in the most visceral way the world of insane extremes rapidly emerging from data on global climate change. 'To write a poem after Auschwitz,' the philosopher Theodor Adorno declared, 'is barbaric,' but what may be most barbaric of all is to realize that the concentration camp, far from being a disgrace from the past, may actually be a model for the future."
Supervert, March 2013
Reverbstorm has been entered for the Man Booker Prize 2013.
|F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 3
• • • Goodbye Gus
Gus Goodwin was the first and best British rock'n'roll DJ of the 1950s. He died on the 4th of January at his home in Harefield, Middlesex, at the age of seventy-five.
Goodwin started broadcasting from Radio Luxembourg early in 1957. The show became 'Gus Goodwin's Rockabilly Party', and was a clarion call to European rock'n'rollers. Goodwin was the only disc jockey of the period with a genuine enthusiasm, out of tune with every other broadcaster at a time when DJs hated what they were being asked to play; Gus played from the heart. Radio Luxembourg had been broadcasting in English since 1933. Those looking for the seeds of David Britton's Lord Horror novels can find a continuity in Lord Haw-Haw's broadcasts from the Reichsrundfunk, a service which took over the Luxembourg station during the war, and Goodwin's rock'n'roll broadcasts, Continental transmissions which ran against the grain of offically acceptable BBC output.
With a throaty chuckle and distinctive accent, Goodwin came across as a cockney Alan Freed. He refused to play middle-of-the-road records, and championed the unsung, a stance later echoed by Roger Eagle's eclectic tastes. Goodwin was the first of the new breed: wild, rebellious, unpredictable, and ferocious in his beliefs. His brief career has been written out of popular music history on the radio. Latecomers and imposters like the unlamented Jimmy Savile became the historical figureheads of DJ history in Britain.
|J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 3
• • • Lord Horror: Reverbstorm
Savoy is pleased to start a new year with the long-awaited publication of the collected edition of the Lord Horror comic series Reverbstorm. This weighty, 344-page hardback book features all seven issues of the published series plus the all-new art and text of the final eighth part of the narrative. All the artwork has been scanned afresh, re-lettered and printed on quality paper; with a special black-ink finish to the page edges this is a definitive edition. Details below.
In other news, The Quietus ran a feature on Savoy last month in which Carol Huston spoke to Michael Butterworth about the company's vicissitudinous past and the Reverbstorm book.
Welcome to the nightmare metropolis of Torenbürgen, where New York's Art Deco architecture has fused with the termination machinery of Auschwitz. In this urban inferno Jessie Matthews is singing Sondheim, James Joyce is at work on a new novel and Lord Horror, ex-Nazi propaganda broadcaster and Torenbürgen's model citizen, is stalking the streets in search of fresh victims for his razors. Murderous apes infest the alleyways, Ononoes feast on the living and the dead, while above the rooftops the Soul of the Virgin Mary drifts like a swollen Lovecraftian dirigible, picking at bodies destined for the charnel furnaces.
Lord Horror: Reverbstorm is a unique graphic collaboration between writer David Britton, the author of four Lord Horror novels, and artist John Coulthart, whose book of Lovecraft-derived comic strips and illustrations, The Haunter of the Dark, featured a collaboration with Alan Moore. Reverbstorm was originally published in serial form and is now being presented in a single volume for the very first time. Britton's debut novel, Lord Horror (1990), was the last work of fiction to be banned in the UK; an earlier Lord Horror comic series, Hard Core Horror, was also banned by a British court in 1995. Coulthart's death-camp artwork from the final issue in that series appears in Reverbstorm as a prelude to the main narrative.
There's never been a comic like this surreal collision between Modernist art and pulp aesthetics, a world where Finnegans Wake is drenched in Alligator Wine and Picasso's 'Guernica' is invaded by Tarzan's simian hordes. Ambitious, transgressive and meticulously rendered, Reverbstorm is one answer to the eternal question posed by those cultural philosophers, The Cramps: "How far can too far go?"
• See examples of the interior pages at John Coulthart's site •
|J U L Y 2 0 1 2
• • • Sit Down! Listen To This!: The Roger Eagle Story
Club owner and lifelong music obsessive Roger Eagle was a constant presence throughout Savoy's time in central Manchester. Our paths crossed for over thirty years, initially with subscriptions to his R&B Scene fanzine in 1964, then later with attendances at his Twisted Wheel and Magic Village clubs. He was Manchester’s Mr Rock’n’Roll, whose Eric's club in Liverpool and Manchester's International venues were focal points of the live music scene in the north of England during the 1980s. A leather-jacketed Gulliver, the bastard son of Gus Goodwin (Britain's best rock’n’roll DJ), he would march into Savoy's Deansgate offices armed with his latest tape collection of essential music and demand: “Now listen to this!” David Britton's novel Motherfuckers in particular benefitted from an injection of Roger's rare and eclectic rockabilly and rock’n’roll.
The Lord Horror connections don't end there: Roger attended the Dragon School in Oxford, the same alma mater as William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw). In his clubs he championed wild and original talents such as the Wolf Tones, Bo Diddley and the Sex Pistols. Among the many gods in his firmament were Lee "Scratch" Perry, King Tubby, Little Richard, Howlin’ Wolf and, greatest of them all, Captain Beefheart. Somewhere in Savoy's files there lurks the photo Roger gave us of him with The Captain. If it surfaces again we'll post it here.
Author Bill Sykes has written a definitive biography of this influential man, so definitive in fact that there's unlikely to be a better book detailing the rock’n’roll history of the north of England. Essential reading for anyone interested in British music, and heartily recommended to Savoyards everywhere.
Sit Down! Listen to This! will have a Liverpool launch on Thursday, August 9, 2012 at the Canteen@ Picket Warehouse, 61 New Bird St, L/pool, from 7.00pm. Jayne Casey is going to be talking, together with Bill Sykes. Plus DJs.
M A Y 2 0 1 2
• • • TS Eliot's Four Quartets read by Fenella Fielding
"Although logos is common to all,
"The way upward and the way downward are the same."
Diels: Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker
Savoy's production of TS Eliot's poetic masterwork follows an earlier recording of The Waste Land by singing legend PJ Proby. Where the former reading was mannered and deliberately eccentric, here Fenella Fielding employs an understated and sympathetic delivery, honed by numerous radio performances, to present one of the 20th century's greatest works of literature.
The completion of Four Quartets in 1942 was the pinnacle of Eliot's career as a poet, and the work which gained him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948. Where The Waste Land had seen modern life in terms of a spiritual desert, Four Quartets provided a cycle of entwined meditations on the passage of time, the nature of existence and our shared condition of mortality which looked for the sacred in a world wracked by war. As an eloquent expression of Christian faith the poems of the Four Quartets manage to explore religious questions without resort to dogma or evangelism.
Digipak compact disc • £8.00
Total time: 59:06
Recorded at The Strongroom, London.
Engineering by Stephen Boyce-Buckley.
Production by David Britton & Michael Butterworth.
Design by John Coulthart.
See the Orders page for purchase details.
• • • Savoy on the move
Attention all you searchers after the selcouth and esoteric! Savoy have moved to a new office down the road. As of May 25th, 2012 all orders, correspondence, writs and encomia should be addressed to:
Phone (as before): +44 (0) 161 445 5771
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