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Yes its been a while since the last blog, partly my fault as there hasn’t been a great deal going on since the start of the year! What am I saying? I’ve been running my various buskers nights and of course I’ve been sorting out the entertainment for the 2017 Swanwick Writers Retreat.

I suppose its the book talks that have been thin on the ground lately. Hopefully that will change soon. Kris Atkinson of the premier North East horror film group Screen Demons has asked me to be part of a Q&A session for a special screening of Mario Bava’s seminal classic LaMaschera del demonio (1960) at the Castle Keep.

Best known to UK audiences as Black Sunday, this ground breaking film started Italy’s Gothic horror renaissance of the 1960s. It established Bava, a brilliant cinematographer with a unique flare for striking visual images, as the country’s foremost horror director even though his later efforts didn’t quite capture his amazing directorial debut.

However he remains an important figure in the development of Italian horror cinema with an interesting and often striking output that includes the influential Black Sabbath (1963) & Planet of the Vampires (1965).

The film also made a horror legend out of Barbara Steele, a hauntingly beautiful and incredibly talented Anglo-Irish actress whose presence enriched several Italian chillers throughout the decade.

For further required reading on the subject of European horror cinema, I would recommend Jonathan Rigby’s excellent book Euro Gothic.

More details will come from Kris soon but if its anything like my time at the Witchfinder General (1968) event, its going to be an incredible experience and a lot of fun to do. From Screenage Kicks to Teenage Kicks. After several months rehearsing on the bass guitar with the band Old Man Goat, we got a couple gigs at the police club in Newcastle. Although we’re still pretty new at this, the general response has been very positive.

We’ll be doing Glastonbury soon!!!!!!

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