The Nice Rooms Webzine: Music. Film. Cult TV
~ contents ~
Room 42: Swindlefolk
by Dy Swindlehurst
During the 1960s, in Kirkby on Merseyside, there was a school making all the musical headlines. Ruffwood was a purpose-built and progressive comprehensive for 2000+ pupils that had its own folk group called the Swindlefolk run by music teacher Dy Swindlehurst. Although they were only together for just three short years, the group very quickly got a name for themselves across Merseyside leading to appearances on TV with The Spinners and The Settlers.
Room 41: 5 Nights In Nutwood
by Gary Radice
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the stories of Rupert Bear, he inhabited a world where English speaking anthropomorphic animals co existed seamlessly with humans in a place called Nutwood - A place that was frozen in time and completely devoid of political correctness and any health and safety regulations whatsoever.
For no other reason than for the sake of this very contrived story, The Nice Rooms sent a reporter to Nutwood to get an exclusive interview with Rupert...
Room 40: The Hazel O'Connor Interview
In an exclusive interview with The Nice Rooms Webzine, Hazel O'Connor talks about her music, her career, the musicians she collaborates with and her late mum.
Room 39: Follyfoot: Horses And High Production Values
By Sabrina Ferguson
Based in Australia, Sabrina Ferguson has been a staunch Follyfoot fan since the show first aired there in 1973. Read her exclusive article here at The Nice Rooms.
Room 38: In Search Of...H.R.Pufnstuf
"I would best describe it as a trippy mix of surreal live action, over-sized puppets, ear-piercing sound effects, vivid colours, a screeching laughter track, and just about anything else that the producers could throw at the screen and through it"
Room 37: Respectable - The Mary Millington Story
"She really was a pioneer and a free-thinker. I take my hat off to the porn star Mary Millington. She was an inspirational woman, and totally unique. It's just tragic - and utterly unforgivable - that she lost her life at such a young age"
Writer, film maker and broadcaster Simon Sheridan gives an exclusive interview to The Nice Rooms
Room 36: The Lost Art Of The Film Poster
There was a time when poster artists and their art sold the film: A time when there wasn't a photo-shopped, airbrushed image of a star anywhere in sight.
Room 35: What We Watched (With Mother)
The Nice Rooms looks back at some of the classic programmes made for children between the mid to late sixties and pays tribute to the people behind the scenes.
Room 34: Monkey - An Interview With Howell Parry
In an exclusive interview for The Nice Rooms Howell Parry discusses this classic cult series.
"The Journey to the West stories - known in Japanese as Saiyuuki and on which Monkey is based - were written in China in the 16th century.
Children in Asia grow up hearing the story, watching cartoons based on it and watching films based on it.
It's almost equivalent to children in the West knowing Robin Hood or Little Red Riding Hood."
Room 33: John Burke's The World Of Cinema 1977 - 1980
Anyone interested in cinematic films or film stars between the years of 1977 to 1980 will be interested in a new series of articles on John Burke's blog: John Burke's a-Musings
The articles each dissect an issue of the magazine Film Review - A magazine which first appeared in 1950 and continued until 2008
Room 32: Searching: The Terry Draper Interview
Singer / songwriter Terry Draper is best known for his work with Klaatu - The Canadian Progressive Rock band that formed in 1973. He co-wrote Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft which was a hit for The Carpenters. In this exclusive article Terry discusses his latest solo album Searching.
Room 31: Department S: Case 1001
In an exclusive article, Adam Lonsdale explores reasons for the continuing popularity of the cult ITC series Department S that first aired back in 1969 / 1970
Room 30: The Champions
Jaz Wiseman's article focuses on one of ITC's most fondly remembered TV series from the 1960s. Since its debut, The Champions has been broadcast all over the globe in line with Lew Grade's vision that "ITC would entertain the world."
Room 29: The Eddie Harrison Interview
Eddie Harrison is best known as vocalist and guitarist with The Cavern Club's brilliant resident Merseybeat group: The Shakers. In early 2016 The Nice Rooms caught up with him..
Room 28: Life, Animation And Everything Else
Al Guest and Jean Mathieson-Guest's careers have spanned black and white television to video games. Together their achievements in the film, animation and video game industries are a living testament to a couple who remain firmly at the top of their game.
.. Alligator, Any Which Way You Can, Body Heat, One From The Heart, Rocket Robin Hood, The Undersea Adventures Of Captain Nemo, Ratchet & Clank ....the list just goes on and on!
Al and Jean kindly took time out from their busy schedule for an exclusive interview with The Nice Rooms!
Room 27: Dachau To Dingle: A Toxteth Childhood
by Colin A. Brown
The Nice Rooms features Colin A Brown's debut publication: "Inner city Liverpool ten years after the end of the Second World War. It's the long hot summer of 1955 and the kids are looking for some fun."
Room 26: Casino Royale - It's Too Much For One James Bond!
An exclusive interview with Michael Richardson about the 1967 film Casino Royale that became the most bizarre Bond production ever. Read about all the behind the scenes and more here at The Nice Rooms.
Room 25: Ed Harris - Life In The Media Spotlight
"We still didn't have a name at this point so did our first gig under the temporary name Stress Plus One (the other three were all stress engineers in the aeronautical industry). Several other local gigs followed and within a few weeks, Craig came up with the name 'The Media'. No rationale behind it other than it was short and punchy.."
Read an exclusive interview with Ed Harris of The Media here at The Nice Rooms about his life and music.
Room 24: In Search Of...Rocket Robin Hood
The Nice Rooms looks back fondly on the sixties' cartoon series - Rocket Robin Hood - A programme rarely broadcast outside of its native Canada.
Room 23: Welcome To mesmoland
Meet William Jason Davis: Cult Musician, Cult Film Maker, Cult Blogger and lover of all things Blackpool.
Room 22: Surburbanitis: A Journey Into The Mind Of Robert Pisani
Malta's very own Robert Pisani describes his music: "..like eating ice cream or your first crush set to a) Catchy indie pop or b) Noisy shouty pseudo punk (which is kinda like indie pop). However the new material is, lyrically, slightly more mature but catchier!.."
Read his exclusive interview here at The Nice Rooms.
Room 21: Creeping Bentgrass
"..We started going every year down to Northamptonshire to play a sort of commemorative weekend for Billy Fury at the place where he last performed before his death. We've done that for seven years now and this year's was as enjoyable as ever.."
Another great exclusive interview courtesy of John Burke and David Lancaster of Creeping Bentgrass here at The Nice Rooms.
Room 20: BITSofBRITAIN
By Gary Radice
"Sometimes I wish the world would just slow down a bit. I pity those poor passengers hurtling at 100mph who have neither the time or inclination to stop, get out and smell the heritage - The UK is alive with history."
Room 19: Catharsis Of Rhetorik - Accolade
Stefanie Renée, Aaron Goldstein with Sean Henry.
"Ultimately, this album has been about friendship. Our collaboration with Sean has served to connect us despite our geographical distance. We had been talking about this project for several years, and we're glad to have finally completed it and released it to the world. Hopefully having this background will make the music more enjoyable for our current and future fans."
Accolade discuss their latest album in an exclusive interview with The Nice Rooms.
Room 18: Information / The Prisoner - The Rick Davy Interview
"Most of the production crew were involved in the film industry so knew how to shoot, edit, etc. Then we have great writing, truly amazing writing, from McGoohan and the individual writers."
Read Rick Davy's amazing "Priz Facts" about the ultimate cult series The Prisoner here at The Nice Rooms.
Room 17: Bad To The Bone - An Adventure in Rhythm and Blues
by Tony O'Keeffe
"We continued to do the odd local gig when after a few weeks or so we had a call from Boss Goodman from London Dingwalls...They wanted to book us for another support slot down there. FAB!! Who were we supporting? Wilko Johnson and Lew Lewis...I fell silent.."
Tony O'Keeffe of Merseybeat group The Shakers writes about his early life and influences on his music!
Room 16: The Persuaders!
"Johnny Goodman has said that Tony Curtis was a tricky character to handle but one thing he, Bob Baker, director Roy Ward Baker and Roger Moore have all agreed on was that he was technically a superb actor and brought a huge amount to the series."
Jaz Wiseman provides an exclusive article for The Nice Rooms!
Room 15: Firestorm - The Jamie Anderson Interview
The Nice Rooms is proud to present an exclusive interview with Jamie Anderson - Gerry Anderson's younger son, managing director of Anderson Entertainment and Series Producer of a new TV venture: Firestorm
Room 14: The Richard Wall Vintage Radio Show
Vintage Radio - "The Grown-Up Choice" - is a non-profit making organisation that broadcasts from the YMCA based in Birkenhead, Merseyside, UK.
Richard Wall is one of the presenters and here at The Nice Rooms takes time out to talk about his show that focuses on the sixties, seventies and eighties' music he loves.
September 2014 and updated January 2017
Room 13: Declassifying The Avengers' Lost Year - Alan Hayes
"...Unlike in later years, Steed and his associate Dr Keel were downing glasses of scotch rather than champagne, and sometimes they even dispensed with the glasses! They would invariably be chain smoking through the episodes too."
Alan Hayes in conversation with The Nice Rooms about the very early years of the classic cult TV series: The Avengers.
Room 12: Directing Butterfly
by Fraser Grant
Opera comes to The Nice Rooms: On 25th and 26th October 2013, Opera South East (OSE) presented Madame Butterfly at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings.
Fraser Grant directed the production and here at The Nice Rooms reflects upon the rehersals leading up to the opening night.
Room 11: The Lawn Grower - Ian Gardler
"I've tried to retain that punk spirit in my approach to the music industry and having accepted that I'm very unlikely to get rich from music I've decided that all future releases will be free on MP3 and as cheap as possible."
Ian Gardler was a member of the cult band Beyond The Implode.
Room 10: Disneyland Paris And The Imagineers Of Main Street
By Gary Radice
The Nice Rooms casts a magiceye over Main Street USA at Disneyland Paris Resort in celebration of all things imagineering.
Room 9: The Liverpool Picturebook
by Bob Edwards
Every now and again a website comes along that draws you in and before you know it those minutes you intended to spend browsing seamlessly turn to hours. The Liverpool Picturebook - which is regularly updated - conveying Liverpool's history through photographs is one such site.
The Nice Rooms is proud to present an exclusive interview with Bob Edwards whose website it is.
Room 8: An Interview With Judy Street
"When I recorded What in 1968 with the writer and producer of the song, H.B. Barnum, I had no idea that it was going to be sent to the UK and become a massive hit on the Northern Soul scene."
In an exclusive interview for The Nice Rooms, Judy Street talks about the song that made her a Northern Soul legend.
Room 7: The Beatles Owe Me One
by Martin Davies
"Aztec Camera on a cold, wet Manchester winter's night received the same thumbs down, as did a demo tape lent to me by a young lad I played football with called Ian - His brother Johnny was knocking around with a weird singer called Steven Morrissey from Stretford."
Martin Davies of Meseybeat group The Shakers recalls his life in music.
Room 6: Fanderson: The World Of Gerry Anderson - Ian Fryer
Thunderbirds, Space 1999, New Captain Scarlet, Stingray,UFO, Terrahawks, The Secret Service, The Protectors and more.
Ian Fryer lifts the lid on some of the most iconic Gerry Anderson programmes in an exclusive interview here at The Nice Rooms.
Room 5: Maximum Merseybeat: The Shakers' Sound
by Tony O'Keeffe
"A lot of people comment how authentic The Shakers' sound is. Well, that's because we try to be as true as we can to the original 1960s Mersey Sound"
Tony O'Keefe writes about the reasons for the success and popularity of one of Merseybeat's top bands.
Room 4: Ian Schranz on So Lo-Fi
"I'm a musician who after working with labels such as Rough Trade, Zomba etc began ploughing the DIY arena realizing how liberating it can be to really have ownership of your work"
The Nice Rooms in conversation with Ian Schranz about So Lo-Fi : A community with its own Record Label.
Room 3: Accolade
Aaron Goldstein and Stefanie Renée with Cade Burkhammer
"I had a collection of songs (an entire album's worth) that I had written over 20 years ago that lay dormant just sitting on a shelf for most of that time. When Aaron and I decided to start a band, the lyrics were dusted off at long last, and new life was breathed into them."
Accolade - A gothic ethereal Progressive Rock Band - give an exclusive interview to The Nice Rooms about their music.
Room 2: In The Village with Debs McDougall
"Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner) was Six Of One's Honorary President up until his death in 2009. He sent telegrams and communications over the years, wishing us well and also wishing us successful conventions."
PR and Convention Organiser with Six Of One, Debs McDougall gives an exclusive interview to The Nice Rooms.
Room 1: The Retro Room
by Gary Radice
Misty eyed memories of a 50 something 'growing down'.
For those who remember Clackers, The Chopper Bike, Public Information Films, The White Horses and all things from another time.
Sweet - "All That Glitters" (1974) courtesy of The Official Sweet Channel
(19 mins 20 secs)
POSERS - New Romantics In The Kings Road (1981) courtesy of R4949
(24 mins 03 secs)
...There is a Secret Room accessible from somewhere else in The Nice Rooms..
"A picture where everyone lives happily ever after. .."