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Friday, December 2nd, 2022  

ACID KLAUS On His Top 10 Favourite Documentaries

ACID KLAUS shares his favourite documentaries.

Nov 27, 2022 Web Exclusive
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Sheffield-based musician, DJ, producer and all round agent provocateur ACID KLAUS released his eagerly anticipated debut album on Yard Act’s Zen F.C. label last Friday (18th November). Entitled Step on My Travelator: The Imagined Career Trajectory of Superstar DJ & Dance Pop Producer, Melvin Harris, it’s a record that’s every bit as enthralling as its exotically named title suggests. Featuring numerous collaborators across its eleven pieces including Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor, acclaimed actor Maxine Peake, fellow Sheffield legend Richard Hawley and American singer/songwriter Charlotte Kemp Muhl, who sings lead vocals on the most recent ACID KLAUS single “Elevate”.

To commemorate the album’s release, ACID KLAUS (aka Adrian Flanagan) has given Under the Radar an exclusive insight into some of the influences behind both his debut and the project itself, starting with his Top 10 favourite documentaries of all time.

So, grab yourself a nice glass of red, sit comfortably and prepare for an array of audio visual delights.

KENNETH ANGER’S HOLLYWOOD BABYLON

“Crazy Ken drives around Hollywood in a hearse telling bitchy tales about old cinema royalty like Fatty Arbuckle & Rudolf Valentino & meeting the eccentrics and wayward freaks of outsider Tinsel Town including fun people such as a couple of celebrity embalmers!! For fans of B-Movies and the darker side of Hollywood. It’s a sordid Classic!”


JOHN’S NOT MAD

“I remember this unforgettable documentary from when I was at school. Everyone in the playground was talking about it next day and all of a sudden a nation of children now had an excuse to swear like utter bastards in the classroom!! Me: “fuck off yer shit house!!” Teacher: “what was that Flanagan?!” Me: “I’ve got Tourette’s Sir!!” . This documentary follows John , a 15 year old school boy from Galashiels in Scotland who has quite severe Tourette’s and the day to day problems that living with the condition brings. There was a follow up documentary, a kind of 20 years on documentary about John on a few years back - thankfully with the development of better medication he’s a lot more in control of the condition, in the 80’s & 90’s Tourette’s was almost seen as some kind of devilish mind possession . It can’t have been easy for him or his family building friendships and relationships in later life!”


THE UPSETTER: THE LIFE & TIMES OF LEE SCRATCH PERRY

“Lee Scratch Perry, the Upsetter, the toaster with the moster. The majestic king of Dub & roots reggae. I own loads of Lee’s records & productions - most of which are sonically untouchable. People saw him as some completely hatstand maverick- I don’t think he was - I think he knew exactly what he was doing, a very smart man, a genius undoubtedly, his like we’ll never see again!! Get the bong out and marvel at this documentary!!”


MOUTH MUSIC

“I like the Folk streams website, it’s a great resource for all your outsider music and art films and documentaries. This one’s about a style of southern American instrument less folk music known as ‘mouth music’. Don’t tell Moby about it though as he’ll probably sample them and have a world wide smash!!”


I’M YOUR NUMBER ONE FAN

“This documentary is about Super fans & stalkers. The main focus of the documentary is on a stalker called ‘Blue Tulip Rose Read’ who’s object of desire is the ex-radio 1 dj (and now right wing bellend) - Mike Read! Though these people are obviously suffering from mental illness old Tulip Rose comes out with some incredibly awkward but memorable scenes and one liners , such as lying in bed having (I presume) a faux orgasm whilst listening to Mike’s smooth and velvety radio voice during his breakfast show - and cheerfully barking the melody of how much is that doggy in a window.”


THE JOE MEEK STORY ARENA DOCUMENTARY

“Another classic doc. I’ve been a massive fan of Joe Meek for decades. His whole story is fascinating right from setting up the first independent recording studio In his flat on Holloway Road in London. His strange recording techniques. Recording talking cats in graveyards. Struggling with concealing his sexuality in the days when it was a crime to be gay. His later raging paranoia and the subsequent shooting of both his landlady and himself(who hasn’t at sometime wanted to shoot their landlord?) . His brothers are quite sweet in this film and a bit perplexed by joes big city London way of life and just thought all he needed was to come back to Gloucester and have a lie down. Theres many unintentional funny lines in it such as “Joe liked artichokes, he grew them in the garden, do you like artichokes? They’re very soapy!!’ Or on the singer Heinz “I bit his nose off!!” The album ‘I hear a new world’ by joe meek and the bluemen is definitely in my top 10 all time favourite albums!!”


BRUCE HAACK: THE KING OF TECHNO

“Bruce is another hero of mine, he made a lot of his own electronic instruments and effects in the 60’s, some of which got him on prime time American tv as such instruments and their sounds had never been heard before. He made an incredible album called Electric Lucifer in the early 70’s & a bunch of ace weird records made for children. “


ELVIS IN JARROW

“Joe Allen is JARROW ELVIS , a working class working men’s club singer & Elvis Presley impersonator from Jarrow in South Tyneside - who performed occasionally with some quite terrible Elvis impersonators down the local WMC. But Joe is good, he’s got spirit and Soul.

I remember seeing this controversial documentary aired by the BBC in the early 90’s and even then I saw it as being quite exploitative - which was very much indicative of working mens club bookings of the time. Some of the documentary I find uncomfortable as it’s obvious the WMC promoters got some of these singers in to be laughed at rather than for their God given talent , but equally as sad as some of it is - it’s an interesting document of a time where whole communities would go out to the club on masse to escape the humdrum of the working day by consuming many glorious pints of ale , eating some Crabsticks, watching a male or female stripper - and a terrible club turn - ending with a bit of a disco and a reach around in the club carpark by the bins. We should never go back too those exploitative mucky days but I do feel - because of the age of the mobile phone and the internet - to a degree real community in 2022 is a fallacy - which I find equally as sad !! I just read actually that JARROW Elvis died last month, god bless his soul.”


TALES FROM A HARD CITY

“This is without doubt one of my favourite ever documentaries and it just happens to be about 3 dreamers in Sheffield (where I’m currently based). There’s Glen a petty criminal who dreams of being a rock star. There’s Paul an ex boxer who dreams of being an actor. The third is a young single mum called Sarah who after getting herself arrested and locked up on holiday in Greece for ‘dancing provocatively’ on a table ended up in all the sleazy red top papers in the U.K.. Now where there’s a dreamer there’s always a dodgy manager, life coach or talent agent waiting in the wings to swoop, to advise and monopolise… It’s full of really hilarious moments. I love the opening scene where Glen’s mum is singing what sounds like an old post war song from the 50’s , it’s really haunting.” (Think you need to sign in to watch this for free, but it’s worth it).”

Tales From a Hard City from David Hill on Vimeo.


PUCKER UP: THE FINE ART OF WHISTLING

“There’s not really a more cheerful sound than the sound of a good whistler. This doc follows a couple of sensationally skilled whistlers as they attempt to win whistling competitions around the world. If your looking for a feel good documentary to warm your cockles and cheer you up, this will do it, as will opening your window and listening to the birds!!”

ACID KLAUS has just finished his first UK headline tour, and will play the following shows in 2023 with more to be confirmed.

January 6th - Rockaway Beach festival Bognor Regis

February 25th - Dark Arts festival/Belgrave Music Hall - Leeds

August 5th - Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire.

The album Step on My Travelator: The Imagined Career Trajectory of Superstar DJ & Dance Pop Producer, Melvin Harris is available on all formats via BANDCAMP.

Follow ACID KLAUS on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK and TWITTER.



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