Idiot Sideshow


One Moment Of Beauty ARC246

Idiot Side Show

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One Moment Of Beauty - Idiot Sideshow


Featured Track

Idiot SideshowHigh Tech Low Life

  1. Windmills In The Distance
  2. Terminal
  3. Faith, Hope, Sweet Charity
  4. High Tech Low Life
  5. Sucker In The Dream House
  6. Each of Us
  7. Happy Here
  8. Two Boston Dolls
  9. Pensive
  10. Bow My Jack
  11. Angel In Disguise
  12. Entertainment
  13. Cocktails and Drifting
  14. Desolate
  15. Each of Us (version)
  16. Faith, Hope, Sweet Charity (version)
  17. Radio Surf Ga Ga

Idiot Sideshow was a project formed by Pete Webb and Dave Hooper late in 1983. Their intention was to stretch the boundaries of noise and music and create a multi-media experience for those who came to see them. They didn’t chase a record contract preferring to explore the use of noise, found sound, early sampling techniques and philosophical musing. They first announced themselves by putting up posters that discussed the consumer society and the stupefaction of the masses through media desensitisation and not by advertising a gig. This was no ordinary musical project. They worked with a variety of producers in the city like Rob Smith, Ray Mighty (Smith and Mighty) and Dave Mcdonald (Portishead), they worked with the London based Film Company; Parallax Pictures and did a soundtrack for a film called `Policing London’ starring David Yip (Chinese Dectective) and Benjamin Zephaniah (1985), and they did a series of multi-media gigs that left an indelible mark on the country. The duo of Webb and Hooper wrote the material and then collaborated with a variety of people for live shows including Steve McDonagh, Phil Hall, Simeon Birtwhistle, Gary Smout and many more. They played many gigs and with a variety of bands including, Swans, The Inca Babies and Blue Aeroplanes and were seen as an experimental noise/industrial project. Their shows included many slide and film projections, huge marching drums, banners and posters that often caused offence or provocation. They were famously charged with possible obscene publication when they produced a collage poster that included a Robert Mapplethorpe image of a man performing cunnilingus on a woman with the slogan “the Revolution is coming…”. The resulting court case resulted in a minor fine when they argued that the image they had used was a piece of art and could be found publically displayed in art gallerys’ across the world. They only ever released one track on a Berlin based compilation album in 1986 after they had spent a month in the city. They split in 1988 and Pete Webb went on to work with Mouse from Psychic TV in Feast Of Hunger and then to form the band Static (later Statik Sound System) with Mark Hymas and the remnants of the band. Their work was recorded over the four years of their existence and can be found here on the Archive.

Pete Webb Jan 2011



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