NEW WEIRD BRITAIN - 3. RADICAL RURAL (320kbs-m4a/64mb/28mins)
BBC Radio 4 broadcast: 17th June 2019
Music journalist John Doran travels across the country in search of an underground movement of musicians, blossoming in the margins of Britain.
Artists of all stripes have been driven out of the city centres by soaring rent prices and hit hard by the dwindling revenues of the digital economy. But untethered from the prospect of making any money and fueled by the current political turmoil, a new wave of musicians is splintering away from convention to stage bizarre one-off performances that fly in the face of austerity.
They are living off-grid in the countryside, building their own instruments out of electronic junk, staging strange rituals with priests smeared in clay or even performing with a team of dancers dressed as anatomically correct vaginas which squirt cream over the audience.
Rather than moving to the capital to seek out the crumbling infrastructure of the music industry, these musicians are self-releasing straight to the internet, teaching themselves how to edit via youtube or abandoning recording entirely.
Now that all you need to be a musician is a bit of spare time and reliable broadband, some musicians have sought out the space and isolation of the countryside for their creative practice. In this episode, John Doran heads to the rural areas of Britain to discover what musicians actually find when they go in search of England’s green and pleasant lands.
Contributors include Elizabeth Bernholz, aka Gazelle Twin, David Chatton Barker, Layla and Phil Legard from Hawthonn, Saxon Roach, Farmer Glitch and Richard Skelton.
Produced by Alannah Chance.
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4