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(1 of 6 images)

Winston Spencer Churchill supergroup event 1973

Artist: Coum Transmissions

Year: 1973
Country: United Kingdom
Format: Poster
5 days of "Fanfare for Europe" in Hull sponsored by the Yorkshire Arts Association organised by Genesis P-Orridge
The poster is for the Winston Spencer Churchill supergroup event at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull as part of Fanfare for Europe. (Phase Two)
Foxtrot Echo was not physically part of the performance but telephoned the gallery during the performance in the persona of Martin Borman and attempted to order the director to demand the surrender of the super group to the superior German super group The Adolf Hitler.
BRADFORD ARTS FESTIVAL 1972    Lister Park, Bradford    August 26th 1972
with COUM and Genesis (as Genius) P-Orridge & Cosy (Cosey F. Tutti)  Mick Banks, M. Scott Ltd, Ray John Darling, Robert Banks, Rob Con,  Roland Miller, Rose Maguire, Al Beach, Anna Banana, Shirley Cameron, Diz Willis...
Heroine Demoriane   -   tightrope walker
Richard Bear     - I.R.A. minelayer & Spartan
Elizabeth Bear     - Spartan woman, titflasher
Fizzy Peat     - Spartan, clown
Foxtrot Echo     - I.R.A. man & Spartan
Genesis P-Orridge   - I.R.A. man & Spartan
Cosy P-Orridge     - Spartan Woman, titflasher
Very Rev. Lelli     - Wandering vicar, portable coumfile
Biggles     - Spartan
(Ian Goodrich, aka Biggles studied at Leeds College of Art, aka Bretton Hall College, circa 1973, & performed as Mrs. Asquith in 'Thee Biggles Saga' April 1973)
Story to the Show by Genesis P-Orridge
This was the first COUM booking to utilise DORIS AUSTIN the new old coumvan.
JOURNEY. DORIS developed what is probably universal joint trouble on the way to
Bradford. However this mainly took the form of loud knocking and bumps.
Otherwise she ran perfectly all the way there. Six people travelled in the baok
and two in front. Biggles was the pilot the whole way keeping to about 35,000 feet
all the way. After General P-Orridge mis read the flight path flight leader Richard
Bear took over navigation.
Apart from this detour of 60 miles no special events took place. COUM arrived at
40 Marlborough Road dead on 9.30 pm exactly as arranged in the briefing, and it
seems much to Ian Whites surprise as he had already written but a note saying he
had waited and then gone and would see us in the morning. Richard & COUM all
checked in and set off to find their digs courtesy of Bradford Coum Van Club.
On arrival there both Jo Pemberton & Helen were out drinking so fish and chips
was sought in Bradford Centre whilst dressed as Urban Guerillas. Then Foxtrot Echo
was bedded for the night at a house once occupied by him and the rest of COUM set
off back to the Van Club to get some rcst. This time people were in and many hot
cups of cha were downed by all before turning in for some shut-eye,.
The plan waa to relive this custom and then have wrestling, javelin demonstrations,
tactical practice and mimed battle as if in an ancient ballet. It waa also a nice
sequence because COUM had not eaten since Friday lunchtime in any quantity and it
would strengthen them up but make the meal integrated into the overall form.
Unfortunately two things spoiled this plan. One was the position of the tent. It was
between tents that were free access tents so the public thought all tents were just
to wander in and out of and therefore wanted to all coum in simultaneously to see
what we were doing. With eight Spartans and others already inside it was impossible
to accomodate the crowd of several hundred curiously gathered outside. Secondly the
local children were permanently attempting to hit Spartans on the head with thick
wooden staves from behind the tent so that the meal was totally disrupted by jabs
in the back and flailing clubs belting anyone who sat too near the tent wall. Also
the tent was ripped at one comer and young kids were also permanently trying to
steal helmets, steel tipped spears and shields to make their attacks more effective.
Eventually three Spartans had to permanetly control the tent perimeter under a
constant barrage of dustbin lids, clubs and half bricks. The banquet was snatched in
shifts and by the end of the day some people in COUM were limping and hardly able
to walk from bruising.
The order of the day was rather destroyed and after what turned out to be a small
harried snack it was time for COUM to run the Marathon.
The Spartan runners were ferried to Bradford City Hall steps by van from Lister Park
with two torches. They lit the torches on the steps of Bradford City hall and posed
for an official Festival picture,a copy of which is awaited. Then in group they ran
with the burning torches back to Lister Park through the Saturday crowds in plumed
helmets etc. This was happening slmiltaneously with the arrival in Munich of the real
Olympic runner, and it also tied in with the theme 300 Spartans and ancient Greece.
On arrival back at Lister Park a cake in the shape of the Olympic 5 circles waa ready
and Fizzy Peat lit the 333 candles on it with his flaming torch. A photograph of this
is in the COUM archives taken by the Very Rev. L.E. Maull dressed in his priests robe.
The Bradford Telegraph and Argus also photographed the various stages of this but as
far as we know it was not published.
Next Hermine was to perform her tightrop act between two trees. A cordon of
Spartan Guards was thrown around the area to prevent children and crowds getting
too close. She went through her routine, removing various pieces of clothinng, throwing
sweets to the children, lying across the rope and so on. She drew a vast crowd as
did all out activities that day and was given loud applause.
By now it was evening and the Spartans were rather tired and bruised from being
stoned and attacked by war parties of young children. Fizzy Peat dressed as a clown
and was by general consent voted best clown of the day. He danced and played
with children and also caught Hernmines clothes as she tightroped.
Later everyone chamged back into IRA mufti and after a brief visit to the Gallery
with SHirley Cameron, and a well earned cup of tea, DORIS was packed up and COUM
returned to Bradford Van Club for tea and repair battle wounds. All in all it
was a very odd day. Very busy. Yet we seemed in retrospect to draw the most attention
and were very heartened and a little embarassed to find praise couming from Al
Beach, John Darling, Mick Banks, Jeff Nuttall, Michael Scott and Roland Miller during
the evening get together and discussion.
The disappointment we had felt at the madness of the children at one point was
counteracted by the interest and encouragement shown to us by so many friendly
and nice people. It has really cheered us up to feel that after all we can please
people and make friends as in Hull we are totally shunned and treated as raving
lunatics and madmen by the hip entrepreneurs and cultural Leaders, apart from a
few helpful exceptions we are isolated from the ""scene"" in Hull. we dio make up
for this however by getting on well with the people in the street and schoolkids
which we must admit seems more valid than pandering to the ego of a few pretentious
people trying to emulate a pop medium for a sense of position.
Overall therefore Bradford was a great success. We did alsmost everything we intended.
We were popular weith all but a few problem children. We got on well with the other
artists and made lots of new friends and heard lots of stimulating ideas. We lost
money but most of all we had fun and survived. It has already led to another booking
in the form of Fanfare for Europe.