The Last Bohemians

The Last Bohemians

By House of Hutch

The Last Bohemians meets female firebrands and maverick outsiders who have lived live on the edge and who still refuse to play by the rules, from subversive musicians and rock'n'roll groupies to groundbreaking artists and game-changing style icons. The series is created and presented by journalist Kate Hutchinson and is produced by an all-female audio team, with portraits by Laura Kelly. Season two launches weekly in March 2020 and features Judy Collins, Gee Vaucher, Zandra Rhodes, P.P. Arnold, Vivienne Dick, Sue Tilley, Margaret Busby and Maxine Sanders.

Episodes

8: Maxine Sanders: the witch queen on casting spells, surviving persecution and the power of sex magic

Maxine Sanders is one of the country’s most iconic and possibly most controversial witches. In the 1960s and 70s, she and her late husband Alex Sanders were at the centre of Britain’s witchcraft boom. At the height of their fame, they were featured weekly in tabloid newspapers and starred in numerous documentaries and films where they would recreate their dramatic rituals… It was the era when Flower Power and the sexual revolution were in full swing. The Witchcraft Act was repealed in 1951 making it no longer illegal to practise witchcraft, and Maxine and Alex were sexing its image up. Their coven was rapidly growing in size, as more and more people were drawn to the occult, and eventually they moved from Alderley Edge, near Manchester, to Notting Hill in London, where musicians like Jimmy Paige and Marc Bolan flocked to their wild parties. But it was also where a strange set of circumstances saw them linked to Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders in California... Presenter Kate Hutchinson came across Maxine in a book that she'd bought on her birthday in 2019, from Donlon Books in east London – in it was a striking image of a stunning woman with long blond hair, holding a dagger, in the middle of a circle, and she knew she had to find out more.  We finally tracked Maxine down to her home in North West London, where we sat in her living room, filled with amazing antique books and ancient magic regalia.  What she told us may raise an eyebrow or two, as Maxine recounts her early years in the craft, meeting her husband – the King of the Witches, Alex Sanders, how she dealt with being the subject of a tabloid frenzy week on week, the meaning of being a witch today, what it feels like to do a spell, her experiences of astral projection, sex magic and death, and overcoming persecution. ​It's quite a magical ride, so strap in tight. ​This episode was produced by Hannah Fisher. 1. Malani Bulathsinhala - Wasan Karannata Bae 2. Roh Hamilton and Tiffany Seal - Enchanted Forest 3. Bishi - All Across The Universe (BISHI's 'The Telescope Eye,' EP, produced on by BISHI & Richard Norris. Out on Gryphon Records on all streaming platforms now) 4. Lobo Loco - Lake of Avalon
13/04/2053m 29s

7: Sue Tilley: the 1980s club kid and artist on Leigh Bowery and modelling for Lucian Freud

Rewind to the 1980s and London nightlife was an explosion of creativity – the new romantics were in, dramatic fashion looks were everywhere and at the back of the club, having a gossip, there’d be Sue Tilley, also affectionately known as Big Sue.  She was the best friend of the outrageous performance artist and fashion designer Leigh Bowery, who became known for his shocking stage shows and about whom she wrote a biography. Sue worked at the Job Centre during the day and the door at his infamously wild club night Taboo, which was later immortalised by Boy George in the musical of the same name, by night. This was a place, in the mid-80s, where genders and sexualities were blurred and the more flamboyant your costume, the better.  It’s also where Leigh and Sue met the painter Lucian Freud – both ended up sitting for him but Sue’s nude portrait, 1995’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, is perhaps among his most famous works, which, when it sold for $33.6 million, was the most expensive painting by a living artist ever to be sold at auction. Sue left London to retire by the seaside on England’s south coast and it’s where she can often be found hosting quizzes and DJing in one of the local pubs, or working on her own pieces – she is now an artist in her own right and often paints the colourful characters she remembers from her clubbing days. This episode was produced by Gabriela Jones. Music: Ad Infinitum - Oh The City; Photosynthesis - Lagua Vesa; Waking Dreams (Nada Copyright Free Music); Santosha - Can Sandano; A Message From Your Space Cat - Felix Johansson Carne; Cotton Candy - Copse; Backplate - Joseph McDade; Waking And Dreaming - Brendon Moelleer
06/04/2027m 11s

6: Zandra Rhodes: Studio 54, punk and the power of fuchsia with the British style icon

Zandra Rhodes OBE has spent 50 years at the forefront of British fashion, having dressed everyone from Freddie Mercury to Princess Diana in her signature printed chiffons. Her work was adopted by the Studio 54 crowd in the 1970s, her gold lamé dresses modelled by the likes of Donna Summer and Pat Cleveland. Then she lacerated her chiffons with safety pins and was dubbed the Princess of Punk, a name that matched her trademark fuchsia bobbed hair. To this day she remains independent, having never sold out her brand to a big fashion house. At 79, she is as DIY as ever. The Last Bohemians caught Zandra at an interesting – and stressful – time as she was celebrating her career's five-decade run at the same time as getting to grips with the death of her long-term partner. Themes of life, loss, grief and relevancy weave throughout this episode, as do ruminations on creativity, routine and restlessness and stories about Studio 54, her eccentric friendship circle, her take on the royal family and more. Her work ethic is infamous – but has the death of a loved one shifted her priorities? We meet the style icon in her multi-hued apartment on two separate occasions to find out how she manages to do it all...
30/03/2033m 16s

5: P.P. Arnold: the soul survivor surveys the Swinging Sixties, sexual revolution and Mick Jagger

P.P. Arnold isn’t called a soul survivor for nothing. She recently made a comeback with her first album in 50 years, following a long, hard fight, at the age of 73, to get her music career back on track.  In America, she had been an Ikette with Ike & Tina Turner and then moved to London at the height of the Swinging Sixties, where she hung out with Jimi Hendrix, had a sexual awakening among the rockstars of London, and was signed by Mick Jagger to his label, Immediate. She released the hit single First Cut Is The Deepest and two brilliant soul albums. But her third, 1971’s The Turning Tide, which was co-produced by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees and Eric Clapton, was blocked from being released.  After that, P.P.'s career floundered. She sang with Peter Gabriel, Billy Ocean and The KLF – who burned the money to pay her in their £1million stunt – and appeared in the musical Starlight Express, but musical dead ends danced with tragedy, when she lost her daughter in a car accident. Her solo career never quite got back on track – until she encountered the British mod band Ocean Colour Scene. Steve Cradock from the band helped her finish The Turning Tide and produced her first new album in 50 years, The New Adventures of... P.P. Arnold. And what an adventure it’s been. P.P's story is incredible and her laugh is infectious, as she remembers her first interracial relationships, hanging out with friends like Brian Jones and what she really thinks about Rod Stewart. We went back to the place where it all started, the Bag O’ Nails in Soho, now a sleek members club, to talk about being an "authentic" soul singer in 1960s London, her journey from then to now and how she’s made it – with a few famous flings along the way. This episode contains discussions about domestic violence, which some may find triggering, and so listener discretion is advised. P.P. Arnold's episode was produced by Cassandra Denton and presented by Kate Hutchinson, with portraits by Laura Kelly.
23/03/2036m 40s

4: Vivienne Dick: the experimental feminist film-maker digs back into New York's 1970s no wave scene

"Often women artists do all their best work when they're older You feel stronger, you feel like you've got nothing to lose" Experimental film-maker Vivienne Dick moved from Ireland to New York in the late-70s and was at the heart of a scene called no-wave, an avant-garde music and art movement where people like director Jim Jarmusch, artist Basquiat, photographer Nan Goldin and musicians Sonic Youth and Debbie Harry mingled together. Inspired by this DIY community downtown, she picked up a Super 8 camera and started shooting the women around her, in films like Guerillere Talks and She Had The Gun All Ready. Lydia Lunch, one of the most charismatic of Vivienne’s subjects, described No Wave as a “collective caterwaul that defied categorisation and despised convention." Presenter Kate Hutchinson first heard Vivienne’s name in the song Hot Topic by dance-punks Le Tigre, which reels off a list of artists, writers, activists and feminist firebrands, putting her alongside the likes of Yoko Ono and Sleater-Kinney.  Vivienne is still an experimental film-maker to this day and has never sold out her vision. The Last Bohemians visited her at her Dublin home, as she was putting the finishing touches to her latest film New York, Our Time, which has since won the Film Critics Circle Award for Best Documentary. It transports Vivienne back to the city she left in 1982 and sees her reconnecting with some of her old friends.  Our story starts, however, in Donegal, Ireland, where a young Vivienne couldn’t wait to leave... This episode was produced by Ali Gardiner. Music in this episode (sourced via Bandcamp, freemusicarchive.org and archive.org): Tryad – The Rising Blue Dot Sessions – Campfire Rounds Fields Ohio – Anti-Saloon League Gallery Six – Moel Plastic Sunday – No Tomorrow Chocolate Billy - Assedic No Wave Lee Rosevere – Ennui Revolution Void – Someone Else’s Memories Phlox.s – Obey The Sun Gallery Six – Hydroscope Chris Zabriskie – Virtues Inherited, Vices Passed On Chris Zabriskie – Heliograph Chris Zabriskie – Candlepower Chris Zabriskie – Oxygen Garden
16/03/2031m 51s

3: Gee Vaucher: the visual artist behind Crass on curiosity, communal living and where punk went wrong

Gee Vaucher isn’t perhaps as well known as some of her punk peers, but she should be: she’s one of the artists who defined punk’s visuals of protest in the 1970s, especially with her arresting photo-montage covers for Crass, the cult band and art collective she was part of, who put anarchy into practice. She had a stint in Manhattan as a political illustrator for The New York Times and she’s also designed album sleeves for bands like The Charlatans and experimental hip-hop group Tackhead. Her piece for the latter, Oh America, in which the Statue of Liberty covers her face with her hands, went viral and was published on the front cover of newspapers when Trump was elected as President of the United States.  Gee's art continues to be confrontational, whether she’s painting or, as she shows us, making an absolutely enormous book filled with millions of hand-drawn stick figures – one for every single person that died in World War I.  She is radical in every sense of the word. In this episode, Gee invites us to Dial House, on the edge of Epping Forest in Essex – a tumbling old cottage with a difference: it’s run by Gee and her collaborator Penny Rimbaud as an anarchic “centre for radical creativity” where anyone can turn up at any time for a cup of tea and a chat. So that’s just what we did, to hear Gee talk about her working relationship with Penny, why punk was a disappointment and the 'perverseness' of her art. This episode was produced by Mae-Li Evans.
09/03/2041m 51s

2: Judy Collins: the frank and fearless folk legend on touring at 80, art and activism, and making Leonard Cohen famous

Judy Collins is a folk music legend, with a career spanning six decades, from the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene to California, as the Flower Power movement took root, to now, at 80, still gigging hard every year with her guitar.  Judy is what The New York Times called a “master song collector”. She is celebrated for reinterpreting other people’s tracks, with an eclecticism that comes from her father, who was a blind radio DJ, singer and pianist. Notably, she covered Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne and Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, making both of their careers. In the first episode of The Last Bohemians series two, Judy talks about the importance of art and activism, such as the time she signed a statement declaring she’d had an abortion, in her friend Gloria Steinem’s Ms Magazine – a year before it was made legal in America.  Frank and funny, she recalls former lovers like Stephen Stills, getting mixtapes from Leonard Cohen, and going tattoo shopping with Antony Bourdain's mum, but also surviving the darkness of the hippie era, and the demons she’s battled along the way. Trigger warning: this episode contains themes of addiction and suicide, and so listener discretion is advised. This episode was presented by Kate Hutchinson and produced by Shola Aleje, with intro music by Emmy The Great.
02/03/2042m 42s

1: The Last Bohemians – Series Two Trailer – Launching 2 March 2020

The Last Bohemians returns for series two with eight maverick women and fearless firebrands in arts and culture: folk legend Judy Collins, iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes, soul survivor PP Arnold, anarchic punk artist Gee Vaucher, witch queen Maxine Sanders, experimental film-maker Vivienne Dick, 80s club kid Sue Tilley and literary maven Margaret Busby. Each episode will be released weekly and the portraits by Laura Kelly published on Instagram: @thelastbohemianspod (https://www.instagram.com/thelastbohemianspod/) .
27/02/202m 2s

7: Pamela Des Barres: the definitive rock'n'roll groupie discusses Led Zeppelin, her wild past and the #MeToo movement

Pamela Des Barres is the definitive groupie who moved to Hollywood in the 1960s, embraced free love and hippiedom, and frolicked with musicians like The Who’s Keith Moon and The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. She documented it all in her iconic tell-all book I'm With The Band and she inspired the character Penny Lane in the film Almost Famous. During the waves of feminism that have come since, however, Pamela's candid tales have been criticised, the supposed sexual liberation of the halcyon rock’n’roll days reevaluated.  She sat down with The Last Bohemians in east London record shop Matters Of Vinyl Importance for a controversial insight into her wild past, her thoughts on whether musicians deserve to be idolised, and looks at her groupie history through the lens of the #MeToo movement. Presenter: Kate Hutchinson (http://www.katehutchinson.co.uk) Producer: Shola Aleje (http://sholaaleje.com/) Photos: Laura Kelly (https://www.laurakellyphoto.com/) www.thelastbohemians.co.uk (http://www.thelastbohemians.co.uk/) @thelastbohemianspod (http://www.instagram.com/lastbohemianspod) ​
03/05/1928m 24s

6: Cosey Fanni Tutti: sex, subversion and class with the artist and industrial music pioneer

When it comes to uncompromising musicians and artists, Cosey Fanni Tutti is in a league of her own. As part of Throbbing Gristle in the 1970s, she helped pioneer industrial music and her solo shows, modelling work and ‘actions’, as she calls them – including those that were part of the cultish collective and commune COUM Transmissions – blurred the lines between performance art, sex and subversion. Once considered shocking, her gallery shows shut down, now her vision is celebrated. After TG, Cosey and her partner Chris Carter formed the musical duo Chris and Cosey and moved to the Norfolk countryside, where Cosey takes great pride in her blooming garden. It’s quite a contrast with the machine-led music that comes out of their home studio, which is where Cosey made TUTTI, her first solo album since 1982, released in 2019.   Cosey's autobiography, Art Sex Music, depicts a truly alternative thinker for whom acceptance is the last thing on her mind. An audience with Cosey is a real insight into a life dedicated to the decidedly unsubtle art of not giving a fuck and here she takes us into her beloved garden one sunny afternoon to explain just how she does it. ​ Presenter: Kate Hutchinson (http://www.katehutchinson.co.uk) Producer: Ali Gardiner (https://twitter.com/aligardiner) Photos: Laura Kelly (https://www.laurakellyphoto.com/) www.thelastbohemians.co.uk (http://www.thelastbohemians.co.uk/) @thelastbohemianspod (http://www.instagram.com/lastbohemianspod)
03/05/1929m 6s

5: Pauline Black: the original rude girl on female empowerment, intersectionality and being a music trailblazer

Think of punk and ska in 1980s Britain and you may well picture bands like The Clash and The Specials. Pauline Black, however, is the original rude girl. As the driving force behind Coventry 2-tone group The Selecter, she was a rare woman of colour making her way in music and sticking two fingers up to the skinheads while she was at it. Today Pauline is a style icon and a cultural force, with her signature fedora, Doc Martens and formidable attitude, as documented in her book, Black By Design: A 2-Tone Memoir. She invited The Last Bohemians into her immaculate home in the Midlands to discuss how she became the first lady of 2-Tone, its multicultural vision, and the fight to make her voice heard. ​ Presenter: Kate Hutchinson (http://www.katehutchinson.co.uk) Producer: Renay Richardson (https://renayrichardson.com/) Photos: Laura Kelly (https://www.laurakellyphoto.com/) www.thelastbohemians.co.uk (http://www.thelastbohemians.co.uk/) @thelastbohemianspod (http://www.instagram.com/lastbohemianspod)
03/05/1923m 5s

4: Amanda Feilding: beat poets, psychedelics and self-trepanation with the leading LSD campaigner and countess

Amanda Feilding is flying the flag for the medical benefits of recreational drugs like cannabis and LSD with her pioneering work at The Beckley Foundation. Based out of the 75-year-old's tumbling country pile in Oxfordshire – which is ringed by a moat and has an island encircled with temple-like pillars – the foundation funds leading research into the medical benefits of psychedelics and mind-altering substances.   Amanda is also a countess whose lineage traces back to Charles II of England. In the 1960s, after travelling around Sri Lanka on her own, she discovered acid and hung out with the beat poets of the era, never without her beloved pet pigeon Birdie by her side. She met the Dutch scientist Bart Hughes, who introduced her to the shamanic practice of trepanation – essentially drilling a hole in one’s head, which she performed on herself in 1970.   Needless to say, a conversation with Amanda Feilding, with the wind blowing through the trees, is quite a trip in itself… ​ Presenter: Kate Hutchinson (http://www.katehutchinson.co.uk) Producer: Lucy Dearlove (https://lucydearlove.com/) Photos: Laura Kelly (https://www.laurakellyphoto.com/) http://www.thelastbohemians.co.uk @thelastbohemianspod (http://www.instagram.com/lastbohemianspod) Music: Blue Dot Sessions - Disinter Blue Dot Sessions - Solemn Application Blue Dot Sessions - Slow Casino Blue Dot Sessions - Thread Magenta
03/05/1930m 24s

3: Bonnie Greer: the playwright and critic considers Basquiat, Madonna, making work about race and how not to play it safe as an artist

Chicago-raised Bonnie Greer is instantly recognisable in the UK as a television pundit, playwright and critic. She famously took on former BNP leader Nick Griffin on BBC's Question Time and has written five books and numerous plays that skewer politics, identity and race. The Last Bohemians meets Bonnie in Soho, London, where she explores how the 1970s New York of Basquiat and Warhol shaped her an an artist, as well as her far-ranging ideas on making work about race, ageism, navigating the art and opinions of problematic personalities, and how not to play it safe as an artist. Presenter: Kate Hutchinson (http://www.katehutchinson.co.uk) Producer: Isis Thompson (https://twitter.com/thisisisis1) Photos: Laura Kelly (https://www.laurakellyphoto.com/) http://www.thelastbohemians.co.uk @thelastbohemianspod (http://www.instagram.com/lastbohemianspod)
03/05/1935m 36s

2: Molly Parkin: the grand dame of British bohemia on Soho's glory days, Louis Armstrong and self love

The inspiration for this series, Molly Parkin is a painter, erotic novelist and a former fashion editor who was once just as famous for her bedroom liaisons with the movers and shakers of London. She is never without a bejewelled turban on her head or a saucy anecdote at hand. Now 87, she lives on the iconic World’s End estate in Chelsea, in a kaleidoscopic apartment filled with her art and clothing. In this candid – and fairly explicit! – episode The Last Bohemians meets her at home, where she discusses her illuminating sex life, her wild days at The Colony Club with artist Francis Bacon, her penchant for erotic writing and how to get off in your eighties. Presenter: Kate Hutchinson (http://www.katehutchinson.co.uk) Producer: Alannah Chance (https://twitter.com/miss_chance) Photos: Laura Kelly (https://www.laurakellyphoto.com/) http://www.thelastbohemians.co.uk @thelastbohemianspod (http://www.instagram.com/lastbohemianspod)
03/05/1926m 3s

1: The Last Bohemians - Trailer - Launching 4 March 2019

The Last Bohemians is an independent new audio series that meets female firebrands and controversial outsiders from significant eras in culture and the arts. From subversive musicians and rock'n'roll groupies to groundbreaking artists and game-changing style icons, these are women who have lived life on the edge and still refuse to play by the rules
03/05/191m 52s
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Heart UK