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Two Big Egos in a Small Car
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Two Big Egos in a Small Car

Author: Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson

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A passionately laid back overview of the arts and culture scene in York and Harrogate with observations on journalism. This podcast is hosted by Charles Hutchinson and Graham Chalmers and regular guests.
38 Episodes
Charles and Graham open with a look-back at the best albums of the year so far and what's coming next. Graham goes further with his report on Stuart Cosgrove's book, Harlem 69: The Future Of Soul, and then compares Lindsay Anderson's classic 1968 film, If, with The Rolling Stones' track Jig-saw Puzzle from that year's album,  Beggars Banquet. Charles reflects on the monarchy, the Beeb and the media after the passing of HRH Prince Philip and then looks forward to Sir Alan Ayckbourn's 85th play premiere and CH's 60th birthday.
In a packed programme, the duo move from an update on the secret rock connections of Harrogate  to a celebration of the life of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder of San Francisco's groundbreaking City Lights bookshop. Charles leads an update on the latest Government funding for beleaguered cultural organisations and Graham reveals his involvement in the new documentary about Harrogate-born music documentary filmmaker Tony Palmer. Charles reminisces about seeing Kelly Jones solo at York Barbican, as a new Stereophonics show is announced, speculates over the future of independent shop culture, and reacts to the National Theatre's debut film in lockdown, Romeo And Juliet. Oh, and here come vaccine passports...or not.
Graham updates Charles on progress in the writing of his book about Harrogate prog band Magna Carta. The duo discuss upcoming gigs and Charles examines the thorny issue of the representation of female artists on festival billing before welcoming special guest Tom Beer from York band Bull.
As the roadmap to recovery pushes on, Graham and Charles share their thoughts on what might or might not happen for the arts. Charles celebrates another Leeds' footballing great, Peter Lorimer, who died recently and asks why that team has never been able to escape the moniker 'Dirty Leeds'. Graham talks about a new book on British modernist architecture, Brutal North and Charles raises the spectre of statues with the recent threat of one of Bono in Dublin: what are they for and who should have them? Charles proposes an update for the Census, with an opportunity to cover some aspect of culture and Graham celebrates some lyrical ambition highlighting lyrics by prog rock legends Yes' Tales from Topographic Oceans.
Charles tries to encourage Graham to ponder his favourite ‘mother’ related songs’ and the power of podcasts. Graham talks more about his take on the James Acaster book Perfect Sound Whatever and Charles looks at albums that when they were originally released were less acclaimed or even noticed than they are today and asks Graham to think about recent albums that have been overlooked but could be a future classic. Graham talks about the Harrogate Film Festival who have recently announced their headline guest, US film director, Oliver Stone and Charles examines the new events being planned by Harrogate arts organisations.
Graham remembers the classical music reviewer, George Pyman and Charles assesses the health of reviews and reviewing across the arts and compares it to sports reporting. Charles also celebrates the rise and rise of James who release their sixteenth album later this year. The duo elaborate on local plans to get live arts and culture back into our lives as soon as the Covid-19 roadmap allows.
As the vaccination process continues Graham and Charles discuss the likelihood of a return this year for outdoor music festivals and  enjoy  the return of two favourite Scottish bands: Mogwai and Arab Strap and remember one of the founders of the Supremes, Mary Wilson.  Graham investigates Martin Scorsese's view that the Netflix algorithm is the latest nail in true cinema's coffin and reflects on ex-Talking Heads David Byrne's words of wisdom.
Charles and Graham get philosophical and look at how the arts contributes to and challenges the notion of freedom of speech. What difference will the latest Covid-19 Roadmap make for arts and culture? And Graham gives an update on his own book project about Harrogate musician Chris Simpson and the folk rock band, Magna Carta.
In this week's 30th edition Charles and Graham interview artist Jake Attree about his current online exhibition at Messums. Graham follows up on last week's John Boorman item with the latest fruits of his current reading obsession and Charles tries to second guess what lies ahead gigs wise.About Jake Attree:Born in York, where he first studied painting, Jake Attree graduated from Liverpool College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. He now lives with his wife, Lindsay, in the West Yorkshire village of Saltaire, near Bradford, and maintains a studio at Dean Clough in Halifax.  
Following Scotland's historic victory over England in the Calcutta Cup, Graham finds much to celebrate in the career of film director John Boorman. Charles gets an update on the latest Harrogate Film Festival news and the duo take a longer look at the plethora of distinctive film festivals in Yorkshire and recall the Rolling Stones on IMAX. Charles tries to tease out the current situation for cultural events moving forward.
Charles and Graham celebrate the contribution of Hilton Valentine, guitarist with The Animals. Charles looks at the opportunities for artists of all kinds in a new national project. Graham explores the surreal world of The Flaming Lips and the duo remark on the fine art renaissance in Harrogate and discuss the PRS' latest move.
Graham and Charles react to the news they are big(ish) in Switzerland. They focus on confirmation that the Glastonbury Festival  will not now be going ahead and the impact of that on other outdoor festivals. Charles celebrates Amanda Gorman's poem at Joe Biden's Inauguration and looks ahead to some future events in York. Graham returns to his lockdown obsessions: The Doors and Malcolm X and salutes the enduring power of film director Federico Fellini and the opening episode of Russell T Davies' 'It's a Sin'.
Still catching up from Christmas, Graham introduces Charles to his Nick Cave pencils and his appreciation of poetry. The duo tackle the thorny issue of remembering Phil Spector and look at the story behind Mojo's delayed new edition and Graham adds to the growing list of Harrogate's hidden rock stories.
Charles and Graham attempt to see what the future holds for the arts in 2021 and discuss the highlights of new album and film releases. Charles drags Graham into a discussion about Leeds United's recent FA Cup flop and Graham adds to Charles' knowledge of Harrogate's hidden rock and roll history.
Charles and Graham look back on the year that was in the arts and explore some of their personal highlights. Graham takes a look at what a new Edinburgh Film House might mean for the Edinburgh Film Festival (see more at and the duo take a look at what Coventry is preparing to offer arts and culture fans in 2021 (check out
Charles and Graham reflect on Christmas 2020 and where things are now. Following Idris Elba's interview with Sir Paul, the duo chat through McCartney III and Charles unleashes his favourite Christmas albums on an unsuspecting Graham.
Charles and Graham play out their top ten albums of the year and commemorate the 40th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. The duo get stuck into current cinema and the joy of watching films in public as well as highlighting some local arts activity.
Graham and Charles talk to their special guest, Harrogate based nature writer and poet, Rob Cowen, who talks about Common Ground, his new book about the Great North Road and also reads two new poems.Rob Cowen is an award-winning writer, journalist and author of the acclaimed Common Ground. In 2012 he won the Roger Deakin Award from the Society of Authors for his first book Skimming Stones and Other Ways of Being in the Wild. His second book, Common Ground, was shortlisted for the Portico Literary Prize, Richard Jefferies Society Prize and the 2016 Wainwright Prize, as well as selected as a ‘Book of the Year’ in the Times, the Independent, The Sunday Express and featuring in the Guardian’s Top Ten Readers’ Choice. In 2018, it was voted 3rd in a BBC poll to find Britain’s favourite nature book. Common Ground has been translated into German, released in America and adapted into a live music and spoken word show with Nancy Kerr and Martin Simpson. Rob writes for the New York Times, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Telegraph and the Guardian, and has created documentaries for the BBC.
Graham and Charles remember Darth Vader and the Green Cross Code actor, Dave Prowse, take a look at the almost universal love for Argentinian footballer, Diego Maradona as his death is announced and look at the implications for Harrogate and York's cultural events as they enter Tier Two restrictions. Graham reports on new releases from Harrogate musical artists and Charles reflects on the future of Sir Alan Ayckbourn after his latest interview with the playwright.
Graham and Charles compare notes on song titles around the colour Vermillion. Charles puts the spotlight on the York Coronvirus Message Board urging people: ‘Let's Be York' and reviews the ongoing controversy surrounding the lyrics for the Christmas classic, A Fairytale of New York. Graham looks at the enduring legacy of singer-songwriter Nick Drake and teases Charles with the current list of most loved actors across film and television.
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