Haunted by cosmonauts

Kosmische, Radio, Science Fiction, Travel

Another enjoyable night out last night, as I went to the rather wonderful Shunt space beneath London Bridge station, to listen to upcoming Radio 4 Afternoon Play ‘Listen Up’.

Inspired by a recent Fortean Times article, the play deals with two Italian brothers, Achille and Giovanni Judica Cordiglia, who – in the late 50s and early 60s – managed to tune in to broadcasts from US and Soviet satellites and manned spacecraft.

Such was their ingenuity that they were actually better at tracking Soviet space missions than NASA; in fact, they apparently listened in on several pre-Gagarin manned spaceflights that – because each one ended in failure, and consequent fatality – were never officially acknowledged.

I really enjoyed it; it’s a very evocative piece, at once uncovering part of the hidden history of the space race and very effectively catching the paranoid spirit of the early 60s.

And afterwards, I managed to chat to author Glen Neath about it, so I’ll leave it to him to fill in the details – pausing only to note that it’s the Radio 4 Afternoon Play at 2.15pm on Friday 29th April, and will then be on iPlayer for a week or so afterwards. Make sure you listen in!

 

Smashing the piano

Gigs, Groove, London, Music, Radio

Well, it’s quite the weekend of music coming up.

On Saturday night, Stoke Newington’s legendary Drones Club hosts the awesome testosterone rush that is synth duo Raagnagrok, plus mash up Arabist mayhem from Djinn. More details here, it’s going to be a blast.

On Sunday, as part of Resonance FM’s Month of Sundays sessions, Raagnagrok offshoot Grok is playing with the even-more-legendary M. John Harrison, plus techgnostic Erik Davis, at the Corsice Studios down in Elephant and Castle. Details here, again it’ll be truly mind expanding.

Oh, and there’s also going to be comedy from Simon Munnery, science chat from Little Atoms, Dexter Bentley, Marvin Suicide and more.

I’ll be at both – see you there!