Monday, March 09, 2020

Marching to a different tune

In 1979, photographer Tish Murtha published a scathing piece to accompany her pictures of juvenile jazz bands, which she saw as a quasi-fascistic phenomenon: "To be accepted into, and remain in the juvenile 'jazz' band a child must put aside all 'normal' behaviour, and become the plaything of the failed soldier, the ex-armed forces member, and their ilk; any spark of individuality is crushed by the military training imposed, until the child's actions resemble those of a mechanical tin soldier, acting out the confused fantasies of an older generation."

The images are now set to be published in a new book by Bluecoat Press (Kickstarter page here), and Emily Goddard has written about them for the Independent - and about those Murtha also took in her native Newcastle of the much more anarchic, free-spirited improvised bands that the kids formed themselves.

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