The Speakeasy Is GO!

A nervous, exciting and fulfilling day for Clive and I on Monday.

We convened at X&HTowers in sunny Caversham to yell the first brace of recordings for our new podcast The X&HT Speakeasy into my laptop. This was a first for me. I’ve been thinking about trying a podcast for a while, but never managed to pluck up the nerve. Clive, however, is a seasoned pro, after laying down a nested set of five ‘casts for Frightfest with Mighty Stu Wright under the name of The Gruesome Twosome.

With the maturing of tools like Garageband, podcasting has become almost absurdly simple. It’s really easy to put together a professional-sounding programme, complete with (if you feel the urge) whacky sound effects, studio applause and a full band. All from the comfort of your living room.

Or, in our case, my back bedroom. I live in a house with high ceilings and wooden floors–light and airy, but there’s a lot of echo to deal with. The littlest bedroom (or as I now call it, Studio 1) has carpet and a lower roofline – a much more “dead” sounding room, and perfect for recording. I perched on the bed, put Clive on his podcasting stool, and plugged in.

We’ve recorded two ‘casts for you this month. It’s important to keep the content to one theme (something Excuses And Half Truths has never been able to manage–let’s just say I have an eclectic approach to my curatorship of the space) so we decided to do a film and a music edition. So, what’s in store?

In the film edition, we talk about Star Trek Into Darkness and The Great Gatsby, and consider how necessary any kind of reboot or reimagining is to a well-loved work of art. With the upcoming release of Ben Wheatley’s A Field In England to every format available at once, we talk about how easy or otherwise it is to see arthouse films in blockbuster season. And we have DVD and download recommendations for you in a regular item we call Sofa Cinema.


Sofa Cinema Links:


Blood Simple

Motel Hell


Haunting Melissa

American Mary



In the music Speakeasy, we’re all over Daft Punk’s new album Random Access Memories, and the National’s Trouble Will Find Me. We look at geeky music rituals (particularly Clive’s music notebooks), go on about Eurovision for slightly longer than necessary, and big up the tunes you should be listening to in our recommendation item, Download This!


Download This! Links:

Steve Mason

Hot Nun

Margaret Barger

Public Service Broadcasting


Laura Marling

Clive and I really hope you enjoy the Speakeasy. We’ve been talking about it for a while, and we’re both nervously excited to see how it goes down. The next one will be on books and comics, dropping at the end of next month, with our second film Speakeasy to follow soon after.

Look out for us on iTunes soon, with YouTube links to come. For now, we’re on Soundcloud, and of course live and direct on Excuses And Half Truths.

Speak to you soon!


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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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