hip hip hooray – ‘What Did the Hippie Have in His Bag?’ workshop in France


Ollie got in touch with us to buy, and asked for additional material relating to the song/book/vinyl ‘What Did The Hippie Have In His Bag?’ to create a lesson for his children’s school. Ollie hailed from my old alma mater of Preston, so we were happily surprised that this lesson/workshop was for a French school. It sounds like it went tip-top, this is how he describes the situation in his own words:

“Being a massive Cornershop fan (and indeed owning our own Cornershop in Cornwall), whilst now living in Southern France, I was approached to donate some time and ideas for an English Day at our children’s Bilingual school, the perfect opportunity to bring my passion for music and art presented itself.

What Did The Hippie have In His Bag?‘ immediately sprung to mind as lending itself perfectly to the occasion. It’s an undeniably funky toe tapper of a tune, very English and my kids love it (even Nancy who, just turned three recently, knows the words and will often insert them into everyday life, e.g. Double days and bubble gum, what did Max and Nancy eat for lunch?…….it’s unknown!)  The idea to instill a bit of Cornershop wisdom and humour into the French kids learning- irresistible, perhaps a little left field, maybe too bonkersly British but a challenge worth undertaking.

The kids and I knocked up a Hippie’s bag and contents over a long French Bank Holiday weekend. A couple of additions were made to tailor the story for the English Hippie in a French environment (Marmite and Curly Wurleys) and we were good to go.

Being double rubbish at French didn’t make the workshop an easy prospect but undaunted and with a Hippie bag full of enthusiasm (and Curley Wurleys) and help from Tjinder and the brilliant head teachers we were off. “OK so you all going to join in?” Yeaaaah

We played ‘Hippie’ through before reading the book with the help of props and interpretation. The repetition of the title with the children backing is great for worming its way into your head and making it irresistible for singing along to. I tried to focus on words that are similar in French and English like boobley goom, marmalade, comprehend, espace, notre sac and hearing fifteen French voices pronouncing squelch (Mirandaesque – squelch, nice word squelch) is wonderful.

We finished by playing the video and the distribution of English confectionary. Six groups of kids ranging from eight to eleven passed through and hopefully left a little wiser to the world of pure imaginative, very British, eccentric, funky silliness. They certainly gamely played along and I’d like to think there’s a place in their hearts for the Hippie and his bag.

I’m already planning on doing it again soon with the addition of percussion and aimed at younger children too…….watch this space!

Now that we’ve climbed the mountain, the mountain will never seem the same again!”

 Words and pictures by Ollie Hutchinson

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 15.41.31



Sleeveface Collection

Just a few sleevefaces from my vinyl collection

A photo posted by Cornershop (@cornershophq) on

A photo posted by Cornershop (@cornershophq) on

The whole family takes part, including the wire fox terrier.

A photo posted by Cornershop (@cornershophq) on

The new Daft Punk Helmet

A photo posted by Cornershop (@cornershophq) on

One cheeky Lenny Bruce. #lennybruce #nyc #book #comedian #system #hardback #read

A photo posted by Cornershop (@cornershophq) on



The Action Records Story

Just been sent this link to a short film about Action Records, Preston Lancashire. Me and Ben studied in Preston, and met in the doorway of a Preston Polytechnic house we were about to share for our first year. That was 227 Garstang Road. As we ventured in to Preston, it was quite easy to spot many pubs, (and everyone of them a winner), and one independent record shop – Action Records, and our world for a few years was cemented. Action was where you went for the latest releases and where you could fill in the gaps of years in between, especially in the 70’s reggae arena as I remember. The shop was owned and run by Gordon chiefly assisted by Alan, both were formidable characters that took no shit, but once you knew them they were like music professors that the Polytechnic were not brave enough to keep on their staff.

This short film touches on the shop’s history and how it came to be, and still is part of Preston’s backbone. We are very happy about it because it also includes other friends and luminaries such as:

Marcus Parnell our first manager, singer songwriter of the legendary Dandelion Adventure, and no holds barred superstar.

Nick Brown of the Membranes, Clawfist Records Label, and Intoxica Records Shop owner, who was about the only person in London to reply to our demos, not only to encourage us as a group starting out, but setting out the blueprint to develop.

David Chambers, a Local Preston fanzine writer who took it upon himself to play drums in the early years of Cornershop because he was more into us than we were – I also DJ’d with David for a few years, and that brings us to the Star of the Show, Action Records. Time is tight, please pass it on.

The Action Records Story: Chased by Nuns from Levy Park Productions on Vimeo.

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 10.59.47

A Springtime PLAYlist

Springtime playlist small image

Selected for you by Tjinder & Ben, the audio equivalent of green shoots, rays of sunshine & pink blossoms. Some punjabi folk, 60’s garage, contemporary psych with The Smoking Trees & Sudden Death of Stars, some Ween, Alabama Shakes, Gap Dream, Jonathan Richman and more.

Cornershop Announce Live Dates & Festival Projects

Cornershop are pleased to announce rare live dates and a summer of festival projects.

The end of May represents the point all Cornershop fans need to clear a date in their dairies, with the announcement of series of rare live performances  as follows:

25 May Nattjazz Festival in Bergen, Norway

26 May Stockholm Debaser Slussen, Sweden

27 May Stavanger Folken, Norway

28 May Oslo, Norway’s Rockefeller.

On June 2nd Cornershop will play a one-off London gig at the O2 Academy, Islington, where fans will be treated to songs from Jullandar to Judy. Tickets for Cornershop at the O2 Academy are available now.

June 3rd they hotfoot the show across the country to play the Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham.

July 8th Cornershop play Lounge On The Farm, Canterbury, Kent. Completing the live schedule to-date, Cornershop join a host of top UK bands at Japan’s premier music event, Fuji Rock Festival (July 29-31). Further live dates are now being scheduled.

Finally, Manchester International Festival have announced their programme, which will see Cornershop joining Damon Albarn, Bjork and Snoop Dogg as part of the festival’s music output.

The festival commission, an interactive installation called ‘Pop O Motion’, sees collaboration between Cornershop and animator-illustrators, Rude. Always known as innovators Cornershop and Rude are creating the music & video elements for the installation with children from Boltons Castle Hill Primary School.

The event will run from July 2-17. Whilst the event is FREE to attend, booking is necessary. Tickets can be obtained directly from the MIF website.

The First John Peel Session Recording

Cornershop 1st Peel Session, broadcast on Radio 1, 13th February 1993

Tracklisting: 1. Nai Zindigi Nai Jevan (New Way New Life), 2. Summer Fun in a Beat-up Datsun 3. England’s Dreaming” 4. Trip Easy

In those early days we were under the tutelage of Jon Robb, & Captained by Marcus ParnellMarcus was in the band The Dandelion Adventure, from Preston, and we had studied there at Lancashire Polytechnic – our drummer was a local record collector and DJ of much repute.  Together with my brother Avtar and Anthony a sitar playing fan of trigonometry we were complete to make the biggest of sheer noise.  John Robb produced our early records, and knew just about everyone in the industry.  His critique and hard work left him with a lot of affection from everyone that we came across.

We were asked to do a Peel Session on the back of John Peel seeing us at the Camden Falcon.  At the same gig was John Savage, Hanif Kureishi, John Robb and Tom Ravenscroft (& my future wife).

The day before the Session, we played a Rough Trade Shop in-store (Covent Garden) & got pretty freaked out afterwards by being asked to sign autographs – on the night we played The Square, Harlow for the second time.  The first time we played there was when Gary Walker agreed to sign us to the Portobello based Wiiija label.   We slept over at Inder Kaur’s flat on the Camden Road, all of us on the same floor, ready for the Session the next day.

Being our first radio session we were rather apprehensive.  We were advised that these sessions were recorded, and then you are asked to go out during the mixing stage, while they mixed the tracks in your absence.  At that time, I think they called it heavy heavy manners.

The engineer had complaints about our amps so radical rewiring was set upon by the BBC tech. department.  They weren’t too impressed on having to mic up a lawnmower head either.  After that, the session seemed to go smoothly.

All of us lived in different cities: Preston, Wolverhampton, Leicester and London so it was very rare for us to play songs together, unless it was at a gig in which we never heard each other anyway.  To play in the same room as many a famous individual and bands had played was a point that we had already started attacking by drinking ourselves through it.

John Robb and Marcus arrived later.  We had very little equipment, and for our first two years Benedict always used John‘s Fender TelecasterMark, in true dynamic management role set about filming the session on his hand held cinecamera, but soon passed out under the grand piano.  Towards the end Gary Walker joined us.

As it turned out, the BBC staff did not rally us out to do the mixing stage, probably because there would be no guarantee of rallying us back again.  We sat in the studio and we mixed it with them until very late in the night.  I had come along with a few audio ideas on tape, which after all these years is testimony that we actually took things quite seriously right from the start.

On the subject of recollection, very little could be remembered of the Session by all those I got in touch with, to put this piece together.  Anthony did remember driving his fucked black 1978 BMW 320 back to Lancashire – it consumed 5 litres of oil, the entire contents of the engine: it had smoke pouring out of it all the way home.  The way he got back was to be the same as the group would move forward.  Jallopy.

See a youtube link of the Session here

The Britishers Cup Of Tea

The Britishers Cup Of Tea.

Sitting down to a calm cup of char. Hand made cup & saucer. A rather handy weapon of a teapot (in the right hand). God given leaves, hand picked by a village of ladies, that are hopefully getting well paid for it. For hope is what it is all about. Hope and reflection. The clink of served tea apparatus is like waiting for the start of yr vinyl record to bust. The pouring process is like the conductor tapping their baton, and the rest is pure symphony.

When we were growing up in the Black Country, or as Slade put it “down our way,” like most Asian families the tea was constantly on the boil – every 23 minutes, even faster if visitors came round, and they regularly did. The news of the day was not over the garden fence, or on the door step, but in the kitchens being overheard from the pantry of every self respecting Wog household.

The Indian way of making tea is to heat water, add tea, and sugar and cardamom and cinnamon & whatever else you require & leave to reach boiling point, for as long as it takes to get yrself up to date with all the shit that’s going down, especially if Dave Hill, or Enoch Powell were to drop in.

The television remote control was for other children a chore, a heavy responsibility to behold, but in an Asian household it was a rather handy weapon, with which to conduct whose turn it was next, to make the tea. I hear sheet music again.

Going back to finishing off that tea – after bringing to boil, add milk and let it simmer for as long as further gossip does hold.

A bad cup of tea though, is like the chalkboard rubber being chucked at you in the middle of a maths lesson, for a maths lesson is a maths lesson, not a wiggle yr pencil lesson.

Thankfully, the Commonwealth is not like it used to be, but in India as with England and most of the modern world, it is a sad footnote that denotes the traditional more time consuming hot cup of char, or even coffee is being out paced by Fanta and Rola Cola. Does nobody like to chat nowadays? I say, …he’s gone.

The health benefits of a good tea cup are continually applauded & demoted, but I certainly feel tanned. However, due to the tonnage that I drink I’m a furry old, copper kettle myself, still longing for Lyons tearooms to return as much as vinyl records and Willie Rushton. There is hope and there is reflection.” Tjinder Singh, p&c ample play 2009.