Low Culture Podcast: A History Special with John & Luke

We’re going back into the musty realms of history in this month’s Quietus Low Culture podcast, exclusive to our subscribers. Luke reveals his love of Time Team, Channel 4’s long-running archaeology show and explores how it transformed archaeology from something that happened abroad and seemed to be about nicking stuff to stick it in the British Museum to discovering the pasts of our ordinary ancestors. If every episode was the essentially the same – finding small walls and pots – then it kickstarted his love of culture that did the same thing over and over, but with a twist every time. John points out that therefore Time Team is thus essentially The Fall of procedural archeology programmes, what with a cast of characters who love drinking and are always having a row. Full love and praise for the late Mick Aston, Phil and his trowel, and the Time Team band –which must have been cosmic prog and ideal for a release on Rocket Recordings. 

John, meanwhile, takes us to the rainy caravan field that has been the star of many a tQ podcast chat, and recalls endless games of the board game Escape From Colditz, which he rediscovered during lockdown. He guides us through the many and complex tasks that the player has to complete to escape the notorious German prisoner of war camp during the Second World War – forging tickets, faking uniforms, building gliders, and escaping to a distant RAF landing ground. The board game leads to chat about how the war hovered like a monolith over childhoods in the 1970s and 80s, how Escape From Colditz was the end of a certain way of looking at war, and the prisoner practice of “goon baiting” the guards. We end with a chat about the cross-dressing theatre groups of POW camps and how they were often vital in helping the troops to keep their end up.

Our Low Culture podcast was produced by Alannah Chance.

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