Thursday 8 October 2009


"Now rest in peace your weary soul Isambard Kingdom Brunel ..." IKB (RIP) by Frank Tovey is a work of genius that tells the tale of a chance encounter with the ghost of the great engineer out by the Westway and takes us via IKB's Kensal Green grave to the docks on the Isle of Dogs and the launch of the Leviathan or the Great Eastern and the initial trials and tribulations that beset that great liner and thus contributed to the great man's death at a horribly young age. The narator takes the opportunity to set the tormented Brunel's mind at ease by explaining the eventual spectacular success of the steamship. While Brunel is recognised as one of the greatest Britons for his amazing achievements, people today seem to dream more about being celebrities and entrepeneurs than engineers and inventors. Frank Tovey too was a great man, perhaps better known in his Fad Gadget guise as a post-punk electronica pioneer. But at the other end of the '80s he made a series of brilliant LPs in more of a folk tradition under his real name which feature some of the best ever London songs, including Bridge Street Shuffle ...

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