More Cutting Edge Culture


From late 1967, students at the then College of Technology and College of Art became involved in the local music scene more actively (and more openly) than they had previously, and some of those events were very much cutting edge, and part of the emerging Counterculture

The Dance of Words in May 1968 was very much one of those events and here are two posters provided by Stefan Szczelkun, an architecture student – also from 1968:

Arts Workshop


(Void was advertised in the Dance of Words programme)


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

17 thoughts on “More Cutting Edge Culture

  1. It seems to me to be a bit – excluding. Only those in the know, know. Got to be one of us to understand this poster… very “in crowd”. Just saying, how it feels to me.

    • How would that be different from say Graham Bond Organisation at the Rendezvous or the Action at the Birdcage? Isn’t that just a different ‘in crowd”. People have the choice whether they engage with stuff or don’t.

  2. I was doing similar things at the Art college in 65. Back then it was the thing to use somewhat obscure language to appear ‘cool’ on posters and other publicity.

    The second poster is a classic! “A two day gathering to evolve interaction transmedia confluence”. Got it?

    As Linda says – only those supposedly ‘In the know’ would have had an idea what that even meant!
    Peace, man.

  3. It’s not the clearest phrase I’ve ever read, although I don’t think the first two words are two tough – it’s just the juxtaposition of the three – but some of those artists/performers were very interesting. In addition they were young people finding their way in the world and making the same mistakes we all made, but at least trying new ideas.

    Oddly, people rarely object when scientists, engineers, medical people etc explore new ideas or try to find new solutions to things, but through my long life working across the arts (and across most of them) people have always objected to the same highly focused, committed approach – always, preferring to play play safe – which is their business, except when they demand that attitude of others.

    Plus the very making of a poster invites anyone who might be interested to attend and maybe find out more. If they’d wanted to be elitist they could have kept it to themselves, but I used to go to these events with my mates, and we weren’t students. I found it very enriching – 1,000 people went to the Dance of Words so it must have had something.

    There is an entirely satisfactory alternative of course which is to stick with the mainstream – Dave Dee? Ken Dodd? That’ll do nicely thank you.

  4. Why is the only choice to stick with the mainstream? Dave, you’re sounding angry! I made a valid point, I didn’t attack your choice of music or insult your social culture. I simply stated something that to me looked obvious – the “coolness”. of these posters was deliberately not inclusive! You could probably see the same bands at Ernies Rendezvous or Kimbells or University Students union dances on the pier, where posters were aimed at getting people in the door only. Knowing who the bands were was surely cool enough! No need to insult with the Dave Dee comment.

  5. I’m not angry. It’s precisely the point for me that with the exception of Alexis Korner some years earlier you could not see these acts/artists anywhere else in Portsmouth ever – and not at all, once these young guys left Portsmouth and went (back to?) London very soon after this.

    If you (generally – not YOU specifically) are not interested that’s fine. I don’t wish to go to the Guildhall to hear classical music, so I just leave it, and the topic alone. Two comments about this post about a real attempt to offer something imaginative and challenging to Portsmouth, and two negative responses. I’m not angry, but it seems to me to be the story of trying to do things in this city. I’m sad.

  6. I don’t think my comment was ‘negative’. I was referring not to the content of the event, which was no doubt admirable, simply the language used to describe it on the poster.

    Citing D. Dee and K. Dodd in this context is probably approaching negativity – n’est ce pas?

  7. OK the end. I posted this because I thought people might find them interesting. I didn’t expect this storm, but I’m not angry. The things that make me angry are serious, important, contemporary things – not a couple of posters nobody knew about for fifty years. If I have cause offence (and it seems I have) to Linda and Marc then I apologise wholeheartedly and unreservedly – I’d like this Blog to be mostly a thing of fun.

  8. You know what – I’m not far from 70, thrilled to still be alive, still writing and still being published internationally once or twice a year. Not only that, I still have the energy to get involved/start an online barney in pompey pop on something that happened about 50 years ago! Don’t apologise to me Dave – it feels soooo good to still have the energy – and (cough) discernment. 😍

  9. Agree – no apology necessary Dave. No offence taken, and none intended. Good to have some lively banter! CU Sunday

  10. That’s all very well, but I’m shocked at your dissing of Dave Dee.

    Are you not aware that he was probably the first person in the 1960s to wear two tone trousers with box pleats? Bearing in mind the frequency of trouser related items on this site, I’d expect more respect to be shown to Mr Dee.

    As for Ken Dodd, I have no information concerning his trousers.

    • Quite right Terry

      I extend my heartfelt apologies to Messrs Dee and Dodd too.

      • Yes, that’s what you say now! But how about all those you’ve humiliated and hurt by such thoughtless (and possibl cruel) association – Englebert? 1910 Fruitgum Company? Troggs….? Picketty Witch? Chicory Tip? Where does dissing end? 😊🤗😍😘

    • LOL! You tell him!

  11. In the days of Harlem Speakeasy we used to play “Simon Says”. It remains I think my moment of greatest aesthetic shame, although fortunately I was not the lead singer.

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