Category Archives: Jack the Ripper

‘Baker Street Chronicle’ – The Paul Roland Interview

photo of Sir Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes (1939-46)

Sir Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes (1939-46)

Q. Your latest record is called ‘Professor Moriarty’s Jukebox’: Can you describe it a little bit? And why that title?

“It’s an album of radio sessions, rarities and unreleased tracks, but it bears no relation to those compilations which gather up out-takes that have been discarded on the cutting room floor. The core tracks are recordings I made with a new band which I assembled to play at a charity event organised by the actor and TV presenter Stephen Fry. Unfortunately, the event didn’t happen but I didn’t want that band to be ‘lost’ to posterity without getting them in the studio and recording our live set for several radio stations in Europe and America. So the first 10 tracks on the CD are some of my strongest songs re-recorded with new musicians, including an excellent violinist and a psych guitarist, plus some female backing vocals from the American steampunk band The Clockwork Dolls. There are also several acoustic songs with a strong Edwardian and supernatural theme such as ‘Fairies’, which was inspired by The Cottingholm Fairies case and an alternate version of ‘Eight Little Whores’, one of two songs I wrote about Jack The Ripper.

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The Man Who ‘Saw’ The Ripper

It is not an exaggeration to say that today psychics are consulted on an almost routine basis when the authorities have exhausted all conventional avenues of investigation. But in Victorian England ‘spiritualists’, as they were then known, were regarded at best as being either a novelty Music Hall act or at worst, fraudsters preying on the weak-minded and bereaved. The fact that clairvoyant Robert James Lees had been consulted on several occasions by Queen Victoria did not, however, make him a credible witness as far as Scotland Yard were concerned. When Lees offered his services as a psychic sleuth it is said that they laughed him out of the building. However, if the account published by ex-Scotland Yard officer Edwin T. Woodhall (author of ‘Secrets of Scotland Yard’) is to be believed, they were soon to regret their rash decision.

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