Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Paper Sun by Traffic: The Powell-Cotton Museum not the Horniman

Even if you don't share my obsession with Steve Winwood, you have to admit that Traffic's Paper Sun is one of the great singles of the psychedelic sixties. When the makers of the Brian Jones biopic Stoned wanted a song on the soundtrack to accompany his visit to Marrakech, it was Paper Sun that they chose.

There is a video of Paper Sun on Youtube that shows the band walking round a museum - I have included it above. The general view on the web seems to be that the museum in question is the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. I have propagated this theory myself.

When I noticed today that the Horniman Museum is on Twitter, I sent them the link to the video and asked what they thought. I had two replies:
We're thinking the Traffic video was at Quex, not here - shame...
we've just been looking in the galleries that were here in 1967 and the floor and windows seem too different.
Quex turns out to be the Powell-Cotton Museum at Quex Park in Kent. Compare the video below with the one for Paper Sun and you will see that the Horniman people are right. A musical mystery solved.

Two years later. Or is it? The people at Powell-Cotton Museum say it was not filmed there.

A bit later than that. Thanks to the comments from Slugabed below, I have solved this mystery.


Slugabed said...

Not enirely convinced.
If you look carefully at the Traffic Youtube video around 0'20" the labels at the top of the cases appear to be in French."Foret de L'Est" being pretty visible.
A miuseum in Paris?
The search continues....

Slugabed said...

A bit of Googlery:
Try "Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale" in Belgium.
Interior shots on Google Images look very promising.
I clearly have time on my hands...

Jonathan Calder said...

I think you may be on to something. I have emailed them...

Slugabed said...

How exciting!
Thanks for keeping us updated.
All the very best.

Jonathan Calder said...

And here is the answer.