Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 Movie Haiku Index

Here's my handy index to all the films (132 - count 'em!) that I saw on the big screen in 2006, alongside my star rating for each film. Click on the individual film title to read my movie haiku.
I actually saw a total of 140 films at the cinema this year, easily beating 2005's total of 116; the eight films that I saw twice were Art Of The Devil 2, Children Of Men, Ghost Of Mae Nak, The Host, Hostel, Pan's Labyrinth, Reeker and Severance.

Of the films listed, thirty of them were foreign language films, fifteen of them were sequels and ten of them were remakes. Only seven films attained the coveted five star rating, although in hindsight Hard Candy should probably have been awarded one less star. Looking back over the list I don't think I've been too harsh on any one film, but there are certainly others which have benefited from some overly generous ratings - notably An American Haunting, Cars, Invisible Waves, Mission: Impossible III and The Omen. I only walked out of one film this year and that was a retro screening of The Raven (and only because I wanted to socialise in the bar at the time) but I came very close to giving up with Marie Antoinette and Snoop Dogg's Hood Of Horror - and I also slept through most of Reeker on its first viewing due to excessive drinking!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 Review - Films of the Year

Right, I'm all tied-up later tonight so thought I'd better get this one posted bright and early. My final list is going to cover my favourite - and least favourite - films from the past twelve months... And I've had a lot of films to choose from this year, even more than in 2005!

(2005 Winner - DiG!)

Best films of 2006:
  1. Children Of Men
  2. Pan's Labyrinth
  3. The Departed
  4. Severance
  5. Sheitan
  6. Pirates Of The Carribean: Dead Man's Chest
  7. Clerks 2
  8. The Host
  9. Lady Vengeance
  10. Art Of The Devil 2

Worst films of 2006:
  1. The Wicker Man
  2. Ultraviolet
  3. Basic Instinct II
  4. Snoop Dogg's Hood Of Horror
  5. The Black Dahlia
Tomorrow: I'm going to publish a handy index of all the movie haikus for the films that I've seen at the cinema this year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 Review - Albums of the Year

Okay, following on from yesterday's Songs of the Year, here's my list of favourite albums from the past twelve months.

(2005 Winner - The Duke Spirit - Cuts Across The Land)

Best albums of 2006:
  1. Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther
  2. CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy
  3. Scritti Politti - White Bread Black Beer
  4. The Sleepy Jackson - Personality: One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird
  5. Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
  6. Bat For Lashes - Fur And Gold
  7. The Kooks - Inside In/Inside Out
  8. Lily Allen - Alright, Still
  9. Keane - Under The Iron Sea
  10. The Upper Room - Other People's Problems

Tomorrow: Films of the Year

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 Review - Songs of the Year

Moving on from yesterday's Gigs of the Year, here's my list of favourite songs from the past twelve months. As per last year, only two of the artists in this list have also made it onto my Albums of the Year shortlist, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out who they are!

(2005 Winner - Gorillaz - Dare)

Best songs of 2006:
  1. The Automatic - Monster
  2. Brakes - All Night Disco Party
  3. Midlake - Roscoe
  4. Serena Maneesh - Drain Cosmetics
  5. CSS - Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above
  6. Hot Chip - Over And Over
  7. Madonna - Jump
  8. Justice vs. Simian - We Are Your Friends
  9. The Like - What I Say And What I Mean
  10. All Saints - Rock Steady

Tomorrow: Albums of the Year

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

2006 Review - Gigs of the Year

It's that time of the year when everyone looks back over the past year and publishes lots of lists, so in keeping with my 2005 Review from last year I'm going to start today with my favourite gigs that I've been to this year.

(2005 Winner - Soulwax at Brighton Concorde 2)

Best gigs of 2006:
  1. The Dandy Warhols at Islington Academy
  2. Imogen Heap at Brighton Komedia
  3. Scritti Politti at Brighton Concorde 2
  4. The Brian Jonestown Massacre at Brighton Concorde 2
  5. Radio 1 Chart Show Live at Brighton Dome

Tomorrow: Songs of the Year

More Stuff On My Cat

Steve & Chrissy bought me the Stuff On My Cat book for Christmas. Steve also gave me a Jessica Alba action figure (from the Fantastic 4 film) with '28 separate points of articulation' so I thought the most fitting way to show my appreciation was to create another Stuff On My Cat scenario using said figure - Pepper the cat happily (or rather, wearily) obliged.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas everyone!

I'm currently staying in Newcastle with my family and will hopefully be back online by Friday 29th December.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Reflections on 2006

It's fast approaching the end of another year so - in the same manner that I did last year - I thought I'd take a few moments to look back and reflect on the past twelve months.

1) Was 2006 a good year for you?

It was okay. 2006 certainly got off to a good start with an extended holiday in South East Asia, and this year I made a lot of firm friends which has been rewarding. On the downside work continued to stagnate a bit and towards the end of the year I was feeling rundown - just committing to too many things and not giving myself any time to rest.

2) What was your favourite moment of the year?

Probably my day trip to Hong Kong island with Dave when we caught a bus down to one of the remote beaches - it was so peaceful there and such a contrast to the rest of Hong Kong. And it felt wonderful basking on a beach in the sunshine in the middle of February!

3) What was your least favourite moment of the year?

Getting glandular fever in April, that wasn't much fun.

4) Where will you be when 2006 ends?

More than likely I will be at home in my flat in Brighton. I have to work on New Year's Day so I'm not planning on doing anything much to celebrate, I'll probably just have a bottle of wine and dance around the living room like I did last year.

5) Who will you be with when 2006 ends?

I will probably be on my own but I guess it depends what other friends are doing. As I keep saying every year, New Year's Eve is no big deal to me, I'm quite happy staying in. I hate all this pressure to go out somewhere, spend a lot of money and have a good time.

6) Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions from 2006?

My New Year's resolutions from last year consisted of a rather vague call to drink more water and eat more fruit and vegetables. I wouldn't say it was a great success, but nor was it a total disaster.

7) Do you have any New Year's resolutions for 2007?

I really want to contribute more reviews to Eat My Brains as I provided so little material for them this year. I would also like to stop mixing beer and wine on a night out as it inevitably ends badly for me!

8) Did you fall in love in 2006?

No, there have been a few crushes during the year but nothing major.

9) Do you regret it?

No, of course not. I always love the thrill of the chase even if it gets me nowhere in the end. Maybe next year will have a happy ending?

10) Did you break up with anyone in 2006?

No, not unless you include my 'blind date' with V in Oxford when she dumped me after two hours. Actually, perhaps that ought to be my least favourite moment of the year!

11) Did you make any new friends in 2006?

Yes, the FrightFest scene has been getting more and more social over the past eighteen months or so, but this year it really became an integral part of the event and I made a number of good friends as a result, friends that I've met up with outside of the FrightFest calendar. In particular I'd like to single out Alex, Lauren, Dolores and Thurein but there are many others. In February I made friends with Clare at the BKKIFF, my one allay in a strange land, and I'm hoping we'll hook up again soon when she moves down to London in the New Year. Closer to home there's Hannah who's been out to a few gigs with me in Brighton recently and I hope that our friendship will continue to flourish into 2007.

12) What was your favourite month of 2006?

February - I spent most of the month abroad, visiting Hong Kong for the first time and then enjoying three weeks in Thailand culminating in me covering the BKKIFF in Bangkok. I had so many good experiences at the festival and I was in my element seeing loads of new films and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Tadanobu Asano, Rufus Sewell, Terry Gilliam and Willem Dafoe.

13) Did you travel outside of the UK in 2006?

Yes, to Hong Kong and Thailand, as detailed above!

14) Did you lose anybody close to you in 2006?


15) Did you miss anybody in the past year?

A few people I guess. My cousin Paul who I'd met up with in 2005 for an Everton game - we ought to have made that a regular date but it just didn't happen. My good friend Stephen who got married in 2005 and became a father this year - I can't believe that I haven't seen him since January of this year, that's just terrible. And finally Gary the Fruit who really became a close friend as the year went on - and then he buggered off to Thailand to become a teacher at the end of September. We still keep in contact via email but I miss having him around Brighton.

16) What was your favourite movie that you saw in 2006?

It's a close call but Children Of Men shades it. I'll post my full list of favourite movies later in the week.

17) What was your favourite song from 2006?

I haven't finished ironing out my top ten tunes as yet but I think Monster by The Automatic probably just takes the title ahead of All Night Disco Party by Brakes. And thanks to Lauren I can't hear the winning song without thinking, "What's that coming over the hill, is it a lobster, is it a lobster?" now!

18) What was your favourite record from 2006?

For me the most rewarding and consistent album this year was The Trials Of Van Occupanther by Midlake.

19) How many concerts did you see in 2006?

Forty-three, plus a scattering of comedy and literary events.

20) Did you have a favourite concert in 2006?

Yes, despite it being the 8th time I'd seen them in concert, The Dandy Warhols played an absolute blinder at London's Islington Academy at the end of their European tour. It was also good seeing Imogen Heap and Scritti Politti for the first time this year.

21) Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2006?

Yes, a fair amount, but probably no more or no less than last year. Magners cider was a bit hit over the Summer and I seem to have developed a fondness for JD & Coke in these last few months.

22) Did you do a lot of drugs in 2006?

None. Don't think I even smoked a cigarette this year.

23) How many people did you sleep with in 2006?


24) Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?

Exchanging emails with a female friend of a male friend without first telling my male friend. Needless to say he wasn't too happy when he found out and thought we'd been plotting against him, which we hadn't. But it would have been so much simpler if I'd just been upfront to begin with.

25) What was the worst lie someone told you in 2006?

Hmmmm, that's a tricky question! I got very frustrated when two of my best friends started their own little war earlier in the year after a massive argument - both of them had totally differing accounts of what happened that fateful night so I know that one of them was blatantly lying, but to this day I don't know which one. Thankfully they've made up again now.

26) What was the best practical joke that you played in 2006?

I guess it would have to be one of the many office pranks we played this year. Eating Cotton's 'special' jam and photographing the evidence got 2006 off to a good start, and then there was convincing Bev that one of the bands performing on the NME Tour was really called The Angry Wasps, to the point that she was telling customers this. More recently repeatedly hiding all the envelopes in the office so that Polly had to keep going down into the basement to get new stock was funny, and finally turning Darren into a dancing elf also amused me no end!

27) What was your proudest moment of 2006?

You know, I think I'd have to say when James got his moment in the spotlight at the Severance premiere in August. I was just so thrilled to see him up on stage, answering questions and taking the applause from the crowd - very richly deserved too!

28) What was your most embarrassing moment of 2006?

Mixing wine with beer and getting absolutely trolleyed at the Severance aftershow party. I don't remember much about the Arts Club that night but I don't think anyone else who was there will forget my antics in a hurry. Sadly I do remember setting off a car alarm with my umbrella afterwards, then throwing up and trying to sleep on the pavement on Oxford Street. Not my finest moment.

29) If you could go back in time to one moment in time in 2006 and change something what would it be?

I would ask Mamee about her role in the excellent Art Of The Devil 2 rather than question her about Dangerous Flowers, a film which she wasn't in. Whoops.

30) What are your plans for 2007?

I really want to focus more on my passion for film and get back into writing more original reviews and features for Eat My Brains. I'd also like to attend another international film festival as a member of the Press if I can blag it, perhaps Toronto in September, or maybe the BKKIFF again next July.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Grindhouse - The Most Anticipated Film of 2007?

Grindhouse - theatre standee


Directors - Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino

Cast - Naveen Andrews, Michael Biehn, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Jeff Fahey, Carlos Gallardo, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan, Michael Parks, Freddy Rodriguez, Eli Roth, Kurt Russell, Tom Savini, Marley Shelton, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Trejo, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Trailer - now available for viewing here!

The Most Anticipated Film of 2007? Without a doubt.

Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror - lobby card

Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof - lobby card

Another Christmas Party!

Thursday was our office Christmas meal at Thai Connection in Hove. Cotton, Bennett, Dom, Darren & I dodged the Burning The Clocks parade and caught a cab to The Station in Hove where we had a few liveners and found a pub quiz machine. After a sneaky Tuaca along George Street we met up with Bev, Debbie & Polly then settled down for some quality Thai nosh. We exchanged our Secret Santa presents (I got some coffee for hangovers and gave Bev a very limited edition single by The Angry Wasps) and Darren finally got the new mug that Bev had been promising him. The funniest thing happened as we walked back to the pub afterwards... Darren's bag suddenly split open, spilling its contents onto the road and smashing his brand new mug! More drinks at The Station and a few more rounds on the quiz machine before it was last orders and time to drag Dom away from the Hangman game he'd got addicted to. A good night out, and good to get away from our usual haunts for a change.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Party!

It's the Christmas party season and last night was my first one as I went along to the bash at the Concorde, courtesy of the lovely staff down there who allow me to come and see lots of their shows during the year. There was a few familiar faces from the local music scene, in fact it was like going to a Brighton gig - minus the band and the paying customers! Dave and I enjoyed a few pints and nibbles and then the evening really took off... we got snapped by The Argus photographer... pretty girls played Twister... I won a CD on the slot car racing... Matt baffled us with some close up card tricks... I found a glowstick... I danced and danced... and eventually stumbled home on a cushion of spilled marshmallows. It was a good party!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Tenacious D at Brighton Centre

The festive season is a time for pantomimes so what better band to see in the week leading up to Christmas than Tenacious D, the comedy/rock beast created by actor Jack Black and his partner Kyle Gass. This isn't perhaps the type of music I'd play at home, but as a piece of musical theatre, as a proper stage show, it's unbeatable - and miles more entertaining than their recent movie The Pick Of Destiny. The show follows a plot, of sorts, opening with JB and Rage-Cage playing a few acoustic numbers in Kyle's living room, with a fleeting appearance from Lee, their number one fan. When JB convinces Kyle to try his electric guitar the duo are electrocuted and end up in hell, where they recruit a backing band made up of The Antichrist, Charlie Chaplin and Colonel Sanders! Having already given us the origin of Tenacious D we now skate through some moments from the film involving Kyle leaving (and quickly rejoining) the band, JB getting high on mushrooms, and eventually culminating with a "rock off" against Satan himself. It's all nonsense of course, but hugely enjoyable nonsense, carried along by the endless enthusiasm and wit of Black and the amiable Gass as his straight man. I was also impressed with the production and lighting which really adds to experience. As for the music, well, having seen Jack Black perform in School Of Rock it's no surprise to see that he really can cut it up on stage in front of an audience of thousands... and it was a pleasant surprise (since we're in Brighton) to see the band finish the show with a medley of songs by The Who!

The Dome Sessions

The Go! Team as pictured by Grant Scott

Brighton Dome has teamed up with award-winning portrait photographer, Grant Scott to create a photographic archive of performers appearing at the venue over the course of one year. Grant, who has exhibited and been published internationally, is based in Brighton and is hoping to capture the vibrant artistic programme of the city's most celebrated venue and its unique architecture. The project will culminate with a major exhibition held at Brighton Dome at the end of 2007.

Check out The Dome Sessions to see images of your favourite artists taken within the historic surroundings of the Brighton Dome and gain a glimpse of Grant's experiences through his personal photographic blog.

To see more of Grant Scott's work visit

Friday, December 15, 2006

Play It Cool in December

It's my last music round-up before Christmas, so here's what I've been playing over the last few weeks. Look out for my picks of 2006 which I'll try and post before the end of the year! Okay, here's my favourite five for this month:
  • Princess Superstar - My Machine (!K7)
  • CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy (Sub Pop)
  • Act - Laughter Tears And Rage - The Anthology (ZTT)
  • Arcade Fire - Funeral (Rough Trade)
  • Revl9n - Walking Machine (Because) single

Movie Haiku - Deja Vu

Dir: Tony Scott

Cast: Denzel Washington, Val Kilmer, Paula Patton, Bruce Greenwood

Blows up a ferry

he could go back and save her

seen it all before

soulmining rating: ***

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Duke Spirit at the ICA

At long last, I finally got to see The Duke Spirit live! A one-off Christmas show at the ICA in London provided an ideal opportunity to see the band, and was a good choice of venue too - nice and intimate (about the size of the Pavilion Theatre) with good visibility to the stage, although to be fair I was standing pretty close to the front! The band played a 75 minute set comprising of old, new and obscure tracks. One new song (This Ship Was Built To Last I think it was called) was especially strong and could easily have come off the Cuts Across The Land album, but for me the highlight was Red Weather, one of my favourite album tracks which really rocked out. Leila proved to be an engaging front person, grabbing her microphone stand and reaching skywards, and during several songs the band was swelled by the addition of a brass section, viola player and a couple of lovely backing singers. I caught up with Leila in the bar afterwards and she admitted they haven't played Brighton as much as they should, so fingers crossed for 2007 - "It's all about next year!"

The Kooks at Brighton Dome

More gigs this week! Tuesday night was the highly anticipated Brighton gig by The Kooks, postponed from September. I certainly haven't heard an audience sound quite so excited in a long time. Hannah & I skipped Larrakin Love in favour of the Waggon - they were described as very good or a bit dodgy depending on which friends I talked to - then negotiated the Dome bar and picked a good spot at the back of the standing area just as The Kooks finished their first song, Seaside. It was a brief set, little more than an hour, but I guess they've only got one album's worth of material to choose from. The singles went down a storm, Ooh La and Naive in particular sounding good, but there was very little rapport between the band and the audience, aside from an occasional mumble from singer Luke. Not bad, but they desperately need to work on their stage personas, and a few new songs wouldn't go amiss either. And so back to the pub!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Brakes at the Pavilion Theatre

Another night, another gig! I finished work, caught a glimpse of Mitchell & Webb in the Dome, then dashed round the corner to the Pavilion Theatre to catch Brighton's muso collective, Brakes. Last year's Give Blood was a cracking debut album and All Night Disco Party is surely a contender for single of the year. You can't really pigeonhole this band, they'll follow a three minute punky-pop tune with a ten second rant or a country-tinged ballad... but whatever they come up with, you can bet it's laced with feeling and good humour. Witness new songs Spring Chicken or Porcupine or Pineapple? (complete with fruit tossed into the crowd), this is a band having fun with the music that they make. It was a really enjoyable set topped off by special guests The Pipettes who joined the band for a cover of JAMC's Sometimes Always. Any chance of an early night soon dissipated when I bumped into a few family members who I know (thanks to Gary the fruit) and I got invited to the aftershow party at The Gloucester. (Cue flashbacks to my student days...) The club hasn't changed much since I was last there, but I was glad to see that Fridays are now devoted to indie music, and I had a fun time chatting to Eamon and Gwenno at the bar while I was there. It did however mean that I overslept (again) and had to buy pies for everyone at work the next morning.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bat For Lashes at St George's Church

Dave & I went to church on Thursday. And we sat in the pews and drank beer. There was good reason for this; we came to see Bat For Lashes, aka Natasha Khan, Brighton's very own quirky female singer/songwriter, backed by Ginger & Abi (from Dom's band) and Lizzie who I used to work with a couple of years back. St George's Church was the perfect venue to see this band - all crisp vocals and a multitude of instruments and sounds (guitar, viola, bass drum, keyboards, staff, handclaps...) which the girls traded in between songs. Add to which Josh T. Pierson ambled on to lend his backing vocals to current single Trophy. The band played the majority of debut album Fur And Gold and finished with my favourite track Prescilla - magical. Apparently Bjork checked out their recent London show and it's no surprise to discover she's a fan... I'll certainly be in the audience again next time they play.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Revl9n at Sumo

Three new bands and a new live venue for me last night as Andy, Julie, Justin and I headed down to Sumo to see Revl9n. I haven't been to Sumo for ages; it's quite compact as a live venue and with large sofas dominating one corner of the room it's more akin to watching a live show in your own lounge. Very intimate, and kinda nice! Support came from I Say Marvin whose brand of new rave indie music quickly grabbed the attention. Very much in the same vein as The Automatic I thought, their songs were punchy and tight - they've certainly got the potential to go onto much bigger things. Brighton's own Waxed Apple were next, whose madcap electro sound had Justin describing them as "psycho-clangers"! I'd been a little apprehensive about seeing Revl9n since hearing Ana had left the group a couple of weeks ago, but I needn't have panicked - Maria and Nandor adapted perfectly well as a duo and their songs sounded immediate and exciting. Musically they spanned the electro spectrum from an industrial Nine Inch Nails sound right through to the pure pop of the Pet Shop Boys. Walking Machine especially got everyone moving (not least Maria, whirling into the audience) and the band finished with a fitting encore of their other single Someone Like You.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Movie Haiku - Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny

Dir: Liam Lynch

Cast: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Jason Reed, Tim Robbins

Tits or destiny

they practice their power slides

rock off with Satan

soulmining rating: ***

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

FrightFest (Black) Christmas Party

The Arts Club (photo by Alex Kidd)

I had a great night out in London yesterday meeting up with all the FrightFest regulars for a bit of a party. The night began with a preview screening of Black Christmas at Soho House along with Paul McEvoy, Steve, Rachael, Richard, Lauren, Alex, Dolores and Martin. I was expecting the worst after a one star review in Empire, but the film was fun, albeit trashy fun. We then moved onto the Phoenix Club where we met up with Ian Rattray and Alan Jones, and more of the usual suspects like Mike, James, Giles, Paul, Ian and Jake. I finally got to sit down and talk to Sian and Sarah (check out her new blog Sarah Hates Your Movie) and then Paul introduced Sarah and I to the lovely Richard Aoyade (from Man To Man With Dean Learner and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace) so we chatted to him for a moment. The evening took another surreal turn when we moved onto the Arts Club around 11pm as we arrived just in time to see Keith Allen on stage singing Anarachy In The UK! Ian and friends then took over the decks and spun some quality tunes for the next four hours and the rest of us continued drinking and dancing until we could drink and dance no more. It was good to experience the Arts Club in a rather more sober state than last time (the legendary post-Severance aftershow party) and I'm pleased to report there was no sleeping on pavements this time and I managed to catch the 4am train back to Brighton without incident.

Movie Haiku - Black Christmas

Dir: Glen Morgan

Cast: Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Oliver Hudson

Girls wrap their presents

killer has eyeball fetish

they won't see christmas

soulmining rating: ***

Monday, December 04, 2006

Movie Haiku - Black Book

Dir: Paul Verhoeven

Cast: Carice Van Houten, Sebastien Koch, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn

Jewish woman flees

becomes spy for Resistance

what's in that black book?

soulmining rating: ****

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Coming Soon?

This week I was approached by an internet marketing company to see if I'd like to write a review of The Devil Wears Prada on my blog to tie in with the forthcoming DVD release. They send me the DVD, I write my review. Simple. I saw the film at the cinema (check out my movie haiku here) and liked it, so look out for my review in due course. And just to whet your appetite, here's an exclusive clip from the film:

I'm hoping this will lead onto further opportunities, but of course I can (and indeed should) always submit more reviews to Eat My Brains website. I'm acutely aware that new boy Sean Cockwell has already reviewed more films in the last month than I've managed all year, and I've got a couple of screeners in my DVD pile (for Broken and Vampire Diary) which I really ought to review. I'm keen to get back into writing about films again, it's just my hectic work schedule (64 hours overtime clocked up last month) and social life that limits my free time at the moment... but hey, the passion is there, so fingers crossed - there will be more film reviews coming soon.

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Legends (l-r): Me, Justin, Paul, Andy and Dave

It's that time of year again (otherwise known as Winter) when half of my friends piss off to warmer climes for a few months. Gary was first to go at the end of September, then Sean went in October... and now it's Justin's turn as he flies off to Thailand next week for five months spent with his girlfriend up in Chiang Mai. So, needless to say we had a big leaving bash for him on Friday night, beginning in the (abnormally busy) William IV pub at 6pm. We stayed in there until closing time and then Justin, Andy, Julie, Dave, Paul, Becca and I moved on to Fitz's for a couple and then decided to go clubbing. This proved harder than we'd imagined as the Funky Buddha Lounge wouldn't let us in (for being too drunk!) and all the other clubs we tried were just about to close... in the end we ended up in Legends where we stayed until 4am. Yes, visiting gay clubs again and I wonder why certain people question my sexuality? And thanks to Darren for subsequently signing me up to their mailing list, very funny!

So, with Justin jetting off next week and Dave soon to follow at the end of the month, the burning question is when am I heading off? Well, in all honesty I've no firm holiday plans as yet. I'm aiming to take some time off towards the end of January and I've made some tentative enquiries about attending the 2007 BKKIFF but nothing concrete yet... watch this space.

Friday, December 01, 2006

December Live

Before 2006 draws to a close there's still a whole month full of exciting shows to catch. Here's some of the local highlights, as selected by yours truly:

06/12 - First up this month we have Swedish electro-clash band Revl9n at Sumo. Haven't done a gig at Sumo yet, so will be interested to see how it goes. Liked the band's singles... not sure how they'll come across live, especially since co-vocalist Ana left the group last month.

07/12 - Missed their recent Komedia gig, so am determined to see Brighton's own Bat For Lashes at St George's Church this time. Loving their Fur And Gold album, and am excited about seeing them live after discovering that my friend Lizzie has joined the band.

08/12 - Brighton supergroup Brakes play at the Pavilion Theatre in support of their new The Beatific Visions album - expect an all night disco party! Meanwhile if you missed Mitchell & Webb during the recent comedy festival then they're back for another show round the corner at the Dome. A bit hit-and-miss live I thought, too many sketches lifted straight out of their recent BBC2 series.

09/12 - Another Pavilion Theatre gig, this time I'm keen to check out Silvermaker who are supporting The Stirring.

12/12 - After cancelling their September date due to illness, keep your fingers crossed that The Kooks will be fighting fit for their rescheduled date at the Dome.

13/12 - I've been wanting to see The Duke Spirit live for nearly two years now so tonight's finally gonna be the night - I'm up to London for their special christmas show at the ICA where they'll be debuting new songs as well as playing old favourites.

16/12 - Kasabian and The Fratellis at Brighton Centre.

17/12 - Still haven't seen the movie yet, but Tenacious D live on stage ought to be a hoot - Jack Black & Kyle Gass bring the pick of destiny to our very own Brighton Centre.

18/12 - What is it with all these sick rockstars at the moment? Another recent cancellation, this time we're hoping The Zutons will be well enough for their rescheduled show at the Dome.

19/12 - At last I should be able to check out Euchrid Eucrow live as they play in the back room of the newly revamped Komedia; Euchrid Eucrow is the new band formed by my good mate Dom (Good Morning Captain) featuring Ginger Lee & Abi Fry (both from Bat For Lashes).

23/12 - An early Christmas present for everyone as new dad and Songfactor winner (Spring Heeled) Jim reforms his old band The Dirty Tricks for a one-off gig at the Providence.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Movie Haiku - Jackass Number Two

Dir: Jeff Tremaine

Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius

Get bitten by snakes

and stuck in bee limousine

more laughs than Borat

soulmining rating: ****

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Concorde

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? Originally I was due to see The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Astoria in London along with Stevie B and Andy, but then the band added a date in Brighton... so we sold our tickets and blagged into the Concorde instead - and as an extra bonus, Anton was kind enough to put my mate Justin on the band's guest list as well. Job done! Anton warmed up the crowd with a DJ set before the band took the stage at 9:20pm, and it was great to see tamborine man Joel out front and centre, reunited with his old band once again. With (at times) no less than five guitars playing BJM kicked up a terrific wall of sound, spoilt only by a few assholes determined to wind up Anton after no doubt seeing his well documented short temper in DiG! Highlight for me was Hide And Seek where the band discovered the lost chord and f*cked it until it bled. We'd been anticipating a two hour set, but in the end we got a full 2hrs 40mins, halted only as the stroke of midnight approached and the venue started turning on the house lights! An even more heroic performance when you consider that Anton wasn't feeling 100%. A truly amazing show.

Monday, November 27, 2006

FrightFest in Brighton

Mark James & Phil O'Shea with Paul McEvoy

The FrightFest boys returned to Brighton on Saturday night for their annual roadshow event, the third year running that they've taken part in the CineCity festival. It was a pretty small crowd, no doubt due to the recent ICA all-nighter which had already screened two of the three movies. Gone was Wolf Creek-lite, an Australian set thriller in which a British couple hitch a lift with a very dodgy geezer - and featured that old time honoured cliche of the car that just won't start when the heroine is in peril! I got half way through watching The Raven (featuring a very young Jack Nicholson, to my - and Paul's - surprise) before retiring to the upstairs bar in the Duke Of York's with Paul and Ian to hang out with the Vampire Diary mob - directors Mark James and Phil O'Shea and actresses Anna Walton and Morven Macbeth. The film is an ultra-low budget British chiller and follows a documentary film-maker (Macbeth) who gets mixed up with a real vampire (Walton)... nothing special, but it held my attention and at 2am, after more than several beers, that was no bad thing. Not an outstanding line-up this time then, but nonetheless a fun night and it was great catching up with the FrightFest team again.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

FrightFest Movie Haiku - Vampire Diary

Dir: Mark James & Phil O'Shea

Cast: Anna Walton, Morven Macbeth, Jamie King, Kate Sissons

Films weekend vampires

meets a real one who's pregnant

she's got a bolt gun

soulmining rating: **

FrightFest Movie Haiku - The Raven

Dir: Roger Corman

Cast: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson

He's a talking bird

diabolic mind control

laughing man returns

soulmining rating: ***

FrightFest Movie Haiku - Gone

Dir: Ringan Ledwidge

Cast: Scott Mechlowicz, Amelia Warner, Shaun Evans, Victoria Thaine

Couple learn lesson

take care who you travel with

more like Wolf Puddle

soulmining rating: **

Monday, November 20, 2006

London To Brighton Q&A

Jason Wood with Lorraine Stanley and Paul Andrew Williams

This year's CineCity festival included a preview screening of London To Brighton on Sunday evening, one of the best British films of the year. It's a low budget thriller which relies more on character-led drama than gangster cliches and features stellar performances from Lorraine Stanley and Georgia Groome who play (respectively) a prostitute and young girl on the run in Brighton.

After the screening, Duke Of York programmer Jason Wood conducted an interview with Lorraine Stanley and director Paul Andrew Williams which gave a valuable insight into the development of the production. Paul comes across as a very affable character and I'll be interested to follow his career path, especially as he's just started collaborating on a project with James with a view to directing.

London To Brighton opens nationwide in the UK on 1st December and you can read my movie haiku below.

Movie Haiku - London To Brighton

Dir: Paul Andrew Williams

Cast: Lorraine Stanley, Johnny Harris, Georgia Groome

They did a bad thing

now they're fleeing to Brighton

not in vintage cars

soulmining rating: ****

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Movie Haiku - Babel

Dir: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rinko Kikuchi

Deaf girl in Japan

tourists shot in Morocco

all things connected

soulmining rating: ****

Movie Haiku - Casino Royale

Dir: Martin Campbell

Cast: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench

Mean no nonsense spy

plays cards with rogue who cries blood

Bond rides a Vesper

soulmining rating: ****

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Play It Cool In November

And after the 1,000th post it's back to normal service with an air of creeping inevitability... yes, here's November's playlist. All the sounds I've been listening to a lot this month - with the exception of Polly's tugboat horn. Go get 'em...
  • Bat For Lashes - Fur And Gold (Echo)
  • The Kooks - Inside In/Inside Out (Virgin)
  • Hilary Duff - Most Wanted (Hollywood)
  • Imogen Heap - I Megaphone (Almo Sounds)
  • Revl9n - Someone Like You (Because) remixes

1,000th Post!

Yes it's true... nearly two years since I started this blog (although I did go back and post all my 3 o'clock photos from 2003) and nearly 30,000 hits later, here I am writing my 1,000th post.

I wish I had something groundbreaking or exciting to report, but if I'm being honest then I'd have to say that Feed The Pony is going through something of a transition right now. Or a crisis of confidence. If I look back over the last year it's clear to me that my audience has shrunk considerably... I'm lucky to reach 50 hits a day now, whereas last Summer I was getting at least three times that amount. I don't regret phasing out the film reviews, in fact I don't know how I ever found the time to write so many, but what frustrates me now is that I've lost those spontaneous random posts that I used to write - and I know why that is: I can't blog from work any more. Now everything has to be done from home, so it's usually all pre-planned; the movie haikus, the gig photos, the live listings and the monthly cd playlists. The rest of the time I'm spent doing other things.

So... I need to decide which direction to follow. Do I allow Feed The Pony to continue as it is? Or do I make changes. I've often thought about having a separate blog just for the movie haikus... but then would I bother publishing my gig photos on a blog, or should I just set up a public gallery online? As for the other movie stuff that interests me, well I could just focus on doing those exclusively for Eat My Brains... and everything else, well there's always MySpace.

I don't know what the answer is, I'm just tossing around some ideas in my head... but I think I need to have made a decision on the way forward ready for 2007. So please, if you have any feedback or suggestions to make, please use the comments section. And thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Movie Haiku - The Prestige

Dir: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson

Battling magicians

obsessed by transported man

how's Bowie's trick work?

soulmining rating: ****

Movie Haiku - Breaking And Entering

Dir: Anthony Minghella

Cast: Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn, Martin Freeman

Low-life in Kings Cross

he follows laptop thief home

shouldn't shag his mum

soulmining rating: ****

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Radio 1 Chart Show Live at the Dome

All Saints

Radio 1 took over Brighton Dome this afternoon for their Chart Show Live event, the first time they've taken the show outside of London. I was on duty looking after the various ticket collections and guest lists so missed the start of All Saints set (which began with Black Coffee and Scar I believe) but I managed to nip in to catch Pure Shores and their catchy new single Rock Steady. It's good to have them back!

Nelly Furtado

It was back to work for me so I sadly missed the extra special duet between Katie Price & Peter Andre and all of McFly, making it back into the auditorium in time to catch the last two songs by Nelly Furtado - a cover of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy and her recent hit single Maneater.

Girls Aloud

Next up were Girls Aloud for their four song set, complete with their entourage of dancers. They cherry-picked some of their better singles to perform, starting with Biology and their current hit Something Kinda Ooooh. It was a strong performance and the girls presented themselves well, engaging the crowd in banter during each song. They finished off with Love Machine and one of their earliest tracks, Sound Of The Underground. "I really like Girls Aloud and I don't care who knows it," said my boss as they left the stage... indeed. I think their Greatest Hits album will be in my collection by Christmas.


After a long wait having to watch various Radio 1 DJs pad out the changeover, it was time for the final act. I have to say I'm not a massive fan of Beyonce, but here tonight she was different class. Opening with Deja Vu backed with dancers and a full band she looked stunning wearing a short cream dress, hair blowing in the air. Naughty Girl and Baby Boy followed, then forthcoming single Irreplaceable, the catchiest song she's done in ages. She had the audience spellbound by the time she finished Dangerously In Love which really highlighted her vocal skills, and finally - no surprise - she finished off with Crazy In Love which had the crowd going mad. Despite the (comparative) small size of the venue she gave it everything - she could have been playing Vegas. Very impressive... and a great way to end a really fun, enjoyable show.

You can see loads more photos from the concert on the Radio 1 website.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Movie Haiku - Dead Man's Cards

Dir: James Marquand

Cast: Paul Barber, Tom Bell, Samantha Janus, James McMartin

Boxer turned doorman

involved with dodgy scousers

plays out like western

soulmining rating: ***

Music Survey

1. Which bands/artist do you own the most albums by?
David Bowie

2. What was the last song you listened to?
Shoot The Runner by Kasabian (on Radio 1 as I'm typing this)

3. What's in your CD player right now?
I Megaphone by Imogen Heap

4. What was the last show you attended?
Midlake at the ULU in London on Wednesday night

5. What was the greatest show you've ever been to?
2K at the Barbican in 1997 - a 23 minute performance of their F*** The Millennium single featuring The KLF in wheelchairs alongside Zodiac Mindwarp, The William Fairy Brass Band, a lifeboatmens' choir and a mass of striking Liverpool dockers. I've just found some footage of it on You Tube, check it out here!

6. What's the worst show you've ever been to?
I've seen loads of bad shows through work, but the most disappointing one that stands out was seeing Black Grape (minus Bez) at Brighton Centre. A complete shambles!

7. What's the most musically involved you have ever been?
DJing for Collapsed Lung (Eat My Goal, anyone?) at the Pressure Point in Brighton

8. Which band/artist do you dislike?
At the moment I'd have to say Razorlight

9. What shows are you looking forward to?
Our Radio 1 Chart Show Live concert on Sunday with Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, Girls Aloud and All Saints! Also Revl9n and Bat For Lashes in Brighton next

10. What is your favourite band shirt?
I don't buy many band t-shirts nowadays, so would have to say my Brian
Jonestown Massacre logo shirt.

11. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?
Hmmmm... Bowie might be too intimidating, so maybe Dave Grohl, the nicest
man in rock?

12. Who is one musician or group you wish would make a comeback?
The The

13. Who is one band/artist you've never seen live but always wanted to?
Faith No More

14. Can you name five flawless albums?
Come Down by The Dandy Warhols
Babe Rainbow by The House Of Love
Oyster by Heather Nova
Soul Mining by The The
2 Many DJs as heard on Radio Soulwax part 2

15. If you could play in any band which band would you choose and what instrument would you play?
I think Soulwax would be fun... maybe percussion.

16. How many concerts/shows have you been to, total?
Hmmmm, I first started going to gigs in 1986 and I reckon I see on average one per week, so maybe around 1000?

17. Who have you seen the most live?
The Dandy Warhols - 8 times

18. What is your favourite movie soundtrack?
Natural Born Killers

19. What was your last musical "phase" before you wisened up?
I don't have phases, my tastes have always been eclectic

20. What's your "guilty pleasure" that you hate to admit to liking?
I almost bought the Girls Aloud Greatest Hits CD this week

Midlake at the ULU

Gig of the week #3 - Midlake.

Another night in London, another new venue to discover. I arrived at the ULU around 9pm so was quite surprised to be there in time to catch the support act (Fionn Regan I think) and find a decent place to stand... well, until the rude excessively tall people moved in for the second night running. Midlake played for about 75 minutes and sounded pretty good. I particularly liked the way they shared vocals and swapped instruments during their set, and each song was accompanied by projections or an odd promo video which complemented their seventies Americana sound perfectly. Their current album The Trials Of Van Occupanther is probably my favourite album of 2006, so it was nice to hear these songs played live and Roscoe in particular had the crowd whooping with delight. Another band I'd like to see again but preferably outside of London.

Feeder at the Roundhouse

Gig of the week #2 - Feeder.

I like the newly renovated Roundhouse in Camden, it's a lovely venue with a rich musical history. A nice size - about the same as the Dome - but with such a fervent crowd inside it felt packed, and there seemed to be a procession of extra-tall people rudely pushing in front of wherever I stood... and I'm hardly short myself. Boy Kill Boy opened proceedings with a lively set which won the audience over, finishing with their hit single Susie. After buying The Singles CD this Summer I suddenly realised just how many Feeder songs I knew and liked, so it was great to see them in a small(ish) venue as part of their three special War Child benefit shows this week. They played a fair number of my favourites such as Shatter, Lost And Found, Feeling A Moment and Seven Days In The Sun as well as a number of more obscure tracks and covers (including REM's Everybody Hurts) - and the audience went wild for it. Expectation was high for the encore as The Sugababes had turned up the previous night to team up on a couple of songs, but Grant informed us that they were otherwise engaged, so that was the only slight disappointment.

Metric at the Concorde

Gig of the week #1 - Metric.

Andy and I got to the Concorde just in time to see Blood Red Shoes take to the stage, Brighton's very own answer to The White Stripes. Well, sort of... there's just the two of them and they make a hell of a racket. In a good way. Promising stuff! It was great to finally see Metric live after months of plugging from Courtney and they didn't disappoint. Their new wave / punk sound worked better live than on record, a little more edgy and less produced. They played most of the tracks from Live It Out but also threw in a couple of early songs which I hadn't heard before but sounded equally great. The band seemed to be enjoying themselves too, and during the encore Emily gave into an exceptionally graceful spot of stagediving. Invigorating stuff, I want to see them again now! One of the top five gigs this year - so far.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Movie Haiku - Romanzo Criminale

Dir: Michele Placido

Cast: Kim Rossi Stuart, Anna Mouglalis, Pierfrancesco Favino, Claudio Santamaria

They form ruthless gang

watch their rise and fall in Rome

that bomb woke me up

soulmining rating: **

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Movie Haiku - Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan

Dir: Larry Charles

Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell, Pamela Anderson

Kazakh man with cock

make sexy time with Pammy

this film very niiice

soulmining rating: ****

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November Live

Loads of exciting gigs and shows happening around Brighton this month... here's some of the ones to look out for:

04/11 - Brighton Centre plays host to The Flaming Lips - will they turn up with their menagerie of animal costumes this time?

05/11 - One of the bands of the moment The Gossip play down at the Concorde.

06/11 - I missed Metric when they played here as part of The Great Escape festival in May so I'm glad to have another opportunity. Support for their Concorde show comes from Brighton's own Blood Red Shoes who are creating quite a buzz at the moment.

07/11 - Up to London to check out the newly re-opened Roundhouse venue where Feeder will be performing a special gig in aid of War Child with support from Boy Kill Boy.

08/11 - My second night in a row in London as I check out Midlake playing at the ULU. Meanwhile The Feeling play a sold out gig at the Dome.

11/11 - Last time they played at the Dome it was recorded for a live DVD, now the Scissor Sisters have moved up to the arena circuit so they're headling over at Brighton Centre.

12/11 - This month's hot ticket is the just-announced Radio 1 Chart Show Live event which sold out in only ninety minutes. Taking place on Sunday afternoon at the Dome the line up features Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, McFly, Girls Aloud and All Saints all playing a short set each.

19/11 - A literary event at the Corn Exchange as luvvie Rupert Everett plugs his new autobiography with an interview and Q&A session. Anyone else want to ask him about Dellamorte Dellamore?

20/11 - The Bees are back in town for a show at the Concorde.

21/11 - Another sold out gig at the Dome, this time it's the turn of The Zutons.

25/11 - The FrightFest boys are due in Brighton for a double bill as part of this year's Cine City festival at the Duke Of York's cinema - films to be confirmed.

27/11 - Always an interesting proposition live, The Brian Jonestown Massacre are playing at the Concorde. Music or drama, who knows? Last time I saw them Anton was trying to pick a fight with the bar staff... I've also got tickets to see them at the Astoria the previous night. Meanwhile at the Dome there's Rodrigo Y Gabriela.

28/11 - Rounding off the month's entertainment we have The Magic Numbers at the Dome - you can also catch them doing an instore at Fopp on Wednesday 8th November.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Movie Haiku - Saw III

Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman

Cast: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Angus MacFadyen, Bahar Soomekh

Jigsaw needs an op

uncover junkie's story

set more twisted traps

soulmining rating: ***