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: ***

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Go! Team at Brighton Dome

Sadly by the time I'd finished looking after the guest list for The Go! Team show I only managed to catch the last thirty minutes of their set... but they'd saved their best til last (or certainly their best known songs!) so I still got to see Huddle Formation, Bottle Rocket and the wonderful encore of Lady Flash. Nice Halloween setting too, with pumpkin lanterns all around the stage - which then got chucked into the crowd once the band finished playing!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Movie Haiku - Princess

Dir: Anders Morgenthaler

Cast: Thure Lindhardt, Stine Fischer Christensen, Christian Tafdrup, Tommy Kenter

Kid's mom was porn queen

priest is shocked at her abuse

takes bloody revenge

soulmining rating: ***

Movie Haiku - Shortbus

Dir: John Cameron Mitchell

Cast: Sook-Yin Lee, Paul Dawson, Lindsay Beamish, PJ DeBoy

Counsels gay couple

they take her to a sex club

she wants an orgasm

soulmining rating: ****

Friday, October 27, 2006

Keane at Brighton Centre

This isn't meant to sound smug or self-satisfied, but sometimes there's a real joy about blagging into a gig - purely because it removes all those high hopes you have when you've shelled out twenty-five quid for a ticket. You can just go in open minded with zero expectations. And so it was with Keane on Wednesday night, a band whose CDs I like but who have never really struck me as a particularly enticing live act. Of course they duly went and proved themselves, putting on an energetic display with frontman Tom clearly relishing being back on the road again after his recent stint in rehab. As good as the show was, the real talking point came as the band launched into Atlantic at the start of their encore - one of the large lights on the left hand side slowly lowered, then lurched towards the drumkit as its support buckled! Luckily its fall was halted by a neighbouring stack of equipment and three crew members wrestled with it as the band played on, oblivious to the drama taking place behind them. And then suddenly that was it, the band were asked to leave the stage and the house lights came on - the concert had to be halted due to the obvious health and safety issues. A real shame for Keane and their fans, especially with this being their home-town gig, but thankfully no-one got hurt and I suppose at least it happened after eighteen songs (out of a scheduled twenty) and not after two!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Movie Haiku - The Last Kiss

Dir: Tony Goldwyn

Cast: Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Casey Affleck, Rachel Bilson

His life's all mapped out

gets tempted by cute brunette

has to make a choice

soulmining rating: ****

Monday, October 23, 2006

Movie Haiku - Marie Antoinette

Dir: Sofia Coppola

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Judy Davis, Steve Coogan

French Queen's fall from grace

too disjointed but pretty

spot the pink Converse

soulmining rating: **

Movie Haiku - The Grudge 2

Dir: Takashi Shimizu

Cast: Amber Tamblyn, Arielle Kebbel, Jennifer Beals, Sarah Michelle Gellar

Not Japanese one

it's the sequel to remake

curse spreads to the States

soulmining rating: ***

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Movie Haiku - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Dir: Jonathan Liebesman

Cast: Jordana Brewster, Taylor Handley, Diora Baird, R. Lee Ermey

Time for the prequel

same as sequels and remake

grab your I-Spy book

soulmining rating: ***

Movie Haiku - The Devil Wears Prada

Dir: David Frankel

Cast: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker

She's no fashion sense

loses her integrity

working for ice queen

soulmining rating: ***

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tina Dico at the Komedia

Yesterday evening was night of the ex-Zero 7 vocalists at the Komedia as Tina Dico and Sophie Barker doubled up for a bit of female singer/ songwriter action. We arrived just as Sophie took to the stage to play a few of her songs. She's got a very strong voice but I felt it would work even better backed with a full band. I don't know any of her solo stuff, but she did play In The Waiting Line which is my favourite Zero 7 track, so that track alone was worth the price of admission. By the time Tina came on we'd managed to get some decent seats near the front (thanks Marlene!) and had an excellent view of her performance. She opened with Break Of Day, the first song of hers I ever heard, and right from the start it struck me just how confident and powerful her vocals are - in fact Dave and I agreed afterwards that there were shades of Alanis Morissette in there. Tina played a selection of requests including songs from In The Red, plus Home from the Zero 7 album and Magic, an amusing tale of a one night stand written on the road... Sophie joined her on stage for the encore where they covered an old John Martyn track together. Great stuff!

After the show we were hanging around the bar area and Tina came out so we got to say hello... she's lovely!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

James Dean Bradfield at the Concorde

Mmmmm, a quiet Sunday night watching a bit of live music... well, not quite; the Concorde was sold out and heaving with folk there to see James Dean Bradfield, a large proportion of whom seemed to be pissed up w*nkers who were more interested in talking all the way through his set. Which was a pity, as otherwise it was a decent gig. James played a load of stuff from his current solo album The Great Western and a number of old Manics tunes such as Ocean Spray, Kevin Carter, A Design For Life and From Despair To Where. A brisk hour and that was that - no encore - just left the audience wanting more. Oh yeah, and something else I noticed - is it me or is James Dean Bradfield looking more and more like Julian Barratt from The Mighty Boosh! these days?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Play It Cool in October

It's been such a hectic month for me that I really haven't listened to so as much new music lately... in fact to be honest, I've haven't even picked up this month's Q yet and I have no clue as to who's got new albums due out before Christmas. But hey, for now here's what I have been playing over the past few weeks:
  • Some Girls - Crushing Love (Koch)
  • Keane - Under The Iron Sea (Island)
  • OST - Greenwich Mean Time - Music From The Film (Island)
  • OST - Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (Verve)
  • The Fratellis - Henrietta (Island) single

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Movie Haiku - The Departed


Dir: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg

Jack's got mole in cops

but cops have mole in Jack's gang

who will expose who?

soulmining rating: *****

Friday, October 13, 2006

Imogen Heap at the Dome

Having a band/artist you really admire performing where you work is always a bit weird but is also really exciting. I'd been so worried that the Imogen Heap gig was going to get cancelled after her recent illness, so kept everything crossed when her agent confirmed it was still on (the day before) and I was so relieved when she arrived safely at the venue on Wednesday afternoon. I got to see some of the soundcheck as I was working inside the auditorium and it was clear that Immi was still fighting that frog in her throat, but she wasn't going to let it get the better of her. The gig was awesome. I took Dave and Andy with me who'd not seen her play live before and they were spellbound throughout, as indeed was I. She's such a fascinating performer to watch as she layers her vocals and sounds, so unlike anyone else that I've seen - and she's so down to earth and funny with it. Her set was similar to the one that she played back at the Komedia earlier in the year, except this time she had backing from support band Nemo on some of the more rockier numbers. When she came out and played Hide & Seek for the encore she was stood right in front of where I was sat and it was as if she was playing just for me, it made my spine tingle... Daylight Robbery rocked out, and The Moment I Said It was the perfect finale. After the show we were drinking in The Waggon and she called in to see the Nemo lads, so we got to say hello and she signed my Dave's CD, so that was a bonus! A great, great evening!

You can see more of my photos on Immi's moblog page here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dangerous Junk For Sale

My American buddy Sean Bunzick has just published his third novel entitled Dangerous Junk For Sail, the latest in his series of John Harwich novels set in South East Asia.

In addition to quotes from fellow authors Jason Schoonover and Christopher G. Moore on the front cover, and the Cape Cod Times on the rear, a quote from yours truly has also made it onto the back cover:

"Combines his unrivalled passion for military history and Thailand's expat lifestyle in this rip-roaring adventure full of larger than life characters, all delivered in his own inimitable style."

(Although the proof reader must have been on a tea break at the time as the words 'full of' seem to have gone AWOL during the printing process...)

I know Sean is a good mate of mine but it's still kind of him to use one of my quotes on his cover! I wish him all the best with his book sales and continuing writing career.

You can read more about the novel and order a copy at the Author House website here.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

FrightFest Returns!

Angelica Lee stars in Re-cycle

Hot on the heels of August's FrightFest at London's Odeon West End, the team have announced a number of one-off events taking place over the next couple of months.

First up is a Halloween double-bill at the ICA in London on 31st October featuring retrospective screenings of Peter Jackson's Meet The Feebles and George A. Romero's Creepshow.

Also taking place at the ICA the following weekend on 4th November is a FrightFest all-nighter featuring four brand new titles - Gone (Dir: Ringan Ledwige), Turistas (Dir: John Stockwell), Re-cycle (Dir: Oxide & Danny Pang) and Heartstopper (Dir: Bob Keen) - plus a retro screening of Roger Corman's The Raven.

Finally on Saturday 25th November the FrightFest team are due to return to Brighton for another late night double-bill at the Duke Of York's cinema as part of the annual CineCity festival. No details on the identity of the films showing that night as yet.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Movie Haiku - World Trade Center

Dir: Oliver Stone

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maria Bello, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Trapped under towers

police heroes talk a lot

while families wait

soulmining rating: **

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Embrace at the Dome

Another Dome show for me this week although this time I was looking after the guest list so I didn't get in to see Embrace until their set was well underway. I used to really like them when they started out but I think this is the first time I've actually seen them live, I'd always been put off by Danny's vocals when I'd seen them perform live on TV. Thankfully now they're enjoying their second coming this seems to be no longer a problem anymore and Danny's vocal shortcomings are a thing of the past - instead he's an enthusiastic, confident front man, egging on the crowd at every opportunity. Even though the gig was nowhere near sold out there was still a good atmosphere and the band really seemed to be enjoying themselves, playing a set spanning material from their five albums to date. Keen to dispell rumours that the band are splitting, they encored with a new song (Heart And Soul I think it was called) and finished with Retread and a barnstorming version of Ashes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sparks at the Dome

The prospect of watching Sparks live in a half-empty Dome Concert Hall on a wet Sunday evening didn't suggest that this would be one of the gigs of the year, but despite the leaky roof and the mad bloke in the rear stalls, it turned out to be just that! With no support, the band played two different sets which worked really well. In the first half they played new album Hello Young Lovers in full, complete with a video screen centre stage which Ron would intermittently interact with. As with most of their material, it was theatrical and witty stuff, and the new songs proved to be their strongest collection in more than a decade, with Dick Around, (Baby Baby) Can I Invade Your Country? and Metaphor coming as particular highlights. The second half was a more traditional set consisting of songs from throughout their career including The Number One Song In Heaven, When Do I Get To Sing "My Way" and, of course, This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us. It was a triumphant performance which had the audience on its feet and applauding like an crowd twice its size! They finished with a reprise of Dick Around, just the two Mael brothers and a keyboard, protesting the single's ludicrous ban by Radio 1. An absolutely cracking show and I'm so glad I made the effort to go and see them! And I still think their drummer used to be in The Proclaimers... what do you think 'brother' Gingerbloke?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

October Live

If you like live comedy then Brighton is the place to be this month as the Paramount Comedy Festival rolls into the city for two-and-a-bit weeks of laughter and merriment. There's plenty of gigs to enjoy too as we get into the Autumn touring season... Plenty of choice then, so hope to see some of you in the next month! Here's some of the highlights:

01/10 - I saw Sparks live at the Dome long before I started working there, it must have been at least ten years ago and I got to meet them backstage afterwards... tonight they're back promoting their Hello Young Lovers album and I'll be there to check them out again with Gingerbloke - wonder if Ron will crack a smile this time?

03/10 - Fresh from their underwhelming England World Cup anthem, Embrace are at the Dome with support from The Delays. Surprised this one hasn't sold out but I suppose it was a late addition to the band's UK tour.

06/10 - With The Goodies (minus Bill Oddie) raising the curtain on this month's comedy the night before, the Paramount Comedy Festival really kicks into gear on Friday night. The hottest ticket is for Russell Brand in the Corn Exchange, who's subsequently sold out an extra show in the Dome on the 18th. I might check out Laurence & Gus whose Next In Line show is described as "a comedy relay where each sketch features a character from the previous one". Could be interesting.

07/10 - Pick of the today's comedy for me is Richard Herring who's performing his new show Menage A Un at the Corn Exchange. Meanwhile down at the Concorde Evan Dando returns with his newly reformed band The Lemonheads, out on the road touring their new album.

09/10 - It wouldn't be a festival without a sprinkle of comedy genius from Daniel Kitson - he's doing two shows at the Pavilion Theatre for a mere £5. These will be improvised as he hasn't bothered to prepare any material... otherwise you've got Marcus Brigstocke at the Corn Exchange. Well, if you've already bought tickets - he's sold out. And if you'd prefer some music then you can see Stereo MCs soundalikes (come on, their new single sounds exactly like Connected...) The Rapture down at the Concorde.

10/10 - The first of two TV recordings for Paramount, it's the Comedy Blue night at the Corn Exchange. Hosted by Mike Wilmot with special guests from a selection of Carey Marx, Dave Johns, Ed Byrne, Jim Jeffries, Lucy Porter and Scott Capurro. Tickets are FREE from the Box Office at Brighton Dome.

11/10 - One of my gig highlights so far this year was seeing Imogen Heap at the Komedia, and now she's at the Dome and I've got front row tickets! I can't wait!! She's been advertising for a local support act on MySpace so it will be interesting to see who she picks...

12/10 - Will Smith has been one of the most consistently funny comedy performers I've seen in the last couple of years with his previous shows 10 Arguments I Should Have Won and Misplaced Childhood. Now he's back at the Pavilion Theatre with his new show How To Be Cool. I'm expecting another hilarious self-deprecating performance.

13/10 - If you're not sure who to see during the comedy festival then the Best Of The Fest shows at the Dome are always a safe bet. The first dose is hosted by Adam Hills and will include appearances from Frankie Boyle, Phil Nichol, Rhod Gilbert and Russell Howard - and next Friday it's the turn of Alan Carr to host proceedings.

14/10 - Love him or hate him (it's an argument that runs and runs in our office) Ross Noble returns to the Dome for two nights of his new show Fizzy Logic. Meanwhile in the Pavilion Theatre, last night's host Adam Hills has his own show.

15/10 - I'm skipping the comedy shows tonight and heading to the Concorde for the solo show from Manic's frontman James Dean Bradfield.

16/10 - It's a night for the ex-Zero 7 vocalists as Tina Dico plays at the Komedia with support from Sophie Barker. Looking forward to this double-bill!

19/10 - Another must-see for me, it's Mitchell & Webb the stars of Channel 4's Peep Show. This will be the opening night of their first major UK tour and I believe it's going to take the form of sketches from their current hit and miss BBC show That Mitchell & Webb Look so not too sure whether it will quite live up to expectations... the show is sold out but they will be back at the Dome again in December.

21/10 - It's the last night of the Paramount Comedy Festival and the big draw this evening is Jimmy Carr who's performing an early and late show at the Dome.

24/10 - Getting back to music again we've a run of shows in the Corn Exchange starting with The Automatic who I saw earlier in the year at the Concorde. Really like their current single Recover so will probably check them out again once I've finished working.

25/10 - Was thinking of seeing Boy Kill Boy at the Corn Exchange, but looks like I've had a better offer - so should hopefully be seeing Keane at Brighton Centre instead. Under The Iron Sea is one of my most played CDs at the moment, although I can't take Crystal Ball seriously since Rich told me that he and his workmates all sing "lick my balls" when it's playing at Music Zone...

28/10 - It's a special one-off Halloween show at the Dome for local favourites The Go! Team. I missed their gig at the Corn Exchange at the start of the year, so will try and check them out this time around.

29/10 - The Guillemots are next in line at the Corn Exchange...

30/10 - Our final Corn Exchange concert this month sees The Fratellis here touring their Costello Music album. Like their singles so will give them a look I think.

31/10 - Razorlight play at the Brighton Centre. I'm not a big fan (not even a little fan) of their music, but I do like The Like who are supporting, so make sure you get there early and check them out if you're going along.