Flim, Review, Uncategorized

T2 Day 2 – a very personal review

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Happy on our comfy sofa at the relatively new Everyman in Muswell Hill (there are an awful lot of them these days, aren’t there?) we were full of positive expectation when we went to see T2, Day2 after it came out.

There had been a bit of negative bleating, but we weren’t going to let that get in the way of a good time.

And we were not disappointed.

It is a marvelous film, highly entertaining, full of wit and pathos.

To compare it to the original is pointless.

It can’t exist with Trainspotting (T1?). It possibly could stand up on its own, but I am not sure how you would put that to the test. And anyway, it doesn’t have to. Pretty much anyone who has even the slightest inclination to see it will be full converse with the 20 year old shenanigans of Spud, Renton, Sick Boy and Begbie.

Once of the startling things about the original is how basically unlikeable all the leading cast are. And this theme continues in the follow up.
Horrid boys. Selfish, weak, unsympathetic. Devious, mean, violent, criminal  and gross.

And somehow we are engaged. It is not that we really care about them, but their story grips us and we go along for the ride.

Not a spoiler, but there are several moments in the film where really really bad things seem destined to happen. And although we are willing that all will be well, the reality is that even if and when something truly ghastly happens, there is a felling of “and so be it.”

There are great moments of levity, jokes even, as well as deep levels of horror.

For the Bowie lovers amongst us (everyone?) an almost imperceptible nod to the great man, subtly and perfectly done, a tiny sigh amongst the mostly charming nostalgia.

Danny Boyle is unquestionably a brilliant filmmaker. Through his lens, through his editing, through his sound design, we are kept enthralled. Strange flash backs, to T1 and before, all sit comfortably within the main narrative.

Personally I found the odd freeze frame uncomfortable and dated, but I am also aware that these are a nod to the original style and a touch ironic, so serve the overall piece well.

Such care is taken on the styling, of the wardrobe (especially the shoes) and the general atmosphere you can smell it. Edinburgh is a bit of a hero too, leading us to remark amongst ourselves “we really ought to go for a long weekend”. Again, an odd take out of something so essentially dark.

Spud gets his place in the sun, (reference daylight hours, but you have to see the film), the prison break story is preposterous, and the bonding of friendship is so twisted as to leave you wondering about what it means to be a mate.

And yet and yet.

Totally absorbed.

And the soundtrack. The wonderful wonderful soundtrack .

I am no longer music obsessive, these days opting more for an “I know what I like” attitude. Unlike my husband, whose forensic detailing of all things bands and gigs is still second to none, who kept swooningly  exclaiming “The Young Fathers!”

And yes indeed , this super cool contemporary band served as an excellent updating of what we all know is a seminal score.

A remix of Born Slippy was spot on, as was Lust for Life bringing us right back and forward and back again. Kudos of course to the great Iggy Pop.

There is a scene in a club of fucked up chaos and crowd singing to Radio Gaga. Anthemic and joyous and a slick reminder of the proper ages of our anti heroes.

Sure it was violent, and a bit silly, maudlin and unspeakable, and very nearly sentimental. But that is exactly what it should be.

Loved it.

 

 

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musings, Review, Uncategorized

Bowie Buxton Bug BFI and cobbler Bob

Like rings in a tree trunk, you can generally age a fan by which part of Bowie’s career they are most obsessed with. I guessed Adam Buxton accurately at 46. This probably doesn’t work for anyone under 40 and is no way fool proof, but a harmless pursuit.adam-hoxton_1305291946_crop_550x424.jpg

Last week I had the privilege of watching Buxton do Bug on Bowie. I was sitting with ace cutter Miland, who got a shout out for his great work editing the opening compilation, showing Bowie through the ages rather spunkily.

Buxton Bounces on. We already know he is a Bowie obsessive. And he knows that we are. So he apologies for any offence he may cause, and for irreverence, but he knows, and we know, that otherwise this could all get to over emotional.

It transpires early that he is working to the wrong script. This is a shame as he had “written the absolute heck out of it”

So some charming chat while a dongle is produced and Version 3 is printed. And some bants with the audience. In particular a confident chap called Grant who apparently once followed Bowie into a Toy Shop before the bouncers got to him.

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The evening was full of fun facts, and a very personal, and some might say obscure, selection of videos and trivia. Film clips, BBC dramas, and of course Labyrinth.

It was a roller coaster of sadness and hilarity. And a fair bit of hero worship.

So many videos, all with correct reference and reverence to the Directors. From David Mallet in the early days to Johan Renck on Lazarus.

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Back in the day, David Mallet was repp-ed by a friend of mine to shoot commercials. It being the 80s there was a lot of lunch, and I met Mallet a few times, mostly of 5th Floor of Harvey Nics. I remember liking him, finding him really interesting, him being very kind and generous spirited. And me trying to be cool, and smart, and hardly referring to the Bowie videos at all, as if they didn’t matter to me. What I should have done is grab his arm and screamed “TELL ME EVERYTHING”. “INTRODUCE ME!” “GIVE ME SECRETS”. Oh my crass and wasted youth.giphy.gifI have heard a story about the shooting of Ashes to Ashes, not from anyone who would know but just as a juicy story, that a passing dog walker asked who was the cunt in the Pierrot costume. And thereafter that was how Bowie referred to himself on set. I could have asked Mallet about that, couldn’t I?!

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One of my personal deep things to say about Bowie is that there are no bad images of him. Even in his crazy unwell Cracked Actor Period, in ridiculous costumes, and even right at the end. He never looked unattractive. Annoyingly, the video for “Be My Wife” proved me wrong. Never mind.

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Like Adam Buxton, I spent too much time after January 11th surfing the internet, trawling for trivia, clicking on FB links and generally wallowing in anything Bowie Related. Unseen footage, pithy interviews, rare performances, nostaligia.

Buxton of course has turned this into an art form, and created something unique. Part Bug, Part documentary, all entertainment.

I would recommend you check out his youtube channel, where you can find anachingly funny Lego version of David and Angela in a spoof of the Good Life. The Bowies, as the Goods, are debating in their kitchen the next character after Ziggy. Should it be Cobbler Bob or Aladdin Sane?

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And a fabulous cartoon illustrating the recording of Warszawa with Eno, Bowie and CO- PRODUCER Tony Visconti all in boiling animated stick people.

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Buxton shared these and so much more. He performs his fandom in his own unique way. An eye watering song, a bit of Dad Dancing. There were moments of classic Bug-ness as we laughed uproariously and unkindly at comments from the mis-spelling, hardly articulating, misled, great unwashed Bowie Trolls. There were some corkers. Love, hate, bafflement.

The evening went on. We were lucky to have been at this early raw outing of the show. The next time it will be slicker.

It was frankly too long. It was unevenly paced. Self-indulgent. Quite repetitive. And bloody wonderful. I loved it.

Thank You Adam Buxton. Thank you Bug team. And again Thank You David Bowie. Let’s Dance.

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Advertising, Produciton, Review, Uncategorized

I have seen the Future

FOA Programme 1.jpgEvery year the APA hosts an afternoon of enlightening talks and presentations telling us about the Future Of Advertising. I have seen it Many Times.

It  is fun to look back  and see if the Future really did pan out as expected, what we sneered at, what terrified us, what is now laughable or everyday.

It is pretty much 50/50. Some techs came and went, certain things – oh God, I was there for a Facebook talk – are now completely our Present.

So now, what does 2016 have in store?

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We start with Ian Leslie. Ian wrote this article How Mad Men Lost their Way. And rather than read it out to us he shared it with us.

He ran through the history of advertising, from advertising being a branch of sales, morphing into the Age of Creativity, coming out into the Digital Age. And asked have we lost our way. He said many good things, one quote I liked was “Retargeting is Horrible”. I won’t go into massive detail, you can read the article, but I must say for me this was very seductive as the conclusion was that the 30 Second TV ad rocks.

If only we had the budgets….

A nice chap from Credos reminded us of our Advertising responsibilities. We need to present ourselves well and face up unpopular perceptions, like advertising to Kids (we actually have much more stringent rules than the rest of Europe) and Privacy. Data is both the new oil and the new asbestos.

He articulated that Advertising is not as attractive as it once was, (see Ian Leslie saying no one knows what we do anymore) and said that on 34% of people would recommend a job in advertising, which is lower than banking. 1 in 3 people now apologise for working in advertising (actually, it was probably always thus but for different reasons) and that 60% agree that our best years are behind us. Which is fine for the smug oldies but sad as sad for our emerging new talent.

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Along skipped Tom Rainsford from Giff Gaff. Tall, excellently bearded, happy with himself, he talked about his collaborative relationships with the people he works with. About being accountable for your advertising. Much of what he said was fair, good, great practice, but too me it felt a little glib. And although I do personally believe that as an industry we protect the wrong things, and maybe it is time for a shake up, I don’t feel comfortable with the APA condoning a system where the client does not have an ongoing relationship with an Agency. Much too discuss.

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Dan Phillips from MPC invited us to get on board the Millennial Falcon, which as puns go wasn’t bad. He rather brilliantly contradicted the first talk, but telling us that Millennials actively want to engage with brands. There is some truth in both bold statements. And Dan tells us the answer is Real Time. Technology has caught up and made this kind of engagement much more achievable than it was say at the time of the magnificent Old Spice Guy. He also used the term Frictionless Buying, which although exciting makes me a little twitchy.

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Those Coded Trees at the White House

 

Evan from Nexus Interactive Arts told us about Storytelling. About using your space, not just a “square rectangle”. There was some good stuff, including the incredible White House Christmas trees (although we had seen them before) and an animated film that changed depending on direction you were facing, how fast you were moving, where you were. Fascinating. Big Projects. A little remote.

 

We hung out with the VR guys in the break, experiencing the world, as they would like us to experience it. The word is 2016 is the year of VR. Space Storytelling begs to differ. I say there is room for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality but mostly for Real Reality.

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Here is Simon Gosling amongst VR

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Framestore at the SE

We sat back and watched a number of thrilling case studies in the IDEAS interactive showcase. The glorious Christmas trees,  visual sound with Samsung, a stunning piece of work at the stock exchange from Framestore, Gaz and Leccy – an impressive interactive cinema experience that deserved better character names, and an  APP that makes you pay per laugh.  A lot of it was very corporate and, yes, American, and   some were re-packaging themes we have explored before, but all good and valid and relevant.

Lots of nodding in the room as Felix Morgan tells us that it is proven that long-term brand growth is born out of more emotional ads. And we need to make not just attractive, but unrisky for clients.

He explains how to get rid of Focus Groups and bring in Biometrics. Kind of fascinating, maybe in hindsight a bit obvious, it is using what is inside your body to measure you response to ideas.

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Your sweat, your facial coding, your eye tracking.

Use this testing to De Risk Creative Bravery.

There had been alluding to Adblocking all afternoon. It was up to Mel Exon to talk to us about it properly. There was a fair bit of doom and gloom, but some positive insight to come out of it. The world must understand that without advertising funding there will be no good content unless you are prepared to pay for it. It is probably advertisers’ fault for putting up crap in the digital landfill (no one in the room, obviously). There is talk of paying to be whitewashed (which seems like a lot of money going to nobody who really needs it).

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We need to craft. We need to be aware of how we load ads and the space they take up.

And that was it. Back out into the still light night.

Tech. No tech. Super tech. Ideas Ideas Ideas. Crafting.

Looking forward to 2017. (Physically and metaphysically)

I am a Veteran of the Future

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Review, Uncategorized

Joe Jackson. Still the Man.

A man looks around and sits at the piano. IMG_0762 (2).jpg

And begins.

 

“What the hell is wrong with you tonight”. And I cry a little.

london-palladium-1.jpgWe are at the Palladium on a Saturday night. We have had cocktails at the Prison Bar and we have excellent seats and we are watching Joe Jackson.

My mother first heard “Its different for girls” on the radio in 1979. She thought it sounded great. She imagined the voice belonged  to someone dark  tortured and wiry .Sorry to disappoint mama, this angelic soul comes from a chain-smoking white boy  Joe from Portsmouth.

Unknown-2.jpegQuite a long time later, the voice is the same, he has grown into his looks, he Looks Sharp, and maybe due to the law, he isn’t sparking up on stage.

Comfortable in his skin, unfased by the middle-aged fandom in the theatre, he lets us know that he is his own warm up act.

Unknown-1.jpegThe band join one by one, starting with the bass,

then drums,

and then lead guitar, who is the spit of Ignatius Riley but a lot more talented.

JJ lets us know the best way to cover a famous track is to do something  completely different.

Big-Yellow-Taxi-copy3_full.jpgSo after telling us he was scared shitless the first time he tackled Joni Mitchell,he gave us a very jolly boogie-woogie take on Big Yellow Taxi along with a darned impressive falsetto.

There is a Portsmouth football  scarf hanging off the keyboard, along with a couple of other snazzier silk numbers, i guess  for luck and love.

We Wonder Who The Real Men are. We hear tracks from the new album, Fast Forward, familiar yet different, including a song about coming to a big city from the sticks which resonates with nearly everyone except the two of us, born and bred Londoners.

The band rock “What You Want” and the happy but  tame audience don’t quite get u220px-DavidBowieScaryMonstersCover.jpgp off their seats, but we are all very excited all the same. The atmosphere is charged and charmed.

The cover version du jour, apparently random, picked out of a hat, is “Scary Monsters”.

A really fun version, but interesting that Jackson takes on the Laughing Gnome accent for this one, very chiirpy chappy. Portsmouth, New York, Berlin, Bromley.

It was “Nineteen seventy fucking nine” when the first album launched to great acclaim, and we celebrated this fact with Stepping Out. It all gets very muso for The Blue Time, another great new songIMG_1827 (2).jpg

 

9780671254117.jpgAs a major fan of Television back in the day, he gives us a blistering cover of “See No Evil”. All is good.

Comes the end, off stage for I am guessing a quick fag, and then back with a bang.

.“Slow Song” makes me cry a little, again.

In a perfect piece of symmetry, the band leave as they came.

Joe Jackson thanks us for coming and tells us that “With you it wouldn’t be the same”. Oops, he corrects himself. Without us it wouldn’t have been the same. Which is nice.sunday-night-at-the-london-palladium-volume-1.jpg

He stands and looks out the the stalls, the circle, the boxes.  The expression on his face say it all. Saturday night at the London Palladium. Being adored. What is not to love.

 

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Review

The Sweetest Boy in all the World

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In 1982 a friend had a flat-mate who exotically came not from Hampstead Garden Suburb, but from Brighton.

This glamorous girl told us that she knew Green Gartside from home and that he had dedicated a song on “Songs to Remember” to her.

What she couldn’t remember was whether it was the first track on side one or on side two. Either Faithless or The Sweetest Girl.IMG_3098.jpg

Some time later, Green Gartside inspired me to write  my first blog post: http://www.kentishtowner.co.uk/2012/05/14/why-it-matters-gigging-for-the-over-50s/

So it is only fair that I talk about Scritti Pollitti’s latest outing.

RoundhouseEarly60'sR.jpgWe are at the Roundhouse. It is familiar and welcoming. It has been in my gigging blood since it was a dive in the 70’s, and nice and near to home.

We are seated in the round. A lovely set up. I couldn’t be more comfortable and excited.0022080_ad.jpg

 

 

We catch a glimpse of the support – Rory. Butler. Seems like a nice talented boy. Sang a song of unrequited love for his lesbian house mate.

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Green Gartside hops on stage. Tall and bearded in double dark denim, he is still hot in an adorable way.

It is well documented that he has suffered from serious stage fright, but he has somehow overcome it by talking about it, being self-depracating and generally chatting.

And oops, there is a problem with his guitar strap. As they fiddle to fix it, he jokes that this is exactly why he hadn’t performed live for so many years.

Starting off with The Sweetest Girl, he explains that his influences at the time were Kraftwerk and Gregory Isaacs. He asked them both to guest on the tracimages.jpegk.

He received a  sweet note from Jamaica, but not a word from Germany. Years later he met up with the Kraftewek chaps and asked them what happened. They said “We Hate Reggae”.

 

His schtick is to tell a jolly story about each of the songs as they are performed. We hear about a baleful sheep, misunderstanding the funk, mispronouncing the titular philosopher and collaborations.

Green Gartside is consistently smart and funny.

We learn that The Boom Boom Bap is basically about his love hip-hop and beer., How a song started with Joni Mitchell’s guitar in Hollywood, finishing in NewportGwent.

For the first time, the tight, and I suspect long suffering, band performs Oh Patti and Asylums in Jerusalem and we were very glad to be there to witness it.

My pal Nikki remarks that Gartside has the voice of Disney (while again remarking that his is still hot). And it is true in the best possible way. The voice of an angel smothered in
loveliness.

4590656693.gifSo apparently in 1978 Scritti Politti recorded a song that wasn’t ready, no lyrics nor tune. To fill the void they played Radio 4 over it and hoped for the best. 38 years later, Harriet Cass, the voice of the BBC, agreed to re-record especially for this show. And there she was in the audience to enjoy an updated hectic and rollicking live debut of 28/8/78.

The next treat was a medley of new songs, all promising marvelous things for a forthcoming album.

clapping-minions-gif.gifIn case we got overexcited, we were instructed not to applaud until a Guinness can was raised a second time. We held back. And clapped big time when we were permitted.

There is nothing but pure goodness in Wood Beez and Aboslute. A happy way to finish.

We are told “You are awfully nice” for the encore. Against tradition, there are no greatest hits, instead we get a couple of new songs never heard before. “Dog is dog and cat is cat”.

Modest, controlling, self aware, charming, perfectionist, hot (we can say it again) talented, intelligent, bashful, name dropping, delightful and joyous.

Thank you GG and SP  from all the fan girls and boys.

Absolute-ly perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review

Oh, the Comic Strip

 

In the 70’s there was of Monty Python, Dave Allen and a smattering of the Goons, Morecombe and Wise and the Two Ronnies.

Unknown-2.jpeg But on the telly there was also Dick Emery, Benny Hill, The Comedians,the likes of Frank Carson, Bernard Manning and Freddie Starr.images-6.jpeg

Unattractive men telling mother in law jokes and making cracks about Paki’s.

To be honest it wasn’t in my world, I was too busy with O levels and boys and going to gigs.

Happily in the early 80’s the antidote in the form of Alternative Comedy, to combat all that sexism and racism. And we were all over it.

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On Friday and Saturday nights, at 11.30, we would climb the stairs above Raymond’s Revue Bar (snigger), and immerse ourselves in something new and hilarious, the Comic Strip

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Usually hosted by Alexei Sayle.

In tight mohair suit and a porkpie hat, calling mime artistes bip and snot and singing Hello john have you go a new motor, he introduced such acts as:

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20th Century Coyote (the late wonderful and beautiful Rik Mayall and his crazy partner now successful cook show contestant Ade Edmonson). Dangerous.

The Outer Limits made up of Peter Richardson now an esteemed Director and Soho good egg, and respected actor Nigel Planer, Doing impersonations of space invaders and singing about Rakusens the Kosher Coitus Toast.

And French and Saunders testing the waters for sketches we will know and love for decades.

There waUnknown-4.jpegs also Arnold Brown a full time Hampstead accountant doing stand up at the weekends

“I’m Scottish and I’m Jewish,two racial stereotypes for the price of one.” 

 Other acts came and went, notably Chris Langham with the world’s best impersonation of an owl, Andy de La Tour Ben Elton.  Langham2.jpg

 

 

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images-10.jpeg One extraordinary night Robin Williams skipped on stage.

It was his Mork and Mindy period and he was a much more raw and dark version of the kooky movie star he was to become. He bounced into the crowd, borrowed an audience members “purse” and on stage proceeded to share the contents with us.

“Oh look, Cocaine. God’s way of telling you that you earn too much money”.

He took a fiver out of her purse (which at the time was equivalent to I don’t know, £25), put it in his back pocket and then returned the handbag. Never gave the cash back. Amazing.

All the acts (apart from the number cruncher) were SOOOO young. Fresh, vibrant, energetic and above all new.

We had enormous crushes on the prettiest of them, Rik and Peter, telling ourselves it was because of their wit and personality and not necessarily their cheekbones.

Not soon after we stopped being obsessive regulars, I was working with the then super sexy star of Hazell, Nicholas Ball.

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It was a party period for him, so he often turned up for voice-overs and lay on the floor gathering himself.

One time, prostrate, he told us that he had just done a TV recording with Rik, Ade, Nigel and Alexei.

He played a professor and there was a joke about a tampon and a Christmas tree.

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And thus the Young Ones exploded grubbily and surreally on our screens.

Hard to imagine. in these days of 8 out of 10 Cats and Mock the Week, but back in the day  it was unheard to think that guys you saw at a seedy club would one day come into your living rooms.

There were more comedy nights at various venues, and we keep going, watching guys we just saw in dingy clubs suddenly TV regulars, running quiz shows, doing Blankety Blank.

One notable night in 1979 we went to a benefit to raise money for Paul Merton, who sadly had fallen and broken his leg and needed cash while he wasn’t working. Have I got old news for you!

Then came Channel 4 who on their first night broadcast Five Go Mad in Dorset.

More sophisticated fare from the Comic Strip team and the first of a long running If sporadic series of brilliant and hilarious specials. Always bringing in great comic talent – Daniel Peacock, Robbie Coltrane, Lenny Henry, Kathy Burke, and David Hunter from Crossroads.images-14.jpeg

Each lampooning a genre. Each full of classic lines.

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Fistful of Travellers Cheques “I spit on your punk rock”, and from the Beat Generation (a look at a louche weekend retreat for artistes and musicians) “I’m just tired of this endless knobbing”

So begins 34 years and something like fifty perfect pieces of wit and satire, in groups or as one off specials, with Peter Richardson at the helm.

There was Gino which in my opinion is the best thing Keith Allen ever did except have a daughter who was talented for a while.Unknown-16.jpeg

The Strike, the Yob, GLH, Jealousy. The Feature film Churchill the Hollywood years.

And lately The Hunt for Tony Blair and Five Go to Rehab.Unknown-17.jpeg

And now, bang up to date, Comic Strip Presents Red Top.4903.jpg

Set inexplicably in the 70s, starring Maxine Peake as Rebekah Brooks with turns from Johnny Vegas, Stephen Mangan -reprising his role as images-4.jpegTony Blair, this time a rock star – and a mean Russell Tovey.

It also features Comic Strip Stalwarts, – Richardson coming out from the Director’s chair as Bob Harris, Harry Enfield, Nigel Planer and Alexei Sayle.

Biting and silly, which I think sums up the whole Comic Strip Presents oeuvre, it romped through ghastly Guardian employees, simpering Cameron, Murdoch and his ruthless Kill Bill Bride, and Ross “Listen Slag” Kemp.

It is funny and clever and both familiar and completely original.

May there be 50 more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review, Uncategorized

Bowie Tribute at Union Chapel

We hear last Monday that there is going to be Starman, a Tribute to David Bowie hosted by the Union Chapel at the weekend. Click the link, buy tickets, and find out what it actually is later.

So on Sunday afternoon we are in Islington waiting Englishly in line for the doors of the Chapel to open. We are still none the wiser, there is no talk of a line up, just a remembrance tree and some face painting.

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As we are settle into our pews we are treated to some great songs on the organ (not the stuff on YouTube, we could see the organist) and a pretty good slide show in an awesome setting.

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The lights go down, and to get us in started, we are immediately encouraged to get on our feet and start singing “Starman” with Massaoke.

Embarrassing for about 3 seconds, and then we are well in the mood.

We are introduced  Stefan Simanowitz, who organized the event. Not exactly sure how, but pretty impressive. We hear  that he had the day off sick on Monday and then got on to it. The compere was a large blond loud Australian, John Robertson.151105_JonRobertson_small.jpg

He valiantly holds it together with a number of outlandish costume changes .At one moment of disorganisation, he chose to distract the audience with a story of when he and his wife first made love (to the soundtrack of Young Americans).

Lots of lovely unknown people came to the stage, some sounding like acts that may or may not have had Boy George turning for them on the Voice. Keen, shaky, heartfelt. One or two tragically didn’t know the words.

One girl sang “We are the Dead” as a piece of musical theatre (probably not deliberate) and brought to mind that Bowie had originally wanted Diamond Dogs to be a proper stage show.13180443935_cb35a31bfa_b.jpg

Peppered through the live acts was some great footage on the big screen, snippets of interviews, videos (“John I’m only dancing “with Lindsay Kemp mime cutaways, “China Girl”, the MTV interview) all beautifully framed by the majesty of the church.

We were up and down a lot too, just like a real service, joining in with all the familiar hymns.

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Who knew “Queen Bitch” would be the first most raucous sing-along?

There were big highlights in the first half – Maggie Ronson sharing her memories and joining in with the band.

Spizzenergy ramping it up with “Andy Warhol” and “Rebel Rebel”.

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Suitably punky and energetic, bedecked with light up rings and a belt with rolling neon type. Just the ticket.

A fabulous re-working of “Moonage Daydream” by a talented chap with a guitar.

And marvellously bizarre moments – the woman performing “Where are we Now” on a Saw. A Harpist. A scary man with a glitter facemask that I worry he will never get off.

There was a change of mood when Darren Walsh, winner of best joke at Edinburgh,( Hans free if you remember) showered us with puns and visual gags and a bit of musical jiggery pokery.
He shared a packet of Celebrations with the audience and told us they could be Heroes, just for one day.

He gave us

O         D          D           I              T             Y

(Space Oddity)

My kind of jokes.

Guy Pratt (bass for Roxy/Pink Floyd) talked us through having his photo taken with Bowie as a young musician in Icehouse, and then joined in the playing throughout the night.

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There was an interval, time to get a cup of tea and jot down our memories, and then lots more tunes.

We were hoping David McAlmont would turn up. After all we had seen him perform with Bernard at the Union Chapel before, and he does do a Bowie night in South London, so he knew the way there, and all of the words.

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And there he was, part of another rollicking karaoke moment, and then gifting us a heartbreakingly beautiful “Sweet Thing”.

Some truly great renditions of many many classics (and then you realise, ALL the songs are classics).

David Baddiel stood up and said pretty much what I say a lot – it wasn’t about being lost or confused for us young North London middle class Jewish Teenagers, it was the music. And he pointed out that Bowie was the best tunesmith ever (I concur).

He called the whole chaotic good-natured slightly strange evening “very North London”.

Des De Moor told us a touching story of his obviously fabulous cabaret show Darkness and Disgrace and treated us to “Slip Away”, which was pretty astounding.

Boe Huntress surprised us with a mesmerising and touching version of Lazarus. Incredible. And brave. Another super talented songstress treated us to “Wild is the Wind” with the help of Romeo Stodart.

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The wonderful “Chubby Little Loser” clip from Extras reminded us that Bowie was a very funny man, as did Clifford Slapper’s anecdotes from the actual recording. He said that he was asked to write some chords for the song in case Bowie didn’t, Bowie asked to hear them and then commented that the similarity was “Fucking Spooky”.

Simon Westbrook’s “Time” and Malcolm Doherty’s “After All” showed us how it was done, as did a tall guy in a frock and a frock coat who tackled Bewlay Brothers with verve and guts. With Quaaludes and red wine, Oh By Jingo, I’m starving for me gravy.IMG_0190.jpg

We had a Bad Seed and Dan Donovan from BAD, A Winkie. The Magic Numbers, Dan Gillsepie Sells from the Feeling, a couple of turns from Glen Matlock, Ian Hunter’s lovely daughter and the Featherz.

We heard of chaos backstage, and felt the love in the room.

It ended with all the performers on stage and 900 punters on their feet singing Heroes.

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And it was good.

My only regret really that so many performers didn’t get a proper name check, And we didn’t get to give them a congratulatory hug.

Thank you Union Chapel Folks, and of course, thank you David Bowie.

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