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, Recipe, Uncategorized

At the Centre of it all

a personal reviewIMG_4013 (1).jpg. Kings Cross Theatre. 3rd November 2016

I told my friend I was going to Lazarus, the David Bowie Musical. She of course looked thrilled and excited for me. “Amazing” she said.

I retorted, “He’s not in it!”

We guffawed; there was some nervous laughter, and guilt. Too Soon? Of course, Too Soon. Certainly Too Soon for me. But the comedy timing was admirable.

The show is playing Kings Cross theatre, bang in the middle of the new thrilling and confusing, unfamiliar and rather jolly. Boulevard. The theatre, a purpose built shed structure, divided in two, one half showing The Tempest (which was Tempting) and the half other Lazarus.

The audience was as you would expect, well healed, nicely dressed, or Dressed Up, with a touch of fervor behind the eyes. Mostly middle aged, some young, a lot of cool and classy.

We are told that the performance is two hours long. No interval. You can leave but you may not be allowed back in (okay, not for 20mins or so). So this led to a “when do we pee” panic – could explain the fervor in the eyes.

As we settle in our seats, we see Michael C Hall wander on to stage and have a little lie down. This is twenty minutes before ShowTime. It is a little awkward. I feel for him, unless maybe it really is the best place for a power nap.

The premise is a loose sequel to Man Who Fell to Earth. Our alien is still trapped on earth, , not getting older, drinking gin, watching TV,  knowing that he can’t get home. He misses Mary-Lou and indeed it would have been nice to see Candy Clark.

The set is the apartment that Thomas Newton never leaves.

The physical propping consists of a rumpled bed and a fridge full of mother’s ruin.

At the back of the stage, the live band play displayed through glass windows.

Centre stage, a screen. Sometimes lots of screens. I thought I was over screens. But I am an idiot.

The projection and visual trickery is  incredible, impressive,  remarkable. I won’t  describe how it works so as not to spoil the surprise and awe. Also, I can’t find the words to get across quite how exhilarating.

I can say there is technical wizardly. The FX are seamless, delightful and surprising. The design is impeccable, the execution effortless. Virtual, physical, ever shifting. A feast for the eyes and ears. Lighting design to delight, that also does a job.

It was actually  raining on the roof which added some pretty special atmosphere.

The whole thing is Magic in a digital literate age.

I had read that this wasn’t the Mama Mia Greatest Hits genre of musical, that the story wasn’t a way to thread a load of songs together.

But it kind of was. Certainly the songs enhanced and punctuated the narrative.

Maybe it is just that Bowie’s oeuvre is so rich, all his songs can work to whatever storyline.

The opening track, the heartbreaking Lazarus, was beautifully performed. When it was released in back in sad Blackstar January, we all retrospectively understood it was about Bowie’s upcoming death. Johan Renck’s visuals enforced that. Now, not so sure.

Now it sounds like it was written specifically for Thomas Newton’s not-old age.

And that is another wonderful Bowie facet. Whatever he writes, you can find some significance that works for you at the time. Lyrics and mood appropriate and ready for anything.

“Kooks” targeted directly at you because you were a different kind of kid.

“Heroes” for our brave troupes.

“Laughing Gnome” a piece of ironic future proofing  theme for Alan Sugar.

“Sue” for me!

Predictably, all the songs were phenomenal. The new ones, the old ones reworked, the classics and the novelty. From a raucous All the Young Dudes to a charming Absolute Beginners. Changes , changed, all for the good.

Somehow all the vocalists captured Bowie’s tone. They never quite made the songs their own, but nor did they mimic. Clear and strong and meaningful. But it is a funny old thing, how singers on the stage take on that Musical style. It was subtle, but it was there, and made me wonder how they would fare on The Voice.

After we were introduced to a China Girl early on, I realised that the staging was littered with references and reverence. I probably missed quite a lot, but that didn’t spoil the ride. Good spotting for the uber hard-core fans, rather than me, kind of superfan, but soft-centred.

The story is a bit silly. The characters are fascinating and often confusing. The pace erratic. Great highs of engagement, sometimes not so much, and there is a proper ending.

Maybe if it wasn’t The Dame I might view the whole as a touch self-indulgent and beside itself. Perhaps I have buttons over my eyes and stardust in my sound and vision. But I don’t think so.

There is so much good and clever and original and slick and powerful and emotional and so damn interesting about it. There are some great moments of levity to stop it taking itself too seriously. The cast do it more than justice, the set design and execution is off the scale. And of course the music.

So I think it would stand alone on its own merits.

But undeniably,

At the Centre of it All is…

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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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musings, Uncategorized

Susie’s Soho

I originally wrote this for NOW. I was inspired  by this lovely link, showing Soho though the decades.

So here is a trip through my Soho in the last few decades.

 Carnaby Street

My next door neighbour had a distant dad. He worked in Carnaby Street. Once every couple of months she was summoned to visit him at his office. I went with her a few times.He would treat her and me to a sandwich from a shop in Fouberts Place. And then go back to work.

We must have been all of thirteen, and co-incidentally, we also took the 13 bus to town. Fouberts, the sandwich shop, is now a burger bar.

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Berwick Street

My sister was working at a film production company in what I now guess is West Soho. I took my school buddies on a trip to visit her.

berwick-street-market-02l.jpgWe wandered up from Oxford Circus, through Berwick Street, along Brewer Street. We probably got lost. But I loved it. I loved the street market and was amazed to visit the same flower stall that my Mum and her Mum used to go to.

They however were horrified by the grubbiness and the lack of expected glamour.

 

Walkers Court

Home of Raymond’s Revue Bar, but for us, it was the venue for the Comic Strip. Apart from sniggering that we were effectively in a titty bar, we never felt threatened or out of place.

 Lower Regent Street

My first job was in Margaret Street, I don’t think I knew I was anywhere near Soho. And the idea of Noho didn’t exist.

Noho to Woho

I worked in Noho proper for a while, in Howland Street. Easy enough to walk to from home if there was a tube strike (there were lots). The account moved and we moved with it, this time to Piccadilly. Not quite Soho again, but creeping closer.

Far from Soho

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I was secretary to the CDs at a small agency in Farringdon, an area that was really not cool at the time. There were bugger all restaurants and no shops to speak of other than Leather Lane. As a temp it was my task to cater for the in-house lunches. I took a bus to M&S and schlepped large carrier bags back. I got the permanent gig.

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There was a headhunter based in the very building I am working in now. He was very pally with an Art Director friend of mine. I asked him once if he could help me to get into a TV Dept. He said “all you little girls want to be PA’s”.

Regents Park

This time an agency buyout brought us back to the West End, North side.  And got me into a TV Dept. So “Ha!”0e1fa3a2a45ffbada618bc60710181ab.jpg

The Creative teams and I used to spend a lot of time walking to and from Soho, to post houses and recording studios. We would stop and see my Mum who worked in Fitzroy Square, and yes, we charged for taxis when we could.

Kettners

 

My sister moved from the vaguely sleazy film wold to work for Peter Boizot at Kettners, which at the time was the hub of the Pizza Express Empire. That dining room with its  faded elegance, the piano, the delicious ceilings. And serving American Hots and Hamburgers with thousand island dressing . We went there for giggly girlie lunches and party dinners and of course lost evenings in the champagne bar. It stopped being a cheap and classy date a long time ago, but we still gathered at the bar. And now it is closed. Another gorgeous building in the hands of Soho House.kettners_2348031b.jpg

Nail Bomb at the  Admiral Duncan

This brings  back really visceral memories.  We had been at Rushes BBQ at lunchtime, and then trotted back to Regents Park. No Twitter, no round the clock news, we must have got a phone call telling us about the bomb._332812_compton300.jpg

I know exactly where we were in the office and what we had been talking about regent– a tricky budget that needed to be inputted on a scary new system.

Such a shock.

Rushes Post Production phoned me at home on Saturday morning asking if we had any playouts due that day. They of course couldn’t get into the building and pre digital, had to find ways of ensuring they know what needed to go out and how to physically get the spots to the stations.

 Covent Garden

Lyceum-theatre-box-office-London.jpgHaving freelanced pretty much everywhere for years, I settled in Wellington Street. Covent Garden felt a bit far away, but again an opportunity for a good satisfying walk to sessions. Looking back, it offered much of what we love about Soho, but with more obvious tourists.

The Wilderness Years

Unknown.jpegWe can draw a veil over time spent in South Kensington, and Canary Wharf. Focus on the more hip stints in Shoreditch and the elegant months in Mayfair.

The good news is as a producer I am never chained to my desk, so can escape to cooler climes. But the travelling, be it cab, tube, bus, or even DLR is dull and time consuming.

Back Home. Wardour Street 2.

And now  I am at Now, happily, elatedly, back in the heart of Soho. And of course Soho is changed, some of it heartbreaking. Berwick Street would not scare any schoolgirls, unless they have a fear of street food and trainer shops.

Those who can’t walk more than 8 steps without a latte have nothing to be scared of. Food from around the world is now available everywhere, and Chinatown, for the time being, is still a place to go for things that smell funny but taste amazing.Unknown-1.jpeg

Stopping at Aesop for a gloop of free hand cream is a fun and fragrant new Soho tradition.

Yes there is a stall selling mops to replace That’s Andy’s, and you can get mass-market greeting cards at Scribbler or personalised online, but without Zest where can you fill your prescription and buy a nodding dog on the same trip.

The essence of Soho, its maze of streets and alleys, remains pretty much untouched (I even found a passage I had never seen before the other day).

 

And some may call the classier boutiques and eateries progress. Sometimes I do.

Some of the sex empires were indeed tasteless and sleazy and exploitative, but the loss of Raymond’s Revuebar and Madame Jojo’s leaves it mark. Apartments built for billionaire businessmen who will never live in them is nothing but tragic, chains selling coffee three doors down from another one of the same franchise are frankly ridiculous.

More and more shops, businesses and independent companies are driven away by the rising rent, and with them the personality that draws me back again and again.

Lets hope that the inevitable doesn’t happen, that it will retain its spirit and individuality, and that it doesn’t get flattened and become Soho Cross. Although it would be quite convenient by the time I want to return on my mobility scooter.

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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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Good Ol’ David Bowie

 

 

As with pretty much anything Bowie related, I, along with everyone else, think it is speaking only to me and I am the only one with the memories, the emotions, and the connection.

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A case in point is this great cartoon that has been circulating for a couple of weeks.

Undoubtedly, it has touched loads and loads of people.

But I still think, wow it is Charlie Brown and Bowie. My two youthful obsessions. Together. It is speaking just to me.

To be fair, I had discussed this juxtaposition with my buddy Jocelyn at Union Chapel.

Before we saw baleful Charlie Brown on FB.

It had struck me how bizarre it was that in my early teens while I was going to gigs, fantasising about David Bowie falling in love with me on Golders Green Road, and generally chasing boys, I was also completely immersed in the world of Peanuts.

I had one T-shirt that I wore endlessly that said,

“We all need someone to kiss away our tears “

It was blue. I wore it with myIMG_3108.jpg rainbow patterned flares and matching jacket.

I don’t know what happened to it but I did find something close in last years Uniqlo collection which I excitedly bought for my husband. And then realised it was nothing like it and he doesn’t have the right trousers to wear with it.

My grandmother did not teach me to suck eggs. But someone did.
isographpencloseup_1_.jpg.pagespeed.ce.H_E1jmkPnS.jpgAnd I spent many a happy hour carefully blowing out the yolk and white, and then meticulously decorating the shell with tiny drawings of Snoopy in various poses. I used a Rotring pen for the fine lines, and brown ink, which was kind of cool. Then varnish. I didn’t just specialize in dairy products, I also covered sheets of A4 and miscellaneous bits of card to order.

 

I had numerous Peanuts IMG_3106.jpgpaperbacks, and the odd special hardback compilation.

Hard to imagine in the current world of Merch, but anything other than books was ridiculously hard to come by. Once on a holiday in Vienna (where I incidentally contracted shingles after a long walk with a pug dog and a gay friend of my Great Aunt Mitzi) we spied some Snoopy wrapping paper in a shop window. I was so excited but the shop was closed, we were leaving the next day and there was no chance for retail on a Sunday.

I think that Bill or Heinz or Mitzi or someone did eventually post a sheet to me, but sadly I can’t recall at all what I did with it.

Greeting cards were only just starting to get interesting an entertaining.It took decades for the mildly porny and bad taste hilarious personalized collections to hit the shelves.

Back then I took great pride in choosing and sending classy and appropriate cards to my friends and family.

But I got waylaid when Peanuts Cards could be found in WH Smiths, and could not stop buying funny little strips for my pals, to the point of dullness and predictability.

Meanwhile, occupying the same teenage headspace was David Bowie.

000925-Bowie-David-Starman-Top-Of-The-Pops-1972.jpgI was buying all the albums and singles, and doing all the tours – Ziggy Stardust, Diamond Dogs, Station to Station.

I was creating scrapbooks of Bowie Cuttings from NME and Sounds and probably Jackie, even buying the newly released Smash Hits just for the pages of lyrics to cut and paste.

I did an art project at school where we were briefed to use papier-mache and painting – mixed media! Mine was a concert hall with the audience heads made of newspaper and paste, and in the centre, a very detailed glam rock band headed by a beautiful skinny man with orange hair. It incidentally sounds much better than it was.

Time moved on. I expanded my gigging chops. Lou Reed, Sparks, Specials, Ian Dury, Clash, Small Faces, The Tubes, Roxy Music, Elvis Costello and many many more through the decades.

There were other cartoons and comic strips too. Archie, Betty and Veronica, Caspar the Friendly Ghost, Top Cat, Wacky Races, and eventually the Simpsons. IMG_3103.jpg

But nothing has ever really touched me and stayed true like the creations of Charles M Schultz and David Bowie.

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