Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Sunday, 8 December 2013
The Orb, those legendary ambient dance / dub scientists, landed in Gloucester as part of their 25th anniversary tour. As they were playing my favourite venue, the Guildhall Arts Centre, it would have been rude not to go along. I took James with me - his first "proper" gig. He's been to a handful of outdoor events where bands happen to be playing but this was his first time in an actual gig / venue situation. He loves his dance music and likes what he's heard of The Orb so he was keen to see them play live.
Talos the Bronze Giant! Yay!
They were, indeed, Orb-some :-)
The Sensitive Bore fame ) had won a couple of tickets to this gig and kindly invited me along. EE ( as no-one calls them ) were not a group I was all that familiar with but they turned out to be a fantastic live act and went down a storm with the predominantly young audience.
Everything Everything are dauntingly proficient musicians, every song containing surprising twists, turns and time-changes, but still welded to massive tunes and staying just the right side of pretentious. Cough Cough and Kemosabe are huge, singalong indie crowd-pleasers, Duet is the kind of anthemic ballad that Coldplay only think they are producing, while Don't Try is a typically idiosyncratic take on Neptunes-style R 'n' B. I missed all but one song by support band Thumpers
( terrible name! ) but Tom assured me they were very good and later coined the term "bliss pop" to describe them - a phrase that could easily be applied to the headliners too.
Anyway it was an awesome gig! I got myself down to HMV the next day and bought the band's latest album, Arc, which has been a permanent fixture on my CD player ever since and may well be my album of the year in what has been, let's face it, a bloody good year for new music. More to follow on this subject...
And thanks to Tom for getting me the ticket!
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Monday, 25 November 2013
Happy Birthday, Doctor! Here's to many, many more!
Soundtrack: All Is Dream by Mercury Rev
Saturday, 23 November 2013
Thursday, 21 November 2013
signed print and book from the great man ) we just enjoyed the artwork, the free wine... and the chance for a photo op with the man himself...
Friday, 15 November 2013
It was a genuine surprise and pleasure to see McGann reprise his role of the Byronic, heart-on-sleeve 8th Doctor, albeit one clearly older and damaged by the Time War. Back in 1996 his interpretation of the character was definitely the best thing about the Anglo/American compromise that was the TV Movie. Sarah and I were instantly captivated by McGann's fresh take on the Doctor and were, along with many others, absolutely gutted that the episode turned out to be a false dawn for Doctor Who. The 8th Doctor's story continued in original books and audio plays, but not in the hoped-for TV series.
We would have to wait another nine years for new Who on TV but, of course, the Doctor was recast and the show moved on, with only the occasional, brief flashback to the previous incarnation. So, it was really lovely to see this fleeting return of an old friend in such an important year for the show. And, obviously, somewhere out there in time and space the 8th Doctor is still having adventures. Maybe he could drop in on us again sometime? How about it, BBC...?
Sunday, 10 November 2013
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae, May 1915
"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most poignant and iconic poems to come out of the mud, misery and mayhem of the First World War. It's certainly one that I always recall on Remembrance Sunday. I've also found out today that its author, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, was an ancestor of MD Jackson - hugely talented artist, writer, blogger and friend of TGWS. Mike told me that, as a child, he used to read this poem at school Remembrance Day assemblies, because of his family connection. Then, as today, beautiful works of literature or art such as this poem were and are indispensable means of connecting our modern world, however briefly, to past generations and their unimaginable sacrifices. We must never forget...