I’d forgotten how good Mark Ellen and David Hepworth are together when they don’t have the distraction of a guest or visitor. The latest podcast taken from the Foyles event to publicise DH’s new book is a welcome reminder of how good some of the old word podcasts were back in the day. (Enjoying the audible version of the book on my commute too by the way.)
Colchester Arts Centre
The term “Nice blokes” doesn’t do this duo justice at all. Pre show, Damian walked around the hall personally shaking hands and chatting to the gathering audience. A giant of a man with a voice to match that normally competes with heavy metal exponents “Headspace”, is on the road with Adam Wakeman (son of Rick) an acoustic guitar and a grand piano.
The pair work together in a number of guises with other bands and line ups, but this time it is just the two of them. Hot on the heels of their album “The Sun Will Dance In It’s Twilight Hour”, this tour steps through their catalogue with the addition of some acoustic covers, most notably Iron Maiden’s “The Evil That Men Do”. Less expected were a couple of show tunes from Les Mis which represent a Damian’s stint in the show. For his part Adam Wakeman commands a few solo spots including a Jazz rendition of Black Sabbath material.
The show is very informal with plenty of banter and chat between themselves and to the audience. Lovely chaps certainly, but they really overdid this, particularly with a not terribly funny routine about » Continue Reading.
With Simon Mayo leading a new classical music station and Chris Evans taking breakfast in new surroundings, what is the future for mainstream radio? Both of the afore mentioned big hitters are not available on FM / AM and consequently are absent from most cars. Personally I might grab an hour of Danny Baker on a Saturday morning whilst I’m on kitchen fatigues, and I enjoy TMS and the odd football commentary, but as far as live radio is concerned that’s about it. For evening background I might occasionally run Radio Paradise or might even dip into what Spotify describes as “radio”( although it clearly isn’t).
Podcasts and listen again facilities have long enabled us to access many favourite shows at a time of our own choosing. I always catch the News Quiz but couldn’t tell you what time of day it is broadcast (assuming things are still broadcast these days). I’m finding that it’s perfectly possible to follow several great shows from radios 3 and 4 without ever having to find them on a dial at a given time of day.
For me, when listening to radio, advertising is to be avoided at all costs but I accept » Continue Reading.
Really enjoyed catching up with Doctor Who last night. A nicely paced episode that gave Jodie Whittaker something to bounce off of. The manic energy of her character has occasionally been at odds with some of the slower paced episodes from this series but this showed the way. I do like Bradley Walsh but I think he’s superfluous in a show with at least one too many companions. I’m wondering if the show would benefit from four quality specials per year rather than a series. The extra ten minutes gives the story more room to breath.
SPOILER ALERT BELOW IF YOU’VE YET TO SEE IT
One question from me. Given that the Daleks have dropped onto earth several times since the 1960’s, how is it that no one other than the Doctor knows who they are? If there was a Dalek invasion at any time, I think people would remember wouldn’t they?
What does it sound like?:
Iamthemorning are a young Russian duo consisting of vocalist Mariana Semkina and keyboard virtuoso Glen Kolyadin plus their chamber backing band. Recorded and filmed in a remote costal studio in Norway, Ocean Sounds is the perfect introduction to the band. It consists of live versions of material from their first three albums and is presented on CD and Blue Ray. If there’s a better way to pass an hour or so in front of the tele with a glass of wine then I’d love to see it. Mariana who sings and writes in English seems to have fallen out of a Pre Raphaelite painting, but don’t let her wistful performance fool you, this lady is a force of nature. Trying to run a band is hard enough but imagine trying to do it from St Petersburg and targeting a European wide audience. Logistics and visa problems are one thing, but a day job in IT is something different altogether! All that said, for me, an equal driving force of the material is the Piano led performance of Kolyadin. Check out his solo album released earlier this year too. Together they are absolutely unique. It » Continue Reading.
No secret that he wasn’t happy, but I think he’ll be loss to national radio. The Mark Kermode film slot on five will remain, but it looks like he’s off to radio Horlicks for the day job. I’d like to see (hear) more of him on five, but I suspect that won’t be happening. A bigger loss to the BBC than Chris Evans I’d say.
My first post here for some time folks but nice to be back.
I was interested in the national ding dong over spoilers that has been raging since episode four of the Bodyguard was transmitted (assuming programmes are still transmitted).
I’ve always thought that this site was particularly well behaved over the use of spoilers and aside from the forthcoming biopic about Gerry Rafferty, I can’t recall ever having a box set or series spoiled due to the folks on this site.
So what constitutes good or bad form when people are desperate to discuss a particular happening in a film or show. Years ago this was never a problem as we all had to watch something at the same time and so if you missed it you were never going to catch up anyway. Those dammed video machines put paid to all that. It used to be part of the fun being able to talk about who shot JR or Dirty Den, but you just can’t do that anymore.
On second thoughts it may be that there were Victorians with advanced copies of “The Old Curiosity Shop” who couldn’t wait to run down the street shouting, Nell’s dead! » Continue Reading.
Strange question from an occasional spinner of Vinyl. On working from home days, I occasionally use that time to have records playing in the background. I noticed the other day whilst listening to my original copy of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road from 1973, that Reg was singing and playing a little faster than I remember back in the day. I tried a few more records from my 70’s collection and noticed similar. Strangely enough when playing records recently purchased ( i do occasionally you know) things seem remarkably better. Is this possible? Is there something about modern record decks (mine is a Marantz from richer sounds) and a change in mastering / physical manufacture of records that has changed in the last 40 years that might explain this curiosity? There are no adjustments on my record deck to fiddle with. I seem to be stuck with it. Thoughts?
General advice required. Am hoping to move house from my current location with high speed Unlimited Virgin Broadband, to a place out in the sticks where Broadband doesn’t exist. There is 4G to the house and so my question is how best to manage it. At home we use Spotify, Sonos, Netflix, IPlayer, Amazon, Apple TV etc. 4G works well enough on most of those applications but the problem is the amount of 4G you can actually lay your hands on. Audio streaming is unlikely to be an issue but video streaming certainly is. (Although I wont rest until I’ve proved that my Sonos arrangement can cope) My plan is to get a router that can cope with a data sim card which should fool the house into thinking that we have proper connectivity. Out of the UK domestic providers, Vodaphone advertise 50GB per month for £25 which looks reasonable. The problem is, with four to five adults in the house, that isn’t going to be nearly enough. Does anyone have any similar experience that can turn into hints and tips?
Big Big Train gigs are not so much concerts, but pilgrimages in which their fanbase travels from across the globe to descend upon London every two years to witness their heroes reproduce the intricacies of an extensive recorded catalogue. The line up of eight core musicians supplemented on stage by a five piece brass section must be one of the most challenging tasks in live sound mixing history. Sure, there are bigger ensembles, but none that bring such a variety of textures that require a place in the mix. Duke Ellington or Simon Rattle might dispute that claim but neither have had to weave their subtleties around a thumping rock drum. This is evident on record but especially more so in a live setting.
Friday night was the first of three concerts spread over the weekend for which tickets had sold out over a year ago. To say that the level of expectation was immense does no justice at all to the dedication of the fanbase, who organised themselves into pre gig meet, greets and curries. All however were sat ready when the evening began with a rather lovely introduction as Rachel Hall (Violin) » Continue Reading.
A male dominated Mumsnet? That’s this place isn’t it?
At £82 a go its going to get expensive deep in the heart of Texas.
…… are by Ed Sheeran. How is this possible? Surely the system has croaked. Are all these songs released as singles or are they from an album(s) that people are streaming/ downloading on mass? Haven’t looked at the top 20 for some years. (Adopts suitable Geoff Boycott voice) This would never have happened in my day when Simon Bates presented it. Apparently he’s all over comic relief tonight too which might mean he gets the full top ten before the weekend is out.
I wasn’t wearing my glasses, but it seems that Donald Trump has sacked Dr Who. I’m organising a street demonstration as we speak.
On a rather touching note, the Just Giving page set up yesterday to support the 70+ staff who were laid off without pay has gone past the 50K mark. The target was 20K.
It says much about English expectations that the appointment of a new national team football manager barely raises an eyebrow here (or anywhere come to that). Has it really come to this?
They think it’s all over……..
Secretly looking forward to this…..
In my head I’m hearing a TV theme tune. Probably of a sporting nature. I’ve googled it and can’t find a reference. Am I going bonkers or can you identify the programme?
Royal Albert Hall
Above is a picture of some very unsociable headgear worn by the person sitting in front of me at the RAH last night. At best it was always going to be a crap view, but with the bobbing and weaving I had to do to in order to see the stage my evening was complete. Newspaper reviews today will tell you that this was one of the greatest nights in the venues History. Five minutes after the house lights went up, the crowd were still screaming for more. Only the lady herself was able to convince everyone that the (very short) set was over. Personally my experience was spoiled by the lack of vision but everyone else seemed to really enjoy themselves, especially the lady in the hat. Bjork sang with an entirely orchestral accompaniment, which suits the venue completely. The first half, which couldn’t have been more than 30 minutes long, was from the most recent album about a break up (not much light relief there) and the second featured a few older numbers, a couple a which I recognised. It was all done and dusted by 9:45 which felt a little » Continue Reading.
As long as I can remember in my 56 years on this planet, man has always been able to plug a pair of headphones into a socket in order to listen to music. I can remember hiding under the covers as a child with a small single earpiece plugged into my transistor radio whilst trying to navigate the crackles of radio Luxembourg. So Apple have decreed that this effort of locating a hole with a small pointy thing is superfluous. The future is wireless we are told. Short term history will be the judge but for the first time in ten(ish) years, I am thinking of Apple alternatives. Yes, I could plug my BLOODY EXPENSIVE BOSE NOISE REDUCTION HEADPHONES into the dangly adapter that Apple are hedging their bets with, but why should I? Would Steve have sanctioned this change? Are you in favour?
My admiration and dedication to the BBC’s Olympic coverage is second to none. I’ve spent far more hours than intended in front of the box admiring and rooting for Gymnasts, Swimmers, Athletes, People on Bikes, People In Boats etc etc.
A phrase that has become a little wearing however is that “History” has been made. Every time GB wins a medal (particularly if they got one last time) the implication is that an entry in the school History syllabus is being made as we speak. At what point will we have too much History to cope with?
Having grown up during the 60’ 70’s and 80’s when GB’s success in Olympic sport was minimal, it is brilliant to see a system that is attracting young people from all walks of life (not just the University elite) and providing the training and facilities to compete. We’ve got something right. Now that is History.
While I’m on the subject, having heard it multiple times over the last week, who’s the silly bugger that put the wrong chord in half way through the national anthem?
6 Golds, 6 Silvers 6 Bronze. Maybe its an omen? #probablyoutofdatebythetimeyoureadthis
The chances of any side finishing with 11 men for the first month of the season are quite remote. Jose Mourinho will probably be watching most of the season from the comfort of the upper tier too. Should make for a very lively season indeed.
Great Shame. Dave Swarbrick has fallen to the illness that he fought so hard against. This time sadly, the obituary is for real.
With politics now officially banned from the Internet until the end of June, we are able to focus upon the finer things in life. So what did you make of Dickensian?
The episode two from the end with Inspector Bucket and Marley’s killer was brilliant wasn’t it?
Stand out characters in the series for me were Mrs Bumble (Caroline Quentin) and Bucket himself (Stephen Rea).
Some of the child casting didn’t quite work and a few of the story cross overs seemed a little unnecessary but in general it was a blast.
I suspect that Christmas Day TV is already sorted if season two goes ahead, with actors falling over themselves to play Ghosts.
What did you make of it?