Thursday, March 31, 2016

Gig: Chvrches @ Royal Albert Hall

(Christie Goodwin via link)

Chvrches can do no wrong and having watched them grow over the last few years I thought I'd seen them peak at an excellent Alexandra Palace gig last year. Soon after they announced two special UK gigs; the first in London at the Albert Hall and the second at the Hydro in their hometown of Glasgow. I managed to get some tickets for the first, and with it selling out very quickly I knew we were in for something special.

The support came from Shura who sounded like Madonna and looked like Kurt Cobain; we weren't really feeling her set so retreated to the bar.

Chvrches however did not disappoint, with a rock solid set from start to finish playing most of their current album and some of the stronger tracks from their first. As with the Ally Pally show Lauren has learnt to dominate the stage running around almost as much as Axl Rose did at Wembley. A couple of mini stages allowed her to tower that little bit more over the crowd; a simple prop that works well. Ian now spends some time away from the keyboards, bringing a guitar to the front left of the stage for a number of the tracks. Martin is still a little constrained but does sing lead on a couple of songs and continues to own the floor during Under the Tide with the best dancing since Keith from The Prodigy. 

The final track "The Clearest Blue" is a piece of electro-pop perfection with a nice gradual build up bringing the entire Albert Hall to their feet and a near rave experience as the beats kick in. Having discovered how hard it is to dance from the higher floors we're fortunate nobody fell in tonight!

The encore was the too slow for me undertow and their anthem Mother We Share, which had us all singing along and leaving us happy but wishing for more.

It's worth mentioning that this was my first time on the floor of the RAH and it's amazing. The floor is nice and springy, it feels quite small compared to the view from the seats and we had a great crowd. I even had a great view and didn't encounter Mr Tall Man, as usually happens. The soundsystem was stunning too although from the bar the bass sounded like it was ripping the venue apart. I doubt we'll ever see Leftfield here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Film: Victoria

Victoria is a bit of an odd German film that tells the story of an independent Spanish girl in Berlin who meets up with a group of lads after a night of clubbing and ends up becoming part of their bank robbery crew.

The gimmick to this film is that it's a single take movie, and the marketing seemed to focus on that more than the plot. They should have made more of the fact that most of the dialogue is improvised as that blew me away more than the camera work, once I'd realised after I'd seen the film. Being a single take mistakes had to be kept in. At one point Sonne, the lead guy refers to a cafe as a hotel and cracks up laughing. The camerawork is stunning and whilst not overly complicated in technique (descending a roof top staircase is perhaps the trickiest) it doe pull you in to the film.

Performances are great despite some obviously pretend piano playing, and whilst it may seem odd why the eponymous heroine would go along with events, the explanations to her character are explained through the film. The first half of the film is very slow but serves to establish the characters, it does pick up in the second half and brings you through to a sensible conclusion.

Run Lola Run will take some beating to win my Favourite German Film title. This doesn't achieve that but it has a good try.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Event: The Duke Mitchell Film Club

Time for something a little different tonight as I went along to my first Duke Mitchell event, which was their 100th show. I found out about these guys through their Dangerous Men showing at The Prince Charles. With a love of searching video cassettes for the badly made, this was right up my street.

The night started with some trailers for bad shows. My favourite was this. 

Midgets vs Mascots. Something that could be a Jackass spinoff.

We then had a series of short clips, and the favourite in this section was this.

Joe Scruggs is a singer from Austin, Texas who penned bizarre stuff like this.

Following a quick quiz where the prizes were films straight from the bottom shelf of Blockbusters (the winner gave his Adam Sandler film back) we then went onto the main event.

Cool Cat Saves The Kids is one of the worst things I've ever had to sit through.
It features a man in a cat suit who teaches kids about not being a bully, how to cross the road and stuff like that. The intent is pure and the creator's heart is in the right place. But the way this is done is just wrong and borderline sinister. The creator plays Cool Cat's dad, and Cool Cat's mother is a woman in a cat suit which implies the guy likes cats a bit too much. The production is bad, Cool Cat's Mom sounds like she's being dubbed from the back of the room, Cool Cat seems to run on red bull in his veins, with an emotional range that runs from hyper to very hyper. The children actors are really bad, girls can't walk - they have to skip everywhere for example, and somehow the producer managed to get Kill Bill's Vivica Fox and Ponch from CHIPS to star in this.

Somehow I got through the film, and my first Duke Mitchell night, and despite the terrible material the night was entertaining and we had a good night. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Graffiti: Hackney Wick

Whilst at the zombie thing earlier in the week I'd spotted a lot of new graffiti in the area so decided to spend Good Friday exploring the area.

I couldn't be bothered removing stuff out of the way to get this front-on.



Amazing piece by Martin Ron and Jiant

Liking this one.

The big face is a Sweet Toof piece, and there are loads of his pieces around this area. The gummy teeth and skull heads are trade marks.

This one is quite cool.

The owls are by Dscreet. He and Sweet Toof are part of the Burning Candy crew.

Cute, and probably true.

A tough one to take through a narrow mesh fence. 

Local commentary

I was pleased to see this as I'd read about it previously. This is the battleground of local lad Mobstr's and the local council. It's an amusing read summed up nicely here 

A nice piece.

This is stunning.

Film #63: Piranha

You know you're getting old when films celebrate their 40th anniversary. This 70s horror flick comes on the back of the success of ...