Sunday, May 29, 2016

Film: Radio On

It's very brave of the programmer at The Prince Charles to choose films for the Mystery Movie nights, knowing that the audience are trusting him to choose a film that'll entertain. After the entertaining if cheesy The Green Slime of last month, this time he chose the 1979 film Radio On.

This film is a black-and-white film telling the tale of a man who travels from London to Bristol after hearing his brother has died there. So, off to a happy start then! Along the way he meets a couple of uninspiring characters equally as dull as the protagonist, and then he drives home.

So, not a film I would choose for a night out, but one I'm glad to have seen. I don't like to be challenged by film; the dumber it is the more I'm drawn to it. Having said that I totally understood what the director was trying to portray, the bleakness of Thatcher's Britain, and he did that well. 

I did enjoy the soundtrack, with the film opening with Bowie's "Heroes" and including some Kraftwerk, Ian Drury and Devo. In fact the opening credits only detailed the soundtrack, which is odd. The closing credits made mention of Wim Wenders, which explains the style shown here.

Gig: DJ Yoda & Friends @ Netil House

The second time I've seen Yoda in a month and after the excellent set at the POW, he announced this day party to see the month out. This'll be the first of a few events he has planned and it was off to a good start. I'd been to Netil House once before to see Kavinsky in a large warehouse rave environment. Today however we were on the top floor in a small indoor bar and outdoor terrace. 

I got there early and Australian DJ Tasty Lopez was already up spinning some Summery hip hop and RnB. After a brief set she stepped aside and let Canadian Skratch Bastid up. This is a DJ I'd wanted to see live for a long time having been wowed by his turning of Buck 65 into the Star Wars theme at a DMC championship. This set was great with him including his scratch tributes to David Bowie and Prince. A top act and I'm glad the small crowd who got there early enough to witness his stuff enjoyed it too, although our nice quaint British round of applause did catch him off guard. 

Yoda went on next in his Sparkle Motion persona, which is more 90s RnB than hip hop and the cut-and-paste stuff he's more famous more, and I suddenly twigged that the second hour at Brixton was this sort of music. 

Unfortunately I had double-booked the night and I decided to leave at that point, missing the excellent Hackney Colliery Band, 2 more Yoda sets and another Lopez one. The crowd may have danced later on but it was all quite laid back whilst I was there. Being on my own I had not much to do but listen, drink, eat  and use the phone. When it ran out of charge, I'd drunk enough, and eaten 2 pulled pork burgers I decided it was time to go.

A fun day; next time I'll arrive a bit later.

Graffiti: Mornington Crescent

I knew this was in Camden but had wrongly assumed up at the northern end, so it was nice to come across it completely by accident in Mornington Crescent.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Graffiti: Shoreditch & Brick Lane

A little work to find some finished pieces that were work in progress the last time I was here.

A van blocked the straight angle of this Mr Cenz piece.

Ben Eine

The latest by Dan Kitchener

These are great. 

Enough said!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Graffiti: Soho

Amora Por Dios let loose to paint this restaurant front.

Paul Don Smith has been very busy indeed!

Film: Green Room

A hard-up rock band are given a gig in the middle of nowhere to an audience of skinheads. Whilst there one of them spots something they shouldn't and they end up barricading themselves in the titular green room whilst the skinheads do what they can to ensure they don't escape to tell anyone.

So it's quite a tense little film, the confined setting adding to the tension. It reminded me of Deliverance and Southern Comfort in feel; a group out of their depth trying to escape from an unknown element who know the surroundings better than they do. Patrick Stewart was the only actor I recognised, completely out of place as the leader of the skins but still manages a menacing performance.

It's a little gory, nothing major, but some of the jumps do come from nowhere, giving no build up which takes from the moments a little bit.

Enjoyable but forgettable. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Park: Pirates Cove Fun Park

We finished our day with a quick trip to the town of Shanklin on the east coast. This park is a small collection of rides including a coaster; the reason for dropping by.

We had much better weather today than we had in Southampton yesterday.

The coaster is a small 14-seater kids thing and we were able to get 14 of the group on the ride. The operator kindly let us remain on for a second go, although some of us were a little embarrassed to do so. We did attract a crowd of confused locals wondering why were were enjoying the ride so much.

The rest of the park was tailored more for the little 'uns with plenty of things for them to do. Not so much for us. We made do with some chips from a nearby food place.

and that was our little trip to the Isle of Wight. Thanks to Ben for pulling this trip together.

Park: Blackgang Chine

Blackgang Chine is a very old park located on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight and after a half-day at Paulton the club decided to visit the island and this park.

The world's largest cruise ship, The Harmony of the Sea, was one of 4 docked in Southampton. That slide in the back is insane. I thought it was part of a water park but it's apparently a dry slide offering a convenient way of getting down from the top floor to the bottom.

We took the Red Jet Ferry which gets you over to the island in around 30 minutes.

After a 40 minute drive we made it across the island from Cowes to Blackgang. The large pirate smuggler welcomes you to the park.

The park has a single rollercoaster called Cliffhanger. 

Some dinosaurs in the gift shop and littered around the park.

Before riding the coaster we were given an overview of the park and history talk from the park manager. He told us there was some issues with Tornado, the previous coaster, which resulted in some legal claims.

A small motif on the back of the rollercoaster makes you thankful the coaster only has a single train.

I like the "may" element in the sign at the entrance to the hall of mirrors.

When it originally opened in the Victorian times one of the most popular attraction was the blue whale skeleton which is still there today. 

Outside that attraction is this whale walkthrough. The challenge is to get through it without getting wet. I failed getting shot within 2 steps of entering.

The park has puns, this is not a bad thing.

Even the gift shop has a pun.

There's a dinosaur enclosure running down the cliff edge. 

This was actually really decent and they'd done a good job.

A few people missed the jokes like this.

A view over the cliff side. The park is suffering from erosion with the last major land slip being in 1994.

Giant slugs for no reason...

The crooked house is an old style lean in walkthrough.

The rooms were just odd. Why would we get a show like this, and why side-by-side toilets?

Smuggler's rest was part of a pirate themed part of the park.

The weather factory takes you through the 4-seasons.

The licorice factory, because why not?

The dragon was cool but he retreated extremely slowly.

Rumpus Manor is a great haunted walkthrough. They'd done a really good job here.

This apparently is my real self :)

I think a lot of work is done by the park, certainly this wasn't theming that was bought in. I'd like to think they did it themselves.

It takes a very special kind of park to call an attraction "The Mouth of Hell" but the eccentric Blackgang does it. It's just a little building to squeeze into.

I have no idea...

A nice touch to have a beaver that couldn't help himself gnawing the entrance to Cowboy Town.

More jokes!

Cowboy Town is the western part of the park. It was at this side of the park I realised that only the rollercoaster had an operator. Everything else was just a playground. The park's mission its to encourage imagination so just let the kids play and make their own fun.

In cowboy town there's a bank robbery going on.

There's a coffin shop where you're encouraged to try one for size.

Naughty goings on in the saloon. The swing doors were a nice touch.

Disabled cowboy toilets.

In fairy town there are a number of hidden fairies to find. I found 13.

A large parrot, which didn't do anything.

The final part of the park was the hilarious Valley of the Dodos. A small number of animatronic dodos and a series of buttons to make them move and say "dododododododo" in various different voices. I'm certain one of them featured the scouse "they do though, don't they though" and another featured the guy doing the voice corpsing and laughing, which they chose to keep in.

A really nice eccentric park, quintessentially English in that it's crap, but it somehow works. The park is unique, and definitely worth a visit if you can get here.

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 ...