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Showing posts from November, 2016

Film: Train to Busan

A great Korean take on the zombie genre set on an Express Train. It would make a great Left 4 Dead level as the zombies chase people through the train and through some train stations. Some great effects and a decent body count makes this a fun film.

Graffiti: Camden

Camden has a new Lost Souls piece so I thought I'd go check it out. By the time I'd got there it was very dark hence the poor colour.



This is the Lost Soul's piece. Very festive!






Also in the area was a wall that used to have a Dan Kitchener on it and now it has a new one by the same artist.


Film: Your Name

Your Name is a very successful Japanese film that has made its way over to the UK. It has become the first non-Ghibli animated film to break the 10-billion yen mark so it's a pretty big deal. It's had a fairly subdued launch in the UK, and I'd only realised it was being shown here after catching a poster on the underground.
The tale is of a city boy, Taki and a country girl, Mitsuha who become inexplicably linked through their dreams and they decide to find each other. Without giving too much away the story is a little different to the usual love story, and has a good mix of comedy peppered throughout, in particular from Mitsuha's younger sister Yotsuha.
The animation is stunning and rivals that of the Ghibli camp. The story is clever, and you can probably tell I'm not giving too much away; to do so would spoil things.
Highly recommended. 

Event: HyperJapan Christmas Market

Some photos from today's HyperJapan event. It was slightly smaller than previous events but the performances were better.
BANG is a robotic dancer which means there was a lot of dubstep. He also plugged the sales of his towel via an amusing promotional video.
Misaki Iwasa used to be in AKB48. Now she sings Enka, which is traditional Japanese singing. Hayabusa are a male trio that sing 70s style J-Pop.
Expensive wooden masks.
Authentic calligraphy.
Stunning art. Not overly expensive and I might get some.
Kiss meet a J-Pop band.
Puppies
Hamsters
Egg yolks. Gudetama is a creation of Sanrio who gave us Hello Kitty and is apparently popular!
The Hoopers are an eight piece girl band who dress up as boys, which means trousers and short haircuts from what I can tell. The advantage in having a large group is that there's inevitably going to be at least one that'll appeal to someone.
Shhh.... I won't tell you which I one caught my eye.
Some more traditional singing on a second …

Gig: Autechre "Black Friday" @ Royal Festival Hall

Here's a nice shot I took of Andy Maddox, who was one of the warm up acts for tonight's Autechre show. His music was accessible but unrecognisable to me. The other support act Russell Haswell unfortunately was both inaccessible and unrecognisable, in fact probably unrecognisable to Russell as well. He seemed to make the song titles up as he went along and the music, if you can call it that sounded like he was manipulating feedback in his equipment with a chainsaw. 
Autechre on the other hand looked like this, as the gig was a "lights out" performance. The point was to allow the audience to focus on the music, none of which I recognised, and given the responses of the audience, not recognised by them either. But I understand that may be the Autechre thing as they've cleverly evolved their live sound to be an organic construction rather than a replaying of their albums. What got the crowd to cheer was a recognisable snippet of something that sounded more like musi…

Show: Peter Firman "Trix" @ Soho Theatre

Middlesboro magician/comedian brings his Edinburgh fringe show Trix to London and I thought I'd go see it.
I saw him in London a few years ago and was chosen to help with a trick where someone's donated £10 note was going to appear in a monkey nut that I'd pick out of a bag. The show was very entertaining and so I knew what to expect seeing him tonight.
As it happened it was very much a repeat of the show I'd seen before even to me choosing the nut. Yes somehow I got chosen for this trick a second time. I also got to take part in a trick involving a drinks carton that could pour six different drinks. I got to confirm the third was indeed Irn Bru (and it was).
The magic is very good avoiding the usual cards and coins which is refreshing. My favourite trick was the one he opened with where he passes a silk handkerchief through the microphone stand. It's so good, and fast, that he does it twice. I think I know how it's done but I just couldn't catch it despit…

Film: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

A Brit magician with a large collection of monsters in his suitcase travels to New York and accidentally loses some of them in the city, where magic is still being kept a big secret. 
When I left the cinema having seen this I tweeted "I've just given JK Rowling more money and I wished I hadn't". That sums up my impression of the film perfectly. 
It's a great production but it left me disappointed. The Potter Universe moves from the UK to New York and this allows the Brits to be portrayed as the cliches we usually get from American made films. In Potter the British cast were not stereotyped; they were just British. Now Eddie Redmayne becomes a bumbling Hugh Grant character acting like a cross between Tommy Cooper and Tom Baker. At times I thought he might pipe in with "Half a Sixpence". The other Brit, Irish Colin Farrell gets to play the more common cliche, that of the bad guy.
Digital effects are great and you know the actors spent a lot of time in fr…

Gig: Anna Meredith @ Scala

A second visit to The Scala in as many weeks, this time to see Anna Meredith, an artist I was wowed by in Margate at the By the Sea festival earlier in the year, where she played a short set. Tonight Anna was headlining and we'd get a longer show.

Support came from Pixx, a young singer songwriter from South London who was accompanied by a very out-of-place guitarist and a keyboard player who looked like the guy from The Mighty Boosh. But stage presence aside, the music was actually decent and a good promotion for her new album "Grip".
In the run up to the show Anna had tweeted that she was going to start the show with something a little bit special, and she didn't spoil us opening with a surround-sound composition featuring two drummers: one on the stage and the second above us to the side on an overhead gallery. They were drumming to a heavy electronic composition that increased in pace, looking like it was making it harder and harder for them to keep up. Under str…

Film: Gloria

Time for another mystery movie night at the Prince Charles and this time around it was the John Cassavettes 1980 film, Gloria. 
This tells the story of Gloria, a former gang moll who is left in the care of a neighbour's little boy when his father and the rest of this family is killed by the same gang. The boy has a book that the gang wants and the two are pursued through the city of New York.
It's OK, and I guess inspired Leon a little bit as there is common themes between the two. However once I got the idea in my head that the boy looked like a young Bruno Mars, I found myself laughing more than I should have. I also found some of his dialogue a little OTT for a six-year old, which was supposedly how old he was supposed to be.
Gena Rowland however is great and carries the film. 
An enjoyable romp, and another great choice by the PCC!

Film: Gimme Danger

A documentary by noted film maker Jim Jarmusch documenting the story of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, which I only saw because the cinema was offering free tickets to its cardholders. I'm not a big Iggy fan at all, in fact I only know the "I Wanna Be Your Dog" track but having watched the film I feel that I ought to have known about Iggy, as he's an utter legend.
The documentary is good, nothing amazing, just a safe telling of the Stooges, a punk band from Michigan and their rise through the 60's and 70's and their reforming 30 years later. A must see for the fans, and for the less initiated, a good way to get up to speed on the band. 

Gig: Jon1st & DJ Cheeba @ Echoes

The Soundcrash promotion team, who do some of the best live event promotion in the UK have themselves a little music space, Echoes in Haggesrston, Tonight's gig was two DJs who I've seen before but thought would make the night a good one.
I got there as it opened and DMC winner Jon1st was already on the decks.
He played a 90 minute set with a lot of scratching and some parts of the routine that won him the championship in 2013. 
This is his routine and you can see just how fast he is.
Time to switchover
Cheeba, who I last saw at BlueDot had brought his Double Vision show to tonight's proceeding. This has him working an AV set on 3 decks, 2 mixers and 2 laptops. With some of his staple clips including the Spinal Tap, Prodigy, Epilepsy mix (which is becoming my favourite AV section of any DJ) he kept the audience happy for the duration of his 90 minute set.
The two then got together to finish up with a little freestyle section including Jon1st scratching video clips of cats…