Friday, December 16, 2016

Event: Brian and Robin Christmas Compendium

An end of year fund-raising bash compered by Professor Brian Cox and not-a-Professor Robin Ince saw an amazing array of surprise guests keeping a packed venue entertained for 4 hours. A long event but a good one, if you could tolerate the heat; it was very hot in the venue.

Anyway here's a list of the acts.

Jack Liebeck quartet played us in, a nice live classical soothener (is that a word) to get us ready for the show ahead.

Public Service Broadcasting who I've seen three times this year now opened up with a short set of their space-themed music. 

Helen Czerski gave the first science lecture of the evening. I've forgotten what it was about :/

Andrew Steele gave a very entertaining presentation on stats with some alarming insight into how badly we as a race spend our money comparing average spend on weddings vs health research for example.

Festival of the Spoken Nerd mixed music, comedy and science in an fun presentation. 

Steve Backshall gave a talk on sharks

Adam Rutherford took us through why it was not a surprise that Danny Dyer was related to Charlemagne. Statistically most of us are!

Chris Linott talked about gravitational waves. It's science people!

Alice Roberts and Ben Garrod did a little skit about evolution and it's failings such as varicose veins.

James Acaster, who won at Edinburgh did a stand up show mostly about him being able to be the bully in front of an audience of nerds. His best laugh came from his reluctance to leave the stage.

Nitin Sawnhey closed the first half with an excellent cover of Bowie's "Life on Mars". I think the singer was Eva Stone, she was very good.

After the interval (it took us all of the time to get to the bar) we had The Hackney Colliery Band, who I'm sure played with Yoda earlier in the year. They were really good although the main trumpeter seemed insistent on always playing the last note. They were accompanied by the legs of Sophie Ellis Bexter to sing Nothing Compares 2 U, which was of course written by Prince.

Clifford Slapper, who did piano covers of Bowie songs was accompanied by a rather posh-sounding David McAlmont which included a cover of Bowie's "Sweet Thing".

Then there was a brief panel of scientists including Cox (who some tweeters were bemoaning they'd not seen enough of).

Lucy Cooke talked about the bum glands of beavers. Yes, you read that right. You should research where they end up ladies!

Blue Peter's Greg Foot did a bit of myth buster type science by attempting to answer the question "how much fat would you need to be able to stop a bullet". I have some way to go it would seem.

Then Chris Hadfield came out for a brief chat before cleverly segueing into the main act of the night, Duran Duran who played a great set of classics opening with Planet Earth and finishing with Rio. They had a great mashup of the opener into Space Oddity for another nod to Bowie.

and given I knew none of the acts in advance I had a great night. 
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