Friday, 26 October 2012

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Hey, last night I went to go see a fantastic production of Tennessee William's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the West Yorkshire profile, courtesy of The Guardian,  and they published my review!! But because I'm so completely un-original I thought I'd publish it here too:

 The scene was set. On stage, a fan whirred monotonously round, doing little to dispel the thick soup of the Mississippi delta air, or the sense of frustration at the forefront of everything.
Maggie flounced on stage, and so 3 hours in the company of the dysfunctional and deeply unhappy Pollitt family began.
Admittedly this is not the smoothest of metaphors, but the only thing I can liken the play to is a 1950’s style EastEnders. Although Phil Mitchell fails to make a surprise cameo and denounce the Pollitts as liars in a booming cockney accent, he may well have done. All the parallels are there. Suicide, alcoholism, homophobia, a loveless marriages and deceit.  Lots, and lots of deceit.
The whole play is centred on the various family members lying to each other. Brick lying to Maggie, Maggie lying to Big Momma, Big Momma lying to Big Daddy, Big Daddy lying to Gooper and so forth.
All this is done with the utmost precision from the cast.  Zoe Boyle’s portrayal of cat like Maggie, oozing sexiness and beguilement is darkly contrasted to Jamie Parker’s portrayal of Brick and his cold indifference to anything but whiskey.

 Although not always mentioned in a review, it’s hard to imagine what the play would have been like without the score of lurking bass and crashing cymbals, courtesy of the Leeds Improvised Music Association.
To say that a few skeletons are un-earthed during the course of the play is an under-statement. Skeleton after skeleton surfaces from the dark waters of the Mississippi- and hit the audience right where it hurts.  In one scene, Brick lurches at Maggie with a chair, and narrowly misses sending her sprawling to the floor.  This sent up an uneasy ripple of laughter from the audience, which I found very disturbing.  Perhaps it is because Brick’s chair forced us to reflect upon our own lives, and realize that sometimes we are not so different from the Pollitt family.  Ensuring that long after the set was dismantled, and the saxophonist caught the bus home, the story of Cat On a Hot Tin Roof would lurk somewhere at the back of our minds.

If anyone else went to see it, feel free to comment below, I'd love to hear everybody's thoughts.
You can see it on the guardian site here, and add comments there too. 

*Also, sorry about the strange font arrangement- my laptop is menstruating.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

My life is now complete

Okay, I'll apologize in advance for this blog post. I've been a fan of Radiohead since the tender age of 11 and could probably do them as a specialist subject on Mastermind.

I know! I still can't believe it either.  

And guess what.........?
                                    THEY WERE BEYOND AMAZING!!!

And I don't say that lightly either. Even my Mum who is a staunch hater of any band that uses more than four chords in  a song had a good night. 
After Caribou had finished their set, Thom introduced the band with "Hello, I'm lady gaga!" and they stormed  straight into Lotus Flower. Manchester arena was up on it's feet screaming and doing Thom's dance. At this point my brain exploded. It really did, and plastered itself JFK style all over the neighboring seat.  

The rest of the night involved lots of dodgy dancing, several life affirming moments, Jonny Greenwood's fringe and a bit of vomit. 
I think the whole night can be summed up with a transcript of the conversation between the blokes sat behind us. 

Bloke 1: "The fact that they can play with two percussionists in such an odd time sig...."

Thom Yorke: "We're going to play a really, really old song now."


 I can assure that the other 21,000 people singing along to Paranoid Android had a good night. Not only was the set beautiful and the songs perfect, the musicianship was seamless. I understand that Radiohead aren't everybody's cup of tea, but you can't say that they're not good musicans because they really, really are. In fact the whole night was just brilliant. Every single second of it.

Anyway, I'll stop orgasaming over Radiohead and let you eat your tea, but before I go I would also like to remind you that it it's Thom Yorke's 44th birthday today, so happy birthday, you legend. He head a 'Free tibet' flag over one of his amps. You can't get more awesome than that. 

If you'd like to find out more about my night in Manchester, checkout the setlist here, some reviews of the gig here and here and the rest of the tour dates here

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The revolution is live

As you know, I occasionally have a stab at some DIY poetry....and if it's not completely rubbish it ends up on here.

So, here is a poem I have cobbled together entitled 'The revolution will be televised' as a tribute to the late Gill Scott-Heron. It was inspired by a recent Philip Larkin reading I went to at Ilkley literature festival, and of course Gill Scott-Heron himself. 
Now I hope everyone here is familiar with the legend that is Gill Scott-Heron, jazz musician and soul poet. His works were mainly about consumerism in 1970's/1980's America, and racial segregation.  He's someone that inspires me greatly, and I was incredibly sad when he passed away on the 27th of May 2011. I just wished he was still alive now, to witness the effects of the Arab Spring, and an underground revolution amongst the youth of Russia!
But anyway, here it is. 

The revolution will be televised,
In 4 parts on prime time ITV2,
Sponsored by with an interest rate of 4214 percent.
The revolution will be televised.

The revolution will be televised,
Hashtag revolution
With a facebook page and multiple tumblrs,
Highlights published in newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch,
The revolution will be televised.

The revolution will be televised,
Featuring soundtrack by Adele, Coldplay and Gary Barlow doing a closed fist open fist key change,
Page 3 models will make philosophical comments,
And the revolution will be televised.

The revolution will be televised,
With a montage of the Olympics and Mo Farrah’s twin girls.
Margaret Thatcher as the first women prime minister and the elimination of the working class.
A disabled soldier will hand out awards,
Because the revolution will be televised.

The revolution will be televised,
And during the break refreshments will be available
 Drinks of caffeine mixed with cane sugar and chocolate sprinkles
Colonel Sanders grinning down, with sachets of ketchup and polyethene cutlery,
The revolution will be televised.

The revolution will be televised,
It will not feature sax solos from Gill Scott-Heron, because he passed away in the spring of last year.
                  Available from freeview, Sky T.V and other satellite providers,

The revolution will in fact, be televised. 

If you're interested in Gill's original song,  here's a brilliant montage I found on Youtube.