Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cultural Review of the Year 2007

In the time honoured tradition (i.e. I did it last year), here is my Cultural Review of the Year. I realise it is a bit early but doubt anything is going to make a last minute bid for a place.

A pretty good year mainly due to Raindance Festival and film club. Favourites were In Search of a Midnight Kiss, Control and Zodiac. On DVD I loved Lives of Others and Little Miss Sunshine (even though I sobbed my way through the latter)

Better than last year in that I did actually get out to see a few bands and in particular the Connect Festival, but my interest in new music is still waning. Reading The Observer Music Monthly’s Top Albums and Singles of the Year, I knew shamefully few. Anyway, my album of the year would be Malcolm Middleton’s A Brighter Beat or Maximo Park’s Our Earthly Pleasures. Live act of the year would go to the Jesus and Mary Chain, followed by the Polyphonic Spree.

Without a doubt the best production I saw this year was Rock and Roll. The best production I’ve ever seen at all in fact.

The final series of the Sopranos was better than the one before but ‘Homicide Life on the Street’ was my favourite show of the year, even though it is very old and we were watching it on DVD so is possibly cheating.

So what were your highlights of 2007?

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Christmas Wish

As well as world peace and a shaggy dog, I would really like Malcolm Middleton to be the Christmas Number 1.

Please make my Christmas wish come true!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Today's Burning Issue: Fruit

Why has the lone market stall near by work changed from selling fruit to selling toasted chestnuts and fake designer t-shirts? The chestnuts, fair enough as they are staple Victorian Christmas fayre. But what is with the knocked-off t-shirts? What use are they to me? I need fruit. I still need my 5 a day, even if it is Christmas (actually I especially need my 5 a day to get me through). And aren't satsumas Christmassy?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in North London

The OH was very concerned last night that the arrival of the 'celebrities' would overshadow the reason everyone had gone to the concert - the music. So to redress the balance of my last post, I thought I should say something about Spiritualized.

They were very very good.

It was acoustic so it was Jason Pierce, a man on keyboards, a string quartet and a trio of gospel singers. It was particularly fitting in a church and at Christmas - they ended with Silent Night.

Its Different If You're Famous

Last night we went to see Spiritulized at Union Chapel. Union Chapel, in case you don't know or can't tell from its name, is a church. They have various concerts there but you can't drink 'within sight of the alter'. Fair enough - we were there to hear some music, not get drunk.

But then in walks Rhys Ifans. 'Is that that Welsh actor who was in the Observer this weekend?' said my friend Jane. I put on my glasses. I'm not that certain but then I notice his blonde fur-coated companion. 'Yes it is' I replied 'because that is Sienna Miller'.

They were seating in a row opposite ours, but one that had been reserved. It wasn't any different from the other pews, but you know you can't have famous people having to get there early to find a seat like everyone else.

Their party was joined by a mother and daughter double-act of screeching harpees who may or may not have been Pearl and Daisy Lowe. Who? You may well ask. A woman with a couple of failed attempts at a music career before she settled on being a rockstar girlfriend, married a drummer from a mediocre indie band (I actually quite like Supergrass but still...) and is now famous for not having a threesome, taking a lot of drugs and making overpriced net curtains. On the back of this, her daughter is now a model.

But then worst of all, Rhys pulls out a bottle of wine and starts swigging it. In a Church. Is God a fan of whatever films it is he's been in?

And for all the fuss these people make about wanting to be left alone, they don't exactly make themselves inconspicuous. Running up and down the aisles, wailing like banshees, insisting that the rules don't apply to you. Hardly blending in, is it?

The support act was Simple Kid, who has a song with the line "Celebrities go home, go home to your mama". I couldn't have put it better myself.