Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reading 5 - 7 Arsenal...

It was one of the most remarkable nights in League Cup history. It was a twelve-goal thriller.

A dismal performance in the first half left Arsenal 4-0 down. Then an amazing second half saw Theo Walcott scored a scintillating hat-trick as Arsenal produced one of the great comebacks to take their place in the last eight.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sparks: Two Hands One Mouth...

Last Friday night Paul, Alistair and I went to see electronic duo Sparks perform their Two Hands One Mouth Tour at the Barbican Hall in London's glitzy... er... Barbican Centre.

The two hands (Ron Mael) and the one mouth (Russell Mael) were simply fabulous. Performing many of their hits including: This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us, Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth, The Number One Song in Heaven, Beat the Clock, When Do I Get to Sing "My Way" and Dick Around.

They've still got it.

And Ron stripped off at the end. No, really.

 
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Arsenal 1 - 0 QPR...

Paul and I went to a 3pm KO at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Very old school. Nice to have a win. Just.

We spotted Victory Through Harm(ony) too.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Michael Clark Company New Work 2012 (encore)..

Last night Stu, Tony and I to see the Michael Clark Company perform New Work 2012 at Barbican Theatre in London's glitzy Barbican Centre. Again

I have nothing more to add than what I said last time:-

 The double bill of contemporary dance was simply sensational. The first part was choreographed to music by Scritti Politti and the second, called "Who's Zoo?", to music including Pulp’s F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E and also by Relaxed Muscle. Relaxed Muscle (aka Jarvis Cocker's alter-ego Darren Spooner) actually performed live four of their songs; The Heavy, Let It Ride, Beastmaster and B-Real most of which is from their album A Heavy Nite With... And they were awesome.

 The show got brilliant reviews too. 'The most exhilarating new piece of contemporary dance to appear in Britain this year, by turns ravishing, outrageous, borderline certifiable, and sometimes all three at once.' - Daily Telegraph

 The only down side was perhaps that the running time was a tad short - just 80 mins *including* interval.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Arsenal 0 - 2 Schalke...

A woeful performance last night in the Champions League home game. Santos out of position. Ramsey out of position. Mannone weak. Miserable. And most of the fans around me were in a mutinous mood. Their targets being the new stadium, other fans not singing and then deserting like a fire drill in the 86th minute. Special ire was reserved for a certain Mr Ivan Gazidis. I see trouble ahead.

Still here's a picture of Giroud to cheer us up.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pub Quiz...

Last night Stu and I joined Gavin, Gareth, Ian and Stuart at The Pineapple in London's glitzy Kentish Town for a pub quiz.

We came "a close second" (OK, a distant fourth) with questions like: Who won the Booker prize last week? Which two teams drew 4-4 in the European football last week? and Who painted the Nightwatch?

Good fun.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Michael Clark Company New Work 2012...

Last Friday Darren, Rachael, Stu and I went to see the Michael Clark Company perform New Work 2012 at Barbican Theatre in London's glitzy Barbican Centre.

The double bill of contemporary dance was simply sensational. The first part was choreographed to music by Scritti Politti and the second, called "Who's Zoo?", to music including Pulp’s F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E and also by Relaxed Muscle.

Relaxed Muscle (aka Jarvis Cocker's alter-ego Darren Spooner) actually performed live four of their songs; The Heavy, Let It Ride, Beastmaster and B-Real most of which is from their album A Heavy Nite With... And they were awesome.

The show got brilliant reviews too. 'The most exhilarating new piece of contemporary dance to appear in Britain this year, by turns ravishing, outrageous, borderline certifiable, and sometimes all three at once.' - Daily Telegraph

The only down side was perhaps that the running time was a tad short - just 80 mins *including* interval. We loved it so much we're going back again this Thursday!
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Friday, October 19, 2012

George Michael Symphonica Tour...

On Wednesday night Paul, Simon, Michael and I went to see George Michael perform his Symphonica show at Earls Court. Stu and I had seen the same show last year at The Royal Albert Hall.

George was, as ever, in good voice and the songs sounded great too with the really tight orchestral arrangements. The set-list was slightly more varied than last year. We were treated to many songs from his back catalogue including A Different Corner, Through, You Have Been Loved, John and Elvis Are Dead, and pretty much the entire Songs From the Last Century album. Where the set came alive though were when we had some of the more inspired covers such as Rihanna's Russian Roulette. Also it was great to hear Cowboys And Angels live and Kissing A Fool too.

Perhaps the only sour note of the evening was the use of overt auto-tune in the charity single cover of New Order's True Faith. Why, oh why? George you have a great pop voice - why ruin it with sub-Black Eyed Peas auto-tune?

On a more positive note he had lots of energy, was obviously enjoying himself and was happy to churn out the hits towards the end.

Sadly no This Mortal Coil's Song To The Siren this time. More pix here.

The songs I can remember:-
Through
My Baby Just Cares For Me (Nina Simone cover)
Father Figure
Kissing A Fool
Going to a Town (Rufus Wainwright cover)
Let Her Down Easy (Terence Trent D’Arby cover)
You Have Been Loved
Wild Is The Wind (David Bowie cover)
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (Bing Crosby cover)
Interval
Waiting For That Day
John & Elvis Are Dead
Roxanne (The Police cover)
True Faith (New Order cover)
A Different Corner
You've Changed
Russian Roulette (Rihanna cover)
Praying For Time
Feeling Good (Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley cover)
Encore: Amazing / I'm Your Man / Freedom 90


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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Judas Kiss...


Last Friday Stu and I went to see David Hare’s 1998 play The Judas Kiss at the Hampstead Theatre in London's glitzy Swiss Cottage.

Neil Armfield’s fine revival stars Rupert Everett as Wilde and Freddie Fox as Bosie.

Michael Billington in the Guardian wrote: "This is the most convincing dramatic portrait of Wilde that I have come across – one that captures him as both romantic individualist and tragic victim." And I have to say I agree. Everett's Wilde is perfectly judged, torn as he is between his uncompromising integrity and his pitiful self-destruction.

The show is transferring to the West End. Go see.

Oh and there is a lot of nudity. Full-frontal, knob waving nudity. So you have been warned.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Cabaret...


Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, im Kabaret, au cabaret, to cabaret!

Last Thursday Stu and I went to see Cabaret at the Savoy Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

Starring Will Young as the Emcee and Michelle Ryan as Sally Bowles it was the essentially the same Rufus Norris directed production we saw back in 2006 at the Lyric Theatre starring Anna Maxwell Martin as Sally and James Dreyfus as the Emcee.

Kander and Ebb's remarkable musical turns the pre-war Berlin of 1931 into a dark and sexually charged haven of decadence, its extraordinary and morally ambiguous inhabitants determined to keep up appearances as the real world - the world outside the comfortable sanctuary of the cabaret - prepares for the nightmarish chaos of war.

Sadly there was a slight mismatch between the acting skills and the singing skills of its stars. Will Young could do the latter but not the former. With Michelle Ryan it was vice versa.

The musical numbers were excellent however and the dancing troupe are up to high Bob Fosse standard and conveyed the throbbing sexuality of the Kit Kat Club to a tee.

And as with the 2006 production there was a fair bit of nudity. It wasn't gratuitous in any way though. It was all in the best possible taste. And in fact used quite poignantly at the end.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Mousetrap...

Last Friday Stu treated me to a night out at the theatre. We went to see The Mousetrap - now in it's 60th year - in London's glitzy West End.

It's a dated whodunnit but not without it's charm.

I got it straight off. Stu thought it was the usherette.

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Monday, October 08, 2012

Miranda...

Last night Stu and I went to the BBC Television Centre to watch the Christmas episode of Miranda being recorded. Such fun!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Thursday, October 04, 2012

My New Footie Buddy...

I took Bobby along to the footie last night. It was a pretty awful display by the Arsenal against Olympicos but we did come away with a 3-1 win. Bobby seemed to enjoy himself too.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Twelfth Night...

Last night Stu, Andy, Tim and I went to The Shakespeare Globe on London's glitzy South Bank to stand with the other 'groundlings' and watch Twelfth Night.

It rained, quite a bit, but that did little to dampen our spirits. It was a fantastic - all male - production. As is decreed with all Globe productions the dress was Jacobean and the instruments traditional - but the action couldn't have seemed more contemporary. Cross-dressing, cross-gartering, Boy George look-a-likes and homoerotism where everywhere.

The female characters were powerfully played and drove the plot forward. Maria in particular was no side-kick to Sir Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek but indeed the instigator of Malvolio's undoing. Mark Rylance's excellent Olivia was subtle, sexy and crafty - a triumph. Stephen Fry was great as Malvolio - not taking the scenery-chewing route - which actually helps the play progress on a more even keel. Malvolio's scenes are often the show-stealers so it was nice to have the whole play presented as ensemble.

If you get a chance - go see.
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