Quote Of The Day

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lunchtime Walk...

I went on a local walk this lunchtime as part of Baker Street Quarter Partnership's free walks series.
I ended up doing a salsa dance class, going to an art gallery, visiting a c18 real ale pub and then in the Monocle cafe. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Secret Cinema 21...

On Saturday night Stu, Darren, Tim and I went to the latest Secret Cinema in the old Town Hall in London's trendy Crouch End. We'd been told what to wear, where to go and who to meet - but were a bit surprised (and mildly disappointed) by the film. It was a 'classic' - just a not very good one!

The 'business' beforehand was excellent would with all the actors playing their part very well.

Still worth a punt on SC even if the film choices can be a bit variable.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Before The Dawn...

OMG! Kate Bush has announced some gigs. Called Before The Dawn they will take place at the Hammersmith Apollo Eventim in August and September.

Before the Dawn

I am delighted to announce that we will be performing some live shows this coming August and September.
       I hope you will be able to join us and I look forward to seeing you there.
          We'll keep you updated with further news on the web site.
                  Meanwhile, all details of concert dates and tickets are in the note below.
                    Very best wishes,

Before The Dawn at London's Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith 


Tuesday, 26th August
Wednesday, 27th August
Friday, 29th August
Saturday, 30th August


Tuesday, 2nd September
Wednesday, 3rd September
Friday, 5th September
Saturday, 6th September
Tuesday, 9th September
Wednesday, 10th September
Friday, 12th September
Saturday, 13th September
Tuesday, 16th September
Wednesday, 17th September
Friday, 19th September


Tickets will go on sale at 9.30 am (GMT) on the 28th March 2014 and will be available exclusively from the following agents:


Please note that tickets are not available directly from the venue Box Office.  Additional order enquiries should be directed to the Eventim customer service department at: 
customerservice@eventim.co.uk or 08443760021

Ticket purchases are limited to a maximum of 4 per order.  For example, you can try to purchase up to 4 tickets for just one of the 15 concerts, or 4 tickets for 4 separate shows.

The name of the lead booker will be printed on the first ticket.  As the number of tickets is limited they will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Tickets cannot be resold or transferred under any circumstances. If the promoter reasonably believes this to be the case the barcode on the ticket will be voided, prohibiting entry to the concert.

We hope to see you there.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cosmic Inflation...

When I was an Uni studying cosmology the idea of cosmic inflation was first put forward. We thought it was nuts. "Space expanding faster than light? Ha!" Well, they've only gone and proved it. And found those elusive gravity waves first predicted by Einstein. And confirmed that the total energy in the Big Bang is consistent with just the four main forces we see around us. Nobel prizes all round I think.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Johnica's 40th...

We had a great time at John's 40th birthday party on Saturday night. Monica had organised a photo-booth which was great fun. Dave Marshall bought his awful coat - so we all took turns wearing it in the booth and giving it the exposure it so richly deserved.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Blithe Spirit...

Last night Stuart and I went to see Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

When Noel Coward wrote it in 1941 is was the height of sophistication - a comedy of manners concerning an upper class couple milling about in their country house with their skeptical friends who start by engaging a dotty clairvoyant for researching a book but end up communicating all too directly with the dead.

Many am dram productions later (I was a rather limp wristed 'Charles' in the North Herts Youth Theatre production back in the early 1980s) and we see this revival hit the Gielgud starring Angela Lansbury as the eccentric medium Madame Arcati (played by Margaret Rutherford in the film version.)

Lansbury makes for a fine Arcarti dressed in garishly vivid oranges and purples. She stalks the stage... like a tall garish orange and purple stalking thing.

The rest of the cast gamely acts on; Charles Edwards good as Charles, Jemima Rooper very good as Elvira and Janie Dee excellent as Ruth. And the play is amusing. Funny, even, in parts. But it perhaps suffers the fate of all start vehicles. You are constantly aware that it is Angela Lansbury up there on the stage - not least because she gets a round of applause at every entrance and exit!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ronnie Spector...

On Sunday night Stuart, Darren and I went to see Ronnie Spector at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at London's glitzy South Bank Centre.

Telling the story of "Beyond The Beehive" 70 year old Spector treated us to a slideshow cum confessional cum gig peppered with happy reminiscences, missed chances and woe. Phil Spector loomed large over the night - meeting him, her big break, the hellish marriage, the abuse, the bullying and the controlling influence even to this day.

Ronnie was a charming hostess with a dry line in (albeit well-rehearsed) patter. She choked back a tear or two as she told us about her first gig, meeting Phil, falling in love, meeting The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield, her drinking, her break-up, her failed attempts at trying to perform, her wonderful successes then she did, the unpaid monies, the court case, her comeback, the pleasure and the pain of working in rock and roll.

Her voice still sounded good and along with her eight piece band she performed hits such as Walking in the Rain, Time is On My Side, She Talks To Rainbows, Back To Black (Amy Winehouse's mother was in the audience) and encored with Be My Baby - a song she had not been allowed to sing for years.

It was an emotional show and ended with a defiant statement from the voice of the beehive herself, “Ronnie Spector will not be erased.”

Friday, March 07, 2014

House Of Cards...

The other day I got to go to The Houses of Parliament for a chat with some security chappies. All very interesting.
"Have you signed the OSA?" they asked.
 "Yes" I said.
"Well, that's OK then." 
There's nothing like a thorough security check, is there? And that was nothing like a thorough security check.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Tyburn Tree...

On Sunday night Stuart and I went to see Marc Almond and John Harle perform The Tyburn Tree at the Barbican Concert Hall. It was a grand project. A concept album brought to life. It was hypnotic, complex, lyrical, dark, sinister and joyful.

Made-up ashen white and preaching from the pulpit Marc sang songs, recited nursery rhymes, told tales of Gothic horror, screamed and howled, got us to sing along to tales of hanging, and then pranced around the stage like a diabolical jester.

The songs were great, the neurotic prog-rock blended perfectly with Marc's voice and the night got a well deserved standing ovation.

The critics didn't like it, but as they say... "Critics? Cretins!"

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Goldfrapp: Tales of Us...

Last night Darren treated me to a trip to the cinema to see Goldfrapp who were screening six new videos films inspired by music from their album Tale of Us. After the films were shown the band performed an hour long live set via a satellite broadcast from Air Studios in London.

The films were great albeit all rather similar in tone: black and white, sensual, shaky camera work, nudity in big country houses, murder on windswept beaches, slow-motion cycling, night-time shoots with people running through smokey back-lit forests, water (lots of water) - that sort of thing. Very 1980s. Very Vienna.

One video which did make me weep though was Annabel. A moving story of a little boy's inner voice.

The live set was good too - although perhaps missing that special something that a live audience gives back to a live performance.

Mind you, I was back to my crying again during Clay - a story of two soldiers' love.

So all in all a success as an event. Nice to see their videos on a big screen - but perhaps just missing that live interactive element that an audience provides.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

United Visual Artists: Momentum...

Last Friday lunchtime Bobby and I went to see the United Visual Artists: Momentum exhibition at the The Curve in the Barbican Centre. A few swinging lamps in a smokey darkened room. Meh.

Monday, March 03, 2014


Last Thursday Stuart and I went to see 1984 at the Almeida Theatre in London's glitzy Islington. It was a slightly confusing production as it repeated traveled from a book reading club in 2050 back to the events of 1984 and back again without much indication of the time jump.

There was no interval so the production had a chance to ramp up the tension as Winston Smith gradually began to realise the doublethink/thoughtcrime/newspeak hell he was living in. The final half a hour got quite harrowing with the torture scene although we were assured no rats were harmed in the making of the show.

My review: Brave but rather confusing.