Issue 14• •january June 2010
soundcheck w o l v e r h a m p t o n
Sparrow & The Workshop
Glenn Rossington firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Farrell email@example.com
Glenn Rossington Kate Farrell Glenn Rossington Bex Dobson
Published By: GR Creative
Contributions: Article and photo contributions are welcome. Prints and transparencies are sent at the ownerâ€™s risk and although every care is taken, soundcheck accepts no responsibility for loss or damage. Please email photos to editor@glennrossington. co.uk (all images must be at least 300dpi) or post them to our address
Legal Bit: Copyright ÂŠ2009 Soundcheck. All rights reserved. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission from Soundcheck. Information on events, products, reviews and anything else does not nessicarily imply recommendations by Soundcheck. We have done our utmost to make sure all the content in this magazine is correct and accurate, but would emphasise the we, Soundcheck, accept no responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. All opinions expressed in this magazine are that of the individual contributor and are not nessicarily shared by Soundcheck Magazine 02
News 05 06 - 09
Editorâ€™s Thoughts Music, Art & Food News
Features 10 - 13 15
Sparrow & The Workshop The Gentle Giant
Spot Light On 16 18 - 21
The Public Cinema
Reviews 22 - 23 23
New Albums New Singles
Live Music 24 - 25 26 - 27 28 30 31 32 - 33
Faithless Florence & The Machine Marina & The Diamonds Rufus Wainwright Reef Gig Listings
Sincerest apologies to all readers who thought we had given up already! Let me reassure you that we haven’t and that we have ﬁrm plans in place to continue. Aswell as creating this magazine, the people behind it are also currently on Degree courses at the University of Wolverhampton. A little time mis-management on our part resulted in Uni work taking over and the issue being pushed further and further back. We decided to release it a month later instead of putting out an issue that wasn’t complete. However, we are back now and ready to do it all again! We have another fun packed issue this month, including an interview with soon-to-be stars Sparrow & The Wokshop. Also as we closed for press we received the tragic news about Stuart Cable’s death. We have a small tribute to him as a last minute addition. Usual Gig and Film reviews are in place, and we look forward t the next issue! To all the students, we wish you a happy summer, and for those leaving, keep us in mind and check in once in a while! :-)
Glenn Rossington (Editor)
Manic’s Young Postcards Manic Street Preachers announce details of their tenth studio album. Postcards From A Young Man will be released in September. To coincide with the release the band will undertake their most extensive UK tour ever, with support from very special guests British Sea Power, kicking off in Glasgow on September 29th. Tracklisting is still to be conﬁrmed, but the tour calls at: 29th 30th 2nd 3rd 5th 6th 8th 9th 11th 12th 14th 16th 17th 19th 20th 22th 23th 25th 26th 28th 29th 31st 1st
September September October October October October October October October October October October October October October October October October October October October October November
Glasgow o2 Academy Aberdeen Music Hall Edinburgh Corn Exchange Carlisle Sands Centre Hull City Hall Shefﬁeld o2 Academy Liverpool University Blackburn Kings Georges Hall Leeds o2 Academy Derby Assembly Rooms Manchester Apollo Lincoln Engine Shed Norwich UEA Southampton Guildhall Southend Cliffs Pavillion Bournemouth Academy Newport Centre Bristol Colston Hall Birmingham o2 Academy London Brixton Academy London Brixton Academy Leicester De Montford Hall Cambridge Corn Exchange
Tickets go on sale on Friday 4th June 2010 at 9am
Gorillaz September Song The cartoon heroes and their human counterparts have announced a series of September dates including one at the area’s Birmingham NIA on 10th. Tickets are on sale now. In a recent interview, Damon Albarn stated “There’s some cutting-edge technology that, ﬁngers crossed, by the time we reach that tour in the autumn we might be able to utilise to have the characters onstage next to the musicians”. The tour will call at: 8th 10th 11th 12th 14th /15th 22nd
Glasgow SECC Birmingham NIA Newcastle Metro Arena Manchester Evening News Arena London O2 Arena Dublin O2 Arena
Tickets now available from all usual outlets priced £45 plus the usual P+P charges.
U2 Postpone Dates U2 have cancelled their Glastonbury headline slot and 16 US shows following frontman Bono’s recent back injury and surgery. The Irish band had been set to headline the Somerset event on June 25. They have postponed shows up to and including their New Jersey New Meadowlands Stadium show, which had been set for July 19, the band explained on U2.COM. Meanwhile, festival organiser Michael Eavis conﬁrmed that the band would also not be playing Glastonbury on Glastonburyfestivals.co.uk. “It was obvious from our telephone conversation that U2 are hugely disappointed,” Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis said. “Clearly, they were looking forward to playing the Pyramid Stage as much as we were looking forward to watching them. At this point, we have no comment to make about possible replacements for U2’s Friday night slot. Instead, we would simply like to send Bono our very best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.” Meanwhile Bono expressed his regret at pulling the festival appearence, declaring: “I’m heartbroken. We really wanted to be there to do something really special – we even wrote a song especially for the festival.” Bono received surgery on May 21 after being injured in Munich while rehearsing for the forthcoming tour, and his doctor Muller Wohlfahrt insisted surgery was essential. “Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve,” he explained. “On review of his MRI scan, I realised there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not sufﬁce. I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery.” Gorillaz have now stepped in to replace U2 on the Friday night. 07
A round up of all things musical, artistic, food and fashionable…
TION: EXCLUSIVE PUBLIC INFORMATION: EXCLUSIV
This is an artists impression of the propsed new Molineux Stadium. The teirs will be placed closer to the pitch allowing for a more intimate view.
Wolves Reveal 4 Stage Molineux Upgrade Plans Wolves have revealed their £40m plans to redevelop Molineux into a 36,000 capacity stadium over the next four years. There are however plans drafted to extend the ground to 50,000. Work is to start next summer on phase one, demolishing the Stan Cullis Stand and replacing it with a two-tier structure which will take 12 months to build to continue round to the Steve Bull Stand. As soon as the new North Stand is ﬁnished, phase two sees the Steve Bull Stand ﬂattened to make way for a replacement taking two years to construct, which will be another two-tier stand with 42 boxes including a 600-seat banqueting hall. Phase three sees an extra tier added to the Jack Harris Stand and joined to the Steve Bull Stand, thus creating a horseshoe-shaped Molineux with the two eastern corners ﬁlled in. The new stands will be built within the minimum six metres of the pitch, achieving owner Steve Morgan’s desire to bring fans much closer to the pitch. A fourth phase to increase capacity to 50,000 will be added if there is sufﬁcient demand by rebuilding the Billy Wright Stand and ﬁlling in the western corners. 08
The new Stan Cullis Stand will incorporate a club museum and new megastore, with the ticket ofﬁce moved to the current club shop. Chief executive Jez Moxey revealed the money for phase one – £15m£16m – was already in the club and he said the club’s ﬁnancial future would not be put at risk, although he said there may be some short term borrowing to complete phase two. Moxey also insisted the work depended on Wolves staying in the Premier League next season, when owner Steve Morgan will decide on when to “push the button” to start. The roofs on the new stands – which will be half as high as the existing ones – will suspended from iconic 45-metre high masts, while the club’s gold and black colours will feature heavily in the unique design. The redevelopment will create a minimum of 300 jobs in the city, Moxey revealed. But any work on Peal House, bought by Morgan several months ago, is a seperate development to the plans drawn up for Molineux. Moxey said it was still being decided what to do with the former Tarmac ofﬁce block.
Misery For Bus Users Bus passengers are now having to fork out up to an extra £1 for tickets as of this last weekend. National Express West Midlands, which runs 80 per cent of services in the region, is increasing fares from Sunday. The rise comes after fares went up by 10 per cent, more than twice the rate of inﬂation, in January 2009. Kevin Chapman, group chairman of the West Midlands Campaign for Better Transport, criticised the latest price increases as “unfair and sneaky”. He added: “This is pretty bad news for bus users, and once again, these rises are being done at short notice”. National Express gave people less than a week to budget for these increases. Prices currently stand at the new rates of: adult regional daysaver tickets have gone up from £3.30 to £3.50, while evening saver tickets will now set passengers back £3, rather than £2.20. Family daysaver tickets will cost £7.50, up from £6.50, and a one-way adult fare while rise from £1.20 to £1.50. Single tickets for children will increase by 25 per cent from 60p to 75p. Passengers travelling on three or more stages of a particular zone will not have to pay any extra for a ticket. Mr Barker added: “Bus fares have been held longer than expected into 2010 to help as unemployment and the recession was still hitting hard. After this long period and rising costs for the business, we have changed some bus fares, continuing to freeze our most popular fare – the £1.70 adult single.
Northern Soul DJ Dies A popular DJ and record shop owner credited with bringing Northern Soul to the Black Country has died of a heart attack, aged 67. Grandfather Max Millward – known as DJ Blue Max – died in New Cross Hospital on Sunday after performing a set at the Brookﬁelds Club, known as The Stables, in Cannock Road, Shareshill, on Saturday 29th May. An ambulance was called after Mr Millward complained of feeling short of breath outside the venue at about 2am.
Driver’s Disappointment Drivers and bus passengers were today warned of two months of disruption when a busy Wolverhampton street is closed to make way for a £36 million magistrates court that may not be built for years. Ten bus services already disrupted by the £22.5m transformation of Pipers Row bus station will have to be re-routed again when Darlington Street is ripped up to move sewage pipes. Up to 100 spaces at Fold Street car park could be lost during the project in July and August as pipes run under a section of it. Wolverhampton City Council has been ordered to allow Severn Trent to close the street between the Chapel Ash island and Waterloo Road. Wolverhampton’s regeneration boss Councillor Paddy Bradley said today: “This is a busy street and we would advise motorists to allow extra time for their journeys during the whole two-month duration of the works. Fortunately the disruption will be temporary, however, it is unavoidable and we would ask motorists and the travelling public to be patient while it takes place.” 09
Sparrow & The Workshop 10
Quite consistently there are a lot of people there for both acts not just trickling in before the main act comes on. SC – I was quite surprised tonight to see an almost full room! I expected it to only be a few rows deep, but it’s almost packed before you’ve hit the stage! G – The exception that proves my rule!
Over the last 20 years or so, Scotland has produced a plethora of amazing musicians: Travis, Franz Ferdinand, Sons & Daughters, Biffy Clyro, Idlewild to name just a small handful. Now heading resurgence in Scottish Rock ‘n’ Roll comes the eloquent 3-piece Sparrow & The Workshop. The Glasgow-based threesome – actually a Scotsman, a Welshman and an Irish girl from Chicago, met a couple of years ago and have steadily been gaining headway to work their way into various festivals, being picked up by The Guardian, The Times and BBC & Music & Radio 2. ‘Crystal Falls’ is the title of their debut album, comprising remixed versions of prior EPs plus two new. Nick Packer’s guitar roars and bucks, Gregor Donaldson’s drumming is often immensely powerful and O’Sullivan has one of those rare tonal ranges that can develop from a calm serene evening sunset, into a roaring feisty rock goddess in a swift key change. We caught up with the band as there were preparing to take to the city’s Slade Rooms stage back in April when they were the opening act for fellow Scottish rocker’s Idlewild. SC – Hi guys, thanks for taking the time out to have a quick chat with us today. All – No problem at all! SCGSC – G– J– G– J–
So If we can start back at the beginning, how long have you guys been together? 2 years Has it ﬂown by for you? Aye yeah it has ﬂown by! Far too fast! Aye well we basically met 2 yrs and 3 months ago, and pretty quickly fell into being a band We got a gig like a week after we met, and we were playing together for about 3 months for ourselves just getting some material together. Then Nick joined, that’s when we became a 3 piece. We started to rehearse and play a lot more gigs and that’s when time ﬂows by. Like the other day I asked Paul our sound guy what day it was because I thought it was around the 1st April!
SC – So you are currently on tour with Idlewild, how are you ﬁnding the reception from the crowd compared to your own gigs? G – They are very receptive! I think Idlewild have been known for taking out bands that they really enjoy themselves and that kind of reﬂects in the numbers that turn up for the support act.
SC – So the album is out now (Titled Crystals Fall) and a few of the tracks have been re-recorded from previous E.P’s... have you reworked the tracks to capture your live sound or just improved on the recording techniques used? N – There were a couple of tracks that we thought particularly on the 1st E.P that we were happy with at the time, but as time’s gone on and we’ve played them at a lot of gigs, they’ve changed slightly, so we wanted to capture them now as we play them live. Particularly the track ‘I Will Break You’ and ‘The Gun’ we decided to re-approach to see if we could capture our live sound. SC – So you’re in a position that quite a few bands might envy where you have this backlog of songs, play them live and develop them, and then you’re given this opportunity to represent them or rerecord them, getting them to sound how you want them to sound. N – Yeah and we’re quite proud of them now! Not that we weren’t in the ﬁrst place. SC – So who takes the main songwriting duties? J – I do most of the lyrics, I like writing lyrics and I like telling a story. Usually though I can only write when I feel I have a need to. The same goes for writing songs, it all comes from a feeling you’re into. SC – So that’s your inspiration then... J – Yeah I just get these feelings and I just have to get them down on paper, yeah deﬁnitely. SC – So the lead single is called ‘I Will Break You’, can you tell us what it’s all about? J – This song is just about being pissed off with people. Particularly people who just abuse their power. N – Yeah I think that is a pretty apt description. It often gets dedicated live to people who have pissed us off that day. J – Who was it the other night? G – We asked the audience in Cardiff for someone they hate and there were 3 people who just shouted out ‘Tony Blair’ so we thought that was just perfect! SC – So it’s quite apt tonight that the election campaign is on TV tonight then! All – Yeah haha SC – So the album is called ‘Crystal Fall’ which as has been said features a combination of re-recorded tracks and a couple of new tracks, was it a group decision to re-record them? N – Yeah, um I think it came just quite organically. G – That sounds like, you know that question you get when someone says, well its more of a debate over ‘what kind of a personality people have by what car they drive’ well it all kind of works if you could afford to have whatever car you want, I don’t think 11
Don’t you?! Nope... But I just like its simplicity. I think it’s got a very nice sound, and Gregor’s bass drum is big and hollow. I really enjoy that!
SC – So at the moment there’s a bit of a buzz building around you, you’ve been highlighted by The Guardian and The Times, BBC 6Music and BBC Radio 2... do you feel pressurised by this interest or is it enjoyable? N – It’s difﬁcult to ever get a grasp on it you know? We still eat and drink and shower... G – I’d say out of all those it’s enjoyable. It’s nice that people are listening to what we’re doing. We make the music because it makes us feel good, and we record it for other people to listen to, and it’s always nice to get feedback and nicer to get positive feedback.
that if you had given us all the money in the world we’d have recorded them all again, deﬁnitely yeah. We were just given these opportunities and we were like ‘well yeah ok!’ let’s do it. It’s going back to the art of perfection. It certainly didn’t happen by design, it was oh there’s a chance, ok let’s take it! It also had to coincide with us getting more conﬁdent in playing the songs. The ﬁrst E.P was made up of 6 songs we just worked on, and then the 2nd E.P was just 7 songs we just worked on too. Then at that stage we were listening to the songs and we were like we really want to have an album! But even though E.P’s are pretty cool, ideally we would have liked to have done say 3 E.P’s. But people for some reason don’t take to E.P’s as much as they will take to an album. Just in a general sense, we just got that feeling. Like people will get the E.P then go great when’s the album out? We’re like well hose songs are pretty close to us, but then listening back, we were like ‘they’re not as good as they could be’! When we play them live now, we really rip them apart. Like Gregor on his drums made certain changes, and the same with Nick on his guitar and we’ve added parts even so yeah it was an opportunity to show everyone, that this is us, this is our live sound.
SC – So do you each have a favourite song on the album or past E.P’s? N – Yeah G – It changes! But at the moment mine is ‘Medal Around Your Neck’ I think it just has a lovely vibe about it. A fast pace kind of like a dancey tune, there’s a good drum part that’s fun to play, but I just like giving it my all in it. J – Mine is, actually I really like the song ‘Crossing Hearts’ from the E.P ‘Into the Wild’ but we don’t really play that one live because its al 3 of us sitting there with guitars, and its just a bit awkward right now, maybe in a little while if we can ever get to a point where we’re doing shows, and we could start by sitting and playing or stop and do a couple of acoustic tracks. But yeah, I like that one! N – Mine’s probably at the moment a song called ‘The Gun’ which coincidentally is a song I don’t play on! J – Well you do in the recording N - No no! I don’t. 12
SC – Have you had any negative comments that have made you stop and think? N – Oh yes! G - There’s been a few that have sent us into orbit, oh yeah! J – Generally though it has been good, I mean I ‘m rooting to not even go near the Internet because you can get 5 amazing things said about you, but 1 person will say something about your band that can just drive you crazy for a week! Certainly that’s 5 good ones versus 1 bad one, but somehow that 1 bad one always sticks in your head. You think how can you even say that about us? N – Even if it’s just someone’s personal twitter message or something, that you just happen to stumble across and... J – Just don’t go near the Internet! N – It will just stick with you for months, just running around in your head! It does! It’s very difﬁcult to not take those things personally, like for instance when we read some good reviews we feel elated, but equally when we get things that are kind of negative, it’s like a kick to the stomach. J – Are you still talking about negative?! N – Yes! SC – Negative always tends to cause more of a conversation than positive. I’m ﬁnding that at the moment, aswell as being editor of the magazine, I am doing a full time degree at Uni here in Wolverhampton and when you do receive that negative comment it does exactly what you’ve said! N – Oh yeah! As soon as you get the positive comment you’re like ‘ok next’! J – Maybe if you... (Pauses) ...anyway let’s move on haha! SC – As well as the hype around you, you played Glastonbury last year, are you going back this year or do you have any other festivals lined up this year? G – We haven’t heard about Glastonbury yet, ﬁngers crossed on that one! We’re doing Bestival, Y Not Festival, 2000 Trees, Moseley Folk Festival, Insider, Hop Farm, Pohoda Festival in Slovakia. We’ve got quite a hectic schedule this summer, but we’re hoping it will just ﬁll up with some more! SC – So after the summer festival season, what are the remaining plans for Sparrow & The Workshop for 2010? J – Write!!! We’ve got some material and we’re really excited about it, so excited about it that we’d be almost tempted to put out
an E.P, but we’re going to hold off this time and hold out for another album. It’s a lot more experimental as all 3 of us are getting more conﬁdent, but equally we’re quite conﬁdent now, you just never know... I just hope that we can get out and keep playing. After this tour with Idlewild we’ve been invited to play with The Brian Jonestown Massacre in Europe, so this will be our ﬁrst big step into Europe... I don’t know I just want to keep on playing live! I think that’s ultimately what we do, bands sometimes consider themselves as just studio bands, but we’re very much a live band.
SC – From our point of view if you are in a band then you do have to get out there to promote yourselves. The Internet is a good thing for that aswell but it’s also easier as we mentioned before to get the negative comments. As a band you need to get out there and push yourself, you guys are doing that... N – Not even just for the sake of promoting the record, just a case of playing infront of people. We also go to a lot of gigs for live bands and there’s something incredibly primeval about standing infront of people making some noise... SC – So far this year, what’s the best gig you’ve played? N – Ooh that’s a tough one... J – Oh I know, we keep forgetting this one, we played that open air gig in Regent’s park... G – That was last year! J – Was it?! Did you mean in 2010 or the last 12 months?
Mine would be a guy called Nerds Attack, He’s really out there, kind of Leftﬁeld musician that in some ways looks like he has just walked through a porthole from the 70’s, but in another way has a strangely modern sound. N – He has quite an eccentric guitar playing style. J – Yeah you can’t tell if he’s actually just blagging it but really well on stage, ‘I’m just going to keep doing that and it’ll work’ kind of thing. G – He’s either amazing or terrible! N – I’m going to go with the same band as Gregor because I simply think they should be massive! J – Quick, get another adjective in there for big! G – How big should they be Nick? N – Humongous! All – Laughter SC – Well thanks for your time guys! We wish you every success with the album and single release and well just the future, and we hope that at some point in the future you will come back and say hello to us! All - Thank you for having us, and yeah we will catch you again in the future at some point! Sparrow & The Workshop’s single ‘I Will Break You’ and the album ‘Crystals Fall’ are both in the shops now and also via iTunes. They are next playing in our area at the 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham, and also the Moseley Folk Festival later this summer. Ofﬁcial website: www. sparrowandtheworkshop.co.uk
SC - 2010 G – I think I’ll say last night! NYeah G – Yeah last night, I’d say that was the biggest venue we’ve played and to perhaps the most people. We took it in our stride, I mean we’re all pretty shy people and we’ve struggled on big stages before, but I think we all really enjoyed ourselves last night. When you can do that, then you have the conﬁdence with such a huge PA behind you, it just felt really good! N – I would happily say that the opening 3 seconds of last night was good enough for me. Just for the point that Gregor says that the size of the PA and the sound that comes out! And you’re the one that is responsible on stage for making that huge sound. J – It did feel great, it felt really really good. And i’m just happy that all 3 of us experienced it. We were all bricking it before we went on and saw the size of the stage though. SC – Just goes to show that as individuals and a band, together your conﬁdence is certainly growing already then! N – Deﬁnitely J – Or that we were too drunk to notice! All – Laughing. SC – Finally, this is a question we ask everyone we feature in the magazine at the moment, what bands/artists would you each recommend for our readers to check out – with the exception of yourselves!? G – My recommendation is going to be a band called The Low Mists, a Glasgow band. I’d say they’re kind of Alex Harvey, but not as mental! But a very cool band who do a really amazing live show, and have really catchy tunes. 13
As we closed for press, we received the very sad news that one of Rock’s most recent legends, the gentle giant himself, Mr Sturat Cable had passed away at the tender age of 40. Stuart Cable was born on May 19 1970 at Cwmaman, a mining village in south Wales, where he grew up on the same street as Kelly Jones, the future lead singer of Stereophonics. The pair started playing together in their early teens, later touring the local working men’s clubs. Although Jones was the singer-songwriter, writing his early songs on brown paper bags while working at a market stall, it was Cable who suggested the band’s name (it was originally called Tragic Love Company) after seeing the word stereophonic on his grandparents’ radio set. Joined by a bassist, Richard Jones, Stereophonics was the ﬁrst band to be signed, in 1996, by V2, Richard Branson’s new record company. Cable, with his messy hair, infectious grin and friendly, down-to-earth demeanour, injected a boisterous charm into their sound, even if he was not the most technically proﬁcient of drummers. His energetic, jocular personality subverted the traditional band dynamic of the vocalist frontman with the drummer in the metaphorical – and literal – background. Jones, however, said that it was purely practical reasons that led him, in September 2003, to sack his childhood friend. Cable had already missed a number of gigs on the band’s 2001 world tour and had also begun to host, in July 2002, his own television show, Cable TV, for BBC Wales. He later claimed that he had, in any case, been planning on leaving the band at the end of 2003, having grown frustrated by Jones’s increasingly solitary style of songwriting and reluctance to engage external producers. 19th May 1970 – 7th June 2010
Cable went on to forge a second career in the media, including stints on radio stations XFM and Kerrang!, before returning to BBC Radio Wales in April with Saturday Night Cable. Although he didn’t play the drums for a year and a half after leaving Stereophonics, he formed a new group called Killing for Company which was due to play at the Download festival this Saturday. In his autobiography, Demons and Cocktails, published last year, Cable admitted that he had battled with drink and drugs, saying that fame had turned him into a “coke-taking zombie”. However, it was thought that he had since straightened himself out, having returned to the village where he grew up. He patched up his friendship with Jones within a year of leaving Stereophonics. Cable professed to have no regrets, even though the band have arguably reached greater heights since his departure. “We achieved so much – headlining Glastonbury, Reading, playing the Morfa Stadium, the Millennium Stadium,” he said. “If I’d made a wish-list when I was 16 and all those were on there, I’d be a very happy chappie.” Stuart Cable, whose cause of death has not yet been conﬁrmed, is survived by two children from his marriage to Nicola, from whom he separated in 2003. I was lucky enough to see a number of gigs with Stuart in the Steros and had always thought him to be a tremendous drummer of his era. I am sad that fate interveined as Killing For Company were due to play Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms later this year, to which we would have had an exclusive interview. Rest in Peace big man. 15
Spot Light: Galleries
The Public: West Bromwich • In Living Memory - Curated by Brendan Jackson May 11th 2010 until July 11th 2010 - FREE • Sandwell Arts Festival - Summer Exhibition July 14th 2010 - 10am - 6pm - FREE • State of Play: Reception by Joe Magee May 11th 2010 until July 11th 2010 - FREE • State of Play: Union - by Ravi Deepres May 11th 2010 until July 11th 2010 - FREE • State of Play: Score is silver, Art is Gold Curated by Colin Yates May 11th 2010 until July 11th 2010 - FREE • Vortex featuring Bonehead (Ex Oasis) June 05th 2010 - 7.30pm - 2am - £7 Advance • For The Love of it by Geoff Broadway May 11th 2010 until July 11th 2010 - FREE *
To see the full program of events that The Public has to offer, see the website at: http://www.thepublic.com/index.php/events/
The Public is an exciting creative community, cultural, and business space. Whether walking through our iconic pink doors to visit the gallery, to see an event, as a delegate attending a product launch or simply to enjoy refreshments from our Café Bar, the visitor is instantly brought into a unique and inspiring world. This fantastic multi-use centre designed by world renowned architect Will Alsop offers a series of airy, interconnected and ﬂexible spaces making The Public one of the region’s most stimulating venues. The Public provides versatile spaces for people to get together for virtually any purpose – cultural and educational exhibitions, live performances, social relaxation, community activities and clubs and major corporate or entertainment events. The gallery is free to enter and is a dynamic area featuring ﬁxed interactive works of art alongside a changing programme of work by internationally renowned artists. Delivering creative and exceptional ofﬁce space, The Public is the natural home to industries and organisations wishing to provide engaging and imaginative spaces for their colleagues and clients.
Spot Light: Cinema
Wolverhampton we has independent cinema) what is coming over the next few weeks. Please check with the institute itself or it’s website to ﬁnd detailed timings and prices etc…
The Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1HT
Bentley Bridge Leisure Park Wednesﬁeld Way, WV11 1TZ
Bentley Mill Way, Walsall, West Midlands, WS2 0LE
T: 01902 716055 W: www.light-house.co.uk
T: 0871 200 2000 W: www.cineworld.co.uk
T: 0871 220 1000 W: www.showcasecinemas.co.uk
Samson & Delilah Bad Lieutennant Four Lions The Infadel Lebanon
126.96.36.199 Death At A Funeral Iron Man 2 Prince of Persia Robin Hood Sex & The City 2
(15) (18) (15) (15) (15)
Currently Showing (15) (15) (12) (12) (12) (15)
She’s Out of … Space Chimps 2 Street Dance The Losers Tooth Fairy
(15) (U) (PG) (12) (PG)
188.8.131.52 Death At A Funeral Furry Vengeance Iron Man 2 Nightmare On Elm… Prince of Persia
(15) (15) (PG) (12) (18) (12)
Robin Hood Sex & The City 2
She’s Out of … Space Chimps 2 Street Dance Tooth Fairy
(15) (U) (PG) (PG)
THE UK’S TOP 10 FILMS: MAY 2010
Iron Man 2
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke In the Spring of 2008 Jon Favreau delivered an unexpected smash hit. No one was holding out much hope for a ﬁlm where the lead actor is more famous for being a addict and the lead female being famous for having kids with strange names, but against all odds Favreau gave us a solid movie. Queue a ﬂash-forward, Summer 2010 Jon Favreau helms ol’ shellheads’ sequel, but now hopes are massive. The cast return with Don Cheadle replacing the underused and overpaid Terrance Howard in the role of James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell are taking up the bad dude roles and an extended cameo from Samuel L. Jackson. The plot, loosely based on 1979’s “The Demon in a Bottle” storyline, has Tony Stark becoming something of an alcoholic suffering with a mid-life crisis, bad enough for your normal folk, let alone a millionaire playboy with a superpowered armoured suit all whilst Stark is ﬁghting off advances from the US government to enlist him. Unbeknownst to Stark his ﬁnancial adversary, Justin Hammer, has enlisted some help of his own. Ivan Venko (a fusion of comic book enemies Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash) has signed up to Hammer’s cause, his cause being the destruction of Stark Industries and Iron Man himself. Good job then that Iron Man does have help in the form of the Black Widow and War Machine. Favreau gives us more Jon Favreau in this ﬁlm, which can only be a good thing. His character in the ﬁrst was good, but ultimately underused, not this time though. Unfortunately, that is the only thing which Favreau does right with this ﬁlm. Whilst Rockwell, Cheadle and Downey Jr. give good performances, Paltrow gives her usual ﬁnicky showing, Rourke gives us a Micky Rourke with a Russian accent performance, and to be honest it is a struggle to see why Jackson and Johansson are in this ﬁlm, other than to just introduce their characters to the audience with an eye on other Marvel Projects (speciﬁcally Nick Fury and The Avengers ﬁlms). Everything we loved in the ﬁrst ﬁlm was missing in this. It was long, bloated and, dare I say it, boring for long periods of time. While this ﬁlm may have been a minute shorter than the ﬁrst, it felt like it was considerably longer, there were big spaces of nothingness between the interesting areas.
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Sex & The City 2 Streetdance Prince of Persia Robin Hood The Tooth Fairy Iron Man 2 Space Chimps 2 The Losers Bad Lieutennant Four Lions
With all of the negatives of the ﬁlm, there will still be a 3rd in the series, and it will be the perfect opportunity for Fravreau to right the wrongs in this one. We know Favreau can write funny, touching, interesting ﬁlms, and about 50% of this ﬁlm was good. Favreau will just need to tighten up the other 50% next time – and deﬁnitely bring back Sam Rockwell. *NON-SPOILER* Stay until the end of the credits for a small treat. Rating - 6/10
Cemetary Junction Starring – Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes, Jack Doolan, Felicity Jones
I wish I grew up in England! More speciﬁcally Gervais and Merchant’s England, a place which is more like L.A., New York or Sherma, Illonois than London, Nottingham or Reading. England here is always sunny, funny and choc full of stuff to do – even when the fun ends with a night in the cells, the friendly beat bobby will give you a clip around the ear and explain why Noddy really does wear a hat with a bell on the end. It is against this backdrop that Gervais and Merchant set about their Silver Screen debut. 3 young men; ambitious, itchy-footed Freddy (Christian Cooke), the last of the small-town playboys Bruce (Tom Hughes) & loveable loser Snork (Jack Doolan) (who has arguably the greatest onscreen tattoo of all time!), ﬁnd
Spot Light: Cinema Robin Hood
Starring – Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong and Matthew MacFadyen Over the years we’ve not been short of adaptations of Nottingham’s folk hero, Robin Hood. We have seen Robin in many adaptations, earliest attempt was waaaayyyy back in 1912, and here we are almost 100 years later (and over a 100 Robin’s later too). Is it really worth revisiting a story which we have seen in countless variations?
themselves in their early 20’s each wanting something from life. Freddy’s ambition to own a mansion like his boss (worth £30,000!!) leads him to start a new job as a door-to-door salesman, where he meets former school girlfriend, Julie (Felicity Jones). As Freddy and Julie grow closer, Freddy grows to think her ﬁancé is not the right man for her, something Julie has similar doubts about. Bruce just wants to leave Cemetery Junction, as he thinks his Dad is a loser for letting his Mom leave without putting up a ﬁght. For Bruce, Reading has nothing for staying for. Snork on the other hand wants to be with his friends and if he is luck enough get together with his Railway Station work colleague. The acting of the 4 young leads is wonderfully complimented by some seasoned pro’s, Ralph Fiennes, Julia Davies, Emily Watson, of course Ricky Gervais and a cameo which almost steals the ﬁlm from Stephen Merchant. The script has a sublime mix of drama and humour, towing the line beautifully. This should not be unexpected having witnessed some of the funniest and most moving TV moments ever during The Ofﬁce and Extra’s. In fact, this ﬁlm reeks of Gervais & Merchant’s auteur. Themes of acceptance, conﬁnement, escapism, a will-they-won’t-they plot and a love triangle are covered throughout the ﬁlm. The only criticism on offer would be that some jokes we have heard from Ricky in interviews and podcasts when he has discussed his youth previously. However, this is completely forgivable; baring in mind that this ﬁlm and characters are loosely based on Ricky’s own experiences of growing up in Reading. With a script pack with dialogue as sharp as Tarantino and as witty as anything Woody Allen has done in decades, acting as engaging as any British ﬁlm ever, a setting as enticing as any laid to celluloid and a soundtrack second-to-none, is it any wonder why anyone might want to live in Gervais & Merchant’s England?
We’ve had the dashing, handsome outlaw, we have the Prince of Thieves, we have the Man in Tights, we have the Fox (cartoon fox, but never the less), we have BBC’s attempt to ﬁll the void left by Doctor Who and, probably my personal favourite, Maid Marian and her Merry Men (for those who can remember the late 80s). Now add to that list an angry, ﬁghting, AustralianYorkshire-Irish man Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe), although as far as accents go the at least Yorkshire-Irish is better than Kevin Costner’s nonattempt at a British accent. Unrest and poverty run riot in England as Richard the Lionheart and his men are pillaging there way back from their ethnic cleansing mission that was the Crusades, in his absence the people of England have become unhappy and poor. Whilst in battle Richard dies, and Longstride is tasked with returning to inform all that John (Oscar Isaac) would now be King, and also Longstride promised that he would return a precious sword back to the family of Sir Robert Loxley of Nottingham who died on his way home. All the while Godfrey (Mark Strong) is collaborating with the French to help bring down King John, by causing civil unrest in England. Whilst returning the valuable sword Longstride falls for the wife of the dead man, Marian Loxley (Cate Blanchett). Confused? I know I was, this is not the Robin Hood story we’ve come to know. After a long and drawn out start, what felt like the cinematic equivalent of putting all of the outside pieces of a jigsaw together before ﬂeshing it out, the ﬁlm picks up a nice pace about half way through, and ends with a wonderfully shot battle set-piece. Oscar Isaac’s portrayal of a petty and childish King John and Mark Strong’s strong and surely Godfrey are particular highlights; Cate Blanchett is as beautiful and wonderful as Cate Blanchett can ever be, and Russell Crowe “Russell Crowes” his way through a dark and brooding Robin Hood. “Where is the Sheriff of Nottingham?” you may ask; well he is in there, just about, the reason he has been largely ignored thus far is because the Sheriff’s (Matthew MacFadyen) screen time totalled less then 10 minutes. This ﬁlm does quite often look like we’ve seen it before... namely it looks
his father, the King of Persia. Whilst on the run Dastan is joined by Princess Tamina (Arterton), who is trying to steal back the magical dagger which can prove Dastan’s innocence. This ﬁlm could be considered to be “High-Concept” in that it can be described in less than 50 words, so then why does it have a run time of almost 2 hours? A ﬁlm which can be summarized in two sentences should not be any longer than 80-90 minutes. POP:TSOT starts off quite energetically and spends little time before getting into the crux of the story, but then once we are about an hour in we are looking for the ﬁlm to take some direction, which it doesn’t. It ﬂoats on aimlessly, showing us no clear path where the movie is going. Rather than starting to tie up threads and pushing towards and strong ending, new threads get picked up and the audience begins clock watching.
like Gladiator. The main difference is that Gladiator left us with a deﬁnitive ending, the only deﬁnitive we got is that there will be a sequel and those 10 minutes of the Sheriff here were merely the start of his story. Overall, after a worryingly slow start it becomes a quite enjoyable romp. But to answer my initial question, is it worth revisiting something we’ve already seen? Probably not, but director Ridley Scott and writer Brian Helgeland do put an interesting twist on a well worn story. Rating - 6/10
Prince of Persia
The leads Gyllenhaal and Arterton are competently supported by Ben Kingsley as Dastan’s Uncle, his brothers Tus and Garsiv are played by Richard Coyle (probably most famous from Coupling) and Toby Kebbell (Dead Man’s Shoes and RocknRolla) respectively, and we even get a comedic turn from Alfred Molina, a nice change from someone more known for serious roles. Even a strong cast and good performances couldn’t save this ﬁlm. It appears that Disney didn’t not employ an Editor for this ﬁlm. A ruthless editor could’ve saved this motion picture from being a ﬂabby and bloated, poorly directed movie. We wanted the ‘68 Comeback Special Elvis; instead we got the Las Vegas Elvis. So can Prince of Persia buck the trend of bad Game-to-Film movies? It could’ve, but ultimately it doesn’t. Like most Computer-based movies, it tried to take on too many aspects of the game. A ﬁlm which promised so much and in the end failed because it tried to deliver too much. Rating – 4/10
Starring – Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina. Video games based of ﬁlms have been notoriously poor. Who could fail but loath such gaming (non-)treats such as Bill and Ted, Home Alone or Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen?! But then the occasional gem does sneak through: Aladdin, Toy Story, The Warriors, and the Lego video game series’, so may be there is hope for the Games based on Film genre and it isn’t completely doomed. Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time (or POP:TSOT as all the cool kids will be calling it) isn’t a Movie-based Game, no its something historically much, much worse. It is a Game-Based Movie. Since 1993’s Super Mario Brothers game ﬁlms have ﬂattered to deceive gaming fans time and time again, from Mario we went on to the lows of Street Fighter: The Movie (a ﬁlm which I hold a personal grudge with having been to see it on my 11th birthday), TWO(!?) Mortal Kombat ﬁlms, two Tomb Raider movies and the truly terrible Doom. Can POP:TSOT be the ﬁlm which bucks the trend? Directed by Mike Newell, the man behind the best Harry Potter ﬁlm (Goblet Of Fire), there is every chance it might do so! Dastan (Gyllenhaal) is on the run after being framed for the murder of
Album Reviews Chemical Brothers - Further
(Parlophone) Following on from their second ‘Best Of’ album comes a mini album from Tom & Ed. Filled with hypnotic beats, lead single ‘Swoon’ is the standout track. A slightly underwhelming record on ﬁrst play, but soon gets under your skin. A must for absolute diehards, but won’t win any new fans unfortunately.
Scissor Sisters - Night Work
(Polydor) Having scrapped an album’s worth of work produced by Elton John, Jake Shears & Co return with their third offering. Full of the camp beats we love them for, this album also has soul. More emphasis is on the songwriting this time round, and it actually feels like they have tried this time. A surprising return for New York’s campest outﬁt.
7/10 Kele - The Boxer
(Polydor) Listening to ‘The Boxer’, it sounds like Kele is ﬁnally doing what he has been trying to get Bloc Party to do for years. It is ﬂamboyantly shrouded in electronic beats and swirling grooves. Lead single ‘Tenderoni’ sets the scene for the album nicely. It’s thumping bass powers the song along. Opening track ‘Walk Tall’ is a strange track that to me, does not open the album well, once past this one, the album is another contender for the coveted ‘Album of The Year’ prize. ‘Rise’ is a lost Ibiza classic from back in the heyday and should be a massive summer hit for Kele. When you are a lead singer in one of Britain’s most hardworking bands, it is a risky move to make a solo album. But in Kele’s record, it seems the best thing he could have done. Free of the constraints and formalities of Bloc Party, bizarrely Kele is ﬁnding his voice again. ‘The Boxer’ reminds us of why we loved Bloc Party all those years ago and why we should not forget the name of Kele Okerke.
(Big Teeth) After playing the UK under their alternate moniker of ‘Renegades’, Feeder return with their new album of the same name. Ditching the ‘radio-friendly’ sound of ‘Buck Rogers’, they return to their roots and have produced the ﬁnest rock record since ‘Yesterday Went Too Soon’. Lead single ‘Call Out’ sets the tone perfectly.
Single Reviews Christina Aguilera- Bionic
(Sony) In the time that she has been away, Xtina’s pop crown has been captured by the likes of Gaga and Beyoncé. Her return however proves that she means business. Full of pop gems, it is a hark back at the ‘Dirrty’ era. Unfortunately I don’t think it will win back her army of fans from yesteryear or anyone new.
(Interscope) Some have been saying for a while that the once angry young man has lost his touch. Certainly with his last release it seemed to show he was on a wayward path. Recovery seems to head back towards his routes. Although it’s no masterpiece, some anger still exists in the ﬁrery rapper.
The Drums - The Drums
(Big Brother) Last August when Oasis split, half the country breathed a sigh of relief. The
impending singles collection reminds us of the good times and why they were so important. Classics like “Live Forever’ and ‘Wonderwall’ shine alongside the later singles like ‘Shock Of The Lightning’. A timeless reminder of great times.
Kids In Glass Houses Undercover Lover
(Roadrunner) When it was announced that the Indie rockers would join up with ‘Frankie from the Saturdays’ its fair to say a few eyebrows were raised. On hearing the song a sigh of relief can be heard. It works eventhough it shouldn’t. Very poppy for ‘Kids’ and should win them some airplay.
Chemical Brothers - Swoon
(Strangefolk) Returning to the fore after a rather lowkey third album 3 years ago, ‘Pilgrim’s
The ‘Pop Princess’ returns after a few years away. Eager to retain her crown from the likes of Gaga
Kula Shaker Pilgrim’s Progress
Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite (EMI)
again, Kylie hits back with the momentous single ‘All The Lovers’. Although it’s no ‘Spinning Around’ it brings back the element of sunshine. The album ﬂows just as nicely. Once again she has nothing to prove, but delivers the goods again.
(Island) Following on the heals of ‘Wake Up The Nation’, the ‘Modfater’ returns with an epic double ‘A’ Side. ‘Aim High’ ﬁnds his Style Council falsetto sitting nicely along side the epic sounding ‘Find The Torch’. The latter should deﬁnitely be a festival anthem in the vain of ‘The Changingman’.
Oasis - Time Flies 1994-2009
(Island) The Drums have been hyped up beyond compare. Touted as the next big thing, and this debut is a good starting point. I initially didn’t get on with their 80’s musings, but singles like ‘I Felt Stupid’ and ‘Best Friend’ suck you in and you are caught in a New York whirlwind of lyrics and melodies ripe for a summer’s day.
Paul Weller - Aim High/Find The Torch
Progress’ is a stunning return. The Indian hints return in ‘All Dressed Up’ and ‘When A Brave Needs A Maid’, but its ‘Modern Blues’ and ‘Figure It Out’ that shine brightly. Single ‘Peter Pan RIP’ is a gentle opener that leads to brilliance.
(Visible Noise) Lead single from the Chemical’s new mini-album sees them back in a very
playful mode. ‘Swoon’ seems to sound like a million bubbles popping in your ear on a warm summer day, almost as if you were inside an ‘Aero’ chocolate bar. Not as instant as previous releases but makes you want to move nonetheless.
Soundcheck: Live Faithless Pictures & Review: G.Rossington
2010-05-27 - Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Faithless were rolling into town in support of their new record ‘The Dance’. For this release they wanted to promote it with a series of ‘intimate shows’ - well intimate by their scales anyway! Tonight is the penultimate date of this mini tour and sees them return to Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall for the ﬁrst time since 2001’s ‘Outrospective’ tour. To set the scene, we are currently in the midst of a mini heatwave, and as soon as the doors open tonight, the venue seems instantly full, and the anticipation is high. Support act tonight is the funky 7-piece outﬁt ‘The Hempolics’. They have an urban swagger crossed with jungle beats and old fashioned r‘n’b in the old sense of the word. Their set closer is ‘Oh Oh Oh Superman’ and already sounds like a huge summer anthem. I recommend you check them out asap! Just after 9pm, the Civic Hall’s lights bow down and the room is full of screams as we get a mini light show. The band sneak on stage and start the opening bars of ‘Home’ as Maxi Jazz appears from a special entrace from the middle of the stage. Appearing in his trademark suit with no shirt and portraying a body that any young man would be jealous of, let alone a 53 year old! From the second he opens his mouth to launch into his mesmerising 24
raps, he has the City of Wolverhampton eating out of his hand. ‘Sun To Me’ and ‘All Races’ are thrust upon us next and the pace gets faster. The only problem so far is the little interaction with the crowd. The epic ‘God Is A DJ’ hits us next and we are treated to a dazzling light show on the electronic wall behind the band, lights ﬂash to form a church as the song hits its peak, by now the whole ﬂoor of the Civic is raving like it was 15 years ago. ‘Mass Destruction’ comes a bit later on after a small calm in the set, it is played out as a funky rhythm and blues tune instead of the fast paced, 100mph beat version we are used to, it shouldn’t but it works much better. This segues into new single ‘Tweak You Nipple’. Sister Bliss’ keyboards shine as Maxi’s rapping comes back intot he fore, certainly an urgent and ‘In your face’ tune, this is one the band previewed last year and certainly seem to love playing. This could potentially be a summer anthem given the right publicity. ‘Bring My Family Back’ is next followed by something that is incredibly rare. One of those ‘moments’ that sticks with you and lifts you up on a pure high. In the middle of the ‘mosh pit’ at the front, the roar surrounds me as they kick into ‘Insomnia’. You can
just tell this is going to be huge. It takes a moment to build up but everyone is singing with Maxi word perfect as the song winds its way across the hall. Then it happens… that little break and then the massive dance beat comes in, everyone is bouncing along whether you want to or not, you just cant help it. The whole room’s singing the keyboard riff and Maxi is standing there with the biggest grin knowing ‘It is happening’. Recent single ‘Not Going Home’ closes the main set and is as hypnotic as anything they’ve played tonight. The band wonder off stage for just a moment and return with the biggest grins before kicking into ‘Muhammad Ali’. The crowd lap it up. Maxi takes a moment to thank us for the most enjoyable evening and instructs us all to join in the last song. Raising one ﬁnger in the air signals the epic ‘We Come 1’. By the end of the song he is leaning into the crowd from the edge of the stage. Before leaving us, Maxi apologises for it being so long since they paid us a visit, and promise us they won’t leave it so long next time. I just hope they keep this promise, as a show on this scale is too good to miss. Faithless will return to the area next playing the V Festival in August. I urge everyone going to pleae go and see them! 25
Soundcheck: Live Florence & The Machine Pictures & Review: G.Rossington
2010-05-11 - Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Yes, Florence and the Machine are back on tour. This time to promote ‘Cosmic Love’, the ﬁnal single release from her phenomenally successful debut album ‘Lungs’. It’s been barely a year since the curiously dark, eclectic and almost unfathomable sound of Florence Welch and her support band of keyboards, bass, guitar, drums and orchestra hit the indie/pop scene. And yet, despite the copious media overplay of hits such as ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ and ‘Dog Days Are Over’, the album has retained its eccentric charm. Listening to it has become somewhat like being haunted by a favourite dream. Tonight Wolverhampton Civic Hall is in a state of wondrous expectation, from the second the doors open, fans rush to the front of the stage. The rest of the audience come in slowly, with little anticipation building until both support acts, BabeShadow and The Drums, have ﬁnished their sets. As the stage is set and a magniﬁcent harp appears, audible murmurs of excitement begin to ripple through the crowd. And I can see why. The stage is decorated like a subterranean fairytale, with glowing lamps trapped in birdcages, ﬂowers edging the stage and a background screen bathed in a luminous red glow.
Shortly after 9.15pm, the lights dip and the audience is wild with screams and fervent anticipation for the show is about to start. As the various parts of the Machine appear and begin to oil up, the atmosphere intensiﬁes until, under the veil of darkness and to the ﬁst notes of set opener ‘Howl’, Florence emerges draped in black lace and begins to drown the hall with the most raucous and thundering rendition of the night. The following two tracks, ‘My Boy Builds Cofﬁns’ and ‘Girl With One Eye’ establish the informal grandeur so characteristic of Florence’s attitude towards her art as she kicks off her heels and twirls, shimmies and skips across the stage to complement her ﬂawless passage through the vocal scale. ‘Between Two Lungs’ quickly begins to stand out as one of the important songs of the night. As its gentle melody subdues the crowd, a soft rhythmic drumming replaces the heavy bass and general uproar of the previous tracks. It is now pure, authentic poetry that ﬂows from the stage and dissipates its unearthly ambience throughout the air. From my spot in the front ‘row’, it feels like being washed over with a lullaby; ‘Between two lungs it was released, the breath that carried me’. This is exactly the Florence I have been waiting to hear. Likewise, I look behind me and ﬁnd that a crowd of awestruck, motionless faces has
replaced the disorderly sway that dominated during ‘Drumming Song’. ‘Cosmic Love’ is similarly entrancing and is accompanied by a blanket of brilliant stars that appear on the screen behind the stage. Next comes one of the songs that the masses are waiting for. In true anthem style, ‘You’ve Got The Love’ necessitates a mass throwing of hands up in the air. Other songs performed from the album are ‘Blinding’, ‘I’m Not Calling You A Liar’ and ‘Swimming’. Tonight we are treated to a brand new track, ‘Strangeness and Charm’, it shows the style of her new material is going to be exciting. An extended version of ‘Dog Days Are Over’ is especially popular with the crowd and causes a riot of bouncing heads, all jumping up and down in dutiful compliance with Florence’s polite request for ‘everyone to dance’. After a brief interlude, Florence returns to the stage. Still barefoot, and still at complete ease, she proceeds to rock out to the guitar solo which then ﬂows into the thundering chaos of ‘Kiss With A Fist’. This is followed by an electrifying rendition of the much loved ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ to complete tonight’s show. New material and a spellbinding performance prove Flornce is around to stay. Tonight was stunningly brilliant.
Soundcheck: Live Marina & The Diamonds 2010-05-12 - Birmingham Glee Club Tonight is the opening night of Marina’s biggest tour to date. After the support of unknown ‘Spark’, Up step the excentric Miss Marina Lambrini Diamandis – a Welsh singer songwriter of Greek dissent, or as she is more affectionately known: Marina and the Diamonds. She seems to have adopted the best of both of her lineage as she’s deﬁntely got that powerful Welsh voice and has all of that mediteranian charm and ﬁreyness. The sultry singer instantly captivated the crowd in a similar way to which Kate Bush and Toyah Wilcox did in yesteryear. Quirky, yet talented, she launched in to ‘Girls’ and completes the spectacle with her own brand of robotics, to the delight of the crowd. “Hello friends”, referring to the crowd (her diamonds) greets the singer in a not too Welsh accent, “I just realise that I’ve worn a black bra with a white top!”, I’m sure the heat went up a notch or two at that moment! Then, in a tactic which is usually reserved for a much bigger Diva on a much bigger stage, Miss Diamond then adopted a new costume for nearly every song, shifting from a cocoon style space helmet for the ‘I Am Not A Robot’, which included illuminous lipstick and eyeliner. She even had chance to done some “wackaday” sunglasses too – all this without breaking stride in her set list. Impressive. For ‘Oh No’, Marina booted the band off stage, choosing to occupy the piano herself. This acoustic number worked really well, and prooves that she’s deﬁntely a singer songwriter opposed to a pop star singing others songs.
Pictures & Review: G.Rossington
‘Hollywood’ was the big hit of the night with her faithful fans, unsurprising as it was her biggest release to date. Not far behind was her cover of 3OH3’s “Starstrukk ”
She completed the evening with an invitation for everyone to”cuckoo” along to last year’s limited single ‘Mowgli’s Road’ which ended the evening’s delights. In short, this was a great set by a really novel, unique and entertaining performer. If you get chance to see her, you really must.
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Soundcheck: Live Rufus Wainwright 2010-04-20 - Birmingham Symphony Hall It’s been a few years since Rufus last gave us a show at the Symphony Hall, in that time he has gained a nephew and lost a mother. Rufus set his show into two halves, the ﬁrst of which was going to be a performance piece accompanied by a video; Rufus requested no applause from the audience until after he had vacated the stage.
Pictures: John Bentley & Review: A. Gillard & R. Dee
Starting the set with ‘Who Are You New York?’, silently following it with ‘Sad With What I Have’ and ‘Martha’ we knew that this was going to be something different. Rufus delivered All Days Are Nights in order, in its entirety whilst the accompanying video was a selection of eyes (akin to the eye on the cover of ADAN: SFL). The ﬁrst half performance showed a man clearly feeling alone, the voyeurism of watching a man mourning the loss of one of his inspirations was almost uncomfortable, but entirely engrossing. Once ‘Zebulon’ ﬁnished, Rufus turned tail and slowstepped away – without a ﬂicker of emotion. Once the curtain fell close behind him the Symphony Hall erupted in approval.
Part Two – the instructions here were simple; Enjoy and applaud to your hearts content. After a half of mourning his loss, Rufus and his Piano kicked off the second half with ‘Beauty Mark’, his ode to his mother from the self-titled ﬁrst album, one may be forgiven for thinking we were going to get another half of Rufus’ grief over his mother... this, however, was not the case! Whilst Kate, Loudon and Martha (and family) were never far from thought, it was Rufus’ time to show us how happy he is with his lot in life, by making jokes, recounting tales and thanking us all for the love shown to him and his family. Rufus brought out all the “Hits” (hard to use the word Hits on a man who has never bothered the mainstream Music Parade, not that that would be given a second of contemplation by Wainwright), we had songs spanning his entire back catalogue, the only thing missing from the Gay Messiah was a Leonard Cohen cover or two, however the encore did give us the only cover of the night, ‘Walking Song’, a song by Kate & Anna McGarrigle, which according to Rufus was a song written by Kate at a time when she and Loudon were happy. Part one was wrestling with his emotions of losing his mom, part two was celebrating his love for all things Wainwright, and the reception he received at the end was our appreciation for all things Wainwright!
Soundcheck: Live Reef 2010-04-20 - Birmingham o2 Academy It’s been a while since Reef have been together, and they’re in Birmingham as part of their six date reunion tour. As they hit the darkened stage, the crowd go mental, and so they should, as Reef really haven’t changed in the 6 1/2 years that they’ve been away. Opener “Feed Me” sets the mood straight away - the song being the opening track on their debut album 15 years ago - and the band are still really tight. The set continues through their back catalogue, mixing up the early favourites with some of the lesser known later tracks, but the crowd don’t mind, and show it by singing along to every song they play. During “Good Feeling”, the crowd start singing so loud that Stringer appears to be taken aback by it all, a massive grin spreading across his face - the crowd are having fun, and so are the band. “Mellow” sees Bessant put down the bass and pick up the acoustic guitar for a note- and echo-perfect rendition, before picking the bass back up, clicking his fuzz pedal, and launching into the dirty intro to “New Bird”, which was followed by the track that I was dreading all night. “Place Your Hands”. A track which made them truly famous in the UK, and the Reef track that you’re mostly likely to hear throughout the land. The only Reef track that non-Reef fans know (probably). The main set ends with “Choose To Live”, including a massive guitar freakout in the middle from Kenwyn House. As the song closes, House and Stringer leave the stage leaving just the rhythm section to ﬁnish the song.
Alot of people have waited an awful long time to see this band back doing what they do best, and tonight they did not disappoint at all! They receive a standing ovation right at the end of the set and are all smiles as they leave the stage. They have clearly enjoyed their mini reunion as they are continuing with festival dates and another tour at the end of the year which includes a date at Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Hall. Very apt considering Stringer is a Wolves fan too!
Pictures & Review: G.Rossington
The encore begins with “Naked” aka The MiniDisc Song, from the Sony advert all those years ago, and ends with the two most appropriate songs of the evening: “Yer Old” and “End”.
Spot Light: What’s On This is a small round up of music events happening in the city over the next few weeks. If you have any gigs you wish to promote in these pages, please end us the details asap so I can print them in the next issue. Email: gigs@wlv-soundcheck June 08th 08th 08th 09th 09th 10th 10th 10th 10th 10th 10th 11th 11th 12th 12th 12th 12th 13th 13th 13th 13th 13th 14th 15th 16th 16th 16th 17th 17th 17th 18th 19th 19th 19th 19th 19th 20th 20th 21st 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 22nd 23rd 23rd 32
Rise To Remain Powderﬁnger Leona Lewis Allan Holdsworth Jay-Z Great White Sharks Green Day tribute Chris Brown Leona Lewis The Victorian Gent… James Yuill NWOBHM The Hairy Bikers VIP Record Fair Kid British Oasis & Stone Roses Tribs Maiden Scotland Exit Calm The Watch Kenny Rogers The Buffalo Riot Jenni & Billy Band Of Horses Wheatus Trigger Bloodshed Popa Chubby Keane with K’naan Ratt/Anvil Alistair Barrie Gunnrunner Big Up The 90s Badweather Party T-Rextasy Suzanne Vega Dogs & Black Market Back To The 90’s The Naked Beatles Deathstars Elvis Costello We Are Scientists Geoff Achison The Gaslight Anthem John Illsley Throats Eurosmith Al Green
Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham LG Arena Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham LG Arena Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham LG Arena Birmingham The Rainbow Birmingham Hare & Hounds Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Dudley Town Hall Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham Symphony Hall Birmingham The Flapper Birmingham Kitchen Garden Cafe Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham Town Hall Birmingham The Flapper Birmingham The Drum Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham Symphony Hall Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham The Flapper Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham LG Arena
24th 24th 24th 25th 25th 25th 25th 25th 25th 26th 26th 26th 27th 27th 27th 28th 28th 29th 29th 30th 30th 30th 30th 30th
Chas & His Band Pink The Bronx Summer Slam The Embassy The Cavern Beatle Scissor Sisters The Get Up Kids Jesse Malin Darkside Broken Social Scene Britain’s Got Talent Tinie Tempah Jesse Malin A Foreigners Journey Blondie Pool Hayes Rockfest Past Present & Future Emma Scott Presents... Ben Montague Hockey Jellybean Rebellion Unicorn Kid Sound Of Guns
Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Coventry Ricoh Arena Coventry Kasbah Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Varsity Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham LG Arena Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Wolverhampton Robin 2 Club Birmingham O2 Academy 2 Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham The Flapper Coventry Kasbah
July 01st 01st 02nd 03rd 03rd 03rd 05th 08th 09th 09th 12th
Hardeep Singh Kohli KMFDM Once In A Lifetime 2010 Chipmunk Tigertailz Tony Bennett The Black Keys Bowling For Soup Emma Scott presents… Sick City Club Toro Y Moi
Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Birmingham LG Arena Wolverhampton Civic Hall Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Birmingham Symphony Hall Birmingham O2 Academy 1 Coventry Kasbah Wolverhampton The Slade Rooms Birmingham O2 Academy 3 Birmingham Hare & Hounds
Need artwork or promotional shots for your band? Want a new look for your business? Contact me now for a trip in the right direction! www.glennrossington.co.uk
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