Wednesday, 20 October 2010

An Inspector Calls

The Mercurie Theatre presents
'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestley
at the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr
Haymarket, Newcastle

Running from Wednesday 20/10 until Friday 22/10.
Tickets will be available on the door.
I am playing Eric Burling.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Velvet Starfish at October Zest

Friday 15/10/2010
St. Hilda's Church Hall, Jesmond

Set List:
01. Pictures of the Sky (7thSun)
02. Finest Little Space (Moulster/Powell/Yorke)
03. Be Gentle With Me (McKechnie)
04. Time (Mason/Waters/Wright/Gilmour).

Thanks to Davey for the photograph, and thanks to those who turned up.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

October Zest

My band 'Velvet Starfish' are performing at St. Hilda's Church Hall in West Jesmond next Friday (15/10) at 7.30.

Our performance is part of the concert 'October Zest' which features several different performers and a range of musical styles.

Tickets are £5 on the door and include a glass of wine. All proceeds go to St. Oswald's Hospice.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Review: Mogwai - 'Special Moves'/'Burning'

'This recording is meant to be listened to on vinyl', it states on the back of Slint's 1991 album 'Spiderland'. The same could be said of Mogwai's new live album, 'Special Moves', because the vinyl edition contains six extra tracks which are easily as powerful as the other eleven performances on the CD edition. MP3s of these tracks are downloadable by means of a code supplied with the CD.

This is only half the story, however: 'Special Moves' is accompanied by the live DVD 'Burning'. Both the live album and DVD were recorded over three nights in Booklyn last year, although both feature different track selections and alternative mixes. Shot effectively in grainy black and white, the film does an effective job of capturing what it's like to see the band live (and my ears are still ringing from the volume of the screening in Newcastle several weeks ago).

Mogwai remain one of the very best live bands around, managing to apply the right degree of professionalism to their performances while maintaining a sense of humour about the whole thing. The highlights of this live package are, unsurprisingly, early career highlights 'Mogwai Fear Satan' and 'Cody', but it's also nice to hear tracks from the fantastic 'The Hawk Is Howling': pieces such as
'I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School' which envelop the listener with carefully structured washes of sound.

'Special Moves' and 'Burning' will present no surprises to seasoned Mogwai listeners who have seen the band live before, but they do show that the band are very much alive, comfortable with the legacy of their past and looking to explore new territory on-stage as much as in the studio.

Mogwai are on tour in February next year and are working on a new album at present.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

'This is the first thing' by Philip Larkin

This is the first thing
I have understood:
Time is the echo of an axe
Within a wood.

Philip Larkin, 1943.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

The Jesus and Mary Chain - 'Darklands'

The title track from the album 'Darklands' by The Jesus and Mary Chain, 1987.
Still one of my favourite summer albums, despite the fact that all of the lyrics are about rain.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Michael Haneke

The Essential Michael Haneke
Der Siebente Kontinent (1989)
Benny's Video (1992)
71 Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls (1994)
Das Schloβ (1997)
Funny Games (1997)
Code inconnu (2000)
La Pianiste (2001)
Le Temps du loup (2003)
Caché (2005)
Funny Games U.S. (2007)
Artificial Eye, 2009

Michael Haneke's Cinema: The Ethic of the Image
by Catherine Wheatley
Berghahn Books, 2009

The Essential Michael Haneke is a ten-disc DVD box set featuring all of Michael Haneke's films from 1989-2007 (including his adaptation of Das Schloβ by Kafka which was originally filmed for television but was then released cinemtically against Haneke's wishes). As with most Artificial Eye releases, the set is immaculately designed and presented, and features excellent interviews with the director about most of the films. Unfortunately, the box set was not released in time to incorporate Das weiße Band, my favourite film from last year.

Catherine Wheatley's The Ethic of the Image considers Haneke's work in light of the traditions of counter-cinema and the idea of cinematic 'un-pleasure', and also in the context of Kantian ethics.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


'Lysistrata' by Aristophanes
Tuesday 02/03 - Saturday 06/03
The People's Theatre, Newcastle Upon Tyne

I am playing Kinesias.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Cluster: Live

Coming soon:
AV Festival 2010 presents Cluster and :Zoviet*France live in concert
7.30 p.m. on 10/03/2010
Sunderland Aquatic Centre
Tickets £5

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Some albums I have been listening to recently:

Miles Davis: The Blue Haze
Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescaleet: The Breadwinner
Stephan Mathieu: Radioland*
Sunn O))): Monoliths & Dimensions
Vangelis: Earth

Some films I have seen in the last couple of months:

Code Inconnu
Five Easy Pieces
The Last Detail*
The Road

I also enjoyed reading 'Magnificent Desolation'* by Buzz Aldrin recently.

* = pictured