Friday, 26 May 2017

Chelsea Flower Show 2017


Not impressed at all

Pro's
Artisan Gardens esp Ishihara Kazuyuki’s ‘Gosho No Niwa’
Feel Good Gardens esp Zoe Ball's Listening Garden
Some amazing carnivorous plants
It was sunny

Con's, 
Show Gardens, in particular The Silk Road Garden and The M&G Garden.
The Welcome to Yorkshire garden was no better than our front bank with some water in the front and a pastiche ruin at the rear (read our house)
Crowds
Up market bling for the nouveau-riche
Ghastly sculptures
Pimms and lemonade for £6:80 for a half pint (did the trick though)
Crowds

Trends
Common Oxeye Daisy
Salvia (in various forms but mainly purple)
Digitalis (all forms)


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Lucy McCormick, 'Triple Threat' @ Soho Theatre, London


Did not realise that came from the bible, OMG, so thats what is meant, OMG, I think I know where this is leading, OMG, That is where its leading, OMG, she actually did it, OMG not going to do that, OMG, possibly not. OMG did I just witness that?
The use of OMG is rather apt given that Lucy McCormick's show is about the retelling of a number of key parts in the New Testament. It also describes rather well a number of the set pieces and not least the finale.
McCormick well supported by the two men who keep rather impassive expressions throughout the proceedings except when she has wandered off into the audience by herself and they all but have sex with themselves.
So it was a Thursday evening, nothing of interest at the cinema, a quick look at the Soho Theatre's listing for the evening, Hmm, possibly worth it, and there at the bottom of the list, Over 18s only, some material could cause offence. Ah but this is comedy, what could cause offence, its the territory.
All I can say what there was a degree of shock even for me, There were gasps a plenty from the audience, and with a seat right on the stage, nothing was left to the imagination, except for the sex scene in the middle of the audience which I could not see.
Standing ovation at the end from the packed audience. Bravo Lucy McCormick for taking us on a ride that will stick in the memory for a long time.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Rachael Parris, Best Laid Plans. @ Soho Theatre, London




A Wednesday night, International Women's Day, what else is there to do except go and see a female comedian.
Managed to nab front row seats right next to her baby grand piano, and what followed was just over an hour of laughter. Well supported with a few props, the blackboard and very perfect childlike drawings being exceedingly well used, a number of songs, the use of the melody from Elton John's 'Your Song' linking some, and very amusing observations.

But here is the rub and not aimed at Rachael Parris but young comedians as a whole.
Its ageism.
They somehow think that anyone over say 50 does not exist, or certainly do not inhabit comedy theatres. Parris asked the audience who was over 30 to cheer, then those under 30 to do likewise. Very similar response but then, and probably seeing the audience a little better as this was at the start of the show, realised that there were a dozen or so of us who were much older. A little deflection in saying that if she had asked if the split was above and below 60 would not have worked comically, and she did have a point, but its not the first time we have encountered this apparent divide.
Our last visit to the Soho for the Pappy's Secret Dudes show, a similar theme arose (not by the Pappy boys though), and it was about having young children, Most of the audience we single, some married but without children (it was a Monday evening after all just before Christmas). But we had taken our nigh on thirty year old daughter and her boyfriend with us for their first comedy experience.

Ignoring all of that, Parris deserves the plaudits she has garnered already.
And yet again I have to say, catch her if you can.

Friday, 3 February 2017

St Paul and the Broken Bones @ O2 Forum Kentish Town


First gig of the year, whats to come?
Last gig of a long tour for the band and possibly showed slightly although four encore numbers sent the sold out audience happy enough.
Personally I dont think is was quite as good as their appearance at Koko last year, not enough gospel inspired numbers or slow songs to my mind, probably as more numbers from the Sea of Noise album were performed. But coming back on the tube afterwards there was a young guy with the cover of SoN under his arm that he had managed to get the whole band to sign. He did not think so.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Cirque de Soleil, Amaluma @ Royal Albert Hall, London

First time for Cirque du Soleil and it will also be my last.
This production was 75% bollocks but with 25% of jaw dropping acrobatic stunts. What it had to do with Willy the Shake's Tempest I have no idea.
Technically the staging was indeed very well thought through which cannot be said for the garbage rock music that was played relatively heavily (would imagine that most of the audience thought that it was what rock music was all about, oh little do they know) throughout the nigh on two hours of the performance. No light or shade, no nuances, no tonal differences zilch.
The best was a rather stunning performance from Lara Jacobs Rigolo (as the helpfully-named Balance Goddess) as she creates a boat frame using only canes, her toes and feats of balance that seem impossible. But best of all, no music, only the sound of her very regular but calm breathing. It will be the only I will remember about the whole show.

Monday, 19 December 2016

PAPPY'S PRESENTS: SECRET DUDES SOCIETY @ Soho Theatre, London


Don't you just love comedy, the smile on face only disappeared after I had gone to sleep later that evening. Grinned all the way home.
Pappy's Tom Parry, Ben Clark and Matthew Crosby were joined by a two piece house band and guests, Richard Herring, Stuart Goldsmith and Beasts to provide a perfect antidote to Christmas.
Drinking of Advocat as part of the performance will long be remembered as will the ghost of christmas past which had Tom on the shoulders of Ben staggering around on stage (Tom being the larger of the two and trying to use the lighting conduits fixed to the ceiling above to stabilise).
Great evening and catch them if you can.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Calypso Rose @ Jazz Cafe, Camden, London.


First and foremost, a thank you to Cerys Matthews on 6 Music  as hearing her interview with Calypso Rose and listening to her perform two live songs, took us some thirty odd hours later to see her for real.
What a great lady! Frail yes but in front of a mike, with a great band behind her, this was something else. Her zest for performing and singing was infectious, and the audience just loved it.
This was up tempo, jazz rocky calypso music. yet again, what a difference a horn section makes! Only a two piece, trumpet or trombone and sax, but the way it pushes the song along just cannot be replicated by a guitar based band.
She was rude (funny rude), flirtatious, political, and just pure feisty.
We loved it and went away with a big smile on our faces. Just wished we had come across her when we went to Sunday School in Tobago a couple of years ago.
Many thanks, Calypso Rose, for a great evening.