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.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Ade Edmondson: Bits of Me Are Falling Apart @Soho Theatre


Quickly becoming our favourite venue, two weeks after seeing Richard Gadd, we are back at the Soho Theatre to see Ade Edmonson perform a one man monologue lasting for a solid 60 minutes.
A bitter sweet story of a man looking back at his life following the separation with his partner and 2 year old son.
Touching performance by Ade showing that he has become an actor to be reckoned with. How he remembered that dialogue is beyond me.
Finally, a big mention for the inventive stage set, simple to a degree, but well used to illuminate the act that was evolving below.
Yet again, if you get a chance, go and see.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

P J Harvey @ Brixton Academy, London

I will let the links below bear testament at what a great gig this was, but a few observations first.
I said to my partner about five songs into the set, its a Rock Opera for a Brave New World, with PJ Harvey playing the Pixie Queen with her nine musicians as her commanders.
Highly appropriate that on Halloween, they should be all dressed in black and only black and there was certainly a bit of the Gothic in the performance.
Finally, it was so good to hear a performance that was not driven along by the drummer. It featured percussion heavily, but not the constant bass drum thump, the zing zing of the hi hat, and the crashing of cymbals.
As one of the reviewers below said, PJ Harvey is a class act.

The Guardian  NME  FT  Telegraph