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Showing posts from 2014

MUSIC REVIEW: Lekiddo - Lord of the Lobsters: It's Christmas (I Bet You Don't Know What I'll Bring You) [PPkk Remix]

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Music charts around the Christmas period have been a disappointment of late. As a child of the 80s, I shamelessly enjoy the sentimental pipes of Sir Cliff’s Saviour’s Day and the heartache and sleigh bells of Wham’s Last Christmas. Old festive favourites do make a reappearance in the charts every year but how refreshing would it be for a more recent song that was also deliciously on-theme to make an appearance? Glastonbury favourite Lekiddo - Lord of the Lobsters may have just what Christmas music fans are yearning for!
Lekiddo’s latest remix of his festive tune It’s Christmas (I Bet You Don’t Know What I’ll Bring You) is all what a seasonal number should be - catchy and joyous with an outright refusal to hold back.  The surreal backing vocals, echoing old rock n roll, are joined by chimes while Lekiddo sings passionately of giving into the party beat. From then on the song throws you head first into a soulful tinsel-glittering world touched with nostalgia.
Each verse is filled with ima…

Sport: London Rockin Rollers

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Last Saturday I visited Newham Leisure Centre to cheer on my favourite flat track roller derby team - London Rockin Rollers  - who were taking on Ruhrpott Roller Girls from Essen, Germany. An afternoon of dangerous sport, rock music and homemade cupcakes? Something for everyone surely!

Roller derby is a sport that attracts many fans who don’t officially like sport. There are rules and required skills in place like any other sport but with alter-egos and uniform customisations added. It’s a team sport that also celebrates personal uniqueness. Players and fans alike come from various ages, appearances and lifestyles - it’s togetherness without a potentially toxic pack mentality. The good bits of a rock n roll attitude. As a game it’s fast, delightfully scary (sit next to the track if you dare) and all on roller skates. It’s a predominantly female-lead sport but male teams such as Southern Discomfort are increasingly popular too.
A roller derby bout consists of two teams. In a two and a ha…

Kräftskiva - Scandinavians show you how to party properly

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With the end of summer, there’s no better way to make the most of what’s left than with a traditional Scandinavian crayfish party. Originally from Sweden but enthusiastically celebrated throughout the other Nordic countries, crayfish parties take place every August and are an uninhibited affair - participants should leave shyness and delicate table manners at home. 

 Last weekend my friend Purple Pixie hosted her annual crayfish party and gave her guests the ultimate party experience Scandinavian style. Crayfish parties, or kräftskiva, are usually held outdoors but High Wycombe’s grey and threatening skies kept this event in the comfort of Purple Pixie’s living room. Red crayfish garlands and paper lanterns depicting the moon hung overhead while guests were seated and invited to put on conical hats and (much needed) orange bibs decorated with the crustacean of the moment.

The spread included Swedish delicacies such as herring, homebaked bread, strong hard cheese, moose sausage and the c…

Review: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk - Barbican

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The V&A usually takes all the glory for exhibiting the most extraordinary of fashion designers. Yet the Barbican has a particular knack for truly transporting visitors to the wonderfully peculiar worlds of design (Viktor & Rolf’s kooky dolls in their decadent miniature homes in 2008 immediately spring to mind). It is no longer just about the garments and sketches, it is also about the dreams that drive them. The Barbican’s recent offering was the first major exhibition dedicated to everyone’s favourite French rebel - Jean Paul Gaultier - and completely immersed one in his world of clever playfulness and unconventional bold sexiness.  

Film Review: Mood Indigo

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Michel Gondry’s latest fantastical cinematic offering, Mood Indigo, is an adaptation of a Boris Vian novel and stars the ever-versatile Romain Duris as Colin, a wealthy carefree man living with his lawyer and cook enthusiast friend Nicolas (Omar Sy). The pair reside in a bright, spacious apartment and indulge in delightful pastimes such as playing the “pianocktail” (different keys and tempos empty cocktail ingredients into a glass - a Willy Wonka-esque creation for grown ups). Colin’s life takes an even brighter turn when he meets Chloé (Audrey Tautou) who he soon marries. Everything changes dramatically for the newlyweds when Chloé has a water lily growing in her lung and Colin tries to do what he can to afford the growing medical expenses.

Dance Review: Brasil Brasileiro at Sadlers Wells

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This summer, samba extravaganza Brasil Brasileiro returned to Sadlers Wells to give Londoners a full flavoured taste of Brazil but without the drama that was the World Cup. Dance is one of Brazil’s greatest exports and director Claudio Segovia’s show takes the audience on a journey that is a history lesson and carnival combined.

The evening started with dances originally derived from Angola and Congo such as Batuque, with its impressively complex footwork, and Lundu where individuals and couples take turns to dance in the middle of a circle with some delightfully playful results. This sets the tone for two hours of high energy fun.

Each dance in Brasil Brasileiro emphasises the diversity of Brazilian culture where African and European worlds collide and produce a unique vibrancy. Many of the colourful dance highlights included the sharp dressed step dancer Renato Sorriso and his male colleagues in the Malandro number and the elaborate swirling with erotic abandonment of Wellington Lopes…

Dance Review: English National Ballet's Lest We Forget at Barbican Theatre

Tamara Rojo’s appointment as artistic director for the English National Ballet has proven to be a thrilling move as triumphantly shown with Lest We Forget - a collection of bold new commissions to mark the centenary of the First World War. Rojo has taken brave steps with this production - it is the first English National Ballet season ever at the more contemporary Barbican rather than the usual classical home that is The Coliseum. It is also the first time that contemporary dance choreographers Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant have collaborated with a ballet company.

First on stage is Liam Scarlett’s No Man’s Land depicting women working in a munitions factory while uniform-clad men who could be their husbands, lovers or brothers gravely march to the war front. The rows of women with yellowed hands and gathering dust while they repetitively work shows a melancholic loneliness despite all working together in the same space. Scarlett clearly demonstrates how the roles of both genders cre…

Review: Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras - La Pepa at Sadlers Wells

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This month, dance lovers in London were given the rare treat of a visit from flamenco queen Sara Baras for this year’s Flamenco Festival in Sadler’s Wells. Accompanied by a tremendous force of a corps de ballet and musicians on guitars and percussion that drive you giddy with the passionate rhythms, Baras’ latest production ‘La Pepa’ is a tribute to the Spanish Constitution of Cadiz in 1812 and a celebration of her beloved country.

On this flamenco interpretation of a historical journey, the entire spectrum of emotions from sorrow to passion to sheer joy make their mark through the smallest and largest of gestures, from an elaborate turn of a hand to full body turns at high speed with skirts circling furiously around like Catherine wheels. Every part of the body is strong, controlled yet yields itself to immense sensitivity.

Baras dances like a supernatural being  - steps move effortlessly from a subtle rousing build up to a fast and furious staccato that looks impossible for a mortal. …

Comedy Review - Dirty Fan Male at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club

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Valentine's Day produced a little crisis - I wanted to do “something” with my significant other which was not depressingly and cynically marketed (overpriced bland set menus served with the elbows and awkward conversations of strangers? No ta) . So I booked tickets for Dirty Fan Male at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club - an evening of love letters to soft porn stars read out with musical accompaniment. This is how you do romance properly.
Dirty Fan Male is presented by Jonny Trunk, founder of Trunk Records, who recalls his past job managing his glamour model sister’s fan club along with their mother who had left her job at the National Trust especially. This eventually led to handling huge volumes of fan mail for several other models in the soft porn industry. Over the years, Trunk collected fan correspondence full of an incredibly wide and colourful range of sexual and romantic desires.

With keyboard accompaniment, actor and impressionist Duncan Wisbey animatedly provides recitals …

Dance Review: English National Ballet's Le Corsaire at The Coliseum

The festive sparkle of December was carried through to the usually glum January thanks to the English National Ballet’s swashbuckling Le Corsaire. The first time that a UK company has performed this ballet in its entirety, this production didn’t fail in delivering the spectacular.
Interpreting Byron’s poem of a pirate falling in love with a slave girl, this is a ballet overflowing with romanticism and drama. Anne-Marie Holmes’ staging for this new production is straight out of the golden age of cinema  - dashing pirates, led by a hunky Errol Flynn-esque Conrad as played by Vadim Muntagirov, countless erotic harem girls and a ridiculously comedic Pasha dripping in jewels and overcome with infantile excitement over attractive slave purchases.   

All principal casting, male and female, prompted audience gasps with gravity-defying leaps and pirouettes. Hardly does a classical ballet give the boys a chance to shine like the girls so Le Corsaire is a refreshing balance and it was a treat to s…

Theatre Review - The El. Train at Hoxton Hall

The last show I attended in 2013 was The El. Train - three one-act plays by Eugene O’Neill put together for the first time in a single production. The venue was the Victorian grade II listed Hoxton Hall which had been transformed into 1920s New York with a “Hell Hole” saloon bar serving up period-inspired cocktails and blaring out melancholic jazz. The theatre itself was turned into a cramped dark tenement block with the piercing sound of a railway train racing overhead followed by live music and the heart-rending vocals of Nicola Hughes.
The first two plays, Before Breakfast and The Web, were directed by Sam Yates with Ruth Wilson as the female leads. Before Breakfast sees Wilson’s embittered Mrs Rowland getting ready for work while talking to her silent husband Alfred of whom one could vaguely make out a silhouette in the curtained off bedroom. As the play progresses, anger rises and falls in Wilson’s east coast drawl which also sounds exhausted by everything. Increasingly more is re…