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Archive for August, 2008

Love will Tear us Apart

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

ControlThis weekend I watched ‘Control’, a film based on the life of the late Ian Curtis lead singer of Joy Division. If you’re interested in Factory Records, Joy Division, beautifully made films or just tragic love stories then you need to give this a watch.

Filmed completely in black and white, the film charts Ian Curtis’ early life and career in Joy Division, right up until his suicide in 1980, aged just 23. Directed by Anton Corbijn, who filmed some of the band’s videos, ‘Control’ captures the intensity of Joy Division’s music, and the impact this had on their lead singer’s personal life. Amazingly the cast play all the music themselves – during live scenes the music you hear is the actors themselves playing and singing.

Sam Riley, who plays Ian Curtis had had no previous acting experience, but received huge critical acclaim for his portrayal of the troubled musician, despite only being born the year Curtis committed suicide.

A light-hearted rom-com this certainly isn’t, but if you’re looking for a though-provoking, emotive and wonderfully made film, you can’t do much better than ‘Control’.

Head to Amazon to pick up a copy for only £5.98.

Bloc Party Bombshell

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Bloc Party - IntimacyOne of the UK’s most popular and cutting edge indie bands, Bloc Party, have surprised fans by releasing their new album early. ‘Intimacy’ is available as a download as of today with the CD release coming on the 27th October.

Despite only releasing their second album ‘A Weekend in the City’ just under 18 months ago, the band were keen for their new material to be heard. Recent single ‘Mercury’ caused a divide amongst fans and critics alike with it’s electronic influences and jumpy rhythms. However lead singer Kele Okereke claims that ‘Intimacy’ is more of a pop based album and that the band aren’t straying too far into synthesiser territory.

You can buy the download from Bloc Party’s website for £5 or pre-order the CD with the download for £10.

The band play Reading and Leeds Festivals this weekend.

Conducting Celebrities

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

The Maestro StudentsWhether classical music is your bag or not, we all love seeing celebrities making a fool of themselves, and a new show starting tonight on BBC2 does just that. Maestro, airing tonight at 9pm sees famous faces including comedian Sue Perkins, former Blur bassist-turned-farmer Alex James, and news-reader Katie Derham attempt to learn how to conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra. In the timeless elimination format, each week someone will be voted off by a panel of judges.

The winner will then perform at BBC Proms in the Park in Hyde Park next month, in front of a rather daunting 30,000 people.

The show aims to shed some light on the art of conducting, and as the celebrities demonstrate, it’s not just a case of waving your arms about and keeping time.

Catch the first episode tonight, BBC2 9pm, where the students undertake the first part of their training, a 3 week stay at ‘Baton Camp’.

Corden & Horne

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Gavin and StaceyOne of the UK’s hottest and funniest comedy double acts, James Corden and Mathew Horne (Smithy and Gavin in ‘Gavin & Stacey’), will be hitting our screens later in the year with their own show. BBC3 have commissioned six episodes of ‘Corden and Horne Have Come’ which will be a traditional sketch show in the style of Morecombe and Wise and filmed in front of a live studio audience. The pair will be creating new characters in sketches as well as performing as themselves.

After a recent tour to try out new material, the show is still currently being developed, but will no doubt be full of the boys usual mischievous and cheeky brand of humour.

Check out Gavin and Stacey on DVD, available at Amazon, or catch the pair presenting Big Brother’s Big Mouth on E4 this week to see what all the fuss is about…

Noah and the Whale

Monday, August 4th, 2008

5 Years TimeFolk-rock troubadours Noah and the Whale release their hugely lovely single ‘5 Years Time’ this week. Featuring the words ‘fun’, ‘sun’ and ‘love’ in abundance, it’s perfect listening for a summery day, or even to raise your spirits in the rain. Part of the emerging new UK folk scene, the band combine catchy riffs, gentle banjo and simple but charming vocals.

The band, from Twickenham, are currently on the festival circuit, including Summer Sundae in Leicester this Friday and Field Day in London on Saturday.

In late October they embark on their own headline tour, taking in the length and breadth of the UK, and with the current hype surrounding them, this maybe a rare chance to catch them in a teeny tiny venue.

‘5 Years Time’ is available to download from iTunes, or to buy from Amazon, where you can also preorder the album, ‘Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down’ which is released next week.