Category Archive



Travis at The Fillmore, San Francisco

Last Wednesday night I had the good fortune to see Travis at one of only two live gigs they played in America, after their appearance at the Coachella music festival near LA.

Like many other British bands, they have a smaller following this side of the Atlantic, which is great as it means they fill far smaller venues than you would expect in Europe, and the fans are more dedicated and appreciative.

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Kaiser Chiefs

Kaiser Chiefs Playing Tonight

My first gig in a long while, and certainly bizarre in having to prove I was over 21 to get served alcohol (not sure I have encountered the higher age limit in the US until this point). The Warfield is a nice small feeling venue, in a great central location on Market Street. We got seats on the front row of the upper level, perfect for watching the Kaisers.

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Children of Men

Clive Owen in Children of Men

When I get forced to see movies that I’m not particularly keen on seeing (X-Men, Appocoloypto, Ray) I usually end up enjoying these the most. Children of Men - a vision of the not too distant future (2027 to be precise) where the human race is no longer able to reproduce - is one of those films. Whilst I liked the look of the trailer, I’m not a great fan of Clive Owen who plays the leading role in this film, and imagined that this would be a pretty average affair.

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Thandie Newton and Matt Dillon in Crash

A story about several racially and socially divided individuals living in Los Angeles, that through a number of events over the course of two days, come in contact with each other with predictable and unpredictable results.

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Flags Of Our Fathers

Adam Beach, Ryan Phillippe and Jesse Bradford in Flags Of Our Fathers

The first of a few brief film reviews I plan to end the year on, given the fact that I’ve seen a few movies during my three months back in the states (God bless Netflix!). First up, Flags of Our Fathers, I film that I went to see with Tung and Fabricio one night after work a few weeks ago…

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Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan

Borat in Times Square, New York

Last Friday night I went to see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. This is the second time I have watched a film in a US cinema, so alongside my review of this film, I also want to share some thoughts about that experience as well.

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The Island

The Island

A film about the dangers and ethics of human cloning, or advertising space for today’s technology corporations?

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Having seen a preview of Ray many months ago on the David Letterman show, I was keen to see this movie, even though I knew little about Ray Charles or his music. With my brother having already seen this movie 3 times already, and willing to see it a forth, I knew if I was to miss this film I would be seriously kicking myself.

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Garden State

Garden State

Never before have I waited with as much anticipation as I have for this particular film. I don’t know why. It was only whilst browsing the movie trailers in iTunes that this particular film was singled out for suspending the boredom. But from that single viewing, to reading Zach Braff’s blog, I have waited seemingly forever to see this film. (Only then to miss the first 15 minutes - I really do hate myself)

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Back to Bedlam

It’s only April, but I think I have already found the musical highlight of 2005, in the shape of ‘Back to Bedlam’, from James Blunt.

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The Football Business

The Football Business In 2002 I was deciding on a topic for which my Final Major Project was to revolve around. At this time ITV Digital was going into administration - largely due to paying over the odds for Football League rights, and people were starting to question players increasing wages. I brought this book to give me a greater understanding of football’s increasing commercialism, and its background.

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Spiderman 2

Spiderman 2

One of the big releases of 2004, and already a huge success worldwide - but this could be said of many films that Hollywood throws at us. However the Spiderman franchise has a good reputation to preserve, and as sequels go - this does the job.

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Club Dread

Club Dread

As let downs go - this may be up there.

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Hopes and Fears

Every year it seems one new band becomes the spotlight of the mainstream press and are touted as the next big thing with their debut album. Previous years have seen the emergence of The Darkness, Coldplay, Travis and Stereophonics in this manner, before not fading into obscurity, but certainly no longer the focus of such fascination.

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Van Helsing

Van Helsing

Your typical Transylvanian horror/action movie - but some nice twists… and Kate Beckinsale!

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50 First Dates

50 First Dates

Being an avid viewer of David Letterman I had seen all the clips and interviews and I couldn’t wait for this films UK release. It could have still been a stinker, thankfully it was anything but.

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Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead

I was not too desperate to see this film, but I was convinced by the good press. That and the fact it’s from the same people that brought spaced to Channel 4, and I did enjoy those episodes of Spaced that I managed to catch.

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Starsky & Hutch

Starsky and Hutch

A couple of weeks before watching this film I watched Old School. Fully expecting a straight to video sort of affair I was immensely surprised.

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24 Carrott Gold

24 Carrott Gold I’ve been a fan of Jasper Carrott most of my life. Having grown up watching his shows that were a mainstay of 90’s television, I was looking forward to seeing Jasper live for the first time, during this series of shows for the people of his home town.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

LOTR: Return of the King

So finally we reach the final part of this much acclaimed trilogy, but conceivably its at this point that the adaptation would either succeed or fail. Unlikely given the quality of the previous two films but a possibility none the less.

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The Matrix: Revolutions

The Matrix: Revolutions

So here we are - the conclusion of the Matrix Trilogy. Of course every film released now days is part of a trilogy as part of obvious marketing exercises and you do wonder weather the Matrix falls into this category.

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The Matrix: Reloaded

The Matrix: Reloaded

The first instalment of the Matrix amazed me in so many ways - a visually stunning and innovative film set alongside an original and thought provoking story-line - and is regarded in this way by many others. It therefore goes without saying that any sequel was up against it, and this film had a lot of high expectations laboured upon it.

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Old School

Old School

Not having heard of this film or even knowing of its release last year, I was persuaded to watch it on video - fully expecting a dud. I was also not familiar at the time of the cast, however this can sometimes be helpful as it adds an extra level of realism and is easier to except the actors as the characters they are portraying.

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Johnny English

Johnny English

Although totally predictable, this film is entertaining and endearing in its own way.

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The Getaways

The Getaways

So the first Getaways gig of 2003 and the first gig I got to see since the bands name change. This time I also managed to catch the whole set (eight songs in total including a cover of Blondie’s ‘One Way Or Another’ which cost them £25 to perform!) and hear live their songs from the Demo ‘She’.

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Star Trek: Nemesis

Star Trek: Nemesis

Apparently it is a well known fact that every evenly numbered Star Trek movie is worthy of watching.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

LOTR: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is something I thought I ought to see (as a event destined to become part of cinema history) but yet also wasn’t bothered if I saw it or not. Having missed the first instalment meant I was also a bit wary of seeing the second part. It turns out that I was pleasantly surprised!

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8 Mile

8 Mile

This film was promising and highly anticipated, yet the reality leaves a bitter taste - and of no fault of Eminem who actually proves himself as a very worthy actor. The story-line is blotchy and and due to the films ending seems ultimately pointless. The story seems to be non existent, just a couple of weeks in the life of a wanna be rapper. Disappointing.

About A Boy

About A Boy

So yet another Hugh Grant film, hot(ish) on the heels of Bridget Jones Diary, but this time we don’t see the classic Hugh Grant performance - that of floppy hair and slight nervousness, provides us with a far more convincing role.

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The 51st State

The 51st State

Samuel L Jackson is his usual cool self, surrounded by loads of familiar faces to viewers of UK television. Jackson plays Elmo McElroy, a kilt-wearing, golf-obsessed illegal chemist who arrives in Liverpool to clinch a $20 million drugs deal with local baron Ricky Tomlinson.

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My first big gig in ages so I was hardly gonna be disappointed, but still an event not to be missed - being told twice beforehand that the Feeder/Phonics line-up was well worth the ticket price.

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Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc.

Revolving around the lives of the employees at Monsters Inc. who wait behind your bedroom closet, and use children’s screams to power their city. Certainly entertaining, but I left the cinema feeling a little underwhelmed. Good job the ‘B’ movie ‘Birds’ (Pixar always have one of these, and they’re always class) made the trip worthwhile.

The Others

The Others

Pushed as perhaps one of the scariest movies of this year, I was ready to brace myself. It wasn’t long before I was thinking should I get myself comfortable and have a good snooze. Not that the film was boring, but it was a little drawn out in places. However it did keep you guessing.

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A Knight's Tale

A Knight's Tale

This film could be considered as one of 2001’s big releases, but it perhaps didn’t get the attention it deserved. With no big stars (although many recognisable faces to British viewers) this helped make this film even better, as all those involved were cast brilliantly.

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Cats & Dogs

Cats & Dogs

How bad can you make a film? Not much worse than this!

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Teller Ticket My first listen of the band playing live since the end of last summer, and also my first chance to hear live, some of the songs from the band’s demo CD.

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The Man Who

One of the great successes of last year was Travis. Like most people I had heard of the band before, mainly because of their first major success in the form of ‘Tied to the Nineties’ from the last album ‘Good Feeling’ and also as a support band at some of Oasis’s gigs.

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Toy Story 2

Toy Story 2

Like the first movie, Toy Story 2 is a movie that you just want to see - you don’t know why but you just know that you have to see it.

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Steve Coogan: Live

In the summer of 1998 I was lucky enough to see ‘Steve Coogan Live: The Man Who Thinks He’s It’ at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. I can safely say that it was one of the best nights out in my life.

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The Magic Treehouse

I first heard of Ooberman in late 98 on the Mark Radcliffe Show when Shorley Wall was record of the week. It was like nothing I ever heard before, a song made of just pure emotion, and like all good songs, had a great tune and smashing lyrics to boot.

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Performance and Cocktails

The bands second album following their successful debut album Word Gets Around (V2, 1997). I have always liked their previous stuff such as Local Boy in the Photograph and A Thousand Trees but prior to the release of this album, and in particular the single Just Looking, I was never a big fan of the band.

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Brand Identity for Television: With Knobs On

Brand Identity for Television I first saw this book when I was at the Barbican in London to see “Native Nations” (an exhibition showing photography of American Indians taken by American photographers - or something like that, I wasn’t that interested) and when looking through the book shelves in their shop. In fact I was almost left behind as I was so engrossed in the book but the £45 price tag did made me choke a little. However I couldn’t get the book out of my head, and so I decided to order the book a few months later. I was glad I did.

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Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Austin Powers 2

‘If you watch one film this summer, watch Star Wars’ or so said the trailers for this, our second helping of Austin Powers.

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