Category: music


How Beatle people conquered America

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK  directed by Ron Howard (USA, 2016)

beatlesAfter all that has been written, sung and spoken about The Beatles do we really need another feel good film looking at aspects of their meteoric rise and enduring appeal?

Of course we do!

As an official Apple Corps production you know in advance that this will be another adoring, at times superficial, look at how four young men from Liverpool conquered America and the world. Only the most cynical will complain about this.

I guess the time will come when someone will expose a darker side to this rags to riches story that surely exists. The backstabbing that came soon after the band split, notably in John Lennon’s spiteful ‘How Do You Sleep?’, illustrate that life with the Beatle people was not always so shiny and happy as it appeared. Continue reading

Verdena live at Rocca Malatestiana, Cesena – 8th September 2016

verdena1If I had been hipper to the local music scene when I arrived in Italy over 20 years ago I would have been able to follow Verdena from their inception as Nirvana wannabes to the distinctive individuals I witnessed at this stunning open air concert.

My belated appreciation of this excellent band from Bergamo is a good motive for shaking the complacent attitude that goes with smug slogan T-shirt slogans like : ‘I may be old but I got to see all the cool bands’.

I have my daughter to thank for ‘discovering’ this cool band existing right now playing songs from current releases not running through a familiar back catalogue from way back when. Continue reading

CHRISTINE directed by John Carpenter (USA, 1993)

Christine2 “I hate Rock’n’Roll!”  A good pub quiz question would be to name the movie of a Stephen King novel that ends with this statement.

Here it is in ‘Christine’ a mix of high school melodrama and sub-par horror.

The line is spoken by the movie’s human romantic interest, Leigh Cabot (Alexandra Paul) as she mistakes music from the ghetto blaster of a passing scrapyard worker for the car radio of the now crushed and cubed 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine.

This car’s theme tune is George Thorogood and the Destroyers’ ‘Bad To The Bone’ and its identity is also defined by a series of rock classics. Bored to the bone would be more accurate.
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Harpa

The shadows and light in Harpa concert hall are stunning.

Preparations and expectations are as much a part of journeys as arrivals but it was a trial to face mundane considerations of what to pack for my short stay in Reykjavík.

Most bloggers, tweeters and travel guides recommend winter wear even when traveling in the summer months. They are not wrong. At this time of year it is light all day but this does not mean there is constant sunshine.

Temperatures rarely exceed 23◦ C and are often much lower. The evenings are cool and it also rains a lot so waterproof clothing is considered essential. Dressing as you would for a typical Autumnal day in Northern England is a good rule of thumb guide. While I was there the temperature was a little chilly at an average of around 17◦ C  (I needed a hat!) but the air feels so good and pure.

Soon after arriving, I experienced a prime example of the pragmatism of the Icelandic people came when I asked a tour guide if I needed rainproof clothing for a day excursion to The Golden Circle. She replied: “If it rains, yes!”

Town

A birds-eye view of Reykjavik

I can’t remember exactly when I began to get obsessed about the idea of going to Iceland but the wealth of amazing music coming from this small country was certainly a major factor. For this reason I has to pinch myself when the co-owner of the apartment I had booked turned out to be named Sigurrós. This is akin to a foreigner visiting Liverpool for the first time and being greeted by a John Lennon.

In just three full days I could only get a fleeting impression of the city. My sole out-of-town experience was confined to a memorable eight-hour excursion (with commentary in English & Scandinavian) to Geysir hot springs, the Gulfoss waterfall and the National Park (the Golden Circle).

Still, I’m happy to say that my spectacles remain as resolutely rose-tinted as they were before my trip. I’d love to return with more time and money to explore the whole island.

So, without further ado, here are some of my impressions :

The Icelanders.
The people are universally kind, friendly and nice. I saw an middle-aged man looking for a CD of local music being helped by a young female shop assistant who patiently explained what Indie music is without a trace of condescension. Continue reading

ROCKIN’ 1000 – THAT’S LIVE : Orogel Stadium, Cesena, Italy 24th July 2016

arockin4Talkin’ ’bout a revolution?

Well, if you define a revolution as a popular uprising for the common good of the people, then that is exactly what we witnessed last night at a soccer stadium in Cesena in a unique event organized by Rockin’1000.

This time last year Cesena rocked the world with a one-off mass performance of ‘Learn To Fly’.

The stirring video of this went viral and brought tears to the eyes of Dave Grohl. It achieved the goal of getting The Foo Fighters to play in this small provincial town in Emilia-Romagna (Population 97,000) .

This is the video:

arockin1

For those about to rock. How the stadium looked before the start of the show.

This year, the aim was to kick ass worldwide once again and play, not just one song, but a full concert.

As before this was the brainchild/wild dream of Fabio Zaffagnini a modest spokesman for the project who is always at pains to point out that this a team mission that could not succeed without others having the same level of passion, creativity, madness and belief in miracles.
Continue reading

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