Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wombats / "I Sing of a Maiden"

Saw Liverpool’s The Wombats at the Cardiff Barfly last week – excellent, melodic power-pop from yet another absurdly young-looking outfit. There were occasional moments of slightly irritating cuteness, and they’ll have to work hard to avoid comparisons with fellow School of Performing Arts alumni the Kooks, but the quality of their tunes, particularly the plaintive “Moving to New York” should se them through. In support were well-supported locals Walker - likeably exuberant pop-punk - and Black Cherry, who did the hard indie-dance thing very enjoyably. My first time there following the institution of the smoking ban, and the difference, in terms of being able to both breathe freely, and see what was going on, was startling.

Saturday night saw the last of three performances of “I Sing Of A Maiden” at Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre, a multi-media project about a pregnant schoolgirl, put together by folk-singer Charlotte Greig, consisting of trad songs about childbirth, romantic disappointment etc., a video backdrop by Rachel Calder showing Valleys landscapes, and monologues by Rachel Trezise, one of our finest short-story writers. All pretty effective, with a highly engaging central performance from Carys Eleri, although I felt that the elements didn’t quite cohere as they might have – there were too many moments where the packed house was left watching a silent actress, a silent folk trio, and a blurred freeze-frame on screen. This discomfort may have been intentional, but it didn’t really add to the narrative which, atypically of Trezise, was relatively angst-free, perhaps since it was not a project of her own instigation. Still, there was at least one amusing if unsubtle visual touch – the way the girl’s dress grew longer as the hour progressed, denoting her mutation from jailbait to matron.

I watched Tony Blair’s resignation speech with a mixture of sadness and relief. Still, at least now the Labour Party will now be able to get back to what it has traditionally done best, i.e. destroy itself through internal squabbling and impotent gesture politics; thus leaving the way clear for the Tories to do what they do best, i.e. screwing the poor.


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