Blakeson - Writer

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

Sunday, November 29, 2015

“Happy Hour”

My latest reviewing assignment for British Theatre Guide was “Happy Hour” at the Sherman Cymru, in partnership with Glasgow’s Òran Mór. This is a highly accomplished debut by Anita Vettesse, albeit in a familiar setting – a family coping with the aftermath of a bereavement; on this occasion a publican’s widow and her two adult children bickering over money, affection etc. 

"Happy Hour" (photo by Leslie Black)

This was a guest production from the “A Play, A Pie and A Pint” initiative. Apparently the Òran Mór stage 38 lunchtime productions a year, without losing money; the Sherman played it in the early evening, and if social media is anything to go by, did good business over the five day run. I’ve said this before, and doubtless will again, but surely it is not beyond the wit of one of Cardiff’s many creative entrepreneurs to team up with a suitable team of sponsors and bring such a scheme here. After all, no-one who walks the streets of this fine city would be able to deny our love for both pies and pints…

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Gurls With Guitars" - a novella

Available in the Amazon Kindle Store

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Sunday, November 08, 2015

Everything Everything / Stealing Sheep

It was an evening of nerdy merriment as Manchester-spawned indie-math-rockers Everything Everything hit Cardiff’s Students’ Union, kicking off the UK leg of their current tour.

Supporting were Stealing Sheep, a Liverpudlian trio who seem to slot into the currently vogueish sparkly female electronica genre, albeit with live percussion and folk-tinged vocals – more sung in unison than three-part harmony. Very engaging, with the singles, especially “Apparition”, standing out particularly well.

I note that the last time I saw the headliners was on the NME Tour early in 2011, at which point they were exciting, eccentric newcomers. Now, almost five years later and three albums in, they are possibly one of the finest live acts out there, brimming with confidence and revelling in their idiosyncracies – down to the comedy sci-fi uniforms and Doctor Who-inflected back-projections. Their strength lies not only in their musicianship, but also the remarkable range of influences that go into their sound, from prog-rock to hip-hop to pure pop.

Everything Everything in Cardiff - November 7th 2015

Lead singer Jonathan pushed his voice to the very limit, and the keyboard sound being inevitably muddy, much of the melodic burden was deftly carried by the bass. They leant heavily on the recent “Get To Heaven” album, particularly towards the beginning, growing more contemplative as things progressed, before bringing out some big hitters towards the end of the 70-minute set (although I think “MY KZ YR BF” was missing) and returning for a rousing encore, culminating in a rousing singalong of “No Reptiles” (the “fat child in a pushchair” song).

A beautiful night.

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