Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Labyrinth-era Bowie visits Brett...

Just in case you missed last night's Flight Of The Conchords. That's a pretty good impression from Jermaine, I reckon!

By the way, did anyone watch Rob Newman's History Of The World Backwards which followed FOTC on BBC Four? Very much a one-joke pony... as it were. The idea of history flowing backwards but time flowing forwards (ie if you're born in 2000 you might die in 1920, but you don't go from death to birth) is interesting but once you've got the concept there's not much else to hold your interest. Like jokes. I liked the idea of computer workers marching from London to Harrow with placards saying "Will web-design for food" but that was the only thing that raised a smile. Pretty disappointing really.

Not long now...

Yay! Boosh series three starts Nov 15th, BBC Three 10.30pm...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Things we have learnt from Strictly Come Dancing #1

Women aren't allowed to be competitive. Fine for Matt Dawson, Darren Gough, Ramps et al, but Gabby? No, she wanted it a bit too much.

In fact, that's totally over-simplifying it. Everyone seems to be saying that it's Gabby's 'lack of warmth' that meant she was in the bottom two, and yet Penny seems the nicest female 'cast member' on the show. In other words, there is no rhyme or reason to the voting public...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rufus Wainwright, Sheffield City Hall, 19 Oct

This was my fifth time of seeing Mr Wainwright and the joy never lessens. He's still the most charismatic performer I've ever seen, or feel I'm ever likely to see, still funny, still self-absorbed.

After being slightly disappointed by Release The Stars on first listen, the fabulous tunes on that album quickly revealed themselves, and so it was not too much of a problem that 90% of the first half of this marathon 2-and-a-half hour set was made up of songs from that latest album. As so often happens, songs you might have overlooked on disc are suddenly more easily understood when heard live - Sanssouci, and Slideshow especially had a bigger impact on me than they've ever had on my mp3 player. Do I Disappoint You (which I adore) was, apparently, written for a now-abandoned opera, and live it's easy to see how it would fit into that setting. It all bodes well for the opera that Rufus is now working on...

Of course, it's always great to hear a few older tracks, as well. 14th Street, I Dont Know What It Is and The Art Teacher were all present and correct, but it's the random ones - like Ben Folds playing Kate on the last tour - that are often the most special. The Consort was beautiful played live, but it was a particular joy to hear Danny Boy, from the first album. Just reminds you that Rufus has been uber-talented for a sickeningly long time...

The band, as usual, were just as important as Rufus himself - tight, having fun and all multi-talented. I've got to say, though, that losing the female backing singers is a shame. Joan Wasser and sister Martha are, of course, far too big in their own right now to tour with Rufus, but they really brought something special to the whole sound which is now lacking. The guys do well, but the girls' parts - so integral so songs like I Don't Know What It Is especially - just aren't quite the same.

And so to the finale (look away now if you're going to see him on this tour). You might think that singing Judy Garland tracks such as A Foggy Day In London Town in leiderhosen would negate the requirement of a spectacular finale, but what has Rufus to do with 'requirement'? (The Garland songs are stunning, by the way - is there a man on this planet with a voice quite so distinctive *and* versatile?) After the brilliant fairy wings and thong combination, and the astonishing Gay Messiah ending from the last tour, this is almost restrained, but fun nonetheless: in black tights, stilettos, a fitted dinner jacket, trilby and bright red lipstick, Rufus transforms himself into classic Judy. Miming shamelessly, he and the band do a Caberet-esque dance routine, before finally settling into a four-guitar version of Gay Messiah. As always with Rufus, you get a ridiculous amount of bang for your buck.

Random things:
Rufus and the band had been to Chatsworth House during the day - which he persisted in calling a 'palace' - a palace the likes of which he clearly thinks he should be living in.
In terms of audiences, Sheffield 'win'. Today's Cambridge - "oh you'll definitely beat Cambridge", he says.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Want to dress-up David Tennant...?

Hours of fun :D

Sapphire and Steel

So after hearing it mentioned a lot re. Doctor Who, I finally Googled it. Is it worth a watch? (Rob, I'm basically asking you, seeing as though you review the audio plays!!) Sounds thoroughly bizarre and a bit obscure, but bizarre and obscure are good.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The question of our time...

I don't know about everyone else (but I can guess) but I am LOVING Marie's public blog. Why? Because she talks about Strictly and Neighbours! Quite honestly two of the most enjoyable shows on TV at the moment. But a comments-discussion about where Will (Oliver's brother - and we're talking Neighbours, not Strictly just to be clear) has got to reminded me to ask something that I've been meaning to pose for a while.

What the hell happened to Connor?

First he was off around the world (or Australia... I don't remember) then he turned up in Ramsay Street and was confronted by whichever Robinson twin was crazy, and then it was hinted he was buried in the front garden. (As in because of the crazy Robinson twin). But if that *is* the case, then why does no-one care? Even if that's *not* the case, Toady and people don't *know* that's not the case, so they *should* care.

I say again, then. What the hell happened to Connor?!

Star Wars: The TV Series

But no Skywalkers or other major characters. Who would you want to be in it, though? I love the Sand People/Tuskan Raiders - they're pretty cool. And the Max Rebo band! As long as Mr Lucas isn't scripting it, you never know, it might be alright...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Fraiser in the West End (possibly)

Cross fingers, folks!

"Lucy's the boss, and here's what Lucy says"

Good grief! Should a song from a Snoopy special be this good?

"Less dressy? What do you think this is?"

Doesn't that line just make you love the Queen? Peter Fincham's resigned over the whole affair though... entirely necessary? No, of course not. The Beeb's navel-gazing has to stop; that's why I loved the Blue Peter presenters' blink-and-you-miss-it Cookiegate apology:

"We called the kitten Socks, and not Cookie as had been voted for. That was wrong, and we'd like to say sorry."
(Konnie, holding up new kitten Cookie [not Socks, as I originally put!]) "And what better way than with this cute little thing!"

Thursdays Are Funny

Except they're not, are they? Not judging from Vivienne Vyle and The Peter Serafinowicz Show last night... both really disappointing (though more so when it comes to the latter - Duane Benzie is meant to be funnier than that!). I literally didn't laugh once during Vivienne Vyle, and it seems to have come about five years too late. So Jeremy Kyle-style shows are exploitative? Really! And The PS Show was just a bit weird. The hits certainly didn't outweigh the (inevitable at the best of times) misses, and while he's clearly a great character comedian, the writing sucked. Not a good hour of TV...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Marie's public blog...

Starts with Strictly Come Dancing. Brilliant :)

Vic, Bob and Noel

Chortle says there's a new Vic and Bob show, called Vic Reeves' House Arrest coming to Radio 2 in November (my birthday in fact), and Noel Fielding's going to be a regular cast member. Cool, huh?

"The premise is that Reeves has been put under house arrest for a ‘wacky’ crime he didn’t commit and he's forced to spend the day killing time.

Fielding will play a strange odd-job man, while Mortimer will play Carl The Hairdresser. Regular strands in the show, which starts on November 17, include Reeves trying to get on to X Factor by singing in the bath."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Billie back in the TARDIS?

Probably not even true (it's the News Of The World, not The *We're Always Right About DW* Sun after all), but let's pretend it is.

Isn't it just as disappointing as it is exciting? I mean, do I miss Rose? Yes, absolutely, and I hoped that she would return at some point. But to come back at the end of the next series? Really? Things haven't got that desperate just yet, have they? Surely RTD has more faith in the show overall than to feel the need to bring Rose back so soon...

Anyway, probably not true...