"music and film are parallel experiences: they are linear, they are narrative"

Month: October, 2014

“Please Refrain From Capturing The Concert”

I’m going to admit to it – I am guilty of occasionally getting out my phone at a concert and filming a song or taking some photos for Instagram or Snapchat. And the fact is, whilst I do post the photo or video onto Instagram and I occasionally look back and watch it, I always wonder whether it’s actually worth it.

On Thursday 23rd October, I went to see Wolf Alice at London Heaven. Wolf Alice are one of my favourite bands and they were absolutely amazing and I don’t think I’m going to do a review on that gig because it would literally be me just saying how brilliant they were. I hate to admit this but I did take a photo and a fifteen second video during the concert, and quite frankly, I regret it.

I find it so annoying when I’m looking at the crowd and everybody has their phones up in front of their faces. Most of the time they’re not even watching the band in person, they’re watching it through their phone to check they got good framing. I can totally understand taking a couple of photos, or video a song or maybe two, but I just find it quite stupid to be honest, when people are watching the whole thing through their phones, when they paid money to see it and experience it in real life.

On Saturday 25th October, I went to see St Vincent at the Roundhouse. If you’ve never seen St Vincent or you don’t know what her live performances are like, then the only way I explain it to you is that it’s more performance art than live music. She really puts on a show and it’s incredible to see such a brilliant live performer. She puts on a character and is very physical in her performing and it’s intriguing to watch. At the beginning of the concert, an overhead voice asked the crowd to please refrain from capturing the concert with any filming and photographic device.

Despite this, people were still filming the show. And this annoyed me because whilst Wolf Alice was just a normal gig with a great live band and music, St Vincent’s show was true performance art and it created a certain atmosphere and a part of that meant no filming or photography, and people disregarding that did really make a difference.

So essentially what I’m trying to say is (unless you’re professionally hired to film or take photos) you can take a few photos or film a little bit of a concert, but please try to enjoy the concert in real life for what it is, you’ll probably find it a lot more enjoyable. And if you’re at a concert and the performer asks for people not to capture the concert, please just do what they say; they’re saying it for a reason.


Bloody Brilliant Films #1

I love films. They’re a huge part of my life and I will often put aside days to just sit alone in my room and watch films. Old, new, stupid, intelligent, happy, sad, whatever. I love films.

I wanted to do a Top 5 Favourite Films type thing but my favourites change so often that a week after posting it I would want to edit it and change to my new current favourites, and plus I don’t think I could narrow it down to only five. So I decided to just every so often talk about a few films I absolutely love, starting today. Each of my favourite films posts will only consist of five short film reviews, no more and no less. I won’t be describing the plots of the film because I don’t want to give anything away – if a film I’ve listed sounds good to you and you haven’t seen it yet, I don’t want to ruin the plot for you and prevent you from enjoying it if you watch it.

I know this blog is typically about music, but I will keep posting about music, just with some posts about films interspersed. So here we go.

  • Submarine (2010)

I’m not going to lie; the main reason I watched Submarine in the first place was because of the soundtrack, written and performed by Alex Turner. But Submarine is more than just a brilliant soundtrack. It is beautifully put together, from the script to the camera work to the colour scheming to the characters. Everything in it is so fluid and well put together but at the same time is not predictable or easy. This film is so uniquely put together that it resonates in your mind for a long time. It’s funny, yet heartbreakingly sad, and when it’s over, well it’s hard to decipher exactly how you feel. It’s absolutely beautiful, I couldn’t recommend Submarine enough.

  • Palo Alto (2013)

Palo Alto is based on a short story collection by James Franco, and my God, it’s a work of art. Without giving too much away, it is a stunning portrayal of the lives of misunderstood adolescents finding themselves and trying to discover who they are. The use of silence in this film is what really makes me love it so much and what makes it so powerful to me. In its dialogue and scripting it’s captivating and interesting, but the silence is what really makes the lines hit in my opinion. It’s angsty and hormonal, but it’s also beautiful and intelligent, and definitely worth watching. (Plus the soundtrack is absolutely gorgeous).

  • The Breakfast Club (1985)

I’d be surprised if you’re reading this and you’ve never seen The Breakfast Club; but if you indeed haven’t, or if you have and just want to hear someone’s thoughts on it, then here you go. The Breakfast Club is a real classic, and whilst part of this is probably due to the storyline and the scripture, the thing that I’ve always found most incredible about this film is the performances from the actors. The performances are so raw and hard-hitting that it makes you feel like these actors really had gone through everything these characters had.

  • The Virgin Suicides (1999)

What I like most about The Virgin Suicides as a film is definitely 100% the air of mystery. It works with the topic of teen suicide, of sex, of relationships, or heartbreak, but it doesn’t hammer those topics into the audience making it cliche and boring. It keeps the tone of intensity but through the tinges of sadness in the air and in the way the narrative speaks. The director, Sofia Coppola, makes no attempt to persuade the audience to feel any particular way about the characters, the film entirely lets the audience make their own unique thoughts, feelings and opinions on the character.

  • Nowhere Boy (2009)

Nowhere Boy explores the early years of the life of John Lennon, and as a huge Beatles fan, I felt the need to watch it, and my God I’m glad I did. This film has such a incredible and heartbreaking storyline that is John Lennon’s life, but it’s not just that that makes it a brilliant film. There’s the amazing performances from the actors (in particular Aaron Johnson who plays John Lennon) and there’s the innovative camera-work and the way that it does justice to Lennon’s tough start to life and focuses on a part of his life we don’t always hear too much about.

So those are some films I truly love. I’m not sure when my next film-related post will be, but they will definitely be dispersed within music posts.

Happy Birthday John Lennon

I wanted to talk briefly somewhere about John Lennon and his importance to me somewhere in honour of his 74th birthday, but I was hesitant about posting this on this blog because I haven’t spent a great amount of time writing it and it is literally just my train of thought relating to John Lennon on his birthday, but here it is…

Ever since I was a little kid, the Beatles have been a massive part of my life. Their music was played all the time at my house and I grew up to be quite the Beatlemaniac, and before I was fourteen, I’d been to almost every Beatles venue in Liverpool and London, owned a significant amount of their merchandise, and seen Paul McCartney live – the closest I’ll probably ever get to a Beatle (the O2 staff kindly swapped my practically back row tickets for front row ones for no extra cost – but that’s another story for another time). Whilst I stand by the statement that my favourite band is Oasis, The Beatles have always been very close to my heart.

I don’t always talk about my love and admiration for John Lennon because it’s usually faced with a handful of nasty things about him (e.g “he was a wife beater”) and some of the things said may be true, some of them may not be – but something important about having a role model is knowing that not everything they’ve ever done is role model material, and you’ve got to just see and try to practice the good that they’ve done, rather than the bad.

I know that it’s not fair to say that one of your biggest role models’ mistakes in life don’t matter because, well, they’re one of your biggest role models, but since it’s his birthday, I just wanted to express my adoration for the brilliant, incredible, beautiful things he did in his life.

There’s no denying that John Lennon wrote some of the best songs in British history, not just with the Beatles, but solo as well, and he made such a huge difference in the movement for peace. His death was truly a tragedy and it is not fair to revoke that and say that it isn’t just because he did some bad things in his life. I’m not going to list all of these bad things I’ve read that he’s done – because whilst some of them have been proved true, some of them have not been, and I don’t want to provide false information.

I know this post didn’t make much sense and was quite rambley, but I just wanted to get out my feelings about this. Happy birthday John Lennon, rest in peace.

I’ll end this post with Here Today by Paul McCartney, a song about John Lennon that I’ve been listening to pretty much all day in honour.