Friday, April 29, 2016

Film: Captain America: Civil War


This Summer's Marvel double-bill begins with the latest Captain America film, "Civil War" based very loosely on a very old comic story. In this tale some of the Avengers get carried away saving the day and cause an accident that kills several people. In response government passes legislation to control what they get up to and this splits the Avengers in two. Iron Man heads up the team who side with the government; Captain America heads up the rebels.

Not to give too much away the film is very good with a great ensemble cast with some new characters replacing a couple who are obviously missing (but if you watched Ultron you know where they are). We get Black Panther, who is pretty good and we get another that should have been kept secret but some executive clearly thought it was worth spoiling by putting him the trailer...(something that has also just happened with the new X-Men trailer, why do they this?).

Ultron had a decent enemy; with this one it's missing. The one bad guy isn't strong enough to warrant a challenge and we end up with two hours of in-fighting, but with the punches being pulled and hardly anyone being seriously hurt. In the comic book one of the superheroes dies; they weren't so bold in the film. I therefore found it hard to be pulled in for the ride.

There's a lot of CGI in this film and the action sequences are all the better for it. The best scene by far has to be the airport fight but I loved the bike chase earlier on too. Another thing that bugged me was Bucky Barnes' hair. He had Paul Oakenfold curtains throughout; annoying.

and it's interesting how this individual has moved from liking Black Widow to Scarlet Witch, although all she seems to do is wave her arms around she trounces Vision, which was a fun scene too.

So enjoyable? Yes. The best film in the series? No. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Gig: Above & Beyond Acoustic @ St-John-At-Hackney Church


A few years ago A&B did a tour where they adapted some of their tunes to be played by a small orchestra. I totally missed it, only discovering it on Spotify several years later; I guess I don't immerse myself in trance regularly enough. In 2016, they announced their second tour in the same style and this time I went.

For years Above and Beyond have been producing some of the best trance tunes out there, mostly under the general public's radar which is a shame because some of their pieces are beautifully structured and if trance was written in crayon, these guys write in pastels. They deserve wider recognition than they get. The fact these guys are classically trained should mean that playing classical versions of their tunes would be something special, wouldn't it?

Of course it would. The music was stunning and the two regular singers Zoe Johnston & Justine Suissa have been joined by first-timers Natalie Holmes and Coby. All of them were faultless if a little apprehensive at the start. This was the first show in a small 6-week tour and as the night went on they relaxed and by the encore were lapping up the adulation and having a laugh.

Instead of being behind the decks, 2 of the guys spent most of their time behind keyboards. Paolo on a piano and Jonno on a small electric keyboard. Tony would move around the stage more but seemed very at home behind a guitar. just off centre stage Accompanied by a couple of drummers, guitarist, string quartet and a guy who appeared to play every brass instrument known to man, they all kept the audience enraptured for almost 2 hours.

It was perhaps fitting that these first couple of shows took place in a church, as some of the congregation appeared to almost have a religious experience. I can understand why, good trance can do that and I have to say this was the first time I'd seen classical music elicit the same response, such was the strength of their material I guess.

The stand-out track for me was their reworking of "On a Good Day", which was just beautiful, and well done to them for asking that cameras not be used and instead we enjoy and immerse ourselves in the experience. I wish more bands did that.


I've seen them DJ live and now that I've seen this I know which I prefer. More acoustic please!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Graffiti: Tooting

I've been to Tooting over the last couple of months to photograph the graffiti there. I'd never gone into the market, and again as it was early I thought I'd pop in.

A Graffiti Goldmine...

































Graffiti: Hackney

Revisiting Hackney

 
Love this

Zabou

Artista


A new Paul London piece.




Usually there's a van parked here.

Graffiti: Shoreditch

Continuing my walk through Shoreditch






















 
















Film: War for the Planet of the Apes

The latest in the monkey series sees the monkey clan uproot and heading off to the desert, because that's a good climate for monkeys ...