The ups, downs, in's and out's of two North East UK musical eclectricians.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Wednesday - It's All Gone Pete Tong - 01/06/05


I went to see "It's All Gone Pete Tong" last night, a film not about the successful UK Dj - errr... Pete Tong

- Pete, yesterday - Nice...

But a fictional "Mockumentary" of a Dj that loses his hearing and subsequently his mind...

The main character being played by Paul Kaye, whi while still trying to shake of the mantle of televisions "Dennis Pennis" does a sterling job of a drug and booze fuelled hedonist "Frankie Wilde".

I went to see this mainly to listen to the soundtrack which was mostly composed (apart from the club tunes) by 808state's Ggraham Massey (pictured centre below) - a long time F&S favourite, and was expecting this film to be absolute tosh.

It wasn't anywhere near as bad as expected, and although quite a few people seemed to walk out of the cinmea before the end, I found it quite an amusing way to spend 90 minutes.

The thing I did find distressing was the technical elements of the film, the parts where we saw the great man blending (mixing) records together, I wish it was that easy ! And the elements of the film based in the studio and featuring laptops - where just pure science fiction, but that's just from a DJ perspective.

I've not been to Ibiza, and this film seems to be a depiction of the place from five years ago, as I read (with interest) that this year indie/R n'B and Hip Hop acts will be appearing, putting yet another nail in the dance scene coffin.

I think this would be a great film to watch on DVD - after some beers with your mates, if you have fond memories of Manumission or a passing interest in house music.

I have neither, but still enjoyed it (a bit).

Catch you soon...


Monday, May 16, 2005

Monday - Mystery "Piano Man" - 16/05/05


First off thanks to everyone who came to The Forth on Saturday, for those that came to rock - we salute you... It was a great night, and it's great to see people stay to the end. Next gig is Saturday the 28th of May, hope to see you there.

A very interesting news report was pointed out to me today, you can read the full story here -

But for the attention deficit sufferers out there the basic premise is this.

Kent Police found a man dripping wet in a suit and tie seemingly unable or unwilling to speak, staff at the Medway Maritime Hospital gave him a pen and paper in the hope he would write his name. Instead the patient, dubbed The Piano Man, drew very detailed pictures of a grand piano.

When lead to a piano on Hospital grounds, the man shocked staff with a performance of classical music. "The first time we took him down to the piano he played for several hours, non-stop"

He is now being held in a secure mental health unit in north Kent while an assessment is carried out. Mr Camp said he was "extremely distressed" and may have suffered a trauma.

Several lines of inquiry have been followed, and the hospital brought in interpreters to see if the mystery patient was from Eastern Europe.

So there you go... A film waiting to be made if ever I saw one !

Talking of films, I watched "Garden State" yesterday, it's a film I meant to go and watch at the pictures, but didn't get round to it, so was looking forward to seeing it on DVD.

Starring Zach Braff, from "Scrubs" and the tiny yet perfectly formed Luke Skywalkers mam Natalie Portman, it's set in New Jersey (hence the title) and is a very pleasant way to kill an hour and a half, and would definitely recommend it.

It's a bittersweet "life" black-comedy focusing on a family death which brings an aspiring L.A. based actor back to his home town. Anyone who's returned to the small town/village that they grew up in and left - will identify with this... Seeing past faces still doing the same things and living their lives without ever leaving. This film showing, that sometimes staying out isn't a bad thing.

One bizarre thing about this film is that there's a cameo role from Method man playing a hotel bell-boy. It's an odd scene, and I'm still not sure the purpose of it !


I'll leave you to make your own mind up, if you get a chance to see it.

That's all for now,



Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday - Back In The Studio - 13/05/05

Hello there...

My fingers are sore. "Why ?" You may ask. The answer is - I dusted off one of my guitars and was playing the bass for a old friend and regular North East house/dance scene producer Bryan Robson last night.

Mr. Robson (above) has been releasing records for years, since I loaned him £70 to buy a second (or third hand) Moog Prodigy (which I'm pleased to say he still has!)

He's gone under various names over the years - East Village Headz, Nova Scotia, Streetlife Originals, Nemo and Solaris Heights to list a few !

Times have changed, and instead of pedalling the same riff over and over we cut (recorded)a variety of riff's into the computer and we'll be editing the best bits together, creating a much more relaxed atmosphere when you don't have to worry about hitting bum notes, especially if there's a gem in the rough that you want to pick out.

I'll be posting details if any of these recordings ever see the light of day !

Flint & Steel are playing the Forth (Newcastle - UK) this Saturday and we're preparing lots of old Funk and Northern Soul records to play, so try to get down if you can...



Monday, May 09, 2005

Monday - New Doves Single "Snowden" - 09/05/05


This weekend saw UK BBC Radio1 in the north east for a two day free music festival, Mr. Steel (quote) said "I'm too old for that b*ll*x" and went to listen to some acid house records instead !

Haven't heard any reports of the festival itself, but if the weather was anything to go by, it wouldn't have been the place to be wearing your best expensive designer outfit...

Today the Doves single "Snowdon" is released, on two CD formats and 7" vinyl. The vinyl and maxi-single being limited edition and numbered (I got "3297" - not a collectors item me thinks).

CD1 has an unreleased song "Song of a Builder", CD2 containing two remixes - "Black and White Town" by David Holmes (one to avoid) and "Almost Forgot Myself" by 69Corp, the 7" having yet another unreleased track. I was disappointed that neither CD versions have the video on, but you can watch it here;

The 69Corp mix is like an acoustic version, but digging deeper into the identity of 69corp reveals they're artists in their own right and do some interesting stuff of their own as well as remixing for the like of "Bloc Party" and "The Bravery"

You can hear some of the mixes and original tracks they've released here (it's worth a listen) ;

There's a couple of albums you can purchase on Amazon;

That's all for now...



Saturday, May 07, 2005

Saturday - Napoleon Dynamite - 07/05/05

Sweet, Awesome...

These are a couple of the words uttered by the main protagonist in the fantastic film "Napoleon Dynamite" (yes that's his name) on a regular basis - Now released on DVD and worth every penny, whether you rent or buy (but I recommend you buy it for your collection - remember kids, downloading films is a sin and you will go to hell - thanks to Mr Steel's lawyers for that)

This is a film reminiscent style-wise of "Rushmore" or "The Royal Tennenbaums", but without the smug "we're cleverer than you" attitude.

And anyone who says white guys can't dance needs to see this film... (It's also the best use of a Jamiroquai track I've heard.)

All the characters are really well played, to the point that I became really worried that the actors were really like that (If you've seen "Spellbound" you'll know what I mean.)

I'd love to see further adventures of Mr. Dynamite and his 'disfunctional' family. I just hope Jon Heder who plays "Napoleon" doesn't get typecast, but he has four films due out in the next year, so we'll have to see...

p.s. If you do get to see this movie, sit through the credits, as you're rewarded with an epilogue at the end.



Wednesday, May 04, 2005

BH Monday - HitchHikers Guide - 02/05/05

Hello and Happy Bank Holiday !

Hope you're having or have had a good'un.

I found myself with a few ours to kill on Saturday before DJ'ing, so decided to pop to my local Odeon (Multiplex) to see "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy".

And being old enough to have read the book, listened to the radio version and seen the BBC adaptation, (pause for breath) It's a dissapointment.

Martin Freedman is great as Arthur Dent, but unfortunately I just don't get Mos Def as Ford Prefect.

If I knew nothing about the history and previous incarnations of Douglas Adams legacy, then I probably would've enjoyed it a whole lot more (as the kids in front of me seemed to!)

Sam Rockwell is great as Zaphod, but the the Trisha/Trillian character is reduced to absolute mush, and don't get me started on the Japanese Manga inspired Marvin the robot.

That's not to say it doesn't look great, because it does. The sets are fantastic, but the charm of the Book's graphics in the BBC version are lost unfortunately.

It's one to watch on DVD, or buy if the extras are really good and it's less than a tenner.

So there.