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  Updated Wed, 21 Feb 2018 19:00:58 +0000
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Howie Payne, Marvin Powell, Zuzu: Unity Theatre, Liverpool
Category Live reviews, Courtney Barnett, David Crosby, Devandra Bernhart, Ethan Johns, Evan Dando, Evol, GIT Award One to Watch, Howie Payne, Incredible String Band, Joni-Mitchell, Liverpool Unity Theatre, marvin powell, Nick Drake, Noel Gallagher, Oasis, Ryan Adams, Ryley Walker, Skeleton Key, The Coral, The Stands, The Unity Theatre, Unity Theatre, Virgin records, zuzu
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With a trio of exceptional songwriters on offer at the Unity Theatre, Getintothis’ Jamie Bowman is put under by their charms.   Hope Place is one of Liverpool’s prettiest streets. Full of the kind of Georgian houses that inspire BBC history programmes it’s also home to the Unity Theatre a converted former synagogue that’s undoubtedly one of the [...]

The post Howie Payne, Marvin Powell, Zuzu: Unity Theatre, Liverpool appeared first on Getintothis.

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Howie Payne

Howie Payne

With a trio of exceptional songwriters on offer at the Unity Theatre, Getintothis’ Jamie Bowman is put under by their charms.  

Hope Place is one of Liverpool’s prettiest streets. Full of the kind of Georgian houses that inspire BBC history programmes it’s also home to the Unity Theatre a converted former synagogue that’s undoubtedly one of the city’s hidden gems and a new and much-needed venue for live music.

Talking of hidden gems, there’s an undoubted feel about tonight’s gig in the Unity‘s perfectly intimate surroundings that we’re being treated to three of Liverpool’s brightest but perhaps not quite appreciated enough talents

First up on an excellent bill is Zuzu – newly signed to Virgin Records on the back of her GIT Award One to Watch and coming across very much as a star in the making. Armed with just a twangy electric guitar rather than her three piece band, Zuzu fills the stage with her confessional songs full of quirky observations from sad granddads to drug-addled boyfriends.

It’s hardly a surprise that she’s already supported Courtney Barnett as there’s undeniable similarities between their styles with her languid, slacker guitar sound frequently exploding into the type of huge choruses Evan Dando used to write. She’s funny too with her Scouse twang cutting through the solemnity of the Unity‘s surroundings with a charm that’s as infectious as her songs.

With his long, lank hair and ‘relaxed’ demeanour, singer-songwriter Marvin Powell looks like he’s stepped straight off the veranda at Big Pink ready for a date with Joni Mitchell and a jamming session with David Crosby.
Thankfully his songs match the look and what follows is a masterclass in acoustic finger picking with Powell, who is signed to The Coral‘s Skeleton Key Records, expertly flitting between the Nu Americana and folk styles of Ryan Adams, Devandra Bernhart and Ryley Walker and the more English folk tradition of Nick Drake as exemplified by Powell‘s breathy and enunciated delivery.
Songs like Bees and Honey glisten and shine when Powell is joined by a guest 12-string guitarist with the psychedelic drone of Buried also recalling the likes of the Incredible String Band and the quasi-mysticism of Led Zeppelin III.
Regarded by many as something of a local hero round these parts, former frontman with The Stands, Howie Payne is currently at the centre of a flurry of activity after far too long away from the action.
New album, Mountain, Payne‘s first since his 2009 Ethan Johns produced debut Bright Light Ballads was released at the tail end of last year with the Scouse songwriter also fashioning an alternative acoustic version and finding the time to curate a box set dedicated to his former band’s output. All this is fine news for his fans tonight who are treated to stunning and intimate set featuring songs from across Payne‘s career featuring little more than a harmonica and the songwriter’s gently picked acoustic.
Stands songs like When The Night Falls In and I Need You evoke a pleasing Proustian rush of nostalgia but what’s remarkable is just how fine Payne‘s songwriting has remained in the 15 years since his band became the apple of Noel Gallagher‘s eye.
The Brightest Star sounds like it should have been ruling the airwaves for years while Some Believer, Sweet Dreamer could be the best song Oasis never released with it’s pleas not to give up and hold on crying out for a stadium sing-a-long.
The timbre of Payne‘s voice seems to have risen since his last release as shown in breathtaking fashion by Quick as the Moon and the cosmic country of Evangeline and each song is rapturously received by an audience knowing they’re watching a man at ease with the fact he’s in the songwriting form of his life and happy to share the fact.
A beautiful All Years Leaving closes proceedings with the title track of The Stands debut shaved bare of its baggage and allowed to stand on its own in spellbinding fashion. Much like its creator it shines on a night when the singer and the song triumphed.
Images by Getintothis’ Tomas Adam
Howie Payne Howie Payne Howie Payne Howie Payne Marvin Powell Marvin Powell Marvin Powell Zuzu Zuzu Zuzu

The post Howie Payne, Marvin Powell, Zuzu: Unity Theatre, Liverpool appeared first on Getintothis.

Half Man Half Biscuit ? top five wacky funster facts
Category Featured Article, All I Want For Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit, Attempted Moustache, BBC Radio 5, Campaign for Real Ale, CAMRA Man, Cherry Red, Damian Green, Faithlift, Half Man Half Biscuit, Johnny Marr, Jools Holland, Latitude, Norman Cook, Old Grey Whistle Test, Revolutionary Spirit: The Sound of Liverpool 1976 ? 1988, simon Blackwell, Some Call it Godcore, Superman, The Smiths, The Trumpton Riots, the tube, Tranmere Rovers, Voyage To The Bottom of the Road
Published:
Description:

As Birkenhead faves Half Man Half Biscuit prepare to play Liverpool in September, Getintothis’ Cath Bore enjoys some of the band’s quirkier moments. The notorious Half Man Half Biscuit are from Birkenhead, Wirral, and proud of it. Formed in the early 1980s, they quickly became popular, legendary Auntie Beeb gatekeeper John Peel giving them the [...]

The post Half Man Half Biscuit – top five wacky funster facts appeared first on Getintothis.

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Half Man Half Biscuit

Half Man Half Biscuit

As Birkenhead faves Half Man Half Biscuit prepare to play Liverpool in September, Getintothis’ Cath Bore enjoys some of the band’s quirkier moments.

The notorious Half Man Half Biscuit are from Birkenhead, Wirral, and proud of it.

Formed in the early 1980s, they quickly became popular, legendary Auntie Beeb gatekeeper John Peel giving them the enthusiastic nod, enchanted and charmed as he was by their satirical, sardonic and often surreal songs.

The group currently consists of songwriter, lead singer and guitarist Nigel Blackwell, bassist Neil Crossley and Carl Henry on drums.

They have released thirteen studio albums in all via Liverpool label Probe Plus; in addition there?s compilations ACD and And Some Fell On Stony Ground to enjoy, plus an array of and EPs and singles.

The four lads who shook the Wirral recorded twelve sessions for John Peel?s radio programme in all, and when they got back together in 1990 after taking a four year long sabbatical, it was on Peel?s show that they made the grand announcement.

Last week came the glorious news that this coming autumn, Half Man Half Biscuit are to play their first Liverpool gig in thirteen years.

It seems fitting to us at Getintothis to look back at some of the band?s fun moments to keep us out of trouble until the great event.

1. Knocking back an appearance on The Tube TV show to go and watch Tranmere Rovers

In 1986, Nigel Blackwell and the rest of Half Man Half Biscuit saw no conflict nor debate when they discovered an offer of an appearance on popular Friday night Channel 4 live music telly show coincided with their beloved Tranmere Rovers playing a football match. So of course they ditched the opportunity which would?ve given the band exposure to millions, and supported their fave team instead.

Or it could be that the band didn?t want to play The Tube in the first place, and used the beautiful game as an excuse. Either way, we must remember, although the programme’s co-presenter Jools Holland wasn?t yet threatening bands with boogie woogie piano in the 1980s the signs, we suspect, were always there.

The boys have appeared on other telly shows, including The Old Grey Whistle Test.

2. Attempted Moustache

Nigel?s brother, and former member Simon Blackwell was in an ensemble called Attempted Moustache, whose song Superman appears on the newly released Cherry Red five CD compilation of Merseyside man bands, Revolutionary Spirit: The Sound of Liverpool 1976 ? 1988.

Half Man Half Biscuit aren?t on the album themselves. Controversial stuff.

3. The great Christianity controversy of 1995

The band ran into trouble when their fifth album Some Call It Godcore hit the shops. Christian Evangelists became distressed because the album art incorporated the fish symbol.

Faithlift from Some Call It Godcore can’t have helped matters, not with the lines  ‘I got me a faithlift, and now I’m bubbling within‘.

Things calmed down after a bit – thank God!

Needless to say, none of the band were ?born again? or have been since. To our knowledge.

4. CAMRA Man

By the time Voyage To The Bottom of the Road album came out two years later, many of the original Half Man Half Biscuit fans had grown up, got proper jobs, maybe married or had kids. These events carry habits and lifestyles along with them, and we?re not being controversial here by saying the boys have a predominantly male following, many of whom by this point had also got into real ale in a big way.

Therefore, the song CAMRA Man, a pun-filled ode to the Campaign for Real Ale, wasn?t always taken entirely in the light hearted spirit it was presumably meant; some fans took CAMRA very seriously and were a trifle upset by the subject matter.

But by now they are, presumably, over it.

5. Damian Green is a fan.

As if pissing off Norman Cook by using his Pizzaman song Happiness at conference in 2006 was bad enough, it seems the Conservative Party still continues to have no shame as regards linking with popular music of the day. Senior Tory as was Damian Green rocked up for a BBC Radio 5 interview at the Latitude festival in summer 2017 wearing a vintage 1960s Dukla Prague away kit football shirt.

All because, it transpires, he?s a massive HMHB fan. The shirt is reference of course to the b side of the band?s 1986 debut single, The Trumpton Riots, the infamous All I Want For Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit.

A loop hole in the law says Cook can do sod all about the Tories using his song, Johnny Marr can’t prevent David Cameron from liking The Smiths despite asking nicely in the 2010 General Election campaign, and HMHB can?t stop Tory ministers wearing footy shirts alluding to them either.

But as Damien Green was relieved of his duties as first secretary of state and the Prime Minister’s right hand man in December just gone after admitting lying about vast amounts of porn stashed on his House of Commons computer, we can?t help but think justice has been served, in part at least.

The post Half Man Half Biscuit – top five wacky funster facts appeared first on Getintothis.

Is the greatest hits album dying?
Category News, Cherry Red, Ed Sheeran, Lou Reed, Luis Fonsi, Polydor, Probe, steely dan, The Fall, The Velvet Underground, Universal
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The greatest hits album seems to be heading towards the dustbin of music history as Getintothis’ Rick Leach discovers. Having one of these stuck in your record collection was always a tad embarrassing; something that signposted you as not being a ?real? music fan. The Greatest Hits collection. Something to be if not exactly ashamed [...]

The post Is the greatest hits album dying? appeared first on Getintothis.

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Luis Fonsi (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

Luis Fonsi (Credit: Artists Facebook page)

The greatest hits album seems to be heading towards the dustbin of music history as Getintothis’ Rick Leach discovers.

Having one of these stuck in your record collection was always a tad embarrassing; something that signposted you as not being a ?real? music fan.

The Greatest Hits collection.

Something to be if not exactly ashamed about, then something to hide away a little bit.

Your friends would run their fingers along the spines of your carefully collated record collection, then furrow their brows somewhat when they?d stumble across, for example, the only Steely Dan album you possessed – the Greatest Hits.

?So you?re not a big Steely Dan fan then?? they?d ask somewhat disdainfully, as if you?d committed some awful trainspottering faux pas. ?You?ve not got Aja or Pretzel Logic or?.? And they?d reel off a long list of albums you?d only half heard of and weren?t really arsed about anyway.

One Steely Dan album was good enough and if it contained all you ever wanted to hear then that was good enough for you.

However, that implied accusation of dilettantism did hurt a tad and you were always careful thereafter to stick such compilations where they wouldn?t easily be seen.

And God help you if you, like this writer had for a very long time, only one Velvet Underground album and that being one in a truly awful sleeve despite having quite a good track listing. It was a mark of someone who only bought records at HMV or Virgin rather than Probe! (I may have actually got it from Boots The Chemists; ironically quite appropriate bearing in mind the subject matter of a lot of Uncle Lou?s ditties.)

That Velvets album

That Velvets album

But as we know the world of music ever changes and something quite odd -and we can suppose, something that would kill off those music snobs- is now happening.

It?s all to do with streaming.

It?s a brave new world out there and what seemed a sure-fire way of coining it in is being overturned as record companies both big and small fight to adjust to a new technological reality.

For what was a way of shipping and selling hundreds of thousands of records in the past seems to be falling by the wayside because in a nutshell, no-one wants to buy a Greatest Hits album any more. Not even half-arsed music fans. The Gravy Train has come to a crashing halt.

We hold up as the prime example one of the biggest hits of last year, the catchy-as-flu Despacito by Luis Fonsi. It topped the charts for weeks in the UK, but oddly no Greatest Hits album followed in its wake.

You could understand it if Fonsi was straight off the blocks with no back catalogue to his name yet he?s got 20 years of a Latin music career behind him. How difficult would it have been to come back form a long Friday lunch session and throw a greatest hits compilation together? Piece of piss really.

In France that?s exactly what happened. Well, maybe not the long Friday lunch/piece of piss scenario, but Fonsi?s album Despacito and My Greatest Hits made the top three over the Channel and has spent more than 30 weeks on the charts.

But the CD?s weren?t released in the UK.

This is the thing.

In the UK, 2017 was the year in which streaming rose to account for more than half of music consumption – 50.4%, to be exact – up from just 36.4% the year before.

Physical albums on CD and vinyl now make up just over one-third of the market, with the rest coming from digital downloads.

Yet in France, streaming’s share of the market has not yet reached that magic tipping point, still only hitting 46%, while physical sales still make up 45% of the market.

So for big record companies, such as Fonsi?s Polydor it still (just) seems to make it worthwhile to put out physical CDs in France that aren?t released over here.

However, the decline of a physical product probably means the end of compilations that span an artist’s career. Easy pickings by record companies for the best and most well-known tunes and the age of the greatest hits albums seems to be over.

And you don?t really need to be that insightful to realise that once an artists catalogue enters a streaming service then why should the record companies even bother mining the vaults to come up with the greatest hits, especially as now the consumers do that themselves? Why should and why would the listening public go out and buy that embarrassing CD when they can compile their own playlist?

But.

There?s always a but, isn?t there?

While the reissue market for the casual listener is dead (yours truly and the Velvets etc), there is always another side to the coin, one that speaks to the dedicated, specialist and well, completeist market.

Multi-disc box sets that are not so much compiled as “curated”, with weighty books attached containing archive photos and a mini-history lesson of the artist’s career. The main thing is context, which is something that streaming services can never provide.

Recent releases by Cherry Red point a way forward.

They?ve recently released two sumptuously packaged CD collections of both the Manchester and Liverpool music scenes of the late 1970?s and early 1980?s. These are not just plain CD?s, single of double albums in cheap jewel cases but something that looks good as well, something that?s more fittingly placed on your bookshelf than hidden away with your CDs.

Revolutionary Spirit-a trip through Liverpool’s music history

The music might be special and difficult to pull together but the packaging looks special as well.

The possible jewel in Cherry Red?s reissue crown at the moment is their massive seven-CD box set featuring the A-side and B-side of every single released by The Fall from 1978 to 2016.

For Cherry Red compiling this collection together involved rounding up tracks released by eight other record companies, including one of the majors, Universal.

And while it would be too much faffing for the majors to do something like this and they probably wouldn?t profit from it financially, for a label like Cherry Red it?s worthwhile as they can break even on 2,000 copies or so.

In this strange new world, it kind of works for everyone. Majors are quite happy to license some old obscure tracks that they?re not overly interested in while they?re searching for the next Ed Sheeran, indie labels such as Cherry Red can still turn a bit of cash out of it and there?s something for the music fans as well.

So the Greatest Hits album has died. Long live the Greatest Hits album. It?s just different.

The post Is the greatest hits album dying? appeared first on Getintothis.

Martin Carr, Satin Beige: Leaf, Liverpool
Category Live reviews, Beatles, Bluetones, Boo Radleys, David Bowie, Giant Steps, LeafSleeper, LIPA, Liverpool, Martin Carr, Michael Krugman, satin beige
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  As Boo Radley’s mainman Martin Carr returns to the stage, Getintothis’ Jamie Bowman sees a retreat from the spotlight from one of Liverpool’s best songwriters With a name that reeks of stardom, Satin Beige has a lot to live up to as she takes to the stage in the attractive surroundings of Leaf. A [...]

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Martin Carr. Photo from artist's Facebook page

Martin Carr. Photo from artist’s Facebook page

As Boo Radley’s mainman Martin Carr returns to the stage, Getintothis’ Jamie Bowman sees a retreat from the spotlight from one of Liverpool’s best songwriters

With a name that reeks of stardom, Satin Beige has a lot to live up to as she takes to the stage in the attractive surroundings of Leaf. A graduate of the LIPA conveyor belt, this Essex-born lass has happily made her home in Liverpool where her acoustic infused R&B combined with velvet vocals and sultry lyrics has brought an intoxicating mix of sensuality and sass to the table during many an uninspiring support slot. Where before she would stand out from the crowd with the use of her cello, tonight she appears upfront and confident behind her guitar with fine tunes like recent single Like You Did Before worthy of the wider audience that should, by right, be hers with any accusations of blandness put to bed by the presence of a pleasing bed of electronic beats and confessional tales.

The contrast between Beige‘s and headliner Martin Carr‘s current situations couldn’t be starker. Where the young songstress appears to be reaching for the stars, Carr appears to be a man who was never that comfortable with fame in the first place. At the height of Britpop he steered his band the Boo Radleys to the top of the charts with the ubiquitous Wake Up Boo! but in the two decades since he’s cut a detached and sometimes troubled figure with his periodic solo releases under the Brave Captain moniker, hinting at a pretty extensive comedown following the highs of the mid-90s.

Steadfastly refusing to join contemporaries like Sleeper, Space and the Bluetones on the nostalgia circuit, Carr shuffles on to the stage as he and collaborator Michael Krugman survey various banks of technology as if they are ancient texts. It’s undeniably a shock to see the curly haired Carr without a guitar around his neck and perhaps a disappointment to a supportive crowd expecting a trip through the Boo’s back catalogue of baroque pop and shoegazey dub.

Pete Wylie Talks ? An evening of spoken word at the British Music Experience

But as the Boos hinted at with their masterpiece Giant Steps, Carr was never a songwriter content with standing still and his latest incarnation (inspired by the death of David Bowie) sees him working with samples, keyboards and the sort of drum beats that sound like they could splutter out at any moment.

Martin Carr. Photo from artist's Facebook page

Martin Carr. Photo from artist’s Facebook page

With the crowd quickly won over, Carr grows in confidence as he wrestles each tune from his machinery and, judging by some of the lyrics, some pretty dark mental places. Paranoid and anxious, we hear references to Brexit and a sample of Nigel Farage at one point and there are frequent allusions to Carr‘s unhappy pop star life (‘I was swimming in the mainstream’). What he can’t shrug off however is that Beatlesesque way with a tune with the McCartney on downers loveliness of A Mess Of Everything a particular highlight.

Pausing to thank Pete Wylie for the loan of his guitar, when Carr does return to the six string we’re truly spoilt with a stunning version of Thinking of Ways (‘Just like always with a head full of beer  I will try and tell someone tonight’) from Giant Steps while a rousing Damocles and a soaring Three Studies of the Male Back look to Carr’s past for inspiration and show a man beginning to grow more comfortable with his achievements as a songwriter.

Troubled and worn he may be but this is one Carr that’s not ready to be written off just yet.

The post Martin Carr, Satin Beige: Leaf, Liverpool appeared first on Getintothis.

Husky Loops, whenyoung, Monks: Sound Basement, Liverpool
Category Live reviews, Husky Loops, Monks, sound, whenyoung
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Husky Loops have a sound that seems to break the rules and Getintothis? Scarlett India witnessed it all first hand in Sound?s basement. Dream-pop band, Monks, opened the night to a room full of fans and proud family members. The youthful appearance of this band soon demonstrated the talent they have, putting any doubts to [...]

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Husky Loops

Husky Loops

Husky Loops have a sound that seems to break the rules and Getintothis? Scarlett India witnessed it all first hand in Sound?s basement.


Dream-pop band, Monks, opened the night to a room full of fans and proud family members.

The youthful appearance of this band soon demonstrated the talent they have, putting any doubts to bed. Monks? music are a breath of fresh air in indie music, adding trumpet instrumentals to fun guitar riffs.

The band left the audience chanting for more, something they can get in May, when the band plays Sound City.

The second act, whenyoung, came on to a growing crowd.

They played catchy, glam indie-rock songs which were brought together with dreamy vocals. A favourite seemed to be The Others, written for those who lost their lives at the Grenfell Tower tragedy. A catchy song, and a fitting tribute.

whenyoung brought with them an interesting look of blazers and jumpsuits, making sure to stand out from the crowd.

Europe can save us- a magic solution for overpriced gigs and impossible-to-get tickets

The headliners, Husky Loops, were as good as anticipated. Simultaneously unsettling and entertaining, their live show was a spectacle.

Husky Loops? post-punk sound relies heavily on samples and effects, brought together with strong rhythms.
Instead of being lit by colours, this band chose to have one haunting, white light.

They transitioned between songs with few words. Husky Loops are out-there, with big beats and prominent bass lines. They had the crowd gripped from the start, with one audience member shouting out: ‘I fucking love these songs.’

Images by Getintothis’ Lucy McLachlan

Monks Monks Monks Husky Loops Husky Loops Husky Loops Husky Loops Husky Loops Husky Loops Husky Loops Husky Loops Monks

The post Husky Loops, whenyoung, Monks: Sound Basement, Liverpool appeared first on Getintothis.

Jurassic Park turns 25: a look back at a cinema classic
Category Film, Opinion, 25th anniversary, bug's life, Earth, Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic, Jurassic Park, kenner toys, laura dern, pixar, Richard Attenborough, Sam Neil, stan winston, Steven Spielberg, Toy Story, Wind & Fire, world
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As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, Getintothis’ Billy Strickland  looks at the impact it had on a generation of cinema goers.   Sixty five millions years ago dinosaurs ruled the earth. 25 years ago they ruled our cinema screens. It?s the film that made cinema history, defined childhoods, and thrilled audiences in the summer of 1993 [...]

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Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, Getintothis’ Billy Strickland  looks at the impact it had on a generation of cinema goers.  

Sixty five millions years ago dinosaurs ruled the earth. 25 years ago they ruled our cinema screens.

It?s the film that made cinema history, defined childhoods, and thrilled audiences in the summer of 1993 and it?s turning 25 this year.

Based on author Michael Crichton?s bestselling book of the same name, Jurassic Park became a worldwide phenomenon. Everybody and their mother wanted to see this film. Nobody could stop talking about it, and for very good reason. Featuring ground breaking technology and a superb blend of thrills and family entertainment, it truly does ‘continue to capture the imagination of the entire planet.’

Now, when this writer first experienced Jurassic Park, most likely at the innocent age of four or five, he fell in love with something, something so powerful it could change your life.  Yes, dinosaurs where as cool as ever, but seeing them ?alive? in a film changed things.

This now long-time fan fell in love with cinema because of Jurassic Park, and watching the film many times every year for the past 20 years, always finds something to love about it. And it was really at this point in the writer?s childhood that he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

The film’s plot follows that of the book but is less science-heavy and more watered down for a mainstream audience. Sam Neill plays the hero, Dr Alan Grant, and the most developed roll in the film. He hates kids, which creates something of an inner conflict for him in his personal relationship with Laura Dern?s leaf loving character, paleobotanist Ellie Sattler.

Although finding himself having to look after the two kid stars of the film, Tim and Lex, he learns to appreciate them, and it is this aspect of the film that resonates with me personally. It?s such a powerful, subtle theme that  allows for characters to be layered rather than the one dimensional, gun toting action heroes expected in a summer blockbuster. There is a certain level of humanity that is brought to the film that everyone can relate to.

When Steven Spielberg began rolling on what would be his first day of shooting Jurassic Park, he didn?t know the impact it would have and how much of a classic it would become. But what is it that makes Jurassic Park so special? Actually, many factors come into play when talking about what makes this the best dinosaur film ever made. It isn?t a shame to think that even with three sequels the first has never been topped.

Jurassic Park certainly wrestles with multiple themes; you?ve got parenthood and family, greed, technology, power, but all of this comes down to the age old theme of good versus evil, or in the film’s context, man versus nature. One could argue this is portrayed through the characters of mathematician Ian Malcolm, played so naturally by the eccentric Jeff Goldblum, and John Hammond, played by the legendary Richard Attenborough.

Of course this writer at an early age (pre A-Level film studies) didn?t realise the clever mis-en-scene at work here. Goldblum?s character being the ?nature? side of things wears all black, representing the opposition to good. His character disagrees with everything going on at the dinosaur amusement park, compared to his opposition. John Hammond, dressed from head to toe in white believing all his intentions are good. In one of the film’s greatest dialogue exchanges, characters Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, Ian Malcom, and John Hammond observe what happens behind the scenes of the amusement park, and discover the immense power and control needed to run an operation of such scale. They also witness the birth of an infant velociraptor.

Ian Malcolm, far from impressed, is too concerned with the high probability that everything he is seeing is going to fail, saying ‘the kind of power you?re attempting here, it?s not possible’. This leads to one of the most potent lines in the film: ‘Life breaks free, it expands to new territories, it crashes through barriers.  Painfully, even dangerously’ and then continues on to say ‘Life finds a way’.

It?s this line, delivered exceptionally by the actor that brings argument to Jurassic Park. Just because dinosaurs can be made, should they? It?s a feasible debate to go along with a feasible idea that as technology in the real world advances at an alarming rate, it could bring us to this reality one day.

trex use

Jurassic Park. Photo from the Jurassic Worlds Facebook Page

It?s the early 1990?s. Audiences have grown accustomed to the special effects that are filling their summer blockbusters like a wild plague. They?ve seen space battles in Star Wars and they?ve seen light cycles in Tron, it is becoming normality. In 1991, James Cameron releases Terminator 2: Judgment Day featuring the terrifying T1000. Now the T1000 is the latest and best in computer generated imagery from Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), the special effects maestros of Hollywood. It raised the bar in the field of CGI, but as amazing as it was, people just weren?t expecting was about to happen two years later.

Enter June 1993. Jurassic Park lit up theatres everywhere, and like the asteroid that destroyed the films flagship characters, it blew the planet away. It changed film forever.

Audiences had never before witnessed anything like this. Even other renowned directors wanted to jump on the band wagon, George Lucas being one of them! The success of the CGI in Jurassic is what inspired him to start his Star Wars prequels. As a matter of fact (and more than likely a little known fact), it was George Lucas who oversaw the post production stage of the film whilst Spielberg had to dash off to film one of his other classics, Schindler’s List. Bet you didn?t know that one.

Wes Anderson- five of the best from the director of The Grand Budapest Hotel

Arguably the most iconic sequence in the film (and possibly in any film ever) is the superbly executed T-Rex escape scene. Now, a full CGI model of the tyrannosaur appears in this scene, but clever use of low light and rain allows for the animal to appear to be a living breathing creature, a technique directors seem to forget nowadays in cinema. In Jurassic World (2015), the CGI looks as though it belongs in 1993 more than its predecessor does. The truth is that Spielberg opts to use as little CGI as possible, maybe because the technology was just starting out and he didn?t want to seem to ambitious.  But intentional or not, the lack of CGI being used, along with a perfect blend of animatronics from the masterful Stan Winston is what allows it to shine today ahead some of cinemas modern releases, such as Jurassic World.

Spielberg was already established as a filmmaker who could thrill his audience, and Jurassic Park is a masterclass in suspense filmmaking.  But this film was about dinosaurs, and who doesn’t love dinosaurs? That?s right; ultimately Jurassic Park was a film for kids. But this director was not going to shy away from the scariness the film needed. No, instead he masterfully blends family adventure with suspense and science fiction horror.

In many ways the film is just like one of Spielberg?s other films, Jaws. Just like in the 1975 shark classic, he manages to portray the humanity of his characters in such a real and charming way, so when it comes to the bad things happening, you really start to care for the people on screen. Jurassic Park has such a warm innocence to it in earlier scenes that kids in the audience are eased into the terror starting to unfold.

For example, the brachiosaurus scene, the first time a full CGI dinosaur is seen in the film, (and what a magical moment it is). With this scene younger members of the audience are seeing what Spielberg intended; an animal. It?s this approach that allows for children to not be scared of the colossal lizards, but rather to be fascinated. Even when the dinos are attacking, kids still watch in awe.  Following the release of the film, there was a significant increase in students choosing to study palaeontology.

It?s even the little things in Jurassic Park that leave a mark. Little elements the filmmakers struggled to accomplish at the time, such as the cup of water rippling on the dashboard of the land explorer with each step the ferocious tyrannosaur took. Mentioned earlier, this caused special effects wizard Michael Lantieri many sleepless nights trying to figure out just how he would accomplish this, and Spielberg was adamant after being inspired by simply Earth, Wind & Fire in his car at full volume.

In the end it was an amplified guitar string plucked at the right note that brought it to life.  Yes it built the suspense of the unknown, but also for many years to come directors would copy the gag in their films. Even as recent as 2018 the gag is still being put to good use like some old working dog, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson) featuring a close up shot of a drinking rippling in an casino on some far off planet.

Even the unique sound of the T-Rex created for this film (made by slowing down the sound of a baby elephant) can be noticed in films such as Toy Story 3 and a Bugs Life, which makes me think Pixar have a thing for this film.

In the interest of the film’s target audience, Kenner Toys were the company in charge of the inevitable toy line to coincide with the release of the film. And of course, kids of 1993 went crazy. Featuring all the main dinosaurs from the film, vehicle play sets and main characters, it allowed for the adventure to be continued in the imaginations of a six year olds bedroom. These figures are still sought after today by the hardcore fans and, of course, some are more sought after than others.  But this is just another part of the legacy Jurassic Park has left.

It is safe to say that the impact Jurassic Park has left is a powerful one. Cinema was about to enter a new age, there was no going back for audiences, as now they would always want bigger and better. For many people the film holds a special place in their hearts. Whether it?s simply because it?s the first film they ever saw, or it inspired them to grow up and become filmmakers or palaeontologists. Jurassic Park will forever be the film that changed not just cinema, but people?s lives.

And that?s the true power of cinema.

The post Jurassic Park turns 25: a look back at a cinema classic appeared first on Getintothis.

The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet 50 years on: the first injection of cool
Category Albums, Featured Article, Opinion, Allen Klein, Andrew Loog Oldham, Beggars Banquet, bill wyman, Black Sabbath, Bob Dylan, bobby keys, Charles Baudelaire, charlie watts, George Harrison, George Martin, harold wilson, Jimmy Miller, John Lee Hooker, John Lennon, Johnny Cash, Joy Division, Keith Richards, Marc Bolan, Martin Hannett, Mick Jagger, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nicky Hopkins, roy bittan, The Beatles, The Doors, The E Street Band, The Stooges, The Velvet Underground, Their Satanic Majesties' Request
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The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet is 50 years old in 2018 and Getintothis’ Simon Kirk celebrates a catalysmic moment in rock and roll as we know it. To be fully immersed in The Rolling Stones, the one caveat that is truly essential is time. Lots of it. Sadly it?s something that a lot of people [...]

The post The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet 50 years on: the first injection of cool appeared first on Getintothis.

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The Rolling Stones recording Sympathy for the Devil

The Rolling Stones recording Sympathy for the Devil

The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet is 50 years old in 2018 and Getintothis’ Simon Kirk celebrates a catalysmic moment in rock and roll as we know it.

To be fully immersed in The Rolling Stones, the one caveat that is truly essential is time.

Lots of it. Sadly it?s something that a lot of people can?t seem to afford, and in a shape-shifting fast moving society, it feels as though younger music fans find it easier to discard The Rolling Stones as opposed to spending time getting to know the legend.

Is it because they now look like a bunch of old wash-ups and, dare I say it, a parody of themselves? Or is it because their legacy has been tarnished by their output post Some Girls? Like many things in this passage of ramblings, it?s all subjective. Ultimately, it?s what one wants out of music and there are many terrains to cross in one?s quest to reach their desired endpoint.

The experience I?ve had with The Rolling Stones is this. After endless hours of trawling through their discography, reading biographies and generally piecing together the intricate puzzle, their music starts to seep into your pores, coursing through your blood stream and from there that?s it! You?re sold. For life.

From the first time of listening to Beggars Banquet and revisiting it time and time again, it feels like it was the first dangerous record that The Rolling Stones made. It can also be argued that it?s one of the first dangerous records ever made. Again, all subjective of course, and while their early sixties output was spent appropriating Chuck Berry and Little Richard like a bunch of plagiaristic fops merely coming in on the coattails of their R&B originators, there was still a dangerous exterior to The Rolling Stones that few of their peers could emulate.

Chuck Berry 1927-2016: an original fan’s perspective

In a post-war Britain where a combination of suburban limitations and rigid conservatism were commonplace, The Stones made few friends from the outset in 1962. Brian Jones? ?lewd gestures? onstage sparked a national outrage from the masses. Following their band mate, The Stones? onstage persona didn?t waver. So too the press?s derision, basically marginalising The Stones as a bunch of degenerates in suits. These early impressions tainted the band and have very much stayed with them ever since.

While those early stages of playing music halls around Great Britain could have been perceived as superficial flashy bravado, internally this solidified the band?s arrogance and overall tenacity. It proved the catalyst for the indoctrinated us versus them mentality. Fabric of The Rolling Stones patchwork. Their DNA.

After the band traded in their suits for bohemian garb, whether Their Satanic Majesties Request was seen as a direct rival to The Beatles? Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band is another debatable facet in the history of music. Aside from Michael Cooper?s artwork (which, comparing the two is yet another debate entirely), there?s little doubt that the two albums are worlds apart.

In The Stones? case, Their Satanic … was their bridge album. The band struggling to navigate through the haze and destruction of one Brian Jones. Beggars Banquet was Jones? final involvement with the band before his untimely slip from the mortal coil eight months after its release. In taciturn fashion, the beast that is The Rolling Stones sauntered on, but not without further drama.

Along with the erratic behaviour of Jones, there was the severing of ties with long-term manager and producer, Andrew Loog Oldham. Amid Jagger and Richards? drug possession charge in 1967, Oldham performed his finest Houdini act, flitting off to the United States and leaving co-manager, Allen Klein, under the proverbial high ball with the impending legal proceedings. The episode ended Oldham?s reign with The Rolling Stones. Despite the persistent turbulence, The Stones, perhaps unbeknownst to themselves at the time, were still very much on the upward trajectory.

Creatively, the self-portrait had begun to take shape. On the back of single and one of their biggest hits, Jumpin? Jack Flash, on December 6, 1968, the sounds of Beggars Banquet filled the living rooms of many.

The first album that truly illuminated the magic of Michael Phillip Jagger and Keith Richards. A partnership in song writing that will forever be at the summit of music, right alongside Lennon/McCartney, Dylan, Bowie, Young, and … well, you get the picture.

While Jagger?s performance at this point was his first real demonstration of genius, finally removed from the British Invasion, it was equally Richards? watershed moment, too. His discovery of open tuning transformed The Rolling Stones into a new animal of immeasurable possibilities. Charlie Watts? swing from behind the skins and Bill Wyman?s cutting bass ? other features that feel as though musically, a new chapter and concept had emerged.

While The Beatles were all about the love song, The Stones pushed that concept to the wayside in favour of lust. Both rock ?n? roll at heart, but where The Beatles were comfortable taking the world by storm in the pop realm, despite The Stones? abilities to pen a stirring pop ditty, it was obvious that they wanted to distance themselves from this parish where they had become less and less comfortable. While Beggars Banquet was many things, it was also a reactionary album.

In a sense, listening to Beggars Banquet for the first time somewhat reduced expectations. Not because it felt dull, but because of the nature of past exposures. As a kid growing up in the ?90s, you inadvertently experienced a dalliance with The Rolling Stones, whether it be via snippets on the radio or through television advertisements. They?ve dipped in and out of your life, becoming particles of your sub-conscious. The opening chord of Street Fighting Man. Parts of Jigsaw Puzzle. Then there?s Sympathy for the Devil.

Had my parents been enthusiastic about music I can?t help but think that this band would?ve been shoved down my throat. Alas, my journey with The Stones has been of a backtracking nature, piecing together the puzzle which involved the realisation that many of my favourite bands have pilfered riffs out of Keith?s back pocket.

As Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash were using their music almost as ruse for political messaging, Beggars Banquet was The Stones? own entrance point into the world of politics.

Opener, Sympathy for the Devil, inspired part by Charles Baudelaire and the exceptional novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita, was written from the devil?s point of view. Jagger?s satanic references navigate alongside afro rhythms and Nicky Hopkins? bouncing piano. While tongues wagged in the press, Jagger was quick to point out that the song was about the dark side of man, and indeed not a celebration of Satanism. Either way, it was a brave sequence of social commentary from Jagger.

Trailer for Jean Luc Godard‘s film with The Rolling Stones – One Plus One: Sympathy for the Devil 

Then there?s the album?s first single, Street Fighting Man ? a blatant cut inspired by the United States race riots and the protests which followed not only in the U.S. but around the world. Undeniably The Stones? largest political number and together with Sympathy for the Devil it caused the relevant stir. On the subject of relevance, it was Richards? first noticeable binge with open tuning, as well. That opening chord, etched firmly in the memory of the masses and with the benefit of hindsight, a shrewd choice for lead single.

Nicky Hopkins? inclusion in The Rolling Stones seems like a footnote of sorts. Having worked with the band during Their Satanic Majesties Request and with The Kinks and The Who beforehand, Hopkins? touches on Beggars? are one of my favourite facets of the album.

Sympathy for the Devil and No Expectations wouldn?t have had anywhere near the impact had it not been for Hopkins? piano. His sprinkling of cosmic dust over the keys added another dimension to The Stones? revamped opened-up sound. So stirring is his performance that quite simply, again with the benefit of hindsight, Hopkins was as important as any additional member in The Rolling Stones during their glory years, including saxophonist Bobby Keys.

Hopkins? work behind the piano is simply unique. His tone pricks your senses from a mile away, and along with The E-Street Band?s Roy Bittan, there?s not many keys-men you can say that about. Hopkins went on to work with the likes of George Harrison, John Lennon and Marc Bolan to name a handful, but his time in The Stones captured his greatest moments.

Although Beggars Banquet?s success can be attributed to facets such as Richards? open tuning wig-outs and Hopkins? melody dripping pianos, the most potent weapon in the The Rolling Stones arsenal arrived in the form of Jimmy Miller. The American architect from behind the studio glass.

Like ships passing in the night, Andrew Loog Oldham?s departure was an entrance point for new ears and fresh perspective. From Beggars Banquet up until Goats Head Soup, Miller?s proficiency in front of the soundboards undoubtedly harnessed, carved out and continually refined the signature Rolling Stones sound.

Like George Martin and The Beatles, Martin Hannett and Joy Division, Jimmy Miller?s association with The Rolling Stones will always been remembered in the Broadchurch of rock music and it all started with Beggars Banquet.

The Top 10 Rudest Blues songs ever!

Dear Doctor and Parachute Woman are rusty-hinged honkytonk barnyard stomps. Products from a dusty whiskey barrel in a shed somewhere in the hills of Kentucky. Robert Wilkins? Prodigal Son is the only cover on the album, which is in a similar vein to the aforementioned cuts, despite the fact that Jagger is giving his best impersonation of John Lee-Hooker. Jagger?s greatest art is shedding skins, morphing to the moments and here, once again, it works.

Jigsaw Puzzle and Stray Cat Blues are two tracks that form the framework of the new embodiment of The Stones? sound. Courtesy of Miller?s sonic gold dust from the soundboards, the pair of ditties would have propped up any of their albums during their greatest creative period, up until Goats Head Soup.

Then there?s Factory Girls and Salt of the Earth. A one-two combo ode to the working class. As mentioned above, The Stones? were restless in the pantheon of pop and while Aftermath and Their Satanic Majesties Request loosened the shackles, Beggars Banquet was their statement of breaking free from the British Invasion and Beatlemania.

With that being the case, however, any of those bands could have only dreamt of penning a pop number as great as Salt of the Earth. The album closer and a moment where the world stopped, took stock, then realised that the boundaries of blues music had been redefined during the thirty-nine minutes and forty-nine seconds which encompassed Beggars Banquet.

Blues, honkytonk, country, roots rock, samba. It?s all here on Beggars Banquet. You could argue that is an album feels like the first true flurry of, by pure definition, pub rock. Where a drink and cigarette perfectly went hand-in-hand. The only thing that could have encroached on this marriage of hedonism was The Rolling Stones? Beggars Banquet.

Over the years, as particular genres and scenes become in vogue then slowly fade, many bands have attempted to imitate the swinging country blues-rock sound of Beggars Banquet. Naturally, few have conquered, barely reaching the boundaries let alone breaking them. This will continue for years to come.

Even now, and although I detest the word when used in association with music, you get the feeling that this was one of the first albums to inject cool into rock music.

Fans of The Doors may have something to say about that, thanks to the band?s bourgeoning psychedelic acid-rock of their eponymous debut. So too The Velvet Underground with their debut. Both albums arrived in the previous calendar year.

Break on through: 50 years of The Doors

To counteract, however, in the case of acid-rock, The Rolling Stones had conceivably ticked the box a year earlier, albeit fleetingly, with Paint it Black. Where The Velvets are concerned, though, the argument still stands, with Jagger even admitting that Stray Cat Blues was inspired by The Velvets greatest song, Heroin.

While The Doors at times was a bit too out there and The Velvet Underground & Nico was music tailored towards the high-brow bourgeoisie, from the ?60s, Beggars Banquet was arguably the first rock ?n? album that spoke to working class people, whereby the possibilities of a coexistence between danger and music were entertained.

Beggars Banquet doesn?t sound visceral but what it hinted towards was the possibility of a looming allegiance between the two worlds. It planted the seed which got working class people thinking. A crosspollination between radical otherness and the mundane.

This cultural shift on the back of Beggars Banquet coincided with Harold Wilson?s tenure as Great Britain?s Prime Minister ? the country?s first Labour leader for thirteen years. Taking office in 1964, it seemed as though Wilson?s political influence had begun to take shape.

For me, with Beggars Banquet, The Stones found the perfect balance of danger whilst still remaining true to the genre that made them take music seriously from the outset. They finally mastered a symmetry between their own inward and outward essence. Most bands up until 1968 didn?t strike gold at their first time of asking and The Stones were no different. Ironically, the two bands that did are mentioned above (The Doors and The Velvet Underground).

The attitude of The Rolling Stones through Beggars Banquet paved the way for many acts to follow shortly thereafter. The roaring crescendo of Led Zeppelin and the complete hysteria they left in their wake. The sheer aggression and the birth of punk courtesy of The Stooges. And let?s not forget the complete bastardisation of the blues demonstrated by Black Sabbath.

Beggars Banquet isn?t The Rolling Stones? finest album, for me that honour rests with the irrepressible Sticky Fingers, which followed after Let It Bleed in the April of 1971.

However, it was the band?s most important one, for it was the undeniable catalyst for their greatest creative period and, along with several others, effectively formed one of the clouds which gathered prior to the greatest storm the world has ever seen: rock ?n? roll music as we know it.

The post The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet 50 years on: the first injection of cool appeared first on Getintothis.

TV ME, Seatbelts, Sean Keogh: 81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool
Category Live reviews, 81 Renshaw Street, A Broadcast From TV ME, a lovely war, Hooton Tennis Club, live, sean keogh, Seatbelts, TV ME
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Friday night saw TV ME cast their psychedelic dreamcoat over a sell-out crowd at 81 Renshaw Street and Getintothis’ Mike Stanton was there to sweep up the stardust. With so many music venues closing around the city it is heartening to see one go from strength-to-strength. 81 Renshaw Street has emerged as one of the [...]

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TV ME

TV ME

Friday night saw TV ME cast their psychedelic dreamcoat over a sell-out crowd at 81 Renshaw Street and Getintothis’ Mike Stanton was there to sweep up the stardust.

With so many music venues closing around the city it is heartening to see one go from strength-to-strength. 81 Renshaw Street has emerged as one of the most exciting live venues in the city having redeveloped and expanded the performance space and adding a record shop downstairs.

It is in this performance space that TV ME chose to launch their EP A Broadcast From TV ME and conclude their successful nationwide tour, so a party atmosphere was guaranteed with a fully supportive audience eager to see and hear one of Liverpool’s most exciting bands.

Up first was singer-songwriter Sean Keogh and what a talent. Head of vocals and keyboards for Liverpool chamber-pop combo A Lovely War, Sean was performing in a solo capacity and proved to be a fine opening act. A combination of excellent songwriting and great voice elevated Sean‘s set to almost one of headliner with a selection of wonderfully crafted songs that hearkened back to the 1970’s ‘golden age’ of the songsmith. Comparisons to Joe Jackson will abound with Sean‘s songs containing the same bittersweet melodies and intricate structures eliciting warm applause from the growing audience.

He could have looked lost and alone up on stage with just a backing track for company but his performance was compelling, his voice arresting and the set beautifully balanced. Sean Keogh is another example of the incredible talent still bubbling around the city and is an act to catch live if you can.

Up next were Seatbelts, not the Japanese space-jazz outfit, but a new project from James Madden and Ryan Murphy of Hooton Tennis Club. With the pedigree they have it was no surprise to see the quality on show as the four-piece blasted through a set of some fine indie-pop and socially-aware songs that got the now near-full room rocking. James and Ryan are superb songwriters and managed to combine slick performance with on-note social comment to tell stories and encourage some proper dancing from the crowd.

Evoking the jerky, post-punk stylings of XTC they were assured and tight on stage, riffing off each other and clearly enjoying themselves. This made them a compelling watch, James Madden is a superb frontman who occupies the stage with boatloads of charm, swagger and confidence ably backed-up by the rest of the band who create an assured ensemble. Chatting in between songs with the audience, James ensured the set flew by and left everyone roaring their approval.

The Magnet Liverpool to end music gigs as city set to lose another music venue

Finally TV ME took to the stage and showed just why they are one of the most exciting live acts around at the moment. Consisting of Thomas McConnell, Frankie Tibbles and the magnificently mustachioed Adam Dixon they unleashed their sweet form of psychedelic folk-pop onto a packed room at Renshaw Street.

Kicking off with Stitches from their new EP A Broadcast From TV ME, the sounds swirled around the listening ears with Beach Boys-like melodies. Their use of atmospheric interstitial samples throughout the set really lent an air of a concept performance, moving the set beyond a collection of songs and into an overall experience, like a journey they have asked you to accompany them on.

Peppercorn Boy followed and is such a stand-out song that it never dulls, just from the opening synths it was obvious the absolute quality on display.

After a brief chat from Thomas and the sampled voice informing us that ‘TV ME is filmed in front of a live studio audience’, they kicked on with a brilliant rendition of Magdapio Falls with some lovely close-harmony singing. Balloons followed and is a mellow, downtempo tune that featured some fine theremin action and had the air of 10cc at their mid-70’s peak.

Space Geno, their second single, a brilliant slice of quaint English psych-pop gets the room jumping. It’s a song impossible to stand still to and the band appear to be having huge amounts of fun playing it. Frankie on keys lends the the band a nostalgic and otherworldly feel with sounds cut straight from the Belbury Poly school of hauntology.

Opal Fruits from the new EP is a set highlight; a charging, spacey and trippy swirler that features some ace vocoder action lending a gorgeous, melodic and textured vibe to the track and it’s one helluva way to close out a sparkling set.  It’s safe to say by this point the place is bouncing and how could anybody resist. TV ME don’t so much as invite you on their kaleidoscopic journey but grab you by the hand, haul you along, laughing, glowing and spiraling a fine mist of neon-glitter. It’s an intoxicating and heady mix of sound and vision that leaves you grinning and light-headed.

With that the deal is struck and we have all bought into this spellbinding performance. The audience cheers, the sampled voice informs us we have watched a broadcast from TV ME and the static charge in the room slowly descends. If you have the chance to see these guys live, do it, your ears, mind and heart will thank you for the uplift, the head-swim and the neon glow.

Images by Getintothis? Peter Goodbody

Sean Keogh Seatbelts Seatbelts Seatbelts Seatbelts TV ME TV ME TV ME TV ME Sean Keogh

The post TV ME, Seatbelts, Sean Keogh: 81 Renshaw Street, Liverpool appeared first on Getintothis.

M.A.N.E set for Liverpool headline date
Category News, Buyers Club, Chris Taylor, M.A.N.E, Parr Street Studios, Stephen Langstaff
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With the announcement of his first Liverpool headline gig, Getintothis? Howard Doupé reveals all on the next big steps for Stephen Langstaff. Fresh from their debut performance last November at the O2 Academy, M.A.N.E have announced their first Liverpool headlining gig at Buyers Club. The meteoric rise continues for the Liverpool based artist/producer Stephen Langstaff through his latest project that blends [...]

The post M.A.N.E set for Liverpool headline date appeared first on Getintothis.

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M.A.N.E. (hi res)With the announcement of his first Liverpool headline gig, Getintothis? Howard Doupé reveals all on the next big steps for Stephen Langstaff.

Fresh from their debut performance last November at the O2 Academy, M.A.N.E have announced their first Liverpool headlining gig at Buyers Club.

The meteoric rise continues for the Liverpool based artist/producer Stephen Langstaff through his latest project that blends electronic sounds with classic songwriting. Debut single In Deep Lovers, recorded at Parr Street Studios with producer Chris Taylor credits over a million Spotify streams.

Going on to being hand-picked for playlists in Australia, Japan, Brazil, UK and Europe sparked further interest leading to BBC Introducing championing M.A.N.E. with radio play and a live studio session.

On the inception of his latest outfit Langstaff had this to say, ?M.A.N.E came out of my studio at home, making beats, incorporating synths and ploughing my songwriting into it. The aim was to put a couple of singles out and see what happened. I collaborated with Chris at Parr St, signed them to Indiependent Records and they ended up doing really well on streaming platforms.?

The Psychedelic Furs to play Liverpool date – details here

?Playing live is exciting because the energy is so fresh with these tunes and the other tunes that nobody’s heard yet. The Buyers Club date will be the second proper gig. I want to put more singles out this year and expand the live side. 

Things just keep on getting better. The only thing that matters is that the music keeps delivering and people have fun at the gigs.? 

M.A.N.E. play Buyers Club on February 23.

Tickets available here https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Liverpool/The-Buyers-Club-/MANE/13117607/

Listen now to the first two singles https://open.spotify.com/artist/2msLH6NMeRryYSvg2xUoPw?si=R9vUEm25QY2kDlnqN5Qb6w

The post M.A.N.E set for Liverpool headline date appeared first on Getintothis.

Europe can save us- a magic solution for overpriced gigs and impossible-to-get tickets
Category Opinion, Arcade Fire, black keys, Fleetwood Mac, Foo Fighters, Glastonbury, Kasabian, Liam Gallagher, Metallica, Noel Gallagher, Oasis, Primavera, Prince, Rolling Stones, Stone Roses, stubhub, The Prodigy, The Streets, Unknown, viagogo
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As prices for UK gigs skyrocket and tickets become increasingly difficult to get Getintothis’ Amy Farnworth comes up with a unique solution for avid gig goers. Whether you prefer the Princesses of pop, or the Godfathers of rock n roll, getting your hands on reasonably priced gig tickets in the UK is becoming a farce. How many [...]

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Sziget Festival, Hungary (Credit: Rockstar Photography)

Sziget Festival, Hungary (Credit: Rockstar Photography)

As prices for UK gigs skyrocket and tickets become increasingly difficult to get Getintothis’ Amy Farnworth comes up with a unique solution for avid gig goers.

Whether you prefer the Princesses of pop, or the Godfathers of rock n roll, getting your hands on reasonably priced gig tickets in the UK is becoming a farce.

How many times have you waited, anxious, adrenalin pumping through your veins, poised at the computer in anticipation, ready for the clock to strike 9am so you can jump online and purchase gig tickets for your favourite artist who?s just announced a 20-date stadium tour, only to be left pissed-off, disappointed and in unprecedented denial when said tickets sell out in less than four minutes; you didn?t even get a sniff at a loading page, and you?re faced with a black screen telling you there?s no more available and a small part of you dies, crumbles and rots inside?

How many times have you hastily rang round all your mates (who were simultaneously trying to get the same tickets) to ask if you should now try for the Leeds leg?

?It?s only two hours away, shall we try? ?

?Yeah, ok.?

Only to be faced with certain disappointment again. The screen says: sold out.

?Let?s go with Glasgow,? someone pipes up, ?We?ll make a weekend of it.?

Sold out.

?Belfast??

Sold out.

Last try.

?London then????

Sold out.

It?s something we avid gig goers and dedicated music fans are faced with month in, month out whenever a major selling recording artist announces a new tour.

Tickets for Liam Gallagher?s UK tour sold out in one minute in September 2017, and that was just the presale. His Finsbury Park gig sold out in 40 seconds and within minutes they were on StubHub for £100 a pop.

Foo Fighters tickets sold out in a few hours, a little longer for fans to get their hands on the coveted prizes but still a short amount of time in the grand scheme of things. Tickets are now being touted on Getmein for as much as £236.50.

Prodigy fans faced a similar experience, as did avid supporters of The Streets, whose tickets had sold out before 9:02 on the day of going on sale.

The Streets 2018 reunion, Original Pirate Material and Mike Skinner’s finest lyrical moments

Ed Sheeran fans suffered the same fate early in 2017 with The Independent in Ireland reporting that tickets for his two stadium gigs sold out in under five minutes. Sure enough, they were soon being touted on ticketing websites for over ten times the original price, which was around ?800,

It was the same when The Stone Roses announced their comeback gigs in 2011, and Prince in 2015.

And just last Friday, Eminem sold out his Twickenham dates in minutes, leaving unlucky fans with the prospect of having to pay prices in excess of £160 for a single ticket.

Too often this is happening. Too many times are loyal fans reduced to trawling Viagogo or Seatwave to be faced with tickets at four, five, six, times the face value; most of which appear online almost immediately after the general sale has closed.

Inevitably this leads to a backlash from angry followers, who launch into Twitter rampages, slagging off the likes of Ticketmaster and See Tickets and demanding artists do something to combat these cash hungry touts milking the system.

We?ve spoken about this on Getintothis before with an investigation into the unrelenting saga of ticket touting. But still, nothing has really been resolved.

And it?s not just tickets for individual gigs that are becoming increasingly difficult to get hold of either. Festivals lovers are feeling the brunt too.

Glastonbury sells out almost immediately, every single year. I managed to get tickets back in 2013 (don?t ask how, it must?ve been some kind of huge fluke) but the umpteen times I?ve tried before? Sold out. Sold out. Sold out. Despite gallant efforts and early rises on hungover Sunday mornings in attempts to get my hands on the coveted golden tickets, the internet failed me, and demand won. I even tried for coach tickets one year ? not a chance!

Even tickets for Neighbourhood 2018 in Warrington sold out in unexpected, unprecedented time.

With no clear solution on the immediate horizon, and with fans faced with the option of either missing out or resorting to selling a kidney for a touted ticket, what other options do we, loyal and dedicated music lovers have?

One solution is Europe.

Bear with me.

Many major artists tour Europe, especially if they have a new record to sell, are coming back after a hiatus, or are just short on money and need to embark on a thousand-date tour to cash-in so they can avoid certain bankruptcy?or so we believe.

Arcade Fire are doing it, Liam Gallagher is doing it, Foo Fighters have done it; The Prodigy, Fleetwood Mac, Stone Roses; Metallica are doing it, The Rolling Stones?the list goes on.

And what?s more…these tickets are relatively easy to come by. No stress; no panic when the credit card details page stalls and the time-wheel of death appears on the screen; no fury when a site kicks you out at the final stage, no waiting on holding pages for what seems like a stretch on death row; and no getting up at daft o?clock to wait by the laptop for imminent disappointment.

Tickets remain the same price as they are in the UK and often don?t sell out on the first day of general release (at the time of writing, Metallica still had tickets available for their shows in Bologna, Italy, and Herning, Denmark).

Then there?s the European festivals ? Primavera Sound, Benicassim, Melt, Unknown etc etc. All come with cheaper weekend camping tickets than festivals in the UK, and all are relatively easy to purchase.

Benicassim tickets sell for around $155 for a weekend compared to Leeds tickets which sell at almost twice the price at around £205.

But what about flights and accommodation? Yes, granted, this is something that is inevitably going to set you back a bit, but search on Ryanair or Easyjet and you can usually find some decent deals with most return flights costing the same price as a face value ticket ? around £50-£60.

Just now, flights to Basel at the end of Feb are around £69. If booked well in advance these prices could potentially be a lot less.

And what?s more, going to gigs in Europe comes with the added bonus of a short holiday ? a chance to broaden those cultural horizons while throwing yourself into a music gig in an alien city

There are some other glaringly obvious downsides to this though (and when I first began writing this, I wasn?t fooled into believing that the Europe option would be one that would suit everyone; it isn?t, for some it?s unrealistically out of reach). One of the palpable negatives is overall cost. Not everyone will be able to afford a two/three-day break to go see The Rolling Stones in Barcelona, I am aware of that.

Another negative is, will the artist even be touring Europe?

Ok, so the cost thing is a given. Of course it?s going to cost more to go and see your favourite band in Madrid than it is Manchester. There?s no doubting that. However, when you break it down and consider the semantics, it could just be worthwhile. And you don?t have to be super rich to have it all.

A group of friends and I recently tried in effort to get tickets for Liam Gallagher?s UK tour, in particular the Manchester leg in December last year. Zero success. As soon as the tickets had sold out they were up online for twelve times the face value price (ok, that?s an over exaggeration but you get my drift).

Being lucky enough to have a mate living in Lucerne, Switzerland, got us thinking. Would it be possible, less hassle, and better all-round value if we tried to get tickets for his Zurich show? We ummed and ahhed, and fannied around discussing whether it would be worth it, and then came to the conclusion ? yes, yes it bloody well would.

Phoning up our Swiss-based mate, she agreed we could crash with her (that was the accommodation sorted), so we jumped online, found the date of his gig and booked tickets for £50 each (face value and same as UK price). It was that easy.

The flights were simple too. Returns from Manchester were £50; and a train from Lucerne to Zurich costs less than a train from Manchester to London.

So altogether we were getting a two-day holiday, a gig, and a bit of culture, all for less than a touted UK ticket.

My brother did the same with the Amsterdam leg of LG?s tour. No hassle with tickets, and flights were dirt cheap too.

But (and there?s always a but), what if you?re not lucky enough to have a mate in Europe?

Well, hostels in major European cities cost from as little as £13 a night for a dorm room using Hostelworld.com which is great if you?re going as a group as you can take over the entire room without having to share with strangers. There?s also the option of Airbnb, which is brilliant value and lets you experience a city in relative comfort and privacy.

Avid gig-goers and friends of mine, Chris and Claire, have both attended European festivals. Their experiences with the process? Easy, doable, and much more satisfying than the UK festival experience.

Chris said: ?I’ve done Beni twice now. Once when Oasis headlined and once when Noel played there. Both far better than any English festival I’ve been to. Camped first time and stayed in a hotel the second.

?There’s less bands than at Glastonbury but it’s a better location and it doesn’t tend to rain. Bands start later in the day when it’s cooling down, so most people go to the water park across the road or to the beach during the day.

?Plenty of options for flights too. It’s easy to get to by coach or train from Barcelona or Madrid but Valencia is the nearest airport and the festival has its own coaches running from there (although you do need to pre-book a seat on them).?

Claire went to Unknown in Croatia: ?The cost wasn?t much, I don?t recall the exact overall amount as we got it as a package with the ticket, tent hire and coach transfer.

?They were easy to come by and there was no rush to get tickets. The cheapest flights we found were to Venice, and then a four-hour coach from there?they must?ve been cheap for us to hack the longest ever coach journey, haha!?

Aussie mates travelling through Europe rocked up in Lisbon in early 2013 and bought tickets for the Black Keys that night! There were tickets still going for the Black Keys, ON THE NIGHT (which would be pretty much unheard of over here). And at face value too.

My youngest brother bought tickets for The Rolling Stones in Barcelona. Zero trouble. And flights were cheap too ? less than £150 return (at the moment, one-way flights to Barcelona at the end of August are £30 with Ryanair.)

Oasis: Supersonic- a tale about euphoria, ambition and downright cheek

In 2009 I paid £120 a pop for Oasis tickets for a Glasgow venue, from a touted website. Was it worth it? To be squashed-up at the front having piss thrown over me, about two metres away from Liam and Noel, and not remembering much due to excessive alcohol consumption? Meh, I guess.

Paying a little more to go see them in Europe for a more well-rounded experience? I know which one I?d choose given the option now.

I?m not saying here that gig-going in Europe is the only solution; I?m not saying it?s always going to be practical; and I?m certainly not expecting everyone to agree with my sentiments; as mentioned earlier, for some, it?s nigh on impossible.

I?m not made of money, far from it in fact, and skipping across to the continent for a jolly to watch Kasabian sing to a stadium full of Italians is not always going to be my preferred avenue; and for many, it?s not the overall resolution to the ongoing crisis we face here in the UK, but given a little thought, given a little liberal discussion and practical planning, it may just be a fun and very valid alternative.

The post Europe can save us- a magic solution for overpriced gigs and impossible-to-get tickets appeared first on Getintothis.


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