Hard Rock Calling

So I went to Hard Rock Calling last week.   Was so good going to a festival again.   Its been a long time.   

A long sunny day, great atmosphere and amazing music! Jamiroquai was great.   I am a big fan of the original album, Emergency in Planet Earth, and they played a load of it.   Great stuff.

Stevie Wonder was unbelievable.   Totally relaxed.   Cracking jokes the whole time.   Getting the crowd singing every song.   I couldn't believe how good he was.   Totally amazing band as well.


Chris Cunningham Live

Went to see Chris Cunningham at the Royal Festival Hall.   Man.

Well, I thought I was in for an experience.   I told my girlfriend that she might not like it but it will be interesting.   I was right!

The show started with a performance by Beak>.   This was quite an understated affair with the band taking up a corner of the massive stage.   Their music, a mixture of analogue electronic and instruments, created a sound that built throughout the performance so that a song would end up being something completely different from where it started.   The singing was digitally processed to become another instrument in the performance.  

On to Chris Cunningham.   I've seen most of his previous work and enjoy the extreme nature of a lot of his videos.   I found that most of the visuals of his previous work are very interconnected to the music as though the video was born from the music.   His show music was written by himself or remixed, which seems to have given him free reign over the music that was in the show.   So for this show, the visuals have driven the music.

This show was a hellish experience but was clearly meant to be one.   I thought about walking out a few times just because I felt like I couldn't take it any longer.   Some of the key moments were a naked man and woman viciously punching each other and drawing blood, woman dancing until all her intestines came flying out of her body and a child lying in bed and being cut open and dissected by an unseen force.   These scenes can not really be explained in words.   These were all timed to massive flashing lights, some incredibly violent noises that made up the music.   In fact, at one point a light socket fell out of the roof due to the base of the music.   It was a horrific experience that was far worse than any horror film I've ever seen.   Saying that, I think that Chris Cunningham produced the result he desired from the experience.

The visions and violence shown was far more extreme than anything that he has produced before.   Removing the constraints of creating a video for another artist allowed him to create an undiluted experience that has only briefly been seen in the nastier parts of his other work.

I can not say that I enjoyed the experience in any way other than leaving the hall and getting out into the beautiful streets of London.   Everything seemed so much nicer after this show!

Well, it was an experience!

Waiting for Godot

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Theatre Royal Haymarket to see 'Waiting for Godot'.   This is one of the first real plays that I've ever seen so it was a real novelty.   Ian McKellen and Roger Rees were very good in the main roles.

The story centres around two apparently homeless men waiting around in a desolate area.   They are waiting for someone or something called Godot throughout the whole play.   

I thought that this play was going to be much heavier than it was.   I think that was partly to do with the performers injecting quite a bit of humour into it.   Really, the story is about the two characters trying to entertain each other as they wait.   They need to entertain each other or they start to dwell on their lives and existence.

Also, 2 other characters appear.   A rich upper-class man and his servant.   They are tied together and through the first act the rich man abuses his servant.   Through the second act the rich man is blind and is now lead by his servant.   The roles are reversed and is some kind of metaphor of the class system and the dependencies between the classes.

I suppose that if you read into it, its about the wait through life and the pointlessness of existence.   This said, I think that there is a light hearted side with alleviates the heaviness of the subject matter.

Will definitely be up for going to see another one of this types of plays.