Friday, 18 October 2013


This gorgeous short film by Alasdair McLellan shows Ray Winston revisiting his old boxing club, The Repton. It made me teary eyed as I've been in and around boxing clubs for the past 10 years and have just recently started boxing again in North London. Over the years I’ve been in swim clubs, yoga groups, cycling teams but Boxing is more than a sport. It’s really good for the soul. One boxing session is more relaxing and moral boosting than a million meditation sessions and a boxing club also works as a kind of extended family where you are supported and pushed to be the best you can be. 

In this video Ray Winston talks about the acceptance and sense of morality you get in a boxing club. When you join a club you become a member and what you are, or are perceived to be, outside of that club is irrelevant. Age, appearance, background are all irrelevant. You’re there to train and to compete. If you work hard you earn respect and that’s a big life lesson right there.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Tori Amos has joined the league of well known musicians flirting with the musical industry, I went down as an uninformed spectator to see “The Light Princess”, Tori Amos' debutante musical for the National Theatre. All I had to go on was the poster, posturing as front cover to Florence and the Machine’s fantastically lofty album “Lungs”. 

Expectations rising... 
Tori Amos be careful handling that camembert, you are just two hops away from the levels of cheesiness Bono often produces from his fromage factory. Even though the show cracked open with a safe number of “Everything is Changing”, with a bunch of Adam Ant’s Prince Charmings stomping furiously, this was not enough to distract me from the fact that I had ended up at a pantomime in early October! I have been duped Sir! Front stage acting, character stereotypes to put Little Britain to shame. During “Once upon a time” there was a carefree floating gravity defying princess who was unable to cry and on the other hand there a solemn prince who was rather into weeping, both are orphans and their kingdoms are at war with each other. Couldn’t be any further apart huh? The script is on par with predictability ofthe love mess that is a standard Jilly Cooper romp com. One tune that escaped the constant repetition of easy vocal ascending and descending was saved by Clive Rowe’s solo “Girls”, that was intoxicatingly amazing. No longer was I listening to a love child of Wicked and Hair who tried out opera, but an individual ballad of rich under tones that would have made Sam Gaillard proud. 

The background heroes that brought the musical out of the ruins were Steven Hoggett, Neil Bettles and Paul Rubin, head choreography/aerial movement. Considering that the lead lady floats throughout the whole show you would need a dream team of gravity wizards to make it continuously believable. The costume and set designers were heavily influenced by Terry Pratchett Disc world book covers, so yes, I was pretty won over by that aswell. Please do check out the original twisted 18th Century Scottish fairy tale of the Light Princess here.

Review by India Harris

Thursday, 10 October 2013


John Hopkins' original score for the film How I Live Now is some of his best to date (in my humble opinion anyway). The film is good and a lot of that is down to Saoirse Ronan who first really impressed in Hanna and is an interesting actress. However, for me the best thing about the film was the soundtrack and I was very pleased to hear that it's set to be released on just music. This is his second soundtrack having previously scored Monsters and it includes a John Hopkins remix of Daughter's track Home and a stunning collaboration with Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes). Here's a taster...


Wednesday, 9 October 2013


I was fortunate enough to experience opera from a young age, from a candle lit courtyard in Limousin to Paris Opera House to the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro in Lucca. This may sound boastful but my point is that people are often surprised when I tell them this. A working class northerner with a Manc drawl so greet people with ya arrriyate and have a penchant for a cheeky Greggs pasty (who doesn’t?) likes opera, yup sod the stereotypes, live music is great and opera is beautiful live music with a story. It's all just music at the end of the day from Gold Panda at St John to Smegma at Otto, live music is good whatever the genre (or lack of). 

I am pretty excited about catching LaTraviata at The Kings Head in Islington and tempted by Wozzek at The Royal Opera House but what really turned me on recently was seeing that Ben Frost is composing an opera based on Iain Bank’s The Wasp Factory. What’s not to love about that?!


It’s no secret that I adore Iain Bank’s and previously talked about the effect The Wasp Factory had on my life. The really interesting this is that Ben Frost is composing this so it's likely to be a pretty experimental affair since Frost is influenced by minimal, punk and industrial sounds. For those of you who don’t track his work *cough* Ben Frost is an Iceland (country not frozen food shop) based Australian composer who’s worked with the likes of Tim Hecker and Bjork, composed Music For Solaris with Daniel Bjarnason (based on Andrei Tarkovsky’s rad 1972 film adapted from Lem’s equally rad 1961 book) and he’s currently working on an album that features Swans. Yes, FML! 

Anyhow, I could go on about him a bit more but probably should stop at risk of embarrassing myself. Here’s a video of Ben Frost talking about his work on The Wasp Factory. 

Kerry Flint


Saturday, 5 October 2013


After emerging from an adolescence surrounded by M*y*s*p*a*c*e and Emos without any facial piercings or a life long commitment to the Manic Street Preachers I thought I'd dodge the Covert Goth Club. Wrong!

A late life obsession with The Holy Bible and this guy ...

...kicked in when I was 22 (the only time that's acceptable is if you were 22 when the Manics first appeared) and then I discovered Lisbeth Salander; controversial co-protagonist of the Girl With A Dragon Tattoo series by Steig Larrson.

Salander is a fantastically complex character; one of the only rape survivors I've read who doesn't come across as a victim, one of the only women with Aspergers in fiction fullstop. Somewhere someone is probably writing an incredibly earnest and worthwhile dissertation on her place within the rape revenge cannon.

But personally, reading her as a feminist features writer who reads more than her fair share of rape-centric lit, it wasn't the story that caught me. It was the clothes.

When I read Girl With The Dragon Tattoo I was working in the kind of office where half the women wore plum merino cardigans from Jigsaw and the other half were wearing white and blue stripey t-shirts from The Gap. Turning up one day in black skinny jeans, Dr Marten boots, three oversized black jumpers in various states of decay and a tie-dyed turquoise rucksack was very liberating.

6 months later H&M produced their Lisbeth Salander collection which I feasted on and then promptly swapped for a Frida Kahlo obsession. Salander had already proved her worth as a style icon, she'd inspired me to visually express the alienation I felt at work without making some embittered speech at one of the company picnics. Like Salander I embraced black, neon and silence.

Beulah Devaney - tweeting @TheNotoriousBMD 

Thursday, 3 October 2013


Happy National Poetry Day. Here are a few good poems...

As cool as the pale wet leaves
      Tof lily-of-the-valley
She lay beside me in the dawn. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


Your song still needs a chorus
I know youll figure it out
The rising of the verses
A change of key will let you out