Monday, March 5

Sunday reviews

A busy day for a Sunday - rowing training in the morning, cinema in the afternoon, gig in the evening.

The River Trent is still high (has been all winter - but will this stop them enforcing a hosepipe ban somewhere in the UK in summer? I doubt it), so no water training, particularly since half the trees in Derbyshire seem to be floating past.

Say the film Blood Diamond at the cinema (has been out for a while, but I rarely get to go to the pics these days). A good film, and I have to admit my inherent antipathy for actors who get more famous for being famous rather than being actors (i.e. Mr DiCaprio) got rather over-ruled by the fact that the man can actually act. In some cases, as with this one, rather better than the role is provided - I got the sense DiCaprio was fighting to provide a more realistic portrayal than the Hollywood script would like, trying to portray a man who isn't necessarily having a major change of heart, he's just sticking to the deal he made. Djimon Hounsou has the rather less interesting task of being the noble African - the real hero is often less interesting than the scoundrel. Meanwhile, just about everyone else is getting gunned down in the background, and there are some plot holes that could have done with being filled in.

Musicwise, I went to see the Howling Bells at the Rescue Rooms. The support were a one-man with a guitar act (who's probably very annoyed with his manager for handing him a thankless task - a quiet act to open for an indie-pop/rock band? Who's dumb idea was that?) and a fairly generic seeming indie-rock band of three skinny men with guitars in skinny shirts, with a drummer behind. Howling Bells are in one sense immediately more interesting, even without being less generic with their guitar work, in that they have a female singer who sounds a bit like PJ Harvey. Once the sound engineer sorted the sound (the mics were drowned by the guitars for the first couple of tracks), they took advantage of their most interesting feature, in that you could actually hear her voice - she's not quiet, but against amplified guitars, she needed the mics. There are a couple of good tracks there, nothing astoundingly great, but not bad for a tenner. And they finished early enough that I could get the bus home, rather than fork out another tenner for a cab (hey, I'm in my mid-30s and it was a Sunday).

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