Blog March 2005 - AndyPryke.com
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Tuesday 29th March

Visited the Tapas Bar in Moseley briefly, to meet with friends, then off to The Rainbow for Seven Inch Cinema, including live performance from the Zx-Spectrum Orchestra and DJing / VJing from the Sugarfoot Stomp DJs.

Monday 28th March

Visited Haworth, home of the Bronte's and about as busy as a small Yorkshire town could be on a cloudy day! Really, I was amazed at the number of tourists/visitors... I haven't been before (at least not since I was a kid), and really didn't expect this tourist mecca. Nice cobbled streets, cute buildings, a thousand tea rooms and cafes (presumably to shelter from the weather) and morris dancers to boot - what more could you want from a Monday afternoon?

... Back in Brum and saw Misty's Big Adventure at the Bar Academy. Got there late, and was only let in due to the grace of god, the bouncer and manager! Missed the beginning of the set, when I entered I could hear the band but not see anything due to a kind of tiered wall of audience - lots of people standing on chairs and stools to see over the crowd. Still, managed to work my way to the dance-area near the front, for some rather cramped dancing!

Misty's just seem to get tighter and more together, they've been touring a lot recently, so I guess they're well practiced. They played with this a bit with some free-form jam sections added to a couple of the songs. They also played a couple of newer numbers such as Hey Man, Not Enough Brains, Wiseing up Song and Waiting for You.

Not Enough Brains tells us about the parallel universe in which there's a parallel you and a parallel (with a parallel brain), which remembers everything you forget and forgets everything you remember (because there's too many numbers and too many names, too many faces, so you need two brains to take it all in).

Apparently the new album will be out in May, and the next single will feature Hey Man and the Wiseing Up Song.

Wednesday 23rd March

Uploaded my chronology of influenza pandemics and notable epidemics. Added Dave Deans' Kitty Killer blog ( http://www.livejournal.com/users/snooo/ ) to my list of BirminghamBloggers.

Tuesday 22nd March

Saw A Streetcar Named Desire at the Cresent theatre.

Saturday 19th March

The lovely B3TA introduced me to this flash game in which you have to design a machine to move things through a factory. It's in the genre of "programming games", like Lemmings, or DigDug, in which you are given a limited series of actions ("make lemming dig" etc.) which can be used to solve a limitless number of problems.

http://www.cclonline.com/pc/hardware/software/thecclgame/

Thursday 17th March

Ate at the new Tapas place in Moseley. The food was OK rather than fabulous, and everything seemed to be drowned in olive oil. The bread with oil came ready dunked, giving no choice. The portion of sardines was generous, and served on french bread slices with more olive oil. Tortila seemed fine, but the marinaded peppers tasted distinctly strange (perhaps cloves) and were only half cooked rather than soft and sweet. The standard Rioja was so-so, but the reserva much nicer. Would I eat there again? Yes, as it's always worth trying a place a couple of times, especially as it's close to me. One other strange thing, we had to pay for everything as we ordered it, rather than having a bill at the end of the meal! Maybe they've had problems with people "doing a runner."

Tuesday 15th March

Saw Pinter's "The Birthday Party" at the Rep. Set in a post-war seaside boarding house, with just one guest, Sydney, a dippy landlady and her quiet husband. Sydney seems to do nothing, doesn't go out, not even that interested in the young woman Lulu who asks him out. Then two men come to visit, on a sinister seeming mission. Very interesting. At the start, I tried to figure it out too literally but found the it all made perfect metaphorical sense in the end. The brow-beating scene was fantastic, and I'd single out the actor playing Mr Goldberg as particularly strong.

Sunday 13th March

I've been writing for a couple of years about the forthcoming Influenza Pandemic - we don't know when it will come, it could be 5 weeks, a year, 5 years or 20 before we have a new virus which spreads from human to human, but the odds are looking shorter.

On Friday, the WHO issued figures for the total number of cases(69, and the total number of deaths so far(46). This gives a mortality rate of around 2 in 3 people, or 66%. The UK contingency plan assumes a mortality rate of 0.37%. Yep. That's not a type, nought poing three seven percent. That's 50 times lower than what's been observed. More at Influenza Pandemic.

Thursday 10th March

The "under new management" ComedyKav is now underway, I think this was the 2nd evening they've put on. Compared by Gary "one-liner" Delaney, Seymour Mace headlined, plus 3 other acts, 2 of which were fantastic! Not completely full, so come along next time...

Wednesday 9th March

Saw EnvyAndOtherSins and Murdock at The Jug of Ale, and got hold of EAOS's demo CD.

Tuesday 8th March

Saw BendItLikeBeckham - very nice British feel-good comedy.

Sunday 6th March

Sensational Cinemaphonic at the MAC, the 1926 silent version of Faust ( or "forced" as the PA announcer called it) with live music on Dulcimers and flute from Geoff Smith (and some else whose name I didn't get). The music was great, with a number of catchy recurring themes. The film itself was engaging, occasionally funny and quite dark. Mephisto provided some comic relief, but the action centers on Faust himself (aged scholar granted youth and power through a deal with the devil) and Grechen (virginal, church going innocent, likes flowers, bit wary of charming young men accompanied by the devil).

The first musical bits which stuck out to me was when Faust summons Mephisto (who, for some reason, reminded me of Terry from Terry and June), where the dulcimer really reflected the tensions, and the sudden realisation of evil.

The special effects were wonderful (did something bad happen to SE's between about 1939 and 2000?) with "our hero" flying though the sky, views of villages from the air, and the appearance of the giant devil indicating the comming of plague. One scene depicted the wedding of a rich and beautiful wedding and featured quite realistic faux-elephants . I've no idea if these were something deployed for celebrations, but it's a great idea.

In summary, Cinemaphonic: you can't miss it!

More on Faust Legends at: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/faust.html

  • The Plague comes...:
    plague.jpg

  • Grechen:
    grechen.jpg

  • Faust and Mephisto:
    faust_and_mephisto2.jpg

  • Mephisto (Terry Scott):
    mephisto.jpg

  • Terry Scott (or is it Mephisto):
    terry_scott_as_mephisto.jpg

Thursday 3rd March

Saw 2046, a film mostly set in 1960's Hong Kong and Singapore.

Weds 2nd March

Saw Ruth Theodore as part of A Different Kettle of Fish at the Bristol Pear. Mostly performing her own song, with a very distinctive guitar style - a lot of changes in pace, pauses. The lyrics on love, loss and consumerism shone through. Despite some microphone problems (which most of the audience didn't notice), it was a great set and went down very well.I just wish I could remember some of the lyrics! Still, I bought her CD at the bargain price of "5 pounds, not 10 pounds", so I guess I'll get to know some of them. She could go far, I look forward to the day when I can say to people "I saw Ruth Theodore playing in an upstairs room in a pub" and they don't believe me!

Tues 1st March

Saw Elmina's Kitchen at The Rep. It didn't really strike me as a great play, I found the characters too stereotypical and the plot too predictable. The most interesting bits were: The use of language, in particular the changes between accents/styles of speech, often mid-conversation; The pictures of "Black people who inspire" looking down on the people in this chaotic Hackney cafe. It's had good reviews elsewhere - maybe I was sitting too far back to be engaged.

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