Archived entries for

2011, a Year in Gigs

No, don’t let the header put you off – this isn’t a piece about 12 months in the life of a particularly well-known (and scandal-hit) footballer, more a rumination on a year of live music in London, from the well known to the well hidden and the just plain bizarre. As someone who seems to spend an inordinate amount of time going to endless gigs around The Capital, I’ve seen quite a few standout shows this year, and this is a taste of what’s been going on. Continue reading…

Romanzo Criminale

When turning on the TV in a hotel room in Italy, the primary experience, amidst the welcome clips of football, are old men in suits, with cheesy smiles, presenting alongside much younger women with little on, looking for cheap laughs from a studio audience. It is a reoccurring theme on every visit that does little to inspire confidence in Italian made television. However, ‘Romanzo Criminale’, which has been hailed as the greatest Italian programme ever made, is the counter to that, and television series of substance in its own right.

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Boardwalk Empire II

There is no doubt television serials allows characters and plot to develop more than cinema ever could, and the second season of Boardwalk Empire has shown how the more time a quality drama is given to develop, the better it gets.

The first season was decent, but second season has matured to magnificence as layers of characters’ past are gradually revealed, continually shedding a different light and understanding to all that has gone before.

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The Killing II

After season one’s twenty episodes, Forbrydelsen returned to BBC4 with half as much airtime, but still many of its favourite features: there is running in the woods, video tapes from beyond the grave, the chasing of hooded characters in dark disused buildings, exhumations, camera shots against the sun, the tinkle of the piano whenever a penny drops in Lund’s head, and best of all, the climactic action-packed wrap to the pulsating score that ends each episode.

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The Ghost of White Hart Lane

The 2010-2011 English Football Season came to an end on a very hot afternoon in London, on Saturday 4th June, as an average England side came back from two-goals to draw a European Championship Qualifier at home to Switzerland in an early evening game at Wembley Stadium.

I wasn’t at Wembley that day, as I had been a week earlier, when I had a front-row view as Barcelona won the European Cup in style, playing an attacking passing-and-moving game; instead I watched England, playing a game barely recognisable to the one Barca played on the same pitch seven days earlier, in a pub in Stoke Newington.

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Mark Perryman’s Comment on John Terry

Mark Perryman is an England fan who has travelled both home abroad supporting the National team over the last fifteen years, and is one of the driving forces behind the successful ‘Raise The Flag’ campaign, where England fans hold up cards to make the cross of St George to the National Anthem at England games.

In the last 24 hours he has been interviewed on Radio 5, BBC News 24 and on the ITV News at Ten on the subject of John Terry captaincy in light of the criminal charges being brought against him.  Further to him giving his opinion there have now been postings on the Official England Supporters Forum, suggesting that it will be made impossible for him to attend England games.

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Ally Clow’s Year in Film, 2011

At the start of the year I had a bit of time on my hands. Leaving a job and deciding on what to do wasn’t easy so I made a pact of recording every film I watched over the course of the year. The below is not an exhaustive list but the choice selections of some of my film highlights in the past 12 months, including my top ten films of the year. Continue reading…

Peter Falk

This piece by Ally Clow was originally Published as a Facebook post on Saturday 25 June 2011 

Just One More Thing

Ok, so my favorite actor Peter Falk died yesterday. He actually meant a lot to me and here’s why. My dad did this impression of him when I was young; he’d walk out of the room and come back in with bowed head in his hand, and utter those immortal words ‘just one more thing’. Completely unfunny unless you were the ten year old rolling around on the floor with his brothers knowing that the mimicry was rubbish yet so completely fantastic at the same time.

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This Is England ‘88

Prior to the airing of the first episode of ‘This is England ‘88’, the continuity announcer on Channel 4 warned viewers of upsetting archive footage. Within moments Margret Thatcher was outside Downing Street signalling the start of another harrowing ride at the hands of Shane Meadows.

As with the film that started the ‘This is England’ story, a montage of clips from the era sets the scene, this time to The Smiths ‘What Difference Does It Make’. And as with all Meadows’ previous work, music is once again a star, not just setting the mood, but also integral in this series in defining the era, as much as it was in the film in establishing the identity of a group of reggae and ska loving youngsters.

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Dreams of a Life

Back in the early nineties, when the radio show 6-0-6 was about comedy and stories rather than manufactured debate, co-host Danny Baker quoted something the great footballer, Chris Waddle, once told him: Waddle said he had no friends, only acquaintances. An unexpected sentiment from a popular talent, and one that came to mind when watching the new British film, ‘Dreams of a Life’.

When the skeleton of a woman, thought to be in her thirties, was found in her flat in London three years after she in died, it was headline news. The description of the television blaring out while a body gradually decomposed in front of it, while Christmas presents gathered dust, was powerful imagery. Coupled with the nagging thought that someone’s disappearance could go unnoticed for three years means it is a tale people still recall now when prompted in conversation.

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