Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Touching the Brakes

Lots to report but so little time.

I thought Turin Brakes (see left, comrades) were wonderful on Monday night. Soaring melodies, stunning vocals and great musicianship all added up to a fabulous concert. I’ve been playing The Optimist LP a fair bit before and since and it really is a lovely collection of songs. The band – a duo really but augmented on the night by a tight rhythm section plus a keyboard fellow – played almost all of their acclaimed debut plus other favourites (Pain Killer, Fishing for a Dream, Long Distance) and brand new songs. They played for almost two hours and I must say the audience were lappin’ it up like nobody’s business – there was a real hardcore of uber-fans there who knew every last lyric and were obviously obsessed by the group. Hats off to them, I say. And more hats off to the mighty Guildhall for staging such a great evening – the folk there seem to be really getting their act together.

The Bond film was very enjoyable too. Daniel Craig’s Bond isn’t bedecked with gadgets galore and corny one-liners but he all the more human for that. This is a more vulnerable hero, prone to mistakes and the follies of youth (this is supposed to be his first case) and I enjoyed the darker tone to the film compared to, say, the Bond films of the 1970s where the secret agent is more a cartoon character made flesh than the rounded and, at times, troubled personality that Craig offers. Of course, the storyline was as farfetched as they come but the set pieces were stunning and the stunts, ahem, cunning. At times the tension proved quite unbearable and the violence appeared most brutal and uncompromising but this helped give the film depth and allowed the viewer to really sympathise with Bond as he finds himself dealing with the ‘big boys’ for the first time. I have spent worse two and a half hours.

The Borat film was fine too. Verily, I guffawed heartily throughout. Americans worry me though.

No comments: