Whatever happened to good old fashioned keys?

So, I have recently moved into a new flat and the excitement was building up in me for days before.

I arrived at my building, parked my car and made my way to get my key.

Now, being a traditionalist, I have never been fond of electronic key devices and what do I have now. Yes an electronic key!

When I got it, I felt a distaste running through me. It was not what I was hoping for.

This feeling grew and grew as the day went on.

When I got to my flat, it was roughly around 6pm. Luckily the weather was nice so the good vibes were circulating the area.

It wasn’t until 8pm that I had managed to get into my room. An electrician was obviously not available at such a late hour, so I had to move rooms for one night.

Not sure how they did it but they did.

So when the morning came, I made my way to get my actual key but to find that the replacement key was also not working.

What ever happened to a good old fashioned key?

I would never have had this problem if I was given a key that I could just open.

I agree that technology has benefited the world but this was ridiculous.

After another six attempts with new keys I finally managed to get my key working and get access to my room.

My day started great and ended on a poor poor note.

Debut EP from Bellevue Days

Bellevue Days are dispelling the reputation of their Croydon home by delivering an atmospheric, uplifting and captivating debut EP.

If you think that the superbly executed musicianship and structural nous across the four slabs of alternative rock, emo, indie comes from a band with far more than a lone year to its name, you will be forgiven.

The lyrics are the focal point and cover topics from lust to literature. Around the lyrics, which impressively 3 of the 4 members contribute to, they apply subtle layers to ensure the songs are dynamic and memorable.

This all plays its part in ensuring that an honest approach to song writing is implemented. This is very important to the band. So you’ll find no tricks or gimmicks within ‘The Sun Came Up When We Were Young’.

Recorded at Stakeout Studios with Jason Wilson, the four tracks are exceptionally well produced, but not overproduced. There’s a very organic feel to these songs and a great sense of balance. There’s warmth, there’s power, there’s delicate and intricate instrumentation and it’s all in fine proportion.

If you consider the raucous end of The Xcerts repertoire and the anthemic moments of Manchester Orchestra’s back catalogue, with bites of pop genius akin to the likes of Weezer, then you’re wandering into Bellevue Days territory.

‘The Sun Came Up When We Were Young’ is an undoubted summer soundtrack!

To listen to one of their tracks ‘Capability Capacity’ click the link below:

http://youtu.be/6FHO2G_QTGc

Roaring disappointment for Jurassic World

What an utter disappointment Jurassic World is. One of the most hyped films of the year and what can I say other than disappointed.

With a storyline so floosy and dull, it is safe to say that the film is not on par with the brilliance of the original film.

It seemed that this revival of the franchise was predominately a film to honour the 20 year anniversary of the outstandingly brilliant Jurassic Park.

This went so far as Jurassic World regurgitating the plot lines, iconic scenes (dinosaur smashing a vehicle with children inside it) and a villain who gets their comeuppance by raptors.

The humans once again create something that breaks lose and kills a whole host of people and other dinosaurs. If someone can tell me that this plot hasn’t been done before, please let me know.

I love the Jurassic Park franchise. The original was a marvel in the film industry and an iconic production. The sequel… OK it wasn’t great and it was the same narrative, yet they knew what they were doing.

Shoving a dinosaur into the human world and watch it reek havoc on the residents was a brilliant addition to the franchise.

The third was not particular great by any means but it still worked. Jurassic World, however, ruins this franchise.

It seemed to merge the parts of the other three that worked. The vehicle being destroyed with children inside from the first film, a man who wants to control the dinosaurs from the second one, and the attack from the ‘bird cage’ creatures from the third film.

There was nothing original. Humans make a mistake and have to find a way to solve this. Not a unique narrative really.

What was good about it? Good question. The was no doubt a celebration of the anniversary of the first film and what this one did was have two characters enter the original visitors centre where the infamous children vs raptors in the kitchen took place all that time ago.

That was probably the only highlight of the film which was quickly removed when two relatively young characters successfully manage to fix one of the cars in the space of five minutes. I’m no mechanic but surely it would take longer?

With regards to the characters, I cannot say there were any of them that I remotely liked and wanted to survive.

Their character development was so poor that I would have preferred to watch Walking with Dinosaurs then Jurassic World.

None of those characters had any relevance to the narrative. One was a scientist, one was an ex-military man and the others were two brothers. Sounds familiar? More or less the same characters as the first one.

What the film did that really didn’t add anything to the concept of the Jurassic Park franchise was the fact that the leading ‘hunk’ Chris Pratt was able to communicate and control the raptors.

One of the most fearful creatures ever to walk on our world and they are being controlled by one simple human. Sorry what now?

The original franchise shook fear into viewers. What would I do if I was being chased by a raptor? The question I still ask myself even now.

Jurassic World, however, built a sort of human/dog relationship rather than human/raptor. When watching the scenes unfold, I really saw the relationship me and my dogs have. I was no longer afraid of the raptors but instead saw the face of a kind Labrador.

The producers did see an opportunity for a highly anticipated film and added a ridiculous amount of violent CGI deaths. What happened to the good old days of Jurassic Park?

The CGI, like most films these days, was used too much. Jurassic Park used the right amount and the creatures looked real. Jurassic World however took it a step too far.

Much like the comparison in CGI between the Lord of the Rings franchise and The Hobbit, one uses it perfectly, the other doesn’t.

CGI isn’t always the way forward and people need to realise this.

Without giving away any spoilers to the end, although it is quick predictable, it was probably one of the worst endings to a film I have seen. A huge disappointment and left me wondering ‘what the hell did I just watch?’

I cannot express how saddened I am with this film and really hope that this is not a reboot of the series. Finish there please. If they continue then it is clearly a moneymaking endeavour rather than homage to the original film.

If this is the way that all reboot of franchises are going then my expectation for the new Star Wars film is not a great one.

In fair Verona we set our scene… again

The infamous Shakespearean tragedy takes to the stage once again with an updated setting…. Again.

If you ask anyone to name a Shakespeare play, they would no doubt say ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and you could say it was Shakespeare’s most famous play. Maybe but then again maybe not.

The iconic playwright wrote more than 100 plays, yet there is something about Romeo and Juliet that seems to attract audiences every night.

Maybe it’s the romance? Maybe the tragedy? Or maybe because it is so well-known, nothing will surprise the spectators.

The story of Romeo and Juliet is one that has been done time after time after time and it must be difficult to try to add something new to the production that will keep an audience engaged with the production, yet this adaptation managed to successfully do that.

The production consisted of one roundabout which was transformed into various sets throughout including Juliet’s balcony and the coffin scene.

The constant and changing set design was complimented by the use of contemporary music playing which, along with the contemporary clothing, reinforced the modern day setting.

When the play began with the ‘do you bite your thumb at me, sir?’ scene I was immediately thrust back to my secondary school days.

Like most people my age, and younger and even older, would more likely than not have studied the Shakespearean tragedy at some point in their life and as the scenes unfold, I began reminiscing.

Everyone’s favourite character at school was Mercutio and it seemed that he had the same effect throughout this production.

Oliver Hoare starred as the Prince’s kinsman who brutally falls with the words ‘a plague on both your houses’ that sent shivers through my spine.

One thing that really should be stated when reviewing this production is how young cast were. Everyone, minus a few characters, didn’t seem to be any older than 30 and their performances were truly outstanding.

If I could ever learn the lines of a Shakespeare play with the language of the time I would be pleased with myself and the actors should. To keep in character and to remember the archaic language was an achievement in itself.

One criticism that I couldn’t help but feel was the portrayal of Romeo. From understanding this character, he is the naïve, sensitive type and Paapa Essiedu did that without a doubt yet there was something slightly melodramatic about his performance.

It is understandable why he landed the leading role and despite my personal preference towards the melodramatic adaptation, it did go down well with the rest of the audience who erupted with laughter at his constant giggling.

Something that Romeo and the rest of the cast did was interact with the audience directly but even apologising to an audience member after a line from the production. This added something different to the show and created a different layer to the show.

By breaking the fourth wall, it kept the audience engaged and focused on what was happening on the stage.

One scene in particular that stuck out was the finale. With Juliet’s coffin in the middle of the set with a white blanket over the top with two bright lights on the edge of the stage.

This created a very uneasy and eerie setting and allowed the scene to develop in a way that even Shakespeare would be proud to see.

The show will performed until June 13 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. It is due to then tour to the Derby Theatre and then Salisbury Playhouse where it finishes.

Despite the success of the show, I feel some time away from this iconic play will do the timeless classic some good. This is not just aimed at the theatre but schools should take this critique on board.

Why anime is great to watch

Ever since I first saw Pokémon back in 1997, I was immediately hooked.

The vibrant colours, the powerful creatures and the character’s and their adventures were just some of the reasons why I loved the programme.

However, I could not really appreciate the full meaning behind some of the episodes until I grew with a respect and appreciation for nature and the environment.

This love of Pokémon must have had an impact on my life as my desire to expand my knowledge of anime grew and grew as I did.

Watching Studio Ghibli films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle, I now am an avid anime fan.

Their concerns with nature and the balance of the world is something that everyone could appreciate and value.

As someone who is concerned with these issues, I would highly recommend watching some Anime. They will really show you how people impact on the world, for good and bad.

It is not just Studio Ghibli films that should be watched but even America caught on to the concerns of the environment in series such as Avatar: The Last Airbender and it will have you hooked from start to finish.

It is obvious that some people believe anime to be targeted towards children and yes, I agree that as a cartoon adults would not want to sit and watch them.

But they deal with more issues than an average cartoon. Children are oblivious to the impacts that people have on the environment and I truly believe that anime is actually targeted towards the more mature who can appreciate the themes.

The bright colouring and the creatures within all anime series and films are what attract children to them. But if you strip them to the bare minimum, deeper underlining meanings begin to emerge.

Everyone should watch some anime at some point. Whether it’s for the colours, the storyline, and the creatures or just to watch a film, these are full of meanings that only those with a love and desire to protect the environment would truly be moved by.

The struggle of a die hard Game of Thrones fan

Since the beginning of Games of Thrones back in 2011, fans worldwide have been on the edge of their seat wondering what will happen next and ultimately, which character will be next to die.

Each season, you find yourself drawn to a certain character and as soon as the words ‘they are my favourite character’ comes out, you can more or less guarantee that they will be brutally killed by the end of the season.

Never mind the constant ‘edge of the seat’ feeling when watching the latest episode, the worst part is not being able to see it when everyone else does. If you’re an avid social media user, the hardest part of a Tuesday, for UK audiences and no doubt a Monday for the US, is avoiding any spoilers that Facebook and Twitter like to bombard you with.

Not only does social media add to the potential spoiler alerts but there will always be that someone, somewhere whether it be a relative or a friend who says just a bit too much and ruins the entire episode.

My advice would be to avoid any communication with anyone until you have sat down, brew in hand and watch in awe as the scenes unfold.

An Evening of Folk Tales and Music

What a unique and different evening I had at Tales and Ballads.

The evening consisted of live performances from Bridget Cousins on her harp, Morwenna and others, who read favourite poems, sang beautiful tunes and told old folk tales.

At first I did feel a little out of place. I am not a performer but a writer and I knew that I do not have the confidence to perform.

However, watching the rest of the small, intimate group I felt an overwhelming desire to read out a favourite poem of mine. But I was still not confident enough.

After being entranced by Bridget on her harp, I completely lost track of the time and unfortunately had to leave early despite my desire to stay.

The friendly atmosphere followed me after I left and a sense of calm and tranquillity overcame me. It was an evening of pure talent.

You did not have to be a skilled performer but was a place to read, sing and tell stories from known literary greats or self-written work.

As the performances continued, I felt myself staring in awe at the array of talents around the room.

Based at the Scarborough Youth Hostel, somewhere I have never been before, it was the perfect setting for this evening.

Surrounded by trees with the Scalby beck running alongside the hostel, there was no better place to sit and enjoy the harmonious tunes from the harp and laugh along to the poems and stories being told.

The evening was the first one of these to come to the town and it was clear that there was a demand for it and I hope that they will continue and I will attend and who knows perhaps perform.