Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Five Great Things

 The other week was a rather lovely one filled with great things.

It started with a swelteringly hot Monday and great thing number 1:
A surprise packet through the door from a good friend north of the border a lovely birthday card and a gorgeous badge!

I dare you to say this badge doesn’t make you smile!

Great thing number 2:
The Flaming Lips Eden Session I went to on 30/06/2011
Now it’s no secret that I like The Flaming Lips. I love them! I’ve enjoyed their music for the best part of a decade, my first album of theirs which I purchased was the slightly experimental Clouds Taste Metallic and then I found out about their more accessible, some might say commercial, (the chocolate thief would say enjoyable) music.

We missed the last tour and the didn’t have any holidays planned so when we found out they were playing down at the Eden Project in Cornwall it seemed an amazing idea to buy tickets, it was!

The tickets allowed access to the Eden Project on the day of the gig and the day after and they essentially put on a mini festival during the course of the day with music on the Biotik stage in the mediteranean Biome and another smaller stage throughout the day.

Then after the Eden Project closed to visitors OK GO took to stage as the first of two supports, they played their spiky pop rock and I kept trying to remember which of those songs they did the treadmill video to as they nearly all sounded the same.   

Except for the song they did with all of them playing hand bells, that was some thing different, an act of extreme coordination if nothing else.

The next band to play was The GO! Team who worked a lot harder to try and get the audience to dance and participate to mixed success.  Their act was more varied and more active than that of OK GO but their music is more pop and r'n'b based in my opinion and they tried hard to ensure that people responded as well to their new material as well as their hits like Ladyflash.

There was an hours break between The Go! Team and The Flaming Lips performances but thankfully the Eden Project had put on food so we could get something to eat. After a quick chilli break we headed to the stage and managed to get 5 people from the front.  Result!  Last time we saw them we were miles away on a balcony in the Manchester Apollo far from all the fun in the standing area.  The band then proceeded to tease us by soundchecking in font of us and then giving a warning about strobe lights before the show started. 

They then entered in style through a massive screen.

Then Wayne got into his bubble and pushed it like a butterfly in a cocoon as it filled up.

Once the bubble was fully inflated he rolled out on to the crowd and we pushed him  around like waves rolling driftwood.

Then they kicked out ‘She Don’t Use Jelly’ and let lose the giant balloons. The set was great peppered with old classics like ‘ She Don’t Use Jelly’ and their protest song ‘The Yeah Yeah Yeah song’ as well as new tracks from their latest Embryonic album which work best live when you can dance along to the beat.

The Flaming Lips can’t be accused of not putting on a show they did the normal tricks of encouraging the audience to sing along to songs as well as using their own brand of entertainment complete with confetti cannons and massive lazer hands.

What’s not to love?
Then the went and rounded the show off in the encore with a shower of confetti and one fo my favourite songs of all time ‘Do You Realize’. If you get a chance to see them live my advice is... do it!

Great thing number 3:
Street art in Sheffield.

I think this is by an artist called Phlem; however, I approve whoever did this!

Great thing number 4:
The Sheffield Steel Roller Girls Bout on 02/07/2011
I have recently discovered Roller Derby, it’s a sport I had heard of and read articles about in the past and then after watching Whip It a film about the sport I thought it’s time to go and see my local roller derby team The Sheffield Steel Roller Girls play.  I saw them first at the Royal Shredding where they played Leeds Roller Dolls and where they lost 86 – 109 Despite them losing I was hooked on this fast paced and complicated game.

So I jumped at the chance when a fellow fan asked me to go to their next Sheffield bout Blocky Balboa!
This time we took the suicide seats near the track and watched as Sheffield had a difficult first half as their jammers struggled to break through the strong defences of the Royal Winsor Roller Girls. The second half was a different story, the Sheffield Steel girls started off strong and looked like they would smash their way to the lead but the Royal Winsor girls had different ideas and fought back.  It was a close one right up to the last five minutes when the Royal Winsor roller girls took the lead and wouldn’t give it back no matter how hard Sheffield tried.

This time the score was closer at 83 – 95 to Royal Winsor but it was still a great bout so great thing number 4!

Great thing number 5:
Dylan Moran at Sheffield City Hall 2nd July.
Dylan Moran is a great comedian he doesn’t need a silly hair cut or to laugh at his own jokes to get attention like some comedians I have seen on television... If you enjoyed him playing Bernard Black in Black Books you will probably like his live performances. He provides doodles for the backdrops for his shows, drinks red wine and he sticks with his own rambling jokes and observations.

On this tour he covered such varied subjects as the North South divide, England, Scotland and Ireland, Religion, politics and gender amongst other things.   One of my favourite jokes of his from this tour was when he said women could take over the world if we could just get on with each other, he may or may not have a point there... 

So those are my five great things from the other week, I may add another five rather good things shortly...  What five great things have you come across recently?  Are there any things you really like and think ore people should also enjoy? Please feel free to join my rave about great things!

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