Broadchurch Episode 7

16 February 2015
BR rating **

By Jonah Corren

As Joe Millar’s trial draws to an end among a hail of ludicrous accusations and ridiculous leading questions (pretty much anything that starts with ‘isn’t it true that…’), it’s becoming more and more clear how maddeningly unconvincing the case for the defence really is. Come on Chris, you’ve got to come up with something better than ‘it was the dad after all’ to counter the solution you’ve already given us.

The episode also provided an onslaught of potentially touching moments that failed for one reason or another. The romantic moment between Jocelyn and Maggie Radcliffe would have worked better if there had been any build-up at all earlier in the series.

Also failing to tug at the heart strings was a conversation between Ellie Millar and Beth Latimer which led to Beth questioning her marriage, as if we weren’t expecting that anyway. But an anecdote about the boys playing football in the garden just wasn’t interesting enough to support a potentially game-changing factor in the series’ plotline: Beth’s loyalty to her husband.

An emotive moment which made me laugh out loud came when Ben Haywood (Jocelyn’s assistant) finally told Abby Thomson (Karen White’s assistant) exactly what everyone thought of her. A triumph of scriptwriting, Mr Chibnall, and probably my favourite moment of the series so far.

The episode ended with the most predictable cliff-hanger in television history, so predictable that it surely failed to induce the audience to watch the next one. Behind all the complicated character back stories, and the twists and turns of the infinitely more interesting case that is Sandbrook, the entire series now rests on one verdict. Will Joe Millar be convicted? The short answer is yes he will, and if he isn’t there had better be a flipping good explanation for it.

By |February 17th, 2015|Broadchurch, Jonah Corren|0 Comments

Blind Buffalo Quartet

Blind Buffalo QuartetMoens Farm House
24 January 2015
BR Rating **

By Jonah Corren

As you’d expect at an event organised by Fanny Hatstand, the main act did not appear until around 10pm, at which point the event had officially been running for two and a half hours. The Blind Buffalo Quartet consisted of drums, electric guitar, saxophone and double bass. The double-bass player had played earlier with Son of Richard, who manfully holds the support spot at so many Fanny Hatstand gigs.

The first half of the band’s set was designed largely to ease the audience in, with slow songs which you could bop your head to at times. Smoke Rings, the concluding piece from this section was an atmospheric mixture of simple but effective lyrics delivered with a soft vocal and saxophone trills between lines.

In the last hour, the Blind Buffalo Quartet showed us what we’d been waiting for. The tempo was increased tenfold, and all but one of the tables were cleared to allow for dancing. The songs now were jazzy, with regular saxophone solos and the stylish addition of scat singing (using the voice to imitate the instruments) which was well performed by the lead singer.

The venue was rustic and cosy, essentially a converted barn, nicely decorated with light-coloured Asian-style tapestries draped across wooden beams. It made for a lovely atmosphere.

Even if the night was slow to start, it finished with a bang as the Blind Buffalo Quartet proved in the last hour that they were worth the wait. Events such as these aren’t widely publicised due to the limited space for punters, but they are worth checking out for those who enjoy a cool, quirky atmosphere, as long as they don’t get impatient too easily. Well, you know what they say: good things come to those who wait.

By |January 26th, 2015|Jonah Corren, Music|0 Comments

Brooke and Adam

Brooke and AdamBritish Legion Hall
22 November 2014

By Jonah Corren

The patience of much of the audience was tested to the limit, for Brooke and Adam, the main event, did not appear until far too late in the evening. Indeed, the sound of the background music fading at around 9.45pm signalled the long overdue beginning of Brooke and Adam’s set, and even then it took a few songs for the duo to really get going. But with the arrival of a French chanson, the first number sung by Brooke Sharkey, we were away.

On the earlier songs, Adam Beattie’s clearly defined vocals were fine, but Brooke’s were of a different order. With Adam harmonising and playing electric guitar, it was clear that the set had really started.
Alas, two songs later, Brooke announced that there would be yet another interval. I ventured upstairs where I found a group of children chatting in a corner with the teenagers I had come with. They all made it clear that this event held little appeal to young people. The atmosphere and setting just did not suit them.

Nevertheless, the last half an hour of the gig was excellent, easily the best. All of the songs produced by the duo during this period were fantastic. The first was sung entirely a cappella, bar an egg-shaker confidently brandished by Brooke. My favourite song was introduced as being inspired by a Chinese proverb. For this, the double-bass player who accompanied the support act, Son of Richard, was invited on stage to add an extra level of texture to the piece. The addition of the double bass also allowed Adam an impressive guitar solo in which he showed his prowess with the instrument.

Brooke and Adam’s final piece was a sweet tribute to Adam’s late grandfather, who died after turning one hundred. The audience was invited to sing along in the chorus, accompanied by poetic verses recounting the last hundred years.

All in all, the event was enjoyable, even if it took too long to get going. I would recommend Brooke and Adam to anyone who enjoys soft, folksy music, and I suggest keeping an eye out for any upcoming gigs of theirs in the future.

By |November 23rd, 2014|Jonah Corren, Music, Review|0 Comments