7:21pm Tuesday 1st October 2013
THE King of Pop may have died four years ago but Michael Jackson’s legacy is living on. And this week is Bristol’s turn to remember the legendary singer, dancer and songwriter with moonwalking, hip-thrusting and crotch-grabbing aplenty in a two-hour showcase of his best work.
Lighthouse Family frontman Tunde Baiyewu on why he's on a High ahead of supporting M People in Bristol
11:16am Thursday 25th July 2013
3:53pm Monday 22nd July 2013
THE arboretum at Westonbirt was buzzing with excitement on Friday night as young girls flocked to see popstar Jessie J perform at the first of the July set of concerts hosted by the Forestry Commission.
12:41pm Tuesday 25th June 2013
THE SUN was out and the picnic packed - what better way to start the Summer Live series of sold-out concerts at Westonbirt Arboretum than with music courtesy of Blondie and support from the Lightning Seeds.
Jason Donovan tells us about going glamorous for Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Bristol Hippodrome
1:47pm Thursday 11th April 2013
12:04pm Wednesday 10th April 2013
NOW I’ll make a confession right off. I’m too young to remember Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons the first time around, but that is not to say I’m not familiar with their lengthy list of classic hits.
10:58am Thursday 4th April 2013
2:36pm Wednesday 3rd April 2013
10:59pm Monday 25th March 2013
10:53pm Monday 25th March 2013
YOU can’t seem to turn on the radio these days without hearing a song from the new Stereophonics album. And there’s a very good reason for this - the band are back to their eardrum-bursting best and we want to hear more! The boys from the valleys are currently on a mini-tour of smaller venues around the UK, prior to their just-announced arena tour which is due to take place in November. So those present at the Cheltenham Centaur on Thursday evening felt very privileged to be there indeed. Graffiti on The Train was released just a couple of weeks ago, and so it is unfair to assume that the enthusiastic crowd would be as familiar with the opener for the show - 'We Share The Same Sun' - as they undoubtedly were for the many of the band’s older hits, such as 'The Bartender And The Thief' and 'A Thousand Trees'. The set for the evening veers from staple tunes to those from the new album, which are accompanied by a somewhat schmaltzy sepia-tinted rolling film on screen behind the stage. This does, however, serve to give the crowd something to concentrate on if they are not yet familiar enough with the songs to sing along - which is of course what they would all rather be doing. The Stereophonics are something of an enigma, having crept to ‘supergroup’ status rather stealthily, but there is no denying the popularity of their tunes. Their songs seem to split into two categories - half are catchy, crowd-on-their-feet pop rock while the rest are a more aggressive, reverberant wall of sound, with some of the latter category coming over even stronger on stage than they do on the albums. The bluesy Been Caught Cheating is a step away from the Stereophonics norm, but gives singer Kelly Jones the chance to really show off his vocal range. With an extensive back catalogue to choose from (Graffiti is their eighth studio release), the hits just kept on coming, with the biggest receptions reserved for Just Looking, Have A Nice Day, Mr Writer and Local Boy In The Photograph. Future classics already abound on the new album, and current single Indian Summer is sure to get the stadiums rocking when the tour kicks off for real. Title track Graffiti on The Train reels you in with its dark, heart-wrenching lyrics, while other new material such as Violins and Tambourines and Catacomb sound like they have been on the playlist for years. The band gels to perfection, while new drummer Jamie Morrison, formerly of The Noisettes, lends a wildman element to the show, especially with his flamboyant routine on the cajon box drum. The band rounded off their performance in Cheltenham with the feel-good Dakota - their only number one single to date - leaving the delighted audience to head home in the pouring rain with smiles on their faces.
10:50pm Monday 25th March 2013
THE STRANGLERS Review: Feel it Live tour, Bristol O2 Academy, March 23 THE music industry has certainly moved on in the past 40 years, leaving many bands in its wake. The Stranglers are certainly not one of them. As ‘the men in black’ took to the stage at the packed Bristol O2 Academy on Saturday night, their sound was stronger and more complete than ever, with JJ Brunel donning the crown as veritable ‘king of the bass’ and the amiable Geordie Baz Warne playing faultless lead guitar and vocals and showing the crowd just why he was the man to bring the band back from the brink of anonymity more than a decade ago. Toiler On the Sea, Goodbye Toulouse and Grip open a set which gradually builds up to work the crowd into a sweaty frenzy by the final encore. Underlying musicality comes courtesy of Dave Greenfield and his magnificent keyboard skills - complex and creative - and yet Dave is able to pull off any combination of notes without error (and often single handed whilst drinking a pint of water!). This is a band at the pinnacle of their career - and they have a recent critically acclaimed album to prove it. When veteran drummer Jet Black came on to replace Jim Macauley, who had done a sterling job for more than half of the set, the roar of the crowd proved just how much the original ‘Strangler’ - who is now nearly 75 years old - is respected by fans old and new for his ability to maintain the most complicated of rhythms, even if, understandably, he can’t quite cope with a whole set. The Stranglers have never been afraid of taking chances, and there is no other band quite like them. Their idiosyncratic style allows each instrumentalist to take turns at the lead to make a perfect whole, in classic Stranglers style. These are guys with fire in their belly and as JJ and Baz ‘duel’ with their instruments, there is no mistaking the expressions of joy on their faces. They still love what they do. It’s not like anyone else - but then it never was. The set is a perfect balance of newer material with old favourites - and with 40 years of back catalogue to choose from there is no shortage of material. Zipping back and forth between classic, recognisable tunes such as Something Better Change, Always The Sun, Peaches, Skin Deep, and the beautiful Golden Brown to less well-known album tracks such as Norfolk Coast, Bring on the Nubiles and a couple of newer songs from the most recent album, Giants, (Time was Once on My Side and Mercury Rising) there was something indeed to please everyone - but then 17 albums is a lot of material to choose from. Bass-driven, menacing and occasionally snarling and aggressive, this is a band who refuse to tow the line. But, like a good wine, the Stranglers have mellowed with age, and they taste so much better for it!
2:40pm Monday 25th March 2013
10:40am Thursday 21st March 2013
8:38pm Tuesday 19th March 2013
5:07pm Tuesday 19th March 2013
11:24am Monday 18th March 2013
9:18am Monday 18th March 2013
2:01pm Wednesday 13th March 2013
11:42am Thursday 7th March 2013
12:27pm Tuesday 5th March 2013
2:07pm Monday 4th March 2013
9:47am Monday 4th March 2013
12:59pm Saturday 23rd February 2013
8:00am Friday 22nd February 2013
1:44pm Tuesday 19th February 2013
10:15am Monday 18th February 2013
FANS of Jessie J will be keen to get hold of tickets for her summer concert at Westonbirt Arboretum when they go sale this Friday (9am) Jessie, who was a judge on the hit BBC show ‘The Voice’ last year, is one of the hottest pop stars on the planet right now, having hit the No 1 spot in 19 countries world-wide, selling 16 million singles and over 3 million copies of her multi-platinum debut album ‘Who You Are’.
5:26pm Tuesday 12th February 2013
10:17am Monday 11th February 2013
EAGER fans will be up early on Friday morning (February 15), as tickets for Olly Murs’ concert at Westonbirt Arboretum go on sale at 9am The former X-Factor finalist is the latest act to announce that he will be playing at the historic Arboretum on Sunday, June 23, as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live concert series.
9:52pm Tuesday 5th February 2013
8:03pm Tuesday 5th February 2013
REVIEW: Milton Jones's madcap humour reduces his audience to tears (of laughter) at Cheltenham Town Hall
4:15pm Wednesday 30th January 2013
2:38pm Wednesday 30th January 2013
1:05pm Wednesday 30th January 2013
THE last time I remember seeing Sean Hughes, he was playing a rather forgettable character on Coronation Street. Last night, at Bristol’s intimate Tobacco Factory Theatre, he was back to almost - but not quite - his Perrier Award-winning best.
2:42pm Friday 25th January 2013
10:59am Thursday 24th January 2013
2:16pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013
2:59pm Monday 21st January 2013
THE buzz surrounding this year’s annual Chipping Sodbury Jazz Festival seems to be just that little bit louder this year, thanks in no small part to a very special fundraising concert taking place next month.
3:07pm Sunday 20th January 2013
2:41pm Wednesday 16th January 2013
2:39pm Tuesday 15th January 2013
1:38pm Tuesday 15th January 2013
11:25am Wednesday 9th January 2013
THEY say life begins at 40, but for Dustin Hoffman one could make that 70. The award winning actor has waited seven decades to get behind the camera. He’s not the only actor who has ended up behind there: Clint Eastwood is perhaps the most successful of actor turned directors. Others have dabbled occasionally – Jack Nicholson for example - but the pull of the limelight keeps them from staying back too long. Some actors end up being better directors than their on screen persona: most recently Ben Affleck, who looks a shoe-in to be nominated for best director at this year’s Oscars with Argo. Hoffman has had a stellar career, so it remains to be seen whether this is a late foray into a new stage in his creative life or a one off. For his subject he chose to work on an adaption of Ronald Harwood’s play, Quartet.
11:22am Thursday 20th December 2012
2:52pm Monday 17th December 2012
I DOUBT whether anyone could have left The Castle School unmoved after the fabulous performance of Dream of Gerontius by Thornbury Choral Society on Saturday, December 1. From the opening notes of the Prelude by the orchestra, ably led by Katy Latham, to the final strains of the Choir of Angelicals, the evening was a triumph.
6:06pm Tuesday 11th December 2012
IT HAS to be said that when people go to the Bristol Hippodrome for the Pantomime they are expecting something special and this, on the historic theatre’s centenary year, had to be considered a given.Last year we revelled in the glory of David Hasselhoff, but this year the Powers That Be decided to do away with the single big name and concentrate on a cast, production and set which epitomises the best in British festive theatre - lots of sparks and plenty of sparkle!Also gone are the tricky effects – such as 3D screens - and what we are left with is a show that has its roots firmly set in the grand tradition of pantomime: laughs all the way through and a feast for the eyes.Andy Ford is back for his fourth Bristol pantomime, and this year he really does have the starring role. As always, his jokes are funny and audience interaction is second to none; when he first comes on stage it is as Psy, singing and dancing ‘Wishee Style’, and you know the party has begun.And of course there were plenty in the audience keen to see Britain’s Got Talent finalists Flawless - the street dance troupe whose routines are so unbelievably synchronised and difficult they quite take your breath away! Their performance alone is worth the ticket price.Highlighted for special praise must be Graham Kent (Widow Twankey), Chris Thatcher (Aladdin), David Roper (Abanazar) and Chris Nelson (Major Pong), who all put in outstanding performances, although this year’s cast are all worthy of a mention for putting on a first class show.However, there was one notable exception – Carol McGiffin is certainly not destined for a career on stage. Here’s hoping that Bristol BB winner Josie Gibson can give the role of Genie a bit of sparkle when she joins the cast on December 19However, the set is spectacular, the costumes colourful and the songs are superb – especially if you like One Direction – so if you haven’t grabbed your tickets for Aladdin yet, make sure you don’t miss out. Aladdin is on at the Bristol Hippodrome until January 6.
1:12pm Wednesday 5th December 2012
10:46am Wednesday 5th December 2012
12:47pm Tuesday 4th December 2012
12:08pm Tuesday 4th December 2012
7:36pm Sunday 2nd December 2012