Attack the Block.
From the trailer this movie looked like it maybe a little low budget. I thought it looked like a laugh and decided to check it out anyway. What I was met with from the outset was much higher budget than first thought. From the opening scene of views over London on what I can only assume is the 5th of November due to a huge amount of fireworks to the first discovery of a ‘creature’ it has all the signs of a gritty street flick in the vain of Kidulthood and sequel Adulthood. The language, characters and scenes are all familiar but with one slight twist, aliens. The only way I can described these bad boys is overgrown, eyeless critters with ultraviolet jaws.
As the story progresses some characters disappear, other grow and mature and there is a whole host of crazy chases involving riot vans, mini motos and even a pizza bike. The gang befriend a local nurse, much different to themselves and go head to head with the invading horde armed with knives, baseball bats, fireworks, a samurai sword, acoustic guitar and a cap gun.
Brought to you by the producers of Shaun of the Dead it’s a whole lot of fun scattered with jumps.
Futures x Lower Than Atlantis x Pegasus Bridge x Undercolour @ Bristol Academy 2
Tonight’s gig takes place in the O2 Academy 2, Bristol. As We climb the 3 sets of stairs that lead to the secondary performance room within the Academy, more of a wide corridor with a bar, the first of tonight’s four bands have already begun to play their set. Sweet vocals fill the air as Undercolour’s female lead, Steff, belts out over a rock/pop-punk backing. As we make our way through the predominantly young crowd to the back of the room we can still see the pint sized singer in clear sight overhead. The line-up tonight is of varied genres. Headliners Futures have picked the support bands themselves to kick of the English leg of their current tour that has already traveled on two Irish dates.
As Undercolour move into their latest single ‘Famous Scenes and Drama Queens’, which they state on numerous occasions is free at the gig or to download online, guitar duo Elliot and Sam kick it up a notch, matched by the highly energetic Suthee on bass and Scott on drums. A technical solo at the midway point has the crowd’s full attention and is executed with note perfection. There is very little movement from the crowd, which is surprising given the enthusiastic nature of the bands performance. Unfortunately, that is the long time association of being the very first band on stage. Vocalist Steff informs us that we are about to experience the bands first ever live cover but we are not told what of. If we know the words we should sing along though. They then break into a raucous version of Katy Perry’s ‘ET’. This is met with singsongs from the crowd and sporadic, dispersed movement. Undercolour are a very technically talented band playing a great mix of peppy rock and pop to get a crowd moving and singing along. They have just not been given an opportune spot on the night’s bill.
After a lengthy stage change, Pegasus Bridge emerge from backstage. Opener ‘While We Were Young’ announces the bands synth tinged indie style. The funky offbeat pattern gets heads bobbing and bodies moving. It is clear to see that a large amount of the 14+ audience are already fans of the band. As vocalist /guitarist Ed Turner graces the stage he is met with screams of adornment. He shows his recognition by thanking everybody for coming out tonight. The line-up is completed by Alex Howick on bass, Tom Lynam on drums and Callum Roxborough on keys. The bands latest single ‘Like Dogs’ shows Ed’s vocal ability with high notes pleasantly harmonised by Callum and incites a little crowd participation. ‘Paris’ shows off their more sombre side. With minor piano notes and atmospheric keys. The vocals are brought down a level and it is clear that this song has a lot of meaning for the band. Their closing tune finally gets some substantial movement within the crowd with most people bouncing and even a small tussle breaking out in the centre. I didn’t expect to see a lot of pushing and shoving from this set but the crowd were obviously very enthused.
The stage lights dim again after another technical changeover. A sample plays as the band takes the stage but it is difficult to hear what is being said over the cheer of the crowd. It is obvious that Futures are not the only band that a large number of the crowd are here to see tonight. As Lower Than Atlantis take the stage I move closer into the crowd to get a better view, through flailing arms and large hairstyles. Vocalist Mike Duce thanks the crowd for coming out tonight and the band slams right in to ‘(Motor) Way of Life’ the first track from the Watford quartets third studio album‘World Record’. The crowd is whipped into a frenzy as the main riff blares out and bodies fly in all directions. Singalongs are encouraged even if you don’t know the lyrics and guitarist Ben Swanson spends the best part of the opener on the barrier hanging over the front row. Fans grab at his fret board but he continues to play regardless. The band, completed by Dec Hart on bass and Eddy Thrower on drums move on to some other material from their previous album. ‘FAR Q’ makes it clear that the crowd are more familiar with the bands older material than their recent release.‘Taping Songs off the Radio’ is met with the same recognition and gusto and the majority of the crowd sing along word perfect with the tale of modern musical despair. The last time I saw Lower Than Atlantis was in a micro venue whilst they toured ‘Far Q’. I was a little disappointed at the time that a slight line-up alteration had softened them up from the harsh hardcore they produced on debut album Bretton’.
After going home after the gig and listening to their new production I kicked myself for ever thinking they had lost their edge. The lyrics are like modern day poems that kids and adults alike can really relate to. Everyone is suddenly ordered to sit down until the next song kicks in. As the band blast forth in to ‘I’m not Bulimic..’, a fast paced narrative about being unemployed in the current economic downturn, a multitude of bodies fly into the air and a swirling mosh pit engulfs most of the audience. The anthemic last verse is belted out by the band and fans a like. “We are the kids of the recession. Credit cards, overdrafts, loans and no pensions. We are kids, we’ll learn our lesson by years of living in a country in depression.” The words are shouted with such meaning you can feel even the youngest of the kids here tonight understand the pain and frustration.
By the time Futures get to the stage the already sweaty and hyped up adolescent horde are eager to get going again. Opener ‘Sixteen’ gets the entire crowd bouncing as one. Arms flail and bodies collide as the indie rock powerhouse reaches a sing along chorus. “I’ve been breaking bones since I was sixteen. Now I’m three years on and I feel so good.” Even members of tonight’s audience who had never heard a single track by the Buckinghamshire four-piece are belting out the words. The bands latest single ‘Oxygen’ echoes Jimmy Eat World through and through. From Ant West’s harmonised vocal over guitar intro to a down tempo stripped back verse and back again into a lively and dynamic chorus. Backed up by Casey Roarty on guitar to his right, Christian Ward on bass to his left and George Lindsay, hidden unfortunately at the back of the stage, on drums. The recent Mercury Records sign ups really know how to work a crowd and build a good rapport between songs. Too many bands warble on about nothing whilst tuning guitars or taking a well earned beverage break but Futures take this opportunity to once again thank the audience for coming out tonight and also the support bands, individually, for playing alongside them. The enthusiastic throng start to bob once more as they kick off ‘Sal Paradise’ a song off their current touring album ‘The Holiday’. ’Thank You’ gives the quartet a chance to really show their appreciation toward everyone who came to see them play tonight and this one is dedicated to them. A short break sees the band tune up for one final song and the announcement of the song being about ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ is met with screams of wholehearted approval. The crowd know this will sadly be Futures last track for the evening and they put every last joule of energy into bouncing around, bumping each other and singing along. It’s clear to see now why the majority of tonight’s audience are of such a younger age group. The huge amount of energy put out by the band is met in equal parts by the crowd and in some places it is hard to keep up with either of them.
Review by Brad Lunam
I had herd many negative comments prior to seeing this movie but the title typography alone was enough to make me go anyway. After viewing the trailer earlier this year I knew this was going to be one of the films you just have to see in the cinema, and boy was I right. From the get go Zack Snyder’s iconic style shone through making an fast paced, highly complex opening sequence make perfect sense whilst looking gorgeous. But I wont go into too much detail of the films specific events. The aforementioned negative points had all related to the story and the way the tale is told. I don’t know if these people saw the same movie as me but the way the movie played out was both unique, experimental and highly entertaining. Imagine if you will The Great Escape, but with fire breathing dragons, violent robots and reanimated steam powered nazi corpses. Sounds pretty ace right? It was.
Traffic Light - S01E01
So I randomly came across a new show called Traffic Light. I thought I’d give it a watch, mainly because Kris Marshall (Nick from My Family) was in it. Even though it’s American. Was pretty funny. About 3 guys who are in different stages within their relationships so it’s pretty relatable. Can see it being a great series.