Carnaby Street – The Musical

I’d like to go and see the new musical “Carnaby Street” which is set in London’s Swinging 60s heyday and opens at the Hackney Empire in London’s West End in April 6th 2013.It stars Former EastEnders actor Sid Owen and features hits by The Rolling Stones after the band agreed to allow their songs to be used in a theatrical production for the first time. Carnaby Street: The Musical will feature 30 classic tracks including “Let’s Spend the Night Together”, the Rolling Stones’ 1967 hit and “You Really Got Me” by the Kinks. Ray Davies is also considering an offer to write a new title song for the musical, in classic 60s Kinks style. The producers also wanted to include, “Do You Want to Know a Secret?”, a McCartney-Lennon, composition recorded by Billy J. Kramer in 1963 however the Beatles management baulked at allowing their songs to be used despite Paul McCartney being keen. Other era-defining hits by The Who, The Animals and Manfred Mann will also feature in the show, which before going on a nationwide tour.

Carnaby Street tells the story of Jude, a working class boy from Liverpool who travels to London with his best friend Penny Lane (Verity Rushworth) and his guitar, in search of fame and fortune.A chance encounter with man-about-town Jumpin’ Jack (Owen) leads to Jude joining a band led by a singer called “Wild Thing” at The Marquee Club, who tempts the ingénue with a life of sex, drugs and rock n’roll.

The show promises to celebrate the music and fashions of the swinging 60s, with a “pop-up” Carnaby Street retro clothes store opening alongside its run. It was the brainchild of veteran live music agent Carl Leighton-Pope, 67, who represents Bryan Adams and Michael Bublé and was A former cloakroom attendant at the Marquee Club music venue in the mid-Sixties. Leighton-Pope spent ten years preparing the musical for the stage, basing the storyline on characters from his own experience. Bob Tomson, the show’s director, aims to follow the West End success of “jukebox musicals” including the 50s-era Dreamboats And Petticoats and Rock Of Ages, based on the “hair-metal” heavy metal hits of the 70s and 80s.


Jackpot-Poster-FinalI’ve recently watched this Exciting black-comedy crime thriller again. Based on the novel of the same name by Norway’s leading crime writer, Jo Nesbø, it starts when  a young chap named Oscar Svendsen (Kyrre Hellum) is found terrified and bloodied;  at what was once a respectable strip joint (Now there’s a contradiction in terms) near Svinesund, Sweden, with a shotgun in his hands, surrounded by eight dead bodies, and police detective Solør, who has a gun aimed at his chest.


Despite Oscar persistently denying any wrongdoing Solør is immediately suspicious and convinced of Svendsen’s guilt, So Oscar Reluctantly starts relating the incredible story of a how him and his mates Oscar Svendsen (Kyrre Hellum), Thor (Mads Ousdal), Billy (Arthur Berning) and Tresko (Andreas Cappelen), who all work at a factory in the middle of nowhere making plastic Christmas tree, and have  criminal backgrounds,   Suddenly find themselves 1,739,361 kroner richer after a big win on the football pools, and how things started to go wrong when  greed and avrice rear their ugly heads & they decide not to share the money and start double-crossing each other,  culminating in a bloody shoot-out.




Brian Jones

The late, great Brian Jones, former member of the rock group The Rolling Stones was born 28th February 1942. The Rolling Stone were formed in London in 1962 When Keith Richards and Mick Jagger who were childhood friends and classmates, discovered that they shared a common intereest in the music of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. leading to the formation of a band with Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things). Richards, Taylor, and Jagger found Brian Jones as he sat in playing slide guitar with Alexis Korner’s R&B band, Blues Incorporated,which also had two other future members of the Rolling Stones: Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts

On 12 July 1962 the band played their first gig at the Marquee Club billed as “The Rollin’ Stones”.The line-up was Jagger, Richards and Jones, along with Stewart on piano, and Mick Taylor on bass. Bassist Bill Wyman joined in December 1962 and drummer Charlie Watts the following January 1963 to form the band’s long-standing rhythm section. Their first single, was a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Come On” and their second single, was “I Wanna Be Your Man”, Their third single, Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”. The band’s second UK LP – The Rolling Stones No. 2, yielded the singles “The Last Time”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Get Off of My Cloud”. The third album “Aftermath” was released in 1966, contained the singles “Paint It Black”, the ballad “Lady Jane” “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?” “Goin’ Home” and “Under My Thumb”. 1967 saw the release of “Between the Buttons”, which included the double A-side single “Let’s Spend the Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday”, and the release of the Satanic Majesties Request LP. the next album, Beggars Banquet was an eclectic mix of country and blues-inspired tunes,featuring the singles “Street Fighting Man” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Sympathy for the Devil. The Stones next album Let It Bleed featured the song “Gimmie Shelter”, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” “Midnight Rambler” and “Love in Vain”. The next album Sticky Finger was released in 1971.and featured an elaborate cover design by Andy Warhol, and contains the hits, “Brown Sugar”, and “Wild Horses”. The Stones classic double album, Exile on Main St. was released in May 1972. their follow-up album Goats Head Soup, featured the hit “Angie”. Their next album was 1974′s It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Some Girls, which included the hit single “Miss You”, the country ballad “Far Away Eyes”, “Beast of Burden”, and “Shattered”. The band released their next albums Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You in 1980 which featured the single “Start Me Up”. in 1982 the Rolling Stones toured Europe to commemorate their 20th anniversary and released their next album Undercover in late 1983. In 1986′s the album Dirty Work was released,which contained the song “Harlem Shuffle”.The next album “Steel Wheels” included the singles “Mixed Emotions”, “Rock and a Hard Place”, “Almost Hear You Sigh” and “Continental Drift”. their next studio album 1994′s Voodoo Lounge,went double platinum in the US. and went on to win the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album.The Rolling Stones ended the 1990s with the album Bridges to Babylon which was released in 1997. In 2002, the band released Forty Licks, a greatest hits double album, to mark their forty years as a band. On 12th November 2012 The Rolling Stones released the album Grrrr  to celebrate their 50th anniversary and have also made a documentary called Crossfire Hurricane.

The Rolling Stones are one of the of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music and In early 1989, the Rolling Stones, including Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Ian Stewart (posthumously), were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Q magazine also named them one of the “50 Bands To See Before You Die”, and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Rolling Stone magazine ranked them 4th on their “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list.

Rare Disease Day

Rare Disease Day is an observance held on the last day of February to raise awareness for rare diseases and improve access to treatment and medical representation for individuals with rare diseases and their families. It was established in 2008 because, according to the European Organization for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS), treatment for many rare diseases is insufficient, as are the social networks to support individuals with rare diseases and their families; furthermore, while there were already numerous days dedicated to sufferers of individual diseases (such as AIDS, cancer, etc.), there had previously not been a day for representing sufferers of rare diseases. In 2009 Rare Disease Day went global as NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders) mobilized 200 rare disease patient advocacy organizations in the United States while organizations in China, Australia, Taiwan, and Latin America also lead efforts in their respective countries to coordinate activities and promote the day. In addition, leading rare disease patient advocacy organizations including the Global Genes Project have joined forces to promote Rare Disease Day.

The first Rare Disease Day was held on 29 February 2008 in numerous European nations and in Canada through the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, organized by EURORDIS. The date was chosen because February 29 is a “rare day,” and 2008 was the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Orphan Drug Act in the United States. Individuals observing Rare Disease Day took part in walks and press conferences to raise public awareness of rare diseases, organized fundraisers, and wrote en masse to government representatives; health-related non-profit organizations across numerous countries also held events, gatherings, and campaigns. The day also included an open session of the European Parliament specifically dedicated to discussing policy issues relating to rare diseases The days leading up to Rare Disease Day included other policy-related events in numerous locations, such as a reception in the British Parliament where policymakers met with individuals with rare diseases to discuss issues such as “equal access and availability of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

In 2009 Rare Disease Day was observed for the first time in Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, the People’s Republic of China, and the United States, when NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders) signed on to coordinate Rare Disease Day on February 28 and collaborated with media partner The Discovery Channel and program partner Mystery Diagnosis as well about 180 other partners, to organize activities across the country for the observance of Rare Disease Day. Several United States state governments issued proclamations regarding Rare Disease Day. In Europe, over 600 patient advocacy and support organizations, again coordinated by EURORDIS, also planned events. Rare Disease Day 2012 is the fifth to be observed and since 2012 is a leap year, this is the second time the day falls on the originally intended date (February 29, a Wednesday). Each year, the global planning committee, under the leadership of EURORDIS and with NORD as the US representative, selects a theme to be used around the world. For 2012, the theme is “Solidarity” and the slogan is “Rare But Strong Together”. Other members of the global planning committee include representatives from the national rare disease alliances in several European countries. Thousands of patient advocacy organizations have become involved, including more than 600 partners working with NORD in the US to promote Rare Disease Day

Penguins – Spy in the Huddle

I would also like to get the fascinating Documentary Penguins Spy in the Huddle which is latest BBC series from the makers of Earthflight and Polar Bear Spy on the Ice. Narrated by David Tennant and released on 8th April 2013. This time the makers travel to Antarctica and the southern oceans and By using things like ‘penguin cams’ and ‘egg cams’ they are able to get some really close up shots of the penguins from right inside their nesting grounds making this excellent to watch.

The series follows the Rockhoppers in the Falklands, and the Humboldts in Peru and the Emperor Penguins in Antarctica who have the most incredible life story of any bird. Just as Polar Bear Spy on the Ice changed the way we look at an iconic subject, the spycameras give the emperor penguin s amazing story a fresh perspective. The Humboldt penguin lives in the hot desert regions of Peru and its problems have more to do with heat than cold. The rockhopper, which is one of the more comical penguins nesting on cliffs in the Falklands islands, braving incredibly rough oceans to reach the shore. The trials and tribulations of these other penguins crosscut the narrative of the emperor penguin, highlighting the differences at the same stage in their lives. While the emperor Penguins huddle together to protect themselves against minus 60degree temperatures, Humboldt penguins are tolerating plus 40degrees in the driest desert on Earth! While Emperors are negotiating huge snowdrifts, rockhoppers are trying to jump up vertical cliffs, which looks fairly comical but makes for riveting viewing at times

During the series fifty different spycams were used to reveal the secret lives of nature’s most devoted parents as they first come to land looking for mates, lay their eggs, and then rear their young and it makes compulsive watching as the series reveals the joys of birth and the woes when things don’t go right. With eggs and young penguins being vulnerable they face a multitude of natural predators including Antarctic Skuas and Leopard Seals, and sometimes have to go to extreme lengths to survive with not all managing to make it to adulthood in the harsh conditions.

Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)

eddieAdrian Smith, Guitarist with splendidly noisy English HeaVY metaL band Iron Maiden was born 27th February 1957. Iron Maiden hail from Leyton in east London and were formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter, Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band’s discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; ten live albums; four EPs; and seven compilations.

Pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden achieved success during the early 1980s. After several line-up changes, the band went on to release a series of U.S. and UK platinum and gold albums, including 1982’s The Number of the Beast, 1983’s Piece of Mind, 1984’s Powerslave, 1985’s live release Live After Death, 1986’s Somewhere in Time and 1988’s Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Since the return of lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith in 1999, the band have undergone a resurgence in popularity, with their latest studio offering, The Final Frontier, peaking at No. 1 in 28 different countries and receiving widespread critical acclaim.

Considered one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history, Iron Maiden have sold over 85 million records worldwide with little radio or television support. The band won the Ivor Novello Award for international achievement in 2002, and were also inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk in Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California during their United States tour in 2005. As of August 2011, the band have played almost 2000 live shows throughout their career. For the past 30 years, the band have been supported by their famous mascot, “Eddie”, who has appeared on almost all of their album and single covers, as well as in their live shows.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Directed by Stephen Chbosky and Based on his somewhat controversial 1999 novel of the same name, I’ve recently watched the wonderfully observed coming-of-age drama “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” again, Set in Pittsburgh in 1991 and starring Dylan McDermott, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Kate Walsh, Logan Lerman, Nina Dobrev and Paul Rudd, it follows the life of a young chap named Charlie, (Logan Lermanm) an aspiring writer who is still not over a friend’s suicide, and a traumatic experience with an aunt (Melanie Lynskey), who arrives at a new High School in suburban Pittsburgh without friends, any idea how to make them and is taken under the wing of hip free spirited senior student Sam (Emma Watson) and her Gay catty and bitchy stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller). Sensing a kindred spirit, they invite Charlie to a house party, and he slots into their oddball social circle – “The Island of Misfit Toys,” as Sam calls it, who listen to bands like the Smiths and Dexy’s Midnight Runners, record mixtapes for each other, he soon becomes best friends with Patrick and starts to have feeliings for Sam and finds the resulting emotional triangle just as painful and complex as the loneliness he’d left behind.

The group’s tribulations ring toe-curlingly true, and Charlie’s unrequited crush on Sam in particular is depicted with merciless accuracy. During the film they also host Rocky Horror Picture Show productions at the local fleapit with Emma playing the part made famous by Susan Sarandon. However Her carefree persona is clearly a front, as at one point she asks Charlie: ‘Why do I, and everyone I love, pick people who treat us like we’re nothing’. The flim also stars Nina Dobrev as Charlie’s older sister, Paul Rudd, as an English teacher who befriends Charlie and Mae Whitman, who plays an irascible young Buddhist with a soft spot for Charlie. The novel was originally done with letters (As in written communications) and provoked some controversy on it’s release with its frank handling of the harsh realities of sexual identity, drug use, mental illness, homosexuality, child Abuse, Loneliness and the scars left by emotional wounds. I enjoyed this film thanks to Chbosky’s insightful script, which has a rare generosity of spirit, and also the superb young cast, who conjour a gang of textured individuals, and handle powerful issues responsibly.