Posted in music

Dave Keuning (The Killers)

Dave Keuning the Guitarist with Las Vegas band The Killers, was born 28 March 1976. The killers were formed in 2001, by Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards), Dave Keuning (guitar, backing vocals). Mark Stoermer (bass, backing vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums, percussion) completed the current line-up of the band in 2002. The name The Killers is derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band portrayed in the music video for the New Order song “Crystal”. studio albums which the band have released include Hot Fuss (2004), Sam’s Town (2006) and Day & Age (2008)and Battle Born and Direct Hits. They have also released one compilation album, Sawdust (2007) and one live album and DVD titled Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2009).

On September 16, 2013 the Killers released “Shot at the Night” which was produced by Anthony Gonzalez and also released their first greatest hits compilation, Direct Hits celebrating a decade together as a band and fulfilling a contractual requirement with their record label. The album featured songs from all four studio albums, the new single “Shot At The Night” and another new song “Just Another Girl”.The release of Direct Hits was followed by a short promotional tour, the band also played a number of festivals in 2014. The Killers have stated that they will be taking an extended break before beginning work on their fifth studio album. On December 1, 2014, the band released “Joel the Lump of Coal”. The single features late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. The song marks the ninth consecutive year in which the band has released a Christmas song. All proceeds went to AIDS charities as part of the Product Red campaign.

To date, the band has sold over 6 million albums in the United States, over 5 million albums in the United Kingdom, and over 15 million worldwide.Some of their best known songs are Mr Brightside,smile like you mean it, When You were Young, Bones, Read my Mind and For Reasons Unknown. The Killers have also performed at many festivals including T in the Park, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury Festival, V Festival and the 2013 Isle of Wight Festival.

Posted in books, films & DVD, Television

Bridge of Spies

I would like to watch the exciting thriller Bridge of Spies which is out on DVD and stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Dakon Matthews, Mikhail Gorevoy Will Rogers and Austin Stowell. It is set in Brooklyn, New York in 1957 during the height of the Cold War, and concerns Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) who retrieves a secret message from a park bench and is arrested by the FBI and prosecuted as a Soviet Spy.The FBI offers to drop the charges if Abel cooperates and reveals the details of his spy network, but he refuses. He goes to trial, but the government wants it to appear to be “a fair trial” so that the Soviet Union cannot use it for propaganda.

The bar association presided over byjudge (Dakin Matthews) request James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) defend Abel. Donovan has previously worked on the prosecutions of Nazi war crimes in the Nuremberg trials, and since then has been an insurance lawyer with experience in negotiations. As news of him defending Abel is put on newspapers, Donovan is treated with disdain in public places. At the trial, Abel is found guilty of all charges. Before the sentencing, Donovan meets the judge and argues that Abel not be sentenced to death, as he could serve as “an insurance” should a U.S. spy be captured by the USSR. The judge sentences Abel to 30 years imprisonment, outraging the public. Despite the intimidation Donovan appeals unsuccessfully to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the conviction,

Some time later, a U2 spy plane pilotFrancis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) is shot down and captured in the Soviet Union. So Donovan, proposes a prisoner exchange: Abel for Powers. Donovan agrees to handle negotiations. As the USSR doesn’t want to admit Abel is their spy, the exchange is to take place in East Germany. Meanwhile, Frederic Pryor (Will Rogers), an American economics graduate student, visits his German girlfriend in East Berlin also gets arrested for being an American spy.

Donovan tells his wife that he is going on a fishing trip to England, and travels to West Berlin, accompanied by CIA agents. Donovan goes to the Soviet Embassy in East Berlin, and meets Ivan Schischkin (Mikhail Gorevoy), who claims to be Second Secretary at the Embassy but is actually the KGB’s chief in Western Europe. Donovan negotiates with Schischkin to have Abel, Pryor and Powers released simultaneously however Schischkin informs him that Pryor is held by East Germany. However Donovan discovers that the USSR and the GDR (East Germany) both want Abel, so he liaises with Wolfgang Vogel (Sebastian Koch), a GDR lawyer who supposedly represents Abel’s family, and arranges to exchange Abel for Pryor, Although the CIA is interested only in Powers’ return. Donovan also negotiates for Pryor’s release as long as the Abel/Powers exchange goes ahead to which Schischkin agrees and sets the exchange on the Glienicke Bridge in Potsdam, Berlin

However, Vogel pulls out of the negotiation after finding out about the deal Donovan made with the USSR. So Donovan ,meets Vogel’s superior, Harald Ott (Burghart Klaußner), East German attorney general, despite CIA protest and suggests the 2-for-1 deal, but Ott refuses. So Donovan sends a message to Ott, stating that the U.S. wants both Pryor and Powers for Abel, or the entire deal IS off. The scene is set for a tense finale At the Glienicke Bridge, as Donovan tries to secure the release of Abel in exchange for Powers while Pryor is taken to Checkpoint Charlie to be handed back.

Posted in books, films & DVD, Television

The Night Manager

I would like to get the television adaptation of The Night Manager, which is out on DVD. Based on the novel of the same name by John LeCarre It follows a former soldier turned hotel night auditor for a luxurious Cairo hotel, named Jonathan Pine who encounters Sophie, a French Arab woman who has ties with Richard Onslow Roper an English black marketeer who has made a fortune from the sale of weapons. Sophie provides Pine with confidential incriminating documents concerning Roper’s illegal activities, and Pine is presented with a difficult choice, so he forwards them to friends in the British Intelligence. Unfortunately Pine’s actions have unfortunate repercushions when Roper finds out and Sophie is later found dead under suspicious circumstances, Pine suspects Roper may be involved and vows revenge.

Pine is then approached by intelligence operatives Angela Burr and Rex Goodhew, who head a British anti-arms-smuggling organization, and are planning an elaborate and dangerous sting operation called “Limpet” to infiltrate Roper’s vast criminal empire. So Pine is asked to infiltrate the inner circle of arms dealer Richard Roper , Roper’s girlfriend Jed, and associate Major Corcoran to try and bring him down.

Pine Goes undercover which takes him to both Whitehall and Washington, D.C. and as he wins Roper’s confidence. Pine discovers that there is an alliance between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade. He then finds himself involved in an illegal arms deal to sell embargoed arms to various criminal organizations including Drug Cartels, Terrorists and corrupt warlords and discovers that corrupt factions within both the CIA and British Intelligence are also profiting from the illegal arms trade by warning the criminals of upcoming operations and allowing them to hide the weapons before they are caught.  This lands Burr in hot water when the missions inexplicably go wrong and Roper is able to escape. So Pine is forced to go on alone without any backup from Burr in order to pursue Roper. This soon puts himself and those he loves in mortal danger as he accompanies Roper to Cairo for his Illegal Arms sales, whilst trying to contact Burr without arousing Roper’s suspicion. John LeCarre’s long awaited memoir  THE PIGEON TUNNEL is also being published September 2016.