“ONE MORE NIGHT”
On a frosty December night I arrived for my first ever visit to the Strand Cinema, Belfast. The first thing to strike me about the 77 year old cinema was the charming, retro atmosphere. The ticket booth gives out quaint old-fashioned ticket stubs like the kind you see in old films and on the way to the individual screens you pass the movie projector rooms where you can see the massive movie reels in motion. However, whilst I enjoyed soaking up my surroundings I was there to see a film and still shaking off the cold from outside and donning my newly purchased Christmas jumper I knew just what kind of film I wanted to see.
Sly & Robbie have a better pedigree than the winner at Crufts, and this compilation of ‘Greatest Hits’ has your fingertips popping with the title track first up, then it’s the theme tune to Mission Impossible, you can just imagine the fuse running across your mind’s eye and waiting for the message to self in 30 seconds. Since bursting on the international music scene in the latter part of the 20th Century, Sly & Robbie have made their name as two of the world's most influential and successful producers, their arsenal is like a who’s who; Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Mick Hucknall and Sinead O'Connor to name five. Oh, as well as Beenie man, Black Uhuru, and erm… Britney spears. But here it is their own body of work that delights.
Overseen by artistic director Danny Boyle, the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games was one of the most talked about and acclaimed events of the 21st-centruy. Its soundtrack, which was curated by regular Boyle collaborators Underworld, was a key factor to its success. If you managed to sit through the bum numming event, then there won’t be any suprises here.
The formula is tried, tested and usually works, simple songs that kids can remember related to the location in which the ‘toon is set. In this case Scotland, so expect no less than Celtic rhythms and rhymes.
The first problem I had to overcome with this film was the title - Looper. From where I come from Looper was an insult on the playgrounds of East Belfast, usually levelled at the kid who was easily convinced to eat grass. It therefore didn't really invoke an aura of danger and mystery that I think it was meant to. Nevertheless, it's a pretty decent watch.
It has been a long four and a half year wait for Van Morrison's 34th studio album since Keep It Simple was released on St Patricks Day 2008. I think that is the longest gap between albums for Van since he arrived in New York to begin his solo career way back in 1967. Apart from Van, I think Paul Moore on bass is the only musician fromKeep It Simple to play on the new album Born To Sing,No Plan B.I must say that it has been worth the wait. As on Veedon Fleece and Astral Weeks Van has managed to capture a mood on Born To Sing and hold it for most of the album.I think on some of Vans previous albums although they contain some great songs they are a bit disjointed in terms of mood, but i find this album very consistent and a valuable addition to Van's fine body of work.