Can I ask a question?

Feb 22

REDIRECTION..

Time to move on..

Mpfalangi under a brand new roof :

http://mpfalangi.wordpress.com

Drop by for a visit

X ML

Feb 08

Live Review: Snow Patrol

Metro Arena – 5th February

The Scottish/Irish five piece kicked off 2012 announcing a third single is to be released from Fallen Empires.

‘In the End’ is to be released on February 13th, and they are celebrating it with a grandiose tour. Long before the release of their sixth album last November, the band suggested an open mind to the fans. Snow Patrol explored foreign territory and experimented with techno and electronic pop sounds. Melodies enriched with strings and brass, percussion and different keyboard sounds from the ever known melodica to dulcitone. The change in musical direction was evident even in the choice of support band, Everything Everything, a peculiar yet intriguing indie band.

Everything Everything’s witty lyrics, powerful off beat sounds, combined with front man Higgs’s signature falsettos, contributed to their own stigma. They started off strong, with beautifully arranged electronic elements, mesmerizing synths, and a Jack Black-esque performance from Newcastle native Higgs. Just when the crowd started warming up however, they were thrown off by Higgs high pitch vocals and mumbling lyrics which were impossible to follow. Everything Everything just did their own thing onstage; an unorthodox and eccentric band that can’t possibly cater for everyone’s taste. Unfortunately, after the nothing nothing reception from the crowd the awkwardness in the air was more than tangible.

Nonetheless, they set the mood for Snow Patrol to follow and they opened the concert with I’ll Never Let Go. A well organised set, with fantastic Muse-inspired lighting and elements that led back to their new album’s emblem were prominent: huge eagle’s feet-shaped screens, which moved and altered according to the needs of each song. Grand orchestral arrangements, and the singer’s engaging performance with intense body language; functioning almost as a maestro who brings this majestic symphony together.

“Let’s have some fuckin’ fun”, yelled an ecstatic Lightbody with his curls bouncing. And so it began. The band has clearly grown in confidence and stage presence over the years, Lightbody especially has evolved from the romantic shy guy of old into a true showman; his charming and comical persona finally shining through.

With a constant call for audience participation in ‘Shut Your Eyes’ and ‘This Isn’t Everything You Are’ the sold out arena complied with a massive chant-along. The band’s experiment with electronica was not always effective but when used conservatively to fit their signature style it felt more natural and effortless.

Some tracks when performed live brought more of a dance floor spirit with them, which came through unexpectedly better than on the album; like ‘Fallen Empires’. The rest of the night consisted of a brilliant mix of old and new tracks, sprinkled with hilarious intervals by the Lightbody, his attention to the audience was overwhelming.

Highlights like ‘Called Out In The Dark’, ‘Run’, and ‘Take Back The City’ followed with unmistakable vocals, crisp and clear sounds, managing to create a highly electrified atmosphere. Overall, the band engaged with the crowd to unprecedented levels, giving a very personal feel in such a large venue.

The much anticipated ‘Chasing Cars’ came as a catharsis for the fans, which burst into screams of joy and relief. Following an encore that featured all time favourite ‘Open Your Eyes’,the crowd went into a frenzy. Putting an end to an unforgettable night, the show reached its climax with the band asking us to ‘Just Say Yes’. Is there anything else left to say?

Yes Snow Patrol, a thousand times yes!

To read a review of Fallen Empires Click here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=llUMU1jy_4g

*As published in http://thecourieronline.co.uk/2012/02/live-review-snow-patrol/

ML

Dec 11

Celebrate Christmas early with Globe Café

Local Christians to take 50 international students to the Lake District next weekend, reports Maria Loupa

Photograph: Globe Cafe

A local church is offering to take 50 international students on a weekend trip to the Lake District.

On 16th December, the Global Café, which is hosted by Jesmond Parish Church, will take the 50 students to the Bassenfell Manor in the Lake District, famous for its lakes, mountains and attractive market towns to celebrate an early Christmas (with traditional Christmas dinner).

The organisers say it will be a time full of fun and rest, activity and conversation – a chance to escape from the city.  The cost is £70 per person and includes all food, accommodation and transport. The final date for bookings is this Monday, 12th December.

Globe Café is an international students’ meeting point that takes place in Jesmond Parish Church hall. Every Monday night from 7.30 to 10.00pm free coffee is served, and an additional meal provided  for £2. A variety of activities are also organised, from “desserts from around the world” to line dancing.  The café’s organisers say they understand how arriving in a foreign country can be very challenging for many students - the difference in customs and in culture can be radical so their purpose is to help make this transition a little less painful.

They also organise day trips and weekends away, like a recent visit to Hadrian’s Wall. The café, which has been running for more than 14 years, aims to offer a welcoming and safe meeting place for international students studying in Newcastle. Students get the opportunity to meet British people, to learn about their culture and practise their English. Organised by Christians who live locally, the café aims to help international students feel more at home in Newcastle during their time here and around 120 international students visit the café every Monday night.

For more information on the trip and the café’s activities, visit Globe Cafe’s website at www.the-globe.org

*As published in http://jesmondlocal.com/2011/12/celebrate-christmas-early-globe-caf/

M.L.

Dec 05

Seeing in the New Year with The Suggestibles

A night of film noir, musical theatre and impromptu sketches based on the audience’s suggestions with The Suggestibles, report Maria Loupa and Nelly Stavropoulou

The Suggestibles - Bev Fox, Gary Kitching, Ian McLaughlin, Carl Kennedy and Rob Atkinson - will be returning to Jesmond for their first ever New Year’s Eve performance at The Mixer.

event will begin at 9pm The and last until 2am, and includes a 2 hour improv show with interval snacks and drinks to “fuel” the audience’s suggestions. Everyone will be offered a complimentary glass of bubbly and the stage will transform into a dance floor until 2am.

The improv comedy group  joined forces with Steve Steen -  a regular guest with the Comedy Store Players at the Comedy Store in London - for a live show at The Mixer last month. Bev Fox and Gary Kitching from The Suggestibles talked to Jesmondlocal about their future plans, their relationship with the audience and gave their own point of view on the art of laughter.

You can watch their interview here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ixgzci050sM

http://www.thesuggestibles.co.uk/gig-diary

*As published in http://jesmondlocal.com/2011/12/year-suggestibles/

M.L.

Interview: Morning Parade

Not heard of Morning Parade yet? You soon will. This hotly tipped Essex band took some time out during their headline UK tour to chat to Maria Loupa as they ventured to the Toon for the very first time.

Frontman Steve Sparrow was friendly, approachable and modest when asked about the band’s work – at first glance, he didn’t give the same impression as his passionate on-stage persona.

So… why “Morning Parade”?

A lot of reasons! We wanted something to symbolize a fresh start – we all came from different bands and this was kind of a clean slate for everyone, and “morning” has this fresh meaning that we were going for. It also stands for all the early mornings we have to get up and travel to go to work, like we were joining the labour queue or something.

Would you say that you are a rock band?

Well, we are definitely a rock band but we don’t play classic rock. We use elements of electronic, dance and cinematic music. We experiment with different sounds and rhythms, anything from Daft Punk to Radiohead.  We base our songs on lyrics and melody, but we also use layering techniques to achieve the result we want.

How long have you been together?

About four years. I’ve known Phil since I was 11; he was the one who taught me how to play the guitar and I turned out to be better, so he switched to playing the bass!

With Chad we were together in college, Ben and Andrew came later. We decided to get together and started jamming on Saturdays and stuff. Our music at the time was rubbish, our songs were 20 minutes long!

What inspires you?

Our inspirations are always changing.. We are inspired by what we see around us, you are always introduced to a different eye. I think our music is quite reflecting, our first single is a proof of that.

In what way is the new single, ‘Us and Ourselves’ reflecting?

We all try to get somewhere in life; no matter what we are doing, we are in a single journey, all in this together. It’s about looking to yourself and the world around us, like a universal kind of thing. Unfortunately some people don’t get our message, but that’s a risk you have to take; if you don’t get your feet in the challenge, you might as well say nothing.

How was the experience of performing in all these high profile support slots?

I don’t know how it came to be, we’ve been offered gigs from The Wombats, and it kind of spiraled from there. We’ve played with The Kooks, The Wombats, 30 Seconds to Mars. It was a great experience because we had the chance to play for a huge crowd. With 30 seconds to Mars in Switzerland there was 20,000 people , and with The Kooks about 10,000 a night in the UK.

We’ ve been touring a lot this year in the UK and mainland Europe ; Holland, Germany, Belgium, Russia.

What are your future plans?

Our main focus is on the album coming out on the first week of March and we’re really excited about it. These days, the way the world – and television – works, bands are not necessarily in the singles market; the album is what counts.

Having our own headline tour is amazing, and we’re looking forward to hitting the rest of the UK venues on our list. After the album is released, there’s going to be a lot of touring in the UK and the US next year.

I can’t do one, but can you give us your best Geordie accent?

I can’t even do it, and I’m from the South East!

*As published inhttp://thecourieronline.co.uk/2011/12/interview-morning-parade/

M.L.

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Dec 01

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Turnaround: turned around

48hrmag:

Whilst the friendly folk at Newspaper Club work their magic on the presses, here’s a digital version of Turnaround for your viewing pleasure. Grab a printed copy this weekend at BALTIC, or if you’re super keen, from our launch party at Living Room in Newcastle on Friday evening.

Open publication on Issuu

Thanks of the memory of things I can’t forget.. wise Sinatra.. To everybody I’ ve met and worked with at the Baltic


..with the power of hindsight, what a priceless experience! One word to sum up my feelings: grateful. 
Thanks guys
M.L.

Nov 29

“If interpreting art is integral to making art, then the question of how to teach interpretation needs to be addressed.” — http://www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/tatepapers/04autumn/charman.htm (via 48hrmag)

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