Unplugged by Emily Smart

Last week I was invited/cajoled/told in no uncertain terms that I would be attending Bandquest which according to its website is ‘A platform for the next generation of contemporary musicians to step out and perform in a supportive and encouraging competition format.’ I went along not feeling supportive or encouraging and rather wishing I could be at home in front of the TV on a Friday night. However, my just-turned 13 daughter was performing as the drummer with her band Socially Awkward, so I felt a little obligated. I don’t do gigs…. Read More

Moss gathering by Trevor Plumbly

By the book I think I’ve mentioned the importance books have played in my life. After my schooling was severely truncated, they were the cheapest form of entertainment and education available. In the late 1950s, I was living in a bedsit in North London, 12 bob a week, share bathroom and toilet with penny-in-the-meter electricity. Kilburn in the late 50s was far from welcoming, but it did have a public library. Bedsit etiquette was pretty much ‘mind your own business’, so in the absence of social contact, I wandered up and down… Read More

Vimeo Killed the Video Star by Emily Smart

I went down to the video shop yesterday, and had a real ‘fuck I’m old’ moment. And have now just discovered that this is a real thing – see https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/3hwisr/what_was_your_fuck_im_old_moment/ Anyway, video shop, videos. When was the last time you actually played a video tape? I found a video the other day: Toy Story 2 and just checked when it was released. It was 1999! So give or take a year or so to go from cinema ‘straight to video’ (you don’t hear that anymore) and that’s about 18 years ago. Flippin’… Read More

Square eyes and stress by Trevor Plumbly

Serial stupor Mother always insisted that television was an addictive force and, at the ripe age of 75, I’m beginning to believe the old girl was right. These days I can’t see a great deal on the screen, it’s more like having a big grey radio on the wall with lots of adverts, but, even for me, some TV programmes are a must, bringing back memories of the religious SHUSH for the Queen’s speech and Coronation Street. My current addiction is a quiz show called ‘The Chase’. Nightly, beer at hand, I… Read More

A remake too far by Angela Caldin

Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse what with satire and reality colliding in the persons of Donald Trump and Sean Spicer, with the delusional Theresa May hell-bent on confrontation with the EU, at the same time asserting that nurses go to food banks for many complex reasons, and with many observers believing that the end of the world is nigh, my son-in-law informs me that a remake has been made of one of the greatest films of all time: Dirty Dancing. Perfectly unecessary How, I ask myself, can you… Read More