Friday, March 03, 2006

arts news

Following a phone conversation with Ploni last night to find out her news (she reads the blog, so no need to tell her mine…) it transpires that she has put two and two together and arrived at five. Basically, the recent reference to the Valentines Day card (and no doubt the flying mug fiasco) plus a week’s absence from blogging equals R.x must be too busy playing boys and girls to blog. Actually, not so. I’ve been busy. Not working (obviously) but making the most of London. I get the urge from time to time to go all Mariella Fostrup and see a bit of culture. London can be such an irritating place to live sometimes – it is ridiculously expensive, congested, polluted, full of Londoners etc, that I feel the need to react by taking excessive advantage of its positive side.

So in recent weeks I have been to Sadler's Wells (get me, I’m even on the mailing list) to see the wonderful Sara Baras. She is a flamenco dancer and was in town as part of the London Flamenco Festival. I went with my obligatory GBF (that’s a gay best friend for those who don’t take their stock abbreviations from Sex and the City) who booked the tickets expecting to see gorgeous scantily-clad Latino men strutting their stuff on stage. I reminded him that he was thinking about Tango, not Flamenco, and so he wasn’t overly keen at first.

But Baras took our breaths away. She moves like an athlete but at the same time is remarkably graceful, and the costumes were stunning (so GBF was pleased after all), designed to move as part of the choreography. Brilliant. It was probably the best live performance I’ve seen in London for months. In fact, I was so blown away that I immediately booked tickets to see the same show the following night.

I’ve also been to the Barbican to see the fabulous Sophie Solomon. She’s the violinist from Oi Va Voi and was taking part in an evening billed as Genius of the Violin. The show began with the full orchestra (long black dresses, tails and bow-ties) playing something or other (you can tell that classical music really isn’t my thing) followed by some miserable looking chap (suit and tie) playing American Seasons. Then Sophie came out wearing plunging sleeveless v-neck, black leather mini skirt and fish net stockings. I could imagine the wife of the Barbican Managing Director ordering her husband to ‘close your mouth dear’ [a la Pretty Woman]. Sophie rocked. She looked like a rock star and played like a god. And if that wasn’t enough, she only went and brought on Martha Wainwright to accompany her on vocals. Yes, Martha Wainwright. Sister of Rufus . Daughter of Loudon .

My concert companion had never heard of Sophie, Martha, Loudon or Rufus so I had to conceal my excitement and squeal silently. But if you fancy listening to electrifying klezmer, check out Sophie’s new album “Poison Sweet Madeira”.

In case you think I’ve disappeared so far up my own arse that I won’t be seen for weeks, I’ve also been enjoying more mundane cultural visits. I went to see the Jonny Cash film, Walk the Line. I spent most of the week telling friends that I was going to see the Pat Cash film which indicates that I’m not exactly a Jonny Cash fan. In fact, the only thing I like about Country and Western music is the soundtrack to Oh Brother Where Art Thou? (Actually, I also like that gag about the cowboy who says “I like all sorts of music. I like Country AND Western”) It turns out that Jonny Cash’s wife, June Carter Cash (played spectacularly by Reece Witherspoon, by the way. If she doesn’t get the Oscar it’ll be a disgrace) was from the famous (well, in Nashville, at any rate) Carter Family that features on the Oh Brother soundtrack, and so it was nice to make the connection.

And for someone who really doesn’t like C&W music, I have to admit that I was gripped by the movie. If you’re wondering what to watch this Saturday night, that’d be a great place to start.

So, why am I telling you all this?
a) so that I look all cultured and interesting
b) having promised you-know-who that I wouldn’t mention him, I’m finding that I don’t have much else to blog about
c) to assure Ploni that silence does not necessarily mean too much you-know-what with you-know-who


Anonymous Aaron Bishibashi said...

In fishnets? Oh yes, Yum yum.

6:17 pm  

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