Every Kingdom review
These past few months have seen a change to the music scene within the West Country, Devon has given birth to England’s answer to Bon Iver and John Mayer. It is of course melody picker Ben Howard.
With his debut album titled Every Kingdom released on October 3 2011, through Island Records, Ben Howard is becoming renowned over the UK with his sell out gigs and his quick rise to fame. Every Kingdom has 10 tracks, with every track being unique and very easy to listen to. While taking every chance to reference the ocean, Ben sings about personal experiences which makes his talent for music gifted and uplifting.
Ben was born in London and moved to Totnes, Devon during his teens. After studying journalism at University College Falmouth for a short time, Ben decided to pursue music full time. Being influenced by music through his parents he considers Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell to be major influences.
The album starts off with a track titled Old pine, which is gently picked and starts with the lyrics “Hot sand on toes, cold sand in sleeping bags, I’ve come to know that memories, were the best things you ever had”. It is easy to get the meaning behind the track of being young and falling for a girl, the song continues a slow pace then becomes upbeat to create a cheerful ending.
Other songs that stick out on the album are The Fear and Keep Your Head Up. The first of these has a simple but very catchy acoustic riff followed by a powerful chorus that can grip the listener and can easily be placed in day to day life. Keep your head up, the seventh track on the album, is a song that everyone will recognise or would have heard. With a toe-tapping, guitar-slapping melody it is no doubt a feel good song accompanied with the lyrics “Keep your head up, keep your heart strong, keep your mind set in your ways”. When hearing these lyrics on a bad day can cause anyone to smile.
The Fear which is the sixth track on the album, shows the darker side to Ben howard’s writing style. Lyrics such as ”I’ve been worryin’ that my time is a little unclear, I’ve been worryin’ that I’m losing the one’s I hold dear”. Are no doubt a clear sign that sometime in his life Ben has felt anxious towards his life choices,however The Fear creates a dramatic ending letting you know that instead of fighting these worries, he embraced them.
Every Kingdom is an album that is easy listening and inspiring to anyone that listens. For Ben’s debut album it is no doubt an album to be proud of. It is rare for artists to let their audience know in depth the highs and lows of their life through music, Ben Howard however is the exception.
4 out of 5
Open mic’s of Falmouth
Falmouth has a wide range to offer to the music scene, with the town being quite unique having a student population as well as a local resident there is always new music talent filling the local pubs. A popular attraction for both musicians and music lovers in the town is open mic nights, this offers people with the chance to express themselves through music. There are several different pubs and venues offering open mics nights in Falmouth spread out on different nights throughout the week.
Number 20 located in Penryn hosts an open mic event every Monday night, the event is free to enter and every one that performs gets a free drink afterwards. A popular location for students at the University which makes the majority of the crowd, the bar itself has a very modern feel towards it and has a great student vibe. The bar contains are range of alcoholic drinks including beers from around the world, for those just looking to relax with some friends Number 20 also provides hot drinks. If you are looking to play some music number 20 as a venue is great for those starting out, the crowd changes every week which lets new ears hear your sound.
The Front pub located underneath Harbour lights fish and chip shop has an event every Tuesday called Songwriter’s Tunesday, this event was created for up and coming musicians and is located in one of Falmouth’s most renowned pubs. The pub is small in size and is favoured by mostly local residents, the pub offers a wide range of award winning Ales and Ciders to quench your thirst at affordable prices. With the venue being small in size this creates a great sound when performing, if nerves are your problem then The Front is perfect to performing to a smaller audience.
After taking the tiring climb up Falmouth’s biggest stair set your come across one of the oldest pubs conveniently placed for you to catch your breath, Jacobs Ladder hosts the most popular open mic event the town has to offer. With an open mic on every Wednesday and singer songwriter’s event every Sunday, the pub creates great music enjoyed by a huge crowd of students and regular beer lovers. The pub has a great historical feel towards it which is also shown with dated photos of Falmouth hung on the walls, drinks are competitive in prices and offers an interesting cider named Old Rosie. The pub is always packed during these events and for those confident enough to play is a great way to get noticed, watching this is event is great shared with friends over a drink listening to chilled sounding music.
The Stannary located at University College Falmouth has an open mic event created by students every Sunday, situated at the top half of the venue this open mic is free for anyone to play. With a very cheap drinks selection it’s a great way to do something different with your weekend, The Stannary also serves hot beverages for those still feeling the effects from the night before. Always packed with students who live on the campus itself this venue has a unique audience, guitars are also supplied to use for those who decide they suddenly want to play. The Stannary is a great hit by students and can also be enjoyed by local residents, who are looking for a change.
Q bar also hosts an open mic event every Sunday night located within the town on the moor, a different feel towards your standard open mic one where you can enjoy the event sipping on cocktails. Drink prices are averaged priced with some costing more than others with cocktails being made right in front of you they are worth the extra cost, there is also a range of beers on tap and bottled beer from different countries. The event itself is very relaxed with sofas and seats placed around Q bar to sit and chill to music, after the event is finished the bar continues to play music by resident DJs if you’re looking for something more upbeat.
So Falmouth offers a massive variety of live music throughout the town, each bar is different to suit everyone’s taste and style. With the University constantly accepting new students each year to live by the sea side town, there is always fresh new talent which will continue to keep the music scene alive.
Hayle teenager hosts his second skate competition
A Hayle teenager is planning to host his second skate competition to raise funds for more facilities at Hayle bowl this July.
Kayne Stafford, 18, has once again been granted permission and gathered sponsors from big companies to host the second skateboard competition for a skate plaza.
Following the success of the first competition held last year by Kayne, this year proves to be different.
Kayne said: “Since the competition last year Zain Ishmael, Kate Tyson and I set up the committee Hayle Skate. The goal for the committee is getting funding for the street section.
The competition is to raise funds to provide a street section. The competition was set up by me with some help from Kieran Roberts, Jack Stevens, Harry Lee and Tom Dyer.”
The event will be split up into four different age categories, each age group will have twenty minutes to qualify towards the final, Street obstacles will also being provided for skateboarders at the event.
The sponsors for the event include: The Skate Shed, Hayle’s local skate shop at the skate park itself, Penzance’s skate shop SouthShore, and Karma skateboards, which is one of the UKs biggest companies in skateboarding.
Kayne said: “The competition is to raise funds and awareness of our cause, this is what I hope to achieve from it.”
Also the competition will provide live music with Cornish Grime already confirmed to play with more to be announced. For information visit Facebook and search Hayle bowl competition 2.
2012 has been a great year so far for movies on the big screen we have already been privileged to experience epic moves such as The Avengers and The Hunger Games, the latest sci-fi film getting fans excited for its realise is Ridley Scott’s film titled Prometheus. Set 30 years before the 1979 horror classic Alien, the film focuses on a crew of 17 on board a space ship called Prometheus as they follow a star map which could answer the origins of humanity. Upon arrival on a distant planet the crew soon realise all is not what it seems, and that finding the answer to the existence of man could lead to its destruction.
This is Ridley Scott’s first science fiction film since the 1982 classic Blade Runner starring Harrison Ford, since then he has some huge movie success with films such as Gladiator and some huge disappointments with the dreadful Robin Hood. There is no doubt huge pressure of Scott’s shoulders in producing a movie that not only lives up to his sci-fi reputation, but also pleases fans of the popular Alien franchise.
So the whole reason behind this movie is to finally have the answer to the question of the mysterious figure sat in the chair known as The Engineer in Alien, this film takes that idea but moves further away from the Alien franchise and gives the The Engineer its own story. This film was created for 3D and when seen at the cinema through 3D glasses, becomes a breath taking experience that really grabs you with the beauty from the colours used.
Prometheus stars Noomi Rapace who entered our screens in the 2009 Swedish filmed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and recently starred in Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows. Also included is Michael Fassbender who portrayed a younger Magneto in X Men First Class, and Charlize Theron who starred along Will Smith in the superhero film Hancock. The film also includes roles from actors such as Guy Pearce and Idris Elba who fit their characters with such ease, the rest of the cast are actors you will recognise from TV programmes such as Pete Versus Life and Game of Thrones.
It’s easy to say that since The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo we have not seen Noomi Rapace’s full acting potential, having the co-star role of a gypsy in Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows she deserved the lead role for this film. Rapace’s take on the female character Elizabeth Shaw is no doubt impressive, her acting style really draws you towards her and lets you know she is a strong female.
Michael Fassbender plays an android named David, who is on board the Prometheus at the request of Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) who is funding this expedition, unlike Ash in Alien we are shown from the start what David is but his intentions are kept from us. Fassbender steals the show with his performance as an android, the performance is so convincing we should question if he really is human. There is a 10 minute clip at the beginning of this movie all focused on Fassbender where you see his full acting potential, while the other crew members are in deep sleep for over 2 years it shows a montage of things David has been doing to keep himself occupied which is amazing.
This film really brings tension and drama when watching but only half way through the movie, some of the death scenes are a little predictable while others are really disturbing. The story line for this movie is great but can seem a little lost during the movie, with different things all happening at once you almost forget the reason they were there in the first place.
With a film like Prometheus which has links towards Alien it’s important to understand this is not an Alien prequel, there are most defiantly little hints that Alien fans will be able to make a connection between the two films, but either than that approach this film with a clear mind. Prometheus overall is a great film that any sci-fi fan will enjoy or those who are a fan of Ridley Scott’s work, it’s great to see him return to the genre that made him famous and see it pay off.
4 out of 5 stars
Coheed and Cambria ‘Good Apollo I’m burning star IV, volume one’ album review
Coheed & Cambria, either a name you have no idea how to pronounce or it’s the New York progressive rock band whose music is something you have never heard anything like before.
The bands third album ‘Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness’ was released in 2005. The album is not your usual rock album it explores elements of acoustic and string right from the start to give Coheed their sense of style and sound to the listener.
The lyrics are part of a concept story and with the album are also comic books that focus on the two main characters Coheed and his wife Cambria and their journey through a futuristic universe and each album continues their adventure through the songs. The album book features amazing art work by Christopher Shy who is renowned for his surreal and edgy futuristic style of art which fits the album perfectly.
The albums lyrics are powerful and very expressive with this album with songs like ‘Wake up’ and ‘Crossing the flame’ it’s very easy to have your own journey through the music and not keep up to date with the comics. Claudio Sanchez lead singer explained this album is all about a break up with a girlfriend and found the only way to express himself was through music.
With songs like the ‘The suffering’ and ‘The final cut’ this album could change your perception of music it is a great album for those looking for music you can easily relate to. In my opinion no matter how many times you hear it, it will always sound brand new to your ears.
Baldhu church looks like Hell
The church, a place of holiness used for religion and the worship of God, but among the thousands of churches in England one church that faces south is an attraction for ghost hunters and daring teenagers. Baldhu church which was located on the outskirts of Truro over the years had built a reputation for its ghost sightings and even being named ‘the gateway to hell’.
Although not many people know why the church has got this reputation many myths have been created ranging from personal experiences while visiting, to a friend of a friend’s girlfriend’s brother who captured a photo of a ‘ghost’. All these stories gave Baldhu church its dark perception.
The church was built in 1848 by the Earl of Falmouth it is named after the Cornish word for ‘black mine’. The position of the building itself began its haunted reputation. Churches are supposed to face east in the direction of Jerusalem and the direction of sunrise. Baldhu church faced south which led people to believe that it could have been built as a place to worship the devil.
Billy Bray a famous preacher buried at Baldhu has become a local myth for his secret beliefs. Rumours around Bray say that he secretly worshipped the devil and drowned babies at their baptisms and killed 12 choir boys according to one website. In a biography on Bray it didn’t mention anything of him killing babies only that he was a respected preacher and wanted others to follow him.
Having been to Baldhu church myself a few years ago the place did have a sense of creepiness about it. The windows had been smashed and were all boarded up along with the door to stop people getting in. We managed to climb in, apart from old bibles scattered on the floor there was a clear sign of a pentagram drawn on the floor with candles around it. My first thought was that someone had drawn that not for religious reasons but for scare value, others are not so easily convinced.
Local people kept complaining that they could hear people at night in the woods next to the church and ‘gatherings’ were taking place. A plumber one day was walking his dog past the church when he was confronted by two men who told him that he should not enter the woods and showed him a tree which had become disfigured and represented the letter H a possible meaning for hell.
According to a forum, a girl claimed that her mum who is a medium ‘ability to see ghosts’ had been to Baldhu church, and after seeing what she described as red eyes was convinced a demon had followed her back home. Just behind the church is Redruth transmitting station being 500ft high on top it has several bright red lights as a warning to aircraft’s flying over, possibly the medium had mistaken this for eyes.
When asked about possible Satanist activity at Baldhu a police spokesman said: “I’ve got no knowledge of said church or any incidents relating to it. The only likely police involvement with this will be if there have been any complaints as regards to anti-social behaviour or any crime being committed.”
Baldhu has since been knocked down leaving behind a history of truth and myth. This still does not stop people coming to explore where the church once was. According to a resident who lives in a new house built on the churches location, people are still exploring both the graveyard and the woods in search for paranormal activity.
“You could call it a live rehearsal but on that day, it was a perfect set”
The music scene in Cornwall is something not many people know about, people think it is all sun, sea and surf. True Cornwall is all about that but becoming a part of Cornwall’s culture are local bands coming together and pulling off sensational sounds one gig at a time.
One female artist coming to stage is Carly McKean and her project Carly McKean and the Dirty Living Rhythm Band, the lead singer is bringing a rise to the local music scene.
Moving to Cornwall 10 years ago from the Scottish village of Bridge of Weir Carly started her new life from scratch living in a caravan for 9 months and working her way up in a hair salon.
Now the manager of the salon and having bought her own house Carly joined the band two years ago but nearly missed the opportunity.
After a few drinks one night she met a guitarist called Andy Burns who invited her to a jam. “I had actually cancelled it that evening and my mum was like ‘what are you doing get down there’ I phoned them back and went ‘uh yeah I can make it now’ I grabbed a bottle of red wine and then we just hit it off.”
The band started gigging and Carly’s musical influences of Bonnie Raitt and Eva Cassidy were expressed through her music. “My parents have brought me up with good music and I feel I have a lot to thank them for.”
Carly admits that not all the songs they cover are “dead recognisable” and different to what the artist has done musically but feels this has only captured people while performing.
A gig personal to Carly was at the Sandsifter in Hayle. “It was so quiet it was like a summer day the stage was set up looking down to the estuary, the doors were open as a band on that day things just came together really well and we connected and we were bouncing off each other and enjoying ourselves, whereas before we would do gigs still learning the stuff you could call it a live rehearsal but on that day, it was a perfect set.”
To Carly this proved that it’s all for the “musical satisfaction” and it can be clearly seen she finds music a way of expressing herself.
“If I have not had a gig for a few weeks I feel like there is something waiting to get out. It’s healthy to get nervous before a gig but I get really excited about it I just enjoy being able to sing what I want.”
To every upside there is a downside especially in music “I work full time as a manger I would love to do music as a full time job. By the time you finish a gig at 2 and drive home then go work it’s absolutely knackering the next day.”
Being in a relationship with Tijrone Rosewall renown in Cornwall for his guitar talent in his 3 piece band ‘Sinpusher’ suspicion has always been to see if they will ever work together as a duo.
“I get asked this all the time (laughing). We have started working on some stuff just at home even if it is over a glass of wine to feel more relaxed. We have got a charity event coming up on the 19th of March for breast cancer that evening will be the first time I sing with Sinpusher.”
Just when you think having a full time job and a band and now organising a charity event was not enough, Carly has now got a new side project started.
“It’s a kind of Latin, American, gypsy, jazz type sound it’s a three piece we only started it about a week ago. As for the band we just want to get further out there and let people hear what we’re doing.”