Friday 18th November


This week has been spent mostly acquainting myself with the new Kate Bush album 50 Words For Snow and admittedly there are less pleasant ways to spend your time. As with most of Bush’s work each new listen yields something different and stirs different emotions and this definitely ranks amongst her finest works. A full review and chance to hear the album in its entirety is available here . It is reassuring to have an artist of Bush’s talent and integrity still making valid contributions as her career has now spanned thirty four years and in that time she has neither pandered to current tastes or trends nor the dictates of record company pressure and has simply followed her own artistic vision even if not always with complete success. Even when she falters-The Red Shoes springs to mind-there is still always something commendable and interesting to be gleaned from her endeavours. On top of this she has always carried herself with dignity and restraint comfortable with both her talent and success. The current crop of celebrities with their seemingly never ending quest for attention through blatant and desperate self promotion could do well to take lessons from her. Then again very few-if any- possess one modicum of her talent so perhaps this is a wish too far.

It is unfortunate that many still associate Bush with her debut Wuthering Heights even though this is not representative of the experimental nature of much of her canon. The novel it was named after also comes under much misguided criticism with many feeling it is a girlie, romantic novel to set teenage hearts all a flutter. It does possess a love story at its core but it is a dark, twisted unfathomable love and the novel is driven by its deep dark mystery and not Barbara Cartland ideals of romantic fiction. Director Andrea Arnold recognises this and her new  adaptation of Emily Bronte’s book delves into the darkness and offers up a new twist on the period costume drama that will horrify and intrigue followers and new converts to this idiom in equal measure. Never afraid to explore gritty realism-witness 2009’s triumphant Fish Tank- Arnold re-imagines Wuthering Heights by presenting the childhood Heathcliff and Cathy as wild animals writhing around in the dirt and communicating through little more than the occasional grunt. The drama unfolds at its own pace-at times it is ponderous-but there is no denying it is a work of extreme power that will dispel any myths of Wuthering Heights being a novel for lovelorn teenage girls. A full dissection and analysis is available here.

Something else worth checking out is the Beholder exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery –part of the University- which houses a collection of works from artists as acclaimed and diverse as Yoko Ono and Carla Black. Based on David Hume’s ideology that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and each mind perceives a different beauty. Although one of my companions observed it was a bit ‘pick and mix’ I felt this worked to the exhibitions advantage as opposed to detracting from its many qualities. Although it is difficult to take in much of the work on display during the hustle and bustle of an opening-and the wine on offer to lure you away at any given moment- I will certainly be returning to take a closer look as several pieces definitely piqued my interest.

So what of this weekend then? Well there is the opening of the upstairs of De La Sole on Rose Street this evening featuring clothes from one of my new favourite designers Christine Watson. Beloved with Catherine Deneuve and her real life daughter Chiarri Mastroianni is showing as part of the French Film Festival tomorrow evening so that will be worth checking out. For those staying in the return of The Killing on BBC4 is not to be missed television. The first series had me totally captivated when it was shown at the beginning of the year and I have been tempted to knit myself a Sarah Lund-unflattering fisherman’s sweater for the uninitiated- in anticipation of its return. Although I will be out at the cinema when it is on I will definitely watch on my return or ,more likely, on Sunday. It certainly is a welcome relief from the brain rotting banality that usually clogs up the Saturday night schedules. And yes X-Crutiating Factor this does mean you.

As this years programme limps like a wounded soldier onto what looks like will be a very anti-climactic finale it is time to wonder what horrors this weekends programme may have in store. Will; Kelly Rowland force Misha B into wearing  ill advised tight fitting leather trousers again-the only thing of her size that should be seen in leather is a sofa- with a top that resembles a badly wrapped Quality Street as a means of portraying her ‘attitood’. Seriously she looked more like an ad for DFS last weekend as opposed to the next big pop star. Will Louis the odious child-catcher figure explode due to all the bile that is so obviously eating him up. Will the whole of Liverpool get behind Craig for the first time since he held up the queue in the kebab shop as he ordered more and more extra portions? Bitchy Louis keeps comparing him to a young Gaaaary Baaaarlow and the reception this receives from the self appointed head judge is worth tuning in for alone. The thing called Tulisa becomes more and more invisible week by week and her role has diminished almost as quickly as her acts were eliminated. At least we don’t have to deal with the irritating Frankie or Kitty anymore and last week may have been the best of the series as his dismissal or her elimination should have happened weeks ago. I mean do we really need another Lady Gaga? The real one is irritating enough.

The shenanigans of those from the stable born of Laid In Chelsea also appear to be coming to their conclusion. This week Caggie took up with a well fit French lover Thomas much to Spencer’s chagrin who then took to driving his Range Rover looking like action man after a month in a biscuit factory. After obviously catching a glimpse of himself in the wing mirror he then indulged in a frantic work out to no avail. Millie spent most of the time close to tears yet again. How boring is this woman and when will she accept that Hugo is just not interested? Rosie continues to be scary and stary and why anyone trusts her with anything is beyond me. The self appointed minx Amber was back with her eye and knicker flashing and along with Mark Francis-surely the campest thing on TV ever-organised a charity bake off for Chelsea Pensioners. Ollie wanted to write a book about 21st century males as if he knows anything about them whatsoever whilst Binky looked on vacantly-as she does- and Cheska continued to get up everyone’s nose. Sad as I may sound I am going to miss these poor excuses for human beings simply because they allow me to feel better about myself as I realise that no matter how bad things are at least I’m not one of them.

Time then to return to Kate Bush and 50 Words For Snow and I must confess to a kind of longing for the first snowfall of the winter although perhaps I should be careful what I wish for as the last two years have been long, harsh and brutal winters and the snow has mainly been to blame for this. It is however really beautiful to gaze at when it first arrives and this year has the perfect musical accompaniment to complement it.

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