Posts Tagged ‘ Simon Cowell ’


Just an Observation
The gunfire and explosions of last Friday’s tragic events in Paris had hardly quieted down before there was a massive outpouring of grief, anger, accusations and opinions all over social media. I spent most of Saturday avoiding Facebook due to this but on Sunday when I logged in again I was faced with some genuinely moving tributes, intelligent observations and researched information.
However there was even more accusations that people showing support by using the French tricolour on their profile pictures were somehow not being supportive enough to issues elsewhere in the world alongside the unfortunately inevitable arguments about migration being the root of all evil- most of the latter escaped my news feed as I try not to knowingly harbour such sentiments among my friends, even the cyber ones- which was swiftly followed by unfriendings, deletions and blockings.
Knee jerk reactions yes, but also the root of even more festering wounds and divisions.
This is exactly what the perpetrators and organisers of these atrocities were wanting; alongside instilling fear, hatred, mistrust and anger into everyone of course. Surely turning on people for actively showing their support for France is unfair and if they are unaware of other atrocities in the world surely then surely this is the time to make them aware of them instead of hurling accusations and un-friending them.
Certainly Donald Trump’s suggestions that all Muslims carry identity cards so they can be clearly identified is one of the most preposterous and genuinely frightening suggestions I have heard from anyone never mind a supposedly serious political figure who is running for office. A return to World War Two values is no step forward and neither is laying the blame at large percentage of the world’s population simply because of their religious beliefs.
Mind you such ridiculous suggestions can only be made by a man who advertises the fact he is a dickhead by appearing in public looking like low flying squirrel has landed on his head.
Anyway in some good news it would appear that the X-Factor’s reign of terror for about one quarter of the year’s viewing schedules is coming to a close. Personally I thought it was well past its sell by date nearly five years ago-I am being kind here- and has been limping along to its faltering demise ever since. The news that Simon Cowell’s franchise is not being renewed for another series after this one was strangely inevitable but the fact that it is to be replaced by the BBC’s attempts to replicate it, ‘The Voice’, is also inevitable but not quite so welcome.
Anyway who cares about such trivialities when a new season of ‘The Bridge’ starts this Saturday at 9pm on BBC4. Its leading character Saga Noren, a well chilled icy blonde in leather trousers excellently portrayed by Sofia Helin, is definitely the most interesting detective character developed in years- she is up against stiff competition such as Sara Lund from ‘The Killing’- and one of my favourite TV characters ever! If you haven’t seen this series so far then I seriously recommend you do.
Elsewhere David Bowie has this week released a taster for his new album’ Blackstar’ due out in January-his 68th birthday to be precise- with an enigmatic if slightly disturbing new video to accompany it. After a couple of missteps last year- sticking his nose into the Scottish Referendum debate where it was neither wanted nor relevant then releasing an almost unlistenable single of some weird drum and bass hybrid you immediately wanted to unhear- he seems to have regained his footing on the album’s title track. Whatever anyone’s opinion of it there is no denying the man still stretches himself visually and musically when so many of his contemporaries have settled into complacency and predictability. What is more just about everything he does is still newsworthy to some degree and still gets people talking. This is perhaps his greatest art of all!Check it out below.

Photo at top: Sofia Helin as Saga Noren


Just an Observation

Whilst it is disappointing that summer seems to be delayed, seemingly in no hurry to get here anytime soon, it is even more frustrating that Simon Cowell and his merry band of annoying Britain’s got Delusions cohorts seem to have moved on from taking over the weekend TV schedules to occupying every night of the week virtually uncontested.
I know it is a pointless question but who actually watches this shit and why is it so popular?
Are we really that vacuous a nation or have we just surrendered ourselves to hours and hours of mundane offerings with little relevance or meaning and why are there so few alternatives? Almost as smug –possibly even more powerful- as David Cameron, Simon Cowell holds court over the proceedings like some latter-day pimped up Nero in Raybans with bog brush hair. Has there ever been anyone more naff and more challenged than challenging?
It really is a sad state of affairs for British television that whole schedules are arranged around this sort of thing simply to find an act for that other TV ‘highlight’ the Royal Variety Show!
A few weekends ago I looked at the TV listings guide and wondered what decade or even century we were living in when I noticed that Sunday night viewing consisted of the sixties stalwart ‘Sunday Night at The Palladium’ on one channel whilst the BBC were showing that bastion of seventies Sunday fare ‘Poldark’ on the other. I managed ten minutes of the latter before realising that French and Saunders weren’t going to suddenly appear and it was a serious attempt at drama.
It is not all bad however and there is a lone piece of genius in the shape of ‘Peter Kay’s Car Share’ which if you haven’t seen then I recommend you catch on BBC iPlayer while you still can. It isn’t often I laugh out loud at comedy but I did to this which although brilliantly observed and well written it was the two main performances and chemistry between Kay and Sian Gibson which really took it to another level.
Things are hotting up-hopefully literally- around this year’s Film Festival which starts on June 17th and runs until the 28th. Attracting most of the interest and attention is a documentary by Grant McPhee Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream about an especially vibrant and exciting time in Edinburgh’s musical history which precipitated a cultural shift in the city’s landscape which resonates even today. It was a time when many teenage lives, including mine, exploded from drab black and white into vibrant colour even if said colours were more often than not drab black and grey! Rules were broken and rethought about this time and it was probably the first time-in many ways it was also possibly the last- a generation took matters into their own hands and shaped their own futures!
This is a particularly interesting film for me as it is a scene I fell into in my mid-teens and met many of the participants, several of which I am proud to call friends even to this day. From the cast of thousands expect insights, humour mixed with colourful anecdotes and hopefully obligatory bitching from the likes of Davy Henderson, Robert King, Fay Fife. Jo Callis, Edwyn Collins, Allan Campbell and Alan Mc Gee. Also expect some excellent and previously unseen footage from the likes of The Fire Engines and The Scars. It is also good to see the Edinburgh musical scene at last getting the recognition it wholly deserves as usually documentaries focussing on this time and location are more Glasgow-centric. Premiering on the 19th of June at The Filmhouse this is definitely a hot ticket although there is a further showing at the Odeon on Lothian Road the following Saturday 27th.
Other highlights of the festival look to be Amy a documentary about the tragic short life of Amy Winehouse and Imagine Waking up Tomorrow and All Music Has Disappeared which is a fascinating insight into the mind of true musical maverick Bill Drummond. Of course there are bound to be many more films of interest but I will need to study the programme a little closer and give recommendations nearer the time.
This weekend’s highlights include The Design Market at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Market Street which features many talented teams and individuals from the city’s creative hub including the fabulous Tessuti, Workhorse Press, A Pair of Blue Eyes and many others. Tomorrow night sees the Fini Tribe return to Paradise Palms with guests including Scott Ferguson (Robot 84). This a sort of warm up for their big night as part of Neu Reekie’s extravaganza on June the 9th also featuring The Young Fathers, at Central Hall which I am unfortunately going to miss as I am attending Patti Smith’s performance of her seminal album Horses in Glasgow that night. However I will be back in town for the obligatory after party! Can’t miss that now! Can I ?