Friday, 8 April 2016

Hans Zimmer - European tour, London 07.04.16

Coffee, Pirates of the Caribbean and an entire day off work to emotionally prepare for the legendary Hollywood composer’s first European tour. When we arrive, the arena is packed with fans from across the globe all chatting about their favourite Hans Zimmer scores. The woman sitting behind us is telling a story: she met him at the Batman vs. Superman premier and he is apparently very nice.

There is a light, rhythmic thumping as people take their seats, and then he walks on. It is clear the atmosphere is electric and the audience excitable. Zimmer sits down and begins with Driving Miss Daisy. He is joined on stage, one musician at a time, until the piece is in full swing and then the first curtain rises, revealing his band. There is applause. The piece, flowing into Sherlock Holmes and Madagascar is jaunty, it is fun, it is pumping up the audience. Then the third curtain rises to a roaring applause and utter delight – his orchestra and the Crouch End Choir. He has, in the most perfect way, pulled us all in for the Zimmer ride.
There are no movie scenes, and very few pieces are introduced – it is not needed. Instead, the show is littered with anecdotes and nods to his friends and Hollywood greats: one Scott brother waking him up with phone calls (Ridley), the other to whom he pays tribute (Tony). He talks about his inspiration and stealing Alehsey Igudesman to play his music. He draws attention away from him, and shines the spotlight on his friends who make up the stage. They are all inimitable.

Together, they create something epic: rising scores and euphony of sound transporting you across the African savanna to the mystic Isla de Muerta. What makes the performance is the high-fiving, hair-whipping and cello-spinning. Everyone on that stage is having fun; they are passionate and they are talented, and this translates into the audience experience.

Zimmer’s white shirt is lost after the interval. Joined by Johnny Marr of The Smiths, the band have a jamming session with Rain Man before pulling us back into the darkness and tension of The Thin Red Line. It was deafening. It was moving. 

The music evoked hurt and hope, sadness and awe. Aurora – for the Aurora cinema shootings – was sad and stunning. It was Zimmer’s way of putting his arms around the audience in what is a troubling time for the world.

He finishes with Inception – he lifts us up and brings us down. It is the high of the Zimmer ride, and then the slow come-down as he ends, solo, playing Time.

These were the parts of the performance where the audience ceased to exists – everyone on that stage disappeared into the realms of superheroes and space. It was light paired with sound – a light show that heightened the experience and highlighted the combined talent of those on stage. It was a performance which painted Zimmer as a rock star and genius. It was sublime.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Butch Walker at the Borderline

Fresh off his flight, after a hellish two days trying to get here, Walker walked on stage at the Borderline in Soho, no introduction necessary, sat down and began to play. The audience, completely silent listened to him open with Afraid of Ghosts.

If I was to sum up the night, the performance, the music in a few words, all I can say is: the guy shreds.

Bar Summer of '89 and The 3 kids in Brooklyn, Butch Walker played completely solo and the level of musical talent the man encompasses in inconceivable, even to his fans. You could listen to this guy everyday from Southgang to The Black Widows and still be left speechless by how skilled he is when you see him live. He is ridiculously good on keys, not something you expect from someone whose guitar-playing leaves everything to be admired and praised. And I know he can sing, but listening to him live, it is a completely different experience - he has one of those voices that wrap around you, taking you in, and let you drift off in them.

He played his father's favourites, and audience favourites, moving between the softer, slower Afraid of Ghosts tracks to his older, faster stuff. Frank Turner joined him on stage for Summer of '89, which was a nice treat for all. The gig was littered with little moments of magic like the audience singing along to Mixtape, and a single girl hitting the echo line "I talk to me" in the most perfect way.

The especially wonderful thing about the show, after the beautiful music, was the community atmosphere - it wasn't just the well-behaved audience, or the way Walker made us laugh and cry, or the way he spoke with us, telling us stories and keeping us hanging on his every word... It was the sense of respect - for each other as well as the artist. His fans really are like a family, and a very welcoming one at that.

And then, around 10.30pm, Walker disappeared off the stage.

He came back, picked up his guitar, and told us about his father. He slowed it back down, and played us the last song he ever played for his dad. And it was almost indescribable. It was like being in a movie, or imagining what fictional characters feel in their fictional, emotional-heightened, anything-is-possible worlds. There he is on stage, having shared something so personal, and the audience, in perfect harmony begin their low hum. It was as if a feeling of collectiveness washed over us, and it was the perfect end to the night.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Ideas Tap

Many of you may have heard that the fab Ideas Tap is closing down on 2 June. It is incredibly sad as this wonderful charity provides a forum for creative people to connect, share their work and apply for briefs.

It really has been an incredible platform to grow as an artist.

Since its announced closure, members have taken to writing to their MPs, amassing Facebook likes and doing all they can to save Ideas Tap. If you would like to get involved with saving this truly wonderful charity that has helped so many young creative people start their career, head over to the website.

Join the campaign, download the supporters pack, and spread the word.


Thursday, 19 February 2015


'Sup peeps?

Or rather, Hello!

Yes, I have been busy but I have not forgotten about you. If you are desperate to read my lovely words, head over to The Times of India. But until then, update:

Rock the House is closed for entries, so I hope you crazy musical fiends submitted and will have amazing luck! Hopefully the world will discover some great music.

RBRs have a fab new song... You can have a listen here.

The incredibly talented Butch Walker has released Afraid of Ghosts which is arguably his best album to date... To the point he is being labelled a 'New Artist' after seven albums. Hey, that's the charts for you.

The Sky Arts Scholarship run with Ideas Tap ends on the 5th March - so get your subs in creative, arty people!

Until the next time I can find a minute - love ya!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Bonne année!

Hey readers!

It's been a fabulous year for art - we've featured some good music, fantastic poetry and wonderful visual pieces here on TWW. Here's hoping 2015 is filled with the passion, spirit and talent we've seen through our featured artists.

All the best for New Year, you crazy, wonderful people!

Be happy, be creative, and be passionate xxx

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays you wonderful people! Wishing you a fabulous holiday season, with love, laughter and luck... Be happy, be cool xxx

Image by Will Montague