Moulin Rouge! Secret Cinema
We're back! Now as a freshly minted official Mr and Mrs Culture, so in the break between nuptials and Honeymoon normal service is resumed. So a couple of trips to Hammersmith and one to France in 1899 were our first cultural endeavours as man and wife...
Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
Tuesday night led us to the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith for our first of two visits for the week, for the first tour in the UK of the Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds acoustic shows which have been regular occurrences across the pond. This was the second night here for them.
We knew what to expect however via the several live recordings available of previous shows, consisting of mostly Dave Matthews Band material, with a couple of Tim Reynolds' instrumentals thrown in for good measure, some chilled acoustic music was a good to the week.
|The Apollo's old school marquee...|
The show was all seated and we had some central seats about halfway back which afforded a great view, coupled with the great sound, (something which seems to have improved in recent years at this venue), made for a great show.
It was an earlier start and there was no support, as these shows tend to have a decent run time with an interval, and this was no exception, they took the stage just before eight and played until nearly eleven.
The first half contained a few covers and some more less well known tracks which crop up in this setting, however they lend themselves superbly to Matthews' and Reynolds' obvious chemistry and ability to improvise and make each performance unique. Whilst Reynolds once again showed his immense skill producing a myriad of sounds from his guitar as well as blistering classical style sections and solos showcasing his skill for playing complicated melodies.
After the interval they returned for a storming second half including a couple more covers, The Beatles' 'She's A Woman' being particularly good, and several of the more popular Dave Matthews Band songs including a fantastic 'Jimi Thing', 'Dancing Nancies' and 'You & Me' which all received a rapturous reception.
|Reynolds and Matthews in full flow...|
They then returned for a three song encore which included their always great cover of 'All Along The Watchtower', (also a standout by the full Dave Matthews Band line up too), and ended with an amazing version of 'Crash Into Me', (a particular favourite of ours), and the perfect end to a rare appearance in the UK.
Hopefully they'll be back soon, as in whatever guise the Dave Matthews shows are always a great experience.
Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox
We returned to Hammersmith on Friday, (along with some friends), to catch the current tour by YouTube phenomenon Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox.
Founded by pianist Scott Bradlee, they perform via a rotating razor sharp band of musicians and vocalists, covers of popular songs re-arranged into a jazz style, (check out their videos).
We were seated roughly where we'd been for Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds so knew to expect a decent view and sound, and were not disappointed.
The evening was hosted by 'femcee' and vocalist Ariana Savalas, which kept the show moving along and gave it a cabaret style feel with hilarious innuendo and crowd participation, which also meant there were no lulls between songs as different performers took their turns.
The vocalists on this tour joining Savalas, included several of the most popular in the Postmodern Jukebox cannon, including Casey Abrams, Von Smith, Aubrey Logan and a surprise appearance from Haley Reinhart.
|Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart...|
The band in the main consists of a pianist, double bass player, drummer, and a two piece horn section, which are then embellished with a vocalist/vocalists, a tap dancer who performed percussion like runs, and additional horns, (several of the singers also played Trombone, the talent here is incredible), and the jazz arrangements transform the songs to another time and style superbly.
They performed many favourites such as 'Cry Me A River' by Von Smith, 'Sweet Child 'O Mine' by Casey Abrams, 'Give It Away' by Aubrey Logan, and particular favourites of ours 'Creep' and 'Seven Nation Army' which were breathtakingly performed by Reinhart.
The finale of 'MMMBop' and 'Shake It Off' brought all the performers together on stage, and were superbly re-imagined as Grease style shoo-wop songs.
A surprise appearance by Bradlee himself was great too, allowing him to showcase his solo piano mash ups.
The whole evening had a real party atmosphere and with a two hour plus show really made for a great night, which we can't wait to revisit.
Moulin Rouge! Secret Cinema
So our Saturday night consisted of travelling back in time to Paris in 1899 for the latest Secret Cinema production of Moulin Rouge!
This is only going to be a brief review of sorts as it's not right to spoil the secretive aspect of it all.
The venue this time is in East London and has been transformed into a mixture of the narrow streets of Paris, several bars, a large open area with food stalls and cabaret style entertainment, and then finally the Moulin Rouge itself for viewing the film at the end.
|Auguste Renoir and Louisa Puget...|
Throughout the evening as in previous productions scenes are brought to life and there is an overriding feel of the bohemian atmosphere depicted in the film, with the performers especially nailing their roles as characters from the films, the attendees certainly seemed to be up for it too, we only spotted one couple not in fancy dress.
There's plentiful food and drink options, and prices are about on par for any event.
The viewing of the film itself was very well done, and certainly had the crowd involved throughout.
If you've been to a Secret Cinema event before you'll know what to expect, and if you like Moulin Rouge! you'll enjoy this immensely, these factors will determine whether you go or not. It's on until the 30th of April.
Next week's a busy one with some cinematic debate, more live music and some science too, until then, get inspired!