Sunday, 18 March 2018

Reviewed: Distant Sky: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen (2018)

“Welcome to the Revivalist Church of the Bad Seeds, featuring none other than the Reverend Nick Cave himself”. That was the thought that flashed through my mind as I watched Cave lower himself into the crowd during his recent Skeleton Tree tour and place the hands of his adoring audience upon his chest. “Boom, boom boom”, he said, “can you feel my heartbeat?” He welcomed them, embraced them, took them into his inner sanctum in a cathartic, evangelical extravaganza. I knew then that experiencing this just once in a lifetime isn’t enough.

Cave was larger than life that night (and on the whole of the Skeleton Tree tour) and it seems only fitting that he should bestow on his adoring fans a live film and the chance to see it all over again. 


Distant Sky
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen

Recorded live in Copenhagen and directed by award winning filmmaker David Barnard, Distant Sky captures the entire concert at the Royal Arena in October 2017. It showcases the highs and emotions of the powerful Skeleton Tree tour that saw Nick Cave touring with the Bad Seeds for the first time in three years.

The cinematography and sound are superior in this production and sitting there watching a screening of the film was almost as good as being at the concert itself. If you have the chance, you need to see Distant Sky on the big screen. I have it on good authority too that I wasn’t the only viewer narrowly avoiding standing up and dancing at times.

The thing about a Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds concert is this: it’s almost impossible to cast your eyes anywhere other than in the direction of the man himself for he is utterly captivating. That is why Distant Sky is such a superb production; it gives fans a chance to see the mastery and talent that the Bad Seeds possess, to appreciate the sorcery that they wield to bring the music to life. They give everything to the music and nowhere was that as evident than at the end of “Jubilee Street” when the song descends into brilliant mayhem and the Bad Seeds visibly need to take a breath once it was all done.

The Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen

It was also moving to see the respect and consideration that the band have for Cave, the way they recognise his grief in tracks like “Girl in Amber” and handle it like it is a precious thing. For it is.

It would be impossible (and utterly unnecessary) to list all of the highlights in an enthralling and spectacular performance but I loved “Higgs Boson Blues” (with the aforementioned hands on heart moment), “Jubilee Street” and the unexpectedly low key yet utterly defiant rendition of “Mercy Seat”. The entire encore was notable from the moment Cave conjured from the audience synchronised hand clapping during “Weeping Song” to him inviting perhaps the biggest stage invasion of any concert tour ever during “Stagger Lee” to the scenes of fans bewildered and overwhelmed during the final song of the evening, “Push The Sky Away”.

Nick Cave gave a raw, almost desperate performance, ever confident in his swagger but equally concerned with whether the crowd was receiving his message and accepting the blessing he was bestowing on him. The message is this, there is possibly no other band as masterful as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Cave will face adversity and deliver music that will move and destroy his audience. Fans should rush to see this magnificent film.


Distant Sky - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen will be screened for one night only in cinemas worldwide on 12 April 2018. Visit the Distant Sky website to find your nearest screening and be sure to book ahead.

Will fans be able to own a copy of the film for themselves? There is no word yet of a Blu-ray or DVD release of the film yet but I can only image that the demand will be very high for it.



Thursday, 8 March 2018

Elbow at The O2, 7 March 2018

Elbow O2 7 March 2018

Elbow played at the O2 arena last night on the final date in their 2018 Arena Tour of the UK, Netherlands and Belgium. The O2 might be one of the biggest arenas in London but somehow Elbow managed to deliver a gig that seemed intimate and quite personal.

And it is personal, to me. My love affair with Elbow began almost 10 years ago when they released “Grounds for Divorce” from The Seldom Seen Kid. It became one of my favourite songs of all time and after feverishly playing it on repeat for several weeks, I purchase the album only to discover that it was full of absolute gems and easily one of the best albums of the decade.

Despite them becoming one of my favourite bands, I somehow missed out on seeing Elbow live. While the rest of the crowd went to see The Killers at BST in Hyde Park last July, I was definitely there to see Elbow but even so, I was blown away by their live performance. This bands knows how to perform and to somehow connect with each person in the crowd no matter how big that crowd might be. They are born for stadiums, arenas and festivals. They even managed to win over my seldom-impressed and musically-stunted husband which is a very rare feat indeed.

Elbow at The O2

The O2 might not be my favourite venue, in fact it is firmly my worst, but we didn’t hesitate to get tickets when we heard Elbow was playing there. The tour was a greatest hits tour of sorts to promote the band’s Best Of album, a peace offering to fans to tide us by as they head back into the studio again this year.

And it was absolutely marvellous. Guy Garvey isn’t the type to stand up in front of an audience and simply sing a couple of tracks before wandering off stage. Throughout the gig, he told us the story behind the tracks from the George W Bush-inspired “Leaders of the Free World” (now surprisingly relevant again) to falsely believing the Dust Bowl occurred near Texas in “Fugitive Motel” to introducing us to the wonderful world of Dennis and Lois in “New York Morning”. I loved Elbow before this gig, there just aren’t any words to explain how I feel about them now.

It all started off with The Seldom Seen Kid and “The Bones of You”, “Grounds for Divorce” and “One Day Like This” were always going to be the highlights of the evening for me but this was a gig that changed everything, that made me want to listen to the albums I hadn’t picked up before, to devour everything Elbow and to discover everything there is to know about them. I loved “Leaders of the Free World” and “Fugitive Motel”, felt goose bumps everywhere during “Magnificent (She Says)” and was quite transfixed during “Kindling (Fickle Flame)” which Guy Garvey sang as a duet with John Grant. I cannot wait to see what 2018 delivers in terms of new Elbow material.


Friday, 18 August 2017

The I Just Love It Back to School Personalised Stationery Giveaway


I love stationery. I have no idea when my obsession began but it’s been a lifelong pursuit. Pens and pencils, erasers and rulers, I might have left school a decade or so ago but there is no slow down in my compulsive need to go on massive stationery binges from time to time. Thank goodness for having young children in my life on whom I can splash out on with back to school goodies!

My latest find is I Just Love It personalised gifts. While I wait patiently* for my personalised Minnie the Minx Beano pencil case, I thought what better way to celebrate back to school stationery buying season with a giveaway?

[*Disclosure: I’m not waiting patiently at all, I’m actually pretty much camped out at the front door waiting for the postman]

Beano Big Heads Minnie Canvas Pencil Case Blue with pencils Drama Queen

For the competition, I Just Love It have offered two personalised gifts to promote their Back to School Range: The Arty Mouse Words Activity Book and the Beano Big Head Pencil Case.

Enter using the Gleam widget below and remember that the competition is open to UK resident only.

I Just Love It Personalised Back to School Stationery Giveaway

Be sure to subscribe to Addicted to Media by Email for more competitions plus film, TV, music and books news and reviews.

More competitions at ThePrizeFinder


Thursday, 17 August 2017

Interview: Tami Stronach, The Childlike Empress in NeverEnding Story

Have you ever wondered what happened to Tami Stronach, the Childlike Empress in Neverending Story? Well, wonder no more…

NeverEnding Story banner

In the summer of 1984, the most incredible event occurred that was to change the face of film forever: Neverending Story was released. Perhaps that is a little dramatic but to 11-year-old me it was a game-changer and I loved everything from the story to the soundtrack to Falkor the Luck Dragon and of course, Atreyu and The Childlike Empress. Naturally, we bought the video as soon as it was released on Betamax and later this was replaced by DVD. I’ve watched it more times than I can remember and throughout the years I’ve often wondered what happened to the young child actors that performed in the film (and where is Falkor these days!?)

I’m delighted to present this interview with Tami Stronach. Read on to find out where Tami is these days and the works she is doing in both theatre and dance.

Tami, you’re idolized by girls young and old. How does it felt to be playing role model to so many young girls?

I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to play the role of the Childlike Empress. I love that this story redefines how we normally think of courage and strength. The character is a small girl who is very sick--she is bedridden. So her power doesn’t come from brawn, she doesn’t smash down doors-- it comes from being wise, from being still, from being compassionate and patient. I think it’s really important to remind young girls that they can have a really powerful impact on the world by acting on their empathy and using their intelligence. Now…. I love a fantastic female ninja warrior as much as anyone, and it is really satisfying to win with muscle too sometimes against the baddies, but I think there is real value in expanding the notion of what being strong is to include characteristics that our culture should value more highly. Confident amazing little girls who trust their hearts, play the long game and win through love...I hope that what the Empress models.

Tami Stronach as the Childlike Empress in NeverEnding Story

Was The Never-Ending Story the first role in which you were able to play such a strong, positive female role? Had you acted before the film?

I did not act in a film before. I was doing theater and dance...I played a cat, a wizard, a witch, an English street urchin, and Piglet from Winnie the Pooh. Hmm...seems like a lot of animal roles... and then the magical category of witches, wizards and an Empress...I’ve always really enjoyed playing parts where I can step outside of my ordinary life and transform.

Did you get the role through an audition process?

Yes...three auditions--SF then LA and a final one in Germany.

How was Wolfgang Peterson to work with? Was he good with the kids?

He didn’t really treat us like kids. He treated us as professional actors who had an important job to do. I loved that about him.

Tami Stronach in NeverEnding Story

Was there any reason you didn’t appear in the sequels?

I didn’t sign on for the sequels because my parents were really wary of me getting chewed up by the Hollywood machine, which can be really hard on kids. We’ve heard a lot of stories from 80s child actors about some of the bad things that could happen in the industry. That was real, and we saw glimpses of that, and felt it was better I steer clear. I don’t regret that. I love that they wanted me to grow up with a good foundation.

What keeps you busy – besides answering fan mail!- these days?

I run two companies Paper Canoe Company, an entertainment company, and Tami Stronach Dance in addition to teaching choreography to undergraduates and being a mom. Paper Canoe has developed two theater projects in New York, and an album called Beanstalk Jack in the last two years. We just finished a music video from one of the songs on “Beanstalk Jack,” which is something we’ll be doing more of. So for Paper Canoe Company some music concerts in NYC in the fall, and several projects in development based on our theatrical work, podcasts, videos, and, I hope soon, some film projects. And, I’ve got a couple of contemporary dance concerts on the calendar for the end of the year as well with Tami Stronach Dance.

Why is it important to you that you largely stick to family/children’s entertainment?

You know, we started Paper Canoe Company simply because many of our favorite stories—whether they are movies, books, or some other kind of medium—are ones that connect with people of all ages. As a parent, I want to be able to enjoy a story with my kid. This is a really magical time watching my daughter grow up and so right now this is what I am gravitating to. I think many of the most amazing stories like ET, or Star Wars, or Harry Potter, and of course The Neverending Story  - are just as powerful for the adults as they are for kids. That’s when you have a great story. A big story. A deep and sticky story.

I’m not knocking stuff that is just for grown ups—as an actor, I’d love to be in some edgy mystery series or an intense sci-fi thriller—as a choreographer the dance theater pieces I make are not geared for children and that content can be edgier--but Paper Canoe Company projects we want to be the kind of thing you watch together, or listen to together, a hundred times in your living room or on a family road trip. That’s why it’s called Paper Canoe. We want you to use your imagination, climb aboard, and float downstream with us.

Tami Stronach 2017

To keep up with Tami:

Twitter: @neverendingtami  | Facebook: @papercanoecompany  | YouTube: Paper Canoe Channel

© 2005 - Mandy Southgate | Addicted to Media

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig