Sunday, 21 September 2014

After The Dawn!

I'll post my comics report on Finland soon but just days after returning from Helsinki Dave and I had a short Accent UK rendezvous in London for Kate Bush's triumphant stage return at the Hammersmith Apollo after some 35 years!

There's already been much written about this surprise musical event of the year, suffice to say that we and the whole sold out audience were absolutely captivated by Ms Bush, her band, the music and spectacle of the show.

From the very first moments when she led her backing singers on stage in a marching formation it was clear that she very much wanted to be there and was genuinely humbled by the fantastic response she got. The first mini-set of 5 crowd pleasing songs were performed in a traditional way possibly to give the rapturous crowd a chance to digest that yes it really was her before the real performances began. I won't go into detail just in case you are one of the lucky ones with a ticket still to see her but after those first few songs the show really begins with two major interpretations of her most popular song suites, one recent, one not. These interpretations take in music, video, acting, dance, theatrics, effects and more with many surprises. It was clear to all that we were watching a genius at work and although there may have been one or two sequences which remained a little baffling, there was no doubt that this was something very special indeed.

Never before have I watched a musical performance when you literally did not know what was to happen next and although very familiar with the songs their interpretation brought, (excuse the pun), a deeper understanding. More so when you remembered that much of the songs were being performed live for the first time, some 30 years after their release!

It must also be said that the audience's reactions were also unprecedented, standing ovation's after most songs and the whole positive atmosphere projecting love and goodwill to the stage where it was humbly received.

This really was special and, despite the cost, I'm so glad that I was able to witness it. No doubt there will be a DVD available at some point which if it only captures 1/2 of the shows essence will be worth picking up.

Souvenirs from the performance

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Finland Here We Come!

Aha, been doing a wee bit of travelling recently both home and away so had a break from comic shows but now its time to confirm our imminent departure to Finland for the 29th Helsinki Comics Festival!

The trip has actually been on our agenda since meeting some of the show organisers during last year's Copenhagen trip and with the Danish shows normally being bi-annual, we thought why not. This was also in our minds in not returning to MoCCA and the US this year, saving the pennies for a Nordic trip instead.

As it happens after we'd made our decision we'd heard from our good Danish friends about a different comics festival happening there this year, Art-Bubble in Horsens on 27/28 September 2014. This sounds special too but it would be pushing to do two overseas trips in the same year after a busy schedule already taken in Belfast, Glasgow and London trips etc so Finland it is.

Dave West and I will be accompanied by WesterNoir artist Gary Crutchley despite his unease at flying - good job its only a 3 hour flight (I think!), so its all systems go.

We'll be in the main tent for international exhibitors which I understand will be placed in one of Helsinki's central public squares and with free entry promises to be busy. There are special exhibitions planned for the likes of Tove Jansson and Tom of Finland and the festival's spotlight country, Germany so we'll hopefully get a chance to see some of these.

Following Finland we've also confirmed our final comic shows for this year being welcome returns to London MCM in October and Leeds's Thought Bubble in November, where we plan to launch a couple of new books!

 Right best go we're flying tomorrow, Finland, Finland, Finland, the place I want to be.....