Thursday 29 April 2010

Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash Tribute - Haymarket Theatre Basingstoke review

The Haymarket theatre is modern and comfortable. Has a bar. Sells ice cream. Even leg room is not bad and we had great seats, just off to the side and four rows back.

The band were excellent. All great muscians. The guitar sound particularly was perfectly slapped-back to give an excellent Lutheresque tone. They delivered two sets ranging from 'Hey Porter' through to Cash's cover of U2's 'One'. Highlights for me were an excellent 'Jackson', a tear-jerking rendition of 'Long black veil' and a raucous 'Ring of Fire' where their three-part harmonies were to die for.

The band spiel said they aim to use vintage instruments to recreate the sound of the era. Not quite. Marshall amp, modern Yamaha acoustic. I felt these were out of place on the stage. I also thought the show could have been improved if the band's leader had stayed in character. He spoke between songs about Cash in the third person and I think it would have added to the evening if he continued to be Johnny Cash between numbers. There was - for example - no 'Hello. I'm Johnny Cash' at the beginning of the show. I know we weren't watching impersonators, but being that the music and sound of the band were so good and so close to the originals, why not play the whole show as a piece of theatre? From my point of view that would have made things even better. Vocal harmonies from the bass player and June Carter were excellent, though June's faultless vocal perfomance was let down by her nose stud and shabby hem on her dress. This was a decent sized theatre, £16 a ticket and I feel that these kind of loose ends should be tidied up, because if they are, the show will be exemplary. As it is, it's very good.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

How to draw Caricatures

If you are here to find out how to draw caricatures, you are in the wrong place. The right place is here: Tom Richmond is fantastic at it. He is also very good, it seems, at explaining some of the how tos. For some reason I am very excited about the idea of looking at and drawing caricatures. We were at Legoland the other day and they had someone drawing them. Very simple. Very, very simple line drawings with a thick marker and little or no shading. Your typical theme park caricature I guess. they were great, the likenesses were excellent. I find it genuinely interesting. I wish I had more drawing skillz. I have some. But not many. The ones I have are underdeveloped. If I had more time and less hobbies I'd sit down and work through some caricature drawing lessons. I don't think that's going to happen. So in the meantime I'll snatch a few ideas from and try to improve my doodles as I sit at my desk doing my proper job.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Honey Don't!

I really want one of these. I got a flyer through from GAK in Brighton yesterday who announced this Epiphone Wildkat in a ridiculous orange colour. I needs it. I wants it. I gotsta, gotsta have it! I think it would look very cool at the next Jetsonics' gig. I could even quiff my hair.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Thanks, Denny Dedmore

Thanks to Danny Dedmore, I completed the Rubik's Cube. I can't say I solved it since I just followed Dedmore's algorithms to complete the puzzle. But it took me an hour or more of reading and re-reading to get the gist of what he was on about! I used the link here which had some nice instructions. . If you have a cube and tried to solve it but failed, then make yourself happy and give these instructions a go. It's only a short leap from there to actually learning the algorithms and completing the thing on your own.

Monday 12 April 2010

The nice thing about Pentax

The nice thing about Pentax is that the PK mount still built into their modern cameras will hold any PK mount lens ever made. Unlike other manufacturers Pentax decision to stick with this same mount means I can go into London Camera Exchange and get myself a Makinon 80-200 f/4.5 for £9.99. It's all manual. It's heavy. It's made in Japan. What a nice way to enter Zoomworld. I took a few photos with it at the weekend and it works well. Nothing worth posting. Well - I have some photos of my boys playing football, but nothing you need to see. Once I take something cool I'll post it here so you can see what the output of a £9.99 lens looks like.

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Kick Me

Kick Me
Originally uploaded by abraham_love
I went for a walk around the park. I had my camera tucked inside my jacket so the security folk would not ask why I was taking photos of leaves. Intent on taking a photo of something, I saw this abandoned football at the side of the road and moved it into position. Centre stage. It was flaky, rotten and forgotten. This was its chance to shine. This was fifteen minutes of fame. I got down low and took about ten photos. I tried to look like I wasn't taking a photo of an old football in the middle of the road. But I was. There was no disguising it. I tapped the ball back into the gutter and walked away. We were left with this shot which was best of the bunch. Fiddling in Photoshop with levels, curves, saturation and unsharp mask gave us something worthwhile. Thanks, ball.