Category Archives: Live Shows

Midsummer Music 2014 in Towcester

Towcester hosted it’s annual Midsummer Music event this weekend. The town was transformed into a showcase of local musical talent as various buildings, pubs and restaurants became stages for the acts to perform in. The weather was delightful once again as a sunny Saturday evening provided the perfect backdrop for this popular event.
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We started our musical adventure at The Saracens Head where Krissy Matthews and his three piece band performed in the courtyard. All of the tables were full as locals enjoyed his mixed playlist of self written and covered blues inspired tracks. Krissy was very vocal and despite joking that he had smoked something he shouldn’t have, he produced a set which kept the crowd going and opened up the event with punchy energy and style.

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We headed to the town square to see the Mayor officially open the festival at 7.15pm before quickly heading to St Lawrence’s Church to watch the Towcester Choral Society perform. This was truly breathtaking as the Choral Society performed famous songs from the movies which included Raindrops keep falling on my head (Burt Cassidy & The Sundance Kid) Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera and a selection of songs from Mama Mia. St Lawrence’s Church is a beautiful building and the tall ceilings and open halls created an acoustic delight.

As there were many acts performing in the evening it became apparent that we would be rushing around nipping in to see various parts of acts. We quickly made our way back to The Saracens Head to watch the Giocoso Concert Band in the Pickwick Room. From Swanbourne in Buckingham we heard them play the theme from Star Trek before they took a break. Once again we were back on foot to The Dolphin Cafe to watch Nathan & Katrina.

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Katrina Harris certainly delivered with her powerful vocals including a pitch perfect cover of Katie Tunstalls classic Black Horse & A Cherry Tree. Nathan Digby & Nial Hoggarth completed the three piece act who went down extremely well. Their songs were original, exciting and fresh with a mixture of classic and modern blues, soul, pop and rock pieces.

The next destination was Towcester Mill to watch Craig sing and play acoustic guitar. Craig was extremely quirky and delivered a high energy filled performance which included a couple of amazing covers including Crowded House – Weather with you and Queens – Don’t stop me now.

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We spoke to Craig after his performance and found him to be extremely pleasant and slightly humbled by the compliments we paid him for a fantastic show.

The Midsummer Music Festival then held it’s Firework Display on the Mount which lasted around half an hour and was typically exciting and didn’t disappoint.

The music didn’t stop there as we headed to The Brave Old Oak to watch The Band Isabelle. This six piece edgy pop and rock band are from Bedford and were the highlight of an amazing day/night. With a twist of funk and soul the lead singer ended a high temp medley of music with a flawless performance of the hit by Moloko – Sing it back. The place was filled with people enjoying the fresh vibes produced as the music went on past midnight.

It certainly was a success and I can’t wait for Midsummer Music to return in 2015.

DarcyB

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Infamous

Sporting his new shaven head and less prominent pointy beard, Derren Brown is back for his 6th live show Infamous. I was treated to this show for my Christmas Present and it has to be said that it was worth the wait.

I am a massive Derren fan and have watched the majority of his TV shows. Zombie Apocalypse is still my favourite to date, however I am totally in awe of his memory and suggestive powers he possesses. This was the first time I’ve seen him live in the flesh and the seats been slightly off centre and at the front of the second slightly raised section were perfect.

Derren is keen to protect the content of the show whilst it is being performed live. Because of this I will not go into any specifics but I will give you a setting and flavour of what it contained. The stage was a cold dark deserted area with a wooden floor and single chair, the chair lit up by the eerie moonlight created through a small window.

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The frisbees were present with numerous attempts to get involved in the show. There was one moment where I was down to six people but sadly not chosen. Despite this disappointment our close proximity to the main events within the show made me feel like I was involved none the less.

Parts of the show were well written and presented and Derren ensures he covers all angles to prevent you from working out how he managed to solve the unknown. There are far too many variables within each piece he acts out and because of this the mind hurts.

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It is apparent that parts of Infamous were written a couple of years before it’s taken to the stage and this makes for some pretty jaw dropping spectacles. One part of the show involves a person from the audience picking a number between 1-52 whilst another selects a card from a face down deck. Without giving away exactly what happened, the fact that Derren successfully predicted this exact combination of number and card a couple of years previous in a sealed envelope with the letter he wrote back then is crazy.

Derren successfully studies the complete works of Shakespeare and is able to recite a passage from any page selected by random choice. The detail including paragraphs and punctuation shows how trained his brain is to photographically store all of this information. It is because of this that it is impossible to question or understand how what he does is anything but genuine.

The crowd involvement including somebody close to us being selected in a state of trance was amazing and the way the show moved along was smooth and flawless. Derren has every tool in his bag and where he claims he is not a mind reader or spiritually skilled he demonstrated ways of finding information from people without even asking them leading questions.

The shows finale involved randomly generated numbers obtained via 8 rolled dice and two ten digits written down by frisbee selected individuals combining to create a mobile number that matched a ladies in the crowd….. Simply impossible!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this show in Milton Keynes and would recommend it to anybody curious enough to want to see this live.

DarcyB