Saturday, 7 May 2011

A Quiet Saturday Night

This is one of those days where i don't have any one particular issue i want to write about but there are a bunch of smaller things i want to cover, i'll warn you in advance if you find a coherent link between them all, it's purely accidental.

  • Forest today guaranteed a two legged showdown with Swansea in the Championship Play Offs with a supremely comfortable 3-0 win over a Crystal Palace side who knew they had nothing to play for. It was a good win and will hopefully see us go into the Play Offs full of confidence; something i can't quite manage to share. I have a pretty intense love/hate relationship with the end of season competition; i love it for the adrenaline that the games cause to flow through me, i hate them for the seemingly inevitable disappointment they cause. I am fully aware even as i type this that for many people what i'm about to write will seem idiotic and bizarre, that's because it is both things, but i am so much more nervous about the Play Off matches than i am about my impending second year exams. It's the power football holds over me and i'm just hoping that for once that they pan out a little better this year than last.
  • I want to congratulate QPR on their promotion to the Premiership, they deserved it for how consistent they have been throughout the season and though the FA have handled the whole inquest incredibly badly, i'm glad they haven't had a points deduction. My one objection is that if it's clear they're in the wrong which seems to be the case as they've been found guilty on two charges, the fine of £850,000 is a bit redundant seeing as they're owned by one of the richest men in English football and have just won a promotion which will bring in millions of pounds; that size fine is fairly meaningless to them. A 5 point deduction earlier in the year, when QPR would still have had time to recover in footballing terms would have been a much more satisfactory outcome, but once they took so long to organise and carry out the inquest any points deduction at this stage would have just seemed cruel on the fans.
  • There's a rumour going around on Twitter that one of the pieces of information to come from the Osama Bin Laden raid is that he is a fan of the sitcom 'The IT Crowd'. Now i am 99% certain that there is absolutely no truth to this, but it's a brilliant rumour for someone to have made up and if he wasn't a fan, he was missing out. It's a great show and i'm very glad they've been commissioned for a fifth series.
  • One definite positive to come out of the Local Council elections this week, a positive that got kind of ignored amidst all the focus on the Liberal Democrat collapse and the rejection of AV is that the BNP only managed to win 2 of the 268 elections they were contesting, a huge drop in the support they had in 2007 and lost all 5 of the seats they had previously held in Stoke-on-Trent.
  • I'm loving Fleet Foxes new album right now, heard it for the first time earlier this week and it has grown on me even in such a short space of time; it's maintained the beautiful harmonies and atmospheric instrumentation of the first album but there's a more mature sound to their songs and a greater freedom to experiment on show, now that they know they have an audience who will listen to them. 'The Shrine/An Argument' is a great example of this, 8 minutes which alternate between typical Fleet Foxes delicate melodies, intense vocals, aggressive guitars and strange, almost proggy, little moments which should seem out of place yet somehow fit perfectly. It's not as easy a listen as the first album but i don't mean that as a criticism; yes it looses a little of the soothing quality that made the first album a favourite, but i'd rather they try something a bit new rather than simply reproducing the same sound over and over again. Like any great band they've grown up a little following their debut album and it shows on this effort.
  • I watched 'Doomsday' this afternoon. Directed by Neil Marshall who brought the world 'Dog Soldiers' and 'The Descent', two of the best British horror/thrillers of the past few years, this 2008 effort lacks the level of quality and control that the other two showed. It's a tale of a post apocalyptic Britain where Scotland has been sealed off by a modern day Hadrian's wall after the outbreak of a killer disease called the 'reaper virus' in Glasgow. The main part of the film takes place nearly 30 years after the initial outbreak and Scotland is believed to be deserted after the people were left to die out, but when an outbreak is discovered in London an elite squad is sent to Scotland to try and find a cure after it's revealed that survivors have been spotted via satellite. So far so genre, but it's an opening packed with potential. Sadly the rest of the film is a confusing mess, entertaining definitely, but it flits from one set piece to the next, encountering an urban gang of cannibal-punks in Glasgow and a society which has regressed to medieval standards in the moorlands, both of whom are immune, without a strong enough plot or deep enough characterisation to make the story particularly involving. You watch it pass you by and at several points are drawn in by a fight or a car chase, but despite some strong elements and ideas it doesn't work particularly well as a whole. Marshall is a director who clearly has a lot of talent but Doomsday feels self-indulgent, as if he's living out a range of fantasies without justifying them. At most i can give it 2/5 and that's mainly because i wasn't bored throughout, i just wouldn't watch it again.
  • To finish this post i'm going to choose a mash-up done by a Sheffield band who i've mentioned on here before, The Gentlemen. Now i've not been to one of their gigs for about a year, and not seen them much at all since i left Sheffield for university, but i still keep an eye out for any new music they make, seeing as i spent a lot of time at their gigs during the couple of years before i moved to Leicester. It's a mash up of two songs i wouldn't have imagined working together; precisely the kind of mash up i tend to love.

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