Antonia Landi

Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Picky eaters are bad company

In Entertainment, Food, Opinion on March 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm
Picky eaters are like children - infuriating. Picture: Howard Dickins at flickr

Picky eaters are like children – infuriating.
Picture: Howard Dickins at flickr

If, like me, you happen to be of the culinary sort, chances are you like to share good food with your friends. A dinner party might be nice – some lovingly prepared food, a couple of glasses of wine, and happiness all round. Unless you’ve accidentally invited a fussy eater. All of a sudden, the evening that could’ve gone so well is replaced by ‘I’m not a big fan of that’-s and ‘I can make you something else if you like’-s and a stressed host trying to put together something the black sheep would eat out of the kitchen cupboard staples.

Now, I don’t care how or what someone eats as long as it happens in their own home. If they choose to be picky, let them be. But when a person tries to superimpose their absolutely ridiculous eating habits on someone else, I get a bit cranky. The fact that their diet differs from mine isn’t what this is about – I am quite happy catering for people with special diets due to allergies or personal beliefs, and see it as a test to my culinary abilities more than anything else. But I am in no way willing to support someone that thinks being ignorant about food is a good thing. And that’s really what pickiness is all about. I once had a flatmate who liked tomato-based pasta sauce, but had a phobia of ketchup and wouldn’t eat a raw tomato. She also considered it ‘rude’ to season any dish that was to be shared in case another person wouldn’t like it. To this day, I am lost for words.

I fully understand that there are some things that most people just don’t like. I myself wouldn’t go anywhere near black pudding, and I know that a lot of people feel the same way. But picky eaters are very unpredictable, which makes cooking for them a nightmare. Having to compromise taste in order to please the odd one out just plainly goes against everything I believe in. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it. Don’t pick at it with a fork until it’s cold, that’s just plain rude. The worst fear for a host is that people will not like the food, and it doesn’t matter how few or many people that entails, a virtually untouched plate is always a failure. But as if this wasn’t enough, picky eaters are almost always the most stubborn people you will meet. No matter how ridiculous their eating habits are, and no matter how well you know that if they’d just try it, they’d like it – trying to feed something new to a fussy eater is like making people drink poison. What’s the worst that could happen? You’ll actually like it and then you’ll have to start adding spinach to your shopping list of monster munchies and cheese slices? But of course, a fussy eater is more worried about projectile vomiting at the dinner table.

Obviously.

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Film Review – The Iron Lady

In Entertainment, Film on February 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Picture: The Guardian

Writing this film review is a minefield for so many reasons. The most obvious of all being the subject matter, Margaret Thatcher. Hated by so many people, it has always been a kind of mystery to a foreigner like me why and how exactly Britain’s first ever female Prime Minister gained this larger than life reputation. I know that this is a difficult topic to write about, not only because of the politics involved. Granted, I might not be the most informed person to have seen this movie, but I think this has been quite an advantage. Instead of being tainted of my parents’ opinion of what was undoubtedly a very difficult time to be alive in Britain I can watch the movie with an open mind.

Cinematographically, The Iron Lady is an excellent movie. Margaret Thatcher’s life holds all the key ingredients to make up an interesting and gripping story. With the aid of regular flashbacks, the viewer follows Thatcher’s life and career in politics from the very beginning to the bitter end. A grocer’s daughter that first gets elected leader of the Conservative party and then Prime Minister of Britain against all odds – Hollywood couldn’t have written it any better. After all, it’s the controversial characters that make the best entertainment.

Thatcher’s life is being shown to us by several flashbacks. The framing device is that of a tragic old lady suffering from dementia – Thatcher at her lowest point in life. Although this kind of framing does make sense, I would have liked to see bigger chunks of the film devoted to her life in parliament. Due to the nature of the flashbacks the film sometimes comes off as bitty, and lacks the complete immersion of the viewer into this beautifully crafted story. Instead, we are constantly taken back to present-day Thatcher, merely a shadow of herself and being treated like a child by those around her.

Meryl Streep’s performance of Margaret Thatcher is indeed what makes this film so unique. Her acting is absolutely impeccable; from her mannerisms and looks down to the utmost detail like the position of her feet when sitting, or the ever-present slight pout. Streep’s co-actors are just as talented, although none of them are terribly central to the story. Even Thatcher’s husband Dennis (Jim Broadbent), who has from the very beginning of her career stood beside her, plays only a secondary role compared to the icon herself. The actors’ costumes and makeup are almost scarily accurate – again, it is obvious that a lot of thought went into the crafting of Streep as Thatcher. It is these little details that make the film so compelling to watch. From the very beginning it is clear just how much work has gone into making this movie so aesthetically accurate, and the level of attention to detail is simply admirable.

For being about one of the most polarised political figures in Britain, The Iron Lady has little to do with politics. I have seen a lot of people claim that it somehow glorifies Thatcher’s persona, and while I do not deem myself an expert in these matters, I am bound to disagree. Far from being a feel-good movie, The Iron Lady is a gripping and often tragic tale. Thatcher’s own politics and decisions are merely depicted as factual and stand on their own for the viewer to decide what to make of them. Streep’s role certainly isn’t that of a jolly happy-go-lucky feminist who defeated the men at their own game. It is simply that of a power-driven woman who strongly believed that she did what she thought best.

The Iron Lady is an immensely rewarding film to watch – compelling, genuinely interesting and thought provoking it stands above all that Hollywood has recently churned out in a desperate attempt at making millions.

Antonia Landi for Trisickle.

Snow White’s poisoned apple – Better than Toast

In Entertainment, Food, Student life on October 27, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Picture: disney.wikia.com

 

For ages I didn’t know what to cook for this week’s recipe – I knew I wanted to make something for Halloween, but what? Pumpkin pie? Pumpkin bread? Pumpkin cake? My final recipe turned out to be a lot less orange than expected…

Apart from my get-up, this recipe was actually quite scary to make. Ever since messing up my first batch of custard I have an irrational fear of messing it up again. So I stand by the stove, stirring until my arm falls off and carefully watching the custard’s every move. For a less traumatic experience, just stick to the recipe! A bain-marie is pretty much the safest way of making custard – by only gradually adding heat to the mixture the chances of it turning into scrambled eggs is virtually zero. If you are adding corn flour to the mix make sure you sift it – no one likes clumpy custard! Finally, enjoy watching your custard thicken. For ages nothing will happen and you start having doubts whether you’re doing things right, but when things start to get creamy, you suddenly realize that you just made your first delicious bowl of homemade custard. How British!

Apple-wise, make sure to choose a variety that is firm cooking and lends itself to baking. I used red delicious because of their taste and colour, but have a look at the links below for more inspiration. Some people just core the apple without first cutting the top off – it’s up to you what you go for, I just prefer my apples with a hat! When coring, make sure that you remove all inedible parts of the apple (e.g. seeds etc) and don’t go too far down! It is easy to slip with your spoon and accidentally break your apple, so I would suggest buying one or two more, just in case.

You could replace the apple juice in the recipe with plain water if you wanted to, the juice is just there to make sure that the bottoms of the apples don’t burn to the oven dish. And if you want to go budget, vanilla essence works just as fine as actual pods, and check the baking aisle for cheaper raisins!

 

Feeds 3:

For the apples:

3 firm-cooking red apples (I used red delicious)

2 handfuls of dried fruits & pecans

2 tbsp syrup

150 ml apple juice

 

For the custard:

150 ml milk

150 ml single cream

1 vanilla pod

3-4 egg yolks (depending on size)

Green food colouring

Corn flour (optional)

Bake apples for approx 30-40 minutes. Make custard in the meantime!

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

 

Custard-related science anyone? This informative website holds all the custard facts your heart could desire!

You can’t serve this dish without proper Halloween decoration! Here are some great ideas on how to make your own!

Finally, have you ever wondered what the differences between different kinds of apples are? I know I have! This website has an extensive list of apple varieties, their look, taste and texture. And with its handy sidebar you can easily navigate the hundreds of apples!

 

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

Are you a macfag?

In Entertainment, Opinion on October 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm

As soon as the news of Steve Jobs’s death hit the headlines, tribute facebook statuses and tweets were unstoppable. Apparently, Steve Jobs was an ‘innovator’ and a ‘legend’ that ‘transformed’ the way we look at personal computers. All of a sudden, everybody seemed to be an expert in computer technology and macfans were sprouting out of every crease. I own a MacBook, and an iPod, but I am quite happy to admit that I don’t really know what Jobs’s contribution to technology entailed. Apart from setting up a massive empire that has gained cult status despite its increasing commercial success, Steve Jobs was just the head of yet another company. But let’s look at this cultural phenomenon a bit more closely.

Mac users are generally considered to be hip, cool and creative types – the kind that edit videos and music on their laptop, instead of slowly sinking into the black hole that is the spreadsheet. I’m serious. There are videos about this.

You just need to google ‘macfag’ to realise just how much Apple products have been adopted into modern culture. The term is obviously meant as an insult, but the war between winfags and macfags is long from over. For some reason, the stereotype that mac users are somehow cooler than windows users seems engrained in modern society. Admittedly, mac users tend to have more money (which is why they can afford to own a mac) which in turn means that they are likely to spend more money on their appearance and social life. But that still doesn’t explain why they need to dress like this or behave like this. I think the biggest problem is that most mac users are hipsters. If you are a hipster, chances are that you own at least one (or three) apple branded products. But what once started as a small-ish company that merely offered an alternative to the monopoly of Bill Gates has now turned into an annoying, ever-present business card for people that want to be ‘different’. It seems that the only way you can make your creativity credible, is by using a mac to edit/cut/re-draft whatever ‘art’ you think you are doing. No mac? Sorry, but you’re obviously not cool enough.

I own a mac because I like their simplistic layout and overall appearance. Yes, I do want my laptop to look as good as it works, and yes, I am aware that I probably could have gotten a much better computer for my money had I chosen to opt for windows. What saddens me is that all this stereotyping is causing Apple more harm than good. Instead of appreciating these products for what they are – well made, designed pieces of technology that are easy to use in everyday life – they have become a mere accessory of every hipster from here to down under. But what is even more baffling is that everyone who wants to be seen as your archetypical mac user usually has left-wing political views and is concerned about the environment and ethics. Do I really need to point out to you how much money Apple makes off guys like you? I’m not even going to mention the child labour and environmental issues.

Luckily, Steve Jobs’s death is old news now, and the wave of macfans has reduced. All that is left now are the usual macfags, whose prime habitat is the coffee shop, you know, so that everyone can see how creative they are in public.

Film review – The Light Bulb Conspiracy

In Entertainment, Film on October 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Picture: trisickle.co.uk

The Light Bulb Conspiracy can be described as many things. It’s a documentary, first and foremost, and therefore pretty informative. But it is also shocking.

If you, like me, have never heard of something called ‘planned obsolescence’ be ready for a biggie. Now, on a day-to-day basis, I am quite happy to assume that the big driving forces of our society genuinely aim to improve our lives. Not because of naivety, but more because I feel this mindset could actually bring us closest to something we call peaceful existence. Help and be helped, right? Well, no. Actually, there are worldwide conspiracies whose only aim it is to make us use more, and therefore buy more. But surely, it can’t all be that bad? Well, in this film it is.

Like any other documentary, The Light Bulb Conspiracy is here to make the viewer think. The film consists of experts from all over the world talking about this economic phenomenon and its consequences and it takes us from to America’s Great Depression right down to present day Ghana. The themes range from consumerism to global environmental issues and the pictures quite often leave you speechless. Even though we start out in the 1920s all of the topics addressed are absolutely relevant to today’s society, let alone economy. What the film most effectively does is make you wonder. How much do we not know? What is really going on? Will we ever be able to fight back?

Stylistically, The Light Bulb Conspiracy is just your average documentary. Narrated by a female voice and interjected with suggestive music here and there, it recounts the history of economic conspiracies such as the one of the light bulb, by mixing old footage and present day interviews. There is nothing that hadn’t been done before, but this is not necessarily negative. Because the viewer is likely to be familiar with this sort of documentary, the topic in itself can shine. At times it feels like the pace and choice of the music and images is set in such a way to trigger automatic emotive responses to what is being said or shown. One of the setbacks of this is the constant need to re-asses your own impressions and opinions. The Light Bulb Conspiracy is a well-made documentary that can leave the viewer feeling very strongly about its subjects if one gave in to its persuasiveness. It’s easy to get carried away by this film, and this only proves how well it has been put together. Especially if you consider the length, which, at just under an hour, isn’t very much at all. The Light Bulb Conspiracy has the ability to tell just what is necessary, therefore making it a fast-paced and interesting film from start to finish. While this is a desirable trait in a documentary, some themes could have easily been fleshed out a little. Throughout the whole documentary, the viewer is constantly introduced to a new speaker with a theory of his own, and quite often it feels like you’ve barely seen the tip of the iceberg and you’re already being hurried along to the next conspiracy. But what really makes this film stand out is the variety of voices being heard. From Ghana to Germany to the United States to Russia, the speakers are all integral parts to the story and offer a wide variety of theories and ideas.

All in all, The Light Bulb Conspiracy is definitely worth a watch. From start to finish, it is interesting, revealing and entertaining. Just make sure you don’t get sucked in too much.

Antonia Landi for Trisickle.

5 Minutes with Jason Webley

In Edinburgh, Entertainment, Music, Performing Arts on September 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Picture: listal.com

He’s loud, he’s talented, he’s away. For those of you who have missed him at the Fringe, you’re going to have to wait quite some time for your next chance. 11.11.2011 will be the date of his last gig and after that it’s some well-deserved alone time for this Seattle based accordionist. So before he takes a break, Jason decided to re-visit every country he’s played in before and more. Appearing in Edinburgh both as a solo act and as one half of the Siamese twin duo EvelynEvelyn, Jason rarely travels alone. With the likes of Amanda Palmer and Sxip Shirley in tow, you’ll always be guaranteed a unique experience at his gigs. Here he talks about his first Fringe and the future.

Tell me about your first time at the Fringe. Were you here as a spectator or as an artist? What were your first impressions?

This was my first time at the Fringe, and sadly I didn’t get to get out much… I was jetlagged and busy. But it was lovely to spend some time in such a beautiful place and see a lot of friends.

Do you feel any differently about it now? Has anything changed for you?

Before I ever came I always thought to avoid Edinburgh during the Fringe, that it would probably be a crazy rat race with so many people fighting for the attention of a limited audience. But in the end, I enjoyed the energy and think it could be nice to come back again.

Your music is very unique – not only because of the choice of instruments. How did you end up playing the accordion?

I was working on a play my last year of college, writing the music, and my father had bought an accordion at a garage sale. For the end of the play, I wrote a few songs using the accordion.

You are on an Europe-wide tour right now. What will happen after this?

A little tour of big shows with my band in the US and then a big show in Seattle and then a big break.

Tell me about the 11th November.

The 11th of November is a lot of things… it was Kurt Vonnegut’s birthday. It was the end of World War I. It is the date of my last concert this year.

Where will you be in two years?

Where will you be in five?

I honestly don’t know.

Did you manage to catch any shows during the festival? Did you see anything memorable?

I was bad. As I said, I didn’t really get out at all. I just went to one of Neil Gaiman’s talks. I wanted to see more but everything conflicted with my shows.

EvelynEvelyn – how did this happen?

I was doing this project, writing songs with a bunch of musician friends for a series of little records. I approached Amanda and we enjoyed writing together so much that it we decided to do a full album and a stage show as well.

What was the last song you wrote about?

Probably the last song I finished was my silly song about the solstice.

Antonia Landi for Trisickle.

Film review – Gianni e le donne

In Entertainment, Film on September 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Picture: comingsoon.it

Do you know those days that are just a bit ‘meh’? Nothing really happens but you’re still not bored enough to do something about it. Uneventful, I guess, is the right word to describe it. Well, that’s what ‘Gianni e le donne’ is like. Armed with a potentially entertaining story to tell, this film is a bit of a let down. The cast is good, the setting is pleasant, the soundtrack is very good – so what is the problem?

Gianni Di Gregorio, director, writer and main character of the film, sets the viewer up for an interesting story. We meet Gianni, a fifty-something stay at home husband who is less than happy with the way things are going. He lives in a virtually love-less marriage, prepares breakfast for everyone while his wife and daughter are too busy to spend any time with him, and all he is left with is a long list of errands to run. Any favour a woman asks him to do he will do, and it is soon clear that Gianni, as lovely as he is, is sick of it. Cue the main theme of the film: Gianni decides to get back into the game. But what does that actually mean? Clearly, he does not get what he wants from his marriage, but are we really watching a movie about an oldish man desperately trying to have an affair with younger women? It is needless to say that the film does not lack cringeworthy moments.

For a comedy ‘Gianni e le donne’ is almost tragic at times. The humour is scarce, and very rarely laugh out loud funny. But it is so well done that you can almost forget about the lack of character development. Instead of obvious puns and bad jokes, this film relies entirely on situation comedy. Sometimes it’s cringy, sometimes it’s just unfortunate, but it is entirely funny and always works.

The biggest surprise is in the soundtrack. It is very well written and has the potential to lead a whole scene. Ratchev & Carratello have truly hit the nail on the head here – the music is entertaining, well written, and just leaves you wanting more.

It is a shame that a film that has the potential to be very good ended up to be, well, not so good. The main problem with ‘Gianni e le donne’ is that character development is unheard of. All the characters – whether it is Gianni’s mum that relies on her son whenever her housemaid is not around, or his daughter, who gets back together with her old boyfriend just to realise that she isn’t happy – stay absolutely the same throughout the entire film. Not even Gianni, who is clearly like a block of clay just begging to be shaped and moulded, shows the slightest sign of change or realisation. This is absolutely fine for the first half hour, as the viewer eagerly awaits the main plot point where everything will change, and things will go wrong but they will also be funny and eventually lead to a happy end, but as the film goes on it dawns on you that this film simply does not go anywhere. The ending is simply baffling and feels a bit like a cop-out. And so we leave Gianni as desperate as he was before and neither he, nor the viewer, is any wiser.

All in all this film has all the right ingredients to make things work, but the storyline is bland and gets repetitive after a while. Fifty-something stay at home dad, looking for action.

Antonia Landi for Trisickle.

Film review – Che Bella Giornata

In Entertainment, Film on August 23, 2011 at 11:34 am

Picture: Movieplayer.it

Gennaro Nunziante’s new comedy Che Bella Giornata is a feel-good summer film that does not take itself too seriously. Starring Checco Zalone as the self-titled main character Checco, the harmless, albeit often clueless main character takes us on a James Bond style journey on his way into the Carabinieri – the Italian gendarmerie. While watching Checco try and fail over and over, one almost would not believe it that the man co-wrote the film. So while Checco is offered a less prestigious, but nevertheless desirable job as a security guard at the Cathedral of Milan, he is unknowingly put on the radar of a terrorist sibling couple. Cue Farah, played by Nabiha Akkari, whose job it is to gain Checco’s trust. As it ever so often happens, things do not go according to plan, and while Checco inevitably falls in love with the exotic Farah, the viewer is left to cringe at her evil plan.

When reading the main plot of this film, one might be taken aback of the fact that a comedy would, or rather dares to, portray a topic as serious as terrorism in a light-hearted manner. But this is exactly why this film works so well. By not taking itself too seriously, it turned an otherwise fairly boring rom-com into a comedy with a unique set-up. The fact that the group of terrorist activists is not portrayed in a childishly comical, nor overly serious manner, gives the film a sensible kind of humanity.

At times the film does play on the typical Italian stereotypes of big families and endless eating, and for some this might get a bit too clichéd, but as Checco’s family plays a big part in Farah’s character development it is only necessary to see the two cultures clash.

Sometimes laugh-out funny, sometimes rather sly, the comedy elements in Che Bella Giornata are varied, but simple. Taking elements from slapstick and situation comedy the film’s aim is to keep it light. Checco’s character needs a bit of warming to at first, since his clumsy idiocy does not seem apparent to anyone but the viewer, but unfailingly gets in the way of his dreams. But after the initial frustration one really warms to Checco and his family and in the end there is nothing left but to root for his love to the beautiful Farah. Farah’s character at first appears to be very one-dimensional, but as she gets more and more involved in the family of her target, the viewer finds out about her and her brother’s past and what drove them to those desperate measures.

The film is mainly set in Milan and a nearby village, and so it benefits from beautiful scenery and bags of sunshine. Some scenes might appear to the untrained eye as too packed with clichés to be true, but the truth is that a lot of images of the film reflect the everyday life of small Italian towns. But whether this is just another cliché is up to you to decide. The sense of community is strong throughout the whole film, be it Checco’s family or his work colleagues at the Cathedral – Checco is always surrounded by plenty of friends.

A perfect film for everybody who wants to welcome summer to their screens, Che Bella Giornata is a feel-good flick with plenty of laughter. Indulge in a bit of silliness and ‘Italianità’ with Nunziante’s latest piece while sipping on your espresso or enjoying a gelato and officially declare the arrival of summer. And if this film does not want to make you visit Italy, then nobody can help you.

Antonia Landi for Trisickle.

Film review – Le quattro volte

In Entertainment, Film on June 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Picture: Trisickle

The critically acclaimed film ‘Le quattro volte’ is simply a masterpiece. This film shows what no other form of storytelling could, and it does so in a simple, yet compelling manner.

‘Le quattro volte’ is a film by Michelangelo Frammantino that has won its share of awards. And rightfully so. The film itself briefly follows the story of an old shepherd, played by Giuseppe Fuda, who dies alone after having lost his ‘medicine’. From here on, there is no going back – goats, trees, villagers, they all take the centre stage at one point or another, guiding us through this experience. And that’s what this film really is – an experience, more than anything else.

Fuda is the only actor mentioned in the credits, along with mentions of the village and Vuk, the shepherd’s dog, who has even received his own award. Blurring the lines between reality and cinema, one can never be sure if the things that are happening have been scripted or not. Being a film with no dialogue at all and seemingly no storyline either, ‘Le quattro volte’ is incredibly immersive. At first one might not be convinced of the film’s storytelling techniques, as they require a completely different approach to what we are normally used to. The film is a series of images, where emotions conveyed through movements tell the story. Not everything is explained, and some things are never resolved. You as the viewer are left quite alone as the observer of this small Italian village, and this can take some adjusting to. Some things might seem quite peculiar, but it is the frank authenticity that makes this film so engaging. ‘Le quattro volte’ leaves you wanting more, even if it is just to watch what the goats are up to. From the processions to the professions, through to the odd superstitions of the villagers; the audience gets to know the village just as if it was another actor.

The images are what make this film, and the scenery as well as the pacing is both beautiful and heart wrenching. Moving through the seasons we encounter both sadness as well as humour, and this shows that film does not need to rely on conventional methods to bring a message across. In fact, ‘Le quattro volte’ does something that only a film could do – it offers you a chance to observe something without disrupting what is going on – a bit like a bird on a rooftop. And it is this fact, along with the unique scenery of this tiny village, that makes this film so extraordinary.

Another big theme in this film is continuity. One life ends while another begins, and the ending could easily be the beginning. The ‘circle of life’ is really apparent in this story, and if nothing else, it offers hope in the harsh light of reality. Humour is as much a part of village life as sadness, and the goats are just a delight to observe. There is virtually no music in the entire film – instead, we listen to birds tweet, villagers talk, and many, many goats. The ringing of the goats’ bells is as memorable as the old man’s gait as he struggles with his illness. The sadness in this film real, just like the goats and dogs and trees and birds. ‘Le quattro volte’ is as real as cinema can be. It will take you onto a path you might never have walked on, had it not been for this film, and it will make you re-learn how to watch closely. This film is simple, yet extraordinary, and it just so happens to be that the path it leads you to is one of the most magnificent of its kind.

Antonia Landi for Trisickle.

Gig review: My Passion supported by LostAlone, Never Means Maybe and Fatherson

In Entertainment, Music on May 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm

The evening began very early with the arrival of the support band Fatherson on stage. Their fashion sense is about as telling as their music: Fatherson are a mix of hipster pop punk with heavy riffs. Their songs sound a bit like they have come straight from California, which can’t be a bad thing. Fatherson’s sound is quite generic, but whether that is to do with their lack of inspiration or to appeal to a wider audience is unclear. Nevertheless, Fatherson succeed in writing catchy melodies, and in the end, that is what they were remembered for.

After their relatively short set, Fatherson made way for Never Means Maybe. A band with a very strong singer, Never Means Maybe look a bit like a bunch of guys who get together after college to practise in one of their parents’ garages. Even though their get up doesn’t scream professionalism, the band makes up for it by simply having fun on stage. It was a pleasure watching them rock out and the spark quickly jumped over to the audience. The songs offered a good mix between heavy vocals and melodies, and Never Means Maybe did a good job of getting the crowd in the mood.

Up next were Derby trio LostAlone, who were easily the best band of the night. Packed with a set full of new songs and old favourites, LostAlone convinced with strong vocals and something that can only be described as guitar wizardry. It was easy to see that they were the most experienced group out of the support bands, as their presentation was pretty immaculate. While watching them on stage, it was obvious that many hours were spent fine-tuning their act, and this really paid off. LostAlone provided the crowd with perfect harmonies and plenty of reasons to cheer.

As the stage was prepared for the main act of the night, more and more people started to arrive. I must admit that I only heard of My Passion by their reputation, which wasn’t very forgiving, but nevertheless I was excited to see the band’s capabilities as a live act. To tie in with the concept of their new album, My Passion arrived on stage covered head to toe in gold paint. A nice touch, hadn’t it been for the fact that the band felt the need to play the whole set half naked. My Passion unfortunately turned what could have been a solid performance into a beauty pageant, which was not unwelcome to many of their female fans. While the singer was busy making sure everybody had noticed his biceps, half the crowd was dazzled by the young men’s painted upper bodies, while the other half was left to cringe. The music was an interesting mix of electro and screamo, however it was difficult making anything out in particular, as the band was so ridiculously loud. Nevertheless My Passion was a guaranteed crowd pleaser and certainly knew how to entertain. The band spent the final minutes of the gig in the crowd, dancing to their own tunes, which not only made sure everybody was covered in gold paint, but marked the perfect send-off for a night as shining as that one.

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