Monthly Archives: June 2014

Penny Dreadful – a 2 Line Review

penny dreadful

Penny Dreadful 08

Mr Gray


noun: penny dreadful; plural noun: penny dreadfuls
  1. a cheap, sensational comic or storybook.
    “penny dreadful comics”
late 19th century: so named because the original cost was one penny.
Sweeney Todd – the Butcher of Barber Street
The title refers to the penny dreadfuls, a type of 19th-century cheap British fiction publication with lurid and sensational subject matter. The series draws upon many public domain characters from 19th-century Irish and British fiction, including Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mina Harker from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Victor Frankenstein and his monster from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
It’s nonsense. It’s very well made, ridiculously pretty, literary based supernatural nonsense.
So it’s a given that I’m smitten.
Penny Dreadful 05 Penny Dreadful 04
Eva Green (Vanessa Ives) and Timothy Dalton (Sir Malcolm Murray – father of Dracula’s beloved Mina Harker) –  lead a stellar cast that seem determined to revisit every myth, monster and mystery of the Victorian era. Vanessa Ives is utterly bonkers – controlled and mysterious one moment, climbing up walls the next. True to form, Vanessa is another Green creation that views every problem as an opportunity to get naked and have sex with it.
It’s great.
Reeve Carney also stars as Wilde’s fantastically shallow Dorian Gray – a character that exists thus far purely for two reasons – the first is to have sex with the prettier cast members; followed up by ponderously gazing at a portrait – presumably *that* portrait.
Penny Dreadful 03 Penny Dreadful 06
To add to international appeal, Billie Piper – proving that she can convince as a hooker in any time period – plays the tragic Brona Croft. She is dying of TB and an over wrought Irish accent. But it’s not all doom and gloom – the charismatic Josh Hartnett portrays an enigmatic gunslinger and love interest. Gotta take the bad with the good yeah?
For me – without a shadow of a doubt – the true humanity of the series has been best realised in the development of Frankenstein’s monster Caliban – ably brought to half-life by the wonderful Rory Kinnear. His anguish at the rejection of his creator – Harry Treadaway as Doctor Victor Frankenstein – a cold, cruel and curious man with flashes of vulnerability – makes for a sympathetic if horrifying character.
The set pieces are beautiful, even if everything is shot with such heavy Gothic overtones that it gets tricky to see. There is an equal investment in exploring the time period as well as a variety of supernatural beliefs prevalent at the time. While the demonic possessions are fun and the monsters wonderfully bleak; the scariest elements so far have been based in the scientific – the Doctor’s horrible experiments and the stark reality of health provision for Vanessa when she was institutionalized.

Magical Mystical Musical Journey-ish

gru dancing

Clearly still in adventurous  ‘con’ mode, I’ve made the bold step of selecting ‘shuffle all songs’ on my music player (why did I say music player just then as though I’m a music journo desperate to retain/demonstrate objectivity. It’s an iPhone. Everyone knows that. No one cares.) for my journey back to my beloved Leeds.

That’s right, I’m stepping away from my Wicked/Once More With Feeling/Across the Universe mix; temporarily moving away from the glorious safety of my Fleetwood Mac/Buckingham Nicks/Stevie Nicks playlist and outrightly rejecting the (numerous) Disney collection(s).

Yes, I grant you, it’s all still music I CHOSE in the first place; nevertheless it’s an adventure.

It’s. An. Adventure. I tell you.

Or it’s that I’m a bit lonely having left my bonkers con family & currently stuck on public transport all on my tod requiring some small measure of entertainment. *sad eyes*
Still Judgy McJudgerson? For shame!

wreck it ralph dancing

So, as they popped up, here are the songs!

Jeff Buckley – Dream Lover (alternative) – though in all honesty, it could have been any song of his at all and I’d be delighted.
What a great start!

Drop kick Murphies – I’m shipping up to Boston – ooh I love this one and so rarely listen to it!

The Waterboys – Love Song – bit slow but beautiful

Overture/Going through the Motions – audible guilt free Buffy. Not my fault the phone picked it!! Fine, I’ll forward it. *sulks*

W.B. Yates – the lake isle of Innisfree – not technically a song but I love the poem so I’m keeping it on.

M.I.A. – Y.A.L.A. – drat, I wish this had been Bad Girl

The Dixie Chicks – Landslide  – it’s a cover, so this time it is actually guilt free!

Paolo Nutini – Let me down easy – surprised it’s PN, I’m underawed.

Rudimental – Free – very catchy.

Sugar Ray Rodriguez – Street Boy – Damn. I almost wish this hadn’t come on. Now I just want to listen to the rest of the album!

Intricate Unit – Discharge

M.I.A. – Boys

Pitch Perfect – Cups – Still not irritating yet.

Tom Odell – Grow Old With Me – ooh, I do quite like his voice.

Snow Patrol – I won’t let you go

A Great Big World – RockStar – meh

Sniff ‘n’ the Tears – Drivers Seat

Dr Horrible – Story of a Girl

Laura Mvula – Father, Father – Gosh she’s good isn’t she? Why do I never listen to this album? {Dramatic voice} To be rectified soon!

Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again

Cults – Bumper

Kari Kimmel – Black – Oooh, this is lovely. Must find more from her

The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t it be nice? – If you don’t like the Beach Boys, I kinda sorta genuinely think that you’re probably soulless. In a friendly non judgemental way.

Macklemore – Same Love – Why is this playing? Why is this on my phone? I find it fairly offensive actually.
I mean, it’s a nice idea – inclusive anthem and so on. Obviously it’s not the concept of equality I’m opposed to (that’s clear right?).
But…the execution… patronising (and celebratory of that fact) and so very poorly written. Like a 7 year old – not a prodigy one, just a regular one – wrote the lyrics.
You thought you were gay because you were tidy? Get lost.
You think gay people worry about hip hop (the musical genera) hating them? Sweet merciful Zeus.


The Civil Wars – Eavesdrop – Oh thank the gods. This should soothe the raging beast within.

Lee De Wyze – Breathing In – first heard on the Walking Dead soundtrack. Seriously fantastic.

The Lumineers – Gale Song

Savage Garden – I Want You – I remain incapable of not mouthing along the words to this, while doing that weird head boppy beat thing created (& perfected) in the late 90’s. You at it too?)

Lorde – Everybody wants to rule the world – Worst cover version EVER. I like Lorde (well, that one song I heard was proper catchy & she gives interesting sound bites) but this is SHOCKING!
And she’s mumbling. What’s the..oh I give up.

Rent (film ost) – Light my Candle – Siiiiigh. What a musical.

Birdy – Farewell and Goodnight

Rihanna – Rude Boy – Rihanna has a bad effect on me. For some reason my somewhat squishy & cosseted body thinks it can carry off dance moves that can only be described as…gangsta.
Definitive head nods as dance moves = check.
Lips pursed out as though I’ve just swallowed a lemon = check.
Hips moving with ‘tude in time to the best (sinful in modern dancing apparently) = check
A 32 year old woman making a tit out of herself = check

Nashville – If I didn’t know better

Clutch – Regulator

Joe Pug – The Great Despiser – After being recommended mr pug by @Lainibop, my brother & his missus and my dad; I naturally enough became hooked!

Olly Murs – Right place, right time – Instantly forgettable. He (?) may be a reality tv ‘discovery’? No, really, just guessing. It has that flavour of bland on bland.


We’re pulling into Leeds now. One song to go.

Carole King – Tapestry – I think we can safely consider this an epic WIN.

calvin and hobbes dancing

Listen along on spotify here


That was fun!

Cult Fix 4.02 – Chat with Munich

munich logo


Looking well dodgy

A few months ago I bumped into a few members of Leeds based electro-indie band Munich while waiting for a gig.

Naturally, we got to talking. They seemed to be pretty cool lads so I arranged to have a bit of a chat with them about their band, music and Leeds.

Obviously, it’s taken us just AGES to arrange something but finally we sat down in Cafe 164 and had a natter!


Meet Gareth (2nd in the photo!). Then go listen to their music!!

Hope that you enjoy!


Video for their single The Home

Visit their website – Munich Band

Tweet the band – @MunichLeeds

Like on Facebook – Band Munich

Hear some of their sounds – SoundCloud

And finally – Instragram

Some background on the band:



Munich was formed by six friends studying music production and music technology at Leeds Met, and the band come from all parts of the UK and Ireland.

Gareth Keane (vocals) was born and raised in the city that the band is named after before moving to Dublin at eight. After school he struggled to find a musical outlet for the songs he recorded on his 8-track portable studio. Poor life choices left him working in an office and living in a dilapidated ghost estate on the fringes of Dublin’s northside. Like the rest of the band he moved to Leeds to meet other musicians and develop musically.
Since forming last summer they have played Live At Leeds and supported established acts such as Delays and up and coming bands such as Shy Nature and The Creases, to name a few.
The songs are about the fear of growing up and struggling to find a place in life, as well as a celebration of adolescence. Munich spend hours in damp basements with shitty amps trying to reconcile the joys of youth with the trepidation of adulthood.
Munich‘s new video for The World was released on the 10th June via their Facebook page. It was produced by Feeble Media and stars Christian Brown as a man reflecting on his life choices as he walks around Leeds.
munich 10
Their next gig is the Futuresound Music Competition on Thursday 17th July, to try and win a place to play at the Leeds/Reading festivals. Tickets are £4 and can be bought from the band directly.

Buffy season 07

Watching season 07 of #Buffy with himself.

Feeling smug because he can’t face anymore #SG1 but #Buffy is still going strong!

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