Tag Archives: London

Man Of London Listens : Gossip : A Joyful noise

Beth Ditto has done it again.

 

Correction, Beth Ditto, Hannah Blilie and Brace Paine have done it again.

 

Gossip (Formally The Gossip) have produced an album that is simply top notch.

 

The group, who found fame in the U.K with Standing in the way of control, a track many still associate with E4 show Skins, have raised the bar once again with their latest sound.
A joyful noise is an eleven track album which has a sound that Man Of London cannot get enough of.

 

Immediately when listening to a preview of the bands new album on The Guardian website, several tracks instantly bounce from the speakers.

 

The first is move in the right direction is an anthem of hope, determination and self-empowerment. The delicious tones of the synth that fill your skull from the beginning of the track made it very difficult for Man Of London not to dance.

 

Rewinding one track to Get a job and the ferocious power of Ditto’s voice comes through very quickly. Her voice matches her strong ‘not giving a fuck’ persona that she’s been known for throughout her career and, as always, she tells it like it is.

 

Not every track on the new release has the party atmosphere. The album as a whole is more emotive than that.

 

I won’t play is a track that is for anyone who has ever loved and lost. However, rather than sit alone and the corner and cry, Ditto takes a stand, she isn’t going to lose out. Man Of London doesn’t like quitters. One thinks Beth Ditto and friends know this.

 

 

It’s hard to convey how fantastic this album is without listening too it. Man Of London offers you one piece of advice. Go Listen! This is definitely going to be a staple of my music collection now, rather than later.

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Singin’ In the rain : Man Of London visits The West End

Palace TheatreStanding outside The Palace Theatre in London’s west end there is no mistaking what is being performed inside.

The oversized umbrellas and neon signs make sure that everyone around knows that Singin’ in the Rain has arrived.

It’s been a long time coming.

The Gene Kelly classic debuted on screen in 1952, and it’s only now that a realistic representation of the work has come to the stage.

From the heights of the somewhat cramped balcony (If you are tall or suffer from vertigo, Man of London thinks you should sit in the stalls below) Man Of London eagerly awaited the arrival of one’s favourite musical to the stage.

Man Of London was somewhat wary if the production would do Kelly, Reynolds and O’Connor justice, and, one was pleasantly surprised.

To put it simply, Singin’ in the Rain is the best West End show that I have seen in a long time.

Fantastic cast

The talented ensemble cast ensured that you were constantly entertained and when it came to mastering some extremely difficult dance moves, particularly in the ‘dream’ sequence where protagonist Don Lockwood (played by Adam Cooper) takes us into a vibrant and multicolored New York City, where one foot wrong by any cast member would ruin the performance.

Scarlett Strallen is fantastic as Kathy Selden, contradictory as she is powerful yet shy.

Her talent is seen to be unlocked by Lockwood and it seems as if there is nothing stopping her.

Daniel Crossley and Katherine Kingsley who play Cosmo Brown and Lina Lamont respectively provide the comic relief.

Brown’s quick whit and Lamont’s high pitched shrill ensure that a laugh is never far away.

Michael Brandon’s performance as studio head RF Simpson manages to give the performance that old Hollywood feel, and at times , makes you feel as if you are in the age of the “talkie” and that the 1930’s are just around the corner.

Mesmerising set design

The design of the set is one of the most complicated I have ever seen for the stage.

The huge backdrop of Monumental Pictures studio lot was heavily used and allowed actors to fully interact with their surroundings to really bring the script to life.

The director’s ingenious use of video clips throughout the performance allowed the stage version to stay true to the original story and perhaps that’s why the performance was so enjoyable.

The real spectacle of the stage is unleashed during the title number.    

Just as we see Lockwood enter the stage, water streams down from the room and, as you will notice if sitting in the higher levels of the theatre, will rise up from the floor, and in seconds the stage is flooded and, as you are warned as you enter, the first seven rows of the audience were soaked by the cast.

It’s not commonplace for one to attend a show and have absolutely no criticism of it, but there is a first for everything.

Man Of London can honestly not find fault with the performance, the cast are simply phenomenal, the production value is high and makes the performance, while interval refreshments are reasonably priced compared to some other performance spaces in theatre land.

If you’ve not bought a ticket for the production yet, what are you waiting for?

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Man Of London = Sense Of London

Man Of London is currently on hiatus.
Check out the project to tingle the senses of the modern gentleman

Sense Of London

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Man Of London. Man Of Ailments.

For the second time this month, Man Of London (the blogger formally known as ManOfLondon) is sick. Boo.

I believe that London life, with it’s hectic schedules, as well as its well used public transport system gave aided my current bout of tonsillitis.

Man Of London feels it is his duty therefore, to inform you, Men Of London, of my top tips which usually keep my feeling tip top.

Nothing is one hundred percent effective, however these steps will help keep you on your toes unlike a certain someone ( I am currently Man Of Bed / Man Of Tissues).

Top Tip one.

Hand sanitiser. Say it with me.Hand Sanitser.

This bad boy is your number one tool in the fight against flu.

It isn’t expensive too. At around ninety-nine pence , this is a tube essential.

Use regularly when traveling around the city.

Germs can linger on hand rails and door handles for hours, and on a packed tube train hurtling towards Cockfosters, that can only spell disaster.

Apply to hands and rub vigourusly until dried in, any pesky bacteria that was lingering around is now destroyed leaving you looking cool, rather than burning up.

Top Tip Two.

Sneeze to please.

Got a cold? If you have the sniffles and need to sneeze, always sneeze into a tissue. It stops the infection spreading and protects your fellow man.

Plus. Protecting your fellow man makes you feel like a super hero. Awesome.

Some brands of tissue now come in antiviral variations which are an excellent choice.

Top tip Three.

Back to basics.

When you are home from traveling, make sure you wash your hands properly, and prepare a dinner full of fruit and veg to keep the immune system in the zone.

Top Tip Four.

Vitiman S(uave).

Multi vitamins are an effective way to ensure your providing your system with the boost it needs during this infectious time.

Many retailers stock multi vitamins designed specifically for men.

Take regularly to ensure you stay fit as a fiddle.

That’s all of the advice Man Of London can currently give to the modern man making his way through the big bad city.

If you do end up in the same unfortunate position, make sure you rest, remain hydrated and get lots of sleep.

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And all that Jazz: ManOfLondon loves theatre : Chicago.

Criminal.  It’s criminal how little ManOfLondon gets to go to the theatre. It (crime) was also the main focus of the long running west-end show Chicago.

The femme fatale really did get to have her cake and eat it .

Watch out for Roxy. She will be the innocent girl next door until she blasts a hole in your heart.

Theatre-land

The Garrick theatre is the perfect setting for the 1930’s inspired play. The glamour of the show is reflected in the building.
ManOfLondon and his trusty companion got a little carried away and almost purchased a bottle of bubbly . Thank goodness we had the striking realization that we have to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.

The bar prices at the theatre are reasonable by west end standards, with a bottle of house wine setting you back around £16. Make sure you ask for a plastic glass so you can take your drink to your seat with you.

The stage set up is fantastic and MOL (that’s me!) thinks it has been used to its full potential. The minimalist stage places the live band at centre stage and gives them the recognition they ever so rarely get down in the band pit

The ensemble cast worked well together to bring some comical drama to the stage.

The musical numbers are fantastic too.

The infamous “All that jazz” had even the most ridged of gentleman tapping his feet, while “when you’re good to mamma’ blew me away.

ManOfLondon recommends that you pick your seating wisely, as the theatre is an old venue areas of the upper balcony do have a slightly obscured view- however the tickets are discounted for those on a budget!

ManOfLondon knows that musicals are not for everyone, however, there is something magical about the theatre that cannot be mimicked in film.

The action is live, the performance is so close you can connect with it and most of all; it will always be slightly different each time.

ManOfLondon urges you to check out your local theatre as soon as possible.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from ManOfLondon.

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ManOfLondon : Christmas at the South Bank

South bank Centre- London Eye

Man of London took a walk down to London’s south bank centre on a crisp Friday afternoon this December and can honestly say there was a sense of magic in the air.

The south bank centre has been transformed into a Christmas experience to remember with all the senses of the modern gentleman catered for.

Approaching the centre the smell of mulled wine lingered In the winter air and my cheeks began to flush.

Impressive considering I had not yet had a sip.

I stumbled upon a winter food market at the back on the centre. Filled with the finest confections and foods any trip there would ensure a perfect christmas feast.

Indoor experience

When ManOfLondon entered the centre the atmosphere was electric. Technicians were preparing various spaces within the venue for that evenings performances, with many audience members already gathered in the terrace lounge waiting for the festivities to kick off the weekend.

An impressive array of performances and cultural events many of them free with events to appeal to the modern gentleman and the modern family come to think of it.

Space for some performances is limited so ManOfLondon recommends arriving early or booking in advance where possible.

Outside the centre itself and on the banks of the Thames is a traditional Christmas market. A huge line of little log cabins selling everything from handmade Christmas decoration to pillows shaped like pandas.

One stall in particular has a pair of chocolate fountains where you can have a ‘kebab’ of items slathered in the chocolate of your choice to tantalise your taste buds.

ManOfLondon has a sweet-tooth and it’s not a secret. I opted for the marshmallow kebab smothered in molten white chocolate.

Honestly, this was the best £2.50 I ever spent.

Marshmallows and white chocolate. MOL like!

The luxurious white chocolate was warm enough to make the marshmallow melt slightly and it’s a treat that young and old can enjoy to warm up on a cold winter evening.

The Southbank centre has done a fantastic job of cramming a lot of different activities Into a relatively small space.

The market with its somewhat traditonal feel, as well as the twinkling lights which frame your view of The London Eye and Big Ben really helps to put your mind into the Christmas spirit.

With the market running until Christmas eve, there is still time for even the most unprepared gentleman to experience a little of the Christmas sparkle the capital has to offer.

The Centre is easy to get too, with Waterloo Tube station only a short walk away and for the mariner in you, the centre can be accessed by boats stopping at river pier until later afternoon.

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ManOfLondon Watches: Misfits season 3 : Just how long can one person do community service?

Lets get one thing clear. ManOfLondon enjoys hit E4 comedy-drama misfits more than most people, however, I am going to propose that the show has gotten, well, somewhat lazy.

We seen the departure of Robert Sheehan In-between series’, which was fully explained in online episodes.

At the beginning of this opening episode, we see a fresh lease of life for the show. New characters, old characters and what many might have seen as a welcome element to the show, some normality.

Spoiler alert

By the end of the show even the most approving gentleman would have been somewhat miffed. We once again see our favourite anti-hero’s (ManOfLondon personally loves Kelly [played by the excellent Lauren Socha]) back in their now infamous orange jumpsuits.

It’s just a little bit far fetched. Even in the misfit reality.

Community service

Yes, you may think to yourself ‘the odd thing to you isn’t the superpowers, but the amount of time they spend in community service?’ but I have a reasoning for this.

What else can possibly happen in the landscape of the series that we haven’t seen before?

For the past two series’ the show has been set on a council estate, with a focus on it’s community centre. Would it not be fresher, more exciting to see the characters in a different environment? Maybe chasing their next nemesis down Oxford Street on a Saturday? Or through the crowds at Glastonbury or T in the park?

Time will only tell if these characters are going to develop further. The new addition to the cast (Played by Joe Gilgun) is a promising development for the show, his cockiness replacing that of Nathan’s, but with his split personality, we see another side which Nathan didn’t show.

The fact that they have developed the character in the first show is a good thing, it shows there is scope to find out more about each of the other characters too. Time will only tell if the characters get to explore new surroundings and deal with new situations. Although ManOfLondon isn’t overly impressed with the characters going back to their roots, the show will be Sunday night staple viewing for the considerable future.

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ManofLondon Comments: Mind the gap: Mind the noise- why do we not say hello?

ManofLondon was recently visited my MotherofManofLondon (That’s Mum to you and me) and she was shocked at how unfriendly other people are on London’s transport network. “It’s just not like this in Scotland” she told me, forgetting I spent the first 21 years of my life there too.

I told her it’s just the way it is. People are plugged into their IPads’, Kindles’, their edition of the Metro/Evening Standard (Dependent on time of day) or are just plain asleep. She wasn’t convinced.

“it’s just rude. I would always smile at the person sitting across from me”. My mother is one stubborn woman, and, when she sets her mind to it, nothing will stop her (That’s where I get it from! Sorry Dad!), so she decided to strike up a conversation with everyone she was near on the tube, and on the bus.

Her efforts varied from a nice German Ex-Pat who spoke to her for around fifteen minutes to some sinister looks from everyone on a bus.

?

So what is the reasoning for this? One theory I suggested to my mother is that, after a long hard day in London (ManofLondon has survived an unusually high number of these, after only living here for eight weeks) most Londoners simply don’t have the energy. The tube, with its lack of mobile service for much of the line, offers a place of solitude, where the office can’t reach you, where you don’t always need to be ‘on’. You can chill and catch up on the world, which, for the past seven hours or so, has been a blur as you move through it.


Should it change?

In a word, Yes. We should all be more sociable. It’s a hard time for everyone right now. Our economy is weaker than the houses of the three little piggies. Those who are lucky enough to be in a job are having to choose between food and heat. If we offered each other a warm smile, and a friendly hello, wouldn’t it put a silver lining on the cloud that seems to constantly be hanging over our heads? What do you think? ManofLondon has taken the initiative from this experience and makes sure he smiles at one person randomly a day.

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A taste of old Amsterdam : ManofLondon visits My old Dutch pancake house

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When a friend informed me that we would be taking an outing to a pancake house that had offerings including asparagus pancake, I was less than optimistic. However, I can now say that one of my favourite eateries now lies just opposite Holborn Tube station.

Entering My Old Dutch pancake house, we were greeted by warm and friendly staff and lead to our table. The atmosphere inside is cosy, and adequately Dutch to justify its name, pairs of clogs line the top of a small piano, Dutch signs adorn the walls and the extensive drinks menu all help create an atmosphere that would melt the heart of the iciest gentleman.

The Pancake menu is extensive. The savoury side offers everything from smoked bacon pancakes to ratatouille, but, I must confess, this modern man has the sweet tooth of a six-year-old boy.

Once I flipped the menu over I felt just like that. This was quite possibly the closest I have ever experience to a childhood dream. Pancakes with Lemon and sugar, Pancakes with chocolate sauce, Pancakes with maple syrup and butter and most importantly create your own.

I went for pancakes with maple syrup, butter and ice cream. What happened next was something I did not expect…

Gigantic

The pancake was huge. Literally. Man of London, in all of our gentrified glory, estimates this pancake was at least a foot across. Maple syrup flowed like a glorious river, flooding the buttery pancake and enveloping the icing sugar which decorated its edge, the ice cream melt with the heat of the pancake, absorbing into its spongy mass. It may sound cliché, but it really was heaven for the taste buds!

Recommendations

ManofLondon likes good food. My old Dutch is good food.

Adventure is key. If there is something you haven’t tried before that appeals to you, why not try it? The modern man has to face his fears head on, to ensure that he is still the most respected man around town.

The drinks menu is almost as extensive as the pancakes. Try the Passion fruit and Mango Beer. Its slightly tart taste compliments the sweetness of the pancake and prevents it from becoming too sickly, and ensures it remains something to make your stomach sing.

Top Tip : Visit on a Monday, when every pancake is five pounds.

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