Sunday, May 31, 2009

Misleading & Suspicious

Following M&S being caught out over their Scottish Salmon by giving it a bogus name it's interesting to see the new 125th Anniversary advert. Interesting and annoying from my point of view. I can spot three things that are either misleading or suspicious.

1) In the opening scene a loveable cockney barrow boy says hello to Twiggy. He was well travelled for the 1880s as their original Penny Stall was in Leeds! I hate the idea that anything that has ever happened in England can only have happened in London.

2) They claim that they introduced the Avocado Pear. Interestingly so do Sainsburys in their 140th anniversary advert. Sainsburys however have given the year they did it. Who knows, but I'm leaning towards Sainsburys with M&Ss record.

3) Claiming they introduced proper bra fitting service. Quite possibly they were the first high street chain to do so because at the time they were probably were the only high street underwear retailer. Of course, retailers of ladies foundation garments had been measuring ladies lumps and bumps well before that. Even today their measuring service is fine for fitting their own bras but isn't right for giving a lady her correct sizing for the "real" market.

Has anyone else spotted any other untruths?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Classical Brits

Decided last night to watch the Classical Brits 2009 as there wasn't anything else on worth watching.

Oh dear!

Nothing wrong with the actual awards thmselves which, from the nominations I could see, went to decent singers/composers/conductors. The dire bit was the between award entertainment.

Item 1) Tyrell. Nice enought girl. Actually saw her on the reality show that found her and had a good voice. She's been "marketed". She sang a song. basically lyrics over The Blue Danube Waltz, which of course Strauss hadn't lyricised, whilst she wa backed bysome dancers doing faux ballet without getting anywhere nearer than you or I might if we jumped about a bit with our arms out and kicking.

Item 2) Placido Domingo & Opera Barbie (TM Gert {just in case she reads this]) Placido, what are you doing, you don't need to perform with Katherine Jenkins just because someone tells you she's popular. You are light years in advance of her and your help and support would probably be much better used to support an actual opera singer not someone who calls herself that even though she has never sung in an opera.

Item 3) Alison Bolsom. Young trumpet player who can ctually do what she is meant to do particularly well. Someone should have told her though that her dress didn't do her any favours. Blonde, nice figure, but clingy dresses dont work if you want to move the way Alison does in performance.

Item 4) The Priests. It would be easy to diss them but they are genuine. They are Priests and they sing religious music. Not quite my cup of tea but at least they aren't covering Take That tunes or something. It would have bee nice if they were allowed to sing something other than Ave Maria though.

Item 5) Herbie Hancock & Lang Lang. Intersting mix. They played Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue. Lang Lang, who is a brilliant pianist looked a bit out of sorts but Herbie Hancock was a revelation. So well known for his popular music that, even though this wasn't what you'd call straight classical, he was much better than I would have thought as most "crossover acts" whichever direction tend not quite to work but he's on the button.

Item 6) Jonas Baufmann? I missed his name because I slipped out of the room for a couple of minutes. Good singer but the choice of Donna e mobile was pandering to lowest common denominator.

Item 7) Opera Barbie. Again! If she sang "send your daughter to the slaughter" it wouldn't make her a heavy metal artist!

Item 8) Jose Carreras. Getting the lifetime achievement award and then performing. He has sung 60 full operas and recorded 50 of them. There Katherine, that's an opera singer. He was also described as singing from The Classical repertoire. Now, if KJ claimed herself as doing that then perhaps she wouldn't get such "bad press" from within the opera world. Jose also managed to get some feeling into his piece where KJ doesn't. Maybe that's why she doesn't do opera. You need to act and be expressive as well as singing.

So, on reflection, good in parts. Generally, good meant the real classical musicians and the rest were there to entice a public who would be unlikely to watch anyway. Still, perhaps next year "The hairy Angel" will top the bill. I'm sure Simon Cowell would be pleased to do for classical music what he's done for pop, as long as he's paid enough.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Driving Miss Lillibet

One of the things about living on a main arterial road into Central London is that we quite often have outriders stopping traffic and letting some VIP through Sometimes I have soft fruit in the car in case it's Gordon Brown but mainly it's a President or Prime Minister of a country we are presently trying to woo. Occasionally though it's a membe of The Royal Family.

As I'm a Royalist I'm quite pleased to see them but especially if it's the Queen. And yesterday it was, on her way to Kew Gardens to celebrate the 250th anniversary. I'v seen her a few times before in the Royal Queenmobile but yesterday was the first time I'd seen her looking so happy. Maybe she was looking forward to the visit, maybe Prince Philip had just cracked some joke sat next to her, maybe she was just feeling happy in the pink outfit with matching hat she was wearing?

A couple of minutes delay and we were off. And for once I didn't ming being delayed because it was HM and I'd much rather that then be delayed as normal by idiots who don't know how to negotiate a set of traffic lights with a filter!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Ungrateful gratitude.

I recently auditioned for a lead role in Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience. I got one, but not the one I was after. It's a fine line between being fed up 'cos I didn't get the part I really wanted and being grateful I at least got a lead role even if it's a lesser one.