Tuesday, 29 June 2010
The 9th annual World Hip Hop Dance Championship is headed for Vegas! And an interview with English former European breakdancing champion, Andrea Stockburn.
Diversity unveiled a plaque in tribute to Michael Jackson, as tribute show Thriller Live opens at the Lyric Threatre.
The Royal Albert hall are holding a swing night - no, not that sort. Honestly - no, In Full Swing is a proper back-to-the-forties night of good oldfashioned fun and dance to top bands and DJs. It's a part of the Big Dance 2010 events.
Friday, 25 June 2010
Ever wondered how your name would be interpreted in dance? Barclays Live has teamed up with award winning Street Dancer Brooke Milliner, to create an online tool that does just that. Observe my name in lights!
The tool, hosted at www.barclayslive.co.uk has been created to support the Barclays Live campaign, a nationwide search for the UK’s hottest dance talent in conjunction with Barclays branch launches. Visitors to the website can input their name in the interactive page and the “Your Name in Dance” generator will produce a bespoke dance for your name. Users can then share their special dance via Facebook and Twitter, or can copy the link and send it to a friend.
Brooke says: ‘Your Name in Dance was a really interesting challenge for me and unlike anything I have ever done before. I choreographed and performed a dance motif for each letter and these were filmed so that by using the tool you create a dance that combines all of the letters in your name. It was great fun to film the online tool and I am really pleased with the final result.’
Rafaele Petruzzo, Head of Launches, Campaigns and Innovation Development at Barclays, comments: ‘Your Name in Dance is a completely new concept that ties in with the launch of our new-state-of-the-art branches. We hope that visitors to the site will enjoy the new tool and that they will come along to their local branch launches to cheer on our Barclays Live entrants and see the new look branches for themselves.’
Brooke, the street dancer featured in the mechanic, is part of Street Dance crew the Funkstylerz and stars in recent dance film Streetdance 3D alongside George Sampson.
Strictly Come Dancing's Brendan Cole was judging and performing again (with his Strictly contract safely tucked away!)
Currently leading are Steadiflux - more than similar to Twist and Pulse, only they chose to sample Beyonce instead of the Cheeky Girls!
Barclays Live is a dance competition taking place across the UK at six state-of-the-art branches. Events have already taken place in Reading and Birmingham and will be taking place later in 2010 at branches in Bristol, London, Manchester and Glasgow.
The competition is being judged by Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole and each regional winner will be dancing all the way to the bank with a cool £1,000 and a pair of VIP tickets to see Brendan Cole in action.
The new branches are packed full of ways to make banking faster, easier and more enjoyable – including innovative technology, dedicated self-service areas and spacious new Premier Lounges.
For more info, check out the Barclays Live website.
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Karen Hardy speaks about suffering from the baby blues, at the opening of a mum and baby unit in the South West.
Karen Smith, an early driving force behind Strictly Come Dancing, is now an Executive Producer for Don't Stop Believing.
Glee news: Talking Shop with Matthew Morrison; UK Gleeks won't see the live tour anytime soon; Cory Monteith (Finn) is branching out into film.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
The future is bright, the future is ... am I the only one concerned that a spotter should be round the other side of the table? He's only a tot after all!
Monday, 21 June 2010
After the tremendous worldwide success of the first installment, which has sold more than three million units to date, Just Dance returns with a brand new track-list of more than 40 popular songs, improved movement detection and hot new features to challenge friends and family. Just Dance 2 is immediate fun, eliminating inhibitions and bringing all generations together through the universal passion for dancing.
Just Dance 2 will feature tracks from classic hits and legendary songs to today’s chart-toppers. Players will enjoy dancing to a wide selection of musical genres, including Pop, Country, R&B, Disco, Funk, Rock etc. Each track features its own choreography and dance enthusiasts will be moving for hours on end. From Rihanna’s SOS to Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff, from I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown to When I Grow Up by the Pussycat Dolls, Just Dance players will come across songs and routines that will make them want to move their feet. And if they still want more, they will be able to download tracks from an expanding catalogue of new hits.
Just Dance 2 also boasts new environments, new modes and more importantly new moves … It takes the experience one step further with enhanced multiplayer options and new hilarious game modes. Players will now be able to create their own team and engage in dance-off contests with up to 8 players. In the Duet Mode, each player will follow a different choreography mixing dance steps and poses that will respond to the choreography of the other. And before engaging in dance battles and co-op challenges, players will take advantage of solo play to improve their performance. An added benefit is the new Just Sweat mode where players will keep their eyes on the Sweat Meter as their calorie counter shows them how much work they’ve put in.
The Classic Mode remains the core entry point to Just Dance 2 featuring fun and simple menus and giving access to all songs from the start – this is the perfect mode for an immediate dive into a non-stop dance-a-thon. And for those who are too shy to dance but love to sing, all tracks are accompanied by on-screen song lyrics. So even if they don’t score points with their voice, they’re sure to score some with the crowd… well, maybe.
The game was recently previewed at E3 in Los Angeles, revealing tracks such as:
· James Brown – I Got You (I Feel Good)
· Pussycat Dolls – When I Grow Up
· Ike & Tina Turner – Proud Mary
· Donna Summer – Hot Stuff
· Vampire Weekend – A Punk
· Digitalism – Idealistic
· Snap! – The Power
· Rihanna – S.O.S.
For more information about Just Dance 2, please visit www.facebook.com/justdanceuk
Sunday, 20 June 2010
The Nutcutters are back with their third album, Clyde, which will turn the punk-rock scene upside down! An album full with catchy melodies, fast beats, naughty and also thoughtful lyrics and spiced with the unmistakable voice of the Philippine singer Jake. Accompanied by drummer Normen and guitarist Chris, the threesome is about to reach a new level. What makes the new album as diversified as ever is first of all the usage of synthesizer played by drummer Normen. Supporting the great guitar riffs of Chris and humming bass of Jake the electronic influence creates a whole new touch in the old school pop punk sound of The Nutcutters. (IGN151)
Ramona - Mornington Crescent Now Open CD: Inspired by classic 60’s mod bands, the EP was a conscious effort to make a recording that was rough around the edges and organic. A sonic departure from the heavily produced rock albums that dominate the music scene in North America. None-the-less a rock album through and through. With the upcoming release of ‘Mornington Crescent Now Open’ on both Engineer Records and Pacific Ridge Records, alongside the official video release for ‘A Way Over’ and tour dates adding up, 2010 looks like it’s going to be a very busy year. (IGN145).
Breaching Vista - Breaking The View CD: Imagine, if you will, that a saucerful of alien explorers landed on Earth as part of a peaceful mission to understand human culture. If the aliens wanted to learn about, say, ballet, we could show them a video of Baryshnikov. If they asked about golf, some footage of Tiger Woods would certainly explain a lot. And if the little green men wanted to grasp the concept of radio-friendly alternative rock (it could happen!), it would make sense to play them this CD by Breaching Vista.It's not that this Canadian band is the best alt-rock group out there, nor the most successful, but their four-song debut EP, Breaking the View, is a veritable primer on crafting catchy, hook-laden tunes that showcase all the best elements of the genre (and, thankfully, none of the worst).With four songs clocking in at 15 minutes, the EP is a concise how-to of the genre, like a 'Dummies Notes' for any young hipsters hoping to get airplay and chicks.All the crucial ingredients are there: the not-too-complicated guitar riffing, the angst-ridden lyrics about lost loves and other grief (our fave line: "Oh, this room is a hostel of pain"), the slick multi-layered production and the stuck-in-your-head-for-days anthemic choruses. Though this type of music has been done before (think Jimmy Eat World, Gin Blossoms, Tugboat Annie, Fightstar) it is not often done this well. Lead vocalist John Maksym has a gutsy, self-assured voice that lends a sense of urgency and honesty to the lyrics. The guitar sound is tweaked to perfection, giving the big riffs some in-your-face power whilst the more intricate parts add texture to the background. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more effective pop-punk song than 'Tap Tap' and in a space of less than four minutes the song evolves with several distinct gear changes and a chorus that just begs to be sung along with. If our hypothetical alien visitors wished to understand the concepts of "originality" or "avant-garde," we would surely have to steer them away from Breaching Vista. But when it comes to this particular brand of aggressive-yet-accessible radio-rock, Breaching Vista are exemplary representatives of their ilk. (IGN148).
Red Light Green Light - Everything Has Gone Wrong CD (IGN147). The new album "Everything Has Gone Wrong" by Red Light Green Light is "one of those records" and they are "one of those bands." They are one of those bands that gets listed in bands influences rather than the Billboard Top 100 and they wouldn't have it any other way. They preach old school punk rock ideas with a new school intensity all their own. In the song "Code Red/Almost Dead" the chorus sings "this is our contribution, but we are not your revolution. as youth dies dreams fade away. so live your life extraordinary and never settle for ordinary. be who you want to be, just live your life!" and that is what this record is about. Having the guts to follow your dreams and actually living your life. Red Light Green Light is one of those bands that you may have never heard of, but your favorite band has... and Everything Has Gone Wrong is a fine example of just that! Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy.
Failsafe For Tomorrow - Give up your ghost CD. At the end of 2007 after numerous gigs around Yorkshire Failsafe For Tomorrow recorded their first 6 track E.P. “Strike Your Matches” Which did a small release with Disillusioned Records. The reviews and comments of the first record were words like “Dynamic” “Universal” and even “Haunting” the band say “We think the E.P. and the songs we were writing were always trying to reach out to people who weren’t into our genre, When we write a song we never pick a side, just play what feels right”. At the beginning of 2009 the band parted ways with lead guitarist Scott and replaced him with Mark Lovett, They continued to write and perform through the summer and gather songs for their long awaited second EP ‘Give up your Ghost’ and this hardcore masterpiece is available now on Disillusioned Recs. & Engineer Recs.‘Failsafe’ Have an ever growing fanbase and will be touring this Summer 2010. (IGN135).
Semmi Komoly - Loss Fills The Air CD (IGN121). Hardcore how it should be done. Angry yet clever. Powerful yet melodic. These guys will rock you..
The Separation - Retire Your Engines CD: These five guys from the Greater London area make up this rock band that combines catchy hooks, energetic riffs & frantic vocals on their debut album 'Retire Your Engines'. Clearly influenced by everything from Punk to Stadium Rock, influences such as Alkaline Trio, At The Drive In & Glassjaw shine through, as does a distinctly English edge that first made Hundred Reasons & Reuben so exhilarating. According to the guys themselves, their sound can be described as 'a furious marriage of Post Hardcore riffage to Pop-laden hooks. If you are sick of bands who are afraid to break out of the constraints of what Punk & Rock can offer then these guys are worth checking out. Well on their way to making a real name for themselves & with a February UK tour being lined up, this could be the sound of The Separation just revving their engines. Don't bet against them taking the chequered flag. (IGN134).
Kyoto Drive - This Is All We Ever Wanted CD (IGN136). Kyoto Drive is a mash-up of old fashioned pop-punk and new wave progressive pop that makes for a familiar yet forgotten combination of styles reminiscent of Drive Thru circa 2005. 2010 looks to be a huge year for the band.
What to do now: All these new releases will blow you away. We have promo copies for magazines, fanzines, websites, radios and promoters. Just get in touch. Or if you are a fan, the most importnat of all, then you can order your copy now direct from http://www.engineerrecordsusa.com/ukstore/ and we will send you a pile of special goodies with it.
PROMOTERS and other BANDS: All these bands work hard and are looking for shows now and we will help you promote the gigs and work with you if you can put them on. Just get in touch. www.EngineerRecords.com Thanks again for reading and for your support. Keep on rocking.
Saturday, 19 June 2010
Strictly Come Dancing's Kristina Rihanoff visited a dance class for older people, as part of Active Nation, a bid to get Scotland fit in the run up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Friday, 18 June 2010
Nigel's Dizzy Feet Foundation's next move was announced on the show - National Dance Day, July 31st. Seemingly aimed at America, I guess there's no harm in we Brits uploading our own contribution!
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
And we're off - the rumours for Strictly Come Dancing Series 8, including Patsy Kensit, Matthew Wright, Nicole Scherzinger - I really don't see how they can allow the winner of this year's Dancing With The Stars in it, seriously - Kimberley Walsh, Richard Madely (again!) and GMTV's ex-presenters Penny Smith and Ben Shepherd. And as for Brucie, I don't think these are who he means by big name stars - Patsy, granted, high profile, been around a long time, and Kimberley, member of the top girl group on the planet - but the others are presenters - they present the top stars, don't they? None of them are stars to me - I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Freddie Flintoff. And Bruce can't hold them to ransom - there are fans for and against him returning and retirement will happen in the near future - at least then he'll get his knighthood.
An interview with Darren and Lilia.
Talking Shop with Adam Garcia.
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
LoopEd Youth Dance Company is a contemporary dance company for young people consisting of a group of talented and passionate young people who are committed to dance. The company gives young people in Kent the opportunity to practice and perform contemporary dance together with the support of professional dancers. More info can be found here.
Streetdance 3D may be getting both a sequel and a stage show; an interview with Cat Deeley.
Friday, 11 June 2010
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
And this is the video of Tom Cruise dancing with Jennifer Lopez at the MTV Awards, in character as Les Grossman from the film Tropic Thunder!
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Lilia Kopylova will also not be partnering a celebrity next season, but has been asked along with the boys above to form part of a professional troupe - it sounds like there's going to be a lot of new genres showcased, as other guest professionals will be brought in too.
The new dancers are profiled here, Twitter is a-buzz already with disappointed fans - there'll be plenty of petitions doing the rounds.
Personally, while I love all those no longer competing, it won't stop my enjoyment of the show: I've said it before, I'll say it again - it's the sum of all its parts that is Strictly's success, not the individuals that appear on it. Roll on the Autumn!
Saturday, 5 June 2010
Twist and Pulse drop in with a bit of suspended animation - I love these guys, they're clever and funny, entertaining and inventive - the Simpsons and belly dancing the inspiration tonight!
Liam McNally sings Danny Boy again, a bit shaky, nice kid, but I don't think he's as vocally gifted as they're making out - indulging because of his age, I think.
Paul Burling is entertaining and fun, I recognised all of the many many characters. Singing an anthemic pop song in their own voices a cracking way to present them. Well done!
Christopher Stone sings Somewhere. It's simple, measured, emotive, lovely tone. Beautiful, a real pleasure.
Tina and Chandi always bring a smile to my face, the 'teardrops' moment was sweet - should've incorporated some of the ballet from the first audition though.
Connected sing What About Now full of confidence, great song choice, much better vocally than before, Harry I thought did very well. Simon is right that they need to be different - when they're Out There - but for this show they did the right thing.
Kieran Gaffney with another excellent music choice - watch him go - can he keep up this pace? Didn't need the distraction of the dancers. Wow - what a performer! Awesome drumming. And it was his own idea to float the drumkit. Impressive.
Tobias Mead is lowered, head first for an inventive and creative routine mostly done backwards, high energy. He's very pretty with make up.
Janey Cutler sang with No Regrets, lovely lady, but unfortunately completely out of time with the music. Methinks there's some definite indulgence with regard to age going on.
And finally, the act I've been waiting for, Spelbound. The opening wins it hands down, stunning! How shocked were the judges, lol! Spelbound by name, spellbinding by nature. Incredible act, they would so grace the Royal Variety Show and the opening of the Olympics. One I could watch again and again, so much going on but at a pace you can take it all in. Fantastic.
Well, I think I've made it clear who I like best - fingers crossed you lot agree! As for runners up, any two from Kieran, Paul, Twist and Pulse, Tobias and Christopher. But Spelbound to me are clear winners.
Give or take half an hour later and our final three are: Kieran, Twist & Pulse and Spelbound!
And the Britian's Got Talent 2010 winner is/are: Spelbound! Yay!
Friday, 4 June 2010
Myztikal - will they get it right? And how cute is that little kid? A good mix, singing much better, although I was a bit concerned with the Beyonce, too many musical changes but some good stuff going on.
Dance Flavourz and you'd think I'd love this, but no. Same move all the way through, still don't know what those backward walky thingies are called - ronde? Singing not that good, Bollywood not that good. Disappointing - should have gone for big Latin party, played to their strengths. Oh, hang on though, they played to their strengths where Piers was concerned ...
Kieran Gaffney was brilliant, loved it. Great music choice, raw talent, you could fee the energy.
The Chippendoubles tried manfully to come up with a fresh idea and almost pulled it off, but without that element of surprise it was always going to be tough. It wasn't a bad way to spend a couple of minutes.
Liam McNally warbles his way through You Raise Me Up and I found it a little too high and warbly. I'm being very picky this year. Emotional though and a funny little guy!
A3 were a bit raggedy in places, but one of my favourites dance acts so far, full of fun and energy, bright and cheery - dunno what Piers is on, much preferred these to the previous two.
Father and Son sing Wind Beneath My Wings and my nine year old reviewed for me when I was called away, came back to find this on the notepad: rubbish, to cheesy, old fashin, way over top. And I wondered why he kept grabbing his throat and going "rrrrrrrrrrrr" now I know. Son should go it alone I reckon. Ah, my son just copied the judges ...
Kieron the winner I would say - just waiting for the result vid - and yes, it is. Liam and A3 in front of the judges, Liam joins Kieron in the final. So there we have it, all ten finalists decided, roll on tomorrow.
Thursday, 3 June 2010
So first out Ice and they're pretty tight actually, like the use of the canes, but again no big tricks, a good effort though for a school of dance.
Tyler Patterson does what he does and yes, for his age, compared to most kids, he's very good. But I thought his timing left a lot to be desired at the beginning, it was better in the latter half but doesn't finish moves the way we normally see in hip-hop or streetdancing. Overall, nowhere near the standards set by Akai, Sampson and Davis.
Mark James. I fast forwarded. No, I just didn't bother. Why would I? When will these people - and the judges who put them through - realise that these sort of acts are never going to work unless they can actually sing?
Twist and Pulse didn't disappoint, I love the humour they put into their routine, very creative, the technical moves with the well mixed music choices. Great fun and brilliantly done.
The Fusion have to follow that (for me, anyway - website, remember) the fact I still have to sit through adverts is really beginning to wind me up ... I liked the opening and was expecting them to burst into the Pirates of the Caribbean theme for a dance routine with a difference, it showed creative promise but just didn't go anywhere.
Janey Cutler could be Shirley Bassey in thirty years time, I personally don't like her voice but the audience are going wild and she's funny. What is Piers on? Best of the week? She may have big lungs but come on.
Emille Harris was dreadful - out of tune, flat, put it down to nerves, poor bloke. And singing a song of his own that no-one knows. So he might have been in tune but I wouldn't know. Bit unfair to buzz, considering some of the crud they've not.
And now for something completely different, Shaolin were dynamic and energetic and the closest type of act to Spelbound - they can hold the stage, it's the sort of show act you see on a variety show. But can't see them bringing anything new to the final.
So that's it - Twist and Pusle, as I expected, are my pick of the night and it's hard to see past the build up around Janey and that's exactly how it ends up: Janey wins the public vote; Twist and Pulse get the nod over the Fusion. I still maintain Spelbound FTW.
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Starburst out first, another big dance group and it doesn't always work ... love that they'll spend the prize on new toilets, now that's proper prioritising. Cute and bright as a packet of Smarties, a lot of jumping up and down on the spot but great fun.
Chloe Higginbottom. I never got the appeal first time around I'm afraid, she's only ten, singing Vera Lyn and she has got an older voice. That makes her different, but not neccessarily listenable. Much preferred her tone in this, but ... some strange pronunciation going on there. Morn River?
Philip Grimmer, Madonna impersonator. Please - the next big thing? What are these people on? Oh, WOW -fantastic, I lost count of how many gorgeous, sexy, topless male dancers there were on stage. Phillip who?
Impressionist Paul Burling - proper good old fashioned fun with a couple of laugh out loud moments, good luck to him tonight. "Good luck Paul" shouts a deep, manly voice from the audience. "Thanks, mum," he quips, quick as, lol.
The Arrangement - now, bizarrely, I liked this lot's audition but caught between comedy and seriousness may be their undoing - having a vocalist who's not actually that good! He's started well, with Bad Romance, now he's rapping and he's improved! Fight For Our Love now, opera stylee, lol. Big finish coming up - JLS, this is brilliant - they've really rehearsed, it's polished, I Have A Dream next and he held the stage alone, the band all around the edges. Really, really well done!
The dancing leprechaun, Jimmy Forde - Simon says this is what you get for letting Louis on the panel! Er, forgot to watch him, too busy trying to do it meself, begorrah ... I'm sure he was quite sweet in his own way.
Ah, now, this makes it a tougher evening - Christopher Stone impressed me before, has a lovely tone to his voice. Singing The Impossible Dream - and how wonderful to hear a BGT contestant sing a song the way it should be sung (and I don't even like that song). Great finish, gave it everything there, definitely relaxed, channelling the nerves, did everything a performance coach would have asked of him.
And finally, a proper dance group! Peridot show the other troupes the way, but could lose out if the audience do decide that Streetdancers have had their fair share of success on BGT. As the lad said, movement, technique, slick, tight, easily the best dance troupe so far - but, needed something more uptempo, funky and musical for the audience at large to get it. Unfortunately, I have to agree with both Piers and Amanda. May have blown it - will be top four and it will be close.
The other three will be Christopher, Paul and The Arrangement I think, perm any two from them. Much tighter than last night, some real choice! Back later x
Quick recap while I amend some spellings ... Pixie Lott with Turn It Up. She's live, I do believe - one of my favourite albums this year.
And the first act through ... Paul Burling - YAY - local boy, see, not that I'm biased! Tough choice coming up though between ... Christopher Stone and Peridot. Actually, for the judges it's not a tough choice at all - I can't see them putting Peridot through over Christopher. Only nine minutes to find out though ... Piers goes for Christopher, Amanda strings it out for crying out loud - unless you're going to completely change your mind on how you rated them tonight, you daft bint - Simon said he would go for Peridot though. Only two shows left, I'm out both nights, so will be a late blog. TTFN x
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Taboo were bright and cheery but we've seen it all before, individually no-one stood out, nothing remotely spectacular, could've been in the village hall, music mix uninspiring.
Neil Fullard with That's Life, any Rat Pack song would do the trick. He's holding his nerve and the notes, I didn't find it particularly musical but a notch above club singer.
The Ruby Girls do the hair thing from #Glee and not a lot else. There's a niche in a nightclub somewhere.
Connected do it for themselves tonight and look the part, but they're off key in some places, with a couple of the lads showing their weaknesses. Confident performers all of them though, potential for the future.
Kev Orkian is a cheeky chappie with a smoochy song for Amanda and a bit of boogie woogie for the boys. I've actually heard worse - at least he's in tune. But not right for this show, Simon a bit harsh I thought.
Michael Fayombo Jnr and Snr, Michael Jackson impersonators. Disappointing. Junior stringing a pile of signatures moves together at the beginning - out of time; Senior ran out of steam, got sloppy at the end. No creativity, no imagination. Where's Animaineaxs?
Nothing impressing me so far, can you tell? Tina and Chandi next and this is the only one that made me genuinely smile tonight. Sweetly enjoyable, so much warmth. Chandi is lovely. They'll go straight through on the public vote, I'm sure of that.
Maxxie Oliver. They normally leave the best till last but for some reason they changed their minds tonight. That, or even the production team were really struggling. If he could sing he might have the makings of a decent drag act. But he can't, so *BBBUUUZZZ*
Is Alicia Keys going on manoevres after the show? She's wearing a magazine of ammunition around her shoulders.
I don't think I've ever been so disinterested in an outcome. As I thought, Tina and Chandi make it through - I think it'll be Connected and Neil in front of the judges and it is, with Connected getting the nod. I don't think Spelbound need be too worried.