Bohemian Rhapsody

I know I am late to the party, having only seen this tonight.

The critics slammed the movie and I usually agree with them so I had my reservations.

But then all of a sudden, everyone is going Queen mental, including kids and I get a real sense of the movie causing a ruckus. Then Mark Kermode says on his podcast that the film made him cry thrice and I usher myself to the cinema whilst my inner dialogue goes ‘Ryan you idiot, go see this movie about one of your favourite bands, your childhood heroes’.

The production process certainly wasn’t without drama. Sacha Baren Cohan dropped out of the film due to creative disagreements, then Dexter Fletcher had to take over directing after Bryan Singer ended up behaving the exact way a director shouldn’t behave and this all had the spellings of a disaster.

And I get why the critics have a problem. The problematic moralistic subtext concerning Freddie’s orientation. The character portrayals themselves weren’t that particularly nuanced. And as someone who has avidly read Brian May’s biography and watched all the documentaries, the film took serious liberties with the timeline. Song releases, The American tour and then the biggest being Freddie revealing he has AIDS before the performance at Live Aid (he wasn’t even ill at this time). All for the narrative purpose to enhance the drama.

Then there is the constant stream of wink wink, referential parts from John Deacon jamming ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ to Mike Myers and that ‘Wayne’s World’ part and I could go on about the same problems already mentioned but the actual matter of fact is…

NOBODY CARES!!!

While I was to some extent hoping to see the full biography come to play, right up to Freddie’s passing and the wonderful musical material that would be released later in Queen’s career, the film set out to do something different.

This was to capture the magic of what Queen was and still is.

The film for the most part focuses on Freddie, who is wondrously recreated by Rami Malek, who’s performance is sensational. The interesting thing is the audacity of who Freddie was because, he was his own artist and he did things his way.

This kind of story is so engaging because Freddie is an outsider. Queen worked relentlessly hard and the world came to them.

Who are the artists out there now, playing by their own rules? Who are artists who can say no? Who are the artists who are artists first and not brands? Where are the risk takers?

I can name you some but they are nowhere near the mainstream.

We live in a different world today where Music is no longer important than politics and if Freddie was alive today, he would have plenty to say about it. I can’t help but think the film highlights a thing we all need that is well and truly and lacking in the Music business today.

The power of being an outsider and doing things your way.

Queen did it and they had the definitive front man in Freddie leading them, with a whole load of charisma enough to hold the arena filled audience at Wembley in the palm of his hand.

By the live aid sequence, my eyes started watering, because I started remembering what it was like to hearing this band for the first time, how in awe I was of their live performances when I watched the videos at my grandparents’ house and how Queen are truly something special.

And when you are truly special, you are something that stands the test of time.

This film has made Queen the biggest band in the world.

And in a world that is currently so divided, that tells you to stick to the rule book. Queen stand as a beacon for letting your freak flag fly.

‘But it’s been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise, I consider it a challenge before the whole human race, and I a’int gonna loose’.

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So my favourite records of the year are as follows:

Natalie Prass – The Future and The Past
Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
Julia Holter – Aviary 
Rosalia – El Mal Querer
Natalia Lafourcade – Musas Vol. 2
Daughters – You Won’t Get What you Want
Low – Double Negative
U.S. Girls – In a Poem Unlimited
Ariana Grande – Sweetener
Anderson Pakk – Oxnard
MGMT – Little Dark Age
Beeach House – 7

And here’s a playlist with all of the albums (and some cool tracks from other records I have enjoyed too).

Anything else I should check out from the 2018 releases?

Merry Christmas!

 

Journey of The Effervescent by Kinky Wizzards

Over the last year, me and the brothers have been busy planning new things for the Kinky Wizzards.

Simultaneously, the boys decided to put a new live Music video together by themselves where they explored some of the older material.

It is safe to say after watching this video of the brothers do their thing, the song title says it all. Vivacious and enthusiastic.

I look forward to joining them for our string of shows this summer.

Ryan

Students take the lead in Gun Protests

Of all the people who are taking a stand, it appears the students, and more specifically the student survivors are the ones leading it.

Well done to Cameron Kasky for taking on Rubio and shaming him. How he can stand there and say he is for keeping schools safe whilst accepting funds by the NRA is a complete paradox. One which shows where his interests truly lie, and it ain’t with the victims of the shootings.

America is one helluva mess.

And L.A. shootings, these school shootings will keep coming because they are enabled by those in power.

But the 2nd amendment you say…take the amendment and shove it where the Sun don’t shine. Or better still, rewrite it. Isn’t that why it is called an Amendment!?

Self defence is such a non-argument. Australia’s legislative law changes after the 1996 mass shooting in Port Arthur and the subsequent data that proves that gun control works seems to be overlooked by many American politicians.

https://cdn1.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1264/2012/10/bulletins_australia_spring_2011.pdf

But the problem is, too many of the old leaders in power are so easily swayed by their own legitimised sense of greed. Astonishingly, the scenes of a school shooting and dead children becomes forgettable to them.

And then Trump, with what I would call such a numbing sense of unsurprising audacity proposes the idea of equipping teachers with guns, and forcing the initiative to fund it despite little evidence to back it up.

Turning schools into anticipatory war zones.

It’s like banging your head against a brick wall.

A change has got to come. Students are sick and tired of it, and so they are taking a stand. Anyone who truly wants USA to be safer should join them.

Musical Plans for 2018

A Happy New Year to everyone.

2017 saw the release of ‘Quirky Musings’, the second album by Kinky Wizzards and my first album with the two brothers. This is a project that we had been working on since the summer of 2014 and it was amazing to get the record out there after years doing live shows and recordings. This record is an instrumental rock jazz album that was a heck of a lot of fun to write and record, it is also very fun to play live and the three of us are very eager to do more music with this band and continue to push ourselves.

Following on from it’s release, we did a some shows with Magenta and these are amongst some of the most enjoyable concerts I have ever played at. Here is some GoPro footage of a cover of Rush’s YYZ that we performed in Cardiff.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of Quirky Musings or listened to it through other means and came along to one of our performances.

As we enter the new year, here are the following updates that I can share with you:

Eden Shadow 

Throughout last year, I have been working on the new material for album 3 and plans are currently in place to record it in the Spring and Summer. I very much look forward to putting this new material together and I will keep you up to date.

Kinky Wizzards 

I have also started working on new material with the brothers and we will be working on this throughout the year with plans for a live performance shoot later on in the year.

Live Performances

I am currently working in the Middle East but plans for live shows are being put in place for the summer of 2018 when I am going to be spending a few months in the UK. Live shows will definitely happen for KW but I also hope it can happen for ES too and that remains for me a big personal goal.

I wish you all the best for the coming year.

Ryan

 

Kinky Wizzards – Quirky Musings

We are pleased to announce that our second album ‘Quirky Musings’ will be released through WhiteKnight Records on the 31st March 2017.

The Track list is as follows:

1.) Caffiene Overdose
2.) Done With This Place
3.) Chocalate Teapot
4.) Kinky Joe From Mexico’s Burritoes
5.) Door Dancing Penny Collector
6.) The Snake
7.) A Poltergeist in Glenmore
8.) Stomp Foot Syndrome
9.) Free Spirit

The album will be available as a CD digipak with 8 page booklet, as well as through download and streaming services. You can pre-order a copy at https://kinkywizzards.bandcamp.com

The band will also be promoting the album by joining Magenta to play a live show at these three dates:

The Globe, Cardiff – 31/03/2017

CRS, Montgomery Hall, Rotherham – 01/04/2017

The Robin 2, Bilston – 02/04/2017

You can listen to a featured track off the album below.

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