Review: Russell Howard @ Guild Hall, Preston

This is a guest post from Louise Hendy. She is a student studying psychology, Spanish and IT at A-level. She blogs at the trick to life’s not to get too attached to it and can be found on twitter @louise_hendy. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can get involved.

Russell Howard is a regular at the Edinburgh Festival. Image credit to Dave Smith.

Russell Howard is a regular at the Edinburgh Festival. Image credit to Dave Smith.

I think I’ll start by saying if you ever get the chance to go and see this man, you absolutely must go.

Russell had a support act for his show but unfortunately I have forgotten his name. I know his first name was Mark and he was from Bristol like Russell. He isn’t a well known comedian at all; I think he might just be friends with Russell. ANYWAYS, he was actually pretty funny and I can’t remember why exactly but he did get a huge round of applause at one point.

After a brief interval Russell came on stage in his trademark t-shirt and jeans combo.

He came and got distracted immediately by something someone shouted at him about wanting his babies.

He had amazing stage presence too. He seemed as hyper as he does when he’s on tv and he kept going off on little random tangents because of the stuff that members of the audience said.

The good people of Preston lived up to their dirty mindedness a good few times with Russell saying some things that he probably should have phrased differently.

There was a point when a man left to go to the bar and whilst he was gone Russell asked the people he was with to tell a secret about the guy and he would slip it into the show at one point and at that point everyone would cheer. The secret was um… the guy couldn’t get a hard on with a bar maid!

Like he said, Russell slipped it into the show and there was a monster cheer and round of applause. The guy wanted Russell to pose for a photo so Russell said only if you re-enact the scene with me. So he got on stage and bent over in front of Russell… that photo will look VERY dodgy to anyone that sees it on the Internet or something, put it that way.

At the end, when they ask if the audience had any questions. Someone asked for Russell’s top to which he said no as he had “very large, weird nipples” nice.

It resulted in a lady flashing her boobs at Russell’s support act.

I think the gig was one of my favourites I have ever been to and in the words of Russell “it was the single most oddest gig I have ever done”. It certainly was.


Groovy outdoor film screenings @ GlastonFerret mini-festival

Cinematopia poster

Cinematopia poster

An outdoor film screening at a pub mini-festival? Is there a better way to spend a summer night?

The Best of Cinematopia 09 will showcase an awesome line-up of the grooviest short film, music video, animation and digital media from our past events at the outdoor Orange Peel stage. And all this with a turfed pub, live bands, barbeque and real scrumpy (and the outdoor area’s roofed so you don’t need to worry about the British weather).

Hosted by Kitsch Monkey Productions and the Mad Ferret, Cinematopia is Preston’s only regular movie night screening a themed programme of weird and wonderful films, animation and audio visual media. Themes have included kitsch, trash, psychedelic, avant-garde, sci-fi and spaghetti western.

Friday 26 June. Doors 7pm. Films 9.30pm £3 entry

Mad Ferret, 55 Fylde Road, Preston, Lancs PR1 2XQ

Full programme

Glastonferret myspace

Cinematopia Facebook group

Review: Paolo Nutini @ 53 Degrees

Paolo Nutini gave a powerful performance at 53 Degrees

Paolo Nutini gave a powerful performance at 53 Degrees

Paolo Nutini rolled into Preston for a stop during his UK tour.

The Scottish singer song-writer played to a sell-out crowd at 53 Degrees.

Paolo was in good form, lurching around the stage and getting the crowd going during opening track ‘New Shoes‘.

Backed by a skillful band, Paolo was interacting well with the crowd – despite being far more Scottish in the flesh than on record, which led to some amusing moments when he said something and the crowd failed to understand it.

The tracks from his new album went down well, and an acoustic version of ‘Last Request’ was beautiful – with many a couple swaying in time as the lighting glowed red around Nutini as he stretched his vocals to the limit.

Jenny Don’t Be Hasty‘ got the biggest cheer of the night and the crowd left bopping to the upbeat tempo that Paolo and his bands managed to keep throughout the gig.

The show was excellent considering that it’s difficult sometimes for singer songwriters to keep the attention of the audience during a show, but Paolo’s energy on stage was brilliant and the album tracks definitely sounded better live. The only negative was the omission of ‘Rewind’ that was one of his stronger slower tracks.

Review: Pendulum @ 53 Degrees

MC Verse mid-jump during the opening of the gig. Image credit to

MC Verse mid-jump during the opening of the gig. Image credit to

Pendulum returned to the live stage at Preston’s 53 Degrees on Friday 29th May 2009.

The band were in great form as they ripped through some of their choice cuts from the albums ‘In Silico’ and ‘Hold Your Colour’ in front of a packed out and absolutely boiling venue.

The sound was fantastic as a huge stage setup meant the crowd were deafened from the outset and they responded with an energetic response everytime they were asked for it with MC Verse working the crowd brilliantly to keep the tempo going.

Biggest song ‘Propane Nightmares’ was wheeled out early on and sent the crowd into a frenzy and the constant teasing of big tune ‘Granite’ had the crowd bouncing regularly.

A soulful version of ‘Otherside’ chilled the tempo a bit and allowed everyone to get their breath back before the band reappeared after a big countdown clock to launch into ‘Tarantula’ that sent the venue crazy.

It was a great return to the live scene for the band and they’ll no doubt be ripping up festivals this summer.

Watch one fans recording of the band re-appear for an encore of ‘Tarantula’

Superfunk Rollerdisco is coming to Preston

Superfunk Rollerdisco is coming back to Preston

Superfunk Rollerdisco is coming back to Preston

If you’re into your 80s revivals then get your roller skates on and get on down to Superfunk Roller Disco. It’s returning to Preston after a successful event in September.

There’s three different timed events on Saturday 28th February 2009, including a family fun event – so you can bring the kids and watch them embarras you as they whizz past you at lightening speed.

There’s some great pictures of the last event as well.

No truth in claims that government will force venues to fit sound limiters

Petition means you'll still be needing a pair of these

Petition means you'll still be needing a pair of these

Preston Blog posted last month about a campaign to stop the government forcing entertainments venues to fit sound limiters, the petition (signed by 86,497 people) said:

“It has been brought to attention that the government wish to consider it a legal requirement in the new tax year to introduce laws insisting anyone applying or re-applying for an entertainment license must have a noise control device fitted to the venue. This will be the final NAIL for ALL entertainment in the UK as the level at which these devices CUT you off is dreadfully low and damaging. PLEASE DO NOT INTRODUCE THIS LAW, WE LOVE LIVE MUSIC!.”

The government has responded saying:

We are pleased to tell you that there is no truth in claims that the Government is planning to introduce a requirement for entertainment venues to fit noise control devices.

Each Local Authority Licensing Authority considers every live music application on its merits, and decisions are made entirely by them.   However, the Licensing Act 2003 does not allow mandatory conditions for live music to be imposed across the board.  It would not be possible to impose such a condition without a change in the law and such a change is not, and never has been, on the Government’s agenda.

There is also no legal requirement under health and safety legislation for entertainment venues to have noise control devices fitted, nor is there any proposal.

The Government is acutely aware of the contribution that music makes to our culture and we remain committed to a vibrant and flourishing creative sector, of which live music plays an essential part.

So Preston’s music venues can breathe a sign of relief.

Government legislation to force entertainment venues to have sound control devices?

no loud music sign

no loud music sign

The world may look bleak outside on a dark cold January night, but to make things even worse some killjoys somewhere have decided that when we go out we need to have our ears cuddled with cotton wool. There is government legislation planned to force all entertainments venues to install a sound control device for live/loud music.

This could be from the local pub that has bands on every now and again (Mad Ferret), to big venues with large touring acts (53 Degrees). It will impact on all of Preston’s venues. Not only would live music not be as good but I imagine that venues would have to foot the bill for new equipment and training in how to use it. Whoever makes these sound control devices must be rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of this new legislation getting passed.

Will you sign the petition calling on the government not to introduce sound control devices in entertainments venues? and save the ability of bands, artists, fans and music venues everywhere in Britain to ‘turn up to 11’!