Tuesday, 11 September 2012

I See Dead People

Its been a long time since I wrote here, but I felt the urge to kick start my theatrical ramblings again - these last couple of years have seen me do a lot, much of which I should probably have written about, though I guess it never happened.  There is nothing but laziness to blame for this, not to mention the fact that I am not even convinced anyone actually reads these. Rather than spending weeks recapping what has happened, I am just going to pick up things as they are here and now, it should pretty much flow from my older posts.

I remember seeing something from "Ghost The Musical" performed at West End Live a couple of years back.  Whilst it had a feel good vibe, I was skeptical of the musical as a whole, even without seeing the film.    I had made the assertion that it would be a sloppy love story ripped apart by tragedy, I am not going to lie, romances are not really my cup of tea when it comes to performance - so this show was never going to top my list of "shows I must see".  Though I had been seeing some people rave about it of late, so curiosity got the best of me, and I found myself with a ticket.  At this stage I should be honest, I don't actually have a "shows I must see" list... always intended to write one, but remember what I said about laziness getting the best of me?  None the less. I wanted to see what everyone was so excited about when it came to "Ghost", but the biggest question is whether or not the show would manage to win me over?

Just as I had expected those two years previous, it was another sloppy love story which is torn apart by tragedy, so there was no surprise there whatsoever.  Though being laced with comedy, great stage affects and some fantastic show tunes, it easily shakes off the Mills & Boon tag that I had first given it.  I wouldn't go so far as to call it a comedy musical, but there are some funny moments to counter the tragedy in good measure.  Rather than being caught up in the romance it was easy to be absorbed into the feel good notion of eccentric psychic "Oda Mae Brown", who was fantastically portrayed by understudy "Lisa Davina Phillip", who had the audience in stitches with her take on the character.  I would say Lisa was the star of the show, though I don't want to take anything away from the two leads in the shape of Mark Evans in the role of Sam Wheat, and Siobhan Dillon playing Molly Jensen who complimented each other so wonderfully well both in their acting and harmonies which were spot on throughout.

Granted the plot was a little predictable, especially for someone like me who finds themselves analysing the show so deeply as if it were a crime scene.  But this aside the staging of the show was fantastic, the choreography was full on and in your face, and whilst at times it seemed a little excessive for the story, it was original and somehow worked in creating the hustle and bustle of city life (if walking through the London streets to the theatre itself wasn't reminder enough).  The set itself was modern and relied on some superb lighting affects to enhance the story and bring you into its realm, I feel for this reason alone that the show would be difficult to tour without making significant compromises with the set, which makes me wonder if we will ever see this one in the regional theatres.

My only criticism of the show is the ending, it would have been beautiful had it have ended with Molly crying in the clutches of Oda Mae, having said an emotional goodbye to Sam.  For some reason however, the director decided that there was a need to draw this scene out in bringing Sam back before he departs one last time.  For me this ruined the moment between the three characters, and detracted from the drama of the final scene.  Though this really is a minor criticism of what was overall a fantastic show.

So in all would I recommend "Ghost"?  Yes totally.  It will never be the best musical you have seen, but I don't think you will leave disappointed, at least not with the show itself.  Seven pounds for a programme however... well thats another story.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Tales From The Road (Part 1)

Right now I am on a UK tour with a band called "The Bottom Line". It has been a while since I did any form of intensive touring, so I wasn't too sure what it would be like, more so as I had only been acquainted with the band for the last 6 months or so and had been told so many stories from the last tour, covering the good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly in this case being an overweight promoter, with an over-active sex drive who ended up passing out on her bed naked with a Budweiser bottle up her arse. As comical as all this sounded I was hoping for some relative normality on this tour!

After having the first 2 days of the tour cancelled, due to some really piss poor promoters, who were unable to tell the difference between their arse and their elbows, we set off for the new "day 1" in Pickering, Yorkshire. That was one hell of a drive, from the band setting out to the point where we arrived at the venue it took 8 and a half hours, which is a long time when stuck in the back of a converted ford transit van! More so when we couldn't get the radio to work!

I have to be honest, I rather liked the Pickering show. Sure it is no 02 Academy at "The Rose Inn", but it was a nice intimate little pub venue, with lots of people who as a generalisation would watch all of the bands play and support their scene. The people were all friendly and chatty which was rather nice, even if a large number of them were wasted at the end of the night. TBL's performance as far as it goes was not their best, but people seemed to like them. The drama however wasn't to kick off until long after we had loaded out.

Whilst casually chatting to some of the locals, a huge argument errupts at the door. It transpires this guy who is still casually stood around floored "Big Kev" in one punch, leaving him out cold. I have no idea who Big Kev is, but all I know is his dad is one scary mother fucker. As everyone was saying "that guy best leave before Kev's dad got here". Fortunately for the attacker, he left in the back of a police van before anything more kicked off further. Still a dramatic end to day 1.

We set off for Newcastle the following morning having fixed the radio, but now with a broken TV as after napping on the floor I kinda fell into it and fucked the screen. Remember that promoter I mentioned off of their last tour who ended up with a Budweiser bottle in her bum? This was the same woman who was promoting the next show. When she first arrived, she seemed a nice enough person. Though as the evening progressed it transpired that not only was she as piss poor promoter, she was also a bit of a bitch, trying to wrangle out of the fees she owed the band, and failing to provide the rider of food, water and beer. At the end of the day if you have a contract, it doesn't matter what bullshit you try to pull, you should stick to the deal. Unfortunately because of the low attendance, rather than looking at her faults as the event organiser it was taken out on the band.

We were quite fortunate however as the woman working the door for her had seen our plight and the unjust actions of her boss, and offered to make us some food at her flat after the show, which was such a nice thing to do. I have to be honest, the north generally does seem much more hospitable than the south, as only the day before the landlord at the rose had given up his whole spare house to us in trust, which is quite a bold move as he didn't know us from Larry.

After clubbing until 4am, we head back to the van for the night - 5 guys trying to sleep in a Ford Transit van, it wasn't going to be a comfortable one and truly it wasn't, in fact I think it was the worse nights sleep I have ever had in my entire life. If that wasn't bad enough we woke up in the morning to a parking ticket....Great.

Day 3 saw us reach Birmingham, which for me was less about the show and a chance to catch up with 3 of the guys who I met at Reading Festival. I must admit despite 2 of the bands pulling out and as such the crowd numbers being low, it was a very good night, though for me catching up with Zack, Jord and Juliet was the highlight, it is so good when you get the chance to see old friends on a tour. In all a very undramatic evening compared to the last 2 shows, which was nice. Next up however is Glasgow. This could be interesting.

So that is the update so far from my airbed in some random person's living room in Birmingham. There has been a fight, a broken radio, a broken TV, a really bad promoter, a parking ticket, old friends, new friends and a whole lotta rock n roll! Update 2 coming whenever I next find WiFi!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Mud, Beer & Rock n Roll (Part 2)

So you have heard about all the wonderful people who made Reading Festival so good this year, but what about the music? If you are expecting a write up stating how wonderful "Muse" were, then you may as well give up reading this blog right now.... no really... stop reading... Frankly they bore me, I stomached 15 minutes of them before losing the will to live. Sure they are talented musicians, they simply do not inspire me one bit. Sorry! So if you are still here and want me to now tell you how great "The Strokes" are - they are shit... end of, go and cry in the corner or something! In fact how the hell did a band that is so bad get to headline a festival that is so good?

For me the weekend was all about "Flogging Molly" on the Sunday night, hell they may have been on the somewhat smaller "Lock Up Stage", and not even the headline act, but they do know how to put on a show and a half and it goes without saying that the tent erupted when the band played their anthem "Drunken Lullabies". I have always had a love for the lock up stage, in fact I could quite easily stay there for the bulk of the festival! I had been there the previous night for "The Mighty Mighty Bosstones", who I hadn't seen before, or in fact heard. I knew of them, but didn't know what to expect. Frankly they were fantastic, and to have a ska dancing dude on stage for the full set...boy he has stamina! I have always had a love for ska rooted music, a guy called Martin Atkins got me into it back when I used to work for Argos as he loved Less Than Jake, and got me into some of the music I am into today. I wonder whatever happened to Martin?

It was a good day for ska, as earlier that day the somewhat iconic "Madness" had graced the main stage. I really didn't know how well the crowd would take to them, seeing as Reading always attracts a younger crowd, and Madness of course being a band of our parents generation, I feared they might have been snubbed. In fact the complete opposite happened. If it were not for the fact it was broad day light, based on the sheer number of people there to watch them and the response they had, you could have easily have mistaken them for the headliners. The band of course played all their classics, along with some newer numbers. I was really pleased to have seen the band, they really were fantastic and had got me in the mood for the Bosstones later that evening.

It is rare so many pop-punk rooted bands play the main stage, however with "New Found Glory", "The Offspring" and "My Chemical Romance" all playing the Friday, it was quite a day for me. In fact I think in all my time of going to Reading I have never spent so much time on the main stage as I had that day. It was my first time of seeing My Chemical Romance live since 2004, a lot has changed, and I must say I am loving their new tunes, even if that is a shocking thing to admit, am I digging myself a deeper hole if I admit that I sang along to "I'm Not Ok"? There are so many MCR haters, and truthfully I am really not sure what their problem is. They are a great band with a huge following... deal with it!

Just like MCR it had been some time since I had seen "The Offspring" live, I won't lie, I was a little disappointed by their set. There seemed to be a lack of interaction even if the music was good. I love "The Offspring", but honestly I know they can do better, it just felt like they wanted to get on, play, get off and go home. This however was not the case for "New Found Glory", who made the most of their main stage opportunity, I love NFG and the moment the first chord of "Understatement" blasted out of the PA speakers I was in my zone.

It however isn't all about the main stage, I only made one trip to the alternative tent, to see "Tim Minchin" perform. The tent was bursting at the seems, literally there were thirty or more rows outside the tent on top of those who had been crammed in like sardines already. I somehow always overlook this tent, having missed one of my favorite acts "Stephen Lynch" there a couple of years back.

I also managed to catch "Thirty Seconds To Mars" who are now on an indefinite hiatus, looks like I caught them at the right time. Honestly I wasn't blown away by them, but to be fair I didn't expect to be. Another band that did little for me were the former "Pennywise" frontman's new outfit "Black Pacific", just seemed a little average really and the poor attendance reflected that they were nothing on "Pennywise".

I had seen "Pulp" at the "Wireless Festival" in London just the month before Reading. I never had great expectations of them, but had been really impressed by their live set. Needless to say I was keen to do it all over again this festival. There is something about Jarvis Cocker that just makes him the perfect front man now he has matured a little. Ironically it was 17 years to the day from when the band made their first Reading Festival appearance, playing "Common People" for the first time. Who would have thought they would have been playing the same song to a rapturous response all those years later? On the conclusion of their set I was just about able to catch the end of "The King Blues" lock up tent performance, which I thought also was rather good, shame I didn't get to see more.

So overall who was I most disappointed with? It has to be "Jimmy Eat World". I love their music, but their live show seems to lack that interaction with the crowd, I felt so disconnected, and was really looking forward to them as well. Who on the other hand was my festival underdog? This goes to "Frank Turner". I wasn't expecting to like him too much, but he blew me away, to the extent I am planning on seeing him next time he plays the UK!

In all a fantastic festival, and echoing the words of part 1 of this blog, thanks to all of those who made it so special - in no particular order: Jordan, Zach, Gayle, Ross, Allan, Ryan, Nathan, Sam, Ann, Reiley, Bethan, Jonny, Jonesy and anyone else I have forgotten!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Mud, Beer & Rock n Roll (Part 1)

Right, so it is pretty well known that I love acting and drama, however music also plays a huge role in my life. It is what pays the bills, and takes up just as much, if not more of my time than all that performance shizzle. So I guess it is only fair I dedicate some time to write about up about this. The next few blogs will probably cover most of this having just returned from Reading Festival 2011, then in a weeks time I hit the road with a band called The Bottom Line as they embark on their UK tour. So it is a little diversion, but hopefully will remain just about readable.

Anyone who has been to festivals, will have that strange love hate relationship with them, for days you hate the fact you try to sleep in a cold tent, with so much noise you barely get any shut eye at all. The fact that you are dwelling in mud, have to use the worst toilets ever, look like a tramp and don't smell much better. It never feels to great lets be honest. Yet somehow there is that attraction that makes you want to do it again and again, and despite all the complaints and the longing to have a decent shower and to take a crap in a real toilet, you somehow miss it all when you walk away from the festival site for the very last time.

For me festivals are about the friends you go with and the people you meet. I won't lie, you can meet some great people who you never see again, equally if you are lucky you will make some great new friends, and for me it has been a fabulous year for that. (camp word used especially for Gayle). There of course is always the fear that you will be camped next to the festival assholes... and trust me there is enough of them, yet to date I have always been quite lucky.

I set off knowing I would ultimately be camping (different camp word - in the not so gay sense this time) with my mate and fellow music promoter Allan Sargeant. There are two things that are really cool about this, firstly the shouts of "Alan..... Steve" which plagued the site all weekend pretty much drove him insane - it was rather funny I won't lie. Secondly, Allan is great, we have a very similar taste in music, so this was also going to work out well. We were also joined by Jonny - a fellow drama students other half who I have got to know quite well over the last few months, who is one crazy mofo, but an amazing guy and his friend Jonesy. It was all set to be a pretty small circle, so I really wasn't sure what to expect from the camping side of things this year. But this is Reading... expect the unexpected.

The circle soon expanded, with two lads from Birmingham named Zach and Jordan, (who were later joined by Juliet and even later Mickie - she has really cool green hair) and two students from Southampton named Gayle and Ross making up our little collective for 2012. These six were not known to myself or Allan, yet were absolute legends, I could not have asked for nicer neighbours. We all got on amazingly well, shared our alcohol and banter. I can say from the heart that this was the best circle of people I have ever had at a festival, and in my infamous and over used words of this festival huge lad points to all of them (Gayle, Mickie and Juliet included... lad points can be scored by girls also!). So in all before the music had even started I was set for one of the best festivals to date. The people always make a huge difference and I was lucky enough to be camping with the best of the best - absolute legends, all of them!

What I really love about the festival spirit, is you mix with people who in normal circumstances you might never give a chance too, people from different places, different backgrounds and of different ages. It makes you realise that if you treat people for who they are and take them at face value rather than worrying about barriers, you can make some amazing friends. It goes without saying that we are all planning to meet up again next year if not before!

I guess the only thing that went against us at this festival was the weather. There was mud, lots of mud, and where there wasn't mud there was sludgey puddles. Sure, you might say that it can't be a festival without mud, but it gets a bit old after a while, and welly boots are REALLY uncomfortable when you wear them for days on end. It rained a lot on Thursday and Friday, which dragged down the atmosphere a little - this said, Gayle and Ross ended up with their own garden pond by their tent porch - I am sure that is something estate agents look for in houses... water features surely add value to a property?

The circle was sludgy, but that didn't stop the camp fires (I like to burn things) and the chance to have a good time (and a few beers... ok a lot of beers - excluding the beers bought from arenas, I think between us it was something like 14 cases or more). For some reason Saturdays seems to always be the day I pull an all nighter, and this time around it was with Zach, Juliet, 2 new neighbours whos names I forget. The camp fire was epic, I kept it burning for almost 8 hours - thats a mean feet if you are drinking I assure you! Later we were joined by Joe and Alex from the festival campsite assistance team - they were great guys, even though security did have a go at them for hanging out with us for far too long. They joined us again on the Sunday night none the less, kind of gutted I never grabbed their facebook's or something really. They were right legends - never be put off by the Reading campsite staff in the green jackets - they are the cool lot, the reds and whites are the assholes generally.

Soooooo.... BHS 11 item breakfasts for £3.59, far too much money spent on shitty festival food, amazing new friends, legendary old friends, smelly toilets, lots of mud, camp fire stories, lots of beer and plenty of cider. Everything was perfect, now all we needed was the music... but that can wait for another blog. I need to hibernate now to make up for all the lost sleep of the last 5 nights. Part 2 of this blog will follow in the next day or two.

Friday, 24 June 2011

My Disaster

I was dreading the day I dried up in any form of performance. It happens to everyone, and with such a busy schedule, I had a feeling it would be this term. In three of my classes we have an end of term performance of some sort, one of these pieces as mentioned in an earlier blog was a duologue from Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3.

I had rehearsed this piece for the dress rehearsal. As we took to the performance area I was relatively confident as I opened with the line "Good day my lord, why at your book so hard?". The scene started to unravel with some great moments. I think every time I have performed this piece I have discovered something new about the characters. Shakespeare uses a lot if imagery and if you can relate to that, I find it really helps.

Now on to Nick, I can't remember what I said about him last time. He is my scene partner, what can I say? This guy lives and breathes Shakespeare. He gets right into the language, and the character. He was familiar with this scene prior to going into this which gave him a head start over me, it also meant I have learned a lot from him. He is very much the underdog of the class, in the sense that he does not shout and scream, rather he has a touch of genius and comes up with things then brings them to life like no other. It is only in working closely with him that I have realised how much more he has in his acting toolbox than I first thought. He is superb, and if he wants to make it in acting, I honestly think he could.

Now back to my disaster. As I hit my monologue, something came over me. I can't really explain it - my focus was lost, I didn't even feel as though I was in the room anymore. Even with the prompts - nothing was there. I know they say a bad dress rehearsal is a good sign... but I am so pissed off like you wouldn't believe. I walked out of the room for a good 15 minutes to mull over the diabolical performance, and although it happens to everyone sooner or later, it just feels awful when it happens to you. I guess I have a week to get it right, but I won't lie, my confidence has taken a huge blow. I was the worst in the class on Thursday, hell even the guy who is usually rock bottom was better than me - and that is saying something!

I must admit, I was hoping this encounter with Shakespeare would inspire me, but I am yet to be convinced. Even seeing Kevin Spacey in Richard III (the play that follows the one I am performing) just two days before hand failed to reach me. Don't get me wrong. you can't fault the acting. I was just not inspired by it. Its long, the plot is unconvincing and a tad predictable at best. I have yet to work out why people see Shakespeare as one of the best play writes of all time. Though this said I did enjoy seeing David Tenant and Catherine Tate in a modernised version of Much Ado About Nothing... much lighter and energetic, but still not the best piece of theatre I have seen.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

And The Winner Is... (BGT The Final - Part 4)

And the winner of Britian's Got Talent 2011 is..... Jai McDowell.

Jai is a talented guy, I can't take that from him. Personally, however I didn't feel he was the strongest performer on the night. For me - if you are looking at the singers, Ronan Parke put so much more into his song - it came right from the heart and really showed off the power he has in his voice. Though really, and as cheesy as this will sound. They are all winnners. I am pretty sure Ronan, New Bounce and Michael will all come out of this with top selling albums and record deals as well as Jai, and I think rightfully so. All of the acts were talented, I am just gutted for little Ronan, as I felt his strength of character alone meant he deserved to win. Even when the news sunk in that he had not won, he was keen to give Jai a congratulatory hug and ensured he thanked everyone who voted for him before publicly congratulating Jai. Never before have I seen someone so valiant in defeat. He just seems such a likable guy!

I guess the biggest shock for me was seeing James Holby come in 8th. I felt he injected more passion into his act than any of the other finalists. I don't think the public necessarily appreciated ballet as much as they could have, as it is a less accessible medium than singing. For me James was a winner, and as long as he goes out with his head held high and keeps doing what he does best, then that is great. I really hope he doesn't get down hearted - remember he is only 11 and he has been through a lot. I really respect him for what he has achieved, and I really hope that he gets something out of the BGT experience.

It was no surprise that bubbly Jean Martyn came last. It has to be horrible to be told in front of the nation that you came 10th, however truthfully I think that is a fair result. Les Gibson's poor take on Simon Cowell landed him in 9th which came as no real surprise, though personally I would like to have seen Steven Hall much lower in the rankings.

None the less a great final, and good to see a singer win for the first time since Paul Potts or whatever he was called all those years ago. But the question now is - when will an act which is not singing or dancing win?

Saturday, 4 June 2011

If Only I Were A Judge (BGT The Final Part 3)

So on to the third blog for the Britian's Got Talent Final. I am writing this as I watch the show on ITV player at an ungodly hour, having successfully avoided all forms of media, so I didn't hear the result! From the previous two articles you will now know that going into this evenings show my favorites were Ronan Parke and James Hobley. Though between either of them and fame stand 8 other contestants all who are after the same prize. I won't lie, I would love to be a judge on that show, as I think between Michael, Amanda and the Hoff they have all been a bit too soft. There are acts that got through the auditions which were laughable and no way deserved to be in the semi-finals.

The first of these was Steven Hall. Quite how he found his way to the fsemi-inal selection I will never know. How he got through that - well thats another baffling question. He just resembles an older family member who has had too much to drink at a party. I honestly believe he makes a mockery of the term "dance", especially when there are real dancers out there who deserve fame much more than he does. If there was ever a glimmer of hope that he would raise his game, this was soon quashed. Sure his movements and lip sync were in time, but the energy levels simply were not there. Remove all the dancers he had on stage with him, the routine to me seemed simpler than his original audition, which is never good. Quite what the judges saw in him I don't know... is Simon turning soft?

Second up - Michael Collings. I really rated him in the auditions. I can't help but think his vocal range is limited, but his song choices work with that - it plays to his strengths. Playing the same song as his audition was wise - and could easily sway the evenings votes. This guy is going somewhere, regardless to whether he wins. I would expect Simon to snap him up win or lose, and I can almost guarantee he will have a cd in the charts in the coming months. Could he win? I don't think so, but he will be a star that is for certain.

Les Gibson following in the footsteps of last years finalist and fellow impressionist Paul Birling was someone who I was unsure about. Sure he is good but was he better than Paul Birling? if I am honest I didn't think so. I think its right that he was given another chance - but would he make an impact this evening? Frankly - no. I thought his Simon Cowell impersonation was sketchy at best, though his take on Michael McIntyre, The Hoff and Louis Walsh were pretty reasonable. Amanda echoed this. Personally I would find it farcical if he ended up in the last three. He is good, but he is not the most talented person in Britain thats for sure.

Now onto one of my favorites - James Hobley. I am so glad that he has got this far, and I sit here hoping that the judges, audience and general public get behind his performance, which was solid throughout with a beautiful ending. In terms of talent, this boy deserves to be number one. He has definitely sent the previous three acts packing in my books. As I said in my last article, what he brings to the stage is a passion that cannot be taught, a passion that shines through in his performances. I really don't know what market exists for a ballet dancer after BGT, maybe a role in Billy Elliot? I really don't know. But this kid deserves to go all the way!

Up next a pianist by the name of Paul Gbegbaje. I think this is an act that could get a bit old, as there is only so much you can do with a piano and stay entertaining. The choice of an original piece is risky at best, and my first impressions listening is that it was nothing special, though as the song came to life, his ability really shone through. Is this a winning performance? Again I have to say, I am really not sure. Of the people I have seen so far, he is in the top 3 but only just with James and Michael Collings ahead of him. However being just half way through the night can he hold on to that place? I really don't think so.

With Ronan Parke up next, Paul Gbegbaje's top 3 slot I felt would be very much short lived indeed. Ronan has such an amazing voice. His audition was phenomenal, which had all three judges on their feet. I just hoped that he would perform well under the stress that the tabloids have caused him in the last couple of days. Ronan lived up to his tag as the bookies favorite with a great choice of song which brought out the best in his voice. It is hard to believe such power could come from a twelve year old. As much as I would like James to win, I can't help but think Ronan has just snatched it - that was simply mind blowing - and those tears after such a great performance show just how much heart he puts in to every song he sings. Watch out Bieber... there is a new kid on the block!!!

Jean Martyn is another of the contestants I have been unsure of. I won't lie, as enthusiastic as she may be, I found her piece messy with the melodies not fitting with the bass notes, and her singing very much mediocre. If I am honest my most hated act of the final - Steven Hall may have been marginally better! Sure - a ton of energy - but it would be better suited to an asylum than a talent contest.

Jai McDowell is up next. Having seen Ronan perform so well, Jai has to really pull out all stops to be the better solo singing act. If I am truthful, I am not sure he has it in him, he always seems so nervous. But who knows he may just pull it off! My first impressions of the song are not that great, but Simon loved it... lets face it if Simon loves a singer their career in music is already made for them. He is good, and just like Michael Collings I feel there is a future for him in music, though I would be shocked if he won this competition.

I am a lover of dance and Razy Gogonea brings a real contrast to James Hobley's ballet routine. Having seen lots of street dancing and body popping in the last few years - he really needs to do a lot to impress. Don't forget the last three years have been won by choreographed routines. For me it is all a bit samey and seems to lack the heart and passion I have seen in other dancers. Razy was entertaining the first time I saw him, but truthfully the novelty has worn off now, and even the use of fire did little to sway my view on this - it was just a means of tarting up a routine I have seen too many times before.

Onto the final act of the night - New Bounce - the only boy band in the final. I am no lover of boy bands usually, as the vocal mixes are generally cringeworthy and the performances are often a bit cheesy. Would New Bounce be any different? They were better than most I will credit them with that. The group harmonies worked, but I wasn't so sure on the solo pieces. It was a worthy performance, but for me not good enough to break into the top three. Just like the other singers tonight, they have a future regardless of the outcome of this show.

So thats my take on the final, and below is how I would rank them based on the evenings performance for what they are worth. I am not a judge I know, but hey its good to have an opinion right?


Ronan Parke
James Hobley
Michael Collings
Paul Gbegbaje
New Bounce
Jai McDowell
Les Gibson
Razy Gogonea
Steven Hall
Jean Martyn