(Homer Simpson, watching "Stop the planet of the apes, I want to get off!")
Last Thursday I went off to watch Mitch Benn and the Distractions (part of their "Sing Like An Angel" tour), which I really enjoyed. I think that's the first gig I've ever been to, and it wasn't quite what I was expecting; for one thing, it was quite civilised, with everyone sitting around at tables, and the music was loud rather than deafening. It was fairly informal, which I liked: the room was full, but there were only about 100 people there, and he was happy to chat to people while he signed CDs after the performance.
I heard one of Mitch Benn's CDs when I went to Cornwall a couple of years ago, and I saw him in The Now Show in March, but almost all of the songs were new to me; the only one I recognised was part of the encore. The lyrics are all quite clever, and there's very little repetition, unlike a lot of stuff I listen to which emphasises the chorus. His supporting band were good too, particularly Kirsty Newton. I was quite impressed that she was able to play the piano while looking straight upwards, and I think my favourite song was the her "teenage love song death ballad" (I'm not sure of the proper name). Apparently she has a single out on iTunes, but I can't find it. More generally, I'd say that she and Mitch Benn are both talented: they can sing, play guitar and piano, and seem to have good "technical skills" (for want of a better word), e.g. being able to sing in harmony. He's also a funny speaker; you can't go wrong with Dalek jokes!
Yesterday (Monday), I went off to watch "Joseph" at the theatre, for an SJA duty. I saw this back in May, but I was happy to watch it again. One difference is that this time the understudies were taking on the lead roles: Ricky Rojas as Joseph, and Fiona Reyes as the narrator. I think Rojas was just as good (if not better) than Lee Mead, although I never watched the BBC series that led to Mead's casting, so I didn't view him as a celebrity. As for Reyes, she did a good job; when I saw Jenna Lee James, I was very impressed by her singing, and I didn't have quite the same reaction here. On the other hand, Reyes is particularly good at rolling her Rs, and she's a talented dancer: it really looked as if she was gliding across the floor at some points, which can't be easy in high heels. As for the rest of the female cast, I was surprised at how young they were. (This only really becomes obvious at the end.) They take on various roles, starting with Jacob's wives (heavily veiled), so that made me think that the characters would be at least 50, based on the ages of their sons. Having said that, the cast page says that they were actually playing the wives of each of Jacob's sons (except for Joseph), so I may have misinterpreted that. Anyway, the actors look as if they're in their 20s, and I do admire their athleticism.
As for upcoming SJA duties, I'm off to watch "Mamma Mia!" in a couple of weeks; I enjoyed the film, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm also going to watch "Spamalot" next month (before it closes in January); again, I enjoyed the film, although it's been several years since I saw it. So, there are some perks to being a volunteer!