Fringe Review

Debate Bait

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The Fringe Forum is looming closer, just a few hours and our latest panel will be
getting stuck into this year’s topic: The Power of the Arts and Creative Industries in creating positive change within the community.

Hosting this year’s panel will be Tim Goldman known in the VFringe program as Timfoolery, a London-based children’s entertainer, actor and drama therapist. Tim has spent many years running sessions for Music & Movement, Improvisation and Clowning. Panelists joining Tim this year will be Gill Wildman, Ian Boyd, Kate Powell and our very own Jack Whitewood.

A design strategist by day and an accomplished Creative Micro Business mentor by night, Gill started a company called Upstarter; an online incubator for microbusinesses. She’s been running one-to-one Creative Microbusiness Clinics in the Caravan at Parkside everyday this week. If you want to book yourself a private clinic with Gill, please talk to the Box Office.

 
Ian Boyd runs Arc Consulting on the Isle of Wight. At the forefront of environmental consultancy, Arc combine their ecology expertise with landscaping and community involvement. Working on multiple projects such as, East Medina Greenway, Addison Close and the Robin Hill Artificial Badger Set, Ian has helped to rejuvenate multiple areas of natural beauty across the island.

Kate Powell is a familiar face to the Ventnor Fringe, she has been volunteering and performing at the Festival since 2013. This year Kate returns as co-owner (with Jonna Nummela) of The Errant Stage; a traveling performance venue. She hopes to keep this traveling theatre an affordable, accessible and
sustainable business.

Jack Whitewood is just some guy that got together with some mates and made a festival back in 2010, called Ventnor asymmetric-bob or Fringe or something…

So as you can see we have quite an interesting bunch this year; a theatre performer/ tutor, a creative business coach, an environmental consultant, a theatre owner and a Festival Director. Who knows where this debate will go. Make sure you’re there to throw your questions into the pot, audience participation is extremely welcomed, if not imperative for a noteworthy debate.

Judy Rodrigues - by Tobias Penner

Interview: Judy Rodrigues

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Ben – So I’m here with Judy Rodrigues and we have just come from the Bloomsbury and the Isle of Wight event at the Ventnor Film Club. I’ll let Judy introduce herself to you all.

Judy – Hello. I’m Judy Rodrigues. I’m an artist and I’m based at Spike Island where I have been for a number of years now. I was brought up on the Island from the age of 3 and left at 18, but I’ve been coming back ever since. In 2014 I had a residency at Ventnor Botanic Garden which was supported by the Arts Council. It was a research and development grant and it allowed me time to work with the Island. I was really interested in the connections between writers and painters, particularly poets and poetry.

B – Your art has been heavily influenced by the likes of the Bloomsbury Set (in particular the relationship between sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell). For our listeners who might not know what the Bloomsbury Set is, how would you describe them? Who made up the Bloomsbury Set?

J – The Bloomsbury Set were pretty much a very educated, cultural elite in a way. I think that’s how I thought of them, of their time. Made up of a group of men, from Cambridge. I suppose that it was only after the Dimbola [Dimbola Lodge, the home of Victorian photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron – in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight] Show that I started reading how the sisters, Virginia and Vanessa became involved in the group through their brother, Toby who died very young. It was through the sisters and how they became so pivotal within what was known as the Bloomsbury Group.

B – It’s interesting that a group that included E.M. Forster and Virginia Woolf just came together…

J – Yes! I think I’m more interested in E.M. Forster and even George Eliot – a different generation I know – now. I didn’t do literature at school and it’s strange how it’s come in so much for me, as a painter. It was a synchronicity of events and I was finding that I was reaching out to certain people because I was identifying with them in relation with how my paintings were evolving in the studio.

B – You mention synchronicity – there was a part of your talk earlier that identified the 3rd of May letter between Vanessa and Virginia. How is that date particularly relevant and synchronous with your life?

J – For me, when I read it as the 3rd of May it was the date of birth of my daughter – my first child as well. So I wasn’t likely to forget the date from then on. The 3rd May was when Vanessa wrote – after arriving with her family in France – and she wrote about the moths, the light and being in a lighthouse and how the moths were attracted to the light. It was a very good letter. You usually find quoted a paragraph but it’s the rest of the letter that is important to read.

B – What do you think of Ventnor Fringe?

J – I love it! This year has been quite a year for me and I’ve just got back from the Azores Fringe on the Isle of Pico.

B – There was one point earlier in your talk that you said you have an exhibition going on at the St Mary’s Hospital, is that right?

J – Yes, in the Full Circle Gallery [outside the restaurant on the first floor of St Mary’s Hospital in Newport), Guy Eades is putting up paintings that I’ve been working on and that came out of being on the Island in the last 3 years. There’s a few paintings from the Freshwater Diary still there, I think.

B – Well, thank you so much for spending the time for an interview and I hope – if you’re sticking around for the rest of the Fringe – you enjoy it.

Judy Rodrigues can be found at http://www.judyrodrigues.com/

It’s rained-off? Nah, it’s Rained-ON!

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The rain doesn’t stop this party. Here are the Media Team’s top 5 choices for tonight (we’re gonna be getting down to all five).

  • Annabelle Spencer @ The Tea House (at 5:30pm-6:30pm, so get a move on!)

Annabelle Spencer, a young Isle of Wight gal, will be performing her acoustic 60-minute set of covers and original songs at The Tea House. What could be better to start off your evening? Live music, delicious cake, heating and comfortable seating. Bliss.

  • Puppet Bingo @ the Parkside (10:00pm- 11:00pm)

We aint’ gonna let the rain get us down, we’ve thrown the candles, pillows and warm vibes across the Parkside Moroccan tent interior. Wireless puppets, Terry, Ted, Karen and Ollie, will be hosting this evenings bingo. Five rounds, lots of prizes, maybe too many… We hear Terry (Smooth Jazz Wireless puppet presenter) went a bit mad in town.

  • Party @ the Observatory (8:00pm – 00:00am)

The Carnival may be cancelled, the fireworks may have been postponed but we’re still gonna ‘get down’ tonight at the Observatory. Good thing those wind/rain breaks are up, you can hardly tell that you’re outside. If you’ve joined us for this party before you’ll be happy to know it’s still hot as sin under bandstand lights and the DJs are set to bring the party, loud.

  • Tell-Tale Presents; 1914 Local News @ the Pier St. Playhouse (8:30pm – 9:30pm)

Fancy something a little more civilised, a bit more historically enriching? Well this is your pick for tonight. This will be a journey back to 1914 using local newspaper articles and letters performed on stage. Wanna’ know more about this show? Tell-Tale joined us this morning on The Review Show, listen here.

p.s. You’ll have time after this show to catch a drink at the Observatory Bar or seat to Puppet Bingo.

  • Ventnor Exchange (Open until 11:00pm)

It’s always a party in Ventnor Exchange, they’ll be serving there usual seven-billion choices of craft beers, accompanied by board games, plush seating and heating.

Photo by Tobias Penner

art_house_life

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Beautiful bright white spaces are brilliant places to hang art, don’t you think?

art_house_life: Electric Dreams –Adventures in the Unreal is a contemporary arts project based at 35 Medeira Road by two artists, Joanna Kori (Jo) and Albedo Marz (also known as David). Much of the gallery is adorned with huge canvas paintings and digital collages. We got a sneak peak of this stunning collection on the Monday night before Fringe kicked off…

So to get stuck in, by the front door is a bird created with Jo’s unique sculpting style, made with gum tape and linseed oil. This seemingly delicate bird sits by the light, showing the layers of tape with a smooth shiny finish, almost as though a seagull had sat patiently inside a mould for the piece.

Her previous exhibition at the Quay Arts in January featured a curtain adorned with artist tools. Jo tells me that the curtain concept came from the realisation that technology has overtaken so many art forms and how long would it be before these beautiful tools became outdated fossils in the art world. The installation also included floating artistic figures working with their hands, along with several perched and flying birds; brothers and sisters to our door-side companion.

“I’d seen this article last year while I was making the piece where it said within a generation or two our hands might not actually be capable of using these tools. That’s when I did lots of casts of artists hands in positions they might take to use the tools. So it was like a responsive piece.” – Joanna Kori

Jo has been working for over 20 years as an award-winning games and interactive learning designer alongside her long-term sculpture, installation, drawing and print projects. She has three installations in mind for her next project (to eventually be shown in 35, Madeira Road), that have developed on from this exhibition. Hopefully we’ll be seeing this pop-up at next years Fringe…

She is more than happy to talk to you about her work, but the exhibition in art_house_life is quite heavily centred around David’s collection.

David has been producing art over the last 60 years and spoke to me about his inspirations, and the process he went through to produce some of his pieces. Two large canvases (one in the kitchen and one on the staircase) caught my eye in the house, David went on to tell me more about the pieces.

“The paintings were really about the failure of the Islamic revolution really. I was somebody that was extremely impressed by the sheer size of the democratic voting for the Ayatollah Khomeini when he came to power. 97% of Iranian people voted for him and in 3 of 4 years that revolution was betrayed. Some of the dark themes that are in the centre of that painting represent the bodies, the effigies in Tehran and all the rest of it. In the Middle East, right from the time of the Mongols, the horse represents a whole source of power.” – Albedo Marz (David)

For those unfamiliar with Ayatollah Khomeini, he was an Iranian philosopher and revolutionary, who ultimately led the revolution to overthrow the Pahlavi monarchy in Iran. His ideals changed so much over the course of his reign as the country’s supreme leader, that his original principles were lost as was his huge public support eventually resulting in his exile.

Interesting fact: Khomeini was the man that put out a fatwa on Salman Rushdie.

These two paintings are like split screens, one half of each painting is very dark with strange, eerie-looking shapes peering through the darkness and the other half, bright and bold. A horse features in one of these and a few of David’s digital prints, symbolising the Arab influence to the image.

There is a lot of history in David’s work and social political struggle. Some of his newer pieces follow a different socio-political pathway, I noticed another painting, the first of his latest series called Shape Shifting.

“It brings together the traditional themes of painting, landscapes, objects, still life and figure painting but they’re all brought together as signs of a disintegrated environment. Most of my work is fragmented in one form or another and it’s part of how I see it, a disconnected world. I know everybody talks about it as a connected world but I see us as very disconnected.” – Albedo Marz (David).

David goes on to talk about how heavily reliant we are on media and technology in modern day. His latest inspiration draws from his idea of a disconnected world and how being so remarkably connected in this way will ultimately cause worldwide dysfunction.

It all comes back to the idea of being under surveillance, having every personal detail on show for the world to see and how this will ultimately affect society. Shape Shifting is a bright and energetic piece, I’m interested to see where the other seven in the series end up, from the sounds of it, they could get quite dark…

The exhibition is open all week so make sure you get down to 35 Madeira Road to see this distinctive collection before the end of the week.

Steven Paul Sales

Interview: Steven Paul Sales

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Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Steven Sales. I’m 33 ½. I was born on the Island, but I currently live and work in Bristol. I hate using the term artist, but its essentially what I do – I make objects and things about the physical and cultural identity of places. I like dancing to disco and cooking; and especially cooking to disco.

Describe your connection to Ventnor and the Fringe.
The first of my Island family moved to Ventnor in 1900. My great-great uncle’s name is inscribed on the War memorial near Ventnor Park, so Ventnor has always felt like my ancestral home. It’s been my cultural home since being a teenager, frequenting the beaches, footpaths and pubs. I’ve had many friends perform in the Fringe and have seen first-hand what a great experience it can be. I didn’t want to miss out.

Tell us about what you are bringing to the Fringe.
I’m presenting a sound installation at the Errant Stage, which explores the uncertain future of the native Island dialect. I was fifteen when I first realised the island had its own unique set of words and over the past 18 years it is clear that less people are using these words in everyday life. Some Island words describe actions which don’t exist in the English language. Kurn for example, refers to the turning of a flower into a fruit. I hope the installation excites people about this wonderful aspect of our Island heritage.

One previous Fringe memory you hold dear.
Watching Stealing Sheep last year. The balmy weather and the venue helped to enhance the atmosphere that evening. I remember a moment of just looking around, being surrounded by mates and realising I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

This year you are most excited about…
It goes without saying that I am really excited about presenting my own project, but I’m also looking forward to seeing Childhood, Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads performance piece at Trinity Church and Puppet Bingo.

Tea at the VIF

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Hailing form North London, Girl Ray are a band in their infancy, or to be more accurate, in their adolescence. Still in their teens this trio, made up of Poppy (guitar/vocals), Iris (drums) and Sophie (bass) are on their way to great things. Naming themselves through word play of the surrealist artist Man Ray, there are hints of art school sensibilities, years before the possibility of university.

Their first single, Trouble was recorded on what would have been their last day of school and released late last year, yet the sound is certainly beyond their years.

Their songs document the typical dramas of that difficult age between school and real life. That time when a falling out of love can be devastating, and the breakdown of a friendship can be even more so. I’m certainly interested to see where the song writing goes as this band matures.

They are already writing and making brilliant music; lyrically intense yet light and witty, the songs almost feel like they belong to a different time. Girl Ray are taking us back to a more lo-fi time and feeling. In a musical world that has had a recent influx of indie girl groups, Girl Ray are offering something markedly different. The 90’s influences here are evident. As I listen, my mind is taken back to bands like Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Hefner (who in my opinion are widely underrated, check them out too if you’re in the listening mood), Stereolab and, at times, the Pipettes.

Vocally there is a somewhat more historic influence. The Nico-esque vibes lead singer Poppy is giving out are strong, in a very good way. I’ve always been a fan of a low, breathy, nicely disinterested vocal and find myself smiling as each song unfolds to showcase dreamy tones. There is some nice vocal layering put to good use, but they have avoided the trap of the overuse of reverb which can ruin a good song almost before it’s started.

Girl Ray’s debut album Earl Grey was released last week on Moshi Moshi Records, who in their time have managed notable successes such as Hot Chip, Metronomy, and Florence and the Machine. Here’s hoping that they have similar fortune with this trio.

Where can you catch them I hear you ask? Well you’re in luck. As part of Ventnor International Festival, them good folk the organisers have granted our town a special treat in bringing Girl Ray down and they will be playing at St Catherine’s Church on Friday at 8.30pm.

I would heartily recommend going along o check them out, there could be big things in these girls’ futures and wouldn’t it be lovely to say that you caught them before they hit the big time.

www.soundcloud.com/girlray

Into the Chalkpits

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Chalkpit Records was founded by Silas Gregory, a Commercial Music degree student, who, frustrated by the lack of guidance, support and professional performance opportunities for young musicians, decided to ruddy well do something about it.

Silas has created professionally-executed gigs across the Island in a variety of venues – theatres, basements and festival stages, allowing young musicians from the Island and the South Coast to really showcase their music. Proper sound engineering, slick lighting and attention to detail set the Chalkpit gigs apart. The acts represented are diverse, keeping the bill eclectic; always selecting artists that complement each other, so the evening retains a common feel and a vibe that the audience can fully immerse themselves in.

Since May 2016, Chalkpit has released two EPs, six singles, has put on 15 shows and represented 60 acts. Not bad.

Having attended Chalkpit evenings and being a musician myself, I am impressed by what is happening. The acts I have seen are given the space to be themselves, to explore the music they want to make and be paid for doing so. That’s right! Paid to play original material! Profits go back into the acts and the label, with is entirely self-funded.

Silas has also tapped into a market that has been left out of the live music scene on the Island for years; 16-18 year olds. With most venues not wanting to take the risk of opening up to under 18s, the Chalkpit nights are loyally attended by an increasing number of teens. The energy they bring to gigs is incredible. They are not jaded, nor concerned about who else is in the audience and being seen at the right gig. They are there for the music, joyfully singing along to the chorus, buying merch and creating well attended mosh pits at the drop of a hat.

Live music on the Island has a chance. Young musicians have a chance. And this makes me very happy. But let me allow Silas Gregory to illuminate you…

How are you?
I’m great, thank you! Excited for yet another magical year at the Fringe Festival.

Why have you come back to Fringe?
The Fringe is fantastic, it draws so many like-minded people together under one umbrella. I’ve seen some wicked stuff over the years. It’s a beautiful place to grow and develop your artistic flow. Our debut show in 2016 was a real eye opener for me it really was the birth place of a lot of my visions of an Isle of Wight music scene. So yeah, I’m really excited to embrace Vtown once again.

Rubbleclub #2 is featuring…
… some of the most exciting new acts to hit the Isle of Wight and South Coast.

Headlining is Sleep Well, comprised of Josh Mobaraki and Hester Chambers. Sleep Well offer a refreshing new sound with Josh’s raw vocals racing us through, all the while complimented by the delicate vocals of Hester in a combination that somehow gels perfectly.

Supporting is Brighton-based ambient indie rock band Submariner, who have had an exciting summer with sell-out shows and performances at Common People 2017 and Victorious Festival in Portsmouth. Opening the evening will be local indie sweetheart Goo Lagoon with his lo-fi indie pop band backing.

Describe what Chalkpit Records is bringing to the music scene.
Chalkpit Records was really about allowing people to fall in love with new and exciting music again. I feel like we are almost brainwashed to like pop music, it’s anywhere and everywhere we go, and for us it’s about breaking that cycle. We want to boast about the freshest sounds from the Island and South Coast because really they are the future. The Island is now home to some of my favorite bands and it excites me to see these artists grow off the chalky Coasts.

Tell us what we can expect from Rubbleclub #2!
Firstly, we welcome you to the club, congrats you’re one of the lucky ones. It is a pleasure to have you in our company for the evening and we hope we can teach you a few things about live music. We want you to walk away knowing you have just witnessed some of the leading acts to break the shores of the UK and in a few years’ time will most definitely be going on to bigger and better things.

Finish this sentence “Come to Rubble Club if you….”
… want to come with us now on a journey through time and space!

If you love live music and want to discover and experience truly exciting and vibrant sounds, then head to the Warehouse tonight. Darlings, I will see you there.

You can find Chalkpit’s Facebook here.

Interview: Sophie Honeybourne

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Our first creative character interview this week is with Sophie Honeybourne, owner and artist behind Honeybourne Jewellery, with our very own Editor-in-Chief, Catriona Macaulay.

So to start things off – how long have you been making jewellery?

I think it’s over 20 years now, which is really scary! I started when I was 18 alongside studying for my degree in 3D design and during my first year I realised I wasn’t getting taught enough. I wanted to specialize in jewellery so I trained at Theodosia in Newport for 7 years. I had the apprenticeship at the same time as doing my degree.

Where did you do your degree?

I studied at Portsmouth and then did a final two years at the Royal College, followed by a Masters specialising in jewellery. I didn’t know until I was in my second year that jewellery was what I wanted to go into, because I was more fine art based with a love for sculpture, but I struggled with the idea of how to make a living out of art. But then jewellery put it all together; I could make pieces of art for the body.

Well they are like little sculptures when you look at them…

Yeah well, making anything in miniature was a real challenge. I saw a Japanese jewellery exhibition and it just completely sent me down the jewellery path. In this country we have such a rich history in jewellery-making. But at the same time, we’ve got set ways for ‘this is how you enamel’ or ‘this is how you make rings’ whereas the Japanese jewellery exhibition just opened up a whole new possibility that jewellery could be used as sculpture for the body.

Have you ever been to Japan?

No, but I’d love to go! It’s just so out of our comfort zone, it seems like everyone I know that has been says that it’s just so different to our culture.

When did Honeybourne Jewellery come to life?

I graduation from the Royal College and I made my End of Year Exhibition and sold nearly the whole lot which was really a shock.

How many pieces did you have in your exhibition?

It was probably nearly 20 or 25, and from that I gained lots of interest from exhibitions and galleries so it just snowballed! I imagined I’d go travelling or do something in-between, but literally a week after finishing, I graduated, came home and set up in my mum’s shed and started making. Every time I sold some jewellery I bought another tool, so all of these tools are 20 years old [gestures towards her work bench filled with sculpting tools].

It has become a right of passage for people to have a Honeybourne piece; when people graduate, finish Sixth Form or get married – it’s very much, “Have you got your Honeybourne?”. Is this something that you’ve realised?

Thank you, yeah I think working for Theodosia helped. My studies didn’t give you any help in business experience or how to deal with real-life customers or clients. So to have a mix of the two, working for Theodosia with customers and having to design and make for them rather than just being taught at uni.

I’ve been able to make 16th birthday presents, then graduation gifts and in some cases, their engagement and wedding rings then their christening gifts, and it’s been beautiful. You actually see people grow through jewellery. It can be a celebration, it’s a real marked point through their lives and a real honour to do that.

Are all these documented on your social media?

We have a bespoke archive (on the website) and each piece has a little text about what the customer wanted, what we discussed and what the piece became.

We actually just added a subsection on the website about the remembrance pieces, and that’s been really beautiful. So, if people have lost a loved one we can incorporate hair and ashes into the piece so that it’s not just celebrating the good times but also marking really important life moments. That’s been in the last two years and we’ve been working really closely with clients and customer and making something that means the world to them.

How many commissions do you tend to get through a week?

It can really vary, I’d say in a day – there are three of us now – we can do from 5-10 commissions and in the really busy times like Christmas we work 10-12 hours daily to keep up with demand. It can be anything, from really tiny to a massive wedding piece and everything in-between, and each one needs attention and time.

Do you work with any other companies?

When I was on my own I used to exhibit at about 20 galleries around the country and a few major exhibitions but because of the success of the shop which is unbelievable – I always imagined some little open workshop that people could come in and see what I did and they might leave with a pair of earrings – and we were totally blown away by how successful it became.

We’ve done a few collaborations with Sherlockology, which was the fansite for Sherlock Holmes. We made a piece for Steven Moffat and his wife Sue Vertue (directors of Sherlock and Doctor Who) and we stocked their online shop. We’ve done some work for Rockkins, a friend of mine who makes beautiful silk scarves, that was the Kate Moss piece that we made. We’ve worked with Charnwood, I made a miniature wood-burning stove and we’re about to possibly work with another island company but we’re still working on it at the moment so, quite exciting.

Can we ask who it is?

I can’t say right now. You’ll have to keep watching our page.

What is your take on The Ventnor Fringe?

We love the Fringe. I can remember when I got my first email from Jack and he said, ‘Hi, my name is Jack, and I’m at university. We’re looking for unusual spaces and we’d love to use the archway’ and I immediately just said ‘yes definitely, whatever you like; we’ll give you cables, use our electricity’ and we’ve just supported it from day one. It’s so wonderful to see people so passionate coming together, not to mention the unusual and creative people it brings to Ventnor. Just to see that was like ‘Go Jack, go!’ and to see it growing a growing has been amazing. To have Ventnor Exchange as our neighbours is great and we’re wholeheartedly behind it.

Is there anything on the program that you’re really looking forward to this year?

We’re going to see the Parrots and Childhood, so that’s going to be really exciting. I loved last year, seeing Stealing Sheep was brilliant, because I’ve loved them for absolute years so it’s so lovely to see that one amazing band and then find loads of little bits around the Fringe and Rex [Sophie’s son] likes to wonder around.

Will you be taking Rex along to any of the kid-friendly events this year?

Yes! Rex loved Seska, he was brilliant. Rex was sat with his mouth hanging open, he’d never seen anything like it so we’ll definitely be going back to see him.

Thank you to Sophie for speaking to us, you can find the Honeybourne Jewellery website here, and Facebook here.

Childhood

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The first memory I had as a child was of something I thought could have been a dream – nah I’m only joking; I’m reviewing Childhood THE BAND.

Playing this Friday at Ventnor Winter Gardens is the London-based band Childhood. Though listening to their back catalogue, you could be forgiven for thinking these guys were from a seaside town, not too dissimilar from dear Ventnor here.

The band were welcomed to the scene back in 2012 with their single Blue Velvet, and were admired as the revivalists of modern guitar music. Such notoriety for a young band meant that Childhood had to either continue in this fashion, or fall by the wayside.

In 2014 they released their album, Lacuna, which did not disappoint. The album showed off more of what critics had grown to love from Childhood, presenting exciting exploratory guitar on catchy synth indie-pop tracks.

Their latest album Universal High boast a Motown soul sound, a surprising turn around given their first album (Lacuna) featured indie-pop-psychedelia. The latest album asserts crisp funky guitar riffs, the appearance of falsetto vocals whilst maintaining a soft undercurrent of that familiar psychedelic surfer guitar we’ve come to know and love.

Too Old for My Tears has got to be the dance track of the summer; not the title you’d imagine for an up-beat summer anthem, but it’ll really get you up and wanting to dance. If you’re wondering which song you’re thinking of when the chorus plays “But oh baby” – It’s Ronan Keating, ‘Life is a Rollercoaster’ (you’re welcome, because we know that woulda’ been playing on your mind. And for all you nay-sayers, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of Ronan). This fast-paced song is like a blend of ‘Black and White Town’ by Doves crossed with Julian Casablacas-esque vocals.

It’s an eclectic album – the more you listen, the more you unlock. It’s been a while since I’ve heard an album like it. Something new resonates with you with every play, whether it’s the bass-line, various guitar accompaniments or varying vocal styles, it’s just an astute collection of songs. My most exciting encounter with the album was the title track, embracing similar sounds to that of Connan Mockasin, minus the obscure and down-right weird lyricism.

Childhood have taken several traditional music genres, amalgamated them into their own, and it’s that what a great album should be. The bands new image emanates the classic swinging flared corduroys, bushy side-burned beatnik boys.

This definitely is a must see for any music fanatics this week. Whether you’ve given them a listen already or would prefer to be pleasantly surprised, a live set is always the true measure of a band.

Parkside - by Tobias Penner

Film Spotting

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It’s begun! As you may be aware, our little town has become quite the miniature metropolis. If you’ve just arrived, settle in to your accommodation, have a beverage and light snack, then on with the show! There’s already a lot going on around town, from art on the Plaza to an old-school warehouse gig, not to mention the first night of shenanigans down at the Observatory.

Tonight also sees some exciting things going on in the world of cinema. Looking at a film in a new context can be an eye-opening experience; perhaps finding a new meaning in a familiar tale or noticing things that you’d missed time and time again. There are two such offerings on the bill tonight, both very different experiences to be had.

It’s been over 20 years since the release of Danny Boyle’s seminal film, Trainspotting, and at the Ventnor Fringe there is now an excuse to celebrate. By happy coincidence, 2017 also marks the 70th year of Iggy Pop, who’s song Lust for Life is put front and centre of the the film’s exhilarating opening scene.

Not only does his music feature but Iggy Pop becomes a character in his own right, never seen yet is omnipresent as a symbol of irrepressible hedonism – pivotal life choices are made around the very idea of him.

Tonight will see a screening of both the original Trainspotting and last year’s sequel. In the interlude Iggy Pop’s enthusiasm and ‘Lust for Life’ will be kept alive by Olly Fry and the Three Stooges who will be playing Iggy Pop’s tunes. All the while the walls will be adorned with never-before-seen photo portraits of him displayed by Ventnor Arts Club.

If the exploits of Renton and Iggy aren’t quite your thing, or you have little ones in tow, The Adventures of Prince Achmed could be just the thing for you. Made in 1926 by pioneering German director Lotte Reiniger, this is the oldest surviving animated film in the world.

The film follows the tale of Prince Achmed from One Thousand and One Nights, and it has all that you could ask for: sorcery, adventure, demons and a flying horse!

Musician Chris Davies gives the film new life with a new score that will be performed live on what can only be described as a spectacular array of world instruments, from the classical guitar to a bowed psaltery and a crystal singing bowl. The film itself is silent, so unrestricted by language, Davies creates new atmospheres and sound worlds for Price Achmed’s journey.

After a history of touring with bands, Chris Davies eventually found himself in the world of visual theatre where his strengths and interests lay in creating atmosphere with sound. His work with Prince Achmed is has brought a new life to the oldest animation and promises to be a brilliant family night out.

OR… if neither of those floats ones boat I’ll try something completely different. If film isn’t your thing, how about a little jazz? Nick Page is one of the country’s leading jazz guitarists and this evening at Trinity Church he will be performing his ‘Isle of Wight Suite’, a set of twelve original jazz compositions inspired by his favourite places on the Island. He will be joined by his quintet for what promises to be an excellent evening in a wonderfully atmospheric venue.

Described by Alan Skidmore (saxophonist) as “an undiscovered gem of the British jazz scene”, Nick is a Ventnor resident and it’ll be a marvellous show on his home turf. Whichever direction your evening heads in, be sure to have fun, enjoy yourself, and settle in for the week. It’s going to be a hoot and a half.

Lust For Life: Celebrating Iggy Pop and Trainspotting: 19:30 @ Ventnor Arts Club
The Adventures of Prince Achmed:
19:30 @ Parkside
The Isle of Wight Suite:
19:30 @ Holy Trinity Church

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