I went to see Cowboys And Aliens at the weekend. It threw up some serious philosophical questions about life that I am still grappling with. Questions like, ‘How did Sam Rockwell come to be so fucking awesome?’ and, ‘Why isn’t it illegal for Olivia Wilde to wear clothes?’. I wasn’t able to answer those questions, but the question that really got me thinking was one that applies to my own life. There is a kid in the movie. In one of the scenes, Olivia Wilde’s character gives him a hug, to comfort him, because something tragic has just happened. Now I do not want to suggest that the film was not enthralling enough to keep me mesmerised for the entire duration, but this scene struck a chord with me and sent my brain off on a wild tangent about life. I mean here I am, a man of 24, and my only memory of female contact during my teenage years is the time during a school dance when I somehow worked up the courage to press my boy-boner into the thigh of the girl I liked while we shuffled from foot to foot for one whole slow song. And here he is. This kid. This fucking kid. And already he has had a hug from Olivia Wilde, the closest thing to human physical perfection ever captured on goddamn film. Not only that, but he got paid to do it. And shit, this is a pretty big movie, who knows what he will go on to do in the movie business. He could have a whole fucking lifetime of hugs from beautiful women ahead of him. And he’s just some kid. And it made me think, some people have all the fun, and the rest of us are shit out of luck. Why bother trying, when we are doomed to fulfil our mundane destinies without even a whiff of beauty or magic or art, never mind the nostril-flaring scent of a woman, made famous by Pacino in the film of the same name, and the one undoubtedly enjoyed by this fucking kid when, whilst being paid, he had his face mashed against Olivia Wilde’s bosom! Damn it I need a fucking beer to calm my jangled nerves…
So after my last post we have had almost two thousand requests via Facebook that This Is Not A Review be scrapped in favour of a Blake Lively Appreciation Blog (or BLAB, which isn’t a bad title…). As if this wasn’t disheartening enough for me, four days ago I woke up to find sixteen voicemails from Will on my phone. They were recorded between the hours of 11pm and 3am, in increasing states of drunkenness. All of them, however, were on the theme of how shit I am. The most cutting of all was the penultimate one, in which Will demanded to know why I can’t be more like Ned Hepburn, followed by a detailed explanation of all the ways Ned is better than me. The last, and most disturbing voicemail was an incredibly emotional rendition of Elvis Presley’s ‘She’s Not You’, which I can only infer was a veiled admittance that Blake Lively can’t quite replace me. Encouraged by the idea that Will isn’t quite ready to let me go, but determined to up my game and win back his affections, I bought a six-pack of Guinness and pored over Ned’s blog, hoping to find something I could rip off. Then I had a nap, because Guinness makes me sleepy, which was wrought by tortured metaphorical dreams in which I was in a crowded bar, trying desperately to order a pint of Hepburn, but the bartender heard me wrong and gave me a gin and coke, which made no sense and was fucking disgusting. The dream haunted my thoughts for days, leaving me ponderous and morose, until I had a revelation.
There will be no This Is Not A Review this week. After a recent viewing of Gangs Of New York, Ian’s fascination with Bill The Butcher was re-awakened. He is now on the run from the law after brutally murdering Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson. Police believe he will be easy to apprehend, due to his wearing a giant top hat, and the likelihood that he is currently hunting Leonardo Di Caprio.
Will was shooting pheasants when I told him the news, and did not seem at all disappointed. When I asked what I should post in place of Ian’s article he said, ‘I dunno, a photo of Blake Lively or something.’
Good call Will.
Regular Bandwidthers will know I’ve been documenting elements of Belfast’s amazing Open House Festival this year – starting with some delightful acts for a unique cover sessions series – and even our intrepid Ian Shearer was blogging from the event.
And so, as fans of the festival facebook page will have seen last week – I now have a full document (of sorts) in 6 parts to enjoy, featuring highlights of the festival and live performance footage from, amongst others, Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling & Villagers. Thrown into that heady mix was also the annual Chillifest and Chilli eating contest, a healthy programme of Irish Trad music, a unique caravan jam series in open house square, and an amazing ‘Breakthrough’ line up of new undiscovered music.
Here it is then, enjoy. It was so much fun to do this and be a part of such an amazing institution for a fortnight, so hopefully some of that comes through.
Marcus Foster / The Staves
Lost Brothers / Caitlin Rose
We’re been fans of the Willowstone Festival in Delamont Country Park for years now. In previous years we’ve brought you exclusive sessions from some of the featured artsist, with a little backstage shenanigans to boot – and we’re proud to be back for 2011.
There were many highlights from this year’s festival; set within the walls of a plush victorian walled garden, and featuring arts, crafts and performance arts from across the country as well as the hottest new musical acts – this year saw in an amazing new venue, the Crafty Tea Rooms, propped up by the campsite, beside Delamont Park’s impressive monolith. It hosted Tim Wheeler and Emmy The Great the first night of the festival, and the monolith itself was the impressive setting for a dusk-drenched midsummer serenade form the Inishowen Gospel Choir.
The next day, The Minutes rocked, The Vals sparkled, Pat Dam Smyth dazzled, Robyn G Shiels emoted, Shlomo amazed and Not Squares partied into the night. Here are just some of the highlights from another amazing year:
Beat N’ Drum & The Inishowen Gospel Choir
Tim Wheeler & Emmy The Great
Robyn G Shiels
Pat Dam Smyth
Camera: Will McConnell
Filmed in Killyleagh, Co. Down July 2011.
I get a shit-ton of fan-email. (E-fan-Mail?) For some reason most of it comes from China and I can’t understand a goddamn word of it, but I just take it as evidence of my worldwide appeal, and that’s enough for me. I did, however, get a very nice email from an African princess who told me she wanted to marry me. Despite her incredible wealth and the endless opportunities this would have afforded me to make jokes referencing the film The African Queen whilst in the sack I had to decline, as my heart still lies with Caitlin Rose. Interestingly, though, I also get a lot of questions regarding Will. Initially I was shocked by the sexual frankness of the language being used, but I am now used to it, and the continuous requests for locks of his hair, most of which I oblige, usually by digging in the plug hole of the shower in his office en suite. Most commonly though, I just get questions from adoring fans about what he is really like. It seems he is a true enigma among Bandwidth fans, his air of mystery no doubt adding to his incredible success in the industry. Anyway, I finally decided to shed some light on the mysterious sexual figure that is Will McConnell. I approached him with the idea that I shadow him for a few days, in a bid to put together an accurate portrait of him for the fans.
‘Go to hell, ass-face,’ he said.
1. The first interesting fact about Will is that he imposes a watershed on himself, meaning that before 9pm he only ever uses PG-rated swears. This also means he does not make love before 9pm, choosing instead to kiss passionately for ten seconds and then have a cigarette with the duvet pulled up past the nipple line.