Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Charlie Brown Christmas

When we heard Christmas songs playing while eating at Di Maggio's I was first upset, but then I realised it IS December, and it's time to get in Christmas mood. Which is hard when I've still got two essays to write, and no Christmas decorations at home! And all the traditions are slightly different here. I had no idea what a "panto" was, but now I know it's a Christmas play/musical for the whole family. My friends Elin and Johan from Malmö have been here for a week, and they knew another Swedish girl who works at the Tron Theatre, making costumes. She took us to see a dress rehearsal of Wullie Whittington that will start running very soon. It's a parody of a famous British panto, set in Glasgow instead of some English town. It was very enjoying, especially seeing all the mistakes and understanding how it all works. It did promote some quite stereotypical gender roles though, which is never good in something that's meant for kids!

On Thursday we went to Mono where there was a new exhibition arranged by Project Ability, showing art works by people with learning difficulties. Also doing a live set was Bill Wells Trio, with the original line-up including Stevie Jackson! The set was quite long but I really enjoyed it. I like Stevie's harmonica-playing and as you can see above he had a different guitar than his usual B&S Telecaster. Here's a picture of my friends at Mono.

Oh, and on Tuesday we went to a club called All Mod Cons at Firewater, that was supposed to be a northern soul/motown club. It would have to be really good to attract my attention on a Tuesday, but they only played one soul song during the whole time we were there! Lot's of The Who, The Jam and even Oasis instead. Anway, I got some really good Christmas vibes on Saturday when we visited the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall to see Butcher Boy for the first time. And All My Friends, who were supporting, for the third. The place was just amazing! The oldest music hall in Scotland apparently. Don't really know that much about the music hall tradition to be honest - have to do some research! Apparently it's closed to public, except when they put on a show every now and then. On Wednesday they're showing an old Stan & Laurel film.

All My Friends did an acoustic and quite short gig. But they did have time for some new songs that sounded really promising. They're going to be looking for a keyboard player next year, so keep a lookout! After their set there was a screening of a film called A Charlie Brown Christmas, which was essentially a Snoopy Christmas film. The cartoon is simply know as Snoopy in Sweden (or Snobben in Swedish) so I had no idea what they where talking about at first. I think it was from 1965 or 64, and it just baffles me why we've never been shown this lovely film on Swedish television. Truly a crime. Butcher Boy were every bit as good as I had hoped - I'd only heard the two MySpace songs before this. They're definitely in the same school (and league) as Belle & Sebastian and The Smiths, but a bit folkier. Stuart Murdoch did arrive about mid-show! John reminds you of him, the way he moves around on stage while playing guitar. They had a line-up of seven musicians, including Garry and Alison from All My Friends on bass and accordion/piano respectively. There was also a violin and a cello and the acoustics in the hall where still pretty good, even though it's not in very good repair. I wonder why the state or the council or whatever don't give them funds to restore it? They are raising the funds themselves now and all proceeds from that night went to this cause. Anyway, Butcher Boy hasn't released anything yet, the debut album is coming out in February or something. They've only been included on the Kids At the Club compilation, put together by Ian from How Does It Feel to Be Loved?.

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