Category Archives: theatre

Sweet Charity – Doesn’t Put a Tingle in Your Fingers

Bob Fosse’s original musical ‘Sweet Charity’ opened in 1966 but you will be more familiar with the 1969 movie version starring Shirley MacLaine. Based on Fellini’s ‘Nights of Cabiria’ and a book by Neil Simon, with music by jazzman Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields. It was a successful show in the late sixties.  I went to see the 2010 West End revival playing at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket and starring Tamzin Outhwaite in the lead role.  We are introduced to Charity Hope Valentine as she meets her new boyfriend, Charlie in New York’s Central Park – Charlie then steals her handbag and pushes her into the lake – starting off the string of events that leads to Charity failing, in ever more desperate ways, to achieve escape from her demeaning existence and find her idea of heaven … her ‘little white picket fences’.

The story is about the life of misery and disappointment that a girl has to bear. Charity is a taxi dancer at a Times Square dance-hall. Surprisingly, the ‘working girls’ like Charity in this story are more often than not optimistic, full of aspiration and expectation. Their hopes are so frequently and cruelly dashed upon the painful rocks of a life – that you would expect them to be cynical harpies full of hate for all men. But they seem totally unaffected by their futility – shaped for them by the total and abysmal failure of all the men that they meet to be honorable and trustworthy.  Men are always exposed as liars, cheaters, thieves, charlatans or selfish oafs. Men are pigs at the trough. And women are the feed.

You will recognise “Big Spender” the Shirley Bassey hit directly the opening notes blast out. This is the big show number that introduces the ‘taxi dancer’ girls at the “Fandango Ballroom” where Charity works for a pittance.  You know the song, ‘The minute you walked in the joint, (boom boom) I could see you were a man of distinction, a real Big Spender’.    Although these “dime-a-dance” girls are genuinely one step up from the hookers described in Fellini’s film, it is not difficult to assume that girls who offer the patrons hotter and more sensual dances, for their ten cents, get to fill their dance cards quicker and get to choose their dance partners. So the competition amongst the girls is to go the extra distance to grab themselves a good punter. They don’t pop their corks for every man they see !

Charity meets some ‘big spender’ Vittorio Vidal- who uses and abuses her. She meets shy Oscar Lindquist in a lift liaison (after a daft romp and a frustrating wardrobe scene with the big spender) and this relationship also ends disappointingly. She goes to The Rhythm of Life church under the bridge, where her life is not changed or altered in any way by the charismatic black preacher… so that’s another waste of time and effort. The story is just about the grinding futility of her existence and the relentless search for a man- it doesn’t matter whether the man is good – or bad even – Charity is happy as long as a man (any man) is willing to spend a night with her, because he just might be her ticket out of this place. She runs her heart like some kind of cheap hotel for no-goods and rogues … she has  “always got people checking in and checking out”.

The jazz and show tunes are great fun, but for most part, forgettable. The dance is hot and energetic. Tamzin was full of energy and fun and perfectly interpreted the two sides of the nature of Charity – the girly side, crushed, needy and mundane, and the get-up-and-dance side … the resilient business-woman who makes things work. The other female characters were portrayed in a similar way by the cast- some more severely cynical, others smarter, but they were all in the same boat. They were all used and abused.

The standout number in this show seems, to me anyway, to be set in entirely the wrong musical. The “Rhythm Of Life” song is introduced to us by Daddy Johann Sebastian Brubeck and Daddy’s All-Girl Rhythm Choir- and  ought to be in the musical ‘Hair’ not in ‘Sweet Charity’.   Even if you know this song (because it’s in your head for years after the first hearing) you will be surprised to find here. Sammy Davis, Jr. had a reasonable hit with this number back in 1968, and you will be humming it after the show, I guarantee it.  “The rhythm of life is a powerful beat, Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet, Rhythm in your bedroom, rhythm in the street … Yes, the rhythm of life is a powerful beat.”

Ultimately, though, this show is built on disappointment and futility. Charity and Hope are the two virtues missing from this bleak world. And without hope and success, the show ends, in my view anyway, on a sour note – and leaves a hollow feeling in the heart. The companion songs to the two big numbers are not strong, and the farcical situations are sometimes tedious, if not frustrating, for the audience.  The Theatre Royal was not half full on the night I saw the show, but the tickets started at £10.

If you like big song and dance shows, maybe you should try something else. But if you are curious about why this musical has been successful since the sixties – and you enjoyed the film – you could give it a try.  Just don’t spend too much on tickets  – unless you are some kind of a Big Spender!

© Neil_Mach
November 2010


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Hair – The Musical – Gielgud Theatre, London

Hair – Gielgud Theatre

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair …

It was a perfect spring afternoon in London when I went to see this new Diane Paulus production of the iconic swinging sixties musical “Hair” starring American 2009 Tony Award ® winning actor Will Swenson (Berger) along with Tony ®  nominated actor Gavin Creel  (Claude). I spent the afternoon in a pleasant amble around in Soho – browsing in Carnaby Street – before going to the Gielgud Theatre and revisiting my misspent youth. It brought back some kind memories for me.  I was one of the hated  ‘tribe’ of hippies.  I remember my Dad telling me not to go out in the street wearing my love beads around my neck because they made me  “look like a proper poof”  (his words).  Ah the sixties! This musical takes me back.  I also remember when I finally cut my hair (like the character Claude has to do) and the look of sadness upon my father’s face when he realized that the free and innocent creature he had once loved was gone forever. It is an irony of the age that men and women like my Dad fought in the Second World War for freedom and for love yet looked on in despair when the fruits of that hard won freedom was a generation that was actually acting ‘freely’ – protesting against the ‘rules’ of a regimented society (in a gentle non-confrontational way) and seeking approval for their mantras of love, peace and harmony and the ‘abandonment’ of the materialistic world

There have been several attempts to reincarnate this rock musical – most fail – but this is, I believe, the right time to re-watch those hippies and what they represented and to sit back and enjoy the show.  Although I was familiar with the musical,  I was still surprised at how everything seemed to be so relevant.  Subjects stand out like anti-war, pro-drugs, the results of ‘guilt free love’ and racial harmony and all have currency today.  It is worth remembering how important and innovative this show was originally, with black and white actors on stage at the same time – sharing equal billing -long before anyone could imagine a man like Barack Obama would be living in the WHITEhouse.  Eventually, skin-heads, punks and a New Wave of working class culture killed off the ‘middle class’ hippies (contrary to popular myth they were not all exterminated at the Altamont Free Concert of 1969.) And this musical was lost along-the-way,  lost in the same way as our ideals for peace and love and our cheese-cloth shirts, cow-bells and Afghan coats.  But the legacy of the Hippie culture still lives on and is found in environmental consciousness,  whole food shops, music festivals, new age travellers, sexual liberation and tolerance,  LGBT communities, ‘world’ music, and even the journey into cyberspace.

Claude, and his mate Berger, like all their friends of the tribe, struggle to balance the ideals of love, peace and harmony against a backdrop of the Vietnam war and those conservative middle-class parents (like my Dad) who think that the kids should have a wash, grab a haircut, land a job and just bloody  well conform.   The story is based around the decision that Claude faces –  should he cut off his hair  and go to Nam or should he dodge the draft and burn his papers?   The consequences of both choices may well result in the ruining of his life (he may face a prison sentence for burning his papers – but at least he would be alive and unwounded. )  The tribe doesn’t have much but they do have  each other and they have got their shared love. So they make love not war.  And they ask us to give peace a chance.

“I got my feet
I got my toes
I got my liver
Got my blood”

The music by Canadian composer, Galt MacDermot – the Bantu beats and the funky rock n roll tunes, don’t necessarily conjure up memories of Sixties hippy music. For me, then, my music of choice was Jefferson Airplane, but I also liked the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Bob Dylan.  In the musical there is no psychedelic rock or hard blues – though the cast talk about it plenty. (Though there was a nod to Jimi’s Star Spangled Banner.)  Even critics at the time thought that the show music did not accurately reflect the counter-culture of rock. But the music of Hair is firmly in the tradition of big belting
show-tunes and musical barn-storming stompers.   And the songs are good. “Aquarius” still makes my hair stand on end – and “Let the Sunshine In” [ a hit single for 5th Dimension] is still as gob-smackingly beautiful as ever. Other stand out songs are the Blur-ish ditty “Manchester, England, England” sung by Claude and the blaxploitation songs of Dionne (Sasha Allen) black boys / white boys  (“ white boys are so pretty… ”)

In “The Trip” scene Buddhist monks, Catholic Nuns, Red Indians, Viet soldiers and even astronauts get involved in the slaughter of the innocent. It was no surprise to find that director Diane Paulus has also worked on dramatic operas like ‘Turandot’ because this scene and the ‘Eyes Look Your Last’ were visually stunning as well as emotionally moving musical masterpieces. Thanks must also be given to Karole Armitage for the breathtaking choreography.

Certainly, looking back, hippies were full of sh ** – gathering bits of religion along the way, with astrology and mysticism often as an excuse for sexual abandon, drug use and general laziness. Amongst the freedoms enjoyed during the Summer of Love was the freedom of nudity – and Hair still contains elements of this, but it now seems more artistic and almost twee against our modern ‘porn flick’ sensitivity.  Previous Hair nudists have included (in no particular order) Paul Nicholas, Richard O’Brien, Elaine Paige and Tim Curry. Meat Loaf, Curved Air’s Sonja Kristina and even Donna Summer and Liz Mitchell (of Boney M) in a German production. The full-frontal nudity in the 2010 version is neatly and appropriately performed, swathed in gentle warm light – just before the interval – just seconds long. If you are thinking of going to see the show just ‘for an
eyeful’  then think again- the nudity is – shall we say – tame, by modern standards.

I recommend this production for a loving, warm and passionate evening of pure entertainment.  Like the posters say, “Feel The Love” …

Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees ….   Hair!

© Neil_Mach
April 2010

Tickets for the limited run in London

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES

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5 Things – This Week in Staines


See The Comanche Cipher at Staines

Comanche Cipher at Staines

Sep 25 2008      8:00P The Hobgoblin     Staines

The Comanche Cipher

“London five piece The Comanche Cipher deal in progressive hardcore that’s big on hooks and aggro and has landed them support slots with the likes of With Honor, Enter Shikari and Send More Paramedics. Their debut EP comprises of five tracks
of from-the-gut metallic bluster that has been honed to precision and is primed to inspire the kind of mosh pit melee that will leave noses bloodied and limbs bruised. With diamond-edged riffs hacking and scything at you throughout, they know
exactly when to unleash a thick breakdown or an anthemic melody to ensure that intensity levels are never given the chance to flag. A damn good introduction”
3/5 – Kerrang!

You can purchase the new Comanche Cipher EP Here >>>

Ludovico Technique
~ Comanche Cipher (Artist)

Price:     £6.99


Catch some Contemporary Folk – at Staines

East of Ealing

East of Ealing Sep 25 2008      8:00P Staines Riverside Club

London based, but including global themes at times political, dark, humorous,irreverent, but always dancey with influences from Celtic to Cajun, Ska to S.African and Reggae to Russian their original numbers takes passengers heads around the world and feet to the dance floor.

At the helm,Stephanie Graffitti steers the band with her full steam ahead rock fiddle Madshipman Mik P bales them out on acoustic and electric guitars while Paul Castleman on drums keeps the engine room pumping to the E.O.E beat.
Jim Bean’s squeeze-boxing and vocals repels all borders as the band journey into the great unknown!

Check out these pirates for the 21st century at a gig or festival and enter the mosh pit with like-minded hippies, gremlins, rock chics, grockles, mums, dads, saucepan lids, punks, skunks, grannies and groovers all dancing to the soaring sexy fiddle, stompin’ squeeze-boxing, drum thumpin’, guitar hammering sound that is EAST OF EALING….take no prisoners!

other dates:

Nov 1 2008      8:30 Roots @ The Red Lion    Isleworth

Nov 15 2008     8:30 Filthy’s             Twickenham



Get your lycra on and Dance- at Woking

Flashdance at Woking

Flashdance – until Saturday 27 September 2008 Woking Theatre

Take Your Passion Make It Happen !

Bruno Langley (Coronation Street), Bernie Nolan (The Bill, Brookside), Noel Sullivan (Hear’Say) and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt star in Flashdance

Sparks will fly this autumn as the World Premiere production of Flashdance – The Musical explodes onto the stage in Woking starring Bruno Langley (Coronation Street), Bernie Nolan (The Bill, Brookside), Noel Sullivan (Hear’Say) and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt as Alex.

Set in Pittsburgh, USA, Flashdance tells the story of 18 year old Alex, a welder by day and ‘flashdancer’ by night, whose dream is to obtain a place at the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy. It’s an unmistakably unique musical about holding onto your dreams and love against all the odds. The show features an iconic score including the smash hit Maniac, along with Manhunt, Gloria, I Love Rock & Roll and the Academy Award winning title track Flashdance – What a Feeling.

Full of pulsating raw energy and breathtaking choreography by Arlene Phillips (Strictly Come Dancing, Grease, Starlight Express, Saturday Night Fever) Flashdance – The Musical promises to be the theatrical event of the year – so take your passion and make it happen!

New Victoria Theatre, Woking

Some tickets still remaining- mention ADPONTES when booking!

Box Office: 0870 060 6645 4.

Prepare to Rock, Classic Rock at Egham!

Blue Fuses at Egham

The Blue Fuses Sep 27 2008      9:00P The Crown     Egham

Rock Party Time!

The sensational finish to the first half of the show is their version of the famous Floyd classic (and I begrudgingly acknowledge now a Scissors Sisters ‘classic’ too)- Comfortably Numb. The light touches and the gentle imagery of this set-piece gradually build up to an earth shattering climax when Doug really comes into his own and gives the audience several minutes of truly exalted classic rock guitar. Almost holy…

Review by Neil_Mach Sept 08


If you miss ’em at Egham, try to see them here:

Oct 25 2008      9:00P Cardinal Wolsey     Hampton

Dec 27 2008      9:00P Cardinal Wolsey     Hampton



Classic ‘Covers’ Party band at Staines

Brainscape at Staines

Brainscape Fri 26 SEPT 2008 Staines Riverside Club 8:00P £4

This band takes classics and rocks with them. A perfect PARTY band, so come on down!


Get Your Tickets for Beck Theatre, Hayes

The Beck Theatre
Grange Road

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts

The Firestation Windsor

Firestation Arts Centre, Windsor Ribbon Cutting

The New Firestation Arts Centre in Windsor is now open – and ADPONTES was there to help celebrate the cutting of the ribbon.

Using the captivating space of the former Victorian Fire Station the centre will host a range of events in its first exciting season. The comedienne Arabella Weir will bring her witty and insightful show to the venue on Saturday 4th October [£12 adv booking] and will be an unmissable ‘night out with the girls’. The new space is also privileged to be chosen to host the Cambodian festival sensation Dengue Fever on Fri 21st November [£9 adv booking.] This critically acclaimed and entertaining group will be performing in Windsor prior to headlining at the ICA London. This is a night not to be missed. The Firestation will also be home to cinema, theatre, dance and all kinds of other artistic events. Staines and AdPontes readers are sure to support this venue. We wish the Firestation our best wishes for a great future.


Firestation Arts Centre
St Leonards Road

5 Things- This Week in Staines


Visit a Dolls House at The Rose, Kingston

A Dolls House

A Dolls House – the Kingston ROSE theatre  9 September – 27 September

Post performance talk: Tuesday 16 September

By Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Peter Hall

In 1879, Ibsen’s new play stunned the world and provoked outrage. One critic compared it to the ‘dropping of a bomb into contemporary life’. Beautifully crafted and powerfully moving, no work better distils Ibsen’s genius than A Doll’s House.

The cast includes Catherine McCormack (The Land Girls, All My Sons), Finbar Lynch (Proof, Not About Nightingales), Anthony Howell (Foyle’s War), Christopher Ravenscroft (The Ruth Rendell Mysteries) and Susie Trayling (National Theatre, Heartbeat).

Box Office: 0871 230 1552

Rose Theatre, Kingston
24-26 High Street
Kingston KT1 1HL


Blues, Funk ‘n Soul it up – at Ascot

Robin BiBi

The Robin Bibi Band at
The Jagz Club & Restaurant, Ascot Sat 13th Sept

Robin Bibi is one of the UK’s top blues/rock guitarists and having paid his dues working with such names as Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Ben.E.King, The Pretty Things and Helen Shapiro, launched the Robin Bibi Band in 1996. The Band’s debut album ‘Blue Thrash Therapy’ was released a year later and quickly sold out leading to a recent re-release. Five albums on, Robin’s acoustic album ‘Fast Life Songs’ has also received critical acclaim and continues to sell well.

Blues, funk, soul, rock, reggae and jazz are all rolled together in The Robin Bibi Band’s own feel-good concoction. Above all, the Band’s aim is to give their audience a night to remember whilst guaranteeing the best British Blues Rock can offer in a tried and tested, exciting, spontaneous, power trio format.

Because of their widely known reputation with a highly entertaining stage presentation, the Robin Bibi Band are now one of the busiest bands round the Southern music venue circuit and have played most of the major Blues festivals in the UK, Ireland, and Europe.

The music is exuberant passionate, dynamic, exciting and fun! It’s music played straight from the heart, it will move your head, your heart and of course your feet!

The Ascot show:

Saturday, 13th September
Show will start at 8.00P
Ticket cost: £8.00
Doors open from 7.30pm. £26 for 2 courses and entrance (£30 for 3 courses). Entrance for the bands is £8 but is strictly limited and on a first come first served basis. Entrance for dining or just the band INCLUDES free entrance to the nightclub

Station Hill

Also see Robin Bibi at:

MON 29th BULLS HEAD 373 Lonsdale Road Barnes SW13
Robin is appearing with Never The Bride


Have a Laugh- at Hayes

Jongleurs at Hayes

Jongleurs – On the Road The Beck Theatre, Hayes, Fri 12 Sep 2008, 8:00P

Best of British Stand-Up …on the road

The Jongleurs On The Road tour brings their top-quality stand-up shows to theatres and other venues across the UK, in areas

without a dedicated comedy club. They’ve been touring now for over two years, visiting more than fifty venues along the way

– from Newcastle to Newbury, Liverpool to Luton, Yeovil to Yorkshire. Hayes, Middlesex, is next…

The Beck Theatre
Grange Road, Hayes, UB3 2UE

Tickets from £10

Click Here for tickets for BECK theatre THIS FRIDAY


Prepare to Rock at The Hob Staines

Bloodloss at The Hob Staines

Bloodloss with Demure at The Hob Staines,  Thu Sep 11 2008      8:00P

Formed in 2006 BloodLoss is a pure all out metal 5 piece band from london/guildford with Barry O’connor on vocals, Daniel Kelly on Drums, Mark Browell On Guitar, Rob Ironmonger on guitar. With influences ranging from Metallica, Pantera, Arch Enemy, Killswitch Engage, Lamb Of God, Chimaira, Machine Head and  As I Lay Dying.  You must not miss the show!

Also more Bloodloss dates:

Sep 16 2008      8:00P RSVP, Woking     Woking

Sep 27 2008     8:00P The Drama Club   Bracknell

Oct 10 2008     8:00P The Star Inn         Guildford

We salute you!


Swing dance at The Rose, Kingston

Swing Dance at The Rose

Swing Dance Rose Theatre Culture Cafe Sun 14 Sept 2:00P to 5:00P
Admission free of charge, and no ticket required

Following the huge success of the first Sunday Tea Dance at the Rose in May, we’re delighted to announce three further dates throughout the summer. The Jive Joint Dance Company has been promoting and staging dance events across Surrey over many years and is bringing its legendary Sunday afternoon Tea Dance to the Rose Theatre, Kingston for dancers of Modern Jive, Swing, West Coast Swing, Rock n Roll, and, for latin dancers, Salsa, Merengue & Argentine Tango under the direction of international DJ John Vassallo and fellow DJ guests. Why not pay us a visit after shopping perhaps, have a boogie, a drink or a coffee and a snack. If you are a non dancer, watch the various dance styles on display and simply enjoy music
from the 1940’s right up to the present time.



5 Things- This Week in Staines


Henry James at The Rose, Kingston

Portait of a Lady

Portrait of a Lady – the Kingston ROSE theatre 26 August – 6 September
Post performance talk: Tuesday 2 September

Audio described performance: 6 September 2.30pm. Touch tour at 1pm.

Suitable for all ages.

Matinee(s) Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 2.30pm

Evening(s) 7.30pm

Adapted by Nicki Frei
Directed by Peter Hall
Presented by Theatre Royal Bath Productions & The Peter Hall Company

Nicola Frei’s stage adaptation of Henry James’ novel, directed by Peter Hall, opens The Peter Hall Company residency at the Rose Theatre, Kingston.

The cast includes Catherine McCormack (The Land Girls, All My Sons), Niamh Cusack (Heartbeat, A&E), Finbar Lynch (Proof, Not About Nightingales), Jean Marsh (Upstairs Downstairs, Boeing Boeing), Oliver Chris (Green Wing, The Office), Anthony Howell (Foyle’s War) and Christopher Ravenscroft (The Ruth Rendell Mysteries).

“Catherine McCormack is unquestionably fine” The Times

Set in London, Rome and Florence, The Portrait of a Lady tells the story of Isabel Archer, a beautiful, young American heiress, who travels to Europe on a voyage of self-discovery.

London Hip-Hop, Funk ‘n Soul at Ascot

The Common Moral cause at Jagz

The Common Moral Cause Fri
Aug 29 2008 8:00P The Jagz Club & Restaurant, Ascot

The Common Moral Cause are an exciting ten piece outfit who combine an eclectic mix of urban jazz, funk, hip-hop, R’n’B and soul to create a fluid funk flava that they can call their own.

Their unique sound and engaging live performances has already seen them play numerous sell out gigs across the country and make appearances at the London Astoria, Oxford’s Zodiac and the Jazz Café.

Their debut EP Causality (the principle that there is a cause to everything that happens) has just been released, with their follow up CD Big Sound set for release at the end of the summer.

TCMC are on the regular playlist for Maidenhead’s Green Apple 88.4FM, and have appeared on BBC radio Manchester. To date they have had a few limited TV appearances with Odis making it through to the quarter finals of ITV’s X Factor and keen fans will have spotted the Mole spitting his rhymes with style on Channel Four’s Faking it.

The Show:

Friday, 29th August
Show will start at 8.00
Ticket cost: £6.00
Entrance for the night is £6. Doors open at 7.30pm for dining and 8.30pm for drinking. 2 courses for £22, 3 courses for £26.

The Links:

Station Hill, Ascot

Also look out for TCMC at the Iver Carnival
Iver High St, Iver, Bucks, London and South East
Cost : FREE
September, 13 2008

Also at JAGZ Station Hill, Ascot this week:

Fallen Heroes

Fabulous and highly entertaining six piece band that always create a really groovy atmosphere with their eclectic mix of New Orleans R&B and funky Street Beat.

Upcoming show:

Saturday, 30th August
Show will start at 8.00
Ticket cost: £8.00
Doors open from 7.30pm. £26 for 2 courses and entrance (£30 for 3 courses). Entrance for the bands is £8 but is strictly

limited and on a first come first served basis. Entrance for dining or just the band INCLUDES free entrance to the nightclub


Shepperton ‘Hometown Heroes’ play The Hob, Staines

Loaded Dice at Staines
Photo- Mindy Coe

Loaded Dice at The Hob, Staines Sunday August 31 8:00P £3 on door

Best UK Live Unsigned Band

The Loaded Dice were formed 4 years ago and early success saw the band reaching the live televised UK final of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Their catchy riffs and strong vocals led to an invitation to perform for 4 successive years in The National Rock and Pop Festival at the NEC Birmingham. Competing in the National Youth Battle of the Bands (which they came a close second in 2005.) Recently the band won the National live and Unsigned South Coast Idol competition, beating over 10 000 acts and winning the title of “Best UK live and unsigned band.”

Currently the boys are involved with Future Music Management developing the band. They clearly love playing together especially on stage and are always ready to entertain and perform to their best. They have taken their music further a field, twice touring Spain to take part in music concerts.

Loaded Dice are:

Lui Matthews -vocals
Anthony Wilkinson – Guitar & backing vocals
Ian Lennon – Bass
Steven Wilkinson – Drums & backing vocals

If you miss ’em they will be back at The Hob on Sept 14th (but catch ’em quick because these boys are gonna be BIG!!!)

Photo by:


Rock, rock, rock (and Ska) at The Hob Staines

The Stilts at The Hob Staines

The Stilts at The Hob Staines, Sunday August 31st 8:00P (with Loaded Dice)

The Stilts play balls-out rock and roll with lashings of punk and ska thrown in. Citing influences ranging from The Clash and The Who through to Cage the Elephant and The Paddingtons, the band’s sound is the result of a sonic collision between the garage band revolution of the sixties and the current wave of alternative indie. Not confined to any one style, The Stilts create music that rocks and deliver it with the punk energy it deserves.

Formed in North-West London in 2006 The Stilts have made practising an obsession and obsession an art form, creating an impressive range of their own material. Over the last year and a half they have worked their way through quiet Monday night gigs to packed weekenders in top venues, delighting promoters and picking up fans on the way.

The Stilts now have a reputation for jumping sets packed with raw energy, which has enabled them to build a dedicated following on the London gig circuits. Having been tipped for prime slots on a host of mainstream radio shows, they expect to be heard on the air in the near future.

The band continues to raise expectations, incorporating innovative sounds from their current influences and regularly introducing new tracks to their sets, keeping fans hooked and converting non-believers.

Mr Fred – sings and strums

Here – licks and shreds

J – thumps and rumbles

Trigger – hits things

The links:

Lots of Fun !!


Classic Rock from The Blue Fuses, Staines

Blue Fuses at Staines Riverside Club

The Blue Fuses Aug 28 2008 8:00P The Staines RIVERSIDE Club Laleham Road

Blue Fuses is a great Surrey-based rock covers band, doing mostly 70’s – 80’s stuff – from AC/DC to ZZ Top via a number of bands with colours in their names, particularly Black, Pink and Purple. You will love them… lots of audience interaction and some nice set-pieces. They went down very well the last time they played STAINES.

Check our review of last years Blue Fuses gig here

if you miss the Blue Fuses in Staines this week you can catch them at:

October, 25 2008 at The Cardinal Wolsey
Hampton Court Rd, Hampton, London and South East KT8
Cost : £2


Get Your Tickets for Beck Theatre, Hayes

The Beck Theatre
Grange Road

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts

5 Things- This Week in Staines


Impressive Guitar with Big Jim Sullivan, Staines

Big Jim Sullivan

Duncan McKenzie & Big Jim Sullivan at STAINES RIVERSIDE CLUB
Thu Aug 21 2008 9PM £3 on door Non-Members welcome

We saw this duo at the convivial Staines Riverside Club, Laleham Road, Staines last April. Their set was split into two, with part one being acoustic and ‘jazzy’ and the second part being electric and ‘rocky’. The jazz standards in the first half were perfect and there was plenty to be amazed at. But the second half, the rock half, was when the fire really started and the earth really began to move. The pair sound a lot like 1970’s Dire Straits but the playing fluctuates between raw blues to flamenco style – always bold – always confident- using the body of the guitar percussively, and employing some sumptuous finger-style technique.

See The AdPontes FULL REVIEW here



London Soul and Funk, Ascot

The Unikque at Jagz

The Unikque Aug 25 2008 7:30P The Jagz Club & Restaurant, Ascot

The finest Soul and Disco classics from a superb band with 3 sensational singers up front.
This is a London band which has been around since the eighties. They concentrate on Soul, Funk and R&B and perform a lot of commercial classic soul and funk covers that everyone knows and have danced too.

Some of the classic covers they perform are:

Can you handle it – Sharon Redd
We’ve got the funk – Positive force
Got to be Real – Cheryl Lynn
Good times – Chic
We are family – Sister Sledge
Behind the Groove – Tina Marie

And lots more……….

All tracks are not rewrites, but complete copies of the original track.

You will probably never hear theses tunes performed again, unless you come to one of their gigs

The Show:

Saturday, 23rd August
Show will start at 8.00
Ticket cost: £8.00
Doors open from 7.30pm. £26 for 2 courses and entrance (£30 for 3 courses). Entrance for the bands is £8 but is strictly limited and on a first come first served basis. Entrance for dining or just the band INCLUDES free entrance to the nightclub

Station Hill, Ascot


Enjoy FREE lunchtime Jazz at The Rose Kingston

Free Lunchtime Jazz at Kingston The ROSE

Free Lunchtime Jazz at THE ROSE THEATRE Kingston August 20 1:00P

The event will be taking place in the Rose Theatre Cafe bar, and is free, and no ticket is required.

Rosabella Gregory


Rosabella and her band have been making waves in jazz and songwriting circles, with the likes of Grammy winner Bob James picking up on their talent via myspace and collaborating with them on a song from Rosabella’s forthcoming debut album. A born composer, Rosabella graduated from the Royal Academy of Music where she met her musicians-guitarist Tommy Caris, percussionist Jez Wiles and bassist Oli Hayhurst.

Together the band focus on creating delicately crafted soundscapes and much like characters in a film, they offer their individual voices to the songs.

Rosabella was invited to perform her song “Better love next time” in an interview with Richard Niles for his program “What is melody?” on BBC radio 2. This song also won her the “International Prize” at the 2007 New York Songwriters Circle Songwriting Contest. Rosabella will perform her winning song at the finals in New York City’s legendary “Bitter End” this November. Don’t miss this opportunity to see Rosabella live in the cafe at the Rose Theatre on Wednesday 30 July at 1pm.

The above events are free, and no ticket is required.


Jolly Hockey Sticks at Windsor

Daisy Pulls It Off

Daisy Pulls It Off Theatre Royal, Windsor 18 Aug to 23 Aug
Show Times
Mon – Sat 8pm, Thurs 2.30pm & Sat 4.45pm

This affectionate and keenly observed parody of English boarding school life will appeal to the whole family.

Plucky school girl Daisy Meredith is forced to overcome snobbish prejudice after receiving a scholarship to attend Grangewood School. She forms a secret society to find the missing treasure that would save the school’s debts – but still finds time for a cliff top rescue and a jolly good game of hockey!

Featuring Kim Hartman (who starred as Helga in the in all ninety-six episodes of the BBC comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo), Ben Robert’s (who played Chief Inspector Conway on Thames TV’s The Bill for fourteen years), Julia Mallam (Emmerdale’s Dawm Hope) and Carly Hillman (Nicki di Marco from Eastenders) as Daisy.

This nostalgic production brims full of old fashion values, midnight feasts and jolly good adventure stories.

“Perfectly Ripping, Absolutely Spiffing not to mention Scrummy Entertainment” Sunday Times

Box Office 01753 853 888

Lots of Fun !!


Prog Rock Maestros from Spain at Kingston

Kotebel at Kingston

KOTEBEL Aug 23 2008 7:30P @ THE PEEL House of Progression

Influenced by Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Antony Banks, Messiaen, Poulenc, Keith Emerson, Robert Fripp, Chopin, Yes, PFM, Jethro Tull, Beethoven, Finnegans Wake, After Crying, Bartok, Deus Ex Machina, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Mussorgsky, Gentle Giant, Discipline (Mathew Parmenter), Anglagard, Porcupine Tree, Isildurs Bane, Universal Totem Orquestra, Univers Zero
Kotebel are prog rock maestros.

Kotebel, founded in 1999, was conceived as a long-term project with the aim to serve as a vehicle for the development of a musical proposal that could be described as Art Music:

* An artistic expression not subject to commercial considerations
* A structured approach to the development of thematic material
* An eclectic language with a strive to integrate different musical genres, resources, instruments

In short, elaborate music that appeals to the mind and the spirit.

Kotebel’s music also shares a number of characteristics with other contemporary artistical expressions currently labelled as Neo-Barroque:

* A highly creative, hybrid cultural expression
* An aesthetics and ideology of inclusion
* A tendency towards expansion, creating ambiguity in the frontier between pieces
* A desire to evoke states of transcendence

Carlos Franco – Drums and Percussion ….

César Garcia Forero – Guitars ……………….

Jaime Pascual – Bass ……………………………

Adriana Plaza – Keyboards …………………..

Carlos Plaza – Keyboards ……………………..

This is a very rare UK performance at THE PEEL, KINGSTON this week!


Get Your Tickets for Beck Theatre, Hayes

The Beck Theatre
Grange Road

Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts