Yesterday afternoon I started part 1 of the Third Party alternative Christmas thing before heading off to enjoy a v. special bit of “me time”.
For those who aren’t aware Third Party and I normally do Christmas Day a couple of days before she heads south for Chrimbo with her dad. Normally it is a veg out time, this year it’s being done in two parts involving heading off to Newcastle to watch a film. So anyway that’s why I went to see New Moon yesterday. For those not aware I hated Twilight, the first film in this series, with a vengance. So it was I was suprised to find myself really enjoying New Moon. Unlike the first film, this is not a crap vampire movie – yes it has those moments within it but there is a much deeper storyline and far fewer vampire moments. This one includes a complex look at the themes of teenage depression, the way and reasons young women choose to stay with a partner who has been or they know to be potentially violent and the treatment of and giving of yourself for those who society despises. The sociologist and theologian within me was glued to this one. If and when I have time I now want to read the books to see how these themes are unpicked within them.
Anyway after a mad dash around Newcastle to purchase something which looked like an unwanted present for a gift exchange Third Party was taking part in that evening, (yes you read that right….work it out for yourself), I headed over to the Sage. The Sage incidentally is celebrating its 5th b’day this weekend.
Months ago when I first got my career development loan through, and I first started thinking about some of the potential stresses of this year, I worked out that occassional visits to the Sage might be the way forward in keeping my mental health healthy and giving me things to look forward to. Also helps that for some of the stuff you can get half price tickets if you’re a student. So if you are good, as I was yesterday evening, and don’t buy merchandise or drink it can be a very cheap, quality night out.
Anyway I digress, last night was my Christmas treat to myself. I went to see Steeleye Span on their 40th anniversary tour, getting a ticket in the middle 3 rows from the front in the awesome Hall One concert hall. For those not familiar with the band, like if you aren’t my dads age probably, they play folk rock and are phenomenal. Think the Levellers, Flogging Molly or the Pogues before the discovery of punk or Fairport Convention with heavier guitar and some drums added. Anyway aside from Maddy Prior being dressed during the first half like an advert for what Per Una looks like on real women and like she was wearing some kind of fairy skirt in the second half she was amazing. A woman who must be eligable for her free bus pass dancing on stage like that is something else. Her voice is also something special. Only thing with 40 years worth of material, even allowing for the fact they all go off and do solo stuff lots of the time, is that inevitably some stuff is going to be left out. So it was that I didn’t get to hear Black Leg Miner live.
Anyway enough warbling on about the delights of Steeleye Span. I leave with you a retro version of what has become their anthem and the encore sing-a-long, All Around My Hat. Despite the earlier comments this video shows how far their dress sense has come since then. With the exception of the drummer, who seems to have gained it, they have all lost the hippy look and now look as non-descript and middle class as most other people in their early 60’s.