Friday, March 30, 2007

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile - I've had more assignments than I could ever think possible, plus life has been uber-busy lately. Yuck.

Anyway, breaking news at the moment is that Westlife MAY not have a DVD come out this year.

A fan from the Committed (Dawn) spoke to their production manager, Steve Levitt, and the planned filming for Belfast has been scrapped. No word yet on if it has been rescheduled, or if it's been scrapped altogether.

It's a real disappointment if they do scrap it, as they've changed the songlist around so many times it would be nice to see some of the songs performed live, especially Love Takes Two.

I'll try to bring more information as I hear it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Brian To Collaborate with Mark!

Well, I'm bloody excited, anyway! It'll be great to hear my two boys singing together again. I wouldn't want him back in Westlife, but a Brian/Mark duet sounds gorgeous!


Press Release from Brian's Official MySpace:

April 20th marks the release of the new single from Ireland’s most controversial pop star, Brian McFadden. Having spent much of the past year in the dark of the studio, but never far from the limelight, Brian’s self-penned song is the first track from his second solo album.

“Like Only A Woman Can” is an open and frank love-song to someone who has helped the writer find redemption. ‘It is a song about Delta’, explains Brian, ‘but equally it’s me admitting the mistakes of my past, while looking forward to the future’.

In recent months Brian has collaborated with numerous luminaries including Paul Barry (Enrique Inglesias/Cher) and Phil Thornalley (Natalie Imruglia/The Cure). The net result is a more mature artist than we have previously known. Brian claims that he has never been happier and more focussed. “Right now is the best place I’ve been in my life. I’m really enjoying writing and recording the album and personally things have never been better!”

Apart from his success as a recording artist McFadden can feel justifiably proud of his achievements as a songwriter. With solo records reaching Number 1 in UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Holland Belgium and Australia, he has also been critically recognised with his song ‘Demons’ being featured in the U.S. TV series ‘Lost’. In addition, Brian has also written songs for artists as diverse as Il Divo and Girls Aloud, as well as the theme for the Theme for the Commonwealth Games.

Future projects include further writing with Delta Goodrem, a collaboration with Westlife’s Mark Feehily as well as the completion of the new solo album and the development of the BMF label internationally. “I admire artists like George Michael who had the guts to establish their own identity in the business and that’s what I aspire to do”.

Although McFadden’s name appears on over 50 million CDs throughout the world, he stresses that this release means most to him. “I am proud of my past, but I’m really excited about my future”.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Guess What?

I now have a second blog because I'm, like, so special.

Nah, it's actually just to save space and make things a bit neater, seeing as this blog was becoming a hodgepodge of movie stuff, westlife stuff, and the occasional random post.

So, now I have a blog just for movies/entertainment stuff, while this blog will stay Westlife-specific.

You can access the new blog, wittily titled Chooken Snaps' Bogus Filmventure, through my profile. All the old reviews are in there, and that's where I'll be putting all new ones in future, plus any random movie news of interest, because now I have room for it. Things breed faster when they have more space - that's biology for you.

I (don't) Want Candy

Westlife have released The Love Album for the Asian market. It's basically the same as the old one, except they've bunged a few b-sides onto a second disc.

The new disc also includes a new song - a cover, obviously - Butterfly Kisses. It's a Bob Carlisle song about daddy's little girl, and it's like cutting your wrists open with sugar razorblades while pouring a bucket of treacle down your throat.

The boys handle it well, surprisingly enough, for a song that's so irredeemably sickly-sweet. The instrumental is more understated than the original and allows the boys' voices to shine. And when I say boys, I mean boys... plural. Yep, they actually let all four of them sing, and it again raises the question of why it doesn't happen more often.

Nicky especially handles his vocals with touching ability, not a note put wrong, and infused with the requisite passion, managing to make his lyrics not sound like sugar napalm. Kian, as well, is a standout, though his vocals aren't nearly as affecting and memorable as Nicky's. Mark and Shane do their usual job. As usual.

So, in summary: great vocals, nice instrumental, but a shame you can't sing along without gagging.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer

Of all the senses, it is the sense of smell that has least been explored in the realm of the silver screen. And with good reason. How do you possibly translate a sense so limitlessly varying and so personal an experience into one that can be encapsulated with sound and images?

Director Tom Twyker takes on the onerous task of translate the olfactory to the audiovisual, in his film Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer. Adapted from German author Patrick Süskind’s ‘Das Parfum’, it tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw), born in the stench of eighteenth century Paris, who possesses a unique and powerful sense of smell.

Whishaw’s Grenouille is a striking character, though whether he can be considered a character is debatable. He is rather a state of mind, an anthropomorphic quest to find the world’s greatest aroma through any means necessary, his permanently mystified gaze a testament to the skill of the actor at manipulating his character’s emotion with subtle strength.

Through the brilliant uses of colour, sound, and cinematography, it becomes astoundingly easy to follow Grenouille’s olfactory expedition. Every scent is laid bare in a way that is astonishing in its ingenuity, and even for those not blessed with a sympathetic sense of smell, the film is a visual masterpiece.

However in the story it falls short. The narrative is excellent, an intriguing tale of murder and desire, yet the characters struggle to elect a protagonist. At times it is the tormented Grenouille we align with, yet just as quickly we can become immersed in hatred for him, and sympathy for his victims. While this could have been used to great effect, the transition is not as seamless as it needs to be, lending a feeling of unwelcome disconcertion.

Still, with flawless acting (Alan Rickman and Rachel Evan-Wood are outstanding, though it is Dustin Hoffman who runs off with his portion of the show), and with a delicate use of his audiovisual facilities, Twyker’s film is a superb example of the power cinema can wield in the right hands. A definite must-see, if only for the rare chance to see something truly different and breathtaking.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to Kevin McDaid! His birthday was actually on the 7th, but my computer was being stubborn. Sorry Kevin! I know you've been devastated, wondering if I'd missed it.

Hope he had a lovely day with that spunky boyfriend of his.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Shane's Diary From The Road

Hi everyone

I’m writing this on our way to Port Elizabeth, where we’re playing our next gig. We’ve had an amazing time in South Africa so far, the fans have been fantastic and we’ve really enjoyed travelling around this beautiful country.

We’d also like to pass on our thanks to all the Australian fans who came to see our shows – we were completely blown away by you and couldn’t have asked for a better start to our tour. It’s impossible to pick a favourite gig as we enjoyed every single night and the reaction from you lot was incredible. Australia’s amazing!

Am going to try and grab some sleep now, like the other lads are doing – we’re all pretty tired, but loving every minute of it.

Catch you soon


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Boyband Love

Sydney Star Observer


SUNNY BURNS: How are you finding Australia?

MARK FEEHILY: Australia has been great so far. We went to Perth and had a few days off in the sun, but we have been skipping from place to place for the last few gigs.

SB You came out two years ago. Was it a big step?

MF It was enormous at the time. I’m lucky that I had the support of all my family, band members and fans. Since then it has all died down, which to be honest is what I want. I wanted to say it and then for it to go away. The less deal made about it the better. I want the message to be that it’s no big deal being gay.

SB So what made you come out?

MF It was an issue that I needed to sort out and I didn’t want to hide it any more. My entire life wasn’t a depression or anything like that. There were some elements that were really hard and at times I didn’t have time to think about it because I was so busy in the band. When the band slowed down, I realised that some part of my life was missing.

SB Did your family and band know beforehand?

MF My family and friends already knew. I also told the band a long time before I came out to the public. They are fine with it.

SB Do you have a boyfriend?

MF I met my boyfriend Kevin McDavid two years ago. He was also in a boy band called V.

SB Was he also a reason for you to come out?

MF Yes, I didn’t want to be going to the cinema or restaurants with hats on and worrying about people seeing me. That’s not me at all. So, I nipped it in the bud and started a relationship and came out. It has worked really well.

SB How did you meet Kevin?

MF We met at a charity gig in Dublin. Neither of us was publicly gay at the time and we didn’t know that each other was gay. It was really funny. We just connected and have excellent chemistry.

SB How is the relationship going?

MF It’s going fantastic. We just had a two-year anniversary at the end of January. We went to the charity concert where we first met and partied all that night. The next day I hired out a penthouse and got a dog as well. We just spent the entire day lounging around watching TV and getting room service. It was really nice. We also have a place in London together. He is just a missing piece of me that I haven’t had for so long and something I always longed to have and now I have it. It’s better than I thought it would be.

SB Are you doing anything for Mardi Gras?

MF No, because we have gigs in Melbourne and Brisbane. I was here last year, practically for the whole event. I saw the parade. It was one of the best nights of my entire life. This time we are just missing it by the skin of our teeth. I was really disappointed. I’m jealous that you all get to go to Mardi Gras.