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Anne Frank

Stephen Lynch in Manchester: A Night of Awesomeness, Laughter and Fun

By Friends & Family, Gigs & Shows, Happiness & Joy, Music & RadioNo Comments
Stephen Lynch Ticket On Thursday, my cousin Jenny and I went to see Stephen Lynch at Manchester Academy 2. We had tea out and then as we walked to the venue had several near death experiences.

Cyclists rang their bells and flashed the lights as they came towards us at a frighteningly fast pace. We jumped out of the way. Then we saw this on the floor:
Near Death Experience LOL!

Stephen Lynch Stage Yes, we were walking on the cycle lane. We hadn’t noticed as a few of the street lights were out.

We safely arrived at the venue, queued, bought drinks and then took our seats in the auditorium.

The gig started with a burlesque dancer as the warm up act. Much to the delight of the audience who showed their appreciation through wolf whistles, whooping and thunderous applause:

Stephen Lynch - Burlesque
Stephen Lynch - Burlesque

Next a woman came onto the stage and sang about a box of wine. Then three men came onto the stage and I thought it was another support act. But dressed in thick-framed glasses and a union jack jumper was the man himself, Steven (Photo Below: Left).

Stephen Lynch LIVE Stephen Lynch LIVE

The audience went wild with applause when they realised it was him and I think I even heard a few over-excited women scream. He had some humorous banter with the audience and fellow performers, before he got on with the show.

Stephen stripped off his jumper, undid the buttons on his black shirt to the sound of the audience whooping, whistling and applauding. He revealed red nipple tassels. I only managed to get a decent photo of him buttoning his shirt back up (Photo Above: Right). Stephen can unbutton his shirt anytime, as he’s #sexy.

Stephen Lynch LIVE One of his first songs was Queer Tattoo. Afterwards he said that he meant the old meaning of the word queer and said to his audience: “Don’t use it bad.” Which earned him a massive whoop from me.

A few songs into the show, a member of the audience was being far too rowdy and was constantly heckling Stephen. They were being blatantly disrespectful. They were annoying Stephen as well as the rest of the audience.

Stephen responded brilliantly threatening to kick them out and added: “You’re ruining it for everyone. You’ve all paid £20 to enjoy the show.” The audience was with him and showed their support with an applause. Thankfully whoever it was shut the hell up after that.

Stephen Lynch LIVE Stephen talked about his new album Lion. He explained that there’s lots of duets on it as he loves the sound of the mixed male and female vocals. He played some tracks off this album along with some classics including:

  • Craig
  • Dear Diary – Anne Frank (he also added two new: Rihanna & Steve Irwin)
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Priest
Stephen made the audience laugh frequently. In-between laughing, I smiled throughout the show. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled throughout an entire show before. He has a truly wicked sense of humour.

It was great to hear the audience sing along in the second half, not just the classics – but some of his new songs as well.

Stephen departed the stage at the the end of the show and the audience repeatedly banged their feet, signalling their desire for an encore. The booming feet felt like an earth quake and the volume was deafening. Stephen came back for his encore and played a few of his classics such as Ugly Baby.

Stephen Lynch LIVE
Stephen Lynch LIVE The show was quite tame compared with what I had expected. There was little mention of drugs and sex. I think it was a deliberate choice.

Perhaps he was worried about the uptight british audience (we were anything but!)? Or perhaps it was about him maturing now that he has a wife and child? Who knows? But it didn’t matter as it was still a show filled to the rim with awesomeness.

If you’re a fan of Stephen Lynch or his songs, you must go and see him. He is superb live: funny, entertaining and has a fantastic voice.

Thank you Stephen and come back soon.

Blog soon,

Antony



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Book Review: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

By Books & Authors, History, Reviews4 Comments
Diary-of-a-Young-Girl-by-Anne-Frank

I remember being at school in that history class, the desks lined up facing the front. The old floor wooden, worn and dusty. The view from the third floor windows down to the concrete playground. And yet, I never really found myself looking out of the windows wishing to be elsewhere. Why? History fascinated me. We had one of those great teachers who was so enthusiastic about her subject. Yet despite this my memory of what we covered isn’t great.

However I remember seeing clips of a film about the Anne Frank Story, perhaps we watched it all, I don’t remember. But I recently remembered bits of the story from class and wanted to learn more about Anne Frank. So I bought and have recently finished reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

The Frank family were Jews at the time the second World War started. They along with another family had the foresight to hide from the German authorities. They knew from German propaganda that the authorities were blaming Jews for the problems the country had. They also knew it would not be long before they faced persecution if they didn’t hide. The Frank family went in to hiding in The Secret Annex, which is the place Anne Started to write her diary.

Anne starts off by introducing herself and explaining she wants a friend that she can write to and tell her deepest thoughts. She names this friend ‘Kitty’. Then she begins to write regular dated letters always starting “Dear Kitty”. These entries start by covering a lot about her family, the food they eat, the other family in the Annex and how they get on (or not).

You continue to read on through the diary and you start to see that this was a very intelligent girl. She self analyses, shares her dreams (of being a writer) and a huge driver in her life is to improve herself. As her body begins the transformation from girl to young woman she writes about the changes she is under going both physically and emotionally. She starts to get frustrated with her parents, they don’t understand her; she starts to have feelings for the boy who lives upstairs Peter. You begin to connect with her and remember your own adolescence, the dreams you had and your first crush.

Throughout The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, Anne keeps you informed on what is going on in the war and what the families living in the Annex think it means for them. Anne discloses how her paralysing fear gets the best of her at times and she reflects on how lucky she is to still be alive. She often thinks about her friends from life before the Annex and wonders what’s happened to them.

Although in the war things are going well, Britain and the other Allies are making progress; things worsen at the Annex. The are break ins at the factory below The Secret Annex, the food is poor with little nutritional value and toileting is limited. But at least they are alive with renewed hope that British and other Allied troops will soon be at their rescue. And then the diary ends.

Throughout the diary I looked for those famous words “In spite of everything, I still believe there’s good in people.” But I never found them.

The Afterword explaining the details of the families discovery in The Secret Annex by the authorities and what happened to the the two families members individually as well as their hiders. The conclusion also covers what’s happened historically since then. Otto Frank (Anne’s Father) deciding to publish the diary, the diary selling well, the house of The Secret Annex being saved from demolition and becoming more than a museum. Become a place were people can learn tolerance, in the hopes nothing like this ever happens again.

The Afterword explains that the famous quote (above) was actually said by Otto in a news paper interview after the diary had been published.

I felt that I knew Anne after reading her intimate diary and that she displayed the true spirit of humanity. The true spirit of humanity consisting compassion, hope and love on all levels. That through dark and tough times we should keep these good aspects of humanity and know that we will come out of the dark times stronger. The book is a aids as a reminder of the mass genocide that happened during the war and that intolerance breeds the conditions that would be necessary in order for mass genocide to happen again.

You can buy The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on Amazon.

Write soon,

Antony

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New books, but is it a good sign?

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ThinkingNo Comments

The publishing industry have released a few books by some of my faviourate authors. I knew about The Dead by Charlie Higson, which I bought this month. I’m about half way through it, so expect a review soon! I’ve reviewed The Enemy which you can read here. I also bought The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition by Anne Frank and Everyday Moon Magic by Dorothy Morrison.

Two books I didn’t know about till yesterday were Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella and The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern. I’m trying to live frugally (see Living Frugally) so I’ll have to buy these next month. I think I missed the release of these books because publishers usually release them closer to Christmas.

This got me thinking, does the early release of these books signal that publishers are worried that Christmas won’t be a good time for selling? Are they in a way predicting that they think we’ll take our second dip into recession? Maybe I’m reading too much in to this? But I think if I was a publisher, I’d try and release as many publications as I could before we entered recession. What are your thoughts?

Antony

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