Tag Archives: music

Movie review – Jumpers for Goalposts

This was so much more than a movie….

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, and the welcome trend to beam live events to cinemas around the country, we sat in posh seats at the Odeon in Guildford on a Thursday night in October and saw Ed Sheeran.

The ginger music phenomenon was in Leicester Square, patiently enduring endless selfies with screaming fans and scribbling autographs, before heading inside for the official launch of his first concert movie.

But before the credits rolled, he picked up his guitar, swigged from a bottle of water and played three live numbers. Brilliantly.

What a transformation. Outside, he was shy and struggled to be the star he so clearly now is. But inside, as soon as that strap went round his neck, he became the self-confident singer songwriter who has taken the music industry by storm over the last few years.

Jumpers for Goalposts is a fitting record of the scarcely believable progress he’s made. In July 2015 he played 3 gigs at Wembley Stadium to 240,000 fans. He’s 24 years old. He’s only released 2 albums. Nobody else has ever performed at Wembley completely alone.

The film follows the Wembley performances, picking out tracks from each night and threading in interviews with Ed and his team before and during the concert series. But this is not a self-congratulatory, puff, promotional exercise.

It’s all about the music.

He stands there in front of 80,000 acolytes….just him, the guitar, that versatile voice and the corruscating lyrics. And that clever looping machine, magically layering Ed upon Ed upon Ed, and giving a mesmerising depth to some tracks more effectively than a 5-piece support band could.

At one of the performances, Sir Elton joins him for a couple of numbers. One of them is a fading star, one is shining as bright as a supernova.

Elton was notorious for his hissy-fits and prima donna posing, Ed is a shy, modest guy who has remembered those who helped him along the way to mega-stardom.

And as he says in the movie……I’m just getting started.

 

Movie review – Amy

No less a vocal luminary than Tony Bennett rated Amy Winehouse as good a jazz singer as Billie Holiday or Dinah Washington. This was after they had recorded a version of Body and Soul together in 2011 at the Abbey Road Studios in London, for Tony’s Duets album.

Four months later, she was dead.

Asif Kapadia’s movie Amy contains some heart-rending insights into the singer’s brilliant, short, troubled life.

 

Original and previously unseen video clips of her life and music show a girl with an incredible raw talent, but who never came to terms with her parents breaking up and who found it impossible to deal with subsequent stardom.

A combination of bulimia, drugs and alcohol led to her early, but tragically inevitable, death at the tender age of 27.

Alongside her hauntingly perfect jazz singer’s voice, trenchant lyrics scroll across the screen, telling the story of failed love affairs and a sad person.

This is not an easy film to watch. But it is a brilliant piece of documentary movie-making, from the same team as the award-winning Senna.