Just finished listening to Big Finish’s ‘Tom Baker at 80’, an interview conducted by Nick ‘voice of the daleks’ Briggs. Moving from being comic, to revealing as it explores his past and poinant as Baker talks about his experiences of old age. A thoroughly engaging listen (how could it be otherwise with his majestic voice!)
Check out Tom Baker at 80 from Big Finish. https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/tom-baker-at-80-1060
Tom Baker, Romana, K9, submarines, intelligent giant squids and ghosts. What’s not to like!
Over the last few years I’ve developed a love of the fantastic Big Finish audio books, especially their Doctor Who stories. A favourite range has been their Eighth Doctor stories featuring Paul McGann which are absolutely brilliant – despite his short screen time he’s now one of my favorites. I’ve also recently got hold of a couple of Fourth Doctor series. It’s terrific hearing Tim Baker again, just as it was seeing him in the 50th special. I’ve just finished the two parter featuring the Lawn, The Sands of Time (. ) and War Against the Laan.
Today I woke to the sad news that another guitar hero of mine has gone, the great B.B.King, one of the last of the original electric blues players who created this wonderful music. Here’s a video which my brother brought to my attention (thanks!) featuring both B.B.King and Gary Moore, another much missed musician who could make this instrument cry like no other.
Rediscovered this gem whilst doing some prep for tonight’s Bible Study on excuses. Priceless – had me giggling like a boy again just as I was first time I heard him do these. Brilliant!
Was lucky enough to secure a ticket to see The Waterboys last night at The Roundhouse on their tour to promote their new album ‘Modern Blues’. As I’d expected from this enigmatic band it was a storming show, a wonderful blend of old and new, with a lovely soul sound running through it as inspired by the new album. Managed to get to the front too! I love the way in which their gigs are a such a mix of songs and styles, and there’s always a surprise somewhere down the line. Mike Scott was at his rasping best, Steve Wickham delightful on the fiddle, transported and transporting us away with his magic and Ralph Salmins the powerhouse you’d expect on drums. Brother Paul on the keys was a wild addition with a Cheshire Cat grin that was as loud as his trousers (and that’s saying something!). David Hood brought all his experience to play on bass, providing with the snappily dressed Zach Ernst on guitar that soul sound. If you’ve not seen them before and get the chance, grab tickets immediately!
Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice by Stephen Baxter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
On a bit of a Doctor Who binge this year courtesy of the 50th Anniversary, the new Doctor (Capaldi – brilliant!) and listening to loads of the audio books by Big Finish (www.bigfinish.com – definitely worth a look if you’re a fan). Read the Michael Moorcock Doctor Who novel earlier in the year, which I enjoyed, and then spotted this, another by a respected writer of sci-fi for adults. Had to pick it up. Despite mixed reviews I loved it. I haven’t been exposed to the second Doctor much, but got a real feel for his personality through this and enjoyed the two companions too, Zoe and Jamie. I found the pacing good – a gradual build up of tension and plot – and the setting thoughtful. The TARDIS materialises in the rings of Saturn and ends up on a space station around one of its moons from where a discovery that threatens the universe as we know it – what’s not to like?!
View all my reviews
Wonderful to hear Freddie’s voice again on a ‘new’ Queen song. Although I’m disappointed that there are only three ‘new’ tracks on the new Album, Queen Forever, it still remains a thrill to hear their songs for the first time. This one was originally recorded during work on The Works but didn’t make the cut and so wasn’t finished. In the end Anita Dobson, Brian May’s wife, recorded it instead. For the new album Queen returned to it and finished it, and hearing it now I have to wonder why it wasn’t chosen in the first place. Fantastic!
Today is for those in the know is Star Wars Day, if you don’t know why, read the above title and listen carefully to what it sounds like. As you may have seen in the news this week (I gather the internet literally exploded!) it has been an exciting week for Star Wars fans, especially those from when the first films were released. If you haven’t heard the news, it has finally officially be announced that all of the central actors from the original films will be reprising their roles in the seventh film of the series, with photos being released of the cast gathered together to read through the script. Together with Harrison Ford (who played Hans Solo), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker are returning as the droids C-3PO and R2-D2, and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca the Wookiee. There are new characters too, played by younger actors, and the speculation is that there will be a handing over of the baton (should that be lightsabre?) to the newer cast from the old hands.
It is strangely fitting that this news should break so soon after Easter because it parallels the story of the Risen Christ. Raised to new life he met with his gathered disciples and gave them an important message, it is time for me to leave and so I am handing over my work to you to continue, and will be sending the Holy Spirit (far superior to the Force) to enable you to do it. This is what the Great Commission in Matthew 28 is all about, a handing on to a new generation. Just as with the Star Wars films, although the disciples and in turn their disciples all the way down to ourselves take on the continuation of the work, that in no way diminishes the glory of Jesus who started it. He will always been the focus of worship and admiration, just as the original characters and cast for the first Star Wars films will always be the ones most important to fans. Why new films? Talk to the fans and you’ll hear they’ll never be as good as the originals, but they recognise their value in keeping the franchise alive, bringing new fans to them through the new. So it is with us. The whole point is that not only are we serving our communities, but hopefully through our service and love we’re bringing new people into a relationship with him.
And so, as we celebrate the Lord’s Day today, I pray that as you go out as fans of the Risen Jesus to serve him in our communities, may the Spirit be with you!
Church Newsletter 04.05.14
We’re coming to the end of the annual award season with the Oscars last week and the Baftas shortly before, the time when the great and the good in the showbiz award gather in their new frocks and best smiles to pat each other on the back and reward those who have deemed to have been the best over the last year.
As a celebrity worshipping culture, we love this. We love to debate who’s going to win and argue over the relative merits of films and performances, pages and pages in the press will be devoted to admiring the outfits on show and any faux pas committed will quickly go viral on Youtube; we love a trip on the way to the podium, or an unmasked grimace when a competitor wins! One thing, however, I think is mutually hated, is the obligatory award speech where the recipient of an award thanks it sometimes feels like everybody they have ever met and known! We don’t mind one such speech, but after a couple it becomes tedious viewing. A couple of hours later and it is simply all too much…
That whinge out of the way, the thank you speech is an important thing. No one wins such an award on their own; to get to that point requires the support and hard work of countless people, many of whom will never get their moment in the spotlight and will never be household names like those who receive the coveted prizes. It is only right for an artist to give credit where credit’s due, even if it doesn’t make exciting viewing on TV. A simple thank you might require only a few words and take a short moment (although at the Oscars these soon add up) but the effect on the recipient is much bigger, let’s face it, we all like to have our hard work recognized and our efforts appreciated.
Lent is a good time for reflection, and perhaps this season one thing worth reflecting on is who has made a difference to our lives, whether that be at home, at work, in school or in the church. Who has made our lives better than they would have been without their contribution? Who is it that has invested their time and emotion in you, not for their benefit but yours? Is this the time to say thank you? It doesn’t cost much – no new frocks are required for this – but it makes a significant difference!