Why Does Dave Chappelle Hate Tiemo Talk? Live at Hackney Empire

Rating: ****
Hackney Empire Theatre,
London E8
Review date: 3rd June 2019
Promoter: Live Nation

To speak or not to speak that is the question and by speaking do you dare risk the wrath of the Thought Police and the politically correct? This has been pre-occupying Dave Chappelle and his opinion on the theme of freedom of speech formed the bedrock of the latest show from the American comedy superstar.

The strong criticism he’s faced from some of his previous shows in the context of the #MeToo movement clearly provided much food for thought. Did he choose to steer away from hot button topics and play it safe? Defiantly and definitely not was the answer. Chappelle dived straight in with near the knuckle jokes about the #MeToo movement. He asserted his support for the movement whilst objecting to and suggesting that their strategy needed re-thinking in order to build, not alienate male support. He argued that with more men on board the movement would gain even more traction.

He referred to the time he was directly caught up in the equal pay row raised by comedienne Mo’ Nique when she railed against the £500,000 she was offered for her Netflix stand up comedy special in 2018 compared to the £20m Chappelle and Chris Rock were getting for their respective shows. He had her back up until the point she brought him into the equation by comparing his fee with hers and more specifically the timing and precise nature of her request to viewers riled him. His acerbic, irreverent response was both unexpected and waspishly funny.

Dave Chappelle

Sexual abuse allegations against high profile pop stars featured heavily and his take on the likes of Chuck Berry, Michael Jackson and R Kelly were refreshingly original, honest, totally un-PC, yet highly amusing, whilst making it very clear he does not condone sexual abuse. He unpicked and poked fun at the absurdity of some of the claims made against these men. As ever context is everything and on stage at the Hackney Empire, a venue he said he’d always wanted to play, he made clear he was purely having fun at his fellow superstar’s predicaments.

He was full of praise for Kevin Hart – his work ethic and talent that’s got him to where he is and evidently felt bad for him that he was forced to forego his Oscar’s hosting role this year, due in no small part he stated ,to a gay (according to Chappelle) Blogger (Jonathan Weiner I presume) who “outed him” with releases of old tweets from 2010 which were deemed homophobic. It is for this reason Chappelle jokingly (I hope) said he hates Bloggers … maybe that’s why, Kevin Hart and Chris Rock ban mobile phones at their shows! When I heard that I stormed angrily out of Hackney Empire! Well not quite… as I’m made a sterner stuff and stayed put to watch the rest of the show.

I’m glad I did for Chappelle was on great form, delivering a good 1.5 hours or so of comedy. It was insightful, bold, confident and frequently funny in its strident, no nonsense brashness. What was admirable was that he wasn’t just saying things for shock value but he could back up his opinions with clarity and reason if he felt the need to explain himself.

It was of note that this show coincided with the visit of “his” President Trump to London. There are similarities between them – both shoot from the hip, saying whatever’s on their mind – regardless and don’t have much time for political correctness and feel they should be free to speak as they see it without negative consequences.

During a segment of the show with Kojo Amin, runner up on last Sunday’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) final’, he took a series questions from Kojo and the audience. This revealed an interesting explanation regarding why he avoids performing in arenas. Whilst this segment generated some context to his material and some off the cuff jokes, it took a while to get into its stride and wasn’t entirely successful. It seemed under cooked with Kojo seemingly not quite knowing what his role was. Was he there to tell jokes, be the butt of Chappelle’s or interview him? Well he didn’t tell jokes and Chappelle did tease him a little and allow him to facilitate the Q&A. He also praised Kojo’s ability, longevity and warmth shown to him over the years when he’s visited England. It was nice hearing his words of comfort to Kojo on missing out on winning BGT recalling how he once was runner up in a TV talent show many years ago, but it’s not exactly held him back. Who remembers the winner of that show he asked? No one!

There were a couple of hecklers who were a bit of a pain but he seemed quite cool about them. I think many would have preferred if they’d kept their thoughts to themselves, be ordered to pipe down or be thrown out by security.

DJ Cipha Sounds (famous in New York don’t you know) provided good entertainment to get the audience ready for the main man. I loved his selection of music for the audience warm up and the sing a log’s he got started. That worked very well and he had the crowd in the palm of his hands.

South London support act Travis Jay delivered a brilliantly innovative and highly topical set on the woes of former Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua who had just lost his 4 heavyweight belts in New York’s Madison Square Gardens in the early hours of Sunday morning (1st June 2019). I know he loves his boxing so this was an impressive indeed – almost as impressive as Andrew Ruiz’s shocking victory! I also loved his material regarding being a father of two.

I hope Chappelle doesn’t hate all Bloggers – well not me anyway for this was a great show – I don’t care about the others Bloggers!

© Tiemo Talk of the Town

Links:

  1. Dave Chappelle Bans Mobile Phones in Brixton – Tiemo review – 12th September 2016
  2. Dave Chappelle London Eventim Apollo – Tiemo review – 18th July 2015
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Skittish Warrior: Confessions of a Club Comic: Live at Brunel

Rating: ****
Antonin Artoud Theatre,
Brunel University
Uxbridge
Middlesex UB8
Review date: 31st May 2019
Produced by: Centre for Comedy Studies Research and Brunel Arts

Judging by the way Shappi Khorsandi bounded about the huge Antonin Artoud theatre in such a skittish way at Brunel University you’d never have guessed she was as tired as she confessed to feeling. The stage was enormous but she filled it with tremendous energy, sprightliness and joie de vivre as she bantered with some of the packed audience.

Her cheeky, somewhat saucy aside to the young male student as she recalled her own student days brought the house down. Once she’d got through her introductory light hearted audience interaction she moved on to share some of the ups and down of her 20 year journey as a Stand-Up Comedian. This included observing up close the awful baptism of fire a female comedian experience at one of the first live gigs Shappi ever attended at the brilliant but sadly now defunct Comedy Cafe, Shoreditch. It’s a wonder that didn’t put her off going into stand up comedy for life. Fortunately she was made of sterner, warrior stuff and went on to perform countless gigs over the years. She paid her dues and earned her stripes in the comedy industry, often spending more to get to far out gigs than she earned from the gig – if she got paid at all that is – such is the life of the up and coming comedian.

Shappi Khorsandi

Her hard work and dedication paid off and her trajectory elevated her to the high national profile she currently enjoys. This has resulted in appearances on Question Time and meeting the Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. There were some extremely funny anecdotes from those encounters set many years apart, well before and after she became well known. She has appeared on ‘Live at the Apollo’ and shared her experiences being on last year’s ‘I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here.’ There were some terrific stories about that show.

I loved the fact there were a number of her fellow Iranian’s in the audience with whom you could tell she enjoyed interacting with. The young lady asleep on the shoulder of her friend got of quite lightly I thought. We were told she was ill so it was lucky for them Shappi had the empathy to avoid making a meal of the situation as I suspect some other less than empathetic comedians, who would have been eager to make comedic capital from the situation.

Shappi was on fine, dare I say it, skittish warrior form and it is this, allied to her comedic talent, that has helped her survive not only the Australian jungle, but the arguably for more precarious jungle that is the UK stand-up comedy circuit.

Support act Joy Carter also gave a fine performance which included regaling the audience with her musical talent and sharing some of her very unusual backstory growing up as an adopted Nigerian child in Scunthorpe.

Compere, Australian Laura Davis, came across confidently, if a little confusingly at times – one moment telling the audience she’s bi-sexual, the next that she has a husband! We’ll leave her to explain that away! I found her to be a bit too loud and shouty when adopting an exaggerated Aussie accent elongated. Laura has potential but needs to work on finding her authentic comedy voice.

It was of note that this was an all female and international line up featuring comedians with Australian, Iranian and Nigerian heritage. That’s a refreshing break from the norm and helped create an excellent night of comedy from the Centre for Comedy Studies Research and Brunel Arts.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town

Shappi Khorsandi is currently on tour with Skittish Warrior and published two books – ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Acting English’ and ‘Nina Is Not OK.’

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Sting and Shaggy Star at the Roundhouse

Rating: ****
The Roundhouse
Chalk Farm
London NW1
Review date: 19th May 2019

Can you fit a square peg in a round hole goes the age old question? The same could be said for this curious gig. Can a good show be created by merging the divergent talents and musical styles – reggae, jazz and rock starring English music legend Sting and Jamaican reggae artist Shaggy? There was enough interest in this unusual combination for around 3,300 fans to turn up to this sold out night in London to find out whether or not Sting and Shaggy were a square peg trying to be squeezed into a Roundhouse.

This was Sting’s first show in the capital for 2 years since last performing at London’s Hammersmith Eventim Apollo in April 2015.

The duo go back a long and joined forces last year for this curiously titled 44/876 world tour … and no that’s a reference to the ages of Shaggy and Sting – although Sting does seem to have been around for something like 876 years! Joking aside that actually refers to the country dialling codes for the UK (+44) and Jamaica (+876).

Shaggy and Sting

The show opened with great crowd pleasing numbers including ‘Englishman in New York’ which had a wonderful added twist to it when Shaggy slightly altered the lyrics to ‘Jamaican in New York.’ There was actually a wonderful version going by that very same title from Shinehead (1992). That got the gig off to a terrific, lively start, instantly creating a party vibe which lasted throughout the evening as fans sang their hearts out to numerous classic hits. It was quite the nostalgic trip down memory lane as the pair ran through some of their greatest songs, not just as solo artists, but in Sting’s case of course, as front man of the all conquering band ‘The Police’ of late 1970’s and 1980’s fame.

I enjoyed Shaggy’s playful contributions, for instance, on ‘So Lonely’, in response to the line “Now no one’s knocked upon my door, for a thousand years or more…” Shaggy amusingly and simply retorted to Sting: “that’s a long time ago!” Cue much laughter in the audience and even a wry smile from Sting himself!

Shaggy would regularly add his own Jamaican style and reggae tinged spin on songs which often was a bonus, but sometimes came across as a little peripheral and lyrically incomprehensible, although the sound alone often carried more impact than trying to make sense of what he was actually singing!

Sting brought to the occasion his fine voice and bass playing, whilst Shaggy played the role of ring master, working the crowd, striding across the stage like the grand showman he is, orchestrating the fans singing and clapping; not that Sting didn’t perform the same role when he encouraged sing a long’s with his infamous “Eeooo Ooow’s” etc… although I felt that they did go on for a bit too long at times.

I’d not seen Shaggy live before so it was an experience to see him sing his famous hits such as ‘Oh Carolina’ and ‘It Wasn’t Me’. These went down well with the crowd. Overall though I found Shaggy engaging and entertaining, musically and lyrically I wasn’t overly enamoured by all of the songs he brought to the table. They seemed somewhat trite and having lyrics which were pretty unfathomable didn’t help.

Nonetheless this was for the most part just a fun gig. The artistes were enjoying themselves and the audience, comprising mostly old school Police/Sting fans were in party mood and cheerfully bopping away to the hits, which kept coming from ‘So Lonely’, To ‘Message in a Bottle’, to ‘Walking on the Moon.’ Despite Sting”s tremendously successful solo career the clear and overwhelming sense one got from the night, was that the old Police hits were the crowd favourites and really lifted the energy to much higher levels and got everyone going. Calls for The Police to reform to tour again have surfaced online from hardcore fans and you can’t blame them. The Police drummer Stewart Copeland was at London’s Southbank Centre as recently as March 2019. Sting was playing London in May 2019. Andy Summers is apparently playing in a Police tribute band. All drawing on their band’s back catalogue. Why not re-unite for the loyal fans again? It makes sense in so many ways.

‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ cry the fans for this dreamed of re-union. It’s also the name of Sting and Shaggy’s single from last year and that song was a lovely new single, with their melodic voices aligned in perfect harmony to the song’s gentle reggae beat. Songs such as ‘Desert Rose’ and ‘Shape of my Heart’ were very well received too.

There were a number of newer, slower, far less well known songs, which gave the audience a breather from the high energy, big hits. It was almost taken as an interlude, an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and listen to the music as opposed to singing and dancing along all the way through as so many were doing.

It would have been nice to have heard some of the songs Sting rarely plays live such as ‘Russians’, ‘Bring on the Night’, ‘Tea in the Sahara’ and ‘Voices inside my head’ for instance. ‘Fields of Gold’ wouldn’t have gone amiss as well.

One annoyance was the constant filming and photo taking. I get it and understand why people do it but surely after a few songs in it’s time for people to put away their phones and simply enjoy the show. Surely there’s no need to be still filming over an hour into the show. In any event it was being professionally and officially filmed – presumably for release at some point in the future. I think the American stand-up comedians Dave Chapelle, Kevin Hart and Chris Rock are on to something when they ban the use of mobile phones at their gigs. It just creates a far better atmosphere without the distraction. It ensures fans have to live in and experience the moment rather than focus on capturing it on film.

The good humoured banter between Sting and Shaggy highlighted the warmth and camaraderie between the two men. It was great to see them up close and personal at this lovely relatively small venue for men of this stature. It made a very welcome change to not have to rely on video screens to see all the action up close if not fortunate enough to be in the front rows.

Given their respective ages they certainly had a lot of stamina and staying power performing for over 2 hours without so much as a break or interval. No quibbles about value for money.

I thoroughly enjoyed the gig and the quality, energy and pleasure of hearing the hit songs “live” was worth the price of admission alone. I did feel though that there were a few too many lulls in proceedings with unfamiliar songs, be they Sting’s or Shaggy’s, that simply weren’t of the exemplary standard of Sting’s and The Police’s greatest songs.

It was evident that Sting and Shaggy certainly weren’t square pegs trying to fit into round holes. They were more akin to a dynamic duo fitting comfortably into a Roundhouse.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town

Links

  1. Stewart Copeland Transcends Darkness to Light up the Orchestra – Tiemo review – 31.03.19
  2. Paul Simon and Sting on stage Together at the O2 – Tiemo review – 16.04.15

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Stewart Copeland Transcends Darkness to Light up the Orchestra

Rating: *****
Southbank Centre
London SE1
Performers
London Concert Orchestra
Troy Miller – conductor
Stewart Copeland – percussion, drums
Review date: 30th March 2019

This sounded interesting. A culture clash of drumming and classical music, featuring the drummer and founder of “that band” as Stewart Copeland un-cryptically referred to his former band The Police and the London Concert Orchestra. Would it be a culture clash and riotous clash of styles though or would the two forms seque-way harmoniously and symphonically?

The first couple of numbers were traditional classical pieces and Stewart Copeland’s drumming fitted in seamlessly, as indeed did the full, enormous 50 piece London Concert Orchestra playing all manner of instruments – from violins, trombones, flutes, saxophones, guitars and double bass to name but a small selection of the instruments being played. It all sounded so beautiful. The highlights of the show for me were Don’t Stand So Close to Me, Darkness and Miss Gradenko, the former being one of The Police’s biggest hits. The latter were two of the less well known, but still much loved album songs. It was great to hear them all again re-worked in such a classical style.

Stewart Copeland

It was a joy to hear Copeland’s humourous and informative anecdotes and introductions to each song. It was effectively, for those who’d not been paying attention at the back, a real update on what he’d had been up to since his Police days. As this show indicated he’s been busy learning the craft of composing musical scores for films, TV shows and video games. He’s the man behind the music composed for Rumblefish, Wall Street, The Equaliser and Spyro the Dragon platform game (me neither)! Copeland acknowledged that those in the audience over 36 probably would have no idea about that one.

The audience loved the moment when Copeland and the Conductor Troy Miller Wall swapped roles. Miller actually drummed very well and Copeland gleefully conducted energetically and overly theatrically in his exuberant, American way. He was loving his moment running the show and you could see he was thoroughly enjoying himself on stage. It was a joy to behold.

London Concert Orchestra

His drumming, it goes without saying, was superb, if a tad restrained by his usual high energy, frenetic standards, but that was to be expected considering this was an orchestral night. Copeland was so restrained he didn’t even let loose and deliver solo drum passages!

This mix of cultures was not such a crazy idea after all. Drumming and orchestral manoeuvres worked a treat. I love the way both he and the man he described as the “greatest living songwriter alive” Sting have both done tours with Orchestra’s and let their post The Police creative juices flow in this and so many other unexpected directions over the years.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town

Repertoire

Stewart Copeland: Poltroons in Paradise from Tyrant’s Crush; Darkness; Pirate’s Attack from Ben Hur; Wall Street; Coco from Rhythmatist
Gordon Sumner: Don’t stand so close to me arranged by Stewart Copeland

Stewart Copeland: West Tulsa Story from Rumblefish; Theme from The Equalizer; Klentong from Gamelan D’Drum; Rain Tiger; Seventeen from Spyro the Dragon; Miss Gredenko.

Further information on Stewart Copeland and forthcoming tour dates

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No Brexit, No Matter: Brexit Free Comedy at the Comedy Bunker

Rating: ****
The Comedy Bunker
West Ruislip
Middlesex HA4
Comedians: Jonathan Elston (Compere); Prince Abdi, Sarah Callaghan and Tom Ward
Review date: 29th March 2019

I say I say I-SA, what do you get when you hold a comedy night on so called ‘Brexit day’? The answer is a wonderfully bonkers, politics free, mash up of a show the covers everything from Prince and Cher, relationships and ISA’s, Usain Bolt and the Grand Canyon.

This was billed as a mystery night so I literally had no idea whatsoever who was to appear on stage. Trying his best to make sense of all this was the easy going host Jonathan Elston. From seemingly mining dead end conversations with the front row – comprising a fork lift digger, a “sometime” PE Teacher and a Prison Officer he somehow managed to segue way in links between them all and others in the audience in a highly entertaining way. This allowed him to demonstrate his quick wittedness in combining the curious comment from one of the men about “sometimes doing a little bit of PE teaching” for a living, to a reposte about him one way or another going to end up on a register! Very good.

Jonathan Elston

Prince Abdi was on great form with a lot of silly, observational jokes and material playing on racial stereotypes in a very light hearted, unthreatening way. I loved the stories re his brother being kicked out of the home and his attempts at chirpsing young women.

Sarah Callaghan was amusing in her mock aggressive/angry young woman way. The anecdote about her date being 5 minutes late and how that so annoyed her was a joy to hear and in a very funny way, she actually gets across a serious point about the value and importance of time and punctuality, even “just 5 minutes.”

Callaghan’s ironic take on the #MeToo movement too went down well too. As the only female on the line up, that was perhaps not surprisingly, the only act reference to the movement. I guess the men thought better of “going there” on such a delicate topic.

Headliner Tom Ward with his Lego/Beatles haircut was highly original and amusing with his utilisation of music, particularly Prince and Cher. He was brilliant at getting laughs from the different “sexy” voices of Prince and the unintelligible warbling of Cher on her hit single ‘I Believe.’

On this ‘Mystery Night’ show we had a couple of familiar faces in Prince Abdi and Sarah Callaghan, plus two new ones (to me anyway) in Jonathan Elston and Tom Ward. Neither I or the audience were disappointed. I love that about Comedy Bunker and so do the attendees they know they will always enjoy a good and varied night of entertainment.

It’s ironic that this night of stand-up comedy took place at, of all places. the Comedy Bunker, for there was no problems getting the laughs out on the night. The Comedy Bunker delivered on their promise, unlike certain politician’s. In fact the only thing stuck in the bunker at the moment seems to be the Government’s attempts to Brexit the European Union.

Sarah Callaghan

Aside from the acts on stage the undoubted audience star of the night was local guy Sam who happened to know the 3 guys on the front row and wisecracked his way through the night in entertaining banter with the Compere. Best of all was when Elston noticed after the final interval that Sam’s girlfriend Summer hadn’t returned. That created a bit of tension in the room and you half-expected her to walk in and take up her seat, but she didn’t. #Awkward. Sarah Callaghan would not have liked that one bit!

Elston was offered and sardonically declined Sam’s offer of a glass of Prosecco. During a momentary silence to interrupt Elston’s flow of concern for his situation, Sam exclaims, I think by way of saying all is not lost, “We’ve got an ISA.” That brings the house down and Elston proceeds to joke about whether the value of the ISA is sufficient to hold this relationship together. Unlike, I hope, their ISA, that was absolutely unexpectedly, left  of field, priceless. Shortly afterwards, Sam, looking a little worse for wear it has to be said, Brexited out into the night to look for Summer, never to be seen again.

We can but hope that Sam and Summer re-united, but as we enter Spring today, 31st March 2019, maybe the reality is that Sam will have to get through this brand new season all on his own before re-uniting with his girlfriend Summer in … you’ve guessed it … Summer!

If you’re reading this Sam and Summer let us all know how things are going. Maybe you will re-unite at the next night of entertainment at The Comedy Bunker. We shall see.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town

The next show at The Comedy Bunker sees the return of one of the country’s most popular Comedian’s – A Night With Jim Davidson on Friday 26th April 2019.

Brexit: A Solution to Break the Deadlock – 11th March 2019

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Amazing: The George Michael Collection

Amazing: The George Michael Collection
Rating: *****
Christie’s
London SW1
Review date: Sunday 10th March 2019

Sunday morning brunch in the West End of London. Sounds good. That in itself would have been a novelty, but I attended novelty to beat all novelties as I headed into town last Sunday 10th March 2019 to view The George Michael Collection. As big a fan as I am I didn’t even know there was such a thing until last week-end. Speaking to other super fans of the late star at the viewing, it seems this has come as quite a surprise too them and many fans as it transpires that George Michael was quite a prolific art connoisseur and collector who went on to amass one of the world’s largest personal art collections.

He took a particular interest in modern British art by Young British Artists. His interest was originally piqued by Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. One of the chief curator’s and appropriately named Christie’s Director, Mr Cristian Albu, told an amusing story of how George Michael’s interest was first knocked back. He paid a visit to Tracey Emin hoping to meet with her to discuss her art. He knocked on her door and she said she’s not open for visitors. He replied, “But I’m George Michael!” She retorted, “I don’t care. We’re closed!!” I can’t imagine many people would have declined a personal visit from George Michael. Not even the “don’t you know who I am line” worked on Tracy Emin, regardless of the fact your name is George Michael!!

George Michael

Nonetheless, George Michael wasn’t to be deterred for too long and he returned again, during opening hours (lesson learned) and struck up and developed an enduring long term relationship with Tracey forged on his love of art. She introduced him to the art of the Goldsmith College set and from then on it was buy, buy, buy, as he snapped up a great deal of art over the next 2 decades.

The George Michael Collection is an educational, visual, written and aural masterpiece of showmanship, featuring an amaxing array of art and iconic memorabilia that I’m certain the man himself would have been immensely proud of. It felt more like being in an art gallery, not an auction house preparing for a major auction. As stated on one of the display’s, George Michael was ever the perfectionist. This was best exemplified in one of his career highlights, The Freddie Mercury Tribute Show at London’s Wembley Stadium in 1992. One written profile stated that in contrast to many stars who spent just a single afternoon preparing for their set, George Michael spent a good 5 days perfecting his three Queen tribute numbers to such a brilliant extent that his impassioned rendition of ‘Somebody to Love’ was the stand out, show stealing performance of the day.

This viewing, not unexpectedly seeing as it was held at Christie’s, had world class stamped all over it; from the ornate staircase that greeted you as you walk in, resplendent with the image of hundreds of people screened onto it. Fans will recognise the images being the artwork for the 1990 album ‘Listen without Prejudice Volume 1’, George Michael’s second solo album.

The walls of Christie’s were literally wall to wall with fantastic art. Additionally, one of the areas I loved most of all was right at the top of the entrance staircase where one of the more literary spaces in the exhibition tracked his journey from schoolboy to popstar with Wham! to solo star, right through to the later years of his pop career that culminated in the prestigious 2012 Symphonica show at the Palais Garnier in Paris.

The collection was filled with lots of lovely, detailed nuggets of information as well as witty and insightful quotes from George Michael such as “I don’t need the approval or people who don’t approve of me.

Accompanying all of this was of course a background soundtrack of George Michael and Wham! That was a fitting and terrific accompaniment to the collection, which effectively was a great, extensive and detailed journey through some of the most iconic images and stages of his long career, including the outlandish black and red costumes worn in the Freeek! (2002) video and the famous black “speaker” chair from fast love (1996). The chair was set on a simple, tiny podium in small room all on its own, with George Michael videos playing in the background.

Black chair from Fast Love video

It was quite eerie and extremely poignant to view this. To think that George Michael used to sit on that chair. Now resolutely empty with just his music playing in the background. At different junctures of The Collection you would get that sense as you viewed the clothes and other famous artefacts that appeared in videos over the years.

The prices of the artwork were breathtaking, with many pieces well into the high £1,000’s right up to £1.5 list estimate for Damien Hurst’s ‘The Incomplete Truth’ (2006) featuring a dove hovering in formaldehyde.

This is going to be an historic, once in a lifetime auction. Good luck to all bidding for items on Thursday 14th March 2019. There is also an online auction, for not only the main artwork, but also many lower valued artwork too.

George Michael Freeek! video outfit

When he passed away a number of George Michael’s secret and vast acts of philanthropy came to light. Many loved the fact he had quietly and secretly used his vast wealth to help others far less fortunate than him. It was lovely to hear another new fact in Cristian Albu’s talk that George Michael had decided that royalties from the song ‘Jesus to a Child’ would, in perpetuity, be granted to Childline.

It was also wonderful to hear him announce that the proceeds from the auction will go to, as yet un-named, worthy causes. So effectively he didn’t just buy this art for art’s sake or as a “personal” investment, he did it to benefit others once he departed this earth.

In a quote from the exhibition he is remembered as saying: “Most of us want to leave something. I want to leave songs.” George Michael on Top of the Pops, 1982. He would have been a mere teenager of 19 at that time. Well he undoubtedly achieved that goal and a whole lot more too as The George Michael Collection demonstrably showcased.

The George Michael Collection is open to the general public at Christie’s London until Friday 15th March 2019, with the auction taking place on the evening of 14th March 2019.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town

Links:

  1. George Michael Honoured with Blue Plaque at Former High School – 8th June 2018
  2. Tribute poem read at Bushey Meads High School plaque unveiling – Steve Stunt – 15th April 2018
  3. Faith: The George Michael Legacy Lives on by Wayne Dilks  – 19th October 2017
  4. Fans Flock to George Michael Memorial Service – Tiemo Talk of the Town – 1st May 2017
  5. Symphonica concert review – Tiemo Talk of the Town – 19th October 2012

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Brexit: A Solution to Break the Deadlock

Dear Reader,

There is a 3rd option and a way through to break the seemingly un-ending drama that is Brexit. It’s rarely talked about at all but I think it’s high time the Government stopped their endless prevaricating over Brexit and took decisive action to bring this interminable saga to a conclusion. It’s in their power to do so but they seem to be avoiding it like the plague. This departure is taking so long it even appears to be affecting the seasons. You’ll recall that only last month we were experiencing Summer weather in February! Maybe that’s one of the pleasant upsides to Brexit no-one told us about.

Prime Minister Theresa May

To me, ever since it became clear that our government had failed to reach a deal acceptable to parliament or the nation,  Brexiteers or Remainers, the only real solution left opened up right in front of our eyes.

It’s one that will avoid the need for a delay to the 29th March 2019 deadline and fulfills parliament’s legal and democratic obligations, for it places this momentous decision firmly in the hands of our elected representatives.

Gina Miller, Businesswoman and Activist

 

This after all is precisely what Businesswoman and Activist Gina Miller fought for and was rightfully applauded for when she successfully won her Supreme Court case (24th January 2017) against the  British government. I urge the Prime Minister Theresa May to stop negotiating with the EU and break the log jam herself by using her authority to give MP’s an additional meaningful, decisive and free vote on Brexit with the following three clear options:

1. Brexit based on the current GB-EU approved deal.
2. Leave with a no deal Brexit.
3. Remain i.e. revoke article 50.

Unfortunately option 3 isn’t one of the 3 voting options set to be put to MP’s this week, but surely it ought to be. It should be within the PM’s gift to be able push this through this week.

For the first time I can recall she even hinted that Brexit might never happen, when delivering a speech in leave territory Grimsby (70% voted leave in 2016), last Friday 8th March 2019.  I call on her to do the right thing and bring this complex and deeply divisive episode in our proud nation’s history to a conclusion by offering MP’s an additional vote on whether to revoke Article 50 and remain in the European Union.

Michael Peters, Editor, Tiemo Talk of the Town

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