IF you were to open a Valentine's card next week and read 'Remember thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return', you would be forgiven for thinking that romance was dead. And yet the Lenten call to conversion might not be an entirely inappropriate verse given that, this year, Ash Wednesday and St Valentine's Day coincide. This no doubt presents a quandary for those romantics who would ordinarily say 'I love you' with chocolates and fine dining, but who nevertheless wish to begin the Lenten season in true penitential spirit. During Lent, the Church reminds us of the eternal importance of opening ourselves and our relationships to the light of Christ and the fresh breeze of the Holy Spirit. Instead of focusing purely on self-improvement during Lent, we are called to surrender ourselves so that God may live even more within our hearts and our relationships. For those with a 'significant other', this necessitates going a little deeper than the 'Roses are red, violets are blue' brand of … [Read more...] about Dominic McGrattan: Will the penance of Ash Wednesday kill the romance of St Valentine’s Day?
Brother who art thou
Still looking for a last-minute Christmas present?We review DVDs out this week from The Limehouse Golem to The Hitman's bodyguardBill Nighy stars as a detective investigating a serial killer in Victorian London's Limehouse district.At the same time, a music hall actress (a winning turn by Olivia Cooke) seems fated to the gallows as she stands trial for poisoning her husband, in a case that may somehow interlock with the Golem murders.It's gripping, grisly and atmospheric, with a perfectly paced whodunit plot that allows you to deduce the identity of the murderer, yet still feel pleased with yourself for working it out. Only the very final moments seem misplaced.The cast is a who's who of Brit character actors, with Daniel Mays, Eddie Marsan and David Bamber on reliably good form, while Douglas Booth (wonderfully cheekboned star of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies) is particularly engaging as real-life Victorian drag act Dan Leno.By Jayme Bryla Rating 4.5/5The Medicis were the original … [Read more...] about Still looking for a last-minute Christmas gift? We review DVDs out this week from The Limehouse Golem to The Hitman’s bodyguard
IT’S not every day that the notoriously elusive Bob Dylan bigs you up.But there in black and white on his website, the newly anointed Nobel Laureate says this: “Imelda May, I like her.”In a rare Dylan interview, the Dublin-born, London-based singer is mentioned in the same breath as Iggy Pop, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones and Amy Winehouse.Not surprisingly, Imelda is taken aback.“I have to say I nearly died with happiness,” she reports in her soft Irish brogue.“I was really, really thrilled with that.“It blew my mind actually.“He’s a genius songwriter, my goodness me.“When I die, I’ll have, ‘Imelda May — Bob Dylan liked her’ put on my headstone.”I’m assuming the endorsement refers to the retro-styled music she made BEFORE her latest album . . . vibrant, visceral rockabilly with an infusion of punk, culminating in 2014’s uncompromising Tribal.But I’m sure … [Read more...] about Irish singing sensation Imelda May talks about what it feels like to have Bob Dylan like your music and life after 20 years of being a Londoner
SOMEBODY once said they’d be disappointed if the angels in heaven didn’t sound like Alison Krauss.The Krauss soprano, an instrument of rare and authentic beauty, has long had that effect on people.Ever since she appeared as a teenager, fiddle in hand, singing and playing bluegrass with a combination of sweet serenity and heartfelt intensity, she’s been a focus of admiration.Adele has declared her “obsession” with this American force of nature while Grammy judges have acknowledged her efforts with 27 awards . . . the most for any singer.Much of Alison’s success has come with her crack band, Union Station, but let’s not forget other triumphs.She made key contributions to the garlanded O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack . . . solo as well as sublime harmonies with Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch.And who can forget her fearless Raising Sand collaboration with Led Zeppelin powerhouse Robert … [Read more...] about Country legend Alison Krauss talks meeting Adele, harmonising with idol Dolly Parton and new album Windy City
AN ANIMATED George Clooney showed his paternal side as he helped a little boy to ride his bike in tender scenes for his new blockbuster Suburbicon.The silver-haired screen star gave his full attention to a youngster kitted out in a cowboy outfit as he pedalled down a street in LA.George is juggling acting and directing the gritty crime thriller, set for release next year, and was in full-on dad mode as he encouraged him to cycle toward him.The film icon, who was sporting a black top with the logo of his drinks brand Casamigos Tequila, wore light jeans and trainers as he chatted to to the schoolboy on the street.George, 55, held out his hand in encouragement as his co-star tried to master the bike, stopping to put his feet on the floor to steady himself.Later the Hollywood favourite took a hands-on approach and steadied the handlebars to help the kid, who proved an eye-catching sight in bright red trousers and a diamond-print shirt.Clearly fancying himself as a Wild West hero, the … [Read more...] about George Clooney shows his tender side on the scene of his new crime movie Suburbicon