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April 2012 - A cry for survival

In April, The gideondefoe-penned The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists finally made it to the screen.

It was extremely funny, with all the attention to detail in animation, and humour, that you'd expect from a film made by Aardman and written by Gid. If you haven't seen it, then buy the DVD immediately.

This is an actual offer available at the Empire Leicester Square when I went. I didn't take advantage of it.

Pirates combo

On the 10th, I went, along with ultraruby and bigcat23 to see Orbital at the Royal Albert Hall. This was the first of many gigs for me this year, a habit I'd completely fallen out of. I've been meaning to see Orbital for years and years, and I think they even played a "farewell" gig in Brixton a few years ago, which I spectacularly failed to attend.

They were magnificent. We were up in the galleries of the hall, which is basically a huge extended walkway right round the top of the hall. No seats, but amazing views, and lots of space to dance. The acoustics of the hall worked perfectly for the shiny, sharp beats and crafted sounds of Orbital, and the venue brought a pleasing interplay of the traditional and modern, which I love, and which suits London to a T.

They're going mad!

The brothers Hartnoll played loads of things off their new album, Wonky, and nobody minded a bit. It's one of their best, tightest albums, I think, and it blended perfectly with an array of their former output. As ever, Belfast was a highlight for me.

On the 12th, I was lucky enough to get to see perfectlyvague star in a play she had co-directed and co-written - The War of the Waleses. It's a wonderful thing - a Shakespearean take on very recent Royal - and political - history, full of wit, reflection, melancholy and insight. It may return in 2013, and if it does, you'll find out about it here I suspect.

On the 14th, some of us assembled at the Prince of Wales in Clapham for internetsdairy's birthday. Except internetsdairy, who's fell ill. We all met anyway, and got hammered toasted his return to good health.

On the 16th, me and celebrated music writer, trad-jazz botherer and bon vivant John "E" Lewis met for lunch in at Smiths of Smithfield, and sat a table away from none other than Jimmy Somerville. The years have been kind. (To Jimmy. And to John actually. But not so much to me.)

An ex-student of mine, Diana, now a professional photographer, had an exhibition of her work on display on Brixton towards the end of the month, entitled "Everyone Says Hi - An exhibition of Brixton portraits". I went along with another of my former charges, Miranda, to see her work. I've been in touch with Miz for some years now on Facebook etc., but hadn't seen her for a long time. I hadn't seen Diana for even longer. It was a terrific evening, so lovely to see them both again, and to catch up with one or two other SFX faces, such as Roisin. And Diana's photography is wonderful. You can read a little about the exhibition here, where you'll also find links to Diana's other photography.

I was up in Manchester with work on the 21st. It was National Record Store day:
Record Store Day

Frank Sidebottom would have approved:
Fantastic Frank!

And somehow, incredibly, unbelievably, Jeremy Hunt kept his job. Now, of course, he's been promoted.