Rock band Spear of Destiny set to play Nuneaton gig with release of new album

By Courtney Stevens

Spear of Destiny set to play Queens Hall during UK tour (Image: Publicity picture)

By Courtney Stevens

Spear of Destiny are set to play at Queens Hall in Nuneaton on Sunday, December 4, as part of their UK tour.

The tour is to mark the release of their new album Ghost Population which was released on November 18.

The 23-date live tour kicks off in Leeds today (NOV22), includes Nottingham Rescue Rooms on December 13 and finishes in Manchester on December 17.

Ghost Population will be the band’s 15th studio album and it covers a range of themes from personal to political plus it covers the evolution of the band from past to present.

The tour will give audiences a chance to hear songs from the new album live for the first time.

Since reforming in the late 1990s, ringleader Kirk Brandon has supervised a major reissue campaign of the band’s back catalogue, playing sell out shows at venues such as London’s 100 club and Manchester’s Ritz, joining festival line ups and relentlessly writing new music.

Next year will mark 40 years since the formation of the band in 1983 and since then their punk-influenced power rock has gained a following in the UK.

Spear of Destiny have had a changing line up through the years, but this tour will feature their longest serving line up to date, including Adrian Portas (New Model Army/Sex Gang Children), Craig Adams (Sisters of Mercy/The Cult/The Mission) and Phil Martini (Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind), as well as Clive Osborne on saxophone and Steve Allen-Jones on keys.

Tickets are available here: https://kirkbrandon.com/shows

UK tour dates for Spear of Destiny 2022

Review: Joe Black in Leicester. The embodiment of an apocalyptic, stand-up comedy drag-cabaret show

By Shaikha Rahimi

Joe Black on the main stage of the Y Theatre. Purple and green lights shining on Black as he is speaking into the standing microphone.
Joe Black on stage at the Y Theatre, Leicester. Image by Shaikha Rahimi

Joe Black is not your typical post-Drag Race drag artist, and Club Cataclysm shows you exactly why that is. Throughout this hour-and-a-half show his non-conventional ‘less pop princess, more punk cabaret’ artistry took centre stage. Black’s Club Cataclysm embodied all the delights one can experience at an apocalyptic, stand-up comedy drag-cabaret show.

Since the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Black has been embracing his gifted talents and years of experience being a drag artist and musician. He is no stranger to touring – Black has appeared across the UK, Europe, Australia, and the US – and always immersed himself in music. Despite his inactivity in the musical realm since the pandemic, he recently premiered his single Final Curtain which is about nothing really working out in the end – very much aligned with the themes of Club Cataclysm.

Black’s devilish, wicked but somehow still cabaret-esque persona was conspicuous even before he appeared on stage. “Happy Hallowe’en Leicester,” he said as the lights went down to signal the start of the show. He constantly left trails of dark humour in his conversations with the audience. “Boom boom boom, death death death. That’s what sparks joy in me,” he said.

The drag artist’s punk cabaret characteristics never failed to shine through his references. Even though he does not deprive the audience of hilarious RuPaul’s Drag Race and pop culture references, he does it in the most ‘Joe Black’ way possible. Drag lovers have heard queer bangers for the longest time but the cabaret drag genius reinvented the wheel in his take on pop culture by adding a remarkable musical flair.

Club Cataclysm is Black’s interpretation of the current state of the world, and some of it included a satirical take on the cost of living crisis. “No one has any f****** money, so thanks for coming,” he said to the audience. Honesty was a core theme, and Black built a bond with the audience by using that throughout the show. He allowed the audience to let loose and enjoy every second of it just by being quintessentially Joe, and having fun. He really did not have to do much to keep the audience on the edges of their seats, but what seemed like effortless attempts to do so paid off very well.

Complimentary to Black’s aesthetic and branding colours, the gleaming purple and green lighting personified the darkest cabaret apocalyptic visual imagery possible. He also makes an effort of switching up the lighting during his piano ballads. “I’m aware I’m asking for things on the go and you’re probably thinking ‘go f*** yourself’,” he said to the lighting engineer.

The content shifted from the quirky to the sentimental, and Black played the ukulele, piano, and accordion while hitting an impressive variety of vocal octaves. He truly did not rest and neither did the audience (from both eyebrow-raising amusement and knee-slapping laughter). Even when he grabbed a drink with one hand, he played an instrument with the other. 

Joe Black playing the accordion while singing into the standing microphone.
Joe Black playing the accordion. Image by Shaikha Rahimi.

Club Cataclysm is a delightful show for lovers of drag, cabaret, and anything unconventionally punk. It is great to see Black on stage doing what he does best – taking the tornado of creativity within him and fine-tuning to glorious effect. This is a must-watch show performed by a creative genius with unrivalled talent.

Joe Black’s UK and Ireland tour includes dates in Bath, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham and Portsmouth, and finishes in Brighton on Sunday, November 20. Buy tickets at https://joeblack.seetickets.com/tour/joe-black.

Diwali, Business or Pleasure?

BY SIMON SANSOME AND ADAM KOSTECKI

Vast preparations for Diwali have left some suggesting that the festival of light has been over-commercialised.

Diwali is a massive celebration for the Indian community every year, however it has been suggested that it has become more a business than a celebration.

GetAttachment.aspx                                                                                                                                                                                          Royal Sweets in Melton Road is run by Sam Musani, who said: “Diwali is like Christmas at Toys R Us for us. It’s about family, food and fireworks.”

Sam took a month to plan for the upcoming celebration as he sells fresh food and it has to be cooked the same day.

So is Diwali over-commercialised? Sam said he believed it wasn’t at all as his friends are already buying Christmas gifts and, in his words, “Diwali is about exchanging blessings and sweets.”

Sam added: “Today there is not enough time for family and Diwali brings the family together wherever they are.”

 

GetAttachment-1.aspxRanu Kamota and her daughter Rupa Jakhu (left) have been running Kabhi Kabhi Sweet Mall shop for the last 35 years and have seen many Diwalis from their business.
Ranu said: “Sweets are so important for Indian cu
lture, because when we pray we offer sweets.”

The shop is another that notices the increase in business around the Diwali season. Ranu added: “Diwali is still good but a little bit over-commercialised.”

It is the busiest time of the year for local GetAttachment-2.aspxbusinesses and both Royal Sweets and Kabhi Kabhi Sweet Mall are looking forward to being with their family and sharing sweets and celebrating this event that is so important to the Indian community and culture.

 

 

 

 

History fans celebrate the 600th anniversary of Agincourt

By Lily Thake

History fanatics gathered to celebrate the 600th CRISPINanniversary of the battle of Agincourt this Sunday.

The free event took place at Leicester’s Jewry Wall Museum from 11.30pm to 3.30pm on October 25.

It was set-up to commemorate Henry V’s victory in battle over the French in Agincourt on October 25 1415.

Sharon Collins, committee member of ‘Friends of Jewry Wall Museum’ and fellow re-enactor, said: “This event is vital to maintaining and keeping the museum alive. We hope it will encourage more people to visit.”

Guests eagerly queued at the lunch stand for their free samples of a selection of Ploughman’s lunch.

They were also invited to take part in activities for a small charge, such as holding birds of prey and having a go at archery.

The experience included free demonstrations on medieval armor, gruesome surgery and combat techniques.

The museum is run by Leicester City Council and since proposals of cuts, ‘Friends of Jewry Wall Museum’ have been actively promoting it.

Mrs Collins said: “Our aim as a committee is to keep Jewry Wall open and renovated. We hold events three or four times a year roughly.

“I helped with the food today, we had to create authentic recipes for the Ploughman’s in a modern kitchen, which was insightful.”

Several reenactors were dressed in medieval clothing and on location to offer their expertise on specific aspects of history.

Matthew Heaver, a recent graduate of Wolverhampton University and avid history fan, came dressed as a medieval knight.

Mr Heaver said: “The group of reenactors here have taken part in the film Fake Heart, which is a low budget film. I featured in Born of Hope, a fan made Lord of The Rings prequel. We have all had our own share of experiences.”

To close the event, the battle of Agincourt was re-enacted and the brutal hand-to-hand tactics of medieval battle were revealed.

Tom Simon, a local visitor said: “I love history and my son loves birds. There is free food, a nice variety of activities and I think it is a good chance for a decent day out for the whole family.”

Share spooky stories with DMU Bookstore this Halloween

By Dan Ableson

Creative writing enthusiast are encouraged to show-off their skills in a spooky stand-up event to celebrate Halloween.

The DMU Bookshop, attached to Hugh Aston building on campus, is hosting an open-mic session for all students to showcase themselves and tell their most terrifying tales in front of a live audience.

Branch Manager Katie Parkin said: “We wanted to run an event to coincide with Halloween that would also engage with the students, so we thought an open-mic evening would be the perfect format.

“The Bookshop is a relatively unused space after hours and we wanted to start getting more involved with DMU students and start running more events that they can be a part of.”

The event, which takes place October 30, 6pm-9pm, will also feature local writer Daniel Ribot, who will be there to kick start the evening and promote his new book.

Miss Parkin continued: “One of our staff members is part of a writing group based in Leicester and her friend, Daniel Ribot, had just launched his new vampire inspired novel with their group, so we thought he would be a good speaker to start the night off. It will also showcase him as a writer and anyone else that wants to get their name out into the public eye.

“We are looking for a five-minute reading of their own work, with a brief explanation on what their piece is about, their inspiration, and why they chose that genre. We don’t really have any pre-conceived ideas, we just want funny and spooky stories to tell.”

This is the first time that the Bookshop has organised an event of this nature. In the past it has worked closely with university schemes such as Cultural Exchanges and book launches for local writers. It has come in time for the expansion of the shop’s fiction and popular non-fiction sections, as they try to attract people from all over the city to buy, not just students.

For further information on how to get involved, speak to a member of staff, or contact them via Facebook, Twitter or telephone.

Alternatively you can email: Bookshop@dmu.ac.uk.