THEATRE REVIEW: Legally Blonde: The Musical, The New Alexandra Theatre (Birmingham), 28.08.2012

With X Factor back on our screen’s, one of the UK’s first Pop Idol success stories Gareth Gates joined ex-Brookie turned “Dancing On Ice” star Jennifer Ellison in the stage production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical”. Based on the supremely successful chick flick featuring Reese Witherspoon, the stage production has won global critical acclaim. With Sheridan Smith having made the role of Elle her own in the West End, the challenge falls the flawless Faye Brooks, who inhibits the blonde bimbo turned top law student perfectly.

The musical questions, “Is he Gay or European??”, but of the musical I have to say it was all very American. Though I was uncertain whether I would enjoy the stage production, having been left unimpressed by the film, I can say I pleasantly surprised. Totally overwhelmed by the perfect comedic timing, the songs have had a lasting impression. I have to admit I  am still singing the songs even now!

“Legally Blonde: The Musical” is simply put, totally fun. However, I feel that its comedic content would appeal more to a younger audience, as some older audience members looked simply baffled at some of the peak moment.It is simply a case of humour that didn’t translate to all ages.

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Eleni Kypridemos

VIDEO: Jesper Nohrstest “Take Our Hearts”

Despite his tender years, Jesper Nohrstedt is considered a seasoned pro in his native Denmark. Having finished as a runner-up on the Danish X Factor two years back (the winner was Thomas Ring Petersen), Nohrstedt attempted to represent his home country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 with this brewing pop ballad, but saw himself in a runner up position once again, this time losing out to Soluna Samay. However, with a devoted following, “Take Our Hearts” immediately charted at number 4 in the Danish charts and has set Nohrstedt on his way to conquering Europe anyway…

The Kaje talks Olympics to Morning Parade

The Olympic Torch has hit Birmingham with a frenzy in tow. As with each stop along its route, Coca Cola have hooked up three bands to entertain the masses. First up in Brum are the super talented, and super lovely Morning Parade. Having finally unleashed their self-titled debut album, the Essex five-piece are clearly relishing their rapidly growing success on both sides of the Atlantic. However, with a frantic crowd warming up for their arrival, The Kaje are privileged to grab a moment with vocalist Steve Sparrow and guitarist Chad Thomas to talk all things Olympic…

It must be quite an exciting gig for you guys, so how did it all come about?

Steve: It was mad. We just got a phone call out of the blue. They just said “Coca Cola would like you to perform as part of their Olympic Celebrations for the Future Flames.” We found out a little bit about what is was about, that it was a celebration of young, inspirational people within their communities and there was nothing else we could say other than “yes, please.”

Chad: It is a real honour. You hear the word Olympics and to think we are in some way a part of that is just mental. It is massive.

With your self-titled album also coming out this year after so long on the road, does it finally feel like it has all come together?

Steve: It is hard to decide how to measure success. It depends on which country we go to, as to how far we have got. At the moment we are spending a lot of time in America. The album has just been released there and it is Top 40 and the single is on the radio. It is crazy.

Chad: You are also always playing catch up on your touring. There is always somewhere you need to revisit. You can’t stop and look back to appreciate, you have to live in the bubble of that day.

Steve: Days like today make you think, “hey, we must be doing alright!”

How have your ambitions changed as a result of mainstream success?

Steve: You just start to look at things differently. When you start out as a kid you are just naive, but when you spend time at it, you realise it is just about finding goals to please yourself. You should not worry too much as long as you are happy. As long as you love it and believe in it, then that is all that matters.

Chad: It keeps you grounded so you can enjoy the ride.

How do you feel about the Olympics as an event?

Steve: It is crazy. We live quite near to where the games are being built, so we have watched it grow for the last six years. It is just so weird that is actually happening, especially for the area of Stratford. It will be interesting to see how London copes with the amount of people coming over.

Music has been very involved with the whole event, do you think that the arts and sports are closely linked?

Steve: It is all about achieving something. About getting yourself to a certain level. As an athlete you dedicate your life to building your body, as an artist you spend years honing your craft. I think there is a lot of dedication at the core of both disciplines.

Chad: No matter what you do, you have to make sacrifices to achieve your dream. Whether that is an Olympic medal or playing at Glastonbury.

Steve: I think in the society we live in, when shows like X Factor make it look so instantaneous, the Olympics are great to show people how important dedication and application are. They show that if you really want something, you have to work to get it.

The Olympic Gold is the epitome for the athlete, what is your own Olympic Gold?

Steve: I think the hardest thing for an artist is to make something that lasts, so I think for me the Olympic Gold is to be able to write an album that is timeless. But along the way you get mini Golds, for example, in America we get kids who come up and show us tattoos of our lyrics. It is amazing to think that they have locked in so tightly with our thoughts and emotions.

Interview and Photograph: Jeremy Williams

NEWS: Aiden Grimshaw Announces Debut Album And Tour

Aiden Grimshaw releases his incredible debut album ‘Misty Eye’ through RCA records on August 20. It is preceded by the single ‘Curtain Call’ on August 12.

Misty Eye is a breath taking album, the result of two years of writing and recording following Aiden’s appearance on The X Factor in 2010. Aiden said of his time on the show: “I didn’t really know what I wanted from it. I love music, and I knew I could sing, but I didn’t think I was X Factor material. I’d been given this opportunity and I didn’t want to waste it. But I had no idea what sort of music was really me. Everyone else had their own ideas, but all I knew was what I didn’t want.”
our the UK in September.

Aiden will embark on his first ever UK headline tour this September. Full tour dates below:

SEPTEMBER
19                        Bristol O2 Academy 2
20                        Nottingham Rescue Rooms
22                        Northampton Roadmender
23                        Bournemouth The Old Firestation
24                        Brighton Concorde 2
26                        Birmingham O2 Academy 2
27                        Glasgow King Tuts
28                        Leeds Cockpit
30                        Manchester Academy 3
OCTOBER
01                        Oxford Academy 2
02                        London Scala

VIDEO: Aiden Grimshaw “Is This Love”

X Factor contestants who don’t poll in the Top 3 are usually written off as wannabe has-beens, however, every now and again, one will return with mixed offerings. “Is This Love” marks the resurrection of Aiden Grimshaw. Having been a series standout, Grimshaw’s early departure from Series 7 in a stand-off against controversial contestant Katie Waissel was a memorable shocker. Having bided his time, Grimshaw has crafted a killer debut single that should see him storm up the charts. James Blake meets Bastille, “Is This Love” is better than anything anyone from X Factor has produced to date. Blinding brilliance.

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