IN this special edition, Two Big Egos In A Small Car podcast duo Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson interview Rick Witter, frontman of Shed Seven.
As the Sheds head out on an autumn tour, Rick discusses the story behind the York band’s new studio album, next January’s A Matter Of Time, early band names for Witter and Paul Banks in their schooldays, fresh band members, and what it takes to be among the great survivors of Britpop.
IN Episode 99, Two Big Egos In A Small Carculture podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson ponder the way forward for news delivery with Sheffield Tribune arts writer Liz Ryan at the dawn of the substack.
Under discussion too are the community play 122 Love Stories at a ghostly Harrogate Theatre; Irish comedian Jason Byrne’s upcoming Unblocked tour show and Bob Dylan’s auction value as a one-off recording is sold as a “work of art”.
EDINBURGH International Film Festival marks its 75th anniversary with a return to a full programme from August 12 to 20 under the leadership of a new creative director.
Back in tandem with the Scottish capital’s myriad festivals this month, the world’s oldest continually running film festival presents 87 new features, 12 short film programmes and two retrospectives in a resumption of a full-on, in-person event after the restrictions and challenges of the pandemic.
Newly at the helm is Kristy Matheson, a creative director looking to make her mark as she follows a raft of artistic directors that established and grew Edinburgh International Film Festival’s global clout.
Among those who contributed to the festival’s long-running success since its foundation in 1947 were journalist and film critic Hannah McGill, artistic director from 2006 to 2010; Mark Cousins, who made a big impact in all-too-brief tenure from 1996 to 1997 before blossoming into an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and Jim Hickey, who steered a golden era from 1981 to 1988.
Before that came Linda Myles, who ran EIFF with remarkable success on a small budget from 1973 to 1980, when she was first woman to occupy such a role at any film festival worldwide.
Not only did she pioneer screenings of the cream of the “New Hollywood” filmmakers of the day, such as Martin Scorsese, but Myles also initiated reappraisals and new viewpoints, most notably “The Women’s Event”, organised in tandem with Claire Johnston and Laura Mulvey at the 1972 EIFF.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the women’s film festival presented by Myles to showcase films made by female directors. In recognition of this ground-breaking event, this summer’s EIFF will play host to Reframing The Gaze, a retrospective programme curated by Kim Knowles.
Kristy Matheson, previously director of film at Australia’s national museum of screen culture, ACMI, is thrilled to be propelling EIFF’s milestone anniversary year. “For our 75th anniversary, we’ve embraced the very essence of cinema: from its production to its exhibition, it’s a truly collective pursuit,” says the creative director.
“Working alongside a talented team of programmers and festival producers to craft our 2022 programme has been joyous. I look forward to welcoming audiences back to EIFF this August.”
The opening gala screening on August 12 will be a home-made product: Aftersun, the debut from Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells starring Normal People’s Paul Mescal, that heads homewards buoyed by prize-winning success at Cannes Film Festival.
Further highlights to note are Armağan Ballantyne’s comedy Nude Tuesday, picked for the inaugural Central Gala on August 16, and After Yang, an American metaphysical science-fiction drama written and directed by Kogonada, starring Colin Farrell and Jodi Turner-Smith in the closing gala on August 20.
Look out too for Peter Strickland’s latest work, Flux Gourmet, featuring Asa Butterfield and Gwendoline Christie in the darkly comic tale of a performance art trio participating in an artist residency at the Sonic Catering Institute.
Screenings will take place at the festival’s home on Lothian Road, the Filmhouse, the Cameo Picturehouse, Everyman Edinburgh and Vue Edinburgh Omni.
The second major retrospective will focus on the work of performer and film director Kinuyo Tanaka (1909-1977), who played a key role in the history of Japanese cinema.
Further recommendations are Still Working 9 To 5, a documentary wherein Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin reunite to investigate the fight for women’s rights they kickstarted half a decade ago, and Nothing Compares, Kathryn Ferguson’s documentary about iconoclastic Irish singer Sinead O’Connor.
Renowned for its commitment to internationalism and cultural engagement, EIFF embraces more than film screenings, taking in performances and industry dialogues too.
Presented as a special live performance, The Ballad Of A Great Disordered Heart is a new collaborative film by Lau folk musician Aidan O’Rourke, Becky Manson and former EIFF artistic director Mark Cousins about Edinburgh’s Old Town and the Irish communities who have called it home.
The 2022 festival sees the return of Film Fest In The City in St Andrew’s Square, where the open-air programme offers classics such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Shrek and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
This year’s programme has been brought together by a team of programmers led by Matheson, working alongside Manish Agarwal, Anna Bogutskaya, Rafa Sales Ross, Kate Taylor; animation programmer Abigail Addison; short film programmers Jenny Clarke (narrative) and Rohan Crickmar (non-fiction); black box programmer Lydia Beilby and retrospective curator (2022 Theme) Kim Knowles.
Edinburgh International Film Festival is supported by Screen Scotland; the PLACE Programme (a partnership between the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals); the Scottish Government, through the Festivals Expo Fund and the PLACE Resilience Fund; City of Edinburgh Council; EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the BFI Audience Fund, awarding National Lottery funding.
Two Big Egos In A Small Car culture vulture podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson will preview the 2022 Edinburgh International Film Festival in the next episode before squeezing their egos into that compact automobile to head to Scotland next week.
AS album number three arrives so soon, why are the Irish band being as prolific as the early Beatles? Two Big Egos In A Small Car culture podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson discuss Skinty Fia in Episode 89.
Plus: what happens to the BBC when the licence fee ends? Anything else? Sheffield Leadmill update; The Divine Comedy at York Barbican review; Gary Barlow’s show with a difference, and why Mischief and Penn &Teller’s Magic Goes Wrong is wand-erful.
ON Track…The Kinks Every Album, Every Song is the labour-of-love deep dive from music journalist, comedy writer and TV quizzer Martin Hutchinson.
In Episode 86 of Two Big Egos In A Small Car, culture podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson [no relation] interview Martin about why he chose The Kinks for his debut book and what research he undertook.
Graham and Martin then discuss why The Kinks and Ray Davies stood out, assessing their standing in rock history and why they were never rated as an albums band at their Sixties and Seventies’ peak.
Martin reveals his favourite Kinks songs and albums and speculates whether Ray and brother Dave will ever make up and tour again.
LET’S do The Time Warp again? It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to right, to enjoy plenty more of Charles Hutchinson’s recommendations.
Fancy dress invitation of the week: Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, Grand Opera House, York, Monday to Saturday
KRISTIAN Lavercombe celebrates his 2,000th performance as Riff Raff as Richard O’Brien’s 1973 musical extravaganza enjoys yet another York run.
Alongside Lavercombe in Christopher Luscombe’s touring production will be 2016 Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba as preppy college nerd Brad Majors, Haley Flaherty as squeaky-clean fiancée Janet Weiss and Stephen Webb as castle-dwelling Transylvanian transsexual doctor Frank-N-Furter.
Cue fabulously camp fun and even camper costumes, shlock-horror comedy and science-fiction send-ups, audiences in fancy dress and sassy songs such as Sweet Transvestite, Science Fiction/Double Feature and The Time-Warp singalong. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Exhibition launch of the week: Imogen Hawgood and Horace Panter, Hyperrealism in America and Japan, at According To McGee, Tower Street, York, from 11am today until March 25
NEW According To McGee signing Imogen Hawgood, from County Durham, introduces her collection of realist paintings in a duo show with Pop artist and Ska legend Horace Panter, The Specials’ bassist.
Panter’s Edward Hopper-inspired depictions of Midwest motels, inner-lit Japanese kiosks and sun-warmed Coca-Cola crates complement Hawgood’s exploration of Americana icons and the idea of “the road” as a transitional landscape.
Rock horror show: Steve Steinman’s Vampires Rock – Ghost Train, Grand Opera House, York, tonight (12/3/2022), 7.30pm
NOTTINGHAM singer and producer Steve Steinman returns to York with his tongue-in-cheek show stacked high with rock anthems, guitar gods and vampy vampettes.
Steinman’s Baron von Rockula and his vampires take refuge in an old fairground’s ghost train as he seeks a new virginial wife after the death of his beloved Pandora. Ordering faithful sidekick Bosley to find him one, enter Roxy Honeybox.
Now in its 20th year, Vampires Rock sets a cast of singers, dancers and musicians loose on Queen, AC/DC, Bonnie Tyler, Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi, Journey and Guns N’ Roses chestnuts. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
York gig of the week: Glenn Tilbrook, The Crescent, York, Sunday, 7.30pm
THIS is a standing show…and an outstanding one too as endearing and enduring Deptford singer, songwriter, guitarist and troubadour Glenn Tilbrook makes his debut appearance at The Crescent.
More than 45 years after he first answered an ad placed by Chris Difford looking for like-minded sorts to form the band that became the evergreen Squeeze, an ending is nowhere in sight, even if he called his fourth solo album Happy Ending in 2014. Expect silver-tongued Squeeze and solo numbers, peppered with audience requests, tomorrow night.
Squeeze up, by the way, because this Gig Cartel-promoted gig has sold out. Fingers crossed for any returns (www.thecrescentyork.com), but otherwise you’re really up the junction for a ticket.
Literary event of the week: Alexander McCall Smith, York Theatre Royal, Monday, 7.30pm
YORK Literature Festival plays host to Alexander McCall Smith as he discusses the new instalment in his long-running Scotland Street series, the warm-hearted, humorous and wise Love In The Time Of Bertie.
Fiona Lindsay pops the questions, intertwined with footage shot on location in Edinburgh, wherein McCall Smith invites guests into his study, where he writes surrounded by paintings and books, and visits key landmarks from the books.
The festival follows from March 18 to 27 with full details at yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Postponement of the week: Joe Jackson, Sing, You Sinners! Tour, York Barbican, moving from March 17 to July 29
BLAME Covid for this delay to only the second ever York concert of singer, songwriter and consummate arranger Joe Jackson’s 44-year career.
“After months of uncertainty, it finally became clear that continuing Covid restrictions (particularly on venue capacity) in certain countries, would make our Spring European Tour un-viable as planned,” says Jackson’s official statement. “We can’t tour at a loss, and the situation did not look like changing soon enough.”
Tickets remain valid for the new July 29 date when Jackson promises hits, songs not aired in years and new material. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Storytelling show of the week: Sam Freeman, Every Little Hope You Ever Dreamed (But Didn’t Want To Mention), Cold Bath Brewery Co Clubhouse, Harrogate, Monday, 7.30pm; York Theatre Royal Studio, Friday, 7.45pm
FORMER York Theatre Royal marketing officer and 2009 TakeOver Festival co-director Sam Freeman heads back to his old stamping ground with his solo rom-com for the lonely hearted and the loved-up, armed with a projector, a notebook, wonky spectacles and nods to Richard Curtis’s Notting Hill.
Freeman, marketeer, occasional writer, director and stand-up comedian, combines storytelling and whimsical northern comedy in his multi-layered story of a chance encounter between two soulmates, how they fall in love, then part but may meet again. Box office: Harrogate, harrogatetheatre.co.uk; York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Shaking up Shakespeare: Northern Broadsides in As You Like It, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Tuesday to Saturday; York Theatre Royal, March 23 to 26
MARKING Northern Broadsides’ 30th anniversary, artistic director Laurie Sansom’s diverse cast of 12 northern actors captures the “sheer joy of live performance and the crazy power of love to change the world” in his bold, refreshing take on Shakespeare’s most musical comedy.
Exiled from the court, high-spirited Rosalind, devoted cousin Celia and drag queen Touchstone encounter outlaws, changing seasons and life unconfined by rigid codes in the forest.
Gender roles dissolve and assumptions are turned on their head in a natural world of endless possibilities. Box office: Scarborough, 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com; York, 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
Touring show of the week: Utopia Theatre in Here’s What She Said To Me, York Theatre Royal Studio, Thursday and Friday, 7.45pm
MEET Agbeke, Omotola and Aramide, three generations of proud African women connecting with each other across two continents, time and space, in Oladipo Agboluaje’s distaff drama, conceived and directed by York St John University graduate Mojisola Elufowoju.
Together the women share their struggles, their joys, tragedies and broken dreams, in order to find healing in the present. Box office: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
THE 11th Aesthetica Short Film Festival is running in York this week and online until November 30. No better time for Two Big Egos In A Small Car podcasters Chalmers & Hutch to invite director Cherie Federico for a chat about York’s fiesta of film.
Under discussion too in Episode 63 are: Adele’s algorithms; The Young’uns’ gig theatre in The Ballad Of Johnny Longstaff at York Theatre Royal, and are Public Service Broadcasting’s powers of Bright Magic fading?
WHAT’s up with chatty art podcast duo Chalmers & Hutch? We need to talk about two steps forward, but Step 3 stumble? Deer Shed at Base Camp. LIVE theatre at last! Marc Bolan & T Rex: 21st Century Boy. Street art & what makes a “hero” fit for a mural?
Oh, and yes, Manic Street Preachers…pretentious or what?
AHEAD of June 18’s release of his fourth album, To Carry A Whale, York singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich discusses life, York, London, music, spiritual recovery, collaborations and the decade since his stellar debut, in conversation with Two Big Egos In A Small Car podcast duo Chalmers & Hutch.