This alternative rock group formed only a year and a half ago, but have played alongside some impressive names since. The boys are set to headline a night for SMILEFest on Tuesday 5 at Southampton’s Lennon’s. Lead singer and guitarist John Waghorn told us more.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Welcome Pariah, how would you describe the band?
We are an alternative rock band from Southampton. In a short time we’ve played with some top artists, including Steve Cradock, guitarist for Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller, The Moons, Mark Morriss of The Bluetones and Chris Helme of The Seahorses.
Both myself and the other guitarist, Josh, moved back to Southampton from Brighton in order to start the band and then the full line up was complete with Daniel on bass and Jon on drums.
Have you played at student event SMILEFest before? Are you looking forward to the gigs?
We haven’t played SMILEFest before, but we’re really looking forward to the opportunity to show what we’re about to some new faces and fans, so we’re definitely up for it yeah. It’s good to see in a festival in the local area, as music is an important part of a lot of people’s lives. Bring it on!
We also played SOFEST in Southampton guildhall square recently which was a good crack.
You’ve supported some big names, but who would you love to support in the future?
Considering how long we’ve been together, we’ve supported some good artists. Supporting Steve Cradock was great because we’re big fans of Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller, which you can probably hear the influence of in our own songs. When you get these opportunities, it’s quite strange because you’ve got most of their albums in your CD collection. It’s a great feeling nonetheless. Someone like The Stone Roses or Noel Gallagher would be the top support slots in the future. You never know!
“Follow your heart, it sounds like a cliché but you only get one shot at this life”
What advice would you give to musicians in the making?
Follow your heart. It sounds like a cliché’ but you only get one shot at this life, so why not make the most of it. If music is in your heart and you’ve got feeling and soul for it then get out there and start gigging. We’ve done it and I can tell you now, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.
Start doing everything that you can and see where it takes you. A few of us went to uni and once we finished the party officially began. The best advice we can give is do it, believe in yourself and don’t let anyone stand in your way because they’re not the ones doing it.
You can catch Welcome Pariah at SMILEFest on Tuesday, with support from The Empire and Pivotal. They’re also performing at club night This Feeling on May 10 and Pulse Festival in Sunnyfields Farm, Hampshire on the 11.
New Jersey Nights at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Jersey Boys is an Olivier Award winning musical that brings to life the success of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. New Jersey Nights, on contrary, is a much smaller production which was destined to sit in the other’s shadow- brilliant or not.
American pop-rock group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons enjoyed success in the 1960’s with Oh, What A Night, Sherry and many more. The five-piece have since been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and recently toured with a new line-up.
New Jersey Nights plays tribute to the music of this iconic group. Whilst the show got off to a rocky start, not helped by the half-empty Mayflower Theatre, the small cast worked hard to build some atmosphere and closed the show with the audience on their feet dancing.
Highlights included a tribute to the Grease soundtrack, originally performed by Frankie Valli, and a surprise rendition of some Phil Spector classics, adding some much-needed variety to the show.
Whilst the New Jersey Nights will please most Four Seasons fans unfortunately the set is very minimal, the plot is too loose and the cast often appear to lack confidence. Like many band-related musicals, from Greenday’s American Idiot to We Will Rock You, New Jersey Nights falls into the trap of becoming a tribute act rather than a musical by forgetting the need for a narrative and characters.
You’re at a wedding. The couple are completely incompatible. There’s one solution: Give it a year.
From the producers of Love Actually and Bridget Jones’s Diary, I Give It a Year follows our young couple Nat and Josh as they embark on the first year of marriage.
Starring Rose Byrne, of Bridget Jones’s Diary, and directed by Dan Mazer, a long-time collaborator of Sacha Baron Cohen, I Give It a Year boasts a hilarious all-star cast.
If you’ve ever been in a long term relationship then you won’t be able to help seeing yourself in our overwhelmed newlyweds.
Josh spends his time kipping on the sofa and embarrassing Nat at her office parties. Meanwhile she hopes for a husband who empties the bin and doesn’t insult her Grandmother. And Nat’s best friend? She secretly wishes her own husband would die.
The miss-matched couple soon begin to question their quick marriage and count down the days until their first year has passed. And with more compatible partners within their reach, will the pair give in to temptation or try to make their rocky marriage work?
The problem is that having been served more comedy than romance, we fail to care whether the couple make it.
Having expected a Love Actually meets Notting Hill-style rom-com with goose-bumps on your arms and tears in your eyes, Working Title films fail to match the romance billed for this film. That said, I Give It a Year more than makes up for it with plenty of comedy and will please fans of Bridesmaids and The Hangover.
Les Mis is the world’s longest running musical. But will its brave venture onto cinema screens pay off?
Based on the hit stage adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Misérables the film has a lot to live up to. That said, with the musical having won the hearts of theatre audiences around the world, the crowds were bound to come pouring in.
Directed Tom Hooper of The King’s Speech and boasting an all-star cast, Anne Hathaway and Sacha Baron Cohen are among the names, Les Mis was set for success from the word go.
The film, set during the French revolution, follows the journey of Jean Valjean who after breaking his parole leads a life of fear, constantly searching for redemption.
Whilst the music and staging are breath-taking, (I was surprised to learn that all of the songs were recorded live), in all honesty the film is far too long.
The extensive song list could have been cut short and whilst the climax is emotional, it fails to pack the same punch as the live production’s final scene. It’s probably best not to admit it, but I did find myself thinking ‘will you just hurry up and die so we can get the scene over with’.
I’m a lover of all musicals, but there is still something slightly cringe-worthy about their film adaptations. Take Mamma Mia for example. The story is a tongue-in-cheek comedy that you can relax and watch on the sofa. Les Mis on the other hand will make you numb after sitting down for so long and just doesn’t match up to the magic of live theatre.
To sum it up, Les Misérables the film is well worth seeing and nothing less than impressive. But if you’re not willing to dedicate almost three hours to it just to leave the cinema feeling well, miserable, then I’d go for a rom-com instead!
Check out the trailer for yourself.
After 25 years reigning over London’s West End The Phantom returns with a spine-tingling new adaptation.
Winner of two Olivier awards, The Phantom of the Opera is London’s second longest running musical. And it’s not difficult to see why. From the moment the curtain lifts the audience falls silent as the enchanting sound of the phantom’s music box fills the theatre. Tension and mystery quickly builds as you are guided through this gripping tale of murder and seduction.
Set in the famous Paris Opera House, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic tells the haunting story of a young dancer named Christine as she is thrust into the spotlight and given one choice: Sing and steal the lead role or suffer the unthinkable consequences.
We follow the Opera House’s theatre executives, dancers and leading lady as they are met by the phantom’s growing demands. As the opera house opens you are cast in the role of the awaiting audience. From the dark corners of the theatre and the basement below the voice of the phantom echoes around the theatre. Will the show continue? Is the phantom just a young girl’s imagination or is danger looming closer with every note sung?
Pop-opera meets musical, this breath-taking adaptation of a classic will leave you cowering in your seat and puzzling over the historical mystery of the phantom who haunts the opera. It’s a must see for musical for everyone from established theatre goers to anyone looking for their first taste of the stage.
The Phantom of the Opera runs at The Mayflower until Saturday February 16.
In it’s UK debut after a stint on Broadway American Idiot the Musical tells the story of three ‘American idiots’ whose friendship is tested as each confronts a new obstacle on their path to manhood.
The show erupts onto stage in a high-energy performance of the title track. And as if to remind the audience that this is a musical and not just another gig, it’s not only the music that’s note perfect but also the highly choreographed and demanding dance routines.
Whilst the loosely strung together story line can be tough to follow, the passionate renditions of tracks from Boulevard of Broken Dreams to 21 Guns, Wake Me Up When September Ends and Holiday make up for the lack of narrative. The combination of both male and female vocals ensures that the music brings new and unexpected stances on the classics, sure to surprise even the most dedicated Green Day fans.
The on-stage band perform like true rockstars- undeterred by the spinning sets of the soon to be West End musical which unfold around them. But it’s the detail-focussed choreography that is truly impressive about this new musical. Whether united in a back-to-basics acoustic rendition of Good Riddance (Time of your Life) or floating from the theatre’s rafters, the choreography cleverly brings enough surprises to entertain seasoned theatre-goers, whilst throwing in plenty of head banging for those there for the music.
Truly deserving of it’s ever-growing list of awards, this is a must see for any rock or theatre fan.
The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton. June 19 2012.
Having previously seen Legally Blonde, The Musical in the West End it was interesting to how the performance would translate onto a Southampton stage. But as the curtain rose to an explosion of pink feathers and choruses of ‘oh my god’ it was obvious that this musical has the perfect mix of music, eye candy and laughs.
Written by Miranda Hart, the story is full of clichés and is totally unrealistic. But these qualities make Legally Blonde The Musical a hilarious, ten out of ten night out. After our protagonist Elle Woods loses her dream man Warner, she decides to become serious! Cue her application to Harvard School of Law. And her reasons for applying to one of America’s top institutions? Love.
Faced with navy suit wearing students and a fearless law tutor, played by Peter Davidson, Elle struggles through law school and might even find new love on her horizon.
The show culminates in a court case, fronted by Miss Legally Blonde herself- Elle. Will her knowledge of hair care crack the case? And could the bend and snap hold the key to the truth? This is the theatre, so of course it will! Expect a hilarious and daring musical debate about if the pool boy is in fact gay or simply European. Plus a steamy rendez-vous with the tight shorts wearing UPS delivery man.
Legally Blonde, The Musical boasts a genius dose of comedy, love and sing-along musical numbers. A great night out for any woman.