Alex Cofield: Supernova

Wonderfully, joyfully, powerfully a success, Supernova is an odd blend of musical comedy and storytelling. It underpins a fundamentally affirming story with magnificent and seamless wordplay.

Raj House makes for a perfect setting for this bright, glorious, and robust musical comedy, reflecting the nature of the show as it does. Having been to another production of Wild Pony Productions (Bad Women), the expectations were high. It should have been difficult to match expectation but Alex Cofield does it brilliantly.

The success of the show is made all the more remarkable by the inherent challenges of a one man show. An hour of intricate and intelligent wordplay so complex it occasionally borders on the realm of tongue twisters, Alex Cofield somehow makes it seem easy. His performance exudes professionalism and skill to such an extent that the challenges of a solo play are breezed over and seem insignificant in the face of his success.
Throughout the show, he is able to show his vocal talents extend to just about any challenge one could think to put up. The performance is a thoroughly enjoyable one, mounted with excellent results from Cofield, the sound, and the lighting teams. With such quick fire wordplay, that in itself is to be admired.
The impression one is left mostly with, however, is the joyous heart and soul of the show. It’s a joy to behold not only a show so well produced but also something of such a good and affirming nature.
The story itself is an interesting one with similarities to Hot Fuzz, and Twin Peaks (though maybe that was just the red curtains?) with its exploration of small-town eccentricities and keeps the audience thoroughly engaged right up to the rapturous applause that greeted the conclusion of the performance.

Words by Liam McNally

4½ stars.
Alex Cofield: Supernova is playing at Raj House until March 4. Tickets available here.

You Only Kill for Love

Only Objects will thrill the living daylights out of you with their new single

 

Recently Tulpa Magazine sat down with Patrick Lang, vocalist of electronic band (and self-described genre-botherers) Only Objects to discuss the band’s newest single, ‘You Only Kill for Love’. If the title brings to mind Bond films, you’re very much on the money. Created to evoke–but not emulate–the unique Bond sound, this is a perfect balancing act, and one the song achieves with aplomb.

In order to find the essence of the Bond theme, Patrick went back and listened to every Bond song again. He points to the Sean Connery era songs as an influence, acknowledging the significance of ‘Goldfinger’ and, despite his low opinion of the film, ‘Diamonds are Forever’ (both Shirley Bassey songs).

1973’s ‘Live and Let Die’ is another song Patrick refers to as an influence, as are the more recent ‘GoldenEye’ (1995) and ‘Another Way to Die’ (2008). The influence of all these songs can be felt in ‘You Only Kill for Love’ without ever feeling as though the goal is to imitate them. It is more a child of these songs than a clone.

Somewhat disappointed with ‘Writing’s on the Wall’, the latest Bond theme which accompanied Spectre, Patrick was moved to write something that felt more like what Bond is about. In the case of the most recent film, a song he considers a more fitting choice in Radiohead’s ‘Spectre’ was available but ultimately turned down, and released separately.

Asked about the less effective songs throughout the decades of the Bond series, Patrick alights upon the Roger Moore era as being one not graced by many memorable instalments in Bond’s musical ouvre. The late seventies and early eighties were a time of change in the nature of music production and Patrick theorises that the desire to keep up with these changes had an adverse effect on the Bond songs produced in this time.

Every era of the Bond series has produced a song that captures the essence of a Bond theme well, says Patrick. The Connery era had the memorable ‘Goldfinger’, the Moore era ‘Nobody Does it Better’, and the Pierce Brosnan era ‘GoldenEye’. In many cases, it is the first song of a new Bond that offers the strongest song, says Patrick, but he does not consider this to be the case with the Daniel Craig iteration. ‘You Know My Name’, the song accompanying Casino Royale, is a song Patrick considers a very good song but not such a good fit for the Bond series.

The process of making a song feel appropriately Bond-esque is a fine balancing act. A song such as ‘You Know My Name’ can succeed on its own merits but not quite fit the style of the series. There is an elusive essence to attain in order to ensure the song is sufficiently fitting. To that end, how did Only Objects bring together a song that matched the expectations of such a song? Patrick explains that he brought ideas and a demo to the band and they collectively workshopped it with their medley of instruments, including drum, keytar, keyboard, and synthesiser. Together, they managed to find the balance to work the style through the song’s components and ensure the song was one that played well on its own.

Due to the length of the song, a radio cut was a tough chore as the song plays like a spy film in miniature. It rises to a crescendo before the built tension is released by way of a dubstep drop standing in for the explosive action sequence, leading finally to the denouement.  The shape and essential style of a spy film, most particularly a Bond film, is present in the song in a smaller format.

Come the recording, Only Objects sought to make it as big and dramatic as possible, giving themselves full licence to kill. The size and scope of the song is to be marvelled at, layered with a rich musical background as it is. The influence of the Bond series can be felt in it but it is never derivative of a song. To this listener, the influence of ‘Another Way to Die’ and ‘Live and Let Die’ are present, but not dominant, the balance is kept well and the musical heritage this song taps into can be found should you only look for it – and there’s plenty to be found in a song for which the world is not enough.


‘You Only Kill for Love’ is released on November 18 on most online music services.

https://www.facebook.com/onlyobjects


Words by Liam McNally.

With thanks to Patrick Lang.


Only Objects

Patrick Lang – Vocals, synths

Cam Walters – Keys, keytar, backing vocals

Christopher Jazzcat – Bass, backing vocals

Gerard Spalding – Drums, backing vocals