Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa film at Cinema City, Norwich. Chris Murray and Miserable Man at The Blueberry, Norwich, 14 August 2013
I finally got around to seeing the terrific Alpha Papa this week, with a couple of friends, in the lovely Cinema City. My friend initially thought to see it at The Hollywood “just because … ” but Cinema City is the favourite cinema for all of us for its loveliness and so it was. It’s not something one often thinks about when walking around, but in the company of a friend in a wheelchair you notice how some venues are more suited than others, and I think Cinema City has very good access and a lift which comfortably accommodates a motorised wheelchair.
A lovely moment before the film starts was an advert for Cinema City itself, which features a soundtrack of “You Are Lovely” by our own Milly Hirst!
Anyway, the film itself was a total delight from the first minute. Before that in fact, where there was an advert from Alan himself asking people to switch off their mobiles! The film just plays to the strength of the character and all fans will love it. I personally think it is far better than the trailers would suggest, and for Norwich people there are plenty of local references and jokes, many of them laugh out loud funny.
During filming earlier in the year I recall almost walking it one of the scenes being recorded outside City Hall, and was massively relieved to see that I did not feature in it after all!
After a couple of pints of Redwell at the Playhouse my friends went off to watch the England – Scotland game (I’ve long since given up on international football, especially England) and I headed to the Blueberry for an evening of ska with Chris Murray, and my friend Miserable Man, who had just started when I arrived. The Blueberry is an excellent venue for music, decent sound, good sized stage, just the right levels of light … plus a good range of beers and ciders.
Currently recording his new album, and often to be seen busking to delighted listeners around the city, it was good to hear him in an indoor setting, and already he had people skanking happily. His songs are good, and most people will recognise many reggae classics and a few reggae-fied pop covers. His presence is excellent and he very, very charmingly introduced and thanked all his band characters one by one at the end of the set. I loved that!
Update: Miserable Man’s new album “Meet the Shark” is now ready for download, and the hard copy CD version will be available soon. Download it here, I already have! http://miserablemanmusic.bandcamp.com/album/meet-the-shark
Miserable Man and Chris Murray are clearly acquaintances of some standing and mutual respect, and he came on next with “We Ska” and the whole of the Blueberry did just that.
Towards the end of the night exhaustion got the better of me somewhat and I thought I’d have to leave before the end of the set but saw some friends outside and I ended up staying and chatting with them ’til closing time listening to the music from here. It was lovely!
Words and photos (c) richard shashamane 2013