Lee Evans warms up in Bristol

Lee Evans under the spotlight. Picture courtesy of theartsdesk.com.

Comedian, Lee Evans, took to Bristol’s Colston Hall for two nights of comedy to warm-up for his upcoming tour. The Bristol-born funny man had the audience in stitches as he tried out his new material on Friday and Saturday night.

Lee Evans is known for his energetic performances, excessive sweating and comic impressions. The show did not disappoint as the comedian delivered a standing-ovation performance and made it worth every penny with the comedy rolling for over two hours.

Evans was overwhelmed with the audience’s reception and shared his love of how he loves to perform at the Colston Hall and in the city he was born in.

The audience went wild for his impression of the Bristolian accent and his use of the city’s slang!

Lee Evans takes everyday, normally boring topics and makes them hilarious. Each audience member can relate to the jokes and the comedian himself.

Even though, Evans was reading from notes throughout his performance with just him, a microphone and a table, this did not take anything away from the comedic value and it showed that his talent can shine on its own.

The fresh material proved to be a success as the audience cried with laughter. If you’ve got tickets to his Monsters tour later this year then you’re in for a real treat!

Are Social Media Sites a Zoo of Publicity Stunts?

The internet slowly seems to be taking over the world and the public relations industry too. The number of publicity stunts appearing on social networking sites keeps growing. Facebook and Twitter are home to millions of them but they are not always noticeable to everyone.

Competitions as Advertising

You’ve all seen these competitions when they say “like this” or “share this” to win ‘blah blah blah’. We all love a competition but really we are just sharing the Facebook page to all of our Facebook Friends. We are providing companies with free advertisement for one of the thousands of people sharing to win a prize. The number of people who like the page to enter the competition is bound to make it worthwhile!

Customers Fuelling Publicity

I’m sure you’ve seen either witty comebacks from a company, or cute letters from kids, or funny comments on a social network page.

Twitter saw Argos get down with the slang of its customers with this witty response. Not only did Argos win the respect of ‘BadManBugti’ but also the thousands who re-tweeted the comeback. This could be seen as a subtle way to gain customers but who can blame Argos for making everyone laugh.

Argos turn their ‘slang on’.

Sainsbury’s won the hearts of many social network users when these pictures appeared online. Everybody loves when kids say cute things so when a 3 1/2 year old wrote to the supermarket to ask ‘why Tiger bread is not called Giraffe bread’…

Misnomer moan: Lily Robinson's letter to Sainsbury's asking why tiger bread wasn't called giraffe bread 

Sainsbury’s were smart to respond with this letter…

Understanding: This witty and friendly reply from Customer Manager Chris King won him a lot of praise

They fuelled the public’s reaction and according to the Daily Mail gained them 150,000 Facebook likes. 

Scams

Recently, a warning message has been shared around warning parents of the dangers of Talking Angela, a talking cat smartphone app. The messages warned parents that Talking Angela was a ploy to get children to talk to paedophiles but it turns out none of the rumours were true.

One of the many fake Facebook warnings about ‘Talking Angela’.

The Facebook hoax which according to mashable.com has boosted the app’s downloads and popularity. Was this a publicity stunt to get more people to know about the app and download it to see if it was true?

These types of posts and tweets are appearing on social networking sites more often than ever before but are they publicity stunts? Or are they just coincidently boosting business?

The PR Masterclass

prmasterclass

Alex Singleton’s new book The PR Masterclass gives advice to students and public relations professionals on “How to Develop a Public Relations Strategy That Works”.

Singleton tackles a topic, which you would expect to have been covered repeatedly by ex-journalists but surprisingly The PR Masterclass is one of the very few to focus on how to successfully deliver a PR strategy.

Alex Singleton is a world-renowned public relations practitioner who has experience of working with some of the largest companies in the world, such as Kellogs and Virgin Atlantic. Singleton’s PR career stems from his previous journalist roles in both the UK newspaper and magazine industries. He has worked at The Daily Telegraph, written for The Guardian, and appeared on the BBCSky News and CNN, just to name a few.”

It is clear that Singleton’s experience of both public relations and journalism enhances the credibility of his PR advice as he has knowledge of how journalists work first hand. In the chapter, ‘How to Develop a Story Idea that Is Newsworthy’ it focuses on ‘The perspective of the journalist’ which gives PR people, without familiarity of journalism, a great insight into their view and emphasises the need to make your PR strategy relevant to the journalists readers.

The book also offers PR experts or beginners advice on how to grab the attention of the media when writing press releases and how to build contacts with journalists.

The PR Masterclass is an easy-to-read book with its conversational nature and clear structure. The book is a great guide that can easily be referred back to again and again.

The book finishes by pointing you in the right direction of other useful resources such as other books to read and recommended website, including Behind the Spin!

You can start by reading the free chapter ‘How to Build and Maintain an Effective List of Journalists’ at http://www.alexsingleton.com/how-to-build-and-maintain-an-effective-list-of-journalists/.

Taylor Swift Paints the O2 Red

Swift going out with a bang singing 'We Are Never Getting Back Together'.

Swift going out with a bang singing ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’.

On her fourth night of sold-out shows at London’s O2 Arena, Taylor Swift amazes her dedicated fans with show-stopping performances of her famously-loved tracks.

Boy-band, The Vamps, warmed up fans with their catchy tunes but there is a clear resemblance to teen-heartthrobs, One Direction. The look, style and sound of The Vamps may not be new to the music industry but Swift’s fans went crazy for the boys. Maybe that had something to do with the largely female audience!

Taylor Swift took to the stage for just under two hours and definitely gave the audience their money’s worth. It was a full-packed show with numerous costume changes, energetic dance numbers and a vast amount of the colour red.

‘The Red Tour’ has now been on the road for eleven months since March 2013. Taylor Swift now brings the tour to the UK for five o2 Arena dates. The last show is tonight and is bound to leave London with a bang.

Swift sang a collection of songs from her most recent album ‘Red’. She had the crowd dancing with her upbeat numbers such as ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ and ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’. She also had the crowd close to tears with her slower songs as she sang ‘All Too Well’ and ‘Treacherous’.

The songwriter also took the audience back in time with songs off her older albums. ‘Fearless’ and ‘Love Story’ pleased the crowd as they reminisced back a few years. Swift also sang ‘Sparks Fly’ and ‘Mean’ from her previous album, ‘Speak Now’, which caused many screams of excitement.

Taylor Swift seems to always have a surprise in her pocket and last night’s surprise came in the form of singing-superstar, Emeli Sandé. The duo sang Sandé’s hit ‘Next to Me’ and amazed everyone with truly remarkable vocals. The pair teamed up after meeting at last year’s BRIT Awards.

Taylor Swift and Emeli Sandé sing 'Next to Me'. Photo courtesy of Taylor Swift's Instagram.

Taylor Swift and Emeli Sandé sing ‘Next to Me’. Photo courtesy of Taylor Swift’s Instagram.

The show was full of tricks with a violinist, circus themed dancers and Taylor mechanically-moving in several directions all over the arena. She certainly got as close as she could to each of her fans.

Swift left the arena and her fans covered in confetti after singing her pop-hit ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’ in a glittery fashion.

Taylor Swift can certainly put on an entertaining performance where her fans are her main purpose. She wants them to get their money’s worth and have an incredible night.

You Me At Six land their First Number 1 UK Album

British Rock Band, You Me At Six, storm to the top of the UK Album Chart with their fourth album ‘Cavalier Youth’. A week after it’s release, I’m reviewing the album to see if it deserves it’s top spot.

You Me At Six‘s music has progressed to another level and has grown leaps and bounds since their first album, ‘Take Off Your Colours’. Lead singer, Josh Franceschi’s voice has never been stronger and fits the sound of the album perfectly.

The rock band has produced a variety of different songs throughout the album. There are tracks which will have you jumping around your bedroom (Carpe Diem), numbers to relax you (Cold Night) and songs which will make you think (Be Who You Are).

The band released ‘Lived a Lie’ and ‘Fresh Start Fever’ ahead of the release which received great reception. The rest of the album’s track-list does not disappoint and lives up to the high standards.

Lyrically, the band have once again used incredible references within their songs. The track ‘Win Some, Lose Some’ refers to the popular ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy; “I’m in a different district, Hunger games.” ‘Hope For The Best’ sees the band possibly referencing lyrics from a previous song of theirs, ‘If I Were in Your Shoes’.

‘Cavalier Youth’ is a remarkable listen and the new album is bound to gain them even more fans as their music flourishes.

You Me At Six set off on tour at the end of the March and visit five countries around the UK.

‘Cavalier Youth’ is out now in stores and available to download on iTunes.

American Hustle Review

Anybody going to see American Hustle has high expectations even before seeing the film due to its star-studded cast, numerous award nominations and remarkable reception. The film takes you back to the late 70′s and allows you to follow the lives of the best con artists in town.

Christian Bale takes the lead in a role far from his comfort zone playing conman, Irving Rosenfield, who makes his fortune through money-loaning scams and forged pieces of arts. Irving meets the charming Sydney Prosser, played by Man of Steel star Amy Adams, and falls deeply in love with her despite being married to Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Rosalyn.

Irving and Sydney team up to become a scamming double act and the charm of a lady boosts business until FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), catches them in the act. DiMaso offers to drop the charges if they help him make four additional arrests which sets the pair off on their biggest con to date.

With laughs and tears along the way, Irving and Sydney team up with Richie to con themselves out of jail but will Irving’s wife, Rosalyn, stand in the way of their relationship, or will they live happily ever after?

The film covers a range of genres with drama, comedy, crime and romance which appeals to a large variety of people. Although, it could be criticised to cover too many genres in a broad manner. If this is the only criticism I can come up with then it must be a masterful film.

The acting performances from the cast are impressive with Bale stepping away from his usual smooth and handsome character and giving a superb performance as the not so attractive conman. Adams, Lawrence and Cooper also give outstanding performances which are certain to entice the audience.

American Hustle won three Golden Globes at this month’s award ceremony receiving the Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical and the female cast members stole the show with Amy Adams winning Best Actress and Jennifer Lawrence being awarded Best Supporting Actress. The film is nominated for ten Academy Awards at next month’s Oscars. It will be interesting to see if they steal the spotlight once again. 

Director, David O’Russell, creates a remarkable film which will have you intrigued, laughing and shocked. You can catch American Hustle at your local cinema now.

Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner.

Director: David O’Russell.

Film Classification: 15.

Released: 01/01/13

Running Time: 138 minutes.

Russell Brand in Bristol

Brand’s Messiah Complex Tour Poster

Eccentric comedian, Russell Brand, took to the stage at the Colston Hall in Bristol on Monday evening for two nights of sold out stand-up comedy.

Comedic poet, Mr Gee, supported Russell Brand and warmed up the audience with his jokes and rhymes. He had the crowd laughing with his relatable jokes and had them reflecting on life with his deep and thoughtful poems.

Brand bought his Messiah Complex world tour to the city of Bristol and without a doubt gave the audience an entertaining show focusing on many powerful leaders throughout history, including Jesus, Malcolm X, Gandhi, Che Guevara and Hitler. Brand argued how he was similar to some of these leaders in the most comedic way possible.

As the funny-man took to the stage he spent time interacting with the audience, especially his female fans. He was giving out hugs, accepting presents and making jokes out of the crowd.

Brand took his geographical location into consideration and attempted his very own Bristolian accent, brought the local newspaper onto stage with him and even mentioned some areas of Bristol.

Russell Brand was a ball of energy on stage as he moved around the stage, carried out imaginary sexual actions (even pretending to have sex with a chair!), and constantly moving throughout the show.

The crowd went wild anytime Brand spoke of Jeremy Paxman after their heated interview on Newsnight last week. If you’ve not already seen the interview, you can watch it here.

The audience certainly got their money’s worth as Brand gave around a two hour long performance.

Russell Brand live is all you could imagine and more. If you get the opportunity to see Brand in action, you will be laughing through the entire performance.

Date: 28th-29th October

Venue: Colston Hall

Genre: Comedy

Performers: Russell Brand and Mr Gee.