GIG REVIEW: David Icke – Wembley Arena, 2014.

In rooting around the internet, hoping to unearth a mainstream review of the aforementioned gig, I happened upon a piece by Will Self relating, to some extent at least, to David Icke. It was from back in 2012 from Self’s Madness of Crowds column for the New Statesman magazine, in which Self, a confessed non-Icke type, suggests that through meeting someone who did believe in Icke’s theories and by whose own personal story of sufferance yet selfless caring, Self was suitably touched, he not only gained a deep respect for this someone, but in some ways a sort of small respect by proxy for David Icke himself.

Perhaps that’s stretching the truth a little, but in Self’s own words, “I don’t believe in Icke for a second – but I do believe in Raj (Self’s friend), fervently. And if great crowds of Raj-a-likes believe Icke speaks sense then it’s a mistake to dismiss their belief as mere ignorance and credulousness.”

It’s refreshing to hear. Self is clearly not sold on the Icke, dot-connecting view of life, the universe and everything – fair enough – but when the world is seemingly awash with academics and folk at the so called ‘pinnacle’ of their respective fields who are quick to dismiss, out-of-hand, any other possibility of ‘how it is,’ Self at least is big enough to admit that there can potentially be, given the right set of aligning circumstances, more than one way of looking at things. Life and ‘how it is’ is not necessarily a fait accompli.

Indeed, to the vast majority, the world is ‘what we know’ and any other possibilities therefore are not truly infinite, but instead finite, made up only from within the  boundaries of our imaginations, which of course are dictated by what we already have come to know and accept could be possible – It’s the trapped, bubble mindset view of mankind and one that polices itself, chastising and ridiculing those that dare venture out from its safe, yet limited visual range.

It’s good therefore to know that there are people out there that are willing not just to pin-prick that bubble, but to attempt to remove it entirely, sticking their heads above the parapet, fully aware of the implications that could follow.

This of course leads us nicely on to the man himself, Mr David Icke; a man that’s been exploring the nature of the world and reality for a cool quarter of a century now, ever since his ‘eureka moment’ back in 1989; a man who was ready and willing to impart his findings to a gathered throng on an overcast, Autumnal day in North London.

It’s fair to say that Wembley was a home crowd for Icke on this occasion, supportive and providing the kind of arena (excuse the pun) in which David Icke thrives these days; indeed the sort of setting that is actually essential for Icke’s views to be allowed to come across unencumbered by the inevitable interruption and censorship that the vast majority of mainstream media outlets can’t help themselves but provide.

I’ve actually been to Icke’s marathon day seminar events on two prior occasions to this. Once back in 2009 in Gothenburg in an event that really wrong-footed me. An incredibly emotional and even overwhelming experience at times, something I simply wasn’t expecting. The time prior to that was at London’s Brixton Academy.

Both of these events had felt quite dry and functional (not a bad thing); but definitely events more tailored to the die-hard ‘fan’ (for want of a better word), although saying that, it really opened my eyes as to what a David Icke ‘fan’ actually is. The sheer variety and wide spectrum of people that felt compelled to listen for a whole nine hours, on both occasions, to the middle-aged man with the big ideas, from the little old Isle of Wight, was heartening. No right wing, fascist, jew haters here; the type that lazy media hacks would have you believe follow Icke into and around his nut house; just a collection of open-minded, inquisitive people of all types and persuasions.

October 2014 Wembley Arena felt like a slightly different beast, not least in that it was punctuated occasionally by music from bands and some tremendous African-influenced drumming with ‘free’ dance to accompany, even provoking the arthritic sixty-two year old himself to shuffle about on stage in the sort of joyous, contented abandon that could bring a smile to anyone’s face. Certainly, when one is fully aware of Icke’s story and the kind of ridicule, persecution and back-stabbing that the man has endured at times over the last twenty-five years, it’s truly uplifting to see him, no matter your feelings or convictions about his output, in such a good place in his life now, surrounded by so many people that care and believe in him or even just those that were curious enough to turn up and actually find out a little of what he’s really about. Both of Icke’s sons were in attendance too; both contributing here in different, very positive ways.

Jaymie Icke (his youngest) has by all accounts, spent the entire year leading up to the day, organising the entire event, whilst eldest son and musician Gareth provided, with his band, excellent musical respite from the seminar sessions, fitting of the big Arena they were playing in.

Interestingly, Gareth had by all accounts been offered a handsome contract from one of the major record labels with two stipulations; disown your father and change your name. Needless to say, neither happened and the label reps were told where to shove their contract.


But what of the day’s content? Afterall, that’s what everyone came for.

To be honest and without deliberately avoiding the question, trying to summarise eleven hours or so of information into one, media-friendly paragraph, phrase or soundbite, or even to create what I believe would be termed a David Icke ‘elevator pitch’ (in business circles), would be to do the man a massive discredit and thoroughly under-sell his life’s work. The world is an impatient place and everyone seemingly needs everything in double-quick time; to be fed information in easy-to-digest, bite-sized, dumbed-down chunks and quite simply, it doesn’t work that way. You simply have to put in the hours. Pick up one of Icke’s books and read it, cover to cover or maybe attend one of these seminars if you get the chance and thereby get a good overview. Anything less is denying yourself the more complete and revealing picture and the opportunity to fashion an informed, personal opinion, rather than the fallback of borrowing someone else’s.

There’s certainly some weird and wonderful stuff that’s covered and things that I myself don’t fully buy into, but as I’m quick to point out to both myself and others, there’s as much chance of that being down to my own limitations in what I perceive to be possible, as to what actually is possible, yet lies outside the boundaries of my own, restricted knowledge base.

All we know is that none of us know everything. That really is the bottom line. Once we accept that, we can set about opening our minds and I, for one, like to keep an open mind.

At 9pm or so, along with a number of other suitably enlightened souls, I finally departed the venue with a tired brain and aching back. Watching for eleven hours from the flanks, with a twisted torso, is not something I whole-heartedly recommend, although Danny, (the physics major and self-confessed ‘truth investigator’ sat to my right for the day; all dreadlocks, wide-eyed enthusiasm and rainbow rhythm dance moves – think Jez and Mark in Peep Show), entertained me suitably throughout, making the physical aches and pains a little more bearable!

Above all though, I left with a feeling that the trappings of mainstream media just cannot provide; a feeling that I’d not been treated like an idiot.

I should add here that Icke was still going strong at this point, introducing enthusiastically yet another band, as the final, truly uplifting segment of his show continued, unabated. Impressive and inspiring in equal measures, so much so that I felt a little guilty for sneaking out half an hour before the event finally wrapped up for the day. Still, I’d racked up ten and a half hours of credit. I think I can be forgiven.

You take away what you will from a David Icke gig. As the man himself has said in the past, “The last thing the world needs is another bloody prophet telling you what to do, so here’s some information, it’s up to you what you do with it.” Quite right too.

David Icke is an information gatherer and dot connector. Much of ‘his’ information is not his at all but gleaned from a multitude of other sources, always however researched to a particularly thorough degree.

You may not buy into Icke’s view of things or the outcomes that he derives, but if people are to discredit him, then they owe it to themselves to thoroughly investigate what he actually represents before they do so, rather than taking the easy route that so many do,  passing the ‘David Icke’s a conspiracy theorist nutter’ lazy, media opinion off as their own.  Failing this, one really does forgo the right to an opinion; not just on this, but on any subject at all.

I like the man. I like his contrary stance on things, it sits well with me and my own particular views and leanings that I’ve adopted over the years and having monitored Icke’s output closely since the turn of the century, I don’t really need any convincing that the man speaks more sense than potentially not; certainly more sense than any political figure, past or present, that I can think of, in my lifetime.

Twenty-five years of travelling the planet, researching the madness of the world we live in and the nature of reality – all in search of the truth; that, in my eyes, if nothing else, deserves a bit of respect.













FILM REVIEW: Night Crawler

Night crawler? Skin crawler more like.

Louis (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a petty criminal, an opportunist and a most disturbing man in anyone’s book, displaying more than his fair share of psychopathic traits.

Having stumbled upon the murky world of late night, sensational journalism, he spends his nights obsessively capturing as much exclusive video footage as he can from Los Angeles’ litany of nightly accidents, homicides and other scenes of misfortune, in order to sell it on to news stations, for a fee.

Cold-heartedly he engineers his way up the ladder of this cut-throat business, looking after number one, displaying a tunnel-vision, showing little or no regard for those affected around him. ‘Empathy for one’s fellow man’ it’s fair to say, does not rate highly in Louis’s list of priorities.

Bit by bit, Louis sinks deeper and deeper into the mire in his quest for success and everything that his very transactional view of the world, desires.

It’s a gripping tale, told brilliantly by director Dan Gilroy, creating at times excruciating levels of tension and all done with some very dark, dark humour.

Gyllenhaal is stupendous and freaky in equal measures, whilst Riz Ahmed, his hapless side-kick and Renee Russo, one of the objects of Louis’s desires, are both excellent in their respective roles. A special mention also for the brilliantly named news anchor, Kent Shocknek, played here by, Kent Shocknek; yes, that really is his name.

Only in America…

Gilroy creates just the right atmosphere throughout, capturing the soullessness of the sprawling Los Angeles suburbs whilst revealing the cut-throat, superficial and deeply immoral nature of ‘shock news’ media.

One of the best things I’ve laid eyes on all year. This shouldn’t be missed.

FILM REVIEW: Magic In The Moonlight

I’m a big Woody Allen fan. There, I’ve said it.

Ever since I first watched his slapstick antics in ‘Bananas’, way back when, I’ve been taken by this most unlikely of heroes, both as an actor and director. Admittedly, there have been moments in time throughout Woody’s distinguished career when his film making has occasionally left me a little cold. The output of the last two decades for example has had it’s highlights certainly, but seems somewhat patchy when compared to what most will consider his 1970s and ’80s prime.

Thankfully, it seems that Woody is now entering a most golden of twilights to his career, if the excellent Blue Jasmine and now Magic in the Moonlight, a tale of psychic deception and reluctant romance, are anything to go by.
Colin Firth, wonderfully cast as Stanley, a brilliant yet curmudgeonly magician, has his somewhat fixed and unshakable view of the world tested to its very limits when asked to unmask an apparently fraudulent young psychic, played beautifully by Emma Stone.

Magic in the Moonlight is a period drama, jollied along by a typically charming, 1920s / 30s Woody Allen soundtrack of jazz standards of the era. Is there any director that can so expertly portray the whole gamut of human emotions through such a musical genre? Whilst being nothing new in a Woody Allen flick, it never fails to impress me.

It’s a charming little film that keeps us guessing until the very end and deserves to be considered among his very best of recent times; perhaps not quite a Woody classic, but not too far off.

It’s comforting to know that Woody remains both so prolific and relevant with his output, even to this day. His story telling may often seem as though it’s retreading familiar old ground, yet he always seems able to say something new and thought provoking in doing so. Quite an achievement.

Truly a one-off. Keep ’em coming Woody!


“We look after our own in the army, Cook.”

When private Gary Cook is deserted behind enemy lines by his troop, amidst the chaos of a full-blown riot, it sets up the kind of scenario you’d expect Hollywood to have air dropped Nicholas Cage into. “One man’s mission impossible… Against all odds, he’s going home…”

Mercifully, he isn’t and it’s not. This is ’71, an ultra gritty tale of a soldier trying to escape with his life, scared witless by the pitiful cauldron of hate and madness that was 1970s Northern Ireland.

There are no heroes here and no sides taken, just pawns caught up in the mess, either indoctrinated by belief systems or by ‘the system’ itself. It’s not as simple as them against us for Cook, if it was, perhaps he’d have a fair chance; instead, the confusion of subterfuge on both sides leaves us asking, “who can you trust?” and more importantly, “what are their underlying motives?”

It’s a minefield for sure and a pretty tense one at that; gripping from start to finish, something director Yann Demange deserves big credit for, ratcheting up the suspense throughout.

Whilst Cook’s part as the lone, would-be escapee is down-played by the director a little, in favour of those plotting and conniving around him, his sense of fear and bewilderment is palpable and conveyed convincingly. A naive, reluctant soldier, right in the thick of it. A pawn in the game, if ever there was one.

A very minor criticism; the ending. It feels like a bit of an afterthought. Without giving anything away, you can see the point that the director is trying to make, but that point is in itself a big topic, deserving I felt of further expansion.

Don’t let that detract though from what is a really good film.

“They don’t care about you. To them, you’re a piece of meat. You want to know what the army is? It’s posh cunts, ordering thick cunts to kill poor cunts…”

Probably a fair summation of the brass tacks of this war and every war before and since.

See it.