Navi – King of Pop Tour

navi-pic-1024x577My husband and I feel that it is our duty to introduce our kids to the retro music that we adored as children. The result is that our girls love a real mix of music, from Queen and Madness to Cyndi Lauper and the Grease soundtrack! But out of all the music that we’ve introduced them to, their absolute favourite is Michael Jackson.

With their black hats and their YouTube playlist on repeat, my girls love practicing the dance moves to Michael’s music videos. My three year old even has her very own rendition of “Anna are okay” (as she calls it), complete with forward and backwards lean!

So when we heard that Navi was coming to Dundee’s Whitehall Theatre with his show King of Pop we knew that we had to take them along and treat them to their very first pop concert.

As soon as Navi stepped on the stage, it was clear that he wasn’t just any old Michael Jackson impersonator. His voice is so like MJ’s and his dance moves are so spot on, that I had to remind myself repeatedly that he was not the real deal. Witty and charming, Navi had the audience in the palm of his hand and when he stepped out into the crowd to perform one of the songs, the crowd went absolutely ballistic for him.

From Thriller and Beat It to Jackson 5’s I Want You Back and Can you Feel it – all of the classics were there and performed to perfection. What impressed me the most was Navi’s obvious love of MJ and his devotion to his fans. Near the end of the set he told them, “We’re here to celebrate the life of Michael Jackson” before promising that he would never dare try to replace him.

We left, surrounded by a sea of black hats and white gloves, humming Michael’s back catalogue each of us raving about the incredible show. Seeing Navi live has only intensified our girls’ love of Michael Jackson and his music. Navi’s tribute is a very worthy one, and as he continues to tour the world, bringing joy to MJ’s fans young and old, he’s keeping the spirit of Michael and his music very much alive.

Find out more about Navi and his King of Pop tour here: www.kingofpop.co.uk

DragonQuest at Monike Country Park

dragon-quest-1When you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise….especially if it’s the forest at Monike Park! It’s a place I visit often and I’m always on the look out for birds, rabbits, imaginary bears and perhaps a Gruffalo or two, but on Tuesday night I got a lot more than I bargained for!

My adventure into the deep dark woods was all in the name of DragonQuest, an augmented reality theatre experience which involved me walking into the woods armed only with a torch and a scaredy cat six year old for company! Our mission (yes we chose to accept it) was to find Dan and Petra two scientists working for the Dragon Protection Agency who had managed to get lost in the woods. Rumour had it that they may or may not have been captured by trolls (big gulp)!

What followed was a fun and magical evening where we met a whole host of mythical creatures from fairies to unicorns in the beautiful, enchanting and somewhat menacing woods. Using the DragonQuest app that we downloaded beforehand, we even managed to capture a few of the creatures we met on camera.

dragon-quest-2I’m not going to give the game away and tell you whether we spotted any dragons on our travels or whether we managed to save Dan and Petra from the trolls – you’ll need to go along and find that out for yourself! But what I will tell you is that we made it out of the forest alive with very big plans to go back again soon!

DragonQuest is at Monike Country Park in Angus, Scotland until Sunday the 1st of November. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Webster Theatre, Arbroath.

*Disclaimer: I was given a free ticket in exchange for this honest review.

Ten years on from the 27 club

27-e1445084328140I was 14 when the 27 club welcomed one of its most famous members. The story of Kurt Cobain and his spiral into despair held my attention much more than any Shakespearean play I was being taught as school. Grunge rock might never have been my thing, but Nirvana’s posters adorned the walls of all the boys I fancied, so it felt only right that I should take an interest. I went from being interested to compelled when I heard his suicide note being read out on the radio. As a teenager who had literary aspirations, the words: “it’s better to burn out than to fade away” had me hook, line and sinker. The tragedy, the mystery, the angst, it all just seemed so glamorous.

Of course it wasn’t just me that it took an interest, the whole world and his dog suddenly knew Kurt Cobain’s life story. Because that is what death does, it propels you into stardom, recreates your story into some new romanticized version. With the taint of death, every minor, minute details suddenly becomes important. Suddenly a sad face means depression, a hollow laugh becomes manic. People begin to project their own fears and failings on to someone else, who is not there to argue. As an impressionable teenager, I did just this. I identified with that lost look in Kurt’s eyes. He was misunderstood, just like me.

Twenty one years on and the world is still just as captivated with Kurt Cobain and his fellow 27 club members. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jeff Buckley and Amy Winehouse, continue to hold the public’s interest years after their death, and their lives continue to be the subject of speculation fuelled by news articles, documentaries and social media. And as much as the stories of their lives still intrigue me, I just can’t help but wonder if our morbid curiosity is really healthy. Shouldn’t we be looking to the living for our answers, not the dead?

Of course it’s not just the music world that has a tendency to lose its members to tragedy. From writers like Sylvia Plath to artists like Vincent Van Gogh, the world of art seems to be full of heart breaking stories of untimely ends. Perhaps it’s because we feel things too deeply to create the things that we do. Whatever the reason, over the years I’ve begun to realise that as much as we’d like to really understand the plight of others, we can only ever really know our own.

As I approach my own 37th year, a whole ten years past the strict membership requirements of Kurt’s exclusive club, I can’t help but realise what a gift life is. The ordinariness of the day to day grind, might not be glamorous, but the hope that each day brings will always be worth more than never knowing how your life was supposed to turn out. So as much as I still identify with that lost look in Kurt’s eye or that husk of hurt in Amy’s throat, I’ll happily choose fading away.

Image: “27” by Shota Mitsuyasu