Opposite of Robot returns with Brighton’s the Miserable Rich who are on a national tour supporting their new single and forthcoming album.

Wed 3rd March-Yorkshire House, Parliament Street, Lancaster, LA1 1ND. £4/3 Concessions, 8.30-11.30pm

Here’s what the press say:

” …their lush orchestro-folk is so heartbreakingly beautiful, it reduces anyone who hears it to a weeping mess.” 8/10 NME

“Recorded in the front room of singer James De Malplaquet’s Brighton home, The Miserable Rich’s striking, fully fledged debut immediately sets them apart. Five in number, they play what can perhaps be best described as acoustic chamber pop, everything coming decorously draped with the rather mournful accompaniment of cello and violin. Beyond that, though, it’s De Malplaquet’s warm, hazy voice coupled with the songs’ ruminative aspect that impress most, from tales of drunks and bonnie barmaids to such beautifully tender moments as Boat Song and The Knife Thrower’s Hand. A handsome, original start.” Q

“Breathtaking… Easily the best record of 2008” Americana UK

“There is no other band around at the moment who creates music like this, and yet Twelve Ways To Count shows how simple and effective it is. With delicate singing, plucking strings and floating violins, any of these twelve tracks can lift you up and carry you along a cloud into a tranquil equilibrium… they have created a piece of art that is gentle brilliance which needs to be introduced into your life.” Bearded

“warm acoustic loveliness” Rocksound

“A beautiful, intelligent and smart album, Twelve Ways To Count shows The Miserable Rich are a rare find.” 4.5/5

“…a cracking album full of tender, dark, warm, thoughtful and euphoric songs that’ll keep you humming along all day long” Piccadilly Records – Record of the Week

The Miserable Rich, whose name derives from an experience they had playing at the wedding of two ultra-rich aristocrats in Rome, grew from a ‘bedroom electro-songwriterproject’. Cellist/pianist William Calderbank and singer/percussionist James de Malplaquet formed their string quintet intending to ‘produce quirky acoustic modern music’ – and they do just that. But not just that. The Miserable Rich’s bar-room chamber music, styled with fierce but beautiful vocals backed by serene, acutely arranged strings, has been described as ‘pop music that could soundtrack a nursery rhyme created by Tim Burton’…

Having toured extensively in many countries, sometimes playing three shows a day in different cities – in headlines, festival slots, and major supports for the likes of Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – the band have honed their sound; and the intensity, honesty and closeness to be found at their concerts is unlike any other band currently touring.

In support local alt folkster The Existence of Harvey Lord, featuring guitars, banjo, flute, cello, zither harp, trombone and general all round goodness

and Kish McGuire, talented young guitarist, singer-songwriter

Merchant of Venice – Behind the Scenes

BEHIND THE SCENES AT LANCASTER CASTLE, MICHAEL NUNN drops in on a rehearsal for demi~paradise’s forthcoming tenth anniversary production of THE MERCHANT of VENICE

I arrive at the Lancaster Castle on a bitterly cold evening, just in time to catch the cast, Producer Steve Tomlin and Director Sue McCormick. Over a steaming cuppa, she tells me that they’re into the fourth week of rehearsals, with one more to go, then the final pre-opening sessions.

‘The play is ideally suited to the Castle’ Steve Tomlin tells me. ‘We’re using the Shire Hall, Crown Court and Hadrian’s Tower’ Sue adds. I asked whether they were making any cuts to the text. ‘Nips and tucks rather than huge chunks’, Sue says. ‘We’ve merged some of the smaller, walk-on parts into one.’

I wondered about costume and music. ‘We’ve set it in Georgian times during Lancaster’s maritime trade. Venice was a very important commercial centre and international seaport in Shakespeare’s time, so we thought that would make a good parallel!’

Jude Glendinning’s score includes accordion, guitar and four-part vocals. It nicely punctuates the lyrical, dramatic and beautiful moments in the play. It also helps set the atmosphere and prepare the mood for the next scene. That’s just how it should be. Shylock, often seen as the villain of the piece, is not being played as a monster or as a caricature.

I noted that there was a social, cordial atmosphere as the cast enjoyed their refreshments. ‘We all get on extremely well together as a team,’ said Sue, ‘There a lot of good working banter and we all have a laugh’.

That was a good sign, I thought. ‘The play’s not really a comedy, a political play, pure drama or a romance. It’s a complex mixture of all of these things’, said Steve. ‘It’s well structured and beautifully balanced’.

In the light of that shrewd and perceptive analysis, I was confident that demi~paradise’s latest offering was going to be just as rewarding and distinctive an evening out as have all this Lancaster-based company’s previous shows.

Book now to avoid disappointment.

The Merchant of Venice runs from Thursday 25th February till Saturday 20th March, at 7.30 pm. There will be no performances on 28th Feb; 1st, 7th, 14th March. Student matinée at 2pm on Saturday 6th March. There is also a £10 preview on Tuesday 23rd, pay on the door, 7pm

Tickets cost £23 (Fri/Sat) & £21 (Mon-Thurs) from the Box Office on 01524 64998 or at the Castle.

Spotlight Slam

Review by Carla Scarano. Video footage by Norman Hadley.

Open Mic Slam, Spotlight, Storey Institute, Lancaster 19.02.10

An exciting night at the Storey Institute in Lancaster. Spotlight Open Mic Slam had nineteen slots booked and we expected a fierce competition. Simon Baker introduced the evening with his usual brilliance, making us feel at ease and in accord. People kept on coming in filling all the places at the tables and also the stools along the walls, a thrilling night.

The names of the contestants were in a hat waiting to be drawn out. We performers held our breath each time Simon or someone from the audience drew out a name. There were mainly poets but also five comedians and two singers. The themes went from fun to commitment to pure entertainment and the enchantment of words and melodies kept our attention to the end. The passionate love poems of David Tait, where love and irony mix, ended in hilarious climax. Then, clear and tight, Tick Tock by Rebecca Willmott, a sweet Short and Sweet by Bernard Alvarez, Kevin Coughlan serious and composed this time and an impetuous Peter Crompton.

Norman Hadley performed Lamb & Stag from his last collection, Stinging the Sepia. A touching, impressive poem which made us wish to be the Secret People. Then a range of styles, from lightly humorous to powerfully dramatic, with Joy Ahmed’s Villanelle, Carla Scarano’s Greed, Mark Edmondson’s Retired, Peter Edge, Jamie Field and Nigel Jay.

The comedians were formidable and convincing, especially Heena Patel: gay, bisexual or straight, she made us crack up. More fun with Sue Seddon’s miserable old git droning on about t’South, the blue humour of Sid Sidlo, Mark Ellis’s jokes and Alan Strong’s impressions.

Finally the musicians.  The fantastic Mollie Baxter mixed acting, singing and humour in Crazy Granny, an intriguing second sight piece. And Domonic Halladay with a special Technology Class where everybody had a good time.  Except perhaps the teacher.

We all had our favourites and hoped they would win the cash prizes: £ 50, 1st prize, £25, 2nd prize, £15, 3rd prize. But John Freeman and the other judges kept things on the straight and  narrow with gong and calculators at the ready.

To give the judges time for scoring we had twenty minutes of tremendous music. Ottersgear –  Mikey Kenney, voice and violin, Andrew Raven and Dan Haywood, guitar and mandola, gave us a most pleasant break.  English Traditional music with Celtic Ceilidh and Islamic influences, their songs Sunflowers in my head, Top of the Stairs and Eye of Eyes made us relax. A fresh approach to the north west countryside, describing a boy’s life, dreams and hopes. Inspiring lyrics: ‘just keep the river flowing’, engaging melodies and powerful voice. See to listen to their tracks and know more about their gigs.

More videos can be seen here

All Quiet on the North Western Front?

Our regular reader will have noticed a lack of actual review content lately, unfortunately several regular contributors and people involved loosely with TLR have suffered from unfortunate life circumstances recently.   I’m sure you will agree that family and health have to take priority at any time, and you will join me in sending out best wishes to those going through difficult times.

However, this means that for the foreseeable future some of us are going to be too tied-up to give TLR as much attention as previously, and content will continue to be intermittent and hit-or-miss on the site.    

The Lunecy Review has run for twelve months now and whilst not everything has run smoothly, or acheived what I hoped, I think it would be a shame if it fades away now, so if there is anybody out there who wants to get involved, writing reviews or just maintaining the site occasionally, please get in touch.

Thanks for all the support, we’ll be back soon

— Kev McVeigh

Errors + Worriedaboutsatan at The Storey

After an amazing year of events, 44 returns in 2010 for our second show at the Storey Centre in Lancaster. We proudly welcome ERRORS for an exclusive headline performance, a band that call Mogwai’s very label Rock Action Records home, Errors are not to be missed!

Formed in 2004 Errors have gained massive support from their musical birth, touring throughout Europe and the UK these guys are really do the business on the live stage. With elements of Math Rock, Electro, Indie and Acid House thrown into the mix their sound has gained them fans in all corners.

With the likes of Underworld, Zane Lowe, Rob Da Bank and Erol Alkan all tipping their hats to Errors you know your on to a winner… /

44 Presents…

ERRORS (Rock Action Records)

Live: Worriedaboutsatan

+ very special suprise act tba…

DJ’s: Mister Sushi (Botchit & Scarper), Shengi (Infra)

Saturday Febuary 27th / £8 (advance) / £10 (on the door)

7pm – 12am

Age: 16+

Storey Creative Industries Centre,
Meeting House Lane,
LA1 1TH.

01524 509000

Tickets available digitally via Skiddle

0844 844 2920

Printed tickets avilable soon at the following outlets:

Lancaster Visitor Information Centre,
The Storey,
Meeting House Lane,
LA1 1TH.

– 01524 582394

46 Market Street,
LA1 1HS.

– 01524 846066

Kates Skates
12-22 Dalkeith Street,
LA14 1SP.

– 01229 433445

Working Class Heros,
70 Market Street,
LA12 7LT.

– 01229 585493

Direct ticket reservations via –

*Please Note*

will perform between 9.30pm – 10.30pm so time to catch the last trains back after the show.


Half Moon present


Monday 1 March

A new multimedia show for young people comes to The Dukes in March and people under the age of 26 can see it absolutely free.

Half Moon, one of London’s leading small-scale theatre companies for young people present Begin/End.  The story centres on the friendship between two girls, Lili and Yaz.  Their friendship offers a form of escapism from their problems at home and school and they become an inseparable gang of two. However the intensity of their relationship reaches breaking point when Lili develops unreciprocated feelings for Yaz.

The production features an exciting mix of new writing and VJing.  This growing art form blends music with video and images and is not often explored in theatre.  As an added extra, audience members will be given a CD of the soundtrack to take home with them.

A text/chatback session will also take place after the performance.  The show is recommended for 14+.

Free tickets are available through the Arts Council’s A Night Less Ordinary scheme and must be booked in advance.  Alternatively, tickets cost £9 and £5 for other concessions.  Please call The Dukes Box Office on 01524 598500 or see to book.

Oh What a Lovely War

Lancaster Girls Grammar School and Lancaster Royal Grammar School present

Oh What a Lovely War

By Joan Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop

Wednesday 3 – Saturday 6 March

Oh What a Lovely War is a theatrical and musical chronicle of the build up to and the conduct of World War I.  Told through songs and documents of the period, the play includes popular tunes such as Keep the Home Fires Burning and It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.  It looks back to a time when men and women showed strength, love, friendship and optimism in the face of tragedy.

Director Helen Tozer said:

“You can expect songs, sketches, newspanel, slides, dance routines, Edwardian Music Hall and revue in our show.  There is a big emotional range and several favourite old songs from WW1 which I’m sure people will be singing in the street as they walk home!”

Pupils aged between 15 and18 have been meeting 3 times a week since November to rehearse for the production.  Katy Flowers (age 17) who, like the rest of the cast plays several different roles, said:

“I’ve had great fun and would recommend the experience of being in the joint school musical to any students in the future.”

Julie Brown, Producer at The Dukes said:

“Work created for and by young people is central to The Dukes’ programme and we’re really looking forward to welcoming pupils both backstage and as audience members.”

Tickets for Oh What a Lovely War cost £10 and £8 (concessions).  Please call The Dukes Box Office on 01524 598500 or see to book.