Chester Comic Con – The Director’s Cut

Chester Comic Con

Sunday 24th September 2017

OK – so remember when I wrote my blog post about Chester Comic Con a while ago?  I ran out of memory space on my WordPress site and couldn’t post all of the photos I had taken.  Almost all made it, but not quite.

Then came Halloween Horror Fest, and although the space issue was solved I didn’t get chance to complete the images taken from Chester.

Until now.

Here, in true George Lucas style, I have re-visited the event and present for your enjoyment, the missing shots taken on that day.

Most of the these bonus pics simply weren’t used due to lack of space; some here are alternative versions of shots used.

Either way, I hope you enjoy.

As well as fantastic Cosplay costumes and various stalls selling all manner of wonders, there were also a few vehicles on display…

As I mentioned in the previous Chester Comic Con blog, I saw a great Q&A session with Martine Beswicke, Caroline Munro and Madeline Smith.  Best thing of the day!

Well done everyone at Chester Comic Con – it was a fab day!  Looking forward to next year.

Chester Comic Con

Chester Comic Con

Sunday 24th September 2017

My buddy Dan acquired some tickets and I was off to my first Chester Comic Con.  Amazingly, it was held at that den of drunken depravity, Chester Racecourse.  So for once, that almighty dignity vacuum would feature some actual culture.

To be fair, the racecourse was a pretty good venue.  There was plenty of space, with the indoor stalls surrounding a courtyard where numerous cosplayers, fans and geeks of all types could gather.  As it was decent weather, this outdoor section was a handy addition as it got fairly crowded indoors.

The stalls were many and varied; it was good to see a large number of merchandise stalls selling all manner of collectable paraphernalia.  There was plenty to drool over and spend hard earned cash on.

I picked up some comic books and Lego figures for presents, incredibly managing to resist adding more Funko Pops to my collection (there were lots).  As always with these events, however, there was tons I regretted not picking up later!

The cosplayers at the Con were superb.  There was all manner of fabulous creations on show, as seen here.  You’ve go to admire the dedication, hard work and creativity that goes into making these costumes.  I also think they’re also very brave, it takes some guts to proudly display your geek pride.

Well done to all the cosplayers – costumed heroes, every single one!  And thanks for letting me take your photo for this blog.

A highlight of the day were the Q&A sessions.  I caught a very interesting talk with Christopher Fairbank, who discussed his roles in film and TV from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet to Guardians of the Galaxy – and tons of other stuff.  His recollections provided loads of fascinating insights behind some of the many projects he’s been a part of.

Later on, there was another Q&A with Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro and Madeline Smith.  I’ve met these wonderful ladies before, but it was great to hear them talk about their experiences with Bond, Hammer and beyond.  The session was light hearted and lots of fun, with some genuinely interesting stories. All three came across very well; they were warm and friendly and really happy to be part of the event.  Superb, my favourite bit of the whole day.

All in all, Chester Comic Con was a total success.  It was a great day out and I’ll definitely be repeating the experience next year.  Let’s hope that 2018’s Con is expanded to two days!

The Chester Comic Con website is here.

Well folks, there you have it – for now.  I have a few more photos from the event to share, however I appear to have reached my limit for images with WordPress.  So for now, this is it.

In fact, this may be the end of Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub.

We shall see…

Chester Rocks 2014

Chester Rocks

Saturday 7th June 2014

Chester Racecourse

I went to the first Chester Rocks festival at the Racecourse back in 2011.  The main reason for this was to see the living legend, Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop.  With the Stooges, no less.  Performing songs from (one of the greatest albums of all time) “Raw Power”!  That was not to be missed, not when Sir Iggy and pals were playing so close to home.  Also playing on the day were attractions such as Feeder and Leftfield – so a bargain of a day out right on my doorstep.

That was the “rock” (as in “Chester Rocks”) day.  The previous day had seen a pop theme with McFly, The Saturdays, Sugababes and some geezer called Taio Cruz (is that how you spell it?  How the flip do you say it??!).  Our rock day saw glorious weather and a fun day out, and the consensus was that this event would be a great annual fixture, should we see more of the same in the future.

Alas, Chester is a city (small C) with no culture.  No cinema, no theatre, few options for live music.  Culture, in Chester, is thousands of drunken, vomiting Hollyoaks wannabes watching horses run round a field.  And so, alas, Chester opted to jettison the “rock” for the far more lucrative teeny bopper pop market.  Chasing the dollar won out, though Rocks was retained as a (somewhat inappropriate) name. CR1

This year, I was lucky enough to be offered a couple of free tickets for the Saturday, and happily snapped them up.  Although none of the bands were favourites, it was a chance to enjoy a day out and see some live music.  So why not?

The featured acts – three big name bands, plus local support – were all on the big main stage on the field.  Quite an impressive place for the smaller bands to play.  The only negative was looking to be the weather – a thunder storm that morning with more forecast for that evening.

The first band I caught were local Chester band The Suns.  I’d never seen them before, but had heard some good words in advance.  I was expecting some friendly, straight forward Indie, but they were very different.  Taking to the stage in black suits, with a vocalist with a massive beard, they actually sounded more like a rockabilly band.  Oh wait – I get it!  Sun Records – The Suns?  Bloody marvellous!  The rumours are true, The Suns are fantastic.  Full of swagger and charm, they’re like The Hives if they’d been formed in 1956 by Elvis, Cash and Perkins.  Catch them soon.  Band of the day and no mistake.

Next up were The Fallows, another local band.  Coincidently, I had seen this band before at my previous visit to Chester Rocks.  Back in 2011, Shaun Ryder had disgraced himself with an incompetent, puked-up set of utter shit.  I wandered off to see a Battle of the Bands in another area, where I found The Fallows making Ryder look like a lager chimp.  Four years later and The Fallows are on this huge main stage.  They’re still great.  The singer has obviously been to Indie School, where he majored in Richard Ashcroft; but fair does he’s got the balls to superstar it up, way up there.  There are hints of U2 and The Verve, and the rumbling bass helps make this set another success. CR2

Purge are next.  Never heard of ’em, but they had to be on soon, judging by the number of punters wearing their t-shirts.  They brought the whole fan club.  Hailing from Manchester,   these guys are more of an early RHCP/Primus hybrid.  Bring the funk!  Good fun, these boys have tons of confidence and are worth keeping an eye on.

Before Purge’s set began, we had a fine example of the type of punter Chester Rocks attracts.  Purge fans were waving a huge, home made blanket banner – and a group behind who had their view obscured were unhappy.  So riled were they, they barged in and grabbed the banner down and made off with it, in an eruption of petulant self-righteousness.  Obviously they don’t go to gigs much.  Can’t see?  Move.  It’s a big fucking field.

The main bands of the evening were The Hoosiers, The Feeling and Razorlight.  Can’t say I’m familiar with any of them.  It’s light weight, inoffensive Indie pop – though it all seems to blur into one another.  A couple of songs I recognised from DFS adverts.  They’re all enjoyable and nice enough.  I don’t really want to say a bad word about any of the bands, as despite the rain, it’s a jolly day.  I won’t be buying their music, but for a free evenings entertainment I ain’t complaining.

Just think how cool it could have been though.  From Iggy Pop to Hollyoaks.  Where next?