User Review: Johnny Marr @ Hull Welly Club


When Johnny Marr announced he would be playing at Hull’s Welly Club on a Wednesday night in July, indie folk young and old couldn’t believe their eyes and began scrambling to get tickets to see such a musical legend in such an intimate setting. To no one’s great surprise, tickets sold out in a matter of hours with many disappointed that they wouldn’t get to see their Mancunian hero in a small club on Beverley Road. But for those lucky few who did manged to bag themselves a ticket, they knew they were in for something special. 

Related: See more music events happening in Hull

Having already seen the former Smiths man twice this month at Mad Cool Festival and Tramlines Festival, I was intrigued to see what a full headline set would bring. We were all expecting some solo singles and of course, some Smiths classics, but what else would Johnny pull out of the hat? As the band were about to take the stage, the room was packed. I was in a sold out Welly Club for the first time in a while and had forgotten just how little space there is in there compared to some of the larger venues Mr Marr can frequent. Arriving onstage to a hero’s welcome, the band raced into ‘The Tracers’ from new album,’ Call The Comet’ before blasting straight into The Smiths’ 1985 single, ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again.’ The sing a longs were loud and proud with gig goers young and old rejoicing in those fantastic words and incredible guitar lines. Not that someone of his musical stature would need any boost in confidence but a clear sign of how comfortable Johnny has become as a solo star was that of the first six songs of the set, five were his own, with 2018 single, ‘Hi Hello’ showing that he certainly hasn’t lost his song writing abilities. 

Related: See the biggest music events coming up in 2019

One of the biggest songs of the night was with little surprise, ‘This Charming Man.’ The song that many fans will identify as some of Marr’s best writing was met with such love and it was clear to see that the love was mutual from the stage back to the crowd. As many fans will be fully aware, Johnny has been involved in an awful lot of musical projects throughout his career and he was able to show off more of his collaborative efforts by showcasing two Electronic singles, the band he formed with Bernard Sumner of Joy Division and New Order fame. Having not delved deep into their back catalogue, I was surprised to see just how many people knew these songs and it was a pleasant surprise to see them received so well. Another Smith’s classic ended the main set with ‘How Soon Is Now’ reminding everyone in the room of just how they felt in those lonely times in life that The Smiths managed to capture so beautifully. 

Returning for the encore, Johnny declared how, ‘This reminds me of the old days’ before transitioning into the short but amazing, ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.’ Looking around the room during the song, it was clear just how much these songs mean to people. Grown men with their eyes closed, singing every word showed that despite how their lives might be now compared to previous years, the songs still speak to them in the same way and how that emotional connection is just as strong. Johnny’s son Nile (who had supported the band tonight) then joined the band for the last few songs and with both of them wielding the same Fender Jaguar style guitars they treated the crowd to fellow Manchester band, A Certain Ratio’s ‘Shack Up.’ The night was to end in the same way it had the previous two times I had seen him this month but on this occasion it felt so much more special. ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ is a song that has been written about thousands of times, been sung at weddings, funerals, festivals and all the like and why wouldn’t people want to wrap their lungs around that amazing melody and those fantastic words. On a mid-week trip to Beverley Road, who would have thought that singing a song about death surrounded by hundreds of other like-minded people could feel so good.

Words by Joe Bryant


In The Night Garden LIVE – Review from Hull New Theatre


In The Night Garden… yes that TV show where all first time parents wonder what they’ve walked into when they first see it on TV… well it came to Hull New Theatre as a live stage show at the weekend and I took my 2-year old daughter, Wren, to see it while it was in town.

A few years back, we went to another ‘live’ theatre show with my other daughter which turned out to be nothing more than a big screen broadcast of the film, with a few people dressed up and stood at the side. So I must admit, this time I was worried that it would be the same cheap trick and I was thinking Wren wouldn’t even sit through the whole hour.

Igglepiggle and Upsy Daisy on stage - In The Night Garden LIVE

I’m relieved to say though that this show far exceeded my expectations. It was a really well put-together, very entertaining production which had the kids in absolute hysterics.

The live stage show is of course, based on the TV episodes you catch on CBeebies. Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka were all played by actors in suits. They even managed to get smaller characters like the Pontipines and The Wottingers into the show through clever puppeteers who acted out their parts and made them just like the TV show.

It was clear that Upsy Daisy was the favourite. All the kids squealed with excitement when the life-size Igglepiggle and Upsy Daisy came on the stage; which made a really nice atmosphere.

One of my favourite parts which we both loved, was where the Pinky Ponk was sent out to fly over the audience. The kids were all jumping up and down trying to reach it, getting really excited to see it flying over their heads. It was totally unexpected and was the best part of the show for me.

Makka Pakka on stage - In The Night Garden LIVE

The atmosphere was nice and relaxed too; perfect for parents. Unlike most shows at the theatre, the kids were able to get up and walk about. We could even take photos!

Wren is not a dedicated follower of the TV show. She’s happy to watch it when it’s on, but that’s about it. But she absolutely loved this show! If you have little ones who do love the show, I’m certain they will absolutely love seeing them live, up front, big and interactive.

Related: See what’s on at Hull New Theatre
Related: See kids events coming up in Hull & East Yorkshire

Wren isn’t usually one for sitting down for more than 20 mins before she’s bored and wondering about. But she was completely engaged from start to finish and I have genuinely never seen her laugh so much. And as a parent, that’s everything you want to see when you take your kids to a show like this.

My score: ★★★★★

“One of the best live kids shows I’ve seen”


The Lion King meets David Attenborough in Disney’s latest remake

Copyright: Disney

By Adam Brannon
Film Reviewer from Movie Metropolis for What’s On Hub

Another month, another Disney remake. After audiences and critics alike were underwhelmed by Tim Burton’s bizarre take on Dumbo, tensions were high with the releases of Aladdin and The Lion King. Thankfully, the former was a colourful, spirited adventure that updated the 1992 classic for the modern-age.

It also has grossed nearly $1billion to-date, but that’s by-the-by – what am I saying, of course it’s not. Money speaks volumes. Nevertheless, The Lion King is perhaps the biggest risk Disney has ever made. It’s arguably the most-loved animation in the studio’s back-catalogue. Think of Aladdinand Dumboas a litmus test and you wouldn’t be far wrong.

Thankfully, Disney were well aware of this and assembled a strike force of film-makers and actors to ensure this adaptation is as good as it possibly can be. Bringing in The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau was a good idea and his reimagining of that classic performed very well with both critics and audiences. But has he buckled under the pressure? Or is The Lion King a treat for the senses?

Copyright: Disney

Simba idolises his father, King Mufasa (James Earl-Jones), and takes to heart his own royal destiny on the plains of Africa. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Mufasa’s brother – and former heir to the throne – has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is soon ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. Now, with help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba must figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

First thing’s first. If you are expecting this to be vastly different to the 1994 version you are going to be very disappointed. From opening scene to closing credits, this is a near shot-for-shot remake beautifully rendered in photo-realistic animation. Despite being billed as a live-action adaptation, there is no live-action in the entire film and everything you see on screen has been created within a computer.

Over the course of the film’s running time, my overwhelming thoughts were what an unenviable task it was for the animators at Disney to create something so astounding to behold. This is an absolutely exquisite film to look at with every frame seeping in detail. The depth of colour and vastness of the landscapes makes it very difficult to believe this is anything other than 100% real.

Like Avatar, Jurassic Park and Star Wars before it, The Lion King is now the pinnacle of special effects and will no doubt change the industry forever. From the way the fur moves on the animals to light bouncing off rippling water, you feel so immersed in this world that you feel like David Attenborough is going to start narrating at any minute.

Instead of David Attenborough of course we have a very talented voice cast that includes old favourites and new blood. James Earl-Jones is a welcome return as Mufasa and despite his softer tone nowadays (something seen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), he still commands the screen as King. Donald Glover and Beyonce are both wonderful as adult Simba and Nala, with their rendition of Can You Feel the Love Tonight evoking some wonderful memories.

Despite my reservations, Chiwetel Ejiofor makes a fabulous Scar. Where Jeremy Irons played the villainous lion as an intelligent menace, and beautifully so, Ejiofor’s Scar is played as an unhinged madman. It’s an intriguing change that works exceptionally well and makes this iteration even more sinister than his predecessor. His performance of Be Preparedis genuinely creepy. Then we come to the stars of the show, Timon and Pumbaa. Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen clearly had a blast recording their lines and it shows. They make so much of their screen time that the film occasionally suffers when they’re not in it.

My main criticism however is the lack of connection we intermittently feel towards these new character iterations. Gorgeously animated they may be, but it’s much more difficult to make a photo-realistic lion’s mouth move in the same way as a hand-drawn one without making it look ridiculous and this is where the film stumbles. The stampede scene still packs a punch but not that emotional sucker punch to the gut that we all felt in 1994, and that’s a real shame.

Thankfully, Hans Zimmer’s score is more successful. A soaring tribute to majesty with tasteful nods to its predecessor, the booming percussion is beautifully overlaid with moments of pure orchestral bliss.

Criticising this update of The Lion King because of its similarities to the 1994 original is doing a real disservice to the time, money and effort that has gone into getting this behemoth of a film to the big-screen. Jon Favreau delivered a unique take on The Jungle Book and while the result is slightly less successful here, The Lion King is a technical marvel that shows what incredible special effects look like today.

Those emotional moments may not hit as hard as they used to, but this is a treat for the eyes and the ears and another satisfying, if cautious, win for Disney’s ‘live-action’ remakes.

Our score: ★★★★

The Lion King is showing now at Odeon Luxe Cinema, Hull

Check Cinema Times


Your chance to perform on stage alongside award-winning Lady Gaga Tribute at Hull City Hall


Talented local performers are being given the opportunity to support the number one Lady Gaga tribute Donna Marie when her brand new show A Star is Born This Way comes to Hull City Hall later this year.

To be in with a chance of stardom artists need to apply by submitting a video on the Our Star is Born – Search for a Star Facebook group by Sunday 4 August, or click the link on the A Star is Born This Way website www.astarisbornthisway.com

Donna Marie is a multi-award winning Lady Gaga Tribute Impersonator having won the UK’s National Tribute Music Award for the past 7 years.

The show on 13 September is the ultimate tribute to Lady Gaga celebrating her biggest hits with jaw dropping replica costumes and amazing choreography. It also takes audiences on the emotional journey of hit movie A Star is Born, featuring songs from the award-winning soundtrack including the Oscar winning Shallow.

Donna Marie is now searching for a new superstar to perform as a special guest as she loves to help new talent. She said: “I understand how hard it is to get recognised these days as a performer.”

Full details of the competition can be found at astarisbornthisway.com/searchforastar

Book at the Hull City Hall box office, call 01482 300 306 or visit www.hulltheatres.co.uk to book online.


Two Hull Comedy Festival events to visit the Bonus Arena


Hull is funny, so prepare for laughter as a selection of the city’s best comedy talent returns
to the Bonus Arena for a “Hullarious” showcase to kick off this year’s Hull Comedy Festival.
The Best of ‘ull – which saw more than 700 people pack out the arena as one of two test
events last July – will return on 30 th October again featuring some of Hull's elite multi-award winning comedians.

We have the ‘World’s only Bomb disposal Comedian’ Steve Rimmer hosting the show with
performances from award winning Hull acts, including Giggle’s Live Improv Champion and
television star Jed Salisbury, The Psychic Hairdresser and Life-Coach to the Stars Kelli Taylor and finally Hull comedy royalty The Live Naked Idiots.

The event will take place in the arena’s PDR Lounge and limited tickets go on sale on Friday
at 10am priced just £10 each (booking fees apply).

On the same day at 2pm Jeddy Bear and Gary’s Picnic – a comedy show aimed at children
and families – will also take place at the Bonus Arena. Comedians Jed Salisbury and Gary Jennison promise to tell you a story, well that is until a very naughty bear storms the stage!

Mayhem and madness ensue in this not-so-traditional telling of the Teddy Bear’s Picnic. There’ll be music, dancing, and pie facing madness…well what else would you expect from these festival favourites?! Full of mischief, audience participation and lots of fun to keep the whole family laughing and entertained. Don’t forget to bring your teddy bear!

Jeddy Bear and Gary’s Picnic will also take place in the arena’s PDR Lounge and limited
tickets again go on sale on Friday at 10am priced just £3 each (booking fees apply).

Jed Salisbury, Director of Hull Comedy Festival and one of the acts on the evening, said: “Returning to the Bonus Arena to perform is so huge for a Hull comedian, you can list a who’s who of stars that have already performed there and the fact I get throw my name into the same circle is unbelievable. As the Director of the Festival it’s also a great pleasure to know that I get to do the same thing for my friends and fellow comedians.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be returning to the Bonus Arena. It was such an honour to be the first act on such a big stage with over 700 people supporting Hull comedians, we had such a great night last year, I can’t wait to come back, and help showcase that Hull has some amazing talent.

Gary Jennison, creative director of Hull Comedy Festival, added: “The response last year was amazing, having Hull acts help open the city’s new arena was special. The night is now a featured event on the Arena’s Icons Wall, highlighting its special place on the comedy map. It’s great to see an Arena help highlight the award winning Hull acts and the great comedy talent we have in the city.”

Tickets for both events go on sale at 10am on Friday from www.bonusarenahull.com
Alternatively, call 0844 8440444. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

Accessible seated tickets can be purchased by calling 0800 9884440.


Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Masterpiece Coming to Hull


Hull Minster is to host a must-see exhibition of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece.

For the first time, the famous work adorning the ceiling of the chapel in the Vatican can be viewed from up close.

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: A Different View is coming to the minster – one of just two UK venues to host the exhibition – from Tuesday 8 October to Monday 18 November. It has already toured major European cities including Copenhagen, Prague and Amsterdam.


Officially licensed by the Vatican Museums, the exhibition will allow visitors to view high-resolution reproductions of the elaborate paintings of the Florentine master from just two metres away.

Bishop Frank White, Hull Minster interim minister, said: “It’s a very great privilege for Hull Minster to host an exhibition of such celebrated artwork, which can usually only be viewed in Rome.

“It’s also wonderful that a building as ancient as the Minster is able to host an exhibition of paintings which hold a timeless and universal appeal. It represents a coming together of key expressions of Christian faith through art.

“Modern technology has enabled Michelangelo’s centuries-old masterpiece to be effectively transported hundreds of miles to be enjoyed here in Hull and we’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of people into the Minster for a very special experience.”

The concept for the exhibition came from producers Thomas Ebel and Christina Marotzke, of German company Exhibition 4 You (E4Y), who wanted to take the Sistine Chapel frescoes “down from the ceiling”.

With support from Vatican Museums officials, they transferred high-resolution images onto special fabric webs to create highly detailed display panels.

A group admire the spectacular, ‘Last Judgement’ canvas replica by Michelangelo at the 13th century Great Hall in Winchester © Zachary Culpin/Solent News & Photo Agency

The exhibition is free to enter, though visitors are invited to make a donation to support the church’s work to support vulnerable people in the area. It will be supported by a programme of events at the 700-year-old church.

The exhibition has just begun its UK preview in Winchester, Hampshire, where it is on show at three venues across the city until September 29, before arriving into Hull Minster for its October opening.


12 Big Music Gigs Still to Come to East Yorkshire in 2019

The main stage at Humber Street Sesh

Going to a live music gig is one of our favourite nights out. Luckily music is at the heart of Hull, with many venues dedicating themselves to providing a stage for independent, local bands as well as huge touring artists from across the world. Whilst local, authentic acts are remain at the heart of Hull’s music scene, this list is going to be dedicated to the biggest and best music gigs/experiences coming up in 2019 (and the start of 2020) that you just cannot miss out on.

Jools Holland

18 July, Hull City Hall

Jools Holland is coming to Hull City Hall this summer with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. He’s a part of my New Years Eve ritual with his long running BBC Two show, however at this event he is performing rather than presenting!

More info & tickets >

Humber Street Sesh

2nd & 3rd August, Hull Marina

Without question, Humber Street Sesh is the one that every Hull music fan looks for in the calendar each year. It might not have the big names, but it’s a festival celebrating the best unsigned independent bands. It’s unique setting by the Hull Marina makes it even more memorable.

More info & tickets >

Katie Markham – Adele Songbook

5 October, Hull City Hall

Handpicked by Adele herself on a Graham Norton special, Katie Markham is touring the UK as probably the top tribute to Britain’s biggest selling artist. She might not be the real thing, but it’s as close as you’ll get to Adele in Hull this year.

More info & tickets >

Two Door Cinema Club

10 October, Bonus Arena

Essential 2010s listening. The indie rock outfit are back, storming through festival season promoting their fourth album ‘False Alarm’ and are making a stop to Hull’s Bonus Arena towards the end of the year.

Book tickets >

James Arthur

11 October, Bonus Arena (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

James Arthur won the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012 and since then has flourished to international stardom. All standard tickets are sold, but a few platinum seats remain if you’re willing to stump up the cash.

Book tickets >

The Buddy Holly Story

14-19 October, Bridlington Spa

One part theatre, one part tribute act; The Buddy Holly Story is the most popular tribute to the 50’s rock pioneer. A great way to experience some fantastic live rock music whilst learning more about Buddy Holly’s life.

Show details & tickets

The Rolling Stones Havana Moon

19 October, Hull City Hall

While this is more a film screening than gig, the event promises ‘cutting edge technology’ that will allow you to experience The Rolling Stones in the prime of their career. This ‘immersive film’ is from The Rolling Stones’ record breaking gig in Havana which had 500,000 fans in attendance!

Book tickets >

Brotherhood of Man & Elton John Tribute

19 October, DoubleTree by Hilton

A 70s celebration bringing together Eurovision song contest winners Brotherhood Of Man and a tribute to Elton John so accurate that even Elton’s mum booked him for her 90th birthday!

More info & tickets >

Will Young

21 October, Bonus Arena

The first ever winner of ITV’s Pop Idol. Just months after the release of his seventh album, Will Young is heading to Hull’s Bonus Arena.

Book tickets >

Ben – Michael Jackson Tribute

9 November, Bonus Arena

The largest touring tribute to Michael Jackson in the UK is heading to Hull in November. If you missed Thriller at Hull New Theatre earlier this year, this is the next best event to celebrate Michael Jackson’s hits.

Book tickets >

Jack Savoretti

22 November, Bonus Arena (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

One of England’s best voices. Singer-Songwriter Jack Savoretti’s tour has extended through to November to celebrate his 2019 release ‘Singing to Strangers’ and is visiting Hull’s Bonus Arena.

Book tickets >

Emeli Sandé

13 December, Bonus Arena

Pop-superstar, global success, and MBE. Emeli Sandé is one of the Britian’s most celebrated artists and is spending the remainder of 2019 touring across the UK; Sandé will be ending her tour at Hull’s Bonus Arena in December.

Book tickets >

…and the big gigs in early 2020…

Kaiser Chiefs

18th January, Bridlington Spa
20th & 21st January, Bonus Arena

You cannot have lived in the late 2000s and not heard the music of this Yorkshire rock outfit. Touring arenas across the UK with special guests Razorlight, Kaiser Cheifs will be making a stop in both Bridlington and Hull. We predict a riot for this one!

Tickets for Saturday 18thMonday 20th | Tuesday 21st 

Lighthouse Family

22 February, Bonus Arena

One of the largest bands of the 90s, best known for their hit ‘Lifted’. Lighthouse Family are visiting Bonus Arena in 2020 in support of their new album ‘Blue Sky In Your Head’.

Tickets >

Boys Are Back – 911/Five/A1/Damage

28th February, Bonus Arena

5ive, A1, Damage and 911 shot back into the limelight on ITV’s The Big Reunion. Now they are joining forces for a tour across the UK in 2020 making a stop in Hull at the Bonus Arena.

Tickets >


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