Word on the Wire

Month: December, 2014


I’d already written this week’s post, but it would be remiss of me not to mention the thrilling conclusion to ‘The Missing’ last night, and pay tribute to the stellar performances of the actors – Nesbitt deserves a BAFTA – and fantastic ‘on the edge of the seat’ skills of writers, Harry and Jack Williams. For those of you who are yet to watch it on catch-up, I won’t drop in a spoiler, save to say that the twist left me breathless. It was fiendishly clever.
And this brings me neatly to my next topic. Fiends is a band that deserves a great deal of attention. Last week they released their first single, ‘Ghosts’ and it’s free as a download so all those of you who like alternative rock, check it out.
A young group of friends based in London, they’ve been on the music scene for an incredibly short time and have gigged at The Lock, Camden, New Cross Inn in South London and have other gigs lined up in Bristol. They write their own material and a new single is scheduled for release in February, with an EP on the blocks for April.
Now it would be sneaky of me not to mention that Tim Goom is my son so, yep, I’m biased and he will be monumentally embarrassed. Little did we know, that the day my husband brought home a guitar for him, what we’d unleashed. At the age of nine, Tim was already playing the clarinet and showed talent. With the arrival of ‘the guitar’, however, he caught the music bug good and proper, and nothing could have prepared us for years of endless ‘practicing’. Tim has a bit of an obsessive gene picked up from me, unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your point of view, and he spent hours, days, weeks, months, years playing and playing and playing. All teenagers like NOISE and we had noise in abundance to the extent that we had to threaten him with dire retribution. Why our neighbours didn’t throw a brick through our window, I’ll never know. We also went through all the vicissitudes and moodiness associated with putting a band together, which mainly meant lots of talk and nothing much happening. But all that seems a distant memory now. Once he headed to London to study, I had a feeling that the band in his mind, a ghostly endeavor, would take shape and form. I know he and his mates struggled to find the perfect lead singer, but my goodness, it was worth the wait. Luke Goddard has something special vocally and oozes stage presence and charisma in shed loads.

As every muso knows, a band is nothing unless they gel, a case of being more than the sum of all their separate parts. Slick, professional, utterly of the moment, I have a feeling that Fiends are definitely a band to watch and I wish them all the very, very best.

Fiends are: Luke Goddard: Vocals
Jack Ward: Drums
Tom Stone: Bass
Ryan Morgan: Guitar
Tim Goom: Guitar
Tonight they are playing a set at ‘The Mother’s Ruin’ in Bristol. Catch them if you can.

https://weareallfiends.bandcamp.com http://www.facebook.com/weareallfiendsTwitter : @weareallfiends Instagram : we_are_all_fiends…



I’m told that I have a deeply annoying habit. Whether I’m reading a novel or watching a film or crime drama, I will often blurt out the name of the ‘bad guy’ before the conclusion. For me, it’s like doing a crossword. For others, it’s like ruining the punch line of a good joke, (especially if I actually get it right.) However smug I might feel when I rumble the villain in the opening scene or chapter, I’m more entertained if I get it wrong. I love it when a writer can fool me. Robert McKee, scriptwriting guru, once said that it was important to give the audience what they want but not in the way they want it. Couldn’t agree more.

So with this in mind, I have been utterly gripped for the past seven weeks by ‘The Missing’. With a tight cast of first-rate actors, ‘The Missing’ is a story about the abduction of a little boy, Oliver Hughes, while on holiday with his parents in France. Similarities with the real life disappearance of Madeleine McCann abound. As an exercise in parental agony, it doesn’t get any better than this. The sheer destruction that such a loss can inflict on a couple, and the undermining of those in the wider community, is breathtakingly authentic.

The narrative is played out between two timelines: events at the actual time of Olly’s disappearance, and what happens later when Tom Hughes, played brilliantly by James Nesbitt, uncovers clues that initiate a new police investigation. Tom’s dogged refusal to give up the search for his son borders on obsession and yet, deep in our hearts, given that kind of monstrous loss, we recognise that each one of us could easily fall into and wear his shoes. Less sensitively handled, ‘The Missing’ could have been a misery fest – Emily Hughes played by Frances O’Connor gives a gut-wrenching performance of a mother’s grief – and yet there is something uplifting about both parents’ desire for the truth, however painful that truth is. A little Gallic humour, in the guise of Julien Baptise, the lead French officer on the case, and played with nuanced charm by Tcheky Karyo, lightens the load.

But back to where I came in: I always had creepy Ian Garrett (Ken Stott) down for a bad guy. Clearly paedophile, Vincent Bourg, is an obvious candidate. But, honestly, I find it difficult to call. Actually, I’m not that focused on the quest to ‘get it right’. This superb drama is too enthralling to waste time on playing mind games.