london review

Bookmas Series: 23rd December 2016
A review my my lovely cousin Anna Reid all the way from Australia!

The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

Rating: 10/10

I know what you’re thinking, 10/10 surely thats a bit of an over statement. But I promise you if you’re a fan of fiction and you’ve got a bit of an imagination (and a love for the circus), you will absolutely love this book.

I was introduced to this book by one of my best friends, who explained the book as a written artwork. Erin Morgenstern is an artist as well as an author which definitely comes through her writing - I think the main reason I loved the book so much was because you can get completely lost in the world she creates. The colours, smells and characters become almost tangible and I often found myself reading for several hours at a time because I was completely transported.

The book is a bit of a fantasy/fairy tale, set in Victorian London centred around a circus - Le Cirque des Rêves (the Circus of Dreams). In the novel, the circus “appears without warning and leaves without notice”, only operating between sundown and sunrise. It centres around a few of the lives of both patrons and circus members, but in particular two young magicians, Celia Bowen and Marco Alistair, who discover that their performances matter just as much outside of circus hours as they do inside of them, questioning the future of the circus’s operation.

Enjoy!

Eddie Vedder Live at Eventim Apollo (Hammersmith), London [7th June 2017] - Review

Eddie Vedder has made his way over the pond this spring/summer to tour Europe, and I managed to witness his performance at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo. Eddie and Pearl Jam have been very important to me for a long time, so seeing this was an opportunity I couldn’t afford to miss.

The supporting set was performed by Irish folk songwriter and ‘Once’ star Glen Hansard. Glen was a very energetic performer despite being seated the whole time. The songs (performed solely on acoustic guitar) were powerful and full of emotion. He talked to the audience like friends having drinks, and it was very intimate.

Eddie arrived on stage just before 9pm and played a solid set that lasted just over two hours (probably because the curfew was 11pm, I’m sure if he were given the chance the gig would have gone on much longer). The set was beautiful, adorned with homely accents such as a circular rug, suitcase, tape recorder, and memorabilia from ‘The Big Lebowski’, the set was added to later on in the show as a fake campfire was wheeled out to accompany Eddie when performing tracks from the ‘Into The Wild’ album. The sound was fantastic, even though I was sitting up in the balcony I could hear the guitars and vocals extremely clearly, with neither one overpowering the other.
Eddie was extremely communicative with the crowd, again treating the thousands of people before him as old friends. He even gave one of his ukuleles to a young member of the audience, then stated ‘I gotta plant the seed’, hopefully that kid is strumming away as we speak.

The show was one of the best I have been to. Though I may be biased, it was a fantastic performance and one I will never forget.

Setlist:

  1. Long Road
  2. Dead Man
  3. The Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young cover)
  4. Off He Goes
  5. Wishlist
  6. Can’t Keep
  7. Sleeping By Myself
  8. Soon Forget
  9. It Happened Today (R.E.M. cover)
  10. Out of Sand
  11. Driftin’
  12. Far Behind
  13. Guaranteed
  14. No Ceiling
  15. Rise
  16. Good Woman (Cat Power cover)
  17. Unthought Known
  18. Masters of War (Bob Dylan cover)
  19. Parting Ways
  20. Porch
  21. I’m So Tired (Fugazi cover)
  22. Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
  23. Black
  24. Come Back
  25. Sleepless Nights (Everly Brothers cover) with Glen Hansard
  26. I’m the Answer (Simon Townshend cover) with Simon Townshend
  27. Should I Stay or Should I Go (The Clash cover) with Dhani Harrison
  28. Society (Jerry Hannan cover) with Glen Hansard
  29. Hard Sun (Indio cover) with Glen Hansard and Simon Townshend

ellitree  asked:

How do you find time to parent, work and fandom? I just had a baby in Jan and I haven't had time to *read* fic, much less write it!

Okay, so IMO the first year totally sucks!  And then–spoiler alert! - the second year also totally sucks!–which I personally found shocking because I thought, oh, it will get better, and then, no, it didn’t. And then there’s all sorts of despair that sets in. And you think, my god, nobody told me there was so much fucking manual labor in this, I did not go to school for for my whole fucking life and get all these degrees just to be carrying an enormous stroller with a kid in it down three flights of stairs, ow, my spine!  And I am covered in bruises! And then maybe you start to drink, you know, just a little, to deal with the colossal, colossal boredom of watching a small person lurch around from thing to thing because it is OMG SO DULL and yet you know for a goddamned fact that should you, say, look away for TEN SECONDS or try to read a page of writing they will KILL THEMSELVES and it will be your fault. (Ask me about how my son managed to hurt himself with a salad spinner.  No, don’t ask me. I still have PTSD.) Anyway you live like Alex in Clockwork Orange with toothpicks holding your eyes open, captive to the dullest show on earth. You will go on vacation and realize, no, this is not a vacation, this is just about watching the small person even more than usual because they are in new situations that can kill them, many of them now involving water. (Ask me about–no, don’t.) Your nerves are in shreds. And you think, wow, I will never get out of this and plus this child is getting heavy and still pooping himself, and I still have to lift them up onto the goddamned changing table. 

And then just when you’re about to give up, somewhere in the next year, between 2-3, they suddenly figure out the toileting thing and begin to say things like, “hey, can I have a bagel?” and honestly, from that point on it is more or less smooth sailing in my experience, at least comparatively. Once I wasn’t having to cart around formula and weird toddler meals and food and jars and diapers and wipes and all that stuff, fencing everything in, gates everywhere; once the kid could use the bathroom and ask for a bagel, it was like, okay, I can cope from this point on.  

Then there is what me and my friends call the five year facelift, because all of a sudden people go, “Hey, wow, you look great!”–because around year five they suddenly go to school for a big chunk of the day. And suddenly you can take a real shower and get your hair done and go to the gym and wear a shirt that’s not covered in baby spit and/or that you haven’t slept in, and your skin clears up.  

Your mileage may of course vary! I am told that many people really like small children and prize the early years, blah blah, baby smell. I am not one of those people. Things are to me infinitely better now that my son is a young hedonist with a sophisticated palate who shares my love of travel, who I am teaching to play cards with me as the mark of a civilized person, and who I am waiting to be old enough to bar-tend and clip for me from the London Review of Books.

Vis a vis work, I was pretty tired and there is a 2-3 year publishing gap on my CV, where I made a person, you know?  I missed deadlines for the first and only time in my life, which made me feel horrible. Vis a vis fandom, I now and then go back and read my Sherlock stories, which were the ones written during those years, and I am surprised to find that they’re quite good, considering that in my memory I clawed them out of my eyeballs word by agonizing word while screaming. The writing came back, though, like it did after I quit smoking (the other time I thought, yeah, I’m done - but I wasn’t done then either.)

I’m sorry, what was the question?

My Review of Teen Wolf  6x17 - Werewolves of London

One of my favourite episodes, thus, far. It’s amazing what seeing old characters will do.


- Favourite Scenes

1. Old Faces Return
This is going to broken up in 3 different sections:

- Jackson and Ethan
What a way to open the episode!. I never really liked Jackson, but it was still nice to see him again and add Ethan into the mix, just made things even better. I’m hoping we get to find out how they got together, because that’s still a big question mark I’d like answered. And while they’re at it, I’m also hoping to find out what happened to Danny!?. Since he is closely linked to both Ethan and Jackson, I will find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t stay in contact with them.

Starting the episode with two new old characters was the perfect way to go, and I can’t wait to see other familiar faces pop up throughout these last 3 episodes.

- Deucalion
Speaking of familiar faces, Deucalion decides to join the party!. His one of my favourite villains Teen Wolf has had, and it was quite weird to see him turn over a new leaf. But in a way, I feel like it suits him. Not only does it give you the impression that Deucalion has learned from his mistakes, it also shows that he likes who he is now more so than who he was. So in saying that, could he perhaps teach Gerard a thing or two?.

I know we see more of Deucalion because his in a fighting scene shown in one of the trailers, so let’s hope a) he doesn’t die and b) he doesn’t die ahaha.

- Peter Hale
Oh, how I’ve missed him. For me, Peter was the highlight of the episode. Every scene he was in, Ian just nailed it!. I couldn’t imagine 6B without him and I’m super glad that he was brought back. My main concern with Peter however is that there is a fair chance that he might die. While I don’t want him too, I think it’ll bring his character full circle if he does die protecting Malia.

We all know Peter is selfish, and craves power. But the scene in the car with Malia showed a glimpse of a Peter we don’t see often. And that only happens when his around his daughter. In a way I think it would be poetic if Peter died selflessly to protect Malia. Just thinking about that makes me wanna cry, so I have my fingers crossed that Jeff isn’t that cruel.

However, the finale isn’t going to be without bloodshed and I have a feeling that some of our favourite characters will die. And if I had to place a beat on one of those characters, sadly I’d go with Peter….

2. Scott and Malia
I didn’t think I’d like Scott with anyone else but Allison, and nothing with change the fact that she will always be his first, true love. Scallison will live on in many ways!. However, I can’t get past the insane chemistry Scott and Malia have with one another. It’s something that is rare between two characters, because most of the time there really isn’t much lead up from that friendship stage to the relationship stage. Most shows just throw two characters together either for fan-service or just because they “can”.

But Teen Wolf has had some really good pairings that not only make sense, but you can see the connection (Stydia, Scallison, Mama McCall and Chris Argent even with the Sheriff, Allisaac even though they weren’t really official, Dethan, Jackson and Ethan, etc). And now we have Scalia, which took be by surprise. But they work and I love them together.

The kiss scene from last episode solidified my Scalia feels. But the hospital scene and when Peter told Malia not to fall in love with a dead guy, which she replied that she already has, permanently locked those Scalia feels in. Watching them with each other, you forget that Scalia roughly only started at the start of 6A. However, it doesn’t feel like that at all and it all comes down to the chemistry between the characters. And Tyler along with Shelley have amazing chemistry together. So it’s easy to believe that Scott and Malia have developed feelings for each other.

3. Lydia
Lydia Martin is a character we all should appreciate!. Her growth, development, bad-ass glo up is one of the best I’ve seen in Teen Wolf. Every episode my eyes are glued to her, watching how Holland acts certain scenes, her facial expressions, the way she says certain words and each time I love how she does them.

She barely had any dialogue this episode, only towards the end. But the scene where she had her banshee premonition while walking through a cold, iced hospital reminded me of Stiles scene in 5x05 where Dylan said nothing as he stood in the library while Donovan was chasing him. It’s those scenes in particular where the actor or actresses doesn’t say a lot or anything at all, and you can see it in their face that really changes the tone of the scene and leaves you glued to the screen.

All throughout season 6, even from season 3 Lydia has really impressed me and has quickly become my favourite character. And I have my fingers crossed she gets a happy ending!!

- Least Favourite Scene

1. Sheriff vs Guidance Counsellor
The reason I disliked this scene was because of two reasons. a) because the counsellor was once again being annoying and trying to jusifty this whole war, by basically blaming the Sheriff when all his ever done is protect the residents of Beacon Hills. And b) because her smug face actually thinks she is going to win.

You could tell that as the Sheriff was showing her the photos and explaining how evil Gerard is, that she was affected. And just when I thought she’d come around, she did a 180 and acted like her actions aren’t as bad as what she is commending the supernaturals for. The fact that Sheriff Stilinski told her that there doesn’t need to be anymore bloodshed, that no more people have to die if they just work together and understand one another, and all she did was then turn the blame on him, really, really annoyed the hell out of me.

I feel like two things are either going to happen. 1) the counsellor is going to die at the end either be the hands of a Gerard, or 2) She is going to be the last one standing of the hunters and see all the bloodshed and feel guilty, because now the Anuk Ite is defeated and no longer amplifying her fear. Or the most cliche thing would be if she gets put in a life or death situation, and gets saved by a supernatural creature. Thus, realizing that they aren’t all bad and what happened to her wasn’t their fault. At this stage I have no love or like towards this character so I’d rather option one, but that’s just me.

- My rating of the episode (it will be a rating out of 10)
I will rate this episode a 8 and a half/10

- Favourite Quotes
ETHAN: Which means you forget our anniversary, which also means I’m gonna kill you
MALIA: So what you moved into a cave and took a vow of uselessness
PETER: You don’t need to appeal to my ego, it’s quite healthy
PETER: What’s the hold up, I have a lot of revenge to plan

“You state that I have misinterpreted my results, and it looks as though you believe my views to be unsound. Your arguments are those of an eminent scholar. I was myself a fair scholar. For years I pondered, so to speak, day and night over books, and filled my head with sound views – very sound ones, indeed – those of others. But I could not get to practical results. I then began to work and think independently. Gradually my views became unsound, but they conducted me to some sound results.”

–Nikola Tesla

“Mr. Tesla On Sound Views.” Electrical Review, London, November 21, 1890.

Live Review: Green Day @ Hyde Park - British Summer Time

Artist: Green Day

Venue:  Hyde Park, London, UK

Date: 1st July 2017

Rating: 10/10

Pyro! Flames! A t-shirt gun! Mass sing-a-longs! Chants of “fuck you Donald Trump!” Hey Ho, Let’s Go – it’s Green Day in Hyde Park and it doesn’t get better than this! The Oakland three piece have the tendency of turning the most enormous venues into the most intimate of settings and tonight is no exception; in reality we’re in a massive park in central London surrounded by 60,000 people but Billie Joe Armstrong and co work their socks off to create a spectacle that befits filling a vast space but with the unique feeling you could be crammed into a tiny basement club.

It’s the way in which Billie Joe Armstrong commands the gathered masses in-front of him that creates such an event – throughout the 2 hour-plus show, the consummate frontman has the London crowd eating out of the palm of his hand – instigating constant call and response chants, huge sing-a-longs and general pandemonium. Even before the trio finish their first song ‘Know Your Enemy’ – Armstrong is pleading to Hyde Park for someone to get up on stage to belt out the final verse. A plucky punter is pulled out of the heaving throng to enthusiastically yelp through the dying moments of the track. Classic Green Day song ‘Longview’ will see another lucky fan hauled onto the stage to confidently strut their stuff, whilst rubbing shoulders with their idols. For those Green Day diehards out there, they know when the Californian’s crank out Operation Ivy’s ‘Knowledge’ this is the point where Armstrong will amass a band from the crowd to blast out the old school punk belter – tonight is no different…well, with a twist – we only just about get someone who can play guitar. Upon getting a plucky guitarist on stage, it appears the willing volunteer doesn’t quite know her fretwork, so Armstrong has to drag out another fan to do the business. It’s not quite the same as past fan versions of ‘Knowledge’ but that matters not – blurring the lines between band and fan is where Green Day excel.

Green Day are appearing in Hyde Park as part of series of gigs under the banner of British Summer Time and today’s rosters pays homage to London and UK punk – the kind of music that helped fuel Green Day’s lust to pick up instruments in the first place. Joining the LA band are punk stalwarts The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers and The Stranglers, along with current touring buddies Rancid. It’s not all about those that have helped form Green Day’s sound though – fledgling groups such as The Orwells, Culture Abuse and Armstrong’s son’s outfit SWMRS are also part of Hyde Park line up. The latter two do a sterling job earlier in the afternoon, putting on their own incendiary performances. Culture Abuse straddle the lines between pop-punk and hardcore and pull a good size crowd at 1pm, just as doors open. SWMRS surely have been taking notes from Billie Joe Armstrong’s outfit, as frontman Cole Becker sure knows how to whip up a crowd. At 3pm on a little side stage, there’s crowd surfers, circle pits and lung bursting sing-a-longs – headliners in the making? Time will tell but given this mid-afternoon slot, SWMRS cut the shape of a confident outfit with killer songs to boot.

Given the title of Green Day’s 12th LP ‘Revolution Radio’ and previous records ‘American Idiot’ and ‘21st Century Breakdown’, Armstrong will make a handful of political statements during his band’s headlining show but he also calls for unity too – in amongst the “Fuck You Donald Trump”s, the pintsized punk troubadour urges us all to embrace love and diversity – no matter your skin colour, sexual orientation and religious beliefs, the message is clear and simple – choose love over hate.  You would expect a show with pockets of societal and political diatribes to dampen the party spirits but this doesn’t happen – there are guffaws a plenty especially when the band delve into the fancy dress box to adorn silly hats and wigs to sprint through ‘King for a Day’ and a melody of ‘Shout/Always Look on the Bright Side of Life/Teenage Kicks/ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction/Hey Jude”.

With a track listing pushing nearly 30 songs, picking a stand out moment is a tough task but special mentions need to be paid to a blistering version of ‘Basket Case’, ‘Hitchin’ a Ride’s grating stomp, ‘St Jimmy’ spirals like a firecracker hurled down an elevator shaft, ‘American Idiot’ takes on a new resonance with Trump now in office instead of George Bush – swapping one incompetent buffoon for another one – albeit with a bad toupee and a spray tan, and ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ is a fitting end to the first encore. Out of the newbies, ‘Young Blood’ and ‘Bang Bang’ prove to be future classics and the double whammy of ‘Still Breathing’ and ‘Forever Now’ close the main set – propelling them to almost cult status.

With ‘Jesus of Suburbia’ still fizzing in our ears, Armstrong will grace the stage once more, for 3 acoustic renditions of ‘Ordinary World’, ’21 Guns’ and of course the sublime ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’. Although stripped of all the theatrics, bells and whistles of the full band set up – Billie Joe still commands his gathered masses with just a guitar and his voice, just going to show that all the extra facets aren’t smoke and mirrors, when it comes to the power of Green Day’s songs, the barebones are just as alluring as fireworks and water cannons.

They came, they saw, they won hearts and they fuckin’ well conquered – Green Day, London 1st July 2017, kings for a day. Give ’em the keys to the city.

Photography by Naomi Abbs-Williams

Hazed & Confuzed (Sandbox)
Brewery : Sandbox
Beer : Hazed & Confuzed
Style : IPA / India Pale Ale
Variance : None

8.5 / 10


Did anyone else ever have one of those giant green turtle sandboxes as a kid? Those used to be the jam and I remember burying all of my action figures up to their necks in sand like they were POWs in some Middle Eastern war while simultaneously filling my underwear with gritty nonsense with it chaffing the hell out of me. If you haven’t noticed by now, that all really had nothing to do with this beer besides the fact that the name of the brewery is Sandbox but I figured it would be a nice way for us to connect so now that we have and we’re bffs, let’s move on to the beer shall we? This is definitely another great beer by these guys and I’m definitely a fan so if anyone knows who runs their fan club and where I can sign up please let me know ASAP. K Thanx (winky face). A nice sweet pineapple juice and citrus flavor starts things off with some hop acidity and bitterness mixing in towards the middle before ending thing with a sweet and almost orange juice like taste to close. This beer may be hazed but I am certainly not confused because this beer is damn good and I can really see these guys blowing up in no time.  If you expected me to make some kind of Matthew McConaughey or Jason London reference because of the movie, think again fuckers because this beer is too good to rope in with that so get over it and move on with your life. If you are looking for an easy drinking version of the ever growing New England IPA look no further than here because it is definitely a solid starting point. As for you pros, scoop this up and enjoy it because soon enough people will be lineup up around the block to grab this so get ahead of the trend and beat the hype!

Written by: Steve B.

anonymous asked:

People are saying sh*t about jen on twitter right now. Do you think this may have an effect on her career wise?

Why am I not surprised?

Look, I get it that people are disappointed but I’m sorry … anyone who is trashing an actress from cancelling a convention appearance because she has a really exciting career opportunity available … those are not fans of hers.

It’s fine to be disappointed. I am a little … I couldn’t bid on her M&G in Vancouver so I had planned to do it in Chicago and now I won’t have that chance. 

It’s fine if people are angry in their OWN space. These cons cost a lot of money and if people had their heart set on meeting Jen this is incredibly disappointing! Jen knows how much people want to meet her. She didn’t set out to hurt people, she made a decision …  a very smart career decision.

Will this effect her career? Yes! In a positive way!

You know how many casting directors are looking for actors that prioritize conventions over actual work? ZERO. Doing too many conventions can actually be a negative thing for some stars. (Not all, there is a lot to be said for building a fanbase through conventions)

This is a play in NYC starring and written by Matthew Perry. He’s kind of a big deal. The play didn’t get great reviews in London but hopefully Jen will bring something great to her role and this will lead to so many more exciting opportunities for her - and us as fans!

Full Casting for Annie

Full casting has today been announced for the new production of Annie which is set to run at the Piccadilly Theatre from the end of May. 

It has previously been announced that comedian Miranda Hart will lead the cast as Miss Hannigan but she will be joined by Alex Bourne as Daddy Warbucks, Holly Dale Spencer as Crace Farrell, Jonny Fines as Rooster and Djalenga Scott as Lily.

The role of Annie will be shared by 3 young actresses, Madeleine Haynes, Lola Moxom and Ruby Stokes. 
Sandy (Annie’s Dog) will be played by Amber, a 4 year-old Labradoodle. 

The ensemble will be maid up of Keisha Atwell, Sophie Ayers, Bobby Delaney, Nic Gibney, Patrick Harper, Ben Harrold, George Ioannides, Megan Louch, Benjamin Mundy, Ben Oliver, Heather Scott-Martin, Anne Smith, Kate Somerset How, Katie Warsop and Russell Wilcox.

The production begins previews from the 23rd of May and will officially open on the 5th of June. The show is currently booking till the 6th of January 2018. For tickets or more information head to the ATG Piccadilly Theatre website.

Images courtesy of Google Images.

Review - Reggie Watts @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire

By the time Reggie Watts hits the stage of the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, everyone in the crowd has already heard his voice – introducing both his opener, and himself – but in an accent so unlike his own that most audience members don’t realise it’s actually him. 

But there’s no mistaking the guy when he comes out, even with his hair up and with a considerably smaller beard than we’re used to. From the moment he steps out, the crowd, delighted by his mere presence, are with him. He makes it impossible not to be with him, as he’s such a likeable and charismatic performer. Throughout his improvised monologues, he makes nonsense the funniest thing imaginable with his deadpan delivery. “I know you guys like fish here. But just take a suggestion: try chips with it. I know what you’re thinking: ‘No!! Boo!’. But it’s a good source of starch”, Reggie says with an earnestness that makes everything doubly funny. He throws out nonsense names of people and places in a Tim and Eric-esque manner, and discusses how certain political parties lost in the UK because they didn’t build efficient enough spacecrafts. It’s him turning typical stage banter on its head and making you think about how dumb everything really is. But in a smart way.

The songs, which the evening is centred around, are genuinely thrilling and spontaneously hilarious. Hearing his skills on his looping recorder, as well as his beatboxing is exciting beyond belief, especially with the knowledge that what you’re hearing has never been heard before, and won’t be heard again. He gets into brilliant flows where he can bring the house down simply by talking gibberish in exaggerated voices (it’s impossible to ignore that he is genuinely a brilliant R&B vocalist though), while occasionally dropping in bits of actual words – like when a piece segues into his love of spreading marmite on toast. It’s his musical ability that makes everything funny. To hear his amazing voice and from-scratch acapella backing tracks driving such ridiculous ideas is nothing short of ingenious – it constructs, then deconstructs the modern pop song, the satire being especially sharp when he perfectly mimics particular vocal styles, or wonders why we call women girls in songs instead of women.

His skills alone are stupendous, but they’re doubled when he brings out the incredible Thundercat to jam with him on bass. They play a few songs with impeccable skill, which the audience are audibly riveted by – I usually hate people talking during shows, but to the guy behind me who repeatedly said “Oh my god. He is so, so talented” - I agree. The duo were amazing together and the audience were happy to let terrific musicality take the spotlight from the comedy in this stretch. Thundercat was a complete surprise and I definitely did not keep my composure when Reggie called him to come out, I was far too excited.

Reggie is also surprisingly current this night, when he talks in earnest about the attack on London Bridge last week, before apologising for Trump and later, performing a great, Reggae-tinged song about Hung Parliament. The laughs in these segments were laughs of catharsis and warmth, whether he was waxing philosophical about how weird and wonderful it is to be a person (his bit on how you will never objectively be able to see yourself is kind of beautiful) or how weird governments are as a concept. 

“Remember, you are not defined by your government”, Reggie says towards the end of the show. Everybody needed to hear that. It’s a silly, human and loving show, one that felt like a relief for a bunch of people after a few weeks of awful, horrible news. Reggie’s art surpasses the label of being musical comedy tonight and hits somewhere a bit deeper, and the deserved standing ovation at the end of it is proof that this was a very special night indeed.



Note - A few fans waited by the stage door to meet Reggie later, and luckily for us he came out to meet us, and luckier still, he’s about the nicest man you’ll ever meet. Learning everyone’s names, shaking hands, giving hugs, paying attention to questions, he’s as kind offstage as he is on. He’s the real deal.