Tim Heidecker & Neil Hamburger: Live at Gorilla, Manchester [REPORT]

On a neglected side-street of Manchester’s city centre, Gorilla sits quietly in the surrounding sprawl. To its right, past a tunnel perfectly sculpted for a stealthy, drunken evening piss, lies Dog Bowl; a bar teetering on the edge of achingly hipster, offering ten-pin bowling as a cacophonous aperitif to overpriced culinary dirge. Given that even the local trams feature caricatures with Monopoly Man moustaches, it seems an inescapable aesthetic. While the stereotype can cause an itch when you’re handing over double for a Jameson and Coke, it’s a welcoming and, eventually, comfortable world to sparsely visit. Within Gorilla, where that sub-culture seems defined, Tim Heidecker and Neil Hamburger proved, in more ways than one, that assumption is all too often erroneous.…   [continue reading]

Alex Lowe Interview: Behind the Mask of Barry from Watford

This article ties in to a podcast I recorded with Alex Lowe, available here.

Alex Lowe is one of the most recognisable faces on British television. His credits have ranged from early outings in Grange Hill to memorable turns in comedies like Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights and House of Fools. As a huge fan of British comedy and television, I can’t count the number of times that he’s made appearances in influential favourites of mine. For Lowe, credits don’t end with his ubiquitous televisual roles either. In many ways, they’re merely a beginning.

Lowe is an eclectic talent, who seems able to turn his skills to a wide variety of mediums.…   [continue reading]

WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

The name Great Balls of Fire doesn’t exactly inspire high-expectations. This is, partly, why I found myself unable to get too excited for it. Of course, i’m not that shallow and it’s not the only reason. In addition, certain elements of my personal and professional life became too demanding in the past month to spare time for weekly editions of Raw. This meant that this was another PPV that I went into somewhat blindly. I was peripherally aware of certain storylines; it’s been hard to ignore the rumblings between Big Cass and Enzo Amore, for example. Also, the wildly anticipated clash between Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar was a clear selling point.…   [continue reading]

WWE Money in the Bank 2017 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

For some reason, despite an intriguing card, I found myself unable to get too excited for Money in the Bank this year. I put that down to some personal rumblings going on in my life at the moment. That aside, I knew we’d be in for something worth seeing. I’d probably resigned to just watch the damn thing, rather than overthinking it too much. With a historic women’s Money in the Bank match scheduled, along with the standard edition as the main event, this pay-per-view was certain to be memorable in some way.

In the end, this was surely one of the strangest cards I’ve ever seen.…   [continue reading]

WWE Extreme Rules 2017 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups. I had assumed that this was going to be one of those pay-per-views that just hits on every level. My expectations going into this one were unbelievably high, since Extreme Rules boasted a deeply promising card. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver quite to the level I had hoped. It is, however, easily the best PPV since this year’s WrestleMania. The main-event delivered in spades, while we also saw great matches for the Cruiserweight and Intercontinental Championships. Another thing of note is how well it dealt with its stories. The beautifully edited promo-packages only helped get these narratives across.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [JUNE 2017]

Having been rather busy this month, on a variety of projects, June’s Office Chart is much more off-the-cuff. It found itself put together in short spots of downtime. Its choices were more impulsive; thrown on in the moment, as the whim took me. That said, I may have accidentally come out with the best end-product yet. Perhaps, in the past, my agonising over equal genre-mixes and ordering was a mistake. While I have spent some time making sure that there’s some coherence in the flow, a lot of the work did itself. The songs just seemed to make sense next to each other.…   [continue reading]

WWE BackLash 2017 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

As SmackDown‘s first dedicated PPV post-WrestleMania, my expectations for BackLash were as low as they were for Payback. In fact, if anything, my expectations were a little lower. However you try to dance around it, SmackDown‘s a B-show. That doesn’t mean it can’t bring some compelling things to the table. It’s just that, by and large, you can always look to Raw for a bit of added spectacle. With a main event pitching Jinder Mahal against Randy Orton, my hopes were far from high. The only thing on the card of real intrigue, to me, was the inevitable debut of Shinsuke Nakamura on a WWE main roster.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [MAY 2017]

I don’t know about the Secret Cave readership, but i’m really getting a lot out of making these playlists. Last month‘s had an odd tinge to it, mainly thanks to some personal mishaps in my life at the time. After wishing myself luck for this month, it does indeed appear that things have taken a turn for the better. Oddly, May’s Office Chart has resulted in a slightly darker tone overall. Still, I feel I’ve hit on a nice coherence for this one. I’ve also managed to feature Juiceboxxx‘s latest single, as a follow-up to his interview with us last week.…   [continue reading]

WWE Payback 2017 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

In the wake of a largely enjoyable WrestleMania, I always expected Payback this year to naturally fall short. The lead-in to it was weak. Its card didn’t seem to present anything of any intrigue. After all, the superstar shake-up was quite a heavy distraction. That aside, there was still plenty of room for something to be pulled out of the bag. On the whole, it would be fair to describe Payback as a slightly below-par affair. However, with the inclusion of the awful “House of Horrors” match, I can’t help but give this a pretty resoundingly negative review.

There wasn’t really a single segment of this PPV that engaged me.…   [continue reading]

WrestleMania 33 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

I always watch WrestleMania live. Wrestling is one of the odder things that we cover at Secret Cave, but it’s such a magnificent theatre for the absurd. I intend, at some point, to post something explanatory on my love for it. Until then, last night was WrestleMania and i’m still reeling from how good it was. It’s been a while since WrestleMania truly gripped me, but this one was pretty much great from start to finish. Focusing heavily on the in-ring product, it’s the first time in a while I found myself wishing for more storyline. That said, the athleticism and ring psychology was strong throughout.…   [continue reading]