ITV Studios is proud to announce the welcomed returned of Vera 11 Episodes 1&2
available to own on DVD from the 27th September 2021.
The most famous Northumberland Detective with the winter mac and hat is back
for the 11th series.
Detective DCI Vera Stanhope will tackle two new tricky cases in her hunt for the truth.
This award-winning acclaimed itv drama is based on the bestselling books
by Ann Cleeves (Shetland).Starring Brenda Blethyn
“Brenda Blethyn’s brilliance made DCI Stanhope our favourite TV detective” – Radio Times
Order Vera 11 Episodes 1 & 2 now from Amazon
Synopsis: Series 11
Renowned actress Brenda Blethyn returns as the unorthodox but brilliant DCI Vera Stanhope, leading her diligent team of detectives as they investigate six complex and murderous crimes. Whether crossing the Tyne on the trail of a brutal inner-city murder, or braving the stark natural beauty of Northumberland National Park to follow in the footsteps of her unfortunate victim, Vera will bring her usual brand of searing insight, caustic wit and fearless detection to cases involving family betrayals, toxic obsessions and long-buried secrets.
· Vera Series 11
· Discs: 1
· 2 Episodes
· Cert: 12
· Running time 2 x 120mins
· RRP: £19.99
· Release date 27th September 2021
Order Vera 11 Episodes 1 & 2 now from Amazon
I Used To Believe In Love is the latest single to be taken from Open Hearts Open Minds, the brand-new album from 1990s chart-toppers D:Ream.
The band have gone back to their roots with ten tracks that, whilst retaining a feel of their early nineties sound, in no way sounds dated. The trademark pianos, brass, strings and occasional anthemic backing vocals are all there, mixed with plenty of live percussive elements and smatterings of guitars and even a bit of Bossa Nova on the cheeky, irony laden Selfies In Ibiza. The album has been written, played and produced by Pete and Al, much of it during lockdown, and it’s clear they have matured in all of these areas.
It’s an album of hope and optimism, mixing more serious themes, as in Emperors Of The Night, Make Love Cool Again and Universal Mother with the random playful funkiness of Skin Tight and Look At The Stars Now, Mama to the downright optimism of the excellent Many Hands and Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down, which manages to cross both optimistic and serious themes with its anti-bullying tone.
Pete Cunnah’s voice is sounding better than ever. The years have clearly been kind to him on that front, with shades of a certain George Michael on a few of the tracks, which can’t be a bad thing, surely?
An absolute ‘must have’ for any fans of the band from back in the day and well worth the listen for anyone who likes their music pop, but not too poppy!
OPEN HEARTS OPEN MINDS
The Album – OUT NOW!
It was a chance meeting in a children’s playground that achieved what the world’s best entertainment lawyers and record company executives hadn’t been able to manage: to put back together one of the most influential acts of the 90s at the moment everyone wanted more 90s. The D:Ream team of Alan Mackenzie (‘DJ, backing vocals, Head of Comedy and Magic’) and singer/songwriter Pete Cunnah were back.
As the only band that ever really brought together indie, pop and dance, D:Ream also created a double-platinum-selling anthem so powerful it not only got to the top of the charts but helped sweep away two decades of Conservative rule, bringing in New Labour on a wave of Cool Britannia and optimism. That particular bubble may have burst but if there was ever a need for more optimism, that time is now.
The pair first met when Pete moved from Ireland to London, having been on the brink of a record deal with U2’s Mother Records, with his old indie band, Tie The Boy. Disillusioned and working in a media company, it was on a big night out to legendary club The Brain in Soho that he was introduced to the uplifting house that was sweeping the clubs and the euphoria that went with it.
But it was a learning curve: Pete had the band experience, Alan the club experience but putting the two things together was something else…they figured it out, making it up as they went along. By this time, they had a name:
‘We thought we’d call ourselves The Dreamboys, after the strip act,’ says Pete, ‘then we thought we liked Dream, then someone had the idea of putting the colon in to make it D:Ream, which was the worst thing because the colon is an illegal character in HTML, so it’s still a problem online…’
Success came hard and fast. U R The Best Thing was well-received, especially in the clubs, but didn’t make it to the charts until it was the follow-up to Things Can Only Get Better, when it became the second of eight Top 40 hits from three albums, two of which made the Top 5. But success can take people in different directions, which is what happened with Pete and Alan.
‘We split up over how pop the band was going,’ says Pete now. ‘This was around the fourth single and with the benefit of hindsight, I think Al was right. My dream was to get to the top of the charts and going to number one is all great but then the mistake was to go on tour with Take That and to end up going on kids’ television and the rest of it. Being pushed around from here to there. I can see why that made Al uncomfortable.’
The first new work they did together was in 2012, an exercise in getting things out of their system. Pete wanted to play guitar, they wanted the songs to be more complex and, in Al’s words, ‘we got a bit too muso’. ‘If you’re thinking of strings and piano and hands-in-the-air pants-down moments, that’s what we can really deliver…,’ says Pete. ‘So, we’ve gone back to that.’
The new album is exactly what D:Ream fans have been waiting for since that very first smash hit: –
‘We want to make people feel good,’ says Pete. ‘And we’ve had a ton of fun doing it. We don’t have anything to prove, we just want people to enjoy it. That last album, as much as it went down well, we did it for ourselves. This one is back to basics, tracks like Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down, which is very old D:Ream with a very 90s feel, very up-tempo.’
Check out the D-Ream website
Chris de Burgh
Live Life, Live Well
Taken from the forthcoming album
The Legend of Robin Hood
Release Date: 3rd September, 2021
Re-imagining the fabled tale of a folklore favourite has been the latest creative challenge for Chris de Burgh.
The compelling result breathes music and lyrical life into a centuries-old and much-loved classic.
‘The Legend of Robin Hood’ finds Chris at his imaginative best, re-telling the story with cinematic vision coupled seamlessly to music of emotional depth and power.
The concept for the 27th studio album by Chris emerged from his involvement in ‘Robin Hood’, a stage musical about the infamous Sherwood Forest nobleman and his band of outlaws. Chris was invited to contribute storylines and melodies to the musical, which will be produced later in the year in Fulda, Germany, by Spotlight Productions, a theatrical company that has already mounted eight successful musicals. “Since I was writing songs for this,” he explains, “I thought ‘Why not expand the story and put an album out, too?’”
Chris was eminently qualified and able to do that on any number of levels. Most significantly, with his 2010 album ‘Moonfleet’, based on the book of the same name, he had crafted a highly successful musical interpretation of an already existing story.
None of which necessarily made tackling Robin Hood any easier. “I learned a great deal from ‘Moonfleet’, particularly how to set out a story in sequence,” he says. “If I had a problem advancing the story in song, I’d just go and read the book again. This time, we didn’t have a book. There is no book! I had to create my own story, my own version of this classic tale.
“In my story, Robin Hood is not a hero, but circumstances and injustice to others turned him into the hero that is now known all over the world. He initially comes across as an obnoxious young man in his late teens, but he subsequently shows a different and compassionate side and the qualities of a born leader.”
As has only very recently been suggested by a respected historian, Robin Hood is thought to have been a key target of King John, his son King Henry III and their powerful justiciar (law-maker) Hubert de Burgh – who, almost incredibly, is an ancestor of Chris himself.
Given the inconsistencies concerning the dates in which Robin Hood is thought to have lived, Chris tells his version of the legend as if it were many years after Robin’s death, in the setting of a candle-lit tavern where a small audience has gathered to hear it conveyed by a Story Teller and enacted by his musicians, actors and singers.
It has the romance and magic of a minstrel entertaining and enlightening the listener, and that is precisely what has made Chris so unique and peerless throughout his long career.
The tenth Chris de Burgh album to be produced by Chris Porter, ‘The Legend of Robin Hood’ is, like ‘Moonfleet’, another aural extravaganza, played flawlessly by seasoned, talented musicians across a plethora of musical styles, from Medieval, ‘traditional’, nursery rhyme, folk and Celtic-infused to rock, classical and choral. Regardless of its central theme, the album stands up on its own as a new collection of vintage Chris de Burgh material, with instant, sing-along crowd-pleasers like ‘Live Life, Live Well’ and ‘Open Your Eyes’.
It includes a new and reworked version of live favourite ‘Light A Fire’ – from his 1982 album ‘The Getaway’ – and the show-stopping, message-bearing anthem ‘Legacy’. “You’ve always got to leave your audience singing and waving their arms in the air,” says Chris, “and I think ‘Legacy’ will do that.”
As ever, Chris has written songs with a view to live performance. “We’ll certainly be performing the album in its entirety on stage when circumstances permit us to safely tour again,” says Chris.
‘The Legend of Robin Hood’ is an album of evocative escapism and a tonic for our troubled times.
RESCHEDULED UK TOUR DATES FOR SEPTEMBER 2022:
12th – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
13th – Birmingham Symphony Hall
15th – York Barbican
16th – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
19th – London Drury Lane Theatre
20th – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
22nd – Bournemouth Pavilion