The Diary: Common’s ministry of sound gears up to rock the House


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The Independent Online

An evening of heavy rock on the House of Commons terrace, sponsored by drinks company Pernod Ricard in the presence of Liam Gallagher’s band Beady Eye – what could possibly go wrong?

MPs will warm up for Glastonbury on Wednesday night with the annual Rock The House battle of the bands, organised by Mike Weatherley, the Iron Maiden-loving Conservative.

Honourable members have nominated bands from their constituencies, with the winners earning the right to blast their live set across the Thames from the Commons terrace, in front of an audience including Roger Daltrey, the Who wailer. Although his background is strictly ballroom, Vince Cable is backing New Infection, “a dynamic blend of rock’n’roll, indie and dance music” from Twickenham.

Weatherley promises: “With 450 rockers, music industry execs and parliamentarians, the event should really blow any cobwebs off the House of Commons.”

Eavis Jnr keeps her  headline acts on ice

Emily Eavis, the Glastonbury organiser, keeps her wish-list of headliners in the kitchen. “It’s on a napkin actually. On the fridge,” she tells BBC Radio 6 Music. “We would love to have Adele. And we’d also love to have Led Zeppelin. I mean Zeppelin have got to do it haven’t they?”

Yorkie energy boost for Wonka

Thom Yorke is the unlikely inspiration for the latest incarnation of Willy Wonka. Douglas Hodge, who plays the mysterious confectioner in the West End version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has been studying the Radiohead frontman’s jerky stage moves. “It’s the way he dances,” said Hodge. “He is so tiny and bird-like.” Hodge’s Wonka is an amalgamation of David Bowie, Marcel Proust, Salvador Dali, Charlie Chaplin and Michael Jackson – but he is keen there should be no echoes of Jimmy Savile in his portrayal of a carnivalesque figure who exploits children.

BFI crime drama is  a box-set bonanza

Viewers who love box-set dramas face a challenge at the British Film Institute. On Sunday it is screening Jane Campion’s new BBC series Top of the Lake, in its entirety. Fortunately, the atmospheric six-hour crime drama, with Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss, is described as “gripping”.