FEATURE: Ben Crompton – A Look Back At 2017 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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2017 had been a rather interesting year. We’ve been lucky enough to fill our pages with some incredible creative talent, so we asked a few of them to share some thoughts on the year just gone. We caught up with comedian and actor Ben Crompton, to find out a little about his year.

So, how was your 2017?
Alright, strange, scrappy. Was planning on learning the cello this year. That didn’t happen.

What was your best moment?
Legoland with my son. Sun was out. Me and my boy. Just one of those perfect days.
Also seeing my daughter performing at Northern Stage in Rumpelstiltskin. She’s four. She’s ace.

And your worst moment?
It wasn’t the best year for me personally but I was amazed by how kind people can be when you really need them. Also, I had a go at doing an oil painting as research for a project I was involved in. I think the end result could be a worst moment contender. It looks like a painting of an Edwardian Midwich Cuckoo.

Your favourite band of the year?
I should’ve been answering these questions 20 years ago. I’d have been firing off new favourite bands left and centre but I don’t think Marion qualify as a new band (or anyone’s favourite) anymore. (Reader opens second window on phone/ laptop and Googles “Marion”. Yes, Let’s All Go Together was a decent tune.) I liked the new War On Drugs album. And let’s stick bit of Dr. Dog in there aswell. And The National.

Your favourite song of the year?
There are a couple of classic tracks that I discovered this year in the form of Ides Of March’s Vehicle and The Incredible Bongo Band’s cover of Iron butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vidda.
John Bramwell’s new album is great and I don’t understand why he doesn’t have a bigger following- though part of me likes it that way because then I still get to see him in those smaller, more intimate venues. There’s a song on there called Underneath The Lightning Tree which is beautiful. Don’t think it’s released till the new year but it’s incredible.

Favourie TV?
Line Of Duty was excellent again. Inside No.9. – perfect balance of menace and funny. We finally got around to watching The Night Manager. Gripping. (Gripping is an adjective that only seems to get used in film/ book reviews) Motherland (in which I was lucky enough to play Animal Man in the first episode) was really funny.

Your favourite film?
I don’t know if I could class it as my favourite and I wouldn’t be in a rush to see it again but one that had a big impact was A Monster Calls. When we saw the trailer for it at the cinema Liv and I thought it might be one we could take our eldest too. No. Definitely not. Thankfully we saw it on DVD. Left us in absolute bits. Scraping yourself off the settee to go and cuddle your sleeping kids. Also, I was watching the main lad in it (Lewis MacDougall) and thought “I will never be as good in anything as he is in this” and he’s about 12! Finally saw Scrooged the other night too. Brilliant. Spiderman- Homecoming was good fun. Tom Holland is the perfect Spiderman. Saw The Last Jedi the other night. As a life long Star Wars fan I had mixed feelings. Kylo Ren really is a villain for the Millennials. He would have been completely out of place in the original trilogy. You have to accept change and the films are evolving but there’s a few things in there that I don’t think would fly in the original trilogy (in one instance there is something/ someone that literally does fly and it kind of jarred for me). Lots to recommend it, mind. Gonna have to watch it again.
Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 was the most entertaining film I think. Watched it twice.

Favourite venue of the year?
The Stand.

What was your favourite gig of the year?
Spencer Jones-The Audition. Loved everything about it. Beautifully structured in a chaotic way, silly, funny. There’s a great song he does about reading an email and skipping through it as most of it’s bullshit. Watching my nine year old doubled up laughing at this was one of my favourite things.
I saw a band called Maia at Deershed and they were brilliant. The album was decent too but they had so many more layers live. Great instrumentation and character.

And finally, what has 2018 got in store for you?
We’ll be finishing Game Of Thrones in 2018. It’s been a part of my life for nearly 7 years so it’ll be strange when it’s finally laid to rest. Of course it won’t be, because I imagine there will be spin offs or prequels, conventions. Cult television (if you can call something that’s so mainstream now “cult”) always has a longer shelf life because of the commitment of the fans and the richness of the material.
And the third strike story Career Of Evil will air later this year on BBC 1.
We’ll also be touring balletLORENT’s Rumpelstiltskin – we currently have dates in Salford, London, Pitlochry etc. (a full list is available at balletlorent.com)

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