Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Introducing....

Max & The Wild Things

To be honest I don't know much about this band other than the fact that they are from Tennessee, they only featured on my radar when I was sent a request to review their self-titled album 'Max and the Wild Things' which is available to download for free by the way!  

To be totally honest, I did have pre-conceived notions as to what sounds might fill my ear. I was expecting some sort of old school 60's rock - maybe its the connotation of Wild Things that made me think that? All that filled my mind was Chip Taylor's rock classic - 'Wild Thing' and the amazing Jimi Hendrix cover we all know and love ... however, a contemporary spin on country music was not what I was expecting -but much to my delight that was what I got! 

The self titled album consists of 12 wonderfully constructed tracks that lead you on what can only be described as a musical journey throughout various pivotal era's in music. We have songs like "Enough" that capture the essence of the  1960's i.e. The Beatles Mania - with its catchy riffs and sing-a-long lyrics we also have tracks like "You Got Your" which is led by a powerful riff that highly resembles the 1970's track "The Joker" by The Steve Miller Band. This album is a mixed bag which is why I am sure it'd probably have at least one track that appeals to you, the only way to find out is to listen for yourself! 

As I listened to the entirety of this album and tried to pigeon hole Max and the Wild Things I realised, as each track went by that this was near impossible. It seems that Max and the Wild Things are just that "wild" in their approach to music, it is evident that they are knowledgeable in regards to the history of music but rather than replicating the great era's that have passed they have given their own unique contemporary Tennessee slant on classic genre's. 

The only genuine pigeon holing I can do (because we all like to classify every artist as much as we pretend we don't!) is that Max and the Wild Things bare a great resemblance to another band hailing from good ol' Tennessee, one that has left quite the impression on a British audience - The Kings of Leon. This feeling became prominent when I heard the track entitled "Without a Sound" - it had that Americana slur that could be considered Aidan Traylor's signature at the end of each lyric and reminded me of something that could pass for an early KOL track which is obviously praise indeed! 

To the listeners: Don't let the first track on this album fool you, like it did me. Max and The Wild Things are not one trick (1960's rock'n'roll wannabe) ponies. You do have to listen to the album with an open mind and I am sure you will find a track that suits you. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Harald Glööckler: Prince of Fashion?

Yes, this is a real PETA awareness advertisement featuring the self proclaimed  'Prince of Fashion.' Now if I told you that there was a TV show about this man you would want to watch it wouldn't you? - just for the laughs? Well it just so happens that LIVING TV has been following the life of Harald Glööckler who often refers to himself as 'The Real Bruno' because he was the apparent inspiration behind the character of Bruno as played by  Sacha Baron Cohen. I watched the pilot episode and found him to be an odd creature (as expected) but a very frustrating one at that. 
He was very aware of the cameras and made it his mission to show the great British public that he was a household name in his native, Germany. I found his ego definitely superseded his creativity and talent. Although Harald does appear to be quite successful, I found the clothing he showcased tacky, unrefined and cheap looking -a bit like the man himself. The theatrics of his 'performance' for this 'reality' show were actually, at times, painful to watch. I am glad that the producers of the show decided to keep his out-takes in the main body of the episode, as it gave the audience a better picture of his real personality (his intolerance of others and his overwhelming egocentricism.)  


I WILL NOT BE WATCHING THIS SHOW AGAIN. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'll be baking&shaking to the amazing....

BEN L'ONCLE SOUL
...and to put it nicely (if we are talking in terms of bakery goods) I would die for a slice of his pie! There is nothing like a talented man to get your bake on too! Feminists may shoot me now!  
He is a French soul singer who has certainly got a funky side and I am in love with his voice! And as you all know I am a sucker for cover versions and every single one that he has covered has been absolutely AMAZING! he is soooo talented it sometimes make me squeal a little! Well don't just take my word for it... have a little listen: 

     

MY NEW LOVE

New Psychedelic Artist: MALACHAI

Malachai is from good ol' Bristol and despite being around for about a year or so... he hasn't really made it to the big time and to be honest I could kind of understand after hearing 'Snowflake' a while ago. I really didn't like it at all, I found the video pretentious and the music annoying but I gave Malachai another go and my views have changed! Mostly because of this amazing song called Rainbows featuring Katy Wainwright. The video is pretty cool if you give it a while but I love the song and the harmonies are oh so pretty! When 'Rainbows'  begins to play it feels as though you could be listening to Portishead and I don't know about you, but I LOVE Portishead so that was an immediately good sign and to be honest the song didn't really disappoint me. So enjoy!

When Insomnia Strikes...

.... out come the memories and music of the past.

For those of you that know me, you will know that my relationship with KatieJane Garside has been a rocky one. Her music helped me through some of the worst times in my life but also highlighted some of my best. I have never shared her music on any of my blogs because I have been worried about people listening to the lyrics and thinking I was mental but the time has come...

I have always said that if I ever participated in a programme like 'Come Dine With Me' she would be my ideal guest. She is crazy, interesting and very talented. However, when I had the opportunity of interviewing her,  I couldn't bring myself to say yes. I felt as though she might know too much about me given that her music became the soundtrack to some of my life- obviously she wouldn't have done, but I am quite illogical- I now greatly regret the decision not to interview her.

This song has much meaning for me. The lyrics, beautiful and simple and in the right mindset, the message, relate-able. The footage and music feature on the 'Live at the ICA' album - one of the greatest live albums I have heard... but that's just me.


However the point of this post was not to bore you with my old school music tastes but to introduce you to what is helping me through the first bout of insomnia I have experienced in about a year and a bit. Whilst searching for melancholic old times music... I came across this collaboration and instantly fell in love.... 

    

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

FILL THE CELEBRITY CHARITY BOX OR..


Tomorrow is World Aids Day and as I explained a few posts ago many of our favourite online celebrities will face their digital deaths to raise money for, and to raise awareness of, HIV/AIDS. As well as this online campaign, a new concept to raise money for the 'Keep A Child Alive' is also being launched by Alicia Keys. The concept involves scanning the bar code t-shirt a celebrity is wearing so that you can buy their online life back and in turn you raise money for people with HIV/AIDS in Africa and India most artists have vowed that they will not return to the digital world until they have raised $1million.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Isabella Blow - Fashion Icon.

So everyone who knows fashion, knows Isabella Blow. But it only occurred to me yesterday that all I could remember about Blow was that she was super cool, slightly odd and was loved by Sophie Dahl and introduced Alexander McQueen to the world.... but I knew that she had done so much more! I just couldn't remember what. How embarrassing, right? I did the unthinkable today by using Wikipedia to find out exactly what she had done. And what an interesting life this woman had...

She studied at Columbia University and then left to become an assistant and friend to Anna Wintour (Editor of Vogue.) While working in New York, she befriended Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. She returned to London and became fashion director of Tatler and the Sunday Times Style magazine. In 1989 she met Philip Treacy who designed her wedding head dress and this sparked the start of a beautiful relationship that sealed her signature style. Blow had an eye for fashion which is why she discovered and purchased Alexander McQueen's entire graduate collection! She launched Sophie Dahl into the modeling world with a single comment. She became the muse of many people which resulted in her modelling and film roles.

But as most of the great and talented people of this world she committed suicide. I still have a cut out from the newspaper from 2007 on my pin-board which broke the news of her death and those that would be most affected by it. Slightly morbid, but then again this is me. 


The time has now come for a biopic to be made of Blow's life and I for one can't wait to see it. At the moment there are no certainties and we haven't been given a date, a title or a cast but there is certainly a film in the works! I'll keep you posted! 


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lady Gaga's Digital Death


Lady Gaga puts herself up as a spokesperson for the L.G.B.T community she has made it clear in the past that the issues that concern this segment of society need to be aired so that awareness is broadened. Lady Gaga announced today that she would be signing off social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook on the 1st of December (World Aids Day) until $1 million dollars were raised for Alicia Keys' charity 'Keep A Child Alive' that is aimed at helping raise money and awareness of HIV/AIDS, many other celebrities such as Justin Timberlake and Usher will be joining in. They have all apparently recorded what has been called their 'Last tweet and testament' which will show them lying in coffins to represent their 'digital death.'


After only being announced by Lady Gaga today, already her fans have become divided on the issue of whether or not this is actually a good cause. Some have argued that celebrities can donate this type of money themselves and that there was no need for this kind of stand. On the other hand some have recognised that this is a great way to raise awareness and I  have to agree. Lady Gaga has millions of fans spread out over various social networking sites some of which reportedly have only joined sites like Twitter because of her so her absence will cause awareness as well as raising a considerable amount of money. If each of Gaga's fans donated even 50 cents or 50p the $1million mark would be exceeded!! This movement just highlights once again the importance and power of social networking.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NEW AGE FOLK BY FRAZEY FORD

If you are looking for something to listen to while you work/cook/do something that makes for some nice background music... let me introduce you to Frazey Ford!


I thought I would  review a few songs from her debut album 'Obadiah' which has a mixture of amazing Americana-sounding folk songs and here are my thoughts on my top 3 songs, in the order of preference: 

Blue Streak Mamma: - The song is introduced by a nice steady drum beat which carries it from beginning to end accompanied by the repetition of a beautiful riff that is locked on repeat. The structure and sound of Blue Streak Mamma resembles that of the down tempo soul and blues of the mid 60's.  The vocals start up pretty quickly and you are stuck by an extraordinary voice that is very similar to Adele but with a less commercial feel. This song is based on a lot of repetition- that locks you in and draws you closer. I honestly believe that a song you can sing along to whilst hearing it for the first time is one that is destined for great things - and Blue Streak Mamma has to be one of those songs! This song is sure to feature on some US drama and then become a big hit!

If You Gonna Go: - This song highlights what beautiful vocals Frazey Ford has. It is the kind of song that you could melt on your sofa to, whilst eating strawberry cheescake flavoured ice-cream and feeling sorry for yourself (not that I am speaking from experience -honest.) I could imagine Norah Jones doing an amazing cover of this for her next album. If you are a fan of Norah Jones' - Come Away With Me then I honestly think that this is the song you should be listening to from Frazey Ford's debut album. 
One More Cup Of Coffee: - This song has a lot of memories attached to it and it will always be one of my favourite songs. It is my favourite Bob Dylan track by far and Ford does a good job of covering it. I think covers of classic songs are a risk especially when they are sang with as much as passion and integrity as was the case of the original but Fazey Ford's cover is beautiful. I love the vulnerability in the verse but I find the chorus a tad soul-less - it lacks the authenticity that Dylan succeeded in putting across in the original. To some degree Ford's cover feels like it is heading to a great crescendo but it fails to deliver. 

 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

LANVIN at H&M

Lanvin’s exclusive collection for H&M  will be arriving in stores on November 23rd, meaning that you will be able to own the essence of Lanvin with a more affordable price tag. The collection is an absolutely stunning portfolio of designs and accessories perfectly adapted for the high street. Alber Elbaz, artistic director of Lanvin, has created extraordinarily ambitious clothing for H&M, using house styles to make every single piece easily identifiable as their own work. He said, ‘The collection for H&M was about trying to translate the dream of luxury to the masses.’

For women there are dresses with stunning cuts and joyful colours, as well as pieces full of Parisian glamour and accessories with playful “joie de vivre.” However, if you wish to purchase anything from the line the first 320 people in the queue will be able to access the collection based on a coloured bracelet scheme with a time limit to enhance their shopping experience, followed by everyone else (this does not apply to men.) Men will be able to purchase a variety of updated classics, such as tuxedos made for day wear, paired with jogging pants- adding an athletic twist. Restrictions on this collection such as only being able to purchase one of each item and only 200 stores housing this line worldwide ensure the exclusivity of the Lanvin brand.  

H&M Stores housing this collection in London are: Kensington High Street, Brompton Road, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Brent Cross Shopping Centre and Westfield Shopping Centre. Get there early to be one of the lucky 320 who will be able to shop without dealing with crowds!

Friday, November 5, 2010

FOREVER 21 (to open in the UK!)

Okay, so I may be 22 but the American cross between Primark and Topshop aka Forever 21 is officially due to open it's flagship store, in my home-town - BIRMINGHAM. The store will open in literally a week, there are banners and signs all over the Bullring and the famous silver sign is already easy to catch.

Situated next to the High Street competitors of Topshop and River Island - I have a slight suspicion that Forever 21 might just be in the running to pip them both to the post of the best High Street store for 2011. However, it now all comes down to a question of pricing and I will obviously be giving you the low down once I have purchased some goods! I mean I still haven't spent my birthday money... so I know where that will be spent now!

I know I must sound like a hyperactive child right but I have never been so excited (okay that is a lie! - but I am VERY excited!) For those of you readers that know me personally you already know about my love of all things American but for those of you that don't - as an American Studies graduate a love for the U.S.A was almost one of the criteria to be selected for the course! Luckily, I got a big tick next to that one!

Whilst doing my degree I even got the opportunity to study in Missouri  for 6 months and everytime I popped into Forever 21, I longed for it to be available in the U.K! and now it will be... I am however, a little surprised that the brand didn't choose to open a store in London? But I don't mind... because it means that yet another shoppers delight is only 15 mins away from me! I will now stop gushing and enjoy some firework celebrations! Happy Bonfire Night! xxx

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Indie Band - Morning Parade!

MORNING PARADE INTERVIEW

Two years ago, Morning Parade were trapped in a variety of dead-end jobs. Their thoughts were of career advancement and growing up, but music had always been a cornerstone, a passion that stopped real life closing them in. Now they are releasing their new single ‘Under the Stars’ on the 22nd of November and I got the chance to ask the up and coming band a few questions...



Where did the name Morning Parade come from?
Morning Parade came about when we were having a fun night out - clubbers going home at 6 in the morning crossing the paths with people on their way to work doing their day to day things. It’s where something ends as another begins. It felt right at the time and it stuck.


How did you all meet?
Phil and Steve went to secondary school together and Steve met Chad at college while studying a music course. Ben and Andy were in other bands in the local scene.

Who would you say is the most creative out of all of you?
Steve is very creative across all the instruments, but we all work hard and are as creative as each other. We're always swapping instruments when we're jamming.

If you had 3 words to describe your sound which would you use?
Anthemic, Euphoric, Rock
There are so many Indie-Rock bands around - what makes you different to all the others?
I think its the massive blend of styles and influences that we share, we don't all share the same tastes musically, so it makes for interesting arrangements/arguments. I hope with the album we can show a good cross section of what we're into and what we can do. I think the blend of styles gives us a lot of freedom to go forwards in any direction we like... more guitars or more synths or something completely different...

What advice would you give to unsigned bands?
Stick to your guns, trust your gut and don't be precious with your songs, be brutal when judging your work and most of all make something you are proud of.

So we heard you are from Essex...have you managed to catch an episode of The Only Way Is Essex? if so what are your thoughts?
Haha, It's fast becoming a guilty pleasure...

If you could be anyone for a day who would it be and why?
Richard Branson- I wanna see what's up with that galactic thing he's up to. £100,000 a go.... chicken oriental.

Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
Literally no idea, things are happening so quickly at the moment that we can't really tell you what we're going to be doing in a year let alone 5. Most importantly we hope we're still enjoying making music and hopefully making music far superior to what we're doing now, who knows? An Ivor Novello would be nice.

House! House! HOUSE MUSIC!

In most genres the youth prevail and the old are shelved, the Techno and House underworlds are no different - but why is it that in these particular genre’s older producers refrain from mentoring their youthful counterparts?

There is a great divide between the producers that coined this genre and those that we see today, not only do they differ in style but also in technique and notoriety. Robert Babicz aka Rob Acid is a polish producer that has been DJ’ing for over two decades, he has also been one of the main artists to recognise this great divide in his genre spectrum. How can Techno and House progress if the old won’t help the new? Well, one of the main reasons that the masters refuse to help up-coming DJ’s is because of their attitude. Those that have been in the game for over a decade appear to be down to earth, yet, newer acts seem to live the life of a Rockstar which obviously involves believing their own hype.

There have been a few older DJ’s such as Nick Muir that have helped mentor some of the greatest artists of the naughties like Neil Quigly and Claude VonStroke. If we see more of this wisdom being passed down through the generations of House and Techno music it can only get bigger and better. 

We certainly hope a few more oldies take some newbies under their wings, if the results resemble anything like Claude VonStroke!

BLONDE AMBITION.

Tall, Blonde and Beautiful - Taylor Momsen is the epitome of the blonde bombshell especially when you factor in her carefree rock and roll lifestyle and her new band The Pretty Reckless (that will be touring in December!) 

Despite her current image Momsen had a very humble and religious upbringing in St. Louis, Missouri.  However, unlike most others her age; by the time she was seven years old she was playing a leading role opposite Jim Carey in ‘The Grinch That Stole Christmas.’ Steadily her acting career grew and at present she plays the wild child Jenny Humphrey on the hit US show ‘Gossip Girl,’ now in its third season. Surely that would be enough for any 17 year old starlet? Well obviously not for Momsen because she has decided to tap into the music industry by forming a band called The Pretty Reckless.

Unlike most ‘actress turned rock-star’ transformations, Momsen’s music, style and live shows seem  genuine as opposed to the short lived careers of her counterparts; whose stage
presence consists solely of ripped hosiery, lashings of black eyeliner and an overwhelming sense of awkwardness. Momsen’s vocals are fiery and deep, her inhibitions are left off stage and her music  is passionate. Lyrically, there could be some improvement but who are we to judge - she isn’t even old enough to drink alcohol!

The Pretty Reckless - as a band, seem to mirror the sound of Courtney Love’s solo album ‘America’s Sweetheart’ and no, we aren’t pigeon holing Momsen based solely on the colour of her hair. Love and Momsen are very similar because they are both very talented and driven. They aren’t just recording artists, these powerful women in this genre dominated by men are role-models and amazing live performers. The Pretty Reckless will be playing some gigs in the U.K next month so be sure to catch them!

13th  December @ Glasgow O2 ABC
14th December @ Manchester Academy 2
15th Wolverhampton @ Wulfrun
16th London @ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The World of The Unsigned Artist Revealed!

Getting into the music business is hard, its’ often a matter of knowing the right people or being in the right place at the right time. ‘Right’ seems to be repeatedly used to describe getting into this lucrative business yet ,it cannot  be used to define the means an artist must go to, to become a part of it. Pav Bhatti delves into the world of the unsigned artist and the connotations attached to it...

There are thousands of people in the world that have a pipeline dream of making it onto T.V screens in every continent, singing to the masses at the best festivals and venues in the world, jet-setting and being recognised for their talent - being the ultimate success - but very few make it.

I was once one of these individuals, disillusioned as to the difficulties and hierarchical structure of the music industry. When you are born with a passion for music and told by many that you possess a talent unlike any other -you start to believe it. Hopefully my friends, family  and teachers weren’t telling ‘white lies’ like the people who tell their tone-deaf friends to audition for X-factor - much to our amusement!

Like thousands of others I got together a band and began what could be noted by my biographer as my first E.P. Being a teenager at the time, my influences were like most my age: Nirvana - a band that seemed to understand the angst that every teenager feels at some point in their life.  By default, I started to learn how to play the guitar like my idols and I felt like I could make it.... but the vital question was... how?

How could I make my dream a reality? What were the steps between myself in the practice room of my High School  and being on MTV or on stage at Wembly? Trust me when I say: you do not get these answers from google.

So what did I do?... I read various interviews and books on how to get into the industry - they did not work.  I spoke to people who had remained on the outskirts of the industry merely managing to get their foot in the door. I heard stories of record labels wanting image changes, song changes even a whole new genre of music to be performed, but mostly, I heard tale after tale of rejection and feelings of being unsuccessful and old.

I guess I am one of those people that lose faith if they do not get what I want in the time-scale they expect to get it in. When I didn’t get my record contract with E.M.I three weeks after I decided I wanted to be a famous, I decided to give up. That was the end of my career as a Rock-Star. But unlike myself there are thousands of acts and artists that persist, push and eventually excel in the music industry.

To me: making it in the industry is 1 part talent, 3 parts luck and  6 parts persistence. That is, if you haven’t got contacts dotted in PR, Record Labels or a Mommy and Daddy with a 6 figure salary - each.

So if you are going to be the next big thing... and nothing has come up just yet. The key is to carry on, if you manage to add three parts of luck to your life bowl you could make it to he NME awards, Brits or even the Grammys?! The future is open and fate is what you make of it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

LIL’ BOOSIE’S - INCARCERATED.

This is Lil Boosie’s third solo album which has been released after innumerable mix-tapes. This album has been recorded and released at a pivotal time in his life - he is currently awaiting his sentencing on 7 counts of murder. Despite the circumstances, this is Boosie’s most well rounded album to date, showing his growth as an artist.

The first few songs on the very literally named ‘Incarcerated’ album, talk about his current situation dripping with paranoia and hatred for the oppressive system he is locked into. The main topics of discussion are Judges, Cops, fake friends and haters.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them!

Kelly Rowland has always been in the shadow of her band-mate Beyonce. Both tried to make it as solo artists and whilst Kelly struggled to reach the top 20, Beyonce’s career skyrocketed. Kelly’s career didn’t take off until she cleverly noticed the recurring theme - that the remixes of her music always superseded her originals. Like any logical business woman, she teamed up with the producers that had independently remixed and released her music including the likes of David Guetta -  to give the masses what they craved and this time fully reaping the benefits! A serious case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them!’ Her new release, a ballad called ‘Forever is Just a Day Away’ has definitely got the David Guetta stamp on it - if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?

What Do Alicia Keys, New York and Egypt have in Common?

Well its pretty simple: Alicia Keys gave birth to a little baby boy called Egypt in New York! Three months after being married to hubby Swizz Beats, Alicia gave birth to Egypt. So if we do the math... that means little Egypt was occupying the womb when Alicia walked down the aisle in July!! If his parents are anything to go by Egypt will not only be very talented but he will most definitely be a hit with ladies! What a lucky boy!

Album Review!!!

Lyricson - "Messages" 
(released November 8th 2010) 


In recent years Reggae has focused less on its foundations as an outlet to voice political opinion and open respect for personal religion and instead has arguably focused on pleasing Western audiences. Lyricson turns this around by presenting Reggae in its purest form with his new album entitled Messages.

From the offset Lyricson introduces us to the world of Rastafari with mentions of Zion, Jah and Haile Salassie and lyrics that express his devotion and unalterable belief in his religion: ‘Protect me Jah... Rastafari love worth more than silver and gold.’

A classic Reggae base runs throughout this album which is matched with classic themes found in traditional Reggae music: love, religion, war and politically fuelled passion. Despite this over the course of a 16 track run we find many different influences permeating the tracks which is refreshing. It is rare to find a 16 track album nowadays but its almost impossible to find one filled with back to back great tracks, Lyricson’s is the exception. Messages will be released on the 8th of November!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Andy C Phone Interview Questions


Is there any reason you waited two years to release Nightlife 5?

It’s been a hectic couple of years with touring. I waited a couple of years so I would have a lot of tunes to go on it. It was a case of building up a set of good tunes

Obviously your Nightlife mixes do really well otherwise you wouldn’t have got to your 5th, how is this one different to the others?

I always try and make them special. Its a case of trying to get what I do in the clubs onto CD. I never wanted to make one CD mellow and one CD party... I just wanted it to encapsulate what one of my sets is like. It represents me in a club.

How do you pick which acts to use on Nightlife?

Its not a case of choosing whose on, the tunes choose themselves by being really good. So that makes my life a lot easier. On this album there is maybe a 50-50 split between brand tracks and tracks that we have licensed in because we just signed a few artists so we’ve got a lot of new tunes on the label right now.

Did you know that Nightlife 5 was the fastest selling album ever on trackitdown.net ?

I did hear that, yeah. It’s crazy. It’s gone really well. Everybody seems to like it and a lot of hard work goes into it.

Did you feel under a lot of pressure from the public with this release?

The pressure that I feel is usually because everything is down to the wire and I want to get everything to a standard I am happy with. There are a lot of people are working and contributing towards the project to get it done.

Genre Purists don’t like the idea of DnB hitting the mainstream, what are your thoughts on the topic?

RAM has been running for 18 years and you don’t get that from 5 friends running it in a bedroom. For me its not about trying to not be mainstream, for me, you can’t hold back a great genre of music. If it happens to be popular what are you going to do?


Have you signed any new artists to Ram that we need to look out for?
The likes of Wilkinson, Hamilton, Culture Shock have got some great tunes on the album and Lonestar as well.

When is your next mix coming out?

Let’s not talk about the next mix, I’ve got a lot of stuff going on lots of live gigs.

You are obviously very busy touring around is there a particular event or place you are excited to play at this month?

Well I just played at The Warehouse Project in Manchester and for 3000 people in Barcelona yesterday. I am actually speaking at The Oxford  University - Students Union this Friday. Its a massive honour to be asked to do it some pretty amazing people have spoken there so its unbelievable. So I am going to do it and play a gig in Oxford after and then Fabric again.

It’s all going amazing right now.
So you’re a happy bunny?
Oh yes I am.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

DJ DEREK - THE COOLEST O.A.P WE KNOW!


How often do you see an O.A.P at a club? I think its quite a rare sight in anyone’s book, but how many people can say that they have seen an O.A.P spinning Reggae/Dancehall records at some of the best festivals of today? Well those that saw DJ Derek performing at Bestival or The Big Chill this year can say that they have!

DJ Derek seems like the kind of guy you could write a comedy sketch about. He is a white, 68 year old man who has a deep rooted passion for Reggae and Dancehall music, which has transcended from the records he plays to his talking voice! When performing on stage DJ Derek transforms from the grouchy old man who enjoys a good pint in his local, to an amazing DJ who talks in Patois whilst spinning the latest records from Jamaica!   

DJ Derek has a cult following especially in Bristol - his hometown. He even had a short documentary made about him by Jamie Foord who sadly passed away last year; aged 19. DJ Derek has earned his fast growing reputation and despite his novelty factor he is an amazing DJ who knows how to get people on their feet.  

At the moment DJ Derek is doing a few gigs around the country including a Halloween gig in London on the 30th of this month! You can catch him at Cable for the Chew the Fat Halloween Special for a measly £6! See you there?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

GLASTONBURY 2011 IS A SELL OUT!

So it may almost be winter but festival tickets for the summer are already selling out. We got news that Glastonbury sold out in a record breaking 4 hours this year! Could that have had anything to do with the fact rumours have been circulating that the coolest farmer we know aka Michael Eavis (the guy who has hosted the festival for the past 40 years) was considering having a break from letting wild youths trample his fields for a mad weekend in the summer? Maybe... but don’t worry Eavis has confirmed that the festival will continue to be around for at least another ten years. Last year everyone was shocked as the event was fully booked in one day but on the 3rd of October 2010 all tickets had been sold by 1:15pm! Now everyone is just waiting with bated breath for our favourite farmer to disclose the top three headlining acts! After all he did promise he’d tell us once all the tickets had been sold!

PARKLIFE 2011!

June 2010 saw for what was meant to be the first and last Parklife Festival in Manchester -created to celebrate 100 years of Plattfield’s Park. The festival, however, turned out to be a hit with the student population which was not surprising given a line-up featuring Magnetic Man, Fake Blood, Andy C, Friendly Fires and Calvin Harris to name a few. The event sold out quickly as most students from The University of Manchester and those in and around the North went to the festival to celebrate graduating - myself included! With a variety of acts from various genres this festival was always going to do well which is why MCC have given Parklife 2011 the go ahead! If this years line up was anything to go by... next year will be amazing!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fred Perry and Reformed Amy Winehouse Do Business!

Looking a lot better than she has in previous months, Amy Winehouse took her place on stage in Camden Town’s ‘Hawley Arms’ yesterday, for a secret charity gig. Things seem to be looking up for the talented musician who is also designing a limited edition collection for Fred Perry (the clothing designer.) It seems as though Winehouse’s break from her ex-husband has helped her put her life into perspective and get herself back on the straight and narrow, with a renewed passion for the creative arts. If her performance, grace and style last night is anything to go by then we can all wait in anticipation for some amazing new material from the reformed genius.

Rent-A-Friend

Scott Rosenbaum has taken social networking to a whole new level with his new website www.rentafriend.com The site is being used worldwide by people who are too busy to go out and make friends. For a small price you can have a friend who will talk, dance, wine and dine with you and if you are lucky they may not ask you to pay them after a while - oh! who are we kidding! Its a great venture but are people really willing to lend themselves as a friend to someone they do not know? Well, we checked out the site and found loads of people who have already signed up so maybe this will work after all!

Politics - Oh What A Circus!

We often call politicians clowns so Brazil has got the right idea by electing one! Francisco Oliveira Silva aka. Tiririca The Clown has received a record number of votes based on his humorous campaign rallies that have drawn in the Brazillian public. Tiririca’s campaign featured slogans such as: “What does a federal deputy do? Truly, I don't know. But vote for me and I will find out for you." If you wanted honesty from a politician I guess that is as honest as it gets. It’s this humbling humour that seems to have captured Latin America but, despite being a joker it is evident that Tiririca is just an average man who will do his best to truly represent the people of Brazil.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Album Review


DWELE

It’s that old cliche that almost always gets used to describe talented Soul/R’n’B singers but there is no other way to describe Dwele’s voice other than saying it is as smooth as butter. The words just slide out of his mouth with no strain, just pure passion. His new album combines the contemporary with elements of classic soul which is shown by the way he sings in and around the beat rather than adhering to the conventions  R’n’B dictates.

Dwele’s approach to both songwriting, production and delivery have an authenticity that many mainstream artists can’t seem to match. His new album ‘W.ants, W.orld, W.omen’ contains no hegemony or egocentricsm, instead, it is rich with beautiful lyrics that reflect Dwele’s personal experiences and desires in life. Although some are more confusing to understand than others such as ‘I wanna’ but that might just be me?

Despite the overall sound of the album being easy to listen to there is an off putting undercurrent namely the explicit promotion of a particular denim brand that is dotted throughout the album. It seems silly to ruin what at first appears to be a genuine singer/songwriter’s album but I guess promoting this brand will line Dwele’s pockets just in case the album doesn’t. Despite not being admirable, its understandable. Dwele has been the victim of never making it to the mainstream, he has always been on the outskirts looking in but with this album he might just make it.