Sunday, 28 November 2010

Knowledge Reigns Supreme


AKALA

Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone. yes. KRS ONE.


Profound, spiritual, articulate and cutting edge UK talents Lowkey and Akala literally blew the roof off the British Library on Friday evening. Performing music that goes against the grain, dives in deeper, acknowledges the unacknowledged and criticises the critics rang through the the ears of over 800 listeners in one of the UK's most well known establishments.


For these artists have something to say about our apathetic, wag-inspired nation. They have faced corporate opposition, who try to silence them and squander there presence, yet they simply will not go unheard. Referring to Hip Hop as a movement rather than a soundtrack, both Akala and Lowkey use music as a vehicle towards freedom, telling their listeners to think outside the box they have already been told to think outside of.



“If TV don’t play me no more just you tube me”. Akala is an artist who genuinely doesn’t give a FUCK about being in the mainstream or about making mega cheddar. And this isn’t an idea he projects purely for underground success. He faults and resents the media for fuelling and then enhancing everything negative about the world. Yet he doesn’t patronise his listener, he simply informs and shares his beliefs and this is why his connection with the audience is so profound. It seems he too has fallen victim to the glossy and unrealistic lifestyle that the great British public blindly pursue and now he can see its translucence and wishes to share his findings. Citing the history of Egypt and Africa and spitting lyrics on Mesopotamia, world famine, social norms, stereotypes and other mainstream artist's influence on young people are reasons why Akala is an intelligent force to be reckoned with and one that should NOT go unheard.



Tuesday, 16 November 2010

X factor is starting to do my HEAD IN



Yes, I know a few weeks back I was waffling about the merits of X factor but oh my cod it is annoying. For several reasons, but mainly,I find it a challenge to watch due to the copious amount of advert breaks that pop up every 3 minutes. It is so irritating! How many times do I have to see Dermot's creamy circular head tell us to "not leave the sofa for 5 mins". ARGH. Also the flashy flashy lights on the stage are starting to do my nut. I mean, the camera will be focusing on fat Mary's head and then suddenly boom the camera is at the back of the audience making Mary look tiny. It's like watching a lightbulb flicker, with the amount of camera angles and bright lights. I think I've genuinely had enough. Also the "return" of Take That was painful. Five fat gits humming along to the droniest wetwipe of a song, I actually would prefer to watch paint dry.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Forgot how beautiful this video was check it out.....

Thursday, 11 November 2010

So excited about seeing Twickenham's finest Mystery Jets this evening. There quirky, synthy europop sound is sure to go down a treat in Camden's Roundhouse whilst there groovy 80's attire shall visually stimulate.

These sessions filmed in a grand house in Hammersmith and in keeping with there sultry, pastel coloured album artwork are also well worth checking out!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Jools Holland the BEST SHOW ON THE BOX

I've just watched Jools Holland and am currently buzzed from Tinie Tempah's performance "Pass Out". I've never really been a fan of his or his ubiquitous music however his live band and badboy attitude was epic! Plus his lyrics amuse me "I'm about to be a bigger star than my mum thought"it's funny stuff!

My change in opinion is all down to Live With Jools Hollands ability to convert people. If it's on Jools Holland than a) it must be live and b) it must be credible. Midlake, Bryan Ferry and Tinie Tempah all on the melting pot of Jools Holland could have been a recipe for disaster however it just always seems to work on Jools. It is the one show that can drastically cross genres but still be so appealling to the masses. It caters to the broadest audience thanks to its willingness to open doors to some of the most diverse and amazing artists. For me, my favourite ever Jools Holland performance was from India Arie singing "I am Ready For Love" whilst Jools accompanied on keys. Unbelievably beautiful and mesmerising.
From legendary names to up and coming acts Jools holland always wins.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

BEYONCE THE ULTIMATE


For me, Beyonce is everything you could ever want in a commercial popstar. Her flawless talents are undeniable and her catchy tunes are loved by everyone from the coolest kids to your grandma. But what makes her so super duper? Maybe it’s her ability to charm and completely captivate an audience. Seeing Beyonce live was a life- changing moment for me. There was something about Beyonce’s live show that left me wanting to change the way I lived! No joke, it was so incredible that for a while I was convinced that with grit and determination anything in my life was possible. Moreover, I am genuinely charmed by her modest demeanour which I feel is authentic and rooted from years of hard graft and I genuinely believe her talents are unmatched by other contemporary performers living in the mainstream. Yes Gaga is avant-garde and yes Rihanna is entertaining but neither of them embodies the self-determination and flawless drive that Beyonce oozes. Beyonce manages to not only deliver an entertaining and effortless performance but for a split second can hypnotize an audience into believing that the world is an amazing place and that everyone can accomplish their potential. Need convincing? Go and see her live and you will concur. Forget Obama, Beyonce is a better qualified candidate to earn the catchphrase “yes we can”.



Monday, 25 October 2010

Coolest Musicians



I bought NME the other day solely to see who they had crowned as the coolest person in music 2010. I often buy NME and find myself tearing my hair out at the contradictory crap they write. If you didn’t know already the winner was.....Laura Marling!!?! OMG.
Reading's palest export was labelled as the coolest musician in the world. I get her whole "I make music for me and not the mainstream" and I do genuinely enjoy her sultry folky sound however I wouldn’t say she was cool. I mean yes she is probably cooler than me but not the coolest musician in the world. And to make matters worst the outfit she was pictured in was a sort of primark creation that my mother wouldn’t even wear. I'm not dissing her solely through her choice of clothes however if you are going to make a cool list this has to be taken into consideration!



Nicki Minaj ooozes the cool factor.

Stevie Wonder inspired Janelle Monae in 2nd position was a pleasant surprise as NME tend to ignore or under estimate artists such as her plus the mention of effortlessly cool female rapper Nicki Minaj at number 42 was a big look for the mag. However, in terms of cool people, NME need to realise that indie musicians on the whole tend not to be very cool with the whole "oh yes they look geeky but they are actually really cool" premise being questionable. Don't get me wrong, indie music is great but the idea of cool, for me, is not defined by skinny jean wearing Shorditchites. That is sort of like covering a tesco own brand doughnut with a krispy kreme label, we would believe the donut tasted exceptional because we would believe it was from krispy kremes (mmmmmm donuts). Now think of that analagy in realtion to the idea of cool. Are we just thinking these indie bods are cool because we have being tricked into believing manipulative music mags hold the truth. Surely "cool" should be something inherent?


For me, 2010 coolness is mainly in the charisma and stage presence of artists commonly found on the urban side of the game. I seldom describle indie bands as cool, trendy and fun yes, cool no. With respect to NME they did touch on this with a mention of Skream and Giggs and Jay Z and Kanye West. Legendary Musician Paul Weller the godfather of the mods was a necessary credible selection and no one can deny the impact Carl Barat has had on the current rock/pop scene thus making his place in the list understandable. However, I just found there was a distinctive lack of DJs or just actual cool people mentioned. Where was Ms Dynamite, Joker, M.I.A, ?uestlove, Mos Def, Grooverider,Big Boi,Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, ... or in terms of the non urban crew Jamie T, Matt Bellemy, Mystery Jets, Flying Lotus, Santogold, Kings of Leon, Neil Young, Pete Doherty or they could of even just play it safe with a Mick Jagger/ Morrissey shout. These people live and breathe what it is to be cool! Even a post Strictly Come Dancing Goldie would have been better suited to the title. A drum and bass heavyweight who was willing to dance on a prime time show whilst wearing latex surely deserved a big up!



For me, my personal number one would be.....GEORGE MICHAEL (no joke). He is openly a proper dope fiend with a sex addiction plus he is a musical genius. He is currently in prison after being in a hemp fuelled state and driving into happy snaps. Could he be any more cool if you tried?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

When did cool artists become uncool?!


Well these days of being unemployed do have some perks. I can watch you tube all day. I know this could be thought of as slightly depressing and your thinking "oh get a life" but for me, whilst its freezing outside its great! Anyway, whilst whittling away the minutes I noticed that Dizzee Rascal East Londons finest grime king has done a duet with Shakira and is set to guest on Cheryl Cole's Album. LAME. What's next? Jay Z and Subo? Fleetwood Mac and Mcfly? Oh it hurts me to imagine such a thing. I mean I was reasonably sad after hearing Florence and Dizz take to the stage together at the Brits last year but I got over it, however Shakiria! Bloody hell.

This isnt a moan about Shakira I mean I quite like her non-lying hips, it's just I thought Dizz wouldn't make a mistake like this. I thought his "bonkers" tune was pretty alright and "Boy in Da Corner" is cracking. Why must talent sell out all the time?

Kings of leon...back to being Kings of pop (lame)



The new Kings of Leon album is GREAT and this makes me genuinely happy. I think the reason it makes me happy is that I have managed to avoid seeing there moody little faces for a good few months. Normally I would read the reviews in NME and watch them on crappy MTV interviews but this year I'm not doing it! I've already had months of hating them after Cowell used "Sex is on Fire" in X factor and introducted a credible band to the most ignorant audience ever. So now I am going to judge the Kings of Leon on my own thank you very much.

The album opens with a stomper. That's the only consistent thing about the Kings of Leon, there first track always blows me away. Think "Knocked up" on "Only by the Night" and "Slow Night So Long" on "Aha Shake" and the same goes for "The End" on "Come Around Sundown". It's just very emotive and seems to leave me on the brink of tears (but in a good way). The rest of the tunes seem to go down a similar path, Caleb is singing about chums and old lovers (Mi Amigo and Pick Up Truck). However, due to me downloading this using wacko pirate bay all the track names are wrong and therefore this review is invalid. All I can say is, don't give up on the Kings of Leon and give this album a shot!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Go Cher Lloyd


Go Cher Lloyd!

Yes that's right haters. I'm backing Cher! and yes I know her choice of facial expressions are sometimes scary (well it is nearly Halloween after all!)and she wouldnt be out of place on one of those Louis Theroux meets crystal meth documentaries, but I feel she has real swagger (yes I'm from Twickenham and I just used that word) and a confident charm that keeps me watching the X. Her first audition was SHIT HOT and I'm not going to be a fair weathered fan, I shall support her through it all!

As for fatty boom boom Mary, I feel it is time for her to head back to the bakery isle at tescos. Yes she can sing and yes it is sweet seeing her all dolled up and glamourous on a saturday night but I feel that is enough now and off she should go. Oh and don't get me started on ex-Peado... I mean ex-P.E teacher Wagner. He is painful and I hope never to witness such a butchered version of a Tom Jones track ever again. and I don't even like Tom Jones! My "dark horse" in the words of Si would have to be John Adalaya or whatever his name is. What a genuninely nice chap who managed to sing his song without making me cringe. As for Treyc....sort it out love! The fact she spells her name like a skateboarder is enough for me to wince!
video
Here I nearly get a strike in a bowling video from pompey 2007!

BESTIVAL 2008


Bestival 2008 (yes i know it is a little late!)


Living in the pretty drab city of Portsmouth does have a few perks, one being its location, in particular its closeness to the weirdo infested isle of white. Bestival was a festival that I had heard so much about as my bests friends had gone last year and “had the best time ever”, always seems to be the “best time ever” when I’m not included.. cheers guys. Anyway, like any event nowadays, we bought our bestival tickets about 9 months prior to the festival so by the time it arrived we had forgotten all about it and were completely unprepared. My mate Caz who had gone last year kept telling me that “in the history of bestival it had never rained” and that contrary to popular belief the “isle of white had its own weather” and even after extreme weather warnings she was reluctant to by a pair of wellys. Thankfully she did because as soon as we touched down on the Island it started to piss it down. We had arrived at the festival and were now awaiting the search and the thing we were all dreading the most…. the sniffer dogs. Me and my friends were terrified of sniffer dogs. I don’t know whether it was a drug induced paranoia or due to watching too many episodes of banged up abroad but we were all nervous as hell whilst we waited…. However all the effort of stuffing marijuana into shower gel paid off and we all made it… chuffed. The general consensus was to put our tents up first regardless of the pissing rain. Oh how I resented those types who had put their tent up like a pop up book. Me and my mate Char had the most old skool tent out of our gang. We had to feed the rods through the middle, clip the edges, hammer the nails in what felt like cold shower. Once the tent was finally up we jumped inside and it wasn’t for a good ten minutes that I realised my bag was sat outside of the tent drenched. I waved goodbye to any dry clothes or warmth. It was at this point that it felt like we were filming a budget English version of Lost. AND this was before I had even discovered the poo hole that constituted a toilet. However the show must always go on and so did the rain… but after 2 days and a heavy dose of “tent fever” the weather cleared and we managed to leave our paper thin plastic abode. The festival was either covered in mud or a brown poo-like substance you could never tell. On the hike towards the stages I wondered how many people had imagined how good it would have been if the mud was actually chocolate!