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Made in Shoreditch

I also contribute a weekly column to Made in Shoreditch magazine called 'Old East End/New East End', where I look at the relationship between the East End of old and new, looking at the changes and the stalwarts in landscape, residents and culture, focussing on one street or district each week. You can find it here.

Messi - The Genius

Friday, 29 April 2011

The word 'genius' is bandied round far too often these days for my liking. In every field (especially pop music) there's always a new one. The truth, however, is that there's very few ever, let alone today. In sport it is my view that there are two. As a snooker player, when he is in the mood, Ronnie O' Sullivan is one. He is,in my view - others are available, the greatest player to ever grace the table.

Sport's other great genius - one who incidentally seems to always be in the mood - is Barcelona's Lionel Messi. Say what you will about the ref the other night (I personally thought the sending off was warranted as the tackle was dangerous, coming in with studs showing, over the top of the ball), nobody can deny that Messi's second goal was pure genius.

Messi - A true genius

Jinking his way through 5 or 6 Real defenders, Messi slotted home with the kind of beauty and yet humility I've never seen. When I was a small child I was in awe of Zinedine Zidane, Messi, however, is even better.

Without Lionel, the other night probably would've ended in a drab draw. With him, it had two goals, one of which must go down as one of the best ever.

5 of the Best - Roads

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Kerouac's most famous (and probably best) book was about them, many of us spend our lives on them and they also rhyme with toads (to be honest I couldn't think of anything else to say). Here's 5otB to do with roads...

Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street: The only time I think a sax has been necessary in a song. This one about the very famous stretch in London where Sherlock used to run around with his magnifying glass is an absolutely classic song.

Baker Street

The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother: In the main part this song isn't necessarily about any particular highway, however, the song would be nothing without the opening gambit "The road is long, with many a winding turn". Very emotive song and also a classic.

Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited: Yet another classic and the title track from what is maybe Dylan's best album (it's probably too hard to pick though). P.J. Harvey's cover is very interesting also.

2-4-6-8 Motorway

Tom Robinson Band - 2-4-6-8 Motorway: I bloody love this song so much. Keep on truckin'. The riff is so simple it's almost moronic, that however is a major factor in the song's brilliance. A quick mention must go to its appearance on the hilarious 'Margit' episode of Only Fools and Horses.

Willie Nelson - On the Road Again: Fantastic song with a touching lyric about Nelson's love of life on tour. You can't help but tap your toes to this one.

Spurs All But Out, Chelsea v United

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

I watched that Spurs game last night and I was quietly smug. Not because I dislike Spurs, I have next to no feelings for them, but because it highlighted exactly what I thought about their place in Europe's elite.

While beating the Milan teams may have been seen by many as confirmation of their arrival as a club of European status, for me it just underlined how far backward the Italian league has gone. Spurs, however, when faced with a real European giant crumbled. They are not able to handle the Ronaldos, Marcelos or even Adebayors (OK maybe not him, good service can do a wonderful thing for average strikers)of this world.

Two clubs who can compete at this top level, however, are Man United and Chelsea (as painful as it is to admit the latter). Tonight we will see two genuine contenders slugging it out for a semi-final place and I, for one, cannot wait. To be honest, I think the Blues will do it (and that is a horrible thing for a QPR fan to have to admit). But it won't be by much.

In other news Bibio has a new record out and my review of it should be up by tomorrow at some point, oh, and the R's are going up! 3-0, what a result.