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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.

Cut Off

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

I meant to write this post last week, but I didn't. The problem was I only had local access to the internet for a couple of days for some reason. Anyway, the problem's been resolved. You could say I was cut off. Just like poor old Adele.

Well, it was terrible wasn't it? No? No, it wasn't. I'd rather listen to Blur than a girl who, though a lovely singer, when speaking sounds like an extra from TOWIE. It's not just the tone either, the content was moronic. "Ar'm sow praaad to bay British" said the Brit School's most successful alumnus. She went on to talk about "flyin' the flag" and other such Nationalist nonsense and quite frankly, I've never been so happy to see James Corden's otherwise slappable mush appear to cut her off.

Adele, in far more sombre-looking mood

After her snooker hall philosophy had so insightfully enlightened us and Corden had stopped her in her tracks, she gave the finger to some Brits execs (or whoever they were) and 'bowled-it' off, so as to complete the full-on stereotypical East-End barfly image.

What was I then greeted with? Ray Winstone's presentation for Blur's Oustanding Contribution Award. What next? Phil Daniels and Damon Albarn 'bowling-it' down the stage to Parklife arm-in-arm. Oh.

Couldn't they have played more of the Pavement-inspired later stuff? Never mind, Blur deserved that award. Adele, dare I say it, deserved hers. Maybe she should just say thanks and smile next time... Maybe not, though. It wouldn't be Adele would it?

Lovely version of a great song

Anyway, 21 is now a bigger-selling album in this country than Jacko's Bad, so that should console her in her anguish. If not, why not go to the cashpoint and press 'balance' Adele?


Monday, 20 February 2012

New York’s Firehorse present an interesting mix of radio-consciousness and, in fact, commercial savvy withslightly leftfield sonic leanings. Like an amalgamation of the Yeah Yeah Yeahsand Kate Bush, theirs is a sound which fizzles with uber-cool pretensions, but a melodic sensibility that suggests a pop leaning and a love of well craftedcounterpoints.

Lead singer Leah Siegel has thealluring visual aesthetic that could break the band with a mainstream audience(one which, these days, is seemingly obsessed with those that look ‘cool’). Thevideo for new single Our Hearts projectswhat could well be a new ‘star’ in full force as she dances around, glancingeffortlessly with no shortage of sexual appeal at the camera. Her voice sinkswith breathiness at points and swaggers with knowing confidence at others,providing the listener with an interesting mix of part-emotional vulnerability,part-showgirl idiosyncrasies.

Leah Siegel

The deftness of their approach isreally highlighted in the weepy If YouDon’t Want to be Alone, which accompanies an advert for the TopsyFoundation’s advert on reversing the effect of Aids on human lives. This songin particular, with its sparse, reverberated rhythm guitar and call to poignantrationalising could well break the band.

What we seemingly have, then, isa captivating front-woman leading a band with thought-arousing sonic leaningsagainst songs catchy enough for airplay. It seems as if the World really couldbe Firehorse’s oyster.

Our Hearts

Pledge Music

Thursday, 16 February 2012

If you don't know, then get to know about Pledge Music. It's a fantastic site where you, yes you, can pledge money for music projects you deem worthy of your hard-earned. The idea is simple, a trailer or pitch-style video or a bit of blurb explaining what they want to do is uploaded by a Pledge member onto the site and you can buy into it to help fund recording costs etc.

It's not limited to music per se, in fact there are some wonderful trailers for documentaries and the like on the site.

For fees which, in fairness are really not that high, you can own mementos and the like from the projects and the money is used for anything from travel and expenses for the artists, to recording costs.

It's a really great way to cut out the necessity of a major record label and by pledging you can be a part of something that will in turn exist for many years to come; a finished product.

The link for Pledge Music's site is here and to follow on Twitter click here!/pledgemusic and obviously click 'follow' on the page.

What Happened to Oranges at Half-Time?

Monday, 6 February 2012

So, I've just watched the grossly over-the-top Madonna half-time show on Youtube and now need a bucket. Granted, Like a Prayer is a bit of a tune and for a woman in her nineties she looks good, but who cares? That was disgusting. I hate Nicki Minaj and I hate LMFAO and I hate Madonna trying to appease people her boyfriend's/daughter's age by appearing with these people.

American Football is the worst sport ever anyway. It's basically how Wimbledon used to play in the '80s and '90s in our humble little game of Football (watched and loved by everybody except most of North America), only with stopping the clock every two seconds. Get the ball up-top a.s.a.p. and a big lad up there will do the rest with a few shoves.


Anyway, besides the fact that it's a terrible sport with no real discernible point, American Football's major event, The Superbowl, is one disgusting reflection of the ugly, cynical and daft World we happen to inhabit in the West. The half-time show, then, is its coup de grace on Mankind as a whole. The WWE calls itself 'Sports Entertainment', which it is, meaning it's some athleticism with a bit of showmanship and storyline etc. That's fine, I like wrestling because of that. I know what I'm getting. American Football, and especially the Superbowl, is just a fraud.

Madonna's show was a joke. M.I.A.'s petty rebellion - boring. Cee-Lo Green - one trick pony. Nicki Minaj - worthless. LMFAO - what? 'World Peace' in big gold letters on the pitch of the major sporting event of the World's biggest war-mongerers since my ancestry decided to go on a colonisation binge under Vicky - just a bit fucking stupid.


What was the point of all that pseudo-ancient Rome nonsense? Whose idea was it to have Madge cartwheeling in a mini-skirt? The whole thing was just really ugly and shameless and, yes, I've seen the Clint Eastwood advert. What a piss-take. A multi-millionaire telling America to get off its arse basically - kill me now.