Monday, July 24, 2017

Remembered My Password!

Wow. It has been such a long time since I posted on this and so much has changed since then. I really used to enjoy writing it but it seems 'adulting' quickly got in the way... But here goes nothing.



If I were to be a musical artist I'd be Soom T. She mixes Asian influences from classical folk to bhangra with reggae and hip hop. She can rap with the best of them and the cherry on the top? She has an awesome Scottish accent. I've not seen her perform live except for an appearance on the odd YouTube video but I have asked her to perform in Manchester at some point in the future and she said she would! The album 'Ode to a Carrot' is a must for the summer months and you can find the whole thing online.


I heard this song for the first time and was instantly hooked. It was literally on repeat for days and it's the kind of song that can change with your mood from making you dance like a crazy person to a contemplative journey on a train. Dark Dark Dark are an American folk band - using all of my favourite instruments including the accordion! I'll be honest I'd never heard of them until I started to watch the BBC drama 'Thirteen' about a girl that was kidnapped as a teenager and her escape from her captor. If you haven't seen the series you really should give it a watch. It's very good but I can say the ending was fairly disappointing.


What a gorgeous voice Valerie has. It's a cross between country and soul. This album is one of my current favourites. I don't think I've ever heard an American artist with such a distinctive voice for a very long time. The whole album is worth a listen and if this title track doesn't inspire you to do that you and I can no longer be friends...


If you are feeling in a bit of a slinky mood the original version of Love Buzz is the song you must listen to. Obviously the cover by Nirvana is amazing and it was only on a trip down grungy memory lane that I came across the original. It is so of it's time... basically a mad 60's trip. It's been sampled by so many people including The Prodigy that you feel like you know it anyway.



I heard this on one of the Pirate Reggae Radio Stations I sometimes tune into. You honestly find some amazing stuff on the wireless if you ride the dial for a bit. I know people don't really do it these days with so much music on your laptops and phones but there are some gems that you will only find if you are introduced to them by DJ's who really love what they do. This song is great to dance around to but it also makes me laugh lyrically.

So obviously this is the female artist summer edition! I promise it was not intentional! But I hope you enjoy this long overdue post! xx

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Loving 2013


When it is warm, you cannot beat some reggae beats. This is just a fact of life. So let me introduce you to Chris Martin. No, not the guy from Coldplay. I first heard this song in my Dad's car and it made me laugh so much! I still love it now. Other songs to listen out for would be "Paper Loving" and "Beautiful."


I know I always say I have songs on repeat but this one was ridiculous I had it on a continuous loop for over two weeks and I am still not bored of it. It's one of those songs that are perfect for a journey on public transport. All you need to know about Lorde: she is from New Zealand, only a teenager and a brilliant song writer. 


I prefer the non-remixed version of this song but for Summer this Wankelmut Remix is a lot better. Lyrically, simple. Musically, intelligent. He is a great live performer and really captures the sentiment of each song he writes. I don't know why he reminds me so much of Daryl Palumbo of Head Automatica/ Glassjaw. 


I accidentally clicked shuffle on my phone and was greeted by this old favourite of mine. Since that day, I have been listening to this album far too much. So it seems Balkan folk music is most certainly my thing. This is the song I am going to set our California 2013 trip video footage to. So excited. If you have never listened to Beirut please start by listening to their first album from which this song comes from. 


A band I knew little or nothing about but, having gone to one of thier gigs at Gorilla in Manchester a few days ago, I am a convert. The style is almost dream-pop like? Do you know what I mean? Ambient and mystical. Definitely worth giving them a listen whilst reading a book and sipping on a diet coke! 

Well there are plenty more I could add to this list but I don't want to bore you! I will be writing an exclusive I got from a certain MR DJ DEREK in my next post. So please keep your eyes peeled. And apologies for not posting for so long!! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Blues Revival...


It's probably not the kind of music you should start your year listening to but most of you know I have a strong appreciation for musical storytelling, especially when there is a sad story to tell. The story of Mr Frank is quite an extraordinary one.... 

His life was as tragic as any bluesman, his songs laced with melancholy and simplistic honesty. Whilst researching him I found that there had been many dark turns of fate which brought to life his lyrical genius.  Through his misfortune his talent was born, he learnt how to play the guitar after being badly burned in a school fire. Following a substantial compensation settlement he left America in 1965, for less sunnier climes here in the UK. 

He arrived in the midst of the British folk revival where he influenced, and was influenced by an impressive list of musicians including Paul Simon (who produced Mr Frank's first and only album.) Upon trying to record his second album he developed writer's block, with money running low he returned to the USA. Along this journey he married a former fashion model and lost his son to cystic fibrosis. 

What followed was a rapid downwards spiral - childhood scars burned, disappointment and mourning wept, a shot to the eye left him blind, homelessness on the cold streets of New York ensued and all roads led to mental illness.

In the early 90's - Jim Abbott- an admirer of Frank's work tried to help him record a new album but the songs they cut were not the glorious return to form either of them had expected. His life experiences had wore thin the voice that made him special. Jackson C. Frank died in March 1999 from pneumonia and a heart attack.  

A special album including the 'newer' material he recorded is what I am now in possession of. My favourite 'newer' Frank song would have to be "Halloween Is Black as Night." It has a brilliant despondency and sounds remarkably like a Leonard Cohen song, only much darker and more desperate than Cohen has ever been.   

My favourite songs with a 3 word review: 
    1. MARLENE - blissful folk lovesong
    2. HERE COME THE BLUES - traditional raw blues
    3. PRIMA DONNA OF SWANS - beautiful lyrical imagery

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Reggae and Clarks Connection.

We all did it; stood on a wooden block feeling all disgruntled while a “nice lady” measured our feet. She’d run off to the back to get three boxes of exactly the same patent black shoes with a little buckle to the side. They were reliable, durable and perfect for anyone under the age of five, well of course they were; they were Clarks.

 At that age you wished they didn’t fit or that your parents were cooler so you could have the awesome shoes, you know the ones… with the red lights that flashed as you walked. Those weren’t just any school shoes they were the super cool, super amazing, wow your friends and strut a little school shoes. But nope, your evil parents would insist on the sensible ones that they thought were cute, they’d aww and talk about how quickly you were growing up and if you mentioned those light up beauties you’d be told they were for boys, like that would stop me wanting them. Please! 

If only at that age I had realised that in Jamaica not only would I have been at the height of fashion with my Clarks kicks on but I might even have gotten into some bother with the Police. Yes, you read that right. Okay, maybe not at five years old but add 20 years and make me a man and there might have been a problem.....

So what is Jamaica’s love affair with traditional Clarks shoes? Well mostly a love of UK goods. In the late 50’s and early 60’s there was a massive wave of immigration from the Caribbean and Clarks became a shoe of choice for people when they arrived. Going home in them was a revelation and a pair of shoes became the perfect gift from loved ones residing in the UK.

Clarks opened up a store in Kingston when they cottoned on to this new untapped market and things got crazy. It was the boots that the Jamaican boys were after, they were expensive but if they were going to have them they would have to be Clarks. The shop sold 400 pairs in 5 days which meant they sold out!

But the people who were buying them weren’t just boys they were Rude Boys. I guess you could liken their reputation to that of a Chav. The shoes had become a status symbol amongst them, like Zoot Suits for Italians in America. As the shoes became an important part of the Rude Boy uniform they also became a method of establishing “troublemakers” by the police. In a bid to crack down on fights and bad behaviour most clubs in Jamaica wouldn’t allow anyone wearing them in!

A ban on imports made them more desirable as they were harder to get a hold of which meant trips to the UK to bring them back began again and even now they are still the footwear of choice for anyone whose anyone!

In the modern day, it’s not much of a surprise to see an elderly Jamaican man wearing a pair of Clarks shoes but if you ask him about his life and his dress sense over the years,  I’m sure he’d have a few interesting stories to tell.  

Here’s Vybz Kartell showing his appreciation of the brand we rejected aged 5: 

Inspired by a Newsnight news package.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Forgive me, for I am only human...

I have been threatened by my trustee followers that they will no longer follow this blog unless I actually post something. So let me start by apologising for my absence, times have been busy, stressful, exciting and ever changing but these are not excuses.

Instead of reflecting on what I have been listening to, watching and craving from the fashion weeks that seem so long ago, I will give you a slice of three things I love.



Her debut album “Ashes” was thrown into my life by chance and I was not disappointed. Florence and the Machine worshippers may tune their ears to Kyla’s vocals and rejoice in a folkier/goth version of the Welch master!  

The album itself is quite a mixed bag. One thing I think it lacks is continuity – even the vocals sound different on each track – but I think that makes for a charming listen. You move from the anthemic vibes of “Been Better” to the grass roots folk (similar to Frazey Ford) on “Woke up Dead” to the quirks of Americana on “The River.” It’s a bit of a rollercoaster but give the girl a break, it’s her first album! For me, it has been the perfect accompaniment to these dark nights – be that on the tram ride home from work or a night in, in the pod. For anybody who appreciates a bit of drama and darkness, this is your album.
Above is my favourite. 


For the past few months I have been pawing my way through magazines and eyeing up beautiful black lace dresses. Lace is such a difficult thing to wear – you can end up looking like your dressed for Halloween, as a widow, a Goth or just really cheap and tacky. But there is something about the fabric that is both elegant and sexy. It’s been worn by many a celebrity this winter already and was a big hit for Dolce and Gobanna on the runways in Milan this year. So I finally did it, I purchased myself a full sleeved lace dress with a high neckline. I’ll be honest, it did look more Goth than hot but I liked it anyway. For once in my life I decided to go for a trend I wasn't sure would suit me and I didn't die or anything, so maybe I’ll take a fashion risk again at some time!   


I am obsessed. For anyone who works in a newsroom this is a must. I felt so pained waiting for the weekly episodes to be aired that I waited until they were all recorded on sky plus and watched them in one sitting. Then I watched them all again the following week! Characters, plotline and scriptwriting was all impeccable. I laughed at least once in every episode. The thing I loved most was that I realised just how exciting my job was and that I could liken the characters to people I know. The programme blurred the line between tv drama and reality by using real life events and showed how newsrooms in America might have dealt with them. One of my trusty friends also revealed that one of the characters “Mackenzie” was based on a BBC Newsnight producer, which explained why the fictional programme had the same name!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer loving with a sprinkle of rain...

.... here is a soundtrack to the past few months: I'll add the words later!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The comeback kids....

You have to love those artists that just leave you hanging for a few years and then come back with some incredible material. Okay, we don't get many of them... but this year it looks like it's about to change....


It has been three years since her last album and I am so glad to find that she hasn't lost her sense of self in her new material, like so many others do.I am actually really loving the fusion of old and new! If anything I'd say her sound has developed and with maturity the impact and impression she leaves lasts a hell of a lot longer. I really love this new song and if you haven't listened to any of her other stuff please do....


First of all let me say what an amazing video this is! I really did love The Shins back when I was in college and I think it has been close to five years since they last released anything! Times may have changed since the original band were on the scene but now with a few new members the quality of this track just speaks for itself and I'm sure it'll have a place on most people's playlists! You can't deny yourself a sexy power-pop riff!