Friday, 29 July 2011

Vintage at Southbank Centre

Hi Everyone,

Been a hectic week with a wedding in the office (not literally, it’s on Saturday) and the blogs have fallen slightly by the wayside, apologies.

It’s a pretty big weekend for fashion with Vintage at Southbank Centre taking place. With food, drink, music and fashion from the 1920’s all the way through the 1980’s there should be a little something for everyone. Last year the festival was held at Goodwood and it was an amazing success and initial reports suggest that the Wayne Hemmingway fronted event is on course for another great year.

If the idea of catching Adam Ant and Sandie Shaw isn’t enough for you then we recommend you go check out We Love Vintage in Marquee 28.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s on offer!

Have a great weekend and I’ll be back on Monday after some wedding frivolities.



Friday, 22 July 2011

Mercury Prize Nominees: My Musings

Hi Everyone,

I’ve had a listen to all the entries for the Barclaycard Mecury Prize. As I was listening I realised I was listening for two things, what I like and who do I think will win. Regular readers will now that I enjoy a bit of Adele but I think the commercial success of the album may be held her against her. I think the same can be said of Tinie Tempah, great album but I just don’t get the feeling that the judges will go for it.

On a personal level some of the albums are a bit maudlin I understand that a lot of people like to show emotion through lyrics and the music but it is exhausting listening to sometimes. It meant that Katy B and Tinie Tempah stand out due to the up-tempo nature of the music. The level of production is also notable with Elbow’s orchestral and choral arrangements adding to Guy Garvey’s haunting voice and beautiful lyrics. However, Seldom Seen Kid won in 2008 so I can’t see them winning.

The counterpoint to the mainstream albums is Gwilym Simcock and Ghostpoet, both offering something different from each other and the other nominees. Personally I struggled with Ghostpoet but I don’t think it’s really the type of music that you listen to in the middle of the day. I find myself having to listen really hard to marry the lyrics to the music and in the end I was exhausted as opposed to enjoying the music. Gwilym Simcock hits a soft spot for me because I love a bit of piano action but it may be a little too leftfield for the judges.

I really don’t want to do Metronomy a disservice but I can’t help but hear Mystery Jets when I listen to them, this sullied my enjoyment a wee bit. I would be very surprised if they win.

Everything Everything have produced a good, fun album which I don’t think will win but it’s well worth a listen.

I think my favourite track that I listened too was by Anna Calvi and it’s called Desire. The other tracks were strong too so I think she is in with a good shout.

The collaboration between King Creosote and Jon Hopkins is interesting as I didn’t dislike it I just couldn’t see when I would ever listen to it. The fact there were only seven tracks on the album did make me feel a bit for the artists who had the more traditional number. I think that this has an outside chance purely on the basis I don’t think it has a chance.

James Blake and PJ Harvey are the final contenders. PJ Harvey has won once and been runner up a few times too, so there is no doubt that she writes some quality music. I think that as well written and beautiful the music is I can’t see it winning and I’m afraid it’s not for me. James Blake has had a good year performing at Glastonbury (Jimmy enjoyed it) and releasing his first studio album. Limit to Your Love is standout and his voice betrays his 21years. I can see this winning but again it is not an album that you want to stick on if you want to get your housework done or power through a load of work in the office.

So, where does that leave us… I think the winner will be Anna Calvi!!

I shall leave you with a video that we will be attempting to replicate at an upcoming Original team members wedding!

Have a good weekend!



Thursday, 21 July 2011

Sci-fi Styling

Hi Everyone,

I’m currently working my way through the Mercury Prize nominations so I can’t give a fair comment on this point but I should have finished by tomorrow so I shall offer my musings then.

For today I wanted to show a little bit of my geek prowess. Triggered by the coverage of the end of the 30-year shuttle program, I started thinking about space, science-fiction and its impact upon the present-day products, fashion etc. Now I don’t want to dwell on the technicalities, I’m pretty sure that research and development done by NASA has filtered onto the high street. I want to look how science fiction e.g. 70’s TV shows/films have resulted in style and product development that is now in use.

Let’s kick things off with some Star Wars disco music and then read on.

I want to start with a couple of obvious examples the PADD that was used in Star Trek: The Next Generation (and subsequent series) has obviously inspired the ipad and consequently the Kindle.

Below is a screen cap from Star Trek: Voyager with some of the crew using a tricorder. In effect, a tricorder is mainly used to increase the pace of an episode. So when a team lands on a planet they scan all types of stuff and all of a sudden the crew know the exact location of the bad guys and can find a solution (all within the 44min runtime of the show). My point is the tricorder scans objects you know nothing about and presents you with information. This is now possible through Google goggles and the use of QR codes.

Not all advancements are cool. Below you have Lieutenant Uhura looking amazing while she interprets communications from, well whoever she wants (hopefully not phone hacking). Not all users can look this good though as hands free communication device is now used mainly by idiots who walk around thinking that they are riding the crest of the technological wave.

Fashion has also been influenced by sci-fi with varying degrees of success. Firstly let’s have a fail. Fern Britton doing a Princess Leia, granted she could have attempted the ‘Return of the Jedi’ bikini which would have been a shambles but the dress was not a great idea.

Secondly we look at an amazing film, Fifth Element. Not exactly quotable (Leeloo Dallas, multi-pass) but the Jean Paul Gaultier costume design is iconic. Mila Jovovic looks incredible too. Rihanna (or her stylist) obviously appreciated the style and adopted it for the 2009 American Music Awards. Excellent work all round.

We would be in error not to mention Lady Gaga, the easiest parallel to draw is Locutus of Borg (Star Trek: Nest Generation) and her outfit from the Alejandro video.

It just goes to show that fashion really does take inspiration from all places as with all things in life there will be some successes and fails but I'm just glad that geekdom is a source at all!

If the trend continues I’d like to see where we are in 20years time perhaps we’ll be adopting trends and styles that shows are championing now. If so, I would like a giant boxing robot from Real Steel.

I’m going to sign off with a cute piece of artwork of R2-D2 doing a Banksy.

Back Soon



Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Originals On Tour - Tallinn, Estonia

Hi Everyone,

So we had an extra-curricular activity recently which involved us playing on a cricket tour against the Estonian national team. In the process of the weekend we wore some pretty fetching outfits.

Me and Paul looking dapper before the first match (which we lost heavily).

Me rocking a bowtie as Tallinn deserves maximum effort.

Always enjoy a little bit of street art.

I do like my animals so here are a selection of Tallinns finest.

That’s all for now, be back later in the week.



Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Summer Highs and Media Lows

Hi Everyone,

Having major issues with my computer today which has made me a wee bit grumpy, this may be reflected in the content of my blog. Fair warning.

I want to start with some positives, firstly, the amount of colour that people are wearing at the minute is great. I remember getting the tube over the winter and it did appear that many people were mourning the loss of the sun as the colours were sombre and styles were practical. The changing of the seasons has changed the attitudes and the summer wardrobes are being accessed.

Highlights I have witnessed whilst biking around town include brightly chinos (men and women) and animal print jumps suits (just women). A few pics below, not mine though as I can’t bike and take photo’s at the same time.

I also re-discovered an old tune the other day that I thought I would share. It popped on in the office and there was some proper Cheshire cat grins all round.

Something that is bugging me at the minute is the media. I am aware of the slight irony in complaining about media via social media but I’ll explain my points. I checked out a website the other day and apparently two ‘stars’ of The Only Way is Essex, who each recently had new nose jobs have split up. If you dropped your coffee because of the news, I’m sorry, I should have warned you in advance. Why is this news? Why am I being told this? Does anyone really care? I will, obviously not be aware of all the factors in this equation but it appears that this show and other ‘star’ shows e.g. Katona, Price, Hilton, Kardashian... have the sole purpose of telling us things that we don’t need to know. It also doesn’t help that they are so heavily scripted that it’s not even reality. So these people are acting at being themselves for the entertainment of the public.

The main factor is money, but where does it come from? Katona was supported (they paid for her house) by her management agency as she is bankrupt. They then make their money by filming her life and selling it to the TV stations who can then sell the advertising slots. The ‘stars’ also cash in via exclusive magazine deals, which inevitably will mislead you with a headline and then show some pictures of the ‘star’ in a new manufactured situation, more non-information.

Then there is the beautiful situation of an agency being responsible for a number of the ‘stars’ who then have relationships which breakdown when a new book/show/product is released. I feel like I’m watching the most ridiculous puppet show in the world and I’m paying via my time and consequently my anger. Which of course brings me on to my role, if I care so little why am I reading and writing about it? I do hate myself for it, I am justifying it by believing that I can stop other people from being taken in these non-celebs so that they eventually disappear and TV stations can focus on spending time, money and other resource on better TV, real actors and quality journalism.

I am partly to blame for the existence of such ‘stars’ as I do look at the websites in the hope that I will find something that interests me e.g. new film trailers, festival info etc. By using these sites they have an increased number of site visits, the site becomes popular and they require more information to satiate the world’s desire for more information. There can’t be that many things happening at any one time so other stories are required and the ‘stars’ are there to fill the void.

At least in this case the damage is limited to extending or creating an undeserved celebrity status. The desire to satisfy national media is somewhat different and the actions are ultimately (and allegedly) more perverse. The phone hacking situation that has been rumbling along for a while has exploded. Very few eyebrows were raised when a few MP’s and celebrities had their phones hacked. Perhaps it was because they got a large payout or perhaps it was the fact we (the public) believe that as they are public figures that we owned them anyway. However, the new allegations of hacking of the publics’ phones whilst they are undergoing turmoil are causing uproar. In some cases police investigations may have been compromised. Other (read as ‘the competitors’) media response will increase the pressure against News International For example, here is a screenshot from the homepage of News International newspaper ‘The Sun’ and here are the homepages of other news outlets. It may be tricky to see, but suffice to say 'The Sun' doesn't seem to think the story is high priority.

Whilst all this happens, the editor at the time Rebekah Brooks undertakes some ‘Matrix Style’ bullet dodging. The idea that the editor was unaware of the actions of the staff is beyond ridiculous but perhaps I am looking for a scapegoat, ignorance is not an excuse. I think worse revelations and allegations will appear shortly so it may get a bit messy.

I have ended up ranting more than I expected, whoops. I do feel like I’ve gathered my thoughts so brace your selves for a succinct conclusion.

The actions of the press and other media to meet the requirements of the public have changed due to the advent of the internet. As we search for up-to-date coverage, new stories and further information we have created a demand that the media has not been able to meet without taking part in questionable actions. In some cases this results in the generation of ‘stars’ and exploits manufactured situations. In other cases this results in plagiarism, illegal phone hacking and contempt of court. In my case I think I am more annoyed by the fact that I feel that media has enough power to consume my time on things that are so obviously banal. This means that I need to be better at resisting such stories and/or need to accept that the make-believe lives of people of limited ability are interesting enough to warrant time in the public domain.

In order to lighten the mood and as a thanks for reading here is a picture of a pug surfing.



Monday, 4 July 2011

Originals On Tour

Hi Everyone,

The last week saw the Originals Team take a little time off so it was a bit quiet on the blog front last week. We are now back so here are a few of the pics from our excursions.

Jimmy ventured to Glastonbury to sample the delights of pitching in the wet (that sounds a bit saucy but it really wasn’t).Highlights included the Wu-Tang Clan, Tinie Tempah and The Chemical Brothers. Jessie J failed to impress, I think that the broken foot was to blame so we won’t hold it against her. Jimmy had the privilege of meeting and having some facial hair chat with the big man himself Michael Eavis!

Group Hug

Random Flag Action

King of the Castle

Lord of the Dance

Next stop is the London Festivals!!

Unlike Jimmy I had the pleasure of visiting the South of France for some beach/food/chilling action.

The fashion and music news from Nice is as follows:

Fashion – Ok, so I feel like I should quantify this next section. I am fair skinned, there isn’t much between me Casper the friendly ghost (see below), so due to being fair skinned I have avoided the sun since I was young.

Consequently I haven’t been to the beach in a while, my expectation was that there would be a lot of cool, well dressed beach folk, I was mistaken. There were a lot of banana hammocks on show and plenty of topless-ness too. I can safely say that the beach fashion articles in all the magazines are currently being ignored for the sake of comfort and nudity. My new saying when it comes to beach clothing is “If you don’t cover it, cream it”. There were some women looking like they had two very tan, leather handbags attached to their chests.

Music – In general, the sprinkling of French music we heard was ok. As with any country you go to there will be some good and some bad. One obvious point is that the budget for French music videos is significantly lower than UK and US counterparts. There were some pretty poor performances but I did see a bit of Ben L’oncle Soul on Taratata, he pretty much owned Pigeon John on this but I enjoyed it, on the whole.

TARATATA N°390 (Tour. le 13/06/2011 / Diff. France 4 le 28/06/11 & France 2 le 01/07/11)

I won’t bore you with any other details but suffice to say it was a great trip to Nice.

I’ll keep my eyes peeled for some interesting stories and I shall report back later in the week.