Sunday, 23 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 21st, 22nd and 23rd February

Hello everybody. Sorry I missed the last couple of days I've been a little busy and it slipped my mind. So here's three songs for you all to make up for my faux pas. I'd like to start with Fridays offering on the 21st I was planning on posting Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit witch is one of the quintessential songs of my youth. I'm of a generation where pretty much everybody owned a copy of Nirvana's album Nevermind some people even owned two. I actually have a theory that a black CD left alone in my room too long will inevitability turn into a copy of Nevermind.

For Saturday I was planning to embrace my 90's Brit Pop heritage with my favorite example of this which is Pulp's Common People. This song is not only one of my favorite songs of all time it was actually how I lived my life for several years with the line "Rent a flat above a shop, Cut your hair and get a job, Smoke some fags and play some pool, Pretend you've never been to school" so it will always hold a special place in my heart.

And finally today's humble offering is something I heard a few weeks back on a TV bite advertising the return of the Walking Dead but this song stood out to me. It is a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revivals classic rock hit Bad Moon Rising by a relatively unheard of band called Mourning Ritual but this version is a very haunting but amazing version of this song.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 20th February

Hello people. Hope you're all enjoying your Thursday. Today's song of the day comes to you from John Murphy one of my favorite movie composers along with John Williams and Hans Zimmer who between them have written some of the greatest and most loved and recognized pieces of music in modern culture. This is one of his greatest pieces in my opinion Adagio in D Minor which was originally composed for and used in the Danny Boyle movie Sunshine but has been borrowed and used by many other films as it is a very emotionally evocative piece of work and that is why John Murphy is one of the true greats. He can write music that taps straight into you emotions and thus makes your whole experiences while watching a movie a lot more immersive and enjoyable for that I truly appreciate his work and would like to post one of his best here today.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 19th February

Hello again loyal followers. Today I was wondering about what song to play and after having a rough and exhausting day at work I just wanted to listen to something that would pick my spirits up. So today's song is something amusing that makes me smile. It's a funny and very clever song by one of the best comedic bands out their Axis of Awesome and one of their amazing new songs How to Write a Love Song. Watch it and trust me it will make you smile these guys are very smart and incredibly talented musicians. I would also recommend that people also have a listen to some of their other works Rage of Thrones and 4 Chord Song are really good too. So enjoy.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 18th February

Hi there folks. I'm back with a new sacrifice to the gods of music. Today my offering is one of my favorite songs by Bastille. I love this band and recently got their album All This Bad Blood which is the reissue of their debut album Bad Blood which features a bonus CD containing a collection of "B Side Singles". Now I've actually always been a bit of a fan of the B Side Single as they occasionally contain sweet little gems. Today song is Poet by Bastille one of these nice little gems. Unfortunately there is no official video for this song yet (as it is a B Side and thus unlikely to receive the funding that the main release songs would get to make a video) so here is the best version of it I could find. But then this isn't about the video is it? It's about the song.



We all remember the amazing melodically voice of MR JOHN NEWMAN from his worldwide hit collaboration with Rudimental. His voice is coming out of every speaker and radio. We all sing with him : " FEEL THE LOVE" and "NOT GIVING IN". This English guy has burst out onto the music scene with his soul/pop/breakbeat style of music and is slowly taking over the world. 

Last year he released his debut album TRIBUTE and singles like "Love Me Again" and "Cheating" took over the UK charts and radio stations. From everywhere you can hear his exquisite music. 

And as lie with any other artist, the release of an album is usually accompanied with a tour. And lucky me, I scored tickets to see him in O2 Academy in Leeds on the 4th February

It all started with two very well chosen supporting acts : the melancholic and folkloric JAMES BAY who bared his heart and soul to the audience and got himself couple more of new fans (me included). During the show I have tweeted him and he tweeted me back and even posted a picture I took on his Instagram page!! So James' voice and guitar, plus his kind heart, won me over. Not to mention that I got a free debut album called DEMOS. 

The second supporting act was LOLO. An american soul singer who treated the audience to very energetic performance with her band. She sung her heart out and hit notes which only Mariah Carey can. She even sung a cover of Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home". 

Mr Newman started his segment of the show with a massive curtain on which there was projected his face. And it moved!! And sung!! What a cool feature. His stage, musicians and back singers where all the picture of retro style which I truly adored. It looked very cool, chic and classy. John went through his whole album's set list with massive amount of energy. He sung, he danced and talked to the audience. Not even once I witnessed to lower down his performance. It was brilliant. Mesmerising. Mind-blowing. And very enjoyable. The whole audience and room was vibrating with energy he created. I couldn't be more happier with his performance. Of course, the best was his take on famous "Not Giving In" which had the whole audience on their feet singing out loud. It was fantastic. 

I have had a very enjoyable and brilliant experience of Newman's musical talent witnessed first hand and would recommend to anyone who gets the chance to see him live, to grab it with both hands and see him doing his magic. 

Well done MR JOHN NEWMAN, What a night!!

Monday, 17 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 17th February

 Hello again readers glad to be back after an amazing couple of weeks since my last song of the day collection. This week I'm going to start with a song I love from one of my favorite modern bands Demons by Imagine Dragons. I love this band and this is one of my favorite songs by them so please enjoy.

Book Review: Bright Young Things

Bright Young Things
By Scarlet Thomas

Well, what can i say! This was one of the strangest books I have read this year. I could really relate with the blurb about being young, educated and in a dead-end worthless position. I was expecting big things from this book. The opening scenes did a great job at grabbing my attention. Six short introductions to each of the characters. After that however, the book bored me. Being kidnapped to a deserted island to live sustainability still, had potential though. But a whole 140 pages (40% of the book), was then given to chatting crap about random stuff such as console games and music from the 80-'s to 1999. Although i knew some of what they were on about, most of it went over my head. I also thought this book was just an excuse to talk crudely and had a weak plot. The scenes tended to jump from a revelation, back to chatting crap. No focus was spent on any of these 'big secret revelations'. It was like chatting crap, BAM rape story, chatting crap, BAM gay sex story, chatting crap, BAM sexual abuse story, back to chatting crap. And all over a game of truth or dare. 

There was a strong sexual tension theme from the offset. All characters seemed to 'pair-up' within the day and without much disagreement of partner. How fitting. The language used in the book i did not think was necessary. It was vulgar and crude at times and brought the book down i thought. Several dialogues discussed topics such as pubic hair, anal sex and genitals in a casual and conversational manner. I'm no prude when it comes to topics like this, but with so little else in the book, it took a leading role. Could the author seriously not think of anything else to discuss. Or did she put this in for the shock/edge factor?

To include such brash and open dialogues, alongside the size of Paul's ginormous sausage, and then skip the only sex scene, where is the consistency! If you're going to be so audacious and relay such high sexual tensions, at least follow it through and give us a juicy sex scene to read. 

The book basically took place over a two-day period. The whole survival aspects were not touched on, nor was the  such as the contents of the stores and cupboards etc. (which interested me) nor did the characters ever seem to acknowledge or realise they were captives for the long-haul. Not once was it discussed. Again another aspect merely brushed past.

The twist in the story was interesting and i must say i enjoyed this part the most. It was pretty much the only action scene in the book.

I did not enjoy the way the book ended. Not only did it end at a strange point that was totally inconclusive, but it also creaped me out. [Spoiler alert] tying a dead body to a boat and sending him out to sea on a boat with a mask over his face, a syringe through his head and a dildo in his mouth? I mean seriously?!!! The revelation of their 'purpose' put the sick twist on the book. You are left to image how things were supposed to happen. This creaped me out. 

The book set up the relationships between the characters to leave with enough to guess where things went afterwards, but to me, this was a story only half told. And not very well at that. 

This book is dated. Those that are up in the 1980's on-wards would get the most enjoyment from it. I wasn't born for another 9 years. 

The title and blurb does not prepare you for the garbage content in this book. Its crude, poorly-plotted and seems like an excuse just to publish another book. Despite it being stupidly easy to read, i did not really enjoy it, nothing really happened, the plot was weak and the story just didn't so it for me. After finishing this book (alone in the house), i stayed up because i was so weireded out by it. I almost went to sleep with the fairy lights on. Its not scary, just twisted. I'm sad to say i will not be recommending this book. 


"If life wasn't going to be like a Hollywood film, there was only one option: fuck life and rent the film instead."

Sunday, 16 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 16th February (Valentine Week Conclusion)

What do Manic Monday by The Bangles, I Feel For You by Chaka Khan and Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O'Connor have in common? They were all written by the same guy, This guy in fact

Ironically enough the song I've chosen by him to end my Valentine Week themed list of favourite love songs is actually a cover and not one that he wrote himself. Strangest thing is though when you hear it you could be forgiven to thinking otherwise. The original was by a wonderful soul vocal group called The Stylistics (probably their most famous song being 'You Make Me Feel Brand New' whereas this is arguably there next best known song). As impressive as their harmonies and vocal range are, personally I think Prince pips them to the post with how well they connect to this song. All five of them too. Just goes to show that strength in numbers is nonsense because this is the most Prince sounding song that Prince has never written.

I think the issue with The Stylistics version is that even though it has a very classic sound and the lyrics are full of overly soulful, cheesy, schmaltz they all seem far too earnest in their performance for this talk mystical talk of conjuring candy land with magical genies, comes off as a wee bit silly. The only way this song can truly work is when the singer either knows how blatantly ridiculous these words are and uses that to fire his performance, or the performer is insanely pretentious and bat-shit crazy enough to try to make every bonkers word as grounded and honest as asking if one would like milk in your tea.

I'll let you decide which.

A rare example in my opinion of a cover trumping the original. Other notable efforts include Metallica's Whiskey In The Jar and Pet Shop Boys Always On My Mind

       The real name of The Artist Formally Known As Prince, formally known as Symbol, formally known as Prince; is actually 'Prince'. Prince Rogers Nelson to be exact. He really must have hated his first name at some point it for him to change it twice
Nothing Compares 2 You was written by Prince about his addiction to smoking. No wonder Sinead got all emotional in the video. Or maybe that was Prince just blowing smoke in her eye
That's the last of my Valentine Week song choices. Hope you enjoyed them.
Bye for now

Saturday, 15 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 15th February (Valentine Week)

There was a time when you couldn't turn a corner in a shopping centre without hearing this bloke singing our ears with 'what you do to meeeee' (which believe it or not, is not even the title of the song). You don't seem to hear it very often of late though, so I'm making the decision to add it to my valentine collection because no matter how much I want to be able to say 'I'm sick to death of hearing this overly sentimental pile of nonsense' I... just can't do it.

Sorry but I really like this song, still.

There have been many attempts to try and recreate the magic of this simple yet overwhelmingly endearing little song but none have succeeded as of yet in my opinion. It's another occasion where the more simple and organic the lyrics are the more you can relate, not even with something going on with you at the moment, more you can relate to the singer and feel real empathy for them. You don't have to have the same experience of a character in a favourite film of yours, but you still like them and empathise with whatever their situation is. I feel the same the way with this song. I'm never going to serenade my girl across state lines and tell her I hope to see her soon once the busking picks up because A) I don't live in the States and B) The constant struggle for cooperation between my right and left hand means I can only manage one guitar chord every 5 minutes, if I'm lucky. Also, if my Delilah is a thousand miles away from me it's probably for a good reason. She should just stay there.


Friday, 14 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay Valentine's Day 2014

Happy Valentine's day, people!

Here's to having a reasonably good day with your loved one and not get getting massacred, by your loved one.

If you have no one to share this with then just think of the amount of money you saved by not having to buy any reasonably expensive cards, presents, chocolates, three course meals the like; take that well earned dosh and treat yourself to something nice. Something that no other half would get you on this day because they would deem it more of a birthday present variety for not being romantic or soppy enough. So go on, it's the weekend tomorrow so a perfect time to get that brand new XBOX game, Rush DVD or those really comfy PJ's that will keep you warm through a raging blizzard but have the sex appeal of the Turin Shroud, even if Aphrodite herself was wearing them.

You're own love for yourself can lift you higher than you would think, what do ya say, Jackie boy?

God I love this song, whether you're in a relationship or not I can't think of a single reason why this wouldn't lift your spirits and plant a bit smile on your face. Jackie Wilson is 'the man; and this song is just one of many that prove his claim to that title. Just listen to that voice and the exquisite structure and execution of this brilliant song. I know it's not considered a classic love song as such but make no mistake; this song is ALL about love. It's about how love can bring the utmost joy and happiness and there are far too few songs that cover that side of the emotional spectrum.

It's just a great song by a great singer and with a great message that we need to remember more in our lives

God bless you Jackie! (and that's coming from an atheist :P)


Cristin Terrill : ALL OUR YESTERDAYS

ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is a thrilling debut written by Cristin Terrill. I have bought this book after seeing a postcard advertising this novel in the cinema. The concept and praise for this book caught my attention.

"Possibly the most addictive book I've read this year. "

"Cristin Terrill's mind-bending thriller is intense, clever and achingly romantic. This is time travel as it should be - exciting and completely unpredictable. A definite must-read." 

"One of the best debuts I've read in a long time. All Our Yesterdays is an unputdownable riot of action, adventure, time travel and romance from start to finish, and is not to be missed. " 

"It's no exaggeration to say that this is the must-read book of the year. Whether you've got to beg, borrow or steal a copy, I implore you to get your hands on it.. This book will keep you up all night reading, as well as the night after that when you'll be re-reading it all over again. " 

This is the only time I am going to quote the concept of the story written on the back of the book as a part of my review. The reason behind is as I couldn't put into better words together to describe what this book is about.

YESTERDAY Marina was safe, privileged, wealthy. She was falling for James - the super brainy youngest son of a very powerful family. Yesterday ended badly.

TODAY Em is in a cell she may never get out of alive. There's a flicker of hope when she talks to the boy in the cell next to hers - and when she remembers who she used to be....YESTERDAY.

TOMORROW Em has a mission. She must escape and travel back in time. She must kill the boy Marina loved - to save her future.

So we have time travel, love story, triller and some dark secrets.. I think we can call it a good recipe for YA novel. What do you think? Well I let you decide for yourself once you read it.

But I will be honest with my opinion about this book. At the start, I have been struggling to get into it. It took me a while to work out who is who and what does it all mean. But once the strings started to make sense, which was about midway throughout the reading, I started to enjoy it. And I knew I am in for a thrilling ride!

Usually with time travel stories, we are trying to stop some world disaster, but this time we are trying to kill the investor of time travelling machine himself! 

All Our Yesterdays is a tale of friendship, love, power, greed, betrayal and the primal instinct of survival. This book is a thrilling and exciting journey. Every time you think you finally know what has happened in the past to cause the disruption of such an important friendship between the three main characters, there is another surprise and twist in store. 

And I felt sad. Sad ... for the main trio! JAMES / Doctor so young and brainy with the mind so dangerous... Heartbroken MARINA / EM, who suffered the worst kind of heartbreak ! And the beautiful, always kind FINN, who loved her until the end.

After I finally understood what is going on and why Em & Finn from the future are trying to kill James, this story became heart-breaking. It's heart-shattering and in the end it leaves you in tears. All the way through, you will pray that Em & Finn would find a way to end it all. You will hope, that James would act differently. That he wouldn't ever invent Cassandra - the evil time machine. The revealing ending had me in tears. The last ten chapters had my full attention... 

Not only this book holds a fascinated story, but it also raises many questions: Would such a quick gain of power change you so much? What would you do in Em's situation? What do you think would be the consequences of discovering that time travel is possible? do you think that time travel would be a positive or negative thing?

This story is very fast paced - easy to follow once you get the hang on it. It keeps you on your toes from start to finish. You will find yourself hooked and not able to put it down. Although it is sometimes very confusing, it's a thrilling story which will keep you fascinated for days and many re-reads to come. 

All Our Yesterdays is a great debut novel. Although there is a mention of a sequel in the back, I think it should be left as it is. But I guess we will have to see.. 

Well done Ms Terrill, you have brought us a very exciting story about love, friendship and time travelling ! Great job! 

Some quotes from this time-travelling adventure: 

“The truth is, the world is a fucked up place sometimes.”

“But progress is always dangerous, isn't it? Most of the time, walls don't get dismantled brick by brick. Someone has to crash through them.”

“I tell her she's beautiful and perfect and she's going to be okay. I tell her she doesn't need to change herself to fit in with shallow girls or to matter to someone. I tell her everything I wish I had ever known. I tell her I love her, and I realize as I say it that I love me, too.”

“Time travel isn’t a wonder; it’s an abomination.”

“Loving someone doesn't ever completely go away.”

“I guess you can never really know what's going on inside another person.” 

“I almost regret having to tell him this. No one should be confronted with the depths of darkness they're capable of all at once.”

“I quickly remember what Finn taught me about how to get what you want from people: pay attention to them, figure out what they want and what they're afraid of.”

“I watch James's face. His expression is an open book to me, because I took the time to learn the language many years ago.”

Thursday, 13 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 13th February (Valentine Week)

Here's another one from the vaults of my deep, dark, pining past that first caught my attention in the early nineties whilst listening to Late Night Love on Pennine FM (now known as the Pulse) and feeling very sorry for my pre-teen, sufferer of unrequited fondness for the opposite sex, self.

This song piqued my interest by having such memorable vocals; full of longing, resolution and being able to sustain the ooo part of 'you' to such extent that it almost becomes subaudible. I loved how everything sounded so genuine and heartfelt; it's the conveys the kind of conversation I would love to have after heavens knows how many years of happy, ups and downs marriage (until the solicitor she's been banging behind my back hands me my marching papers). The lyrics are perfect and the two voices perform beautifully together.

The couple in question are Linda Rondstadt, a the voice of a backing singer that will be heard and a surname that never seems quite right when you say it out loud, and softly softly timbred, T-Hawk from Street Fighter look alike Arron Neville of the Neville Brothers; the not quite so famous Isley Brothers and chances are you probably haven't heard of them either (If you have, then consider the jasmine in mind well and truly blown)

This song has everything; fantastic piano intro and accompaniment throughout, two singers that blend compliment each other like smooth garlic mayo over spicy seasoned chips, touching and poignant lyrics about the love in the 'Autumn Years' and a freaking guitar solo to melt your face off when you least expect it.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME  is a very English novel written by very English Sarra Manning. Now, Ms Manning is well known author and journalist living in London. This book is one of my 'hand-me-down books' as I received from my housemate with words: "You have to read this!" I think she found it one day wondering through charity shops. And what a lucky find it was!!

"We were superglued to the pages of this book, and you'll be hooked too... " HEAT MAGAZINE

I couldn't agree more....

We follow the story of a twenty-five-year-old Neve. Neve has a long-term crush on her previous student advisor, who is currently finishing up his three years long position in California. Neve is certain that William is the love of her life and is doing everything in her power to get a permanent hold on his heart. She lost a lot of weight, she is trying to gain more experience in life... And that brings us to Max. A colleague of her sister's, who is a heart rob and shags everything with a pulse. He is not interested in a long term relationship, but something about Neve gets to him. A them two make a deal. Neve will get the experience she is after and Max will try to find out for himself how it feels to be in a relationship. So they enter into a "pancake" relationship. But of course, we all know that life isn't just one big coincidence and never goes according to plan and it leaves Neve question everything she was so certain about up until now.

Divided in five parts we follow Neve & Max's pancake relationship. This book is just so can't-put-it-down-until-i-am-finish one. You will be clued to it from the start. The reason why is because it so relatable to every girl and woman of every generation. It touches up on the problems and struggles of everyday life with humour and down-to-earth attitude.

Neve is the shy girl who has her nose always in a book. Books are her best friends. She has a crush, a lovely sister and an arch nemesis living in the same place as her. She struggles to interact with people as it's hard for the open up to them. Not the mention her long-term obstacle - her weight. But at the same time, she is the loveliest girl in the world.

Max is the one guy you can find everywhere you go, in every social group, in every office. A heartbreaker who can't keep it in his pants and has a reputation which follows him everywhere. But deep inside he actually has a heart which is desperate to feel loved.

I could not put this book down as I could find so many things similar to my everyday life and struggles. This book is really entertaining. Witty. Modernised. It's engaging and it sweeps you on your feet.

It's a sexy story about finding yourself. We all need to find the value of our personalities and we need to learn to love ourselves as much as we can - otherwise we will never be happy. And this is what this book taught me. The lesson of firstly to love ourselves and the way we look, before we can expect for someone else to love us.

This book is hilarious. Sexy. Exciting. Every girl can find a piece of her in this story. Just a story of ordinary girl with ordinary problems, which gets under your skin and you won't be able to let go. I, myself, spent long lost hours into early mornings reading this book. I find Neve a character I can most relate to in every aspect of my life.

But the best thing I like about this story is not only that at the end they both get their happy ending. But it also showed me that the object of our affection, isn't perfect how we imagined. I hated Will from the first moment he showed himself on the scene. I think he always used Neve and I was feeling sad, that she couldn't see it herself. But I guess, we never do.

 I really enjoyed reading this story and will definitely re-read it in the future.

Finally, a story which we all can relate to one way or another. Thank you Ms Manning for this wonderful english story.

Some of the quotes from the book which can be classed as life lessons: 

“That was the worst thing about having a relationship with someone, even a pretend relationship. You opened up, let someone in, and when it was over, they had all the ammunition they needed to completely destroy you.”

“What you look like is just one part of who you are - but it's not all you are.”

“The thing about love was that it caught you unawares, turned up in the most unexpected places, even when you weren't looking for it.” 

“I suppose the things that you always take for granted, that you don't even notice, are what you miss the most.”

“She was so fed up with unrequited love and platonic love and all the other kinds of love that weren’t passionate, romantic, can’t-live-without-you, I-have-to-have-you-right-now, the-beat-of-your-heart-matches-the-beat-of-mine love.”

“But Neve, you can’t start a book and leave it halfway through,’ he’d said implacably. ‘It’s almost as bad as turning down the corner of the page, instead of using a bookmark.”

“Each kiss was like biting into the richest darkest chocolate and pausing to savour the taste.”

I thought I was in love with him for all those years but it turned out I was in love with the idea of William. The actual reality was a bit of an anti-climax.

“It wasn't a perfect body but it was the body she deserved. Not just from every bar of chocolate or bag of crisps or laden plate of food that she'd eaten. This body was also testament to all the hours in the gym and cycling up hills on her bike and glugging down two litres of water a day and learning to love vegetables and fruits that didn't come as optional extra with a pastry crust. She'd earned this body.
This was her body and she had to stop giving it such a hard time.” 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 12th February 2014 (Valentine Week)

It's Rock Wednesday, Dr Mosh is in the house and it's time for some serious headbanging!!

Oh wait, it's not because it's still Valentine's week and that still means I have to do the mushy mushy thing and choose more love songs I actually like.

Hold on a minute though...

Could it be possible we could do both?...

The straight jackets are an indication as to how crazy they went when they realised their question mark negligence

YES! Thank you Mr Van Halen!

Although this song isn't as moshy as one would like for a Wednesday it definitely has a very head bouncy feel to it. This was the first single released after the band split with former frontman Dave Lee Roth (Not to be confused with Dave Lee Travis) so the fantastically over the top vocals come from replacement singer and guitarist Sammy Hagar.

There aren't many rock/metal love songs out there that are this energetic, this much fun to listen to and have this much delightfully overblown 80's synth.

Yes, it's got what it takes alright

But only time will tell if it can stand the test of time

Rock on!

The guy on the keyboards is guitar supremo Eddie Van Halen who strangely, for a VH track, doesn't strum his guitar once. Even though he's wearing it. That must have taken some willpower
Compared to this song, you can hear more Eddie Van Halen on Michael Jackson's 'Beat It' (he created all the riffs and did the solo)
Van Halen falls into the same category as Jon Bon Jovi, where the guy with the coolest name becomes the name of the whole band. Unlike say 'Travis', who isn't even in the band they named from him. Poor Travis 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay 11th February 2014 (Valentine Week)

My next choice is probably the cutest lovesick, puppy dog, smitten kitten, matching mittens, pop tune I've ever heard. Most certainly the only one that I actually like and like I do. This song makes me happy and the band are favourites of mine too for many a year. Actually I've liked them much longer than I initially thought, as the release date for this song was nearly ten years ago. This song predates my nephew, who likes watching wrestling and playing QWOP with me, by 3 years. Feel old? I sure as heck do now.

Initially I didn't even like the song on first listen; I was still too enamoured by their mysterious, chilled out and thought provoking first single 'Sewn' (still a great track by the way) when this came along and the bouncy go-lucky, banging on the piano 'have a banana' style with singer Dan Gillespie Sells singing all too gleefully about going on a plane to Spain or somewhere seemed a bit too jarring a shift in tone for my liking. (kind of like if The Beatles' first ever song was 'Yesterday' and was then proceeded by 'Yellow Submarine')

My best friend loved the song however and she was certain that I would find the error of my ways. I thought this unlikely seeing as I'm as stubborn as my star sign brainwashes me into thinking I am but there was a chance that I may have been a bit grumpy on first listen to fully appreciate it (I can't remember for certain, I was too busy mining for diamonds and singing Hi-Ho at the time) When I caught it again though my mood was in a much brighter state and I inexplicably found my foot tapping to the beat, chuckling at the cute lyrics and before I knew it I was belting out the chorus with such vigour and joy I'm surprised I didn't cause a flashmob. Or flying tomatoes, whichever came first.

This is a great song about making the first step towards potentially changing a great friendship into something better. Shame The Feeling seem to have fallen recently in terms of quality music but even if that marks the beginning of the end, they have at least left a legacy they can be proud of.

So, show some love, don't act so tough and let them fill your little world right up.

Right up, in fact.

Apologies for the lack of music video. VEVO deemed it fit to cut the song off 30 secs before the ending. I'm not having that. If I'm putting the song I want the full thing so here is a nice lyric vid I found instead

The Feeling started out as a Supertramp cover band and this is a clear influence to a lot of their tracks

Last time I saw The Feeling live they did a cover of 'Video Killed The Radio Star', which was excellent. Unfortunately they didn't do their cover of Slayer's Raining Blood

No joke, they really have done that in the past 


THE OUTLINE OF LOVE  is novel written by English author Morgan McCarthy. I have to be honest, I haven't heard about this author before I read this book. I only have this book in my collection for one reason - my housemate got it for me as a birthday present last year. Personally, I wouldn't pick this book in a book store, but I guess after reading the summary on the back she thought I might like it.

Even the critics seems to be impressed with the works of McCarthy:

"Gripping and atmospheric, this as a cracking read. " SUN

"Generously written. " HEAT MAGAZINE

I, personally, after 3 days of active reading, weren't impressed at all. I actually had to schedule my reading time in as I was on a deadline, forcing myself to finish this book.

This story follows Persephone who grew up isolated in Scottish Highlands. She enrolled at university in London and is leaving her boring mundane life behind with her father. Persephone embraces student life, but it's only half contempt.. Pints of alcohol, experiments with drugs, new friendships and possible new romances are not enough to fill the hole of loneliness. Something is still missing. She is lacking a piece of her and something in the life to make it exciting. That is until a famous british novelist returns into town and Persephone is swept away into his life. But Leo is withholding something from her.. There is a dark secret hanging like a black cloud above their heads and Persephone is determined to do anything to keep Leo.

Branded with a label: "It started with obsession." I am expecting a thrilling, gripping story about obsession gone bad. Instead I am left with a boring, over-detailed, cannot-get-into-it, coming of age novel.

Divided in 10 parts, entwined with the good old Ancient Greek myth of Persephone and Hades, this books lacks excitement. Yes, there are parts, when I did laughed out loud. The biggest thing which cracked me up was a description of the term CHAV and people branded by it. But mostly this book is just too descriptive. I am sorry but there is no need to put a simple observation like 'It's windy and I start to shiver.' into a ten sentenced paragraph. To me it feels like the author just discovered Oxford's English Dictionary and decided to use as many words as possible. This book supposed to be written from Persephone's point of view, but let me tell you something. No girl at the precious age of 18 -19 doesn't talked to herself in big words. It's too sophisticated for a girl who just started uni. The author seems to try to achieve some kind of class which is unnecessary.

And the story....well... I am sorry, but this would not happen in the real world. No girl is so desperate and obsessed with a famous person that they go to extreme lengths to infiltrate their lives. I like Chris Pine and Theo James but not in a million years I would try to become friends with their friends in order for me to get close to them. And then the most unbelievable thing happens. Apparently Leo like her back and they start to date.  REALLY??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

But not of course we need some sort of distraction from the boring story-telling, so the author decides to spice it up with an incest between half siblings...OH MY GOD!!! I thought that this book cannot get any worse and then Ms McCarthy writes this. I am angry. Fuming. I had to put the book down and have a piece of chocolate. It doesn't end there, when Persephone finds out, she is ok with it. She understands and forgives... Wow.. I am seeing the red light again.. The anger is boiling inside me. Can this character get even more pathetic? When did it happen that an incest become accepted by the society and we decided to write books about it??

Anyways, I am not going to analyse each character because they are all bland figures in a strange story which point I failed to find out.

The only good point about this book is the cover. It's beautiful. I love the black and blue colours and the outlines of London and Scottish Highlands. It the story would be as good and pretty inside and it's the cover on the outside, I would be a happy bunny.

But no.. This is the biggest disappointment of a book I have read in a long time. I just failed to get the grasp on the story, characters and the BIG discovery. I couldn't wait for the story to end so I can put the book back in its place. Which means that this book is permanently moved into a box under my bed where it won't be touched for a long long time.

Sorry Mr McCarthy, but I truly hated your novel. Do better next time. Without an incest please...


The only outtake of the book I liked: 

"Camilla, who is proficient at placing people, has explained that the couple next door are what is known as chavs. According to Camilla, a chav is a nylon person bedecked with check patterns, hoop earrings, baseball caps, and unhealthy-looking babies. They hang around in groups, much like hipsters, enos, goths, yards, and the many other bewildering tribes of London she is happy to describe to me. "

Monday, 10 February 2014

#SongOfTheDay Febuary 10th 2014 (Valentine Week)

How flaming typical.

I had a great list of song choices for Song of The Days which will share my love of clever wordplay, forgotten classics and lyrics that no matter what mood I'm in always make me raise a smile, for the right reasons and wouldn't you know it, my week falls on the same as Valentine's Day, so obviously the only viable choice is my favourite love songs.

Bah humbug! Or whatever the Valentine equivalent would be. (Not sure it exists but if it did I'm pretty sure it would involve trilby hats, tommy guns and dirty rats in some way) I've never been an overly big fan of love songs; I often find that much more emotion and creativity goes into a song breaking hearts than melting them. Given that it's Valentine's week though these don't seem appropriate and would probably make me more depressed than Eeyore after someone half-inched his last rolo.

However, for the sake keeping with the theme thrust upon me I've decided to give it a go. If I have to dig deep (way WAY deep) to recollect some flutterbye inducing melodies from my past, then so be it. So although Chris Isaak's Wicked Game is one of my favourite 'love songs' it will not be one of my choices, nor will Bryan Adams 'Everything I Do' or Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' (RIP) be making an appearance, because not only do I want to try and be more original than that but they were both sad displays of self promoted egotism and have less to do with love and more to do with 'how good do I sound singing this shizzle?!' As are many of the more popular love ballads out there. Also I just don't like the songs.

So lets strip away the bravado and concentrate on the jitters you feel with a person as your building up the courage to finally tell them how you really feel (and hopefully not get a court order in the process) You may think I'm lying when I say I'm a hopeless romantic, I really am. Hopeless at the very least. So if these seven song choices I have lined up don't prove it then nothing will. Deep in my heart however I will still remain hopeless (at least)

My first choice of the day is a song that I bet no one will have heard of before. Not only does the song sound as throwback enough to be caught by Winston Churchill, it's also written and performed by a guy with a name more suited to a school caretaker.

Allow me to introduce Peter Skellern; a Lancashire singer songwriter with the look of a punk rock bassist  and a voice of crumpled, stuttering, weather beaten satin. Other than Perry Como, this man is far my favourite, easy listening crooner. Yes, I have a favourite easy-listening crooner. For contrast my favourite hard-listening crooner is number 0 from Slipnot; his croons are just so hard to listen to.

What I love about this song is that even though he is technically not a great or powerful singer, he uses every note in his repertoire to convey such feeling and humility that the likes Gary Barlow, Justin Timberlake, Robbie Williams could never do. Why? Because they sing too clean, they're too vocally filtered, they think too much about hitting every part of the song note for note and making the best noise they possibly can. Skellern on the other hand follows the tune but his voice is fuelled by pure emotion and his lyrics so are beautifully simple and down to earth it's as if he's just making them up on the spot. He's a master story teller of the most intimate moments of his life and in my opinion one of the best romantic narrators around. Not only that but the orchestration and backing choir he has following him around seemingly every song he's ever recorded is just incredible. I still get tingles when I hear this song and will hopefully always will. Hell from the opening brass intro I can feel them coming on already.


Believe it or not, this song got to number 3 in the charts in 1972 (not 1872) and Skellern is alive and well today. In that week he beat the likes of T-Rex, Sweet and even King Elvis himself to get there 

Considering that piano is housing  a 20 piece brass band with percussion and a full choral choir it does seem deceptively small  

In this song Peter Skellern rivals Mr T for his awesome use of the word 'fool' and I pity anyone who disagrees with me

Saturday, 8 February 2014

LYRICAL CRICKETAL Bruno Mars - Gorilla

Bruno Mars


The Lyric Cricket

Happy Belated New Year to you all!

I, Cricket have returneth to write the words and expose the song for what it truly is (in the broadest most obtuse ways possible, naturally) More often than not, it's a meaningless pile of dross that someone just happened to write a pop melody for that fit it quite nicely. Job done, Bob's your Uncle and you have song containing such perplexing and far reaching connections as Greek mythology and getting one's coat because they have very much pulled. All for the sake of that most masterful and Iron Fisted ruler of masters; Melody. Screw that noise I say, I want to be able to relate to what ever you're going on about at least in some way. Pulling in a club just isn't good enough for me and besides my last venture into night life ended most abruptly; something about wearing the wrong shoes, having no visible cleavage (despite the push-up bra) and possibly having the wrong face. I really couldn't hear much over the screaming.

So, mainstream be warned; I see all, I hear all and I write about all things from a lyrical standpoint and my words mean precisely zilch and will have no effect what so ever. Yes, that's the kind of clout I carry in my holster and my choice of revolver will cause various degrees of indifference. You hear that mainstream! Just call me Quick Draw Ignore; except change the quick to 'every now and then', draw to 'write' and actually don't bother. That ends up a pretty lame ass name, even for a cowboy.

Last year has been a glorious year for ridiculous lyrics; from Cyrus saying that her Wrecking Ball is going wreck itself by doing the job it's designed to do and Perry quoting every 80's song under the sun (always shining on TV) and has a difficult time distinguishing between being knocked down and held down (you can get up if you've been knocked down but to do so if you're being held in place is rather more difficult)

Last year certainly had it's goodies, baddies and just plain uglies in the lyrical world but what gets me riled up though is when it's a genuinely good artist, just can't seem to get the hand of lyric writing. I'm speaking about Mr Bruno Mars and make no mistake about it, he is good at writing music and decent songs. He's a great singer and multi-instrumentalist. He's more of what the mainstream music world needs without a doubt. Despite some pretty generally dodgy lyrics, I like quite a few of his tunes.

This song however... disturbs me

Song starts around the 1:50 mark

Ooh I got a body full of liquor with a cocaine kicker and I'm feeling like I'm thirty feet tall

Start with what you know eh, Mars?

Ok, that was a cheap shot and besides he's well into the rehab programme and paid the hefty $2000 fine for the felony long ago. How's that for a dent into his multi-million fortune? He's probably spent more than that on the coke itself, and the hair cut. These celebs get far too easily ripped off these days.

So lay it down, lay it down

Lay what down? What is 'it'? The only thing you've mentioned thus far is your own body full of potentially harmful, gurn inducing substances. There by you are referring to yourself in both the third person and as an abstract non human entity. Just how high are you Mars? I think thirty feet is a gross underestimate. You're probably so high that your made-up namesake actually makes sense for a change. I don't think you should stop here Mars. To you; this very well could be bat country.

You got your legs up in the sky with the devil in your eyes
Let me hear you say you want it all
Say it now, say it now

Way hay. There's someone else is in this anonymous, hitherto unknown location which I can only assume is a bedroom, with you. Good, now we're getting somewhere and at least Bruno won't be alone if he starts convulsing and suffering acute organ failure due to substance abuse.

First thing is first though: Enough of this 'you' nonsense. This person, I'm guessing of the female persuasion, always gets referred to as 'you' and I for one am sick of it. No longer however, I'm finally going to let the name - see the subjective pronoun (try that for size, Paddy McGuiness):

Welcome to the song, Beryl. Please make yourself comfortable.

Ok that's not the position I would normally go for in terms of comfort but hey, if it works for you fair enough. Bruno certainly seems intrigued by it...

So Beryl has the Devil in her eyes and her legs in the sky, does she? To be honest, I've always kind of liked the overused metaphor describing something so sexy it's evvilllll. Cliche to be sure, to be sure (just like that one) but one that never seems to get old and at least it's accurate (unless Cliff Richard is singing it about it. He wouldn't know a devil woman if one came over and pulled his soul out through his scrotum) What isn't accurate however, is suggesting you are in a private, enclosed 'romp' room and to have one's legs in the sky; unless it's a combination of having a really high bed, really low ceiling and cowboy plasterers. What I'm saying is that you can't have 'legs in the sky' unless you are outside. Legs in the air, yes. Sky, no. The reason Mars has done this is a lazy, good old fashioned rhyme chryme and certainly not the last we will run into within the duration of this song. We just had one above with liquor and kicker. Oh you thought you got away with that one, did you Mars?

Now that I think about it, Mars never directly indicated a room at all. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps they are outside. Maybe their going to go through this entire sequence of events al freaking fresco. Beryl could very well have her legs in the sky because she's head first in a plant pot, for all I know.

Moreover, asking, nay begging Beryl to say she wants it all (as if she's in a much better Queen song) not only comes across as desperate but also decidedly creepy. Stop creeping her out Mars! She's got a plant pot and isn't afraid to introduce it to your face.

 Look what you're doing, look what you've done
But in this jungle you can't run

Christ, Beryl... what are you doing? Screw that; what have you already done?! I know! I don't know what Mars is on about either! I mean, he's just throwing these accusations left right and centre with no evidence to back up his claims and just scaremongering you into giving in to his demands of assurance. Don't do it Beryl, you're better than this, you haven't done anything wrong within these first few stanzas, so fear not one little jot. Just one thing though; why the freaking hell are you in the jungle?

Turns out they are outside, way way outside. Makes sense given the title of the song but I didn't think Mars was being so literal. Best keep your arms to the side, watch what you step on and don't eat the red berries unless you see a monkey do it first. Machetes at the ready and lets do this bad ass bush!
Actually, he's not been literal. The answer much more boring than this; it's a combo rhyme chryme and a lead up into the main theme of the song. What could that be? Lets have a look...

Cause what I got for you
I promise it's a killer, you'll be banging on my chest
Bang bang, gorilla

Here it is; he's based the entire song in order to successfully rhyme something with killer. He chose for that task, gorilla. I guess he couldn't use 'thriller' as the already abundant Michael Jackson similarities would get way out of hand. To be fair, what was he left with:

Miller? Biller? Scylla? Armadill-ah?...

I'm not saying they're great choices or anything, I'm just saying that options were most certainly available to him. If I come up with some better ideas over the course of the song I'll be sure to let you know.

Meanwhile, back in the jungle; still more threats towards Beryl, Mars? That certainly what it sounds like. I know she's giving you the 'come to hell' eyes but geez man, give her time to come around to your alternative charm. Give her space, give her room, try normal conversation, try flowers but whatever you don't say that what you've got for her is a killer. Unless you are actually trying to warn her of the hemlock you've got stuffed down your boxers. Also, why is Beryl is banging your chest, Mars?... Even in the throes of primate passion that seems like a very strange thing to do. Gorillas tend to beat their own chest in order to demonstrate they're powerful alpha male status. Here though you've got the woman banging your chest for you, so the only thing this demonstrates is that you're more a lazy, lay back and think of Africa kind of gorilla. This means you could be armed with a passion killer so powerful, you may as well be trying to hump Beryl wearing an actual gorilla suit with bowtie and a tutu.

Another way of looking at it is as more of a 'get off' signal than one that says 'give it to me baby *uh-huh* *uh-huh*' Maybe cardiac arrest came on quicker than we thought and she's trying freaking CPR. On a more lighter note maybe that's the cue to know if someone has gone too far with the fantasy.

Knock twice on chest, say safe word (gorilla) and role play will dispense with immediate affect.



Gorilla! *bang bang* Gorilla for Pete's sake!
I can't bang your chest, I'm bloody handcuffed now stop this nonsense and put that spatula the feck down!!

 You and me baby making love like gorillas
Ooooooooooooooo oooooooo oooooo
Yeahhhh yeahhhh
 You and me baby making love like gorillas

Ok, lets get down to what your trying to do with this song: Your vocals are gliding all over the notes like some lewd water slide in a Barry White themed amusement park. The music is pounding, dynamic and undeniably sexy.

('You and me baby having treats like vanilla')

This has the makings of a very good hit the sack with your lover tune. You just fail on one, fairly significant angle however.


Gorillas having sex, is no boner inducing matter. Hell, they barely get a boner themselves when they do get around from bragging how good they are to actually fornicating. I know the idea of a gorilla sounds big, bad, muscular and beast like but it's all a lie when it comes to down to letting the nitty see the gritty. Relative to it's size, the male Gorilla has the smallest sexual organ in the animal kingdom (Thanks, Dr House) Also the noise and motion that is involved in the act is roughly the same as someone filling out a tax return, except with out the groans. Honestly Bruno, you'd have been better off saying 'you and me baby making hay like chinchillas' They are proper horny little things, just like you it would seem.

Yeah I got a fistful of your hair
But you don't look like you're scared
You're just smiling tell me daddy it's yours

Ok Mars; what is Beryl saying is yours? Hmm? Her hair? She told you that did she? Of her own accord? Uh huh. Oh really? Are you her father? You heard me, are you her Father? I don't give a damn if she's grinning like The Joker with a happy meal, are you her Father? Good, I should bloody well hope not considering where your eyes have been hovering. Swear to god Mars you are going to much less than three steps to being Locked Out Of Heaven permanently, now would you kindly release her scalp, you're not an 19th century Apache. (Oh and by the way, hair and scared don't rhyme. You're slipping Mars, into the abyss of awful goddamn rhyming)

The only way I conceive of this verse making sense is that Beryl is so off her face on hallucinogens she has no functions left but to smile inanely and hallucinate things that aren't there... Oh no...

This can't be, I mean it's been released as music for everyone but the more I delve into this lyrics the more disturbed I'm getting. Mars! You despicable human being!

This is unorthodox but let me just recap

Ooh I got a body full of liquor with a cocaine kicker and I'm feeling like I'm thirty feet tall

You're not talking about yourself are you Mars?... This body... is a semi conscious Beryl! You've had her out all night, got her blind drunk, coked up and now you have a woman, who has no control over her faculties, trapped in your seedy 'jungle'. I say woman but you don't even give her the decency to credit her with a gender. You lay 'it' down. Not only does she mean less to you than a Grammy Award but you're telling yourself to 'lay it down', so you could likely have a very Jekyll and Hyde thing going on here, you schizo pervert.

I'm not joking either about being trapped, you specifically say that she 'can't run', there's no escape for Beryl here. She may have the devil in her eyes but she's got no idea who the freaking hell you are, Mars. More telling and chilling than all of this though, is the chorus. Making love like Gorillas. I'm sure in your own twisted mind you probably think that you are making love Mars, the reason why you're associating gorillas with what you're doing however is due to there being NO PHYSICAL RESPONSE AT ALL.

This is wrong Bruno, this is not the way! You're rich, talented and you could always look into platform heels like Prince if you're worried about height issues but what you are doing here is just evil

And illegal, shockingly

Speaking of which...

Cause you know how I like it you's a dirty little lover
If the neighbours call the cops, call the sheriff, call the SWAT we don't stop, we keep rocking while they knocking on our door

It was only a matter of time before the neighbours found out about this Mars, did you think they wouldn't know? They must have been watching you for weeks before this excessive use of police force was mobilised to trying to shut down your jungle boogie wonderland. This even suggests that Beryl might not be your first victim either.
Oh and I'm pretty sure even you would stop if the SWAT broke down the door with battering ram and you're staring down the cold blue steel barrel of an H&K MP5. That's usually what happens if you ignore the knocking because you're too busy rocking. There not just going to pack up, leave a 'we were here card' and leave you on your merry, rapey way. Especially when they can freaking hear you, you dumbass.  

Speaking of dumbass, why is it every time I hear the line 'you's a dirty little lover' do I imagine Mars pinching Beryl's cheek in a coo coo kitchy coo way that is usually reserved by highly patronizing adults to infants? Obviously the subject matter would be different but Mars is already due to get busted good and proper, so it's not like his day could get any worse.
Rocking and knocking I can live with. Cops, SWAT and stop is you taking serious rhyming liberties, my soon to be handcuffed friend.


And you're screaming give it to me baby
Give it to me m-therf-cker

('You and me baby riding hard on my pillar')

Aw Beryl, shame on you. I expected better than such filthy, disgusting language. Being drugged up and held captive is no excuse for lack of decorum, now quit that now before I wash your mouth out with soap, or before Mars does it to you just in case he's into that too.

Actually this just goes to show how much the drugs are still having affect. Beryl is still clearly hallucinating, she was calling Mars 'daddy' and a father is someone, who by puerile, pedantic definition alone, has at one point been a mother... ah ha! Got another one! 

('You and me baby wrecking shit like Godzilla')


I bet you never ever felt so good, so good
I got your body trembling like it should, it should
You'll never be the same baby once I'm done with you

Once again Mars is hitting Beryl with the demand for constant reassurance that she is both enjoying what he's doing and praise for doing a good job. You are aware that these are classic signs of a power reassurance sex criminal, right Mars?   

I very much doubt she will be the same too, you are spot on there Mars. Once the police inquest is over and she's had her day in court over video conferencing because she's too scared to look at you and can't look at a rolled up dollar bill with having an anxiety attack, I very much doubt she will ever be the same. Beryl will carry these emotional scars with her the rest of her fictional life. See what you've done Mars? The hypothetical damage you've caused this this woman of narrative fabrication.

Beryl will never be able to go the zoo again. Are you ashamed of yourself, Mars? Good, you should be. Everyone should be able to go to the zoo. Apart from you, your obsession with gorillas must be quelled first before you take that first step on the path to recovery. Best start with the gibbons first.    

So, that's Gorilla.

Lets just say that Mars has done better songs and some even without rape connotations. It's also not got a lot going for it musically, a lot of it seems to copy and paste bits of other songs and styles and despite Bruno Mars' good vocals it fails to blow you away like it's designed to. Mainly because it has a certain sound of songs you've heard before, but can't quite place.
Plus the chord sequence in the chorus is the same as Nickleback's Rock Star. 

There are much worse songs out there but it's boring and feels a little rushed. Lyrics that are creepy as hell don't do it any favours either.

('You and me baby in a song that's a filler') 
I'm sure his next song though will be able to clear his name of any wrong doing, clarify some gross misunderstanding and have nothing controversial in it all.

Right Bruno?


'You and me baby taking dumps like gorillas

Pooo ooo ooo ooooooooooooooooooo
(Cause we all just wanna be big Rock Stars, live in hill top houses, driving 15 cars...)
Yeah yeah yeah yeaahhh

You and me baby chucking lumps like gorillas'
'Most critics couldn't make good music if they rubbed their hind lives together'
Mel Brooks