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Friday, 4 November 2011


Art lobby groups in the United Kingdom have demanded that internet provider BT block access of the infamous BitTorrent site, The Pirate Bay.

The Pirate Bay is a site that enables users to search and access copyright files, although not actually hosting them itself. The site was launched by a Swedish group of friends in 2003 and is one of the most known file-sharing sites available on the web. It includes the latest available content such as music, films and video games. 
The infamous logo of the illegal download giant
The site came under major media speculation in 2009, when Swedish courts found one of the co-owners guilty of helping people to bypass copyright controls. However the site still remains active and is still assisting millions of downloads daily.

Major music industry body BPI has stated that if BT does not comply with their demands legal action would begin. This comes after the recent High Court ruling, that forced BT to block the site Newbin 2, a members-only site that cataloged copyright material. 

BT have confirmed they are aware of the demands of BPI and will be considering a response shortly. They also have stated the requirement and presentation of a court order before they would proceed with any blocking of the site.

BPI's executive chief Geoff Taylor stated that sites like The Pirate Bay are heavily damaging on economic growth. He is supported by other bodies including The Motion Picture Association, Creative Coalition Campaign and The Publishers Association.

Monday, 31 October 2011


Nile Ranger, a striker for Newcastle United has been charged with the offence of being drunk and disorderly after a local night out with friends. 
The 20 year old was arrested by the Northumbria Police force in the early hours of Sunday morning in the city's Cathedral Square near the well known Tupp Tupp Palace Nightclub. 
The troubled football is to be brought before the magistrates on the 17th of November. This comes after the recent news that he will also be facing charges for a drink-driving offence, and is due to answer bail for his involvement in an attack, that left his victim believing he had suffered a broken jaw. 
He was questioned by the police for more than four hours before being charged and released on bail.
Nile Ranger, who has been playing for the club since 2008 has only just been reinstated to the teams first-team training after a three month place in the clubs reserves. His behavior could lead him to further trouble if Newcastle United if they believe him to have broken a 48 hour drinking ban before a team trip to Stoke.
He has been told to find a new club in the summer after repeated warnings about his actions.
Newcastle United have yet to comment.


The recent protests at St Paul's Cathedral in London have resulted in the resignation of the Dean Graeme Knowles. 

The Rev has struggled with the two week long protest at the Cathedral and claims that his position has become 'untenable'. This resignation springs from the Deans recent controversial statement that approved the use of legal action against protesters. He steps down so that a new leadership may be exercised and is greatly saddened in doing so.

The protests have been progressing for a number of weeks upon the site of the Cathedral. These protests spring from the beliefs of anti-capitalist protesters which has led to the place of worship being closed for several days.

City of London authorities have now ordered protesters that all tents (in an excess of 200) and additional equipment must be removed from the site within the next 48 hours to avoid any legal action, also stating that this is not an order to remove protesters.

The Planning and Transportation Committee within London have also backed the removal of the encampment as the ground of St Paul's is an unreasonable use of the highway.

The struggles at St Paul's continues.

Friday, 21 October 2011


It has recently come to the attention of many that university are considering lowering their staggering fees.
The English government decided that from 2012 higher tuition fees would be paid at a near trebled rate of up to £9000, as their White Paper on higher education set out numerous policy changes. The ability to increase was confirmed in July of this year, leaving many prospective students in a state of terror.

However, many universirties are now considering a reduction in the monumental price.
This is good news for the thousands of students currently preparing their university applications.
Both fees and bursary prices were set in April before the government announced that there would be further change. It may shock many that Scottish students studying within Scotland pay nothing for their university education and that Welsh students costs are subsidised throughout the United Kingdom.

OFFA (The Office for Fair Accsess) have stated that up to twenty eight universities are considering cutting their average fees to around £7500 or less and that many are already in the process of doing so. However there are around 130 universities and places of higher education in the country and this means uncertainty of fee levels for applicants currently in the process of applying.

Any changes are to be submitted by the univeristy in November and to be confirmed by the end of the month.

In order to raise fees above £6000 and give the more disadvantaged students a chance, OFFA has to be satisfied that the university is offering enough support. However both OFFA and the governent are hopeful that more universities will consider lowering their fees and that the maximum will only be charged in extreme circumstances.

Any changes of fees will be sent directly to students applying, enabling them to change their university choices before the UCAS deadline of the 15th January 2012.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Oxford, the city of dreaming spires.
A place many wish to visit, study and perhaps even settle down in their lifetime.
However, every city has a darker side to it, and Oxford is not alone.
With in the last few years human trafficking has been gaining a lot of attention.
This attention being particullar to Oxford, upon the discovery of a sex trafficking ring in 2010.

 Local pimps Anastassios Papas of Iffley Road, East Oxford and Graham Cochrane of Bicester were the first men to be convicted of the crime of human trafficking in the county. The duo forced young and vulnurable Eastern European women into modern day slavery, as they became prostitutes within the city for the 'Fun Girls Escort Agency'.

Both the police and the judicial system have been praised for their efforts, as both men combined will faced a 12 year jail sentence from the Oxford Crown Court for their actions. The pair will also be placed upon the sex offenders register for life and are banned from any future involvement in the promotion of female personal services.
Anastassios Papas is currently on the run
Anastassios Papas (42)
Graham Cochrane
Graham Cochrane (49)
Local charity OXCAT (Oxford Community Against Trafficking) aims to end trafficking. Campaigning against domestic slavery, forced labour and sexual exploitation, the recent convictions have given the charity the ammunition needed to make a real stand to ensure the problem is known and stopped.

This was demonstrated recently as the community group participated in a shocking, but effective flash mob. Taking their demonstration to the streets of Oxford at 1pm on Tuesday the 18th the group coincided the event with National Anti-Slavery day as they adorned themselves with blindfolds. Holding a silent protest for five minutes before revealing their 'pretty girls for sale'. Five women stood sorrowfully in cages as the campaigners bellowed to the shocked public. 

OXCAT believe that the case may cause further pain by highlighting an industry for sex within Oxford and that opportunists may act upon their victims vulnerability much like Papas and Cochrane. The battle wages on, but the message is clear; adorned across Oxford posters and billboards alike state: The truth isn't sexy.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Live Review: The Midnight Beast - Oxford O2 Academy

It is not often a queue for the Oxford O2 Academy winds down more than one street. Even more rare is for the said queue to consist entirely of pre pubescent squealers. As we readied ourselves for the night ahead we strolled into the venue, nearly an hour after doors opened.

We were disappointed to find the supporting act ‘Joe Setz’ playing a club mix before attempting to DJ. He did however prove to thrill the younger audience, who probably thought of the opening to their evening as their first taste of club life. It did however prove to be a weird atmosphere to set up such a cutesy pop set.

However, as soon as The Midnight Beast took the stage we could tell it would be an interesting set. Introducing themselves in patterned onesies their vibrant energy circulated around the room. The teeny boppers went wild, their screeches almost deafining anyone past their adolescence.

During their performance of ‘House Party’ the trio donned brunette wigs and sung Rebecca Blacks ‘Friday’. It seems the theme of popular culture was used throughout as we were introduced to ‘Just another boy band’ with the nationwide known X Factor theme tune.

It seemed that the boys stuck to their YouTube roots as they maintained their home made ethos. Offering a variety of props and quirky additions to their set, including bubbles, foam swords and a very large mask of Kanye Wests imposing head. Their rather unfortunate out-of-sync dance routines seemed more evident against their attractive backing dancers, whom kept the older ladies ogling throughout. Although terrible with their moves they did improve as the set progressed and their vocal performance was well rehearsed and brilliant.

For the oddly titled and some what irrelevant ‘Pizza in Ibiza’ the backing dancers sprung out once more, looking delicious dressed as pepperoni and mushroom pizzas. Unfortunately there seemed to be no vegetarian option.

The parody of Jay Sean’s identically titled ‘Down’ proved a comical delight. Seeing Stefan Abingdon donning a foam six pack and with knobbly knees and hideous boxers galore. Their adorable pop continued with ‘Friends For Never’ dedicated to an ecstatic female fan.
‘Ninja’ proved interesting as the primary colours lit up the stage. With an oriental introduction and more marvellous props, the audience watched in awe as the Teletubbies Dipsy (green) and Po (red) became very sexually explicit upon the stage.

The final song choice came as no surprise as they began the oh-so-famous parody ‘Tik Tok’. Claiming it was in fact Ke$ha, who did a parody of their music. It was nice to see the boys pay their respects as they maintained the original lyrics which refer to the late singer.

The Midnight Beast proved to be an incredibly adorable, fast paced and energetic band to see. Even worth being surrounded by their intense younger fans. Although one of the shortest sets I have attended the boys left their audience entertained and lively.  Although I was dissapointed to find that there was no encore, although understandable considering the boys limited songs.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Work/ Work Experiance

Times are getting pretty tough.
I know this year is going to be manic.
I must successfully gain all my A Level qualifications, get all necessary work experience, apply for a bursary, choose my university's and get a damned job!
A bit of a task for someone who is just about to turn 18.

I am thinking, when I get back from Paris, that I may apply for some part time work in a pub. I like the atmosphere of it all and to be honest it seems relatively simple. I would have to however perfect pulling a pint, and with my clumsy nature I can see that messing up.

I need work experience to boost myself for university. As I want to do journalism it is necessary to have as much experience as humanly possible. I am going to get myself in contact with numerous sites, magazines and newspapers and pray for the best. I would love to write about travel one day, that would truly be my dream. Sitting back upon white sand on the island of Bora Bora reminiscing on its beauty. Ah, sounds ideal.

Choosing university's is proving difficult as I need to be on an accredited course and I am considering James. We both want to stay together so we have to decide pretty swiftly what we want to do. He preferably wants to be in London and I love the idea. My dream would be Bournemouth but I honestly do not think I will get the grades. It is the best in the country for what I want to do.

Hopefully all will go to plan!


Now do not get me wrong, I love Rihanna, it is just lately she has been taking her image into overkill.
I mean, I was the first to defend her right to elaborate lyrics (remember the musical gem S&M?)
It is just I have got to the stage where I am sick of seeing her half naked self on every damned magazine and website I dare venture on to.
The cute girly image is long gone.

I mean look at this:

This is what she wore to the 2011 Grammys

2011 Brit Awards

A 'cultural' event in Barbados

Classy eh?

It is truly sad when talent is over run by an artists image.
This was a girl who broke records in the charts.
They say sex sells but god she is killing it.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Reviews: Truck Festival 2011

For many years Truck has been renowned for its local and friendly atmosphere, as extremely independent as they come. However with its success, has come an expansion of the festival, and it has become apparent that Truck is starting to make a serious name for itself across the UK. It appears also that Truck still holds its keen interest in public satisfaction, taking into account Truck goers views and evidently improving each year. Further proof of this comes in a form of a survey, enabling Truck goers to make their opinions clear and offering the chance to win tickets to next years festivities.
It appears that Truck is beginning to spread its wings and has started to imitate larger festivals within the UK. This year Truck goers were graced with an extra day,  revamped site, an additional stage (the very popular Clash Stage), showers and reasonably priced charge points, a first in the history of Truck. The number of artists performing has also increased dramatically, with Truck goers having access to over 140 artists.
The festival has also become more family orientated. Making it more accessible to young and old alike, by introducing a separate and quite campsite, a childlike village filled with entertainers and mystery, enabling an all more comfortable experience.
However Truck has not left the developing and sometimes more vibrant generation. Boxford Dance Village still remains, an area dedicated to the fast paced, all-night-long party desperado’s and oh was it thrilling. The area offered numerous genres such as:  house, disco, garage, dub step, techno, reggae and electronica.  The most anticipated act of the weekend appeared to be the Dub Politics DJs feat MC Linguistics. Desperately awaiting Saturday night a group of teenagers  swiftly dashed to Boxford. The set began at 23:30 and offered a thrilling dub step performance, keeping pulses racing throughout the night.
A disappointing factor however, is that Truck has yet to grasp any nationwide musical giants. Much to the dismay of Truck goers reluctant to pay the seemingly reasonable £100 weekend ticket. Alas, the festival appeared to have gained quite an audience and tents were crammed in making the whole experience a lot more communal. Being camped adjacent to the Last FM Stage had it’s positives and negatives. One positive came from an early Friday performance at 18:00  by Oxford-based rapper Mr ShaoDow. Lively as ever, Mr ShaoDow went through numerous of his older tracks such as ‘R U Stoopid!?!’ and the slightly risqué ‘Look Out’. Afterward he casually strolled around with the public and talked at great length with his fans, commenting on how pleased he was with the increased number of albums he had sold lately.
The liveliest night of Truck always has been and always will be Saturday and this years headliners and main stage acts did not dissapoint. Saturday at noon we were graced with the upbeat and lively Alphabet Backwards, an adorably awkward act that bounced about the stage during their brief but sweet set. It appeared that their jolly nature kept the audience happy throughout the morning as people strolled in an upbeat manner enjoying all the cheap food and drink on offer.
Later that night the main stage turned  wild as headliners Young Knives took to the stage. Whether the audience had been riled by a bit of pre-drinking is questionable and with the relaxed atmosphere from the morning gone the crowd was now at its feet. The introductory song ‘Woman’ from the bands new album ‘Ornaments from the Silver Arcade’ presented itself as repetitive, and vocalist Henry Dartnall’s distance shockingly did not dissuade the enthusiasm of the crowd. The single ‘Millionaire’ however really got people going, enthusing manic death circles and mosh pits, much to the crowd security’s dismay, the band truly got the party started.
To conclude a weekend of madness Boxford offered the resolution of where to go once more. Sunday night offered the incredible Ed Steele & Kostas G B2B. A duo specializing in house and techno that held its crowd from start to finish (23:00 – 02:30).  The throng of people danced the night away, refusing to simmer down and remaining on the floor till close, dissapointed by the early finish.
Overall Truck has improved majorly, introducing many more facilities and creating an atmosphere to suit all musical tastes. It seems that all Truck can do now is improve and even without the big names everyone still seemed to have a fantastic time.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Truck Fesitval

This weekend (22nd-24th July) is Truck Festival.

The festival is pretty local to me and is getting more expansive by the year.
They have now added a new stage (Clash stage) and are even including features such as showers.

Luckily I avoided the £80 plus cost this year as I will be reviewing the festival on my site
I do love the perks of it all I am not going to lie.
We get to camp in a private crew section, if desired and can use all their lighting, internet and cheaper food services.
Having access to the press area will be such bliss when I need to relax for a moment.

Problems do arise however when you are broke as hell and must find they money for a tent, food and alcohol.
James has the tent covered apparently and we are going to go and buy one today.
I am just praying it does not rain.
I do not fancy being flooded in a flimsy single skinned tent, those things are to damned expensive these days.

As for the food issue I am pretty good at budgeting.
Last year both me and James spent the least out of all our friends on food and still had some left over!
Hopefully mum will be genrous with her donations to the drinks fund.

It is going to be a messy weekend.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Holiday Update

Ok, I have not blogged in a while but I am going a bit holiday crazy.
Actually I am just generally going crazy.

This past week there have been numerous joyful and horrid events.

I will begin with the negative and hope to swiftly move on from it.
My uncle Andrew is possibly unwell, it is possible that there is something wrong with his heart.
He has an ECG this up and coming Tuesday.
I am praying he will be ok.
He is my rock, and like a father to me.
I love him dearly and to think anything could be wrong is killing me.
I have already lost one uncle and I do not wish to lose another.

On to the positives.

I have secured to press passes to Truck Festival (22nd-24th).
All I need now is a tent, drink and some food rations.
I went last year also and it was a pretty good scene.
Hopefully this year will top it, just hoping for some good weather now.

My passport is almost sorted!
Tomorrow morning I must call to arrange my interview and I shall get the first date I can.
Problem? Ah there is always one!
The nearest interview office is in Reading.
Me being in Oxford that is a train ride away totally £8 return, no sneaky child fares for me anymore.
James says he will come along with me and I think we are going to see the last installment of Harry Potter using the best offer to ever grace this earth, Orange Wednesdays.
Once the interview lark is over and done with my passport should arrive within two days.
With my holiday being in exactly three weeks time this is closely cutting it, however I think I am going to just make it.

Alas Paris is coming up so quickly and it is putting me in a fluster.
I feel some what organized though.
I cashed my first bit of money into euros the other day.
I have over 200 euros put away, in which James quickly labelled as 'Disneyland money :D'
Not long till I am in the city of lights...

On Tuesday I am off to Bouremouth for the day with James.
I am praying for good weather and I shall dive in the sea regardless.
I love the seaside way to much, it is so peaceful and relaxing.
A day of swimming, sandcastles and shopping.
What more could a girl ask for?
Ooh and some decent fish and chips!

Now that my birthday is coming up pretty swiftly I have started to ponder on the idea of a tattoo again.
I really know I should not but it is oh so tempting.
Maybe something small and intimate to start off?
I am thinking of the word 'love' and a small heart behind my ear in a beautiful teal colour.
Decisions kill me and with a minimum charge of forty pounds is it really worth it?

So this week is pretty busy and there is so much ahead.
It is certainly becoming one hell of a summer.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The BFI IMAX Experience - Transformers 3

Yesterday was amazing.
No word of a lie.

I arranged to meet James for six in Headington as that is where we had to get our coach to London.

As it was pretty damn early, when he finally arrived, we decided to go for a meal.
He treated me to a meal in Posh Fish and it was lovely.
Cheeseburger for him and veggieburger for myself :)
By the time we'd finished it was gone eight!

So we wandered to the european food shop and got some snacks.
Alas, we wasted money on these as we were way to stuffed.
Also James lost £20 :(
This hardly ruined the night though and we had a bit of a laugh about it.

Getting on the coach it only cost £11 return each as it was past 3pm.

The journey was pretty swift and we arrived in London in no time.
As we were way to early for the viewing we decided to have a wander.
We ended up at Buckingham Palace and had a laugh at the beef eaters marching up and down.
We then took a stroll through St. James park before eventually coming to the Thames.

As we crossed the bridge near Big Ben and the House of Parliament, James got a shock as the London Eye loomed closed.
I do not think he realized it was quite so big...
Alas, we were pretty disappointed when we realized that it had just closed as we wanted to take a spin on it.

Walking on wards Waterloo was only five minutes away, so we took ourselves into the station and sat down to relax monetarily.
This involved us desperately needing the toilet.
James getting in for free and me avoiding the 30p charge by squeezing through the barrier.
Alas, my sneaky nature had led to two huge bruises.

As we left the station we quickly went under the brightly lit and smothered in literature subway.
The BFI IMAX is literally adjacent to the station and so beautiful.
As we entered the circular building it looked amazing inside.
The staff were lovely and the carpet was a very vibrant and glamorous red.
As we made our way up the staircase to the second floor to await the movie we placed ourselves in the most comfortable leather sofa's.

We had an hour to wait for the film to begin at twenty past midnight and the time flew by.
The suspense was unreal, me and James sat there in awe at the vibrations from the film showing beforehand.
As the foyer began to burst we quickly dashed to get some sweet popcorn and I was delighted to see it was handed to me in an old school vintage paper bag.
Was not overly costly either, a large popcorn being around £4.80.

As we walked through the doors into the cinema I swooned as I looked up, I nudged James and told him to do so also and it was a very unreal experience.
Our dizzy selves settled as we took our seats.
The screen was huge. So big in fact, that you could only see it in front of you, the walls were not even visible.
As the movie was about to start a member of staff was put under spotlight and welcomed us to the film, telling us to enjoy ourselves. That we did.

The film was mad, 3D effects the best I'd ever seen and the sound so clear you would of though you were there. An amazing night topped off by a lot of laughs and jokes on the way home.

Arriving back in Oxford at around 6am, me and James crawled into his bed and slept the afternoon away...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


So tomorrow I am off to the BFI IMAX in London, Waterloo with James.
I am pretty excited as I have heard the experience is amazing.

As I knew James was desperate to see Transformers 3 I bought the tickets pretty swiftly.
This does lead to a bit of a problem however...
I am now going to have to watch both Transformers 1 and 2 this evening so that I will actually understand the film.

We will be going to a midnight viewing as to be honest, if you do not book like a week or more in advance the seat choices are awful.
Luckily, as it is going to be so late we are to be sat very centrally.
The screen is the biggest in the UK apparently so knowing me I will be terrified in every fight scene.
Especially having 3d car robots flying in my face...

I am pretty excited though. 
Will probably end up heading down to London earlier and having a look around. 
Going to be a good night! :)

Monday, 4 July 2011


I can truly not stop thinking about Paris, I am so excited.

For my 18th birthday my mum has decided to give me a holiday as my present.
Even though I believe it to be way to expensive I am pretty thankful for it.
I have not been out of the United Kingdom for what seems like 5 years.
I have had a free choice of where to go (my family wanted me to stick to Europe preferably as they are a bit worried about me being to far from home) but found it near impossible to decide.
As I am going with my boyfriend I begged him to think up some ideas.
He chose Paris!

I decided that we should go by coach even though airfare is pretty cheap.
I want the experience to last as long as possible.
Even though me and my boyfriend see each other pretty often we never get true uninterrupted alone time.
This will be our first holiday alone together and I want it to be as fun as possible.
Boys can be pretty useless when it comes to planning and I think the Paris idea was not swayed by romance but by Disneyland Paris.
Alas, I can not wait!

Looking into the typical tourist attractions I have found a huge array of stuff to do.
I am one of those people who gets pretty nervous if I am unsure of a place so I want to make sure we know exactly where we were going.
Studying the Metro I have already managed to pinpoint all the stuff we want to see and do.

Asking James what he wants to do first (Other than Disneyland!) he stated the obvious, the Eiffel Tower.
Unlike James, I have been to Paris before and adored the Eiffel Tower.
I begged my mum to allow me to take the stairs, upon which I ran to the second floor from the bottom, I was young and a lot fitter then.
However as a child I was to scared to ascend to the third floor.
James has made it clear that it is imperative we go up there and he will treat me to a glass of champagne. Yummy!

I have a pretty vast itinerary but want to also stray from the oh so typical tourist stuff.
Researching I found loads of other things to do while away.
Even though known, people often miss going to the Catacombs while in Paris.
I am pretty excited about them and the eerie nature of it all.
Going into the tombs of over 6 million dead is not the most romantic thing in the world!

Me and James also adore parks.
I prefer theme parks and he loves water parks.
As I knew we would be going to Disneyland from the offset I began to wonder whether Paris would have a small water park of its own.
To my surprise it does and this is no tiny park.
The water park is named Aquaboulevard and it looks amazing!
There are numerous water slides, rides, waves and general aqua fun.
Only downside is James has to wear tight fitting trunks (I am going to love seeing that)

As this is going to be straight after my 18th birthday there is no way I am going to shy from the clubs.
No language barriers would put me off.
Paris nightlife looks pretty amazing too.
The clubs start later and run straight into the morning (no 3am ends in Paris!)
I am also desperate to attend the renowned Disney Eurotrash party.
This is basically a club night where you get dressed up and go wild.
Taking a peek at videos the night looks mad, nothing like I've ever seen before!
I also would like to have a look at the famous Rex and perhaps visit Batofar (a night club on a boat!)

Thinking back to home I have already been informed by my family on the presents they desire.
I have decided to treat both mine and my boyfriends mum to a box of macaroon from Ladurée .
Although expensive they look beautiful and are presented so nicely.
I am pretty desperate to try them myself authentically in the actual shop!

There is so much to do I doubt we'll have the time in the week.
I am also interested in a Seine cruise, Notre dame, Montparrnasse 56, Arc de Triomphe, Tuileries Gardens and Air de Paris.

I want this holiday to be the best time of my life, full of sunrises and new experiences.
I am hoping also, to get a camera for my birthday so that I may take lots of pictures!
Paris can be such a picturesque place. 

I just know it is going to be perfect as I am sharing it with the most perfect person :)

Au revior!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Motel - Dalphine Cosmic Dress

Ok I am a huge fan of Motel ( and have been for many years.
The vibrancy and fit of their clothes is perfect and I always feel lovely wearing them.
I have always found it difficult to find flattering dresses but Motel never fail to impress.

As my 18th is coming up soon I have been going on a bit of a dress hunt.
When I found this at only £15 I almost died of shock.

I am glad I checked their official site actually as otherwise I may have been lumped with £42 con.

This is the dress:

The print is just beautiful and the neckline looks so flattering.
The back details is pretty interesting too.

Looks like I'll be wearing this on August 6th ;)

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Interview: Luke Pickett

Your debut album is due out this year. Could you give us a confirmed date and your personal favourite track featured?
Unfortunately there is still no confirmed release date. I keep saying it but it really is very close now and I hope people will think it was worth the wait.
It’s hard to pick a favourite track because I love all the songs for different reasons. I have a few to be honest and they keep changing all the time but the one I’m listening to most at the
moment is a song called ‘Keep yourself together’. It’s quite different to my older material. It’s a lot more up beat but is quite dark lyrically.

What genre of music would you define your work as?
I’m sure my older stuff would be defined as acoustic, but I think that will change with this new record. It’s really hard to say because people always have a different opinion. The easiest thing to say would be pop, but I’ve taken influence from soul, RnB and my more acoustic roots. So I don’t know, maybe a unique blend of all four.

Do you prefer working solo or as part of a band?
I’ve been in bands before and being a solo artist is definitely easier. But when I’m playing live I do like having other musicians accompany me on stage. It takes the pressure off a bit I guess and you can feed off each others energy.

When did you realise that you wanted to become a singer?
It probably wasn’t until I was about 16 that I knew for sure that’s what I wanted. I had sung in bands before that but once I started writing my first EP I think I grew more confident in my vocal ability and felt that it was something I could pursue.

You have been hailed as an excellent live act, what is your reaction to this and what do you enjoy about these performances?
It’s obviously great to know people are saying good things about the live aspect of my show and I’m very humbled by it. It let’s me know I’m doing something right and it’s something I’m proud of.
I think what I enjoy about playing live is seeing people’s reactions to the songs. It’s the one place where you truly get an honest reaction to your work. It’s a great feeling coming off the stage knowing you’ve given a great performance and the audience has enjoyed it.

You are a skilled guitarist, any advice for other budding musicians?
I’m never sure what to say other than the usual clichéd stuff, but keep on plugging away, practice hard and you’ll keep improving. It’s always good to try playing with other musicians and test yourself as well.

How do you feel about the reactions to your EP releases on iTunes?
All in all I’ve mostly had a pretty positive reaction to my EP’s on iTunes so I’m pretty happy with what people are saying. It’s great to know people are enjoying my songs and it gives me the confidence to continue writing new material. I keep striving to better what I’ve written before so hopefully I can continue doing that.

As a songwriter, do your lyrics come naturally or are they a reflection on your own personal experiences?
My lyrics tend to be a reflection of my personal experiences, and I like to set the stories in an almost fantasy like world. I’m a massive fan of mafia/gangster films like ‘The Godfather’ etc, and I use a lot of references to those types of movies in my lyrics. Hopefully people will pick up on that and can relate to the story I try to create in my songs.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I’d love to say selling out the O2 arena but we’ll see. Honestly as long as I’m still making music that people appreciate and I can make a living from it then I’ll be happy.

Thank you for your time and we wish you the best of luck in the future!
Thank you also!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Film: True Grit

The Coen brothers re-adaption of True Grit fails to not impress. The genre (western) would make many want to fall asleep however True Grit proves fun and compassionate. It is a travelling tale of vengeance and proves thrilling throughout.

The movie narrated by the adult Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfield),  plays out the story of her childhood. As the eldest child in her family she has come to sort her murdered fathers affairs and bring his killer to justice. She inquires at the undertakers upon who would be the best Marshal to assist her and is given numerous options .  She is a feisty and witty child who presents much control over her elders.Proving a skilled business woman and persuasive, she convinces the local business man to re-purchase and compensate her father's property, due to the murderer Tom Chaney making off with her father's horse placed into his care.

Spending her second night in the local boarding house she awakens to Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) with a proposition for her. He proposes that he attempt Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), as he been doing so for numerous months and bring him to justice for a separate murder within Texas. He suggests she still convinces Cogburn to assist her as his local knowledge and brash exterior will prove useful.  Mattie disregards the proposal and wishes Chaney to hang for her father's murder specifically. With money now in her pocket, Mattie makes a successful attempt of gaining the support of U.S Marshal Reuben J. ‘Rooster’ Cogburn (Jeff Bridges). On instruction she awaits for him the following morning so that they may depart, on arrival she discovers a note telling her to return home and leave him to his duty.

To her dismay she sets off towards the river and seeks passage on the ferry, on refusal she crosses, clutched to her swimming horse. Safely on the other side she continues with persistence.  On discovery that the two men have arranged an alternative agreement, Mattie threatens to have the Marshal arrested for fraud. After an uneasy scene of disciplining by LaBoeuf the Marshal sends him on his way reluctantly letting Mattie accompany him. The pair come across an isolated shack inhabited by two outlaws and enter. The Marshal begins his tactics and tries to subdue them, eventually turning one against the other and leaving them both wounded and near death. The younger informs the Marshall that the notorious gang led by “Lucky” Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper) should be arriving later in the evening. On belief that Chaney accompanies the ruffians Mattie and the Marshall await their arrival.

However, to their disadvantage LaBoeuf rears his head. Upon the gangs arrival he is lassoed and Cogburn opens fire upon the unsuspecting party, killing three members and wounding LaBoeuf. That night the trio rest while Cogburn drowns some non-existent sorrows, offending the Ranger and causing him to depart once more.

Mattie wakes early and begins preparations. As she collects water from a nearby stream she comes across her foe Chaney. She demands her fathers remaining California gold piece and clutching to his pistol takes aim, catching Chaney’s shoulder but misfiring the killing shot. Chaney captures Mattie and returns her to Ned Pepper’s gang, where she is proclaimed as their hostage. He tells Cogburn to depart immediately or Mattie’s life will be cut short, as he leaves hastily Ned does also, leaving Mattie in Chaney’s care. Chaney opposes the plan, as the gang attempt to locate a new hideout but Ned disregards his exclamations, stating there is few horses and he must not harm Mattie.

As they are left alone, Chaney assaults Mattie attempting to silence her. LaBoeuf springs from the cliff-face and knocks Chaney out cold. He explains that on hearing shots, he adamantly returned and came across the Marshal whom he schemed a plan for rescue with. Atop the cliff Mattie and Laboeuf watch the Marshall upon the plain below. The encounter between the gang and the Marshal unfolds rapidly with an impressive shoot out sequence. Two gang members are shot dead and another flees, leaving leader Ned in direct contact with the Marshall. The Marshals horse is shot from under him and as it lands heavily upon him. Ned takes his aim and is shot dead by LaBoeuf from a distance. A crack is heard upon LaBoeuf’s skull and he topples in a slump, Mattie grabs his rifle and takes a finally successful aim. The force sends her flying back into a deep mineshaft, swarmed by rattlesnakes. In her struggle Mattie is bitten, Cogburns rescue attempt is swift and he sucks the poison from her wound.

Knowing she is near death, Cogburn in appreciation dismisses LaBoeuf and assures he will send help. Hastily he makes his way to a doctor. The duo ride through the night in a beautiful and picturesque sequence on horseback. As Matties horse falters, Cogburn makes a paternal attempt to save her. He picks up her weak and dying body and sprints onwards.

We cut to a scene twenty-five years later. Where the narrator is now prominent. The adult Mattie now concludes her story. The ending is unexpected and leaves a saddened audience. The rough U.S Marshall is now admirable and the estranged LaBoeuf is finally at peace on completion of his quest. On reflection this quest explores revenge, love of individuals and the best of the wild west.

The critically acclaimed True Grit is currently in cinemas nationwide. Do not avoid this merely on a genre basis, you will be pleasantly surprised by its individual appeal and suitability.

Interview: K.Flay

What you stand for, and an interesting fact about yourself?
I hope I stand for music that’s original and authentic.  In my music life and my normal life I try to be an independent thinker and general proponent of weirdness.  Interesting fact: my second toe looks like ET.
Who was the most enjoyable artist you have performed with and why?
I just finished a great run with Wallpaper.  He’s got this totally crazy outlandish stage persona, and it was really fun to watch him transform each night.
What is your favourite mix up on MASHed Potatoes?
Crazytown.  I think that we live in age in which corporations and institutions suppress a lot of natural – and potentially beneficial – psychological variation in the name of “mental health” and that as a society, we suffer for it.  Feeling insane, depressed, out of control – those are the ingredients for great art and interesting people.
You like to manipulate your music and manage to create something beautifully unique. What instruments can and do you prefer to use?
I do a lot of sampling, which means I sort of have the whole musical instrument spectrum at my fingertips.  But in terms of what I actually play, it’s mainly controllers and guitar.
Any plans for your own tour?
Right now I’m enjoying life as an opening act.  I think it’s important to be able to adapt your live show to different kinds of crowds and learn from other, more experienced artists.  Plus, the vague threat of getting booed off stage means you have to make sure you aren’t completely terrible.
Best performance to date and why?
I actually think my best show was my latest show, in London the other week.  Often, when I’m performing, I find my mind wandering off – everything’s so automatic that I don’t have to think about it.  But I was super stressed that day, with jetlag, meetings, travel, and I was able to release all that energy on stage.
You are credited on your educational success often, are you glad you went to University and at the same time pursued your musical career?
I’m extremely happy that I finished university.  At the end of the day, when the show’s over, I’m stuck with myself.  So I’m glad I like reading books.  Because books are more interesting and less frustrating than me.
What are your inspirations for your music?
The things I see and feel.  I’ve been in a very introspective space as of late, so a lot of my writing has stemmed from that.
Your work is original, are you looking to create your own genre?
Not really.  Just trying to make music that’s a bit surprising, a bit left of center.  I’m still figuring out my sound, but I’m getting closer to where I want to end up.
Who came up with the stage name?, was it a previous nickname or just a play on words?
K.Flay was my nickname in college.
Do you prefer to perform in the US or further afield?
I’ve only performed a bit outside the US but it’s been awesome.  I definitely hope to do more international touring this year.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In a studio, working on some new shit.
Something about you that others perhaps would not expect?
I cry during movies.
A message to all your fans?
Thank you!  And stay tuned for new music.  Loooots of new music.