I am not Peter Jones and -thank god- they are not Hamfatter…but..but..buuuuttttt…hmmm….shit
It’s rare, it’s really rare when you can say the following sentence:
“You’re unsigned, seriously?”
And say it with 100% honesty.
Box Of Ghosts are that rare exception where you are flabbergasted that the people who make up the band aren’t doing what they do (so fucking well) and getting paid for it.
If you take a little look at our Kavinsky article that we popped up a few months ago you’ll see a wee little mention about Box Of Ghosts. We were really impressed with them that night and thought that an early seating on the performance order (they played first) was nowhere near the reflection of their talents. We have kept a close eye on them since… Via Facebook, natch. Yes, I said natch, obvi.
Last night we went to the historic venue The 100 Club just on Oxford Street and saw the chaps at Box Of Ghosts do what they do best, entertain us with their sublime electronica 80′s pop/soul/rock/funk/sexy-stuff. The set was excellent, soulful, enchanting and teleporting. They have such a great sound and the ensemble are having more and more fun with their performances – they are definitely a band to watch.
It's a shame you can't buy shares in a band....or can you? Hmmm.
Box Of Ghosts were followed by a crowd of other bands that weren’t to our liking all that much, we think that Box of Ghosts would sit far better in a billboard of similar tune makers.. oh like this: Cargo Thursday 6th September.
If you happen to be free on Thursday 6th September then get yourself there.. If you love Wilds Beasts, Depeche Mode, Girls and perhaps a wee twingical landscape filled with a fighting flurray of Thundercats verses He-Man with Soundwave from the Transformers mediating all the action between your ears then this will be a nice place to go on Thursday night.
Give a woman a task and she’ll execute it with timely precision, give a woman a service and she’ll do fifty times more than expected, give a woman a job and she’ll turn it into a profession.
Give a man a task and he’ll focus everything onto it, give a man a service and he’ll dedicate everything to it, give a man a job and he’ll turn it into an art.
The cook becomes the chef. The hairdresser, the stylist. The engineer, the architect.
Have you ever had a Turkish barber give you a shave, or have one cut your hair? If you have, then you’ll get what I’m trying to say. These men are artists, and Ted Baker knows it.
A Turkish barber giving me a "close shave".
Open from the 27th July and by appointment-only the Ottoman Lounge at Ted’s Grooming Room at 31 Theobalds Road London, is offering a wide range of traditional male grooming treatments.
Upstairs is the ‘no appointment required’ traditional barbers but downstairs is the Ottoman Lounge where the smells and sounds of old Istanbul infuse the air.
It’s a place where the distinguished gents of London town can choose from a deluxe range of high-pampering, tailor-made grooming services.
I had the pleasure of experiencing the full service. Will I go again? Yes. The Turkish Coffee and the Turkish Delight were….wait for it…. delightful
A sick cup for an equally sick cup of coffee.
I normally pay £25 for a haircut in London and Ted charges £40, but for £60 you can have it all. Cut A Dash With Ted package is a stylish haircut and an intense, invigorating, hot-towel shave. I gave it a go as I was feeling flash… my goodness it was worth it!
I was in there for nearly two hours being trimmed, snipped, steamed, shaved and massaged. The level of due care is excellent and I left the lounge feeling invigorated, fresh, and as if I was walking on pure air made from the gaseous atmosphere of PSR J1719-1438 (space reference… get in!)
PSR J1719-1438 Is an ExoPlanet made of pure diamond, no shit.
Ted’s Turkish barbers are authentic and charming, the decor of the lounge is what you would expect, dark woods and spot lit areas of importance. The mood is set even before you sit yourself into their extremely comfortable leather chairs. A Turkish coffee is served with a Turkish delight, Kasabian on the sound system and a nice little video loop to entertain the wandering eyes.
In all honesty, this place is one of London’s newest best kept secrets and I feel slightly guilty spreading the word, but the men of London need to know that this awesome service exists, it’s great for those wanting to feel ‘the nuts’ on a monthly basis.
For daily use, Ted Baker have launched a new range of products. Face wash, scrub, shave gel and cream, post shave balm, cologne and hair wax, cream and gel – with a price range from £6 to £10 available at Boots and some Ted Baker stores. All new additions to my pantry of vanity.
The bottles and tubs would go great on a cabinet made of rich mahogany. Eh hum.
Waste no time and book yourself in today. Trust me, this the beginning of something beautiful.
The men about town go to the gym… Well, we’re members of a gym. We do still go, the last time we went for a full ‘muscle breaking session’ was about a week ago, and it does count, it does… Healthy living has fast become a big part of a young man’s lifestyle. Washboard abs and arms the size of General Shermans. These are now goals, not too far away, from our sensible eating, cat loving, motorcycle-riding men about town.
However… it isn’t all about the gym.
Eating well is a massive part of the journey to Greek god and we are more than aware of the benefits to a good diet. Out of the five men about town, we have one veggie, one who is currently on a paleolithic diet (the berries give him a Cherryade moustache, it’s very funny) and two currently not eating carbs after 6pm… The other just really loves cats and says that he eats when he’s hungry… he’s from Yorkshire :/
A Greek God.
So, when we were invited by the good people at 9Bar to come and try out their range of cereal seed’d bars we were immediately intrigued. Breakfast consists of a cup of coffee before the gym, but if it’s an early start then we usually all have a bowl of porridge. Going to drama school for three years does that to a man.
9Bar's looking all healthy, posh-hippy and rural...
Cereal bars have never really been on the radar until now. We always sorta passed them off as reinventing of the wheel by greedy hippy’s seeing the prospects of selling things that fall from trees… but….but…! We know that they are all the rage these days. Our preference prior to discovering the bars went to a good bowl of porridge in the morning, which cannot be ignored. So, when we were asked to try 9Bar’s range of bars for the morning, that promised a slow release of energy and that perfect morning boost, we couldn’t resist to put them to the test, against our firm old pal, a heavy bowl of gruel…
A bowl of porridge...
A bowl of porridge vs a 9Bar
Porridge: 2/3 mins
9bar: 2 secs
Porridge: 4-10 meters perimeter around kitchen area, anywhere over just looks weird.
9bar: Eat anywhere and anytime.
Porridge: If you like it with water, yuk!
Porridge: Purchased Separately
9bar: They have carob
Available in prison?
9bar: Not unless it’s requested and brought as a gift from a friend outside.
Here’s our take on the range…
We tried the 5 delicious varieties – original – nutty – pumpkin – flax and organic.
The Original nine bar is said to be the daddy of seed bars. Its ingredients includes mixed seeds of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and poppy.
Nutty 9bars are the chunky offspring of our original 9bar, containing unique mix of densely nutritious nuts and seeds, including sunflower seeds to dehulled hemp, mixed nuts of cashew, pistachio, almonds and hazelnuts.
Pumpkin 9bars have a sweet, more delicate taste than the rest of the nine bar range and without the carob coating you can see all those deliciously tasty seeds. Ingredients of mixed seeds including sunflower, sesame, poppy, dehulled hemp and pumpkin seeds.
Flax 9bars are the quirky cousin of the 9bar family, they are a favourite among their uber healthy fans as they combine all the added superfood goodness of flax along with the usual delicious 9bar nutrition. Ingredients of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, poppy, dehulled hemp and Flax seed.
The organic 9bar offers all the visual deliciously tasty nine bar goodness will be added assurance that comes with the organic 9bar. Ingredients include sunflower pumpkin sesame poppy and dehulled hemp.
One for each working day!
Our verdict. They actually beat a bowl of porridge by a long long way. They are portable, tasty and really effective in the slow release of energy pick me up sort of way. Perfect for athletes, and getting you through that boring Tuesday afternoon in the office.
Seeds are packed with vitmims and not many people are aware of seeds leading benefits. They should be a vital part of any diet, whats more they are gluten free, dairy and wheat free, and at 48p a bar you cannot go wrong.
Pick up a pack from your supermarket today, and see for yourself.
Chevrolet has a world class reputation for incredible cars. I found out the other night that they also work with an incredible artist. If you’re a petrol head you may already be aware of his unique artwork – he is called Ian Cook – he goes by the alias Popbangcolour - and he is known for painting cars, with… well… cars. I shall explain…
I was privileged enough to see him action at the Chevrolet Volt launch on Wednesday night. Named 2012 Car of theYear, Volt is neither a hybrid nor a battery electric vehicle. It’s a pioneering Extended Range Electric Vehicle (or E-REV). Powered electrically 100% of the time, Volt’s Voltec® electric drive unit keeps going when its lithium-ion battery is depleted, thanks to its on-board petrol powered generator, extending its range to over 300 miles.
But back to Ian. He and the Volt share the fact that they are both quite unique.
Ian paints on massive sheets of paper that are sprawled over the floor. His paints and materials are strewn around the edges, and this genius of the car world only paints with the wheels from remote-controlled cars. Sometimes he uses them as brushes, as he kneels down in bare feet, other-times he actually drives the paint laden cars over his canvas.
I was bought a radio controlled car for a Christmas present and was told “not to take it down my studio, and not to get paint on it”…(lightbulb moment) … so like any bloke would – I listened to only a bit of that conversation.
Even though he is a self-confessed petrol head cars are not his only subject matter. He also paints commissions and portraits.
He has famously painted a picture of Lewis Hamilton as big as a three storey house. In fact all his paintings are big. They have to be because of the way he paints them. The size of the paintings give them an impact that is difficult to ignore. Don’t worry though his prints are smaller, they are reproduced by a huge custom built scanner, so if you fancy a Popbangcolour hanging in your living room you don’t have to live in a mansion.
Annually a group of six prominent artists are selected to create a series of six fragrances with six celebrated perfumists; in order to raise awareness and funding for a deserving charity. Step in 6Scents. Collectively diverse members of the creative world are invited to contribute and a global initiative is launched through creativity with a conscience.
The Men About Town managed to get our hands onto these unique and massively exclusive scents and it got us thinking…
How far do our tastes affect our personality?
Seems a simple question to answer but we are always surprised by those who, at face value, might seem the mild cheddar cheese type, but actually prefer a cornish yarg wrapped in stinging nettles on their crackers. It is something that we all take for granted, but every now and then we meet the burly hard-man that will never go below number 3 on the take away menu, or the spiritually angelic-being who, while on their gap-year, went mental (in a positive way) as soon as they laid eyes on a MacDonald’s restaurant in Cambodia.
Taste is fundamental to who we are as people. We use our own personal experiences, and attitudes, to forge an idea of others. We create instant impressions of the people we encounter in our day-to-day lives, helping us to decide, if we like, dislike, fancy, are interested in, think are boring, or whom we just want to talk to, to find out where they got their really nice jacket from.
Our senses feed our tastes, our tastes tell us who we are.
Taste is extremely well documented and the connections between senses and tastes are researched all over the world. Food taste research is the easiest one to find. It tends to be forged within us from childhood. The same is said for attraction, just ask Freud.
Scent is everywhere, from freshly cut grass, to car fumes. It is a very delicate sense and can lead to many pre-decisions, that help us to determine whether someone is hygienic, sensitive, masculine or feminine. It aids our judgment levels and operates sometimes with, or without, our knowing. It can be deceiving too; I was shown by a very fabulous friend of mine that mint actually tastes of nothing.”Hold your nose when you chew it,” she said. She was right, the vapour of the mint leaf is detected by your sense of smell – and nothing else.
Scents can teleport you through time. They can help you to relive moments long forgotten. They are one of the driving factors in the game of attraction and we decided, due to the fact that it is also the least researched of the senses, to put female’s tastethrough smell into the ring with personality.
Can a woman’s taste in perfume really be linked to their personality?
As men living in the 21st Century we grew up with fragrances on guys. Big brands saw the potential in the market for Eau de Toilettes. Magazines like GQ, FHM, Esquire and The Face (which sadly left our shelves back in May 2004) had the tear out perfume page that we would rub onto our pre-teen boy necks, in the hope that we’d be noticed. The girls at school, and down the park, would become experts in giving us feedback… “oh that’s lush…” or “are you wearing xyz?” It was at this point in our lives the gifts started getting smaller under the Christmas tree, as we started to listen and take note to what these girls had to say. We both recall wearing scents out to please women rather than ourselves. Fast forward to the present day and we have both been through several different types, colours, and shapes of fragrances. As two single early 30′s heterosexual men living in one of the largest cities on the planet, it seems only prudent to take the opportunity to find out if different types of women like different types of scents.
To avoid the usual “oh! that smells like my ex-boyfriend,” we wanted to source the most exclusive, unique and diversified unisex fragrances we could get our hands on. You can’t get anymore exclusive than a brand for which only four-thousand bottles of each fragrance are created worldwide.
6Scents Series 3 uses innocence to experience the nature of childhood memories and the influence of the adolescent on society and identity. Six designers from six different parts of the world were invited to remember the most definitive experiences of their youth that led to their sense of identity today and to recall some of their most intimate childhood memories involving the sense of smell. Exploring the stories further, it would seem that innocence begins to fade and rebellion and mischief kick in. A portion of the proceeds will go to War Child International in support of children who’ve not had the good fortune to experience the same freedom.
We could only pick four to trial, mainly because we only have four wrists between us. It was a mathematical choice over anything else. So we chose our four favourite and most distinct fragrances, from the elite unisex range.
Here they are:-
Ben is wearing Beau Bow & M, James is wearing Ascent & Can't Smell Fear
Beau Bow They say:A crispy fragrant image of a very chic uncultured French teenager who enjoys his quirks and is eager to discover the world, making love to it for the first time, and breathing it all in. A nostalgic memory of the ideal image of France in the 1970s, elegantly modern, but strangely still romantic, a bit hazy like a David Hamilton photograph.
We say: we picked Beau Bowbecause: After the initial flowery tinge had died down, it reminded us of late nights around a campfire, sipping neat vodka because somebody forgot the mixers. It smells warm and friendly, and spoke softly rather than yelled. There is a quiet confidence about this scent.
M They say:Night noises passed away heat remains the smell of memory. The rebellious side of growing up in nightclubs, and late outings. The feeling of warm slightly sweaty skin. M starts with the core ingredients of leather with a strong analytic feeling the fragrance captures the coming-of-age, and the realising of one sexuality. Strong while considering feminine qualities which are translated through the use of cardamon, safraleine, and leather.
We say:we picked M because: it is immediately confident and masculine. It reminded us of fast cars and leather interiors. It made us feel like walking confidently up to a lady in a club and saying ‘Hey… let’s dance’.
Ascent They say: A child’s desire to understand the cycle of life going from birth to death. The origin of life is expressed by fresh acord, green and watery like a drop of sperm. Infancy is evoked by baby powder into a musk and powdery sent. Midlife is expressed by a leathery note, comfortable yet strong, like a leather jacket. Then the end of life is symbolised by innocence not a morbid, but evoking the ambience of the churches. The result is a contrasting fragrance luminous yet dark, shiny and matte.
We say:we picked Ascent because: it had the most redeeming features of the six. When we smelt it, it reminded us of a very clean bathing session – fresh sheets and warm skin post a hot bath. It has strong and familiar links to both of our childhoods. It is a fresh and clean scent. Extremely different to the rest of the market, but very familiar to the nose.
Can’t Smell Fear They say:Memories of a very shy and reserved child who recalls the smell of the skin in the city with concrete and wooden buildings and wanting to find comfort and protection. The fragrance provides comfort and protects you in an island in a somewhat hostile universe. A leathery theme, comfortable and reassuring. An olfactive aura that creates a comfort zone that protects against the city. Woody and floral notes bring refinement, and some amber and musks to have a subtle sensual touch.
We say: we picked Can’t Smell Fear because: of its lasting masculinity. It’s a very rock-and-roll scent with a cool aroma that is unique and satisfying to breathe. Very similar to smelling the inside of a leather jacket. This reminded us of motorbikes, and waking up the next day in strange places.
What the ladies say…
We chose Camden Town and the Kings Road at night, and Notting Hill by day, to trial the scents.
Camden Town by night served as an excellent place to get feedback on the scents
A very simple format: smell our arms, tell us your age (we asked politely), tell us who you would consider to be your ideal man, your favourite film, your music tastes and your favourite scent out of the four, and then tell us why you picked it.
The ladies of London didn’t let us down. We managed to get fifty girls to give us feedback, and when we looked at the results we were gob-smacked. Please remember we really aren’t writing this blog to make sweeping statements about women, ourGrace Dentdefence mechanisms are in full working order.
Also remember that this was not a double blind scientifically controlled test, and there were certainly no placebos in sight. However, we found some interesting trends that seem to suggest that a certain ‘type’ of girl really was more predisposed to preferring one or the other. Perhaps it is the quality of the perfumes, each one was individually unique and beautiful, but each one seemed to have their own demographic of fans.
Beau Bow was liked by girls who were down to earth and open; the early twenties flower child or club nymph. All were, bizarrely enough, cute, smiley and very friendly. They mainly liked mainstream music, but had a broader taste than some of the other more specific interviewees. A Beau Bow girl had a really wide range in guys ranging from Russell Brand to Tim Burgess.
M Seemed to be preferred by ladies that knew what they liked. They generally had no hesitation when answering our questions. They seemed to be strong willed and confident ladies, who liked the more rugged, sexual male. Ideal men ranged from Gerard Butler, James Franco and Jonny Depp. Interestingly, M was a big divider of opinions; with almost as many girls choosing it as their least favourite as their favourite.
Notting Hill by day… Such a lovely place to visit.
Ascent were women that loved films like The Note Book and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Music tastes ranged from Katie Melua to Adele. They were around mid-twenties, and from the ones that we spoke to, never really ventured out of the West London quarter. Ideal men ranged again from Liam Hemsworth, to a few chapos we had never heard of, sporting double barrelled surnames.
Can’t Smell Fear was liked by girls who were more into rock music and less into pop. They loved films like Almost Famous and predominately spend their time going to gigs and dreaming about guys like Alex Turner and Ryan Gosling. They were only found in the haunts across Camden and a couple of times in the pubs off the Portobello Market. They were between the ages of 21-28 and every single one of them had dark brown hair.
The scents are available from the following stockists, only 4000 of each bottle have been made so if you fall in love with any of them then it would make sense to stock up.
It’s clearly not about the money, money, money — is it RIM?
Could an evening get anymore ironic, or unfortunate? The brand, the acts and their messages send a mixed signal through the networks via BBM.
An altogether fun and high energy night ends in turmoil.
Continue to the end of the blog to see what happened this evening. I think it is prudent that I write what I would have written regardless of a bunch of idiots doing bad, stupid, and dangerous things, so here is my intended blog… fuck em.
The snazzy BBM message station, where users could BBm on to the large screen in the venue and to the wider world.
For a company that has the word ‘Research’ in its name it is ironic that RIM have had to retreat back into the grey suited realms of the business world. The Blackberry really did show the globe, and Steve Jobs, the potential of the handset. Why didn’t they invest and follow suit? Arrogance perhaps? Lack of foresight? What are the people behind Blackberry actually doing, and why have they failed to secure the market-hold they had for such a period?
As far back as 2005 celebs like Paris Hilton were having their ‘Blackberry’s hacked’. I was in New York at the time that it happened and I remember thinking to myself “what’s a Blackberry?”, I came back to England and enquired about them, “£130 for the handset and a £60 a month contract”, so I didn’t get one, but then the big suits at RIM decided, after stiff competition from the likes of Sony Ericsson and the forever doomed Nokia, to give the major networks free handset allocation and this, ultimately, gave way to the internet-capable handset’s boom!
Here’s an Idea of that boom…
RIM’S revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 was $835.1 million, up 26.8% from $658.5 million in the previous quarter and up 49% from $560.6 million in the same quarter of last year. The revenue breakdown for the quarter was approximately 75% for handhelds, 17% for service, 5% for software, and 3% for other revenue.
Then, with great pleasure, 2 years later, Research In Motion announced its first-quarter results for fiscal year 2010. RIM saw revenue of $3.42 billion—a 53 percent increase from the first quarter of the previous year—and shipped approximately 7.8 million devices, it said.
RIM reported that devices accounted for 81 percent of its revenue, followed by 13 percent for service, 2 percent for software and 4 percent for “other revenue.”
So a further 2 years on.. 4 apple smart phones, 3 apple tablets, what are RIM and Blackberry doing?
Last weeks announcement that they now “intend to focus on building the business side of the business” shows a real indication that the key to keeping ahead of the game for the Blackberry brand was actually being true to your name. It’s a shame that Research In Motionnever actually put their “research into motion”… Failing to improve on its market position; and never really gunning for the quicker releases of more advanced handsets.
The personal-user market is the golden chalice. Market dominance is rarely shared. This isn’t Nintendo vs Sony vs Sega vs Xbox… Or the likes of Nike vs Reebok vs Adidas…The mobile phone companies relinquish top seed on a, bizarrely, five year basis; with only Apple really now seen as the top runner to break the mould.
By what I can remember (please do correct me if I’m wrong) it was Nokia in the late 90′s to 2000′s, Sony Ericsson 2003 to 2005, Blackberry 2006 – 2008 and iPhone 2009/10 – present day.
Myself and the fabulous Jacinta Maddison (Shinesquad‘s Post Production Manager) attended the marketing circus dedicated to please/keep the young Blackberry customers firmly a’grip of their loyalty without giving in, and heading to the ecstatic experience of opening the white box that simply says “designed by Apple in California“. I mean, come on, this is the company that got girls into gadgets, how could a company called Research In Motionever stand a chance? – Well, they certainly had a plan this evening, and it involved Jessie J.
The mobile phone market, like most markets, is driven by the first time earner. Celebrity endorsement can really help to boost sales and maintain position. So, with that in mind I should tell you what I got upto last Tuesday night, down at the Bankside Vaults, in the venue called Pulse.. I was invited to an event hosted by BBM, Blackberry’s free text communication network, to watch Jessie J and Wretch 32, pump across a stage with a shimmering Blackberry interchangeable backdrop.
The DJ BenBridgewater warmed the crowd with his collection of RnB, Dance and the occasional Old Skool bad-boy remixes — bloody excellent set! He was excellent. His track mixing Snoop Dogg and the song from Top of the Pops 2 (prize if you can tell me who did it) was sick, really sick.
Then we were on to the support act Wretch 32, who were never on my radar prior to the event, but they were really good too! The lead singer got the crowd jumping.
Wretch 32′s Lyrics were a particular highlight to the never-heard-of-before ears…
“Forget about violence I’d rather be cool… Listen, you can’t die with your money…”
“Being a celebrity don’t mean shit to me, fuck the glitz and glamour I’ll roll up in my tractor”
Humble. I really liked them.
There were the usual sea of smart phones taking vids and pics. Ironically enough though it was what looked like a 50/50 split between Apple and RIM products.
And then after a few bits of fiddling on stage. We witness the mood get serious as a pair of hooped ear rings, a camel toe, and Jessie J, with her hair up, entered the stage, in that order. On her second track she proceeded to grab an iPhone out of the crowd, while a fan had it on record and she sung into it, pulled a few faces and gave the fan a video to cherish. Hilariously though… And ironic, it was an iPhone and sadly not a Blackberry…! Which Jessie J, did mention after the track had finished. Whoops! Brilliant. I could practically hear the squirms from the people at RIM watching her do it. A magical moment.
The performance was excellent, her band were in tight with her, and she really represented a strong woman with admirable honesty and a very down to earth sense of humour. I didn’t fancy her all that much until maybe half way through where she decided to say to the people of the audience that she aims to win over the “people who had been paid to be there” – I thought that was an awesome shout, and she actually did win us over. .
Oh yeah polka-dots.
Her backing singers were excellent. Jessie J and the two exceptionally talented girls enjoyed themselves, hitting the harmonies with expert precision. The Luther Vandross cover was a nice move, it got everybody jumping and dancing, she held herself well.
She also remembered half way through the set who was paying her fee… She asked an unassuming person in the audience… “How many people do you have on your BBM? Oh you got an iPhone, didn’t you know it’s a Blackberry event? Who the hell in here has BBM?” classic. She managed to find a Blackberry very quickly though and repeated her antics with it, in similar fashion, as she had done with the iPhone previously. Her charm was clear and her talent very evident. Its great that she is British and, although her music isn’t to my taste, her messages are real, honest and direct.
In a nutshell the performances were excellent and hats off to RIM for trying to pull off something big, cool, and in all fairness a gift to their, ever strained, hopefully loyal, demographic.
Important note… Shortly after the event had finished there was an altercation and somebody was, apparently, stabbed in the neck by a glass bottle. The police held back several people for questioning. Such a shame for RIM who were clearly trying to build something with this, that their night is ruined by a bunch of idiotic morons. It’s a shame that Wretch 32′s message was only listened and not heard by a certain few… Cretins.
“Forget about violence I’d rather be cool…”
Police secure off the area where the stabbing took place.
Holborn Houseis a rip off not just in name but, unfortunately, in many, many ways…
John Travolta -- A dancing man, no time to talk.
Studio 54 in New York in the 70s inspired and gave birth to the disco scene, spawning films like Saturday Night Fever and giving immortality to tracks from bands like the Bee Gees and Earth Wind and Fire. In the 90s Brit pop was practically spawned from the sweat sprayed into the crowd at The Hacienda, from a crash of a tambourine over a certain ‘mad for it’ Monday’s forehead. Gatecrasher, Cream, and The Ministry of Sound fuelled the Ibiza-less winter weekends. A wide demographic that seems to be stretching and stretching filling the floors, corridors and queues to the ladies loos. A demographic that predominately loved the music.
18-30′s ruined it. The glamorisation of the ‘down in one‘ culture created a scene of packed out clubs that stanck of fart, sticky carpets and the mobile hospital.
… Cue Harry Enfield “old man, old man”…
It is now a lot more like 15 to 45′s these days. The gender balance tends to be toward the lower end: girls, and the upper end: men.
In the world of boy meets girl, today’s generation seems well-established, shrines of the sexual pursuit are everywhere, catering from extreme to mainstream, dancing has been replaced with ‘dry-humping‘ and the idea of ‘asking a girl to dance‘ is as laughable as asking a fish to swim. The club is no more about the music. It is about sex and an illusion of wealth in order to get it.
Pound coins are no longer tender, they morph into this sort of sex-token. And twenty five of them will get you in.
Clubbing has evolved… Certainly in the Capital. And it feels as if a genius formula has been created:
Invite pretty girls, let them get in free, run a 2 for 1 cocktail deal before 11.30, invite guys with credit cards, and charge the world for everything.
Works in Vegas so it would work in Holborn, no?
Last Saturday I stood in the loo at Holborn House, £25 down from my entrance fee, £45 down for my drinks. A nice guy from Essex and the really friendly toilet attendant talked to me about the state of clubbing in London.
“Places like this rip you off, and they do it because they can!” said the fella from Essex. “We have credit cards that we pay off over the course of months to enable us to have nights like this. The women are young, fit, dressed to the nines, and they get easier to take home the more champagne they drink, it’s that simple. We aren’t wealthy guys, we just pretend to be so we can get laid. The girls wouldn’t give a second of their time if you didn’t buy them a drink. If you’ve got champagne then forget about it, she’s yours no matter how butt ugly you are. I like to call it the Dean Gaffney effect.”
Isn’t it about the music, I ask them. The toilet attendant lets out big West African belly laugh “Not anymore” he retorts in his thick accent, “In Nigeria it is about the music, and the dancing, and the good time. In London it’s about the pu-na-nee.” “Wherever you go in this city, it is the same, no cash, no gash, no wallet, no woman. A lot of girls in London are whores. All they care about is how much money you got, and how much you’re going to spend it on them. It takes the respect away.”
The Essex fella jumps in “The pressure is insane! You want to get a girl. The chicks you see in magazines, with the T&A, you see footballers with their dolly birds and you want one too. But you’re not JT”, he means John Terry, “you’re Paul the pipe fitter from Plaistow who has £3000 he needs to pay off on his Nationwide credit card. It’s sad really. Especially considering that fact that I’m Paul.”
“Nice to meet you” I say to him. I go on to ask him about the older guys who have the tables, he slaps his forehead.”Mate! Look at em! They’re nothing, they’re here because they can’t get any women any other way, or they’re married and the misssus is at home sat in a cupboard. By night they’re gangsta Crystal popping pimps, and by day they work in their uncle’s carpet shop in Loughton. This place is an illusion!”
The flyer that didn’t seem to arouse any suspicion, are we naive…? – Maybe.
I leave the loo to continue the rest of my evening. I’m with my brother, the awesome photographer Robert Bradley and the exceptionally talented UK Hip-Hop artist Antix.
Prior to the night out, our anticipation levels were high. We read the Facebook event page, and expected an excellent night. Happy to pay the £25. Holborn House – Soho House – Shorditch House?! No relation, granted, but I have had some great nights out at these places, it should be a great night, surely?
The flyers’ wording was very misleading, 2 for 1 deal was only for Fashionista cocktails, apparently, and the music was predominately RnB.
Spring Break Madness wasn’t anywhere to be seen, Holborn House and MACE PR failed on every level to win our want of returning. And their absolute lack of care or courtesy ran through the bar staff, the hostesses, the door staff and the security. The drinks were extortionately overpriced. For three drinks we were charged £45. We complained and got the drinks on the house. Extended proof that we were being robbed. We went to go and buy cigs from the shop opposite and were told by the door staff, at around 11.30, that we couldn’t get back in with our stamps!! Why did we have our stamps?!! I asked the guy who was still giving out the stamps on the door and he told me to come back in 30 mins. We were now prisoners of Holborn House!
The atmosphere was stale and there was, what seemed like, a thick cloud of chlamydia hovering over the girls dancing around the tables. I got talking to a few and found out none of them were over 18.
Holborn House is a room with a bar, a few tables, safe decor and a couple of mirrors. Apparently there is a room upstairs which was off limits, as Nottingham Forest was having a party. Huh?
I got to talking with one of the hostesses and she really wasn’t interested in anything I had to say. All she wanted to know was wether or not I was going to take a table. Tables were £500 minimum spend.
The night was following the stencil that has been tried, tested and executed with expert precision in the super-clubs of Las Vegas. They get away with it because the clubs in Vegas are amazing; brilliant DJs, excellent service and an absolutely awesome party atmosphere. Holborn House is a fleas fart in comparison to any of them.
Electricity manipulation, the creation of synthetic beats and melodies, with the fusion, and rule breaking, of classic musical theory is what the world has aptly named: Electro.
Imagine the confusion, if you will, if someone were to tell Thomas Edison that part of the development with the technology, that he was pioneering, would, one day, make music; and that this music would be played in a theatre to thousands, by a guy with a cool haircut, twisting knobs on a trestle table…
The Electro DJ has humble beginnings. Basically a producer mixing tracks in front of T-shirt wearing head nodders, the popularity of the music has propelled the would be sound engineers into international sensations. They pack out venues in capital cities across the globe, have fans follow them from show to show, and get all the privliges one would expect a rock group to receive. In the 1980′s, where this music teleports its listeners, these guys would have been, very much, behind the scenes. I think that it has been a welcomed promotion, as the majority of all songs we hear have sound engineers perving all over them anyway. It is fair, and justified, that these masters of the channel switching have their parade!
A great night at The Playground in KOKO Camden Town.
Hundreds were at The Playground in KOKO Camden Town last night to witness a playbill boasting in superstar proportions all the way to unsigned, and unrepresented mastery. Two rooms of edgy electro playing to a crowd primarily made up of London’s French electro scene, or to be blunt, French kids on their gap years, living and looking for work in London, and what I like to call new fans.
Kavinsky produced the track Nightcall which featured on the soundtrack for one of my favourite films of all time: Drive.
The moment his track Nightcall kicked in at the beginning credits, I nearly gave birth in the cinema. I had no idea Kavinsky was doing a track on the Drive soundtrack. It was to be one of my most cherished of moments while being sat in a cinema seat, 3rd place to my first kiss with Lisa Owen, and the moment Morpheus says to Neo “Welcome to the real world…”
A few have come along to enjoy, and jump, onto the bandwagon, I’m sure Kavinsky isn’t bothered that the majority of his fans have only been fans for a few months and were nearly all ID’d and searched upon entering the venue, and I’m sure his fans, that discovered him before he had even played in the UK, and who really buzz to his Testrosa Autodrive, are pleased that his popularity is growing. As the latter, I have never felt like a music snob till last Saturday night… Having said that though, we went all out for the French music maker and as a homage to his music and style we totally dressed for the part…
The Men About Town, Robert Bradley, Ben Pohlman, Mark Fountain, & me (James Alexander)
…& we danced all night.
Being a 30 year old fella coming from the almost forgotten land of late 90′s raves in caves, I’m not that far from the likes of Max Headroom, Videodrome, TestarossasracingContach’s, Def two on BBC 2 showing Antoine De Caunes’Rapido,saying in his plucky French accent “Ello, and welcome to RAPIDO”, Atari 2600′s, Commodore Amiga’s, and Back to the Future. Electro reminds me of being a child sat listening to breakthrough music on my Mum’s Hi-Fi from masters like SKY and Jean Michel Jarre… My route to Electro, French Electro at that, makes a lot of sense.
Max Headroom, an instant image when listening to Kavinsky.
My brother and I stumbled across Kavinsky back in 2006, when we lived in a flat together back in our hometown of Plymouth. My brother (Robert Bradley in the picture above) is a big Daft Punk fan and I love electro too so we’d spend hours on, the now almost dead MySpace looking and listening to our favourite artists ——>; favourite artists…if you get me?!?!?
Daft Punk ->; Sebastian ->; Kavinsky.. It happened like that, and before you knew it the awesome album entitled 1986 was bleeping through my Sony Hi-Fi’s 25Watt speakers all the way up to 11. We had just found a genius!
Click here to buy this most excellent album on Amazon.
All the history and snobbery aside the set in KOKO was, in its element, awesome. We danced like nutters and loved the new tracks he played along with some of the classics. His flirt with Nightcall was sending the French kids and Gosling’ites’ into hysterics. It was a great set. Kavinsky reminded me of an early Jean Michel Jarre. I think the next step for Kavinsky is to really push the mainstream and introduce his music to the masses. This has been done with Drive, slightly, but I really think that he deserves a bigger stage, a bigger show – outside of France. Something epic like Oxygene is just waiting to be unleashed, I am sure of it…
Kavinsky, I know you’re reading this, the time is right.
The artists that proceeded were a great mix of heavenly, earth-like and hellbounding music makers. Box of Ghosts were great and I was amazed after meeting one of the THREE drummers’/percussionists in the loo, that they were unsigned and unrepresented. Not for long, I told him. They were really good and deserved a much later slot. I had images of Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, erasure when they were serious, and Joy Division all rolled into one, but with their own really unique edge. I loved them. Their lead singer was great and their lead guitarist was playing with a really nice mustard yellow Telecaster, which I think is going to be my next guitar! – Seriously watch out for these guys!
All in all, it was a great night with great friends. We celebrated a birthday and the people at The Playground ran the show flawlessly, and made us feel very welcome so a big thanks to them.
We’re looking to get the conversation started regarding eco-friendly and sustainable building solutions. It’s a market, and an ethos, that is very close to us at Shinesquad and the ‘men about town’ at London Lift-Off!
Product animation could really add something to your launch campaigns…
If you find yourself at the ecobuild this year, (exhibiting or visiting) and you would like us to review your product or if you want to talk about video, animation and all that is creative media marketing then just send us a tweet!! We’ll come find you for a coffee and a chat. We’re here till Thursday!!