Thursday 28 October 2010

A new installment of Vice's Guide to travel...

MANDINGO - "A African male who knows that he has a huge penis that can hit all night and keep a female coming back for more."

This will blow your mind.

VBS travels to Tampa, Florida – home of America’s fastest growing fetish: interracial swinging. It’s a scene run by a mysterious gangbang crew known as The Florida Mandingos.
Our guide is Art Hammer, the founder of the Florida Mandingos, a group of “discreet, professional, educated, intelligent, physically fit, drug and disease free, well-hung black gentlemen, age 24-45, that specialise in hot, intense, nasty gangbangs for couples/females who love big black dicks and black dick fantasies!”FOR REALZ.

Here are the trailers. These will give you a brief idea of how bizarre/insane the whole thing is:

(Watch out for the first epsiode - coming next week on

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Maps & Atlases Interview

I forgot to post my Maps and Atlases interview up here that I did for The National Student. Here it is:

I’m sat in the beer garden in Shoreditch’s ‘Cargo’ (finally, after having gotten lost on my way there) with Dave Davison and Erin Elders from Maps and Atlases.
In the middle of a UK tour the band are now in London following what was apparently a truly beautiful set at Deaf Institute in Manchester. As they often do they finished with an acoustic set in the middle of the audience, a special event always enjoyed by both band and crowd.

“It makes a nice change to play acoustically and it is a lot more personal with the audience,” Davison tells me. They also tell me that it’s good to play acoustically as they get so used to playing with amps that it’s great to just play some real “human” songs and give the pieces more feeling.

When asked whether it’s their first UK tour, they tell me of how they toured with Foals two years ago and how much fun it was and how they’re enjoying “hanging out in London” on this tour as they didn’t get a chance to on the last one.
They’ve been on tour since May promoting the recently released and brilliant album Perch Patchwork and they’ll be pretty much on tour until December. Despite the tough touring schedule the band don’t seem phased by it and look forward to life on the road.

I ask them how they feel about the label ‘Math Rock’ which they are often attributed with. “People can’t help but label things, it’s natural”, says Elders.

“We don’t really like the label of ‘Math Rock’ as it makes the music sound like it’s far more calculated than it actually is; we like to think that our music is created naturally. We do definitely think that the guitar work is complicated though, we like to keep our guitar riffs intricate,” Davison chips in.

We move onto discuss why they released two EP’s and then an album rather than releasing just two albums. They say they wanted the EP’s to be short and sweet and full of mainly upbeat songs and that it wouldn’t feel right to put them together. They were created to be just two small bodies of work.

“We’d say that the album is more an equal mix of upbeat songs and slower songs which is exactly how we wanted it to be like, that’s why we released it as an album,” Davison adds.

The band point out how they are honoured that Perch Patchwork was the 100th release on the acclaimed and prestigious label FatCat (home to the likes of Frightened Rabbit, Sigur Ros, Brakes and Animal Collective).

“We didn’t actually realise that it was going to be the 100th release until after the album had been made but it was pretty exciting when we found out. We didn’t really celebrate it because we didn’t really realise,” Davison explains.

Answering the inevitable ‘what’s next’ question the band say they will be returning to the UK after a string of European dates for gigs in Liverpool and Dublin before heading back to America to continue their relentless touring.
Perch Patchwork is out now on FatCat records


Like Crystal Castles? Like their second album? Like their song 'Not in Love'? Well it's just been made even better with the aid of Robert Smith....

I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I heard this; it excited me so much.

Over and out,


Monday 25 October 2010

Lykke Li - Get Some

Having been away for a couple of years, Lykke Li's return has been much awaited. I'm very excited to say that the wait is over and she's giving away her come back single with a B Side included for free.

'Get Some' seems to be a complete and utter oxymoron to the mellow B side 'Paris Blue' which showcases a delicate side of Lykke Li, in a similar way that songs like 'Tonight' did on her début album, 'Youth Novels'. Contrastingly, upbeat future pop hit 'Get Some' contains brash lyrics, such as "Don't pull down your pants before I go down" and "I'm your prostitute, you're gonna get some." Only Lykke Li could pull this one off.

Lykke Li - Get Some by radarmaker

Both songs can be downloaded from her Official Website.


After triumphant performances at Reading and Leeds this year which proved that Warpaint had more potentially brilliant material other than free download 'Billie Holiday', the music industry was all over Warpaint like a contagious rash.

Despite having been around for ages, Warpaint seem to have only really broken into the music industry this summer, which gives the impression that they seem to have come out of nowhere to sell out shows and produce a highly rated album. A delight for them I'm sure after all of that time they've spent waiting for that moment to come.

Warpaint successfully express many feelings that a typical human being has ever felt in their stunning début 'The Fool' in a distressed art-rock format. Guitars are effortlessly tight, yet relaxed whilst drums are sharp and driving. Lyrics are poetic, yet simple, production minimal and a beautiful hazy, trippy atmosphere is created, leaving listeners in a blissful, peaceful place.

There are questions as to whether this is a conceptual, feminist album due to lyrics such as "What's the matter? You hurt yourself? Opened your eyes and there was someone else?" (from recent single 'Undertow') but I still think that Warpaint are too ambiguous with their lyrics for anyone to label it a feminist album. Warpaint display their emotions throughout 'The Fool' yet with an air of precaution. The album is only a slight incite into their minds, no-one can understand what they were thinking when they wrote the album and quite frankly, I really wouldn't want to know. It would ruin the mystic ambiance that the album possesses.

'The Fool' proves that Warpaint are certainly a talented quartet of young women with the potential to achieve fantastic things. With 'Undertow' having gone down so well with the media and reaching playlists and grabbing listeners attention all over the world, who knows how amazingly songs like 'Bees', 'Composure' and ' Majesty' will be received which also contain a similar commercial potential. Another standout track is 'Baby', an acoustic song that reveals heart tugging vulnerability and offers a stunning alternative to layered reverbed guitars.

This is certainly one of the most interesting and spectacular albums of the year.

Wednesday 20 October 2010


The first band I see at Koko this evening are East Londoners ‘Flats’ who have provided support on all of the dates of the tour. Flats manage to successfully divide the audience into lovers and haters. Half of the audience detest their abrasive punk rock that’s delivered with typical punk arrogance whereas the other half pogo like nutters. Their set is brief though due to their songs all being under 3 minutes, so those that didn’t enjoy them were put out of their misery pretty soon. I found their set entertaining, but in the spacious decrotive surroundings of the KOKO, there swagger and energy was lost a little, stick them in sweaty basement and you could have one hell of an act on your hands.

Next up were fellow London boys ‘Chapel Club’ who present the crowd with an emotive set. They put their souls into it, and contrary to popular belief, were actually really great to watch. Their live performance provides focus on the beauty of their lyrics and proves that they have got some decent tunes under their belt. Highlights of the set were: all four singles (particularly the latest single ‘Five Trees’ and set closer ‘All the Eastern Girls’) as well as a new song entitled ‘Bodies’ which was utterly gorgeous.

The stage is scattered with bird cages filled with fairy lights and then the moment that the majority of the crowd has been waiting for arrives as The Joy Formidable take to the stage, lead singer Ritzy looking rather like an exorcised porcelain doll. Her lacy black dress, contrasting to her pale, snow white skin and bleach blonde hair. They head straight into ‘Spectrum’, an unusual choice as it’s a lesser known song. In fact, it’s not until, ‘The Greatest Light is The Greatest Shade’, which is the fourth song in that they play one of their ‘hits.’ They then carry on bashing out these hits, much to the audience’s pleasure before inviting Paul Draper to the stage to perform o0n ‘Greyhounds in The Slips.’ Next they dive straight into their Christmas song (oddly) ‘My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees’ which was a lovely, more mellow moment of their performance. They close with crowd pleaser, ‘The Last Drop’ but then obviously, as headliners do, return to stage for an encore. Ritzy thanks the audience humbly and the band plunge into fan favourites ‘Whirring’ and ‘Cradle’ and the roof is raised, the atmosphere electric, the crowd buzzing. This is visual evidence that there are some very passionate Joy Formidable fans out there.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Being a 'fresher' in London....

I was asked to write an article about being a 'fresher' for Uniplanet. Here it is:

So, having only started university this September, I had my first experience of 'Freshers week' and the whole general moving away from home experience.

Freshers week was, in a word- cliché, everyone was so excited about being 'a fresher' and attending really bad club nights and drinking the cheapest drink on the house. These events were also quite costly, I thought for students anyway and for their bad quality. I moved to London to experience the best of the nightlife. Having grown up in Stoke-on-Trent where nothing exciting ever happens, I was very eager to head out in London to some of the best clubs/clubnights and to witness some of the local musical talent.

So eager in fact, that on the Friday of Fresher's week, I completely abandoned Freshers week at Roehampton and headed to London Bridge for the launch night of The Counter Culture Project . It's a 99 day art/music/film exhibition taking place at a double roomed pop-up venue in London Bridge under a disused rail arch. The atmosphere was friendly, the music was good, DJ sets came from the coolest and the most current people in the industry, the lighting was phenomenal and the bar was relatively cheap and sold my favourite tequila! What more could you want? Most of the events happening there are also under a tenner, pretty student friendly really.

There have been some down sides of course to moving away from home, which I've found are: the prices of things (chicken, washing, standard things that you didn't know were so expensive), missing my friends from home that I have so much in common with, travelling (don't get me wrong, the London transport system is good, it's just the killer 3 buses home from central London at night are utterly lethal.)

From a personal prospective Freshers week is great as you're free, you have your own personal space, you are constantly meeting new people and no work to feel guilty about not attending to! But, if you're looking for interesting or fun events you're best paying the price and heading to central London for nights out rather than staying at the uni to watch some people from Hollyoaks (I don't know who they are, I don't watch Hollyoaks, I don't even have a TV) DJ quite badly.

So, in conclusion. Freshers week was great for meeting people as I met a collective bunch of people from 1st years to 3rd years but the events, at my university at least, were terrible, so bad infact, that I fell asleep at my own fresher's ball!

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Glasser @ Rough Trade East

It’s a warm Sunday afternoon in Rough Trade East, the crowd mainly consists of industry types, hipsters and foreign tourists. I’m drinking piping hot coffee (bad idea, I know) and I’m practically burning up, especially as I manage to spill it all down my white top.

At six o clock, Glasser takes to the stage wearing what can only be described as a plastic, black cagoule with her band in tow, who are sporting what look like white forensic scientist outfits. One of them fiddles with a laptop and bangs a drum rather passionately, whilst the other one plays a synthesized guitar.

Glasser introduces herself humbly and commences her set with ‘Apply. ’ The audience are immediately hooked, even those that may not be aware of her.

Her onstage confidence has multiplied considerably in the past 7 months since her tour with the XX, where she didn’t even tell the audience who she was, leaving the Birmingham Academy audience puzzled, yet intrigued. This new found confidence is quite understandable given the press’s brilliant reaction to her debut album ‘Ring.’ Glasser’s presence is undeniable: the quirky vocals, the sharp dance moves, her great rhythmic awareness, she’s every audience’s dream. It’s hardly possible to take your eyes off her.

As her set comes to a bittersweet end when she concludes with ‘Tremel’ having only played a few songs, it’s a disappointing moment as the audience clearly wants her performance to go on a lot longer to feed their new found fascination. And, also after having heard the celestial debut album (as a lot of the audience have), who wouldn’t want it to? She clearly has a lot of material to show off. You just have to catch her at a ‘proper’ Glasser gig to witness it. All in all, a very encouraging set from Glasser, she’s a definite ‘must see.’

To see orginal Hive Magazine post, click here

Mark Ronson and the Buisness intl- Record Collection

See original Faux Magazine post here

Having had this album bubbling away for a while, it is obvious that a lot of time, care and creative energy went into this record. Also, no-one really knew what quite to expect from it. Having already executed a hip-hop based record and a soul based record, the question was: what would Mark Ronson do next?

Record Collection merges a diverse mélange of genres, from hip hop to rap, from soul to 80′s tinged synth pop music. Guests are just as diverse as the music itself: Kyle (of ‘The View’ fame), Rose Elinor Dougall (ex- Pipette and solo artist), Boy George, Q Tip and MNDR, to name a few. No-one would have pictured these artists together other than Mark Ronson.

With ‘Record Collection’ Ronson still cements himself as the crafter of good pop music, with contagious lyrical hooks and perfectly polished production; yet as an album, ‘Record Collection’ fails to quite grip the listener throughout. ‘Bang Bang Bang’ (the phenomenal single featuring MDMR and Q-Tip) was the first song released from the album and is still the best on there; the rest of the songs on the album fail to out do the mind blowing brilliance of ‘Bang Bang Bang’, which leaves listeners disappointed.

It also lacks depth, which was inevitable as Ronson’s a producer, rather than an artist. There’s no emotional attachment to any of the album’s content to Mark Ronson or the artists involved on the album.

Stand out tracks are definitely: ‘Bang Bang Bang’, new single ‘Somebody to Love me’ (featuring Boy George), ‘You Gave me Nothing’ (featuring Miike Snow and Rose Elinor Dougall), ‘Hey Boy’ (featuring Rose Elinor Dougall and Theophilus London) and Glass Mountain Trust (featuring D’Angelo.)

Saturday 9 October 2010

Dr Martens 50th Birthday

On the 29th October Dr Martens will host a party (in a secret east London venue) to celebrate their 50th Birthday.

'Black Lips' are set to headline, whilst 'Mazes' are also on the bill with critically acclaimed London punk rockers 'Flats' join them fresh off the NME Tour.

Also on the line-up is London surf pop band 'French Kissing' and dj sets will come from 'Sexbeat' and 'This is music. '

All in all, it's set to be a great night, tickets are free (you just need to register here ) and booze is cheap!

Sunday 3 October 2010

Glasser- Ring


When Glasser bagged themselves a support slot for the XX on their March tour, they were virtually unknown, particularly in England anyway. Since then they have been gradually creeping their way up the rungs of the hype ladder and have become rather well rated. Their debut album, 'Ring', that they'd been quietly piecing together proves them to live up to such impressive press responses.

Not only do they seem to keep an aloof attitude with regards to themselves, their music and trying to sell it but their music is just pretty much the definition of cool, therapeutic, you could even argue.

I've said it before about Glasser and I'll say it again, the echoes of similar artists like Fever Ray for example, are enchanting rather than annoying, the tribal vibes so seductive and imagination stimulating that I'm pretty sure there are few people in the world that would not find their music at the least interesting or intriguing.

Experimental rhythms,sinister Gothic undertones, inconspicuous noises and odd instruments are present. Whilst haunting lyrics involving the natural elements make the listener forget that nearly everything the band is doing is done on Apple Macs.

Mesirow's vocals seem almost ceremonial. Throughout 'Ring' the mind is taken on a trip to a parallel universe of sacrifices, costumes, passion and drumming. Where many albums fail to have such a strong impact, Glasser succeed this with flying colours, quite literally. The whole album is pretty much a complete and utter trip fest, who needs acid when you have 'Ring?' Even the album artwork is a visual mind fuck. Listeners are taken on a complete break from reality, an adventure even, as all of the best albums do.

Glasser may not be the most radio friendly band in the world but this completely doesn't matter. This album is a master piece designed to be listened to in one sitting, not a break up of pop songs. It's certainly one of the most ground breaking albums of the year so far.

Friday 1 October 2010

So I did a review of Dot-to-Dot Festival for the newspaper at uni...

I know I've already done one but here's my new version:

Dot-to-Dot Festival

On bank holiday Monday (31st May), I attended my first ever Dot-to-Dot festival in Manchester and one of the first festivals of the summer!

One of the highlights for me was definitely Liars, in the 'Club Academy' AKA, the sweaty basement of the Academy. There's nothing quite like the release you get from prancing around to dirty rock music is there? Truly liberating stuff. Liars intense build ups and break downs worked well on stage, you could sense everyone in the crowd waiting for the heavy break down to arrive to throw themselves around to. A really stimulating set to say the least.

Another highlight was seeing one of my favourite bands ever, Blood Red Shoes. I had the pleasure of interviewing Steven in a shower once, it was amazing.

Blood Red Shoes were on fire and the crowd reaction was completely electric. It made me feel so proud to have watched them grow and to see now how people appreciate them. Manchester Academy 2 is the biggest venue I'd ever seen them play at and it was brilliant. They lured in a good crowd that were singing and bouncing along to every lyric, having been a fan of them since pretty much the beginning of their career, I felt so happy to see them go down so well.

The Chapman Family were also great. I'd never seen them play live before, in fact, I hadn't heard much from them since their single 'Kids.' Kingsley Chapman, the lead singer, was hurling himself all over the stage in a Gothic, tormented kind of way. At one point he even 'attempted' to strangle himself with the microphone lead, some would find that silly and attention seeking, but I guess I enjoyed it. They also proved that there’s more to them than just ‘Kids.’

We then headed off to see Wild Beasts in Academy 2. They were wonderful of course, as critically acclaimed. They whipped the crowd into a hazy, blissful frenzy, fantastic!

I then proceeded to get drunk on Red Stripe whilst waiting around to watch Mystery Jets, a band that I hadn’t seen play live in about a year and a half.
There was such a brilliant atmosphere, everyone was singing along and jumping in unison. The band seemed pretty pleased with this response; there was a great love for Mystery Jets in that rather large room. They split their set well between stand out songs from their album 'Twenty One' and songs from Serotonin (bear in mind, it was unreleased at that point, its brilliance had not yet been unleashed!)


From Mystery Jets we ran straight to see Los Campesinos! as their set had already started down in Club Academy. I'd like to think that me and my best friend, Emily made a dramatic entrance as we jumped/danced down the stairs and through the crowd whilst bellowing the lyrics to Death to Los Campesinos! as they played it on stage, just because we’re geeky indie kids like that. We went to join a large clan of people who were jumping and singing along to every word as passionately as the band themselves whilst musically unknowledgeable onlookers just looked permanently confused. Their set was superb, love and energy gushing through my veins excitedly. Yes, I am far too obsessed with this band. Their outstandingly beautiful lyrics were emphasised well during their live performance, it was an incredibly strong performance. Their set terminated with 'Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks' and Gareth Campesinos! in the crowd, surrounded by happy and devoted fans.

I was slightly upset that Los Campesinos! ran over their allotted time as I really wanted to catch ‘Yuck’ at Deaf Institute. The one song I saw was beautiful though, as was the venue itself. It reminded me of a chapel on the inside with its dome structure but with vintage looking bird print wallpaper and toilets that looked like they'd come straight from a Mexican bar scene in an old film.
To end the night we went to see Zane Lowe DJ in a tiny club called 'Factory (FAC251)' which was rather fun. Zane Lowe is certainly a skilled man. He played far too much drum and bass and dubstep though, that's literally all he played! But if you’re into that stuff, definitely go and see him at Fabric on the 7th October!

For £28 Dot-to-Dot is definitely worth the money. They also seem to have a strong line-up every year. Well done Dot-to-Dot!