Tuesday, 31 December 2013

FILMS FILMS FILMS: JANUARY 2014


My favourite pursuit, besides eating and sleeping, is going to to the cinema.  I can't get enough of it; I would happily go every day.  I frequently go twice a day.  That sounds obsessive, but it's a loving relationship, I promise.  YOU DON'T KNOW, YOU WEREN'T THERE.

Anyway, there are often so many films I want to see it gets hard to keep track so I'm going to start doing regular posts about upcoming releases.  Mainly for myself, but some of you might be interested too.  Think of this as a To Do List with benefits.

Monday, 30 December 2013

STYLE DISSECTION: MY SO-CALLED LIFE




My So-Called Life, the 90's TV series starring an insanely young Claire Danes, was emotional nourishment for my pre-teen soul.  There was only ever one season, but it remains one of the most perfect and timeless representations of how hard it is to morph into an adult.  I re-watch it every couple of years and I'm always stunned by how smart, funny and moving it is.  If you've not seen it, it's available on Amazon - and lots of other places too I imagine.

Growing up I knew I was Angela Chase (Claire Danes' character), but deep down I longed to be her best friend, the wayward Rayanne Graff.  She was so completely out of  control, and hilarious with it.  Still, both were pretty aspirational, especially in terms of their outfits.  Over Christmas I went through the series picking some of my favourite Graff and Chase looks.  Oh, and of course Ricky (their other best friend) has a couple of outfits in the mix too.  That boy was like a more vulnerable, less-prone-to-lip-synching Duckie (from Pretty In Pink).  I also had a go at recreating my own Angela outfits which I will post later in the week, hopefully with suitable angst and Jordan Catalano longing on show.  I'm not going to tell you about Jordan, if you're not aware of him already then that's a journey you need to make for yourself.

Since My So-Called Life was classic 90's television, there are mountains of plaid on display.  Plaid, layered on to denim, with plaid draped on top.  (I'm calling it plaid instead of tartan because I want to be consitent and respectful when discussing the importance of check shirts in this perfect little corner of American culture).  But yes, these ladies both share a deep passion for soft plaid fabrics.  Rayanne even has a maxi shirt...

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

RADIO I LOVE: 'SHORT CUTS'


Christmas is the perfect time to do so many things - eat, sleep, argue with loved ones - but it's also the ideal time to catch up on TV & radio you've missed over the year.  One of the things I will be catching up on is the Radio 4 documentary series Short Cuts.

This series, which finished its third season in October (I like saying "season" as if it's an American sitcom) is brilliant.  It's funny, moving and often utterly surreal.  Each episode has one overarching idea or theme, such as communication or growing up, and within that are lots of mini documentaries on the same subject.  The result is 30 minutes of blissful listening, but that isn't to say the audience isn't challenged; I've heard so many ERR WHAT?! stories from the programme.  For instance, did you know that exam invigilators often play games to pass the time while they're watching over students?  One particularly mean game involves taking turns standing next to the pupil they're most convinced will fail.

I particularly enjoyed the absolute horror/amusement in presenter Josie Long's voice after hearing that particular revelation.  Josie is the perfect presenter: she shares her own experiences alongside those from the mini documentaries, which are always delightful and often quite personal.  Plus, you know, she's hilarious.

Sometimes audio clips are combined with beautiful animations online - for instance this story of a man who survived being eaten by a whale.

Anyway, you can download all the episodes as podcasts on iTunes.  I recommend them highly, especially when accompanied by a chocolate orange and the echoes of post-sibling-fight-rage.

Have a WONDERFUL Christmas. xxx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

MY TEN FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONGS



Tonight we're playing a Christmas show at New Slang in Kingston. Feel free to come on down - it's not that far from London, I promise.  We're going to be doing some of our songs mixed in with some festive classics, so with that in mind here are, in no particular order, my top ten Christmas songs. 

Monday, 16 December 2013

TOP FIVE CHRISTMAS FILMS


After a month on tour I woke up this morning in my own bed, London grey and gloomy, hanging around outside the window like a miserable teenager, and a mountain of dirty washing on my floor.  It's good to be home.  (Although, if someone wanted to come over and make mince pies for me, I would be eternally grateful.)

Today I plan on doing little more than sleeping and intermittently waking up to either eat something delicious or pop on another Christmas film.  And when I do, it will be one of these five below.

Friday, 13 December 2013

12 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS


IT'S CHRIIIIIIIISTMAAAAAAAASSSS *Noddy Holder voice*.  I've compiled some possible Christmas present ideas below for gifts for your friends, sisters, heck even brothers.  Or of course also yourself.  

Thursday, 12 December 2013

MAYBELLINE 24 HOUR LIPS




I mean, I'm not really sure why you'd want your lipstick to stay on for 24 hours, but maybe that's because I've been on tour for a month and the idea of having a day sleeping in my own bed and not having to apply makeup seems like the stuff dreams are made of.

That said, this lipstick by Maybelline has been wonderful for the past four weeks.  And as I get closer to going home (only three shows left) I want to say thank you to it.  Thank you for not coming off when I hit my mouth on the mic in Amsterdam.  Thank you for staying put through that amazing burger in Brighton.  I appreciate the support you gave me at the Botanique in Brussels when my lips were getting dryer than Death Valley.

Monday, 9 December 2013

WHAM! IT'S OUR 'LAST CHRISTMAS' COVER!


Hey!  We recorded a cover of 'Last Christmas' by Wham! It's one of my favourite Christmas songs, and videos.  Oh my goodness, the hair.  It was an utter joy to do.

You can hear it below xxx

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

BEHOLD: JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE THROUGH THE YEARS

Justin timberlake cornrows

I wrote this for Noisey, but thought I'd stick it on here.  So many of Justin's old outfits are actually an amazing nostalgia trip.  Love this guy. 
If you started your career with a bunch of other guys, singing while standing—or perching on a stool, before rising up for the key change—the odds of one day gaining musical credibility are stacked against you. You're the butt of so many jokes, and your dubious, yet arguably on-trend stage garb and frosted gelled tips in those early years becomes one extra hurdle you have to leap over. But I love that we live in a world where artists can transition almost to the point where, when you see pictures of *NSYNC-Justin you can hardly believe he's the same person. But the incredible man we now love for killing it not once, but four times performing the History of Rap with Jimmy Fallon (just watched it again—goosebumps of greatness), was the kid who went onTRLwearing a sweatband and nylon jacket. We would be doing the slick Justin of today a disservice not to celebrate every part of who he is and has been. This is Justin, and if we're going to do this, we need to start from the very beginning. So let’s begin with Star Search in 1993, where 11-year-old Justin Randall marched on stage in a huge cowboy hat. I will dream of this shirt for years to come.