Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Chris Moyles steps down - Grimshaw steps up

I've you've been following the twitter feed today @TheLGBoutique, you will have read the news that Chris Moyles is to step down from his morning show on Radio 1.

Moyles made the announcement a little after 8am this morning stating:

"We're off. I wanted to let you know. A couple more months of us, then it's someone else's turn. Thank you for listening."

Radio 1 Controller - Ben Cooper, had been under extreme pressure to make the necessary changes following The Radio 1 Trust's report advising that Chris and the team had failed in their attempts to appeal to a younger audience with an average listener age of between 31 - 34.

At just before 10.30am, news began to leak that Nick Grimshaw had been given the prestigious time slot ahead of Greg James who had been hotly tipped for the role.

Grimmy will.take over the show in September.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Stone Roses - Heaton Park - 29th June 2012

Following an early rise and some dreadful traffic on the M6, we were en route to Manchester for the first of the Stone Roses’ reunion gigs at Heaton Park. Now, I don’t need to explain to any Roses fan the excitement that these gigs have caused… such an unlikely reunion following a bitter, bitter fallout.

Upon reaching Manchester, we set up camp in the brilliantly named “The Spread Eagle” for a few pints. The city was abuzz and pulsing with anticipation with each table discussing ‘the good old days’ when Manchester was a musical Mecca. The gig had excited the imagination of grown men and women all recounting tales of when they saw the Stone Roses for the first time or nights at the Hacienda during the glory days. We encountered some real characters in that place. Everyone had a story… everyone wanted to pass it on.

After a few more drinks in the city centre, we commenced the pilgrimage to Heaton Park. The tram was rammed and people were jumping into taxis the millisecond they were emptying – it appeared that we were not the only ones who fancied attending this gig.

Following a swift frisk from security… we were in. Unfortunately, partly due to our decision to carry on drinking and the subsequent travel issues, we had sacrificed Kid British, The Vaccines and The Wailers. As we walked in Bobby Gillespie and Co were hitting the stage ready to show to really step proceedings up a gear. Primal Scream were as incredible as ever. Last time I had the privilege of seeing them, I was ankle deep in mud at Glastonbury – arguably the best live performance I have ever seen. However, I got the impression from crowd that they were here for one reason only… for Browny and the gang to hit the stage.

And then it happened... a little after 9pm the Stone Roses took to the stage. The intro to “I Wanna Be Adored” rang out around Heaton Park with 75,000 people ready to buy into anything Ian Brown was looking to sell to them. Now, I can’t honestly say I heard Ian Brown’s voice at all during the first song… the crowd were certainly in good voice.

It may sound cliché but the Roses sounded like they had never been apart; there seemed to be real chemistry with the ravages of time not taking their toll on the funk. This was particularly true when “Shoot You Down” rang through the speakers – a beautifully understated performance that kept the crowd engrossed.

It was simply classic after classic – ruining all arguments from idiots who preach that the band only has “11 or 12 good songs”… I can promise you that any of your indie-come-and-go-bands would give anything for even a couple of the Roses’ songs and their longevity.

When the crowd got rowdy, Ian Brown stepped in to get proceedings in order; he warned: 
“There’s people falling down here, pick’em up. That’s what we do when someone goes down, we lift them up again”

“Don’t Stop”, “Love Spreads” and “Made of Stone” sent the capacity crowd into a frenzy with distress flares, ironically, being set off in celebration. There was a real sense of togetherness, a diverse rabble of people from teenagers to those approaching their 50s – it didn’t matter, these songs are timeless.

As has been the case during the warm-up gigs, “I Am The Resurrection” brought an end to proceedings with John Squire going off on one with an immense guitar solo at the end. The boys had put in a great shift!

Following an embrace, the firework show commenced played out to Bob Marley’s classic “Redemption Song”; a beautiful way to end the reunion that was never expected.

The walking, waiting, travel issues, etc were all trivial - they all meant nothing… 75,000 had just witnessed greatness. 

The Stone Roses performed the following:

“I Wanna Be Adored”
“Mersey Paradise”
“(Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister”
“Sally Cinnamon”
“Where Angels Play”
“Shoot You Down”
“Bye Bye Badman”
“Ten Storey Love Song”
“Standing Here”
“Fools Gold”
“Something's Burning”
“Don't Stop”
“Love Spreads”
“Made Of Stone”
“This Is the One”
“She Bangs The Drums”
“Elizabeth My Dear”
“I Am The Resurrection”

Frank Ocean opens up - a real game-changer

Following much speculation about his sexuality, Frank Ocean has published a piece intimating that he is gay or bisexual.

Taking to his tumblr account, Ocean wrote:

"4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I'd see him, and his smile. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with.

"I sat there and told my friend how I felt. I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for then. Knowing I could never take them back for myself. He patted my back. He said kind things. He did his best, but he wouldn't admit the same. He had to go back inside soon. It was late and his girlfriend was waiting for him upstairs. He wouldn't tell the truth about his feelings for me for another 3 years. I felt like I'd only imagined reciprocity for years.

I kept up a peculiar friendship with him because I couldn't imagine keeping up my life without him. I struggled to master myself and my emotions. I wasn't always successful.

"I don't know what happens now, and that's alrite. I don't have any secrets I need kept any more. There's probably some small shit still, but you know what I mean. I was never alone, as much as it felt like it. As much as I still do sometimes. I never was. I don't think I ever could be. Thanks. To my first love, I'm grateful for you.

"Grateful that even though it wasn't what I hoped for and even though it was never enough, it was. Some things never are. And we were. I won't forget you. I won't forget the summer. I'll remember who I was when I met you. I'll remember who you were and how we've both changed and stayed the same.

"To my mother. You raised me strong. I know I'm only brave because you were first. So thank you. All of you. For everything good. I feel like a free man. If I listen closely, I can hear the sky falling too."

This news really is a game-changer in a genre of music which has been marred by homophobia and lack of open-mindedness. Hopefully this announcement will go some way to change misguided views in the hip-hop world surrounding sexuality and get fans to welcome instead of ostracize.

Strong work Ocean.

Ocean's album - "Channel Orange" is due out later this month.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Game - "No More Fun and Games"

I make this video about 7 years late but, nonetheless, here's the visual for "No More Fun and Games".

The video has been shot to promote the new Chinese Mafia game - Sleeping Dogs: