Monthly Archives: August 2011

Ed Sheeran – ginger warbler of your dreams

People of a red-haired persuasion always seem to have a knack of keeping a watchful third eye on their fellow gingers. The famous ones, the infamous ones, the successful ones and the ones who’ve failed. The upcoming ones, also. My friend Ailsa was ranting and raving about one Ed Sheeran when I went to see her in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival, which has just ended.

I thought he was a comedian, but when I looked him up, I realised he’s a singer and that I’d seen him before in the first video below. He’s pretty up-and-coming, as far as my brief internet scouring tells me. I have a feeling “A Team” will be a soundtrack to my first winter in London.

And he also did a fantastic cover of one of my favourite songs, Skinny Love, originally by Bon Iver and also covered by Birdy.

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St Matthew in the City, Auckland

My friend Zeno was telling me this weekend about the New Zealand police recruitment ad campaign, designed by M&C Saatchi. They were pretty cool pieces of work, but I then explored a little further to discover what other work the ad agency had done in that part of the world, which was when I found the legends at St Matthew in the City, Auckland. The progressive Anglican church has hit the headlines several times with its tongue-in-cheek ads. I don’t know about you, but I reckon I would go to church next Sunday if I saw these. Take a look:


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Filed under Ad Campaigns, Laughs, Religion

Cultural moments that remind me of my father

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the end of Woodstock, the great 3-day rock extravaganza, regarded by many to be a pivotal ‘moment’ in the history of modern music. Co-incidentally, today I was walking home listening to one of my favourite songs, which was performed for the first time at Woodstock.

A cover of the original Beatles tune, Joe Cocker’s rendition of I’ll Get By (With A Little Help From My Friends) was always the first and last song to be played in the car with my father when we used to drive up and down, to and from, my boarding school when I was young.

It’s probably one of the best live performances of any song ever done.

I was actually speaking to my father earlier on today, mostly about ‘real life’ in London. I was moaning about the godawful cruelty of a 9-6 working day and he began explaining to me the fact that, while it takes some getting used to, eventually it becomes incredibly easy. So easy, in fact, that you forget it was ever difficult in the first place. He sounded a little bit like Michael Gambon in one of my favourite scenes from any movie.

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Filed under Culture, Film, Music

The Cube pop-up restaurant

Pop-up restaurants are experiencing a huge amount of attention at the moment, especially since summer is in full swing and, in London at least, that’s when most of them seem to appear.

My friend Jake is a chef at a well-known restaurant near London Bridge and, now that I’ve moved down from the wilds of Scotland, he has become my reference point for all things cool and current in the world of food and drink. He’s taken me to a couple of pop-up places like Frank’s Campari Bar in Peckham.

However, today I was speaking to a friend of mine about the phenomenon and he mentioned something altogether on another level. The Swedish appliance makers, Electrolux, have sponsored a massive publicity drive using the medium of the pop-up restaurant. The project is called The Cube.

The Cube is an especially designed restaurant with a capacity of just 18 diners. Electrolux are touring two such restaurants across Europe this summer in particularly high-profile and stunning locations such as the triumphal arch at the Parc Cinquantenaire in Brussels, where it launched its tour in April.

While the website states that the restaurants will be visiting Switzerland, Russia and Sweden, reports of a delay until next summer, at least for the Stockholm restaurant, suggest that it may be a while before The Cube comes closer to home. Imagine if they attached it to Big Ben? I’d eat dinner there.



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Filed under Europe, Food

London releases new Olympics logo

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Filed under Laughs

Manchester riots – a bit disappointing, really…

My friend Shacks went to Manchester for the week, obviously not expecting quite so much excitement as she found:

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Filed under Laughs, London Riots

Amy, Amy, Amy


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Filed under Art, Celebrities, Music

The London Riots, as seen through Facebook, iPhones and Blackberrys

My friend Mark went to Hackney last night to take some photos. He said it started out fairly casual, there was the odd brick thrown by a teenager and bins set alight but nothing too dramatic. As it got dark however, the atmosphere got a lot more tense and eventually things turned pretty nasty. He was threatened by youths for taking pictures of ‘black faces’. He left soon afterwards but later on, several journalists were beaten up and mugged for their equipment and money.

(Photos by Mark Napier)

Later on, in Clapham Junction, my ¬†friends Iain, Kenny and Simon were ¬†there when it kicked off and the mob started burning buildings on St John’s Road:

The damage around Brixton was evident on my way to work this morning:

There was heartening news however, from Clapham Junction, where hundreds of residents joined together in a huge effort to clean up the mess left by a night of violence, burning and looting.

My friend Kenny took part (and got a girl’s number – well done, Kenny!) as he lives just around the corner. He said the atmosphere was incredible, and this video makes me inclined to believe him.

Even when I was there later on, you could still spot the odd broom-armed hero, like this guy who was striding along, sweeping brush over his shoulder and a can of Red Stripe in his hand:

At the moment, talking heads are arguing over the root cause of the violence, with several different theories being bandied about. Many people are, of course, getting very angry. This woman was telling it like it is in Hackney last night, and has become of an internet heroine…

Indeed, the major role the internet has played in all of it is undeniable, often with amusing/bemusing results.

Here are a couple of examples that made me LOL.

And with that – I’m off to find my dinner/a shop that’s still open in Clapham.

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Filed under Current Affairs, London, London Riots

Tottenham riots – time lapse video

Every cloud has a silver lining:

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Filed under London Riots

Four Chord Songs

It’s August and the Edinburgh Festival is in full swing. Unfortunately/perhaps fortunately for me, I am now working full time in London whilst the vast majority of my friends from university are getting their party on. This has led to them having a somewhat more interesting start to the weekend than me:

However, this isn’t the only reason I wish I could be in Edinburgh just now. The Festival is famous for showcasing world-class comic talent and my friend Ailsa, for whom this is the 5th Festival season, knows absolutely EVERY act playing. Meaning, I would probably have met these guys, Axis of Awesome:

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Filed under Edinburgh, Laughs, Music