Monday, 31 October 2011

Interview with Lucius Brave

DJ Lucius Brave describes a night in his musical company as a unapologetic mix of electro and breaks, with an added dose of hip-hop and dubstep. It isn't unusual to see the former rock front-man scaling venue rigging and displaying complete abandon while throwing himself into the hands of a euphoric crowd. As one half of L' Amour La Morgue he showcased his renowned high octane performance at events including Reading/Leeds Festival, Beatherder and Gatecrasher New Years Eve, sharing stages with the likes of Deadmau5, Faithless, Calvin Harris, Erol Alkan, Utah Saints and 3OH!3. Via solo sets he's managed to combine his 'work' with his love for sports securing a residency at the Tignes ski resort in the French Alps, playing for VANS at their winter X-Games event and even hosting Wakestock 2011. While recovering from his weekend at Freeze I caught up with LB to find out more about life as a DJ......

Some people will know you as frontman of Douglas and The New 1920. Had you always DJ’d alongside performing in bands?

The only experience I'd had originally was taking over stereos at house parties. Yeah, I'm THAT guy. My apologies to any neighbours that caught the brunt of that. I started DJing while I was part of The New 1920 because I had a slot on Xfm radio here in Cardiff. I went on and did some tour managing which introduced me into bigger clubs. From there I taught myself how to use CDJ's and how to mix and here I am.

The process of creating music varies considerably when comparing creating a band rock song to creating a mix.Which process do you

Both are fun when you've got a good flow on. Each has it's pros and cons. Sometimes it's nice to just get on with stuff in my room alone and other times I wish I was jamming tracks out with the boys. It's cool to have somebody to bounce ideas off so it doesn't always have to be a solo mission. I've been working with a great producer called Undersound and we have a good dynamic between us. He's a really talented musician. I'm way funnier than him so at least I have that going for me.

Can you describe your personal process when composing a song ?

The process for me usually happens when I'll get an idea, perhaps hum some root notes into a recording device or play them in on a keyboard. From there I'll work on a basic structure and skeleton. I'll then start to build around what I've got. This will all happen either really naturally and be a joyful experience, or I'll hit a creative wall and want to bang my head against it. Then I may consider turning to booze and crime. At times, writing a song can be as equally frustrating as it is enjoyable. When you're dialed in though and things are coming together, it's amazing. I mainly use Ableton to record in but I'd like to learn my way around Logic. Then it's keys, pads and strings.

You now go by the alias Lucius Brave... How did you come up with that name ? Do you feel it necessary to have a certain amount of mystique?

Lucius Brave sounds like a legend! That guy sounds like he'll get shit done.

You were one half of LALM and used to don masks and hoods when performing. Was this to help with the performance or just to create
an image for the duo?

We suffered from the worst bad hair days. Chronic hat-hair syndrome phase 3. We are also extremely shy and can't look at bright lights. Kind of like a Mogwai.

How does your Lucius Brave stuff compare to LALM?

Lucius Brave is like Big Daddy and LALM is like Giant Haystacks.

You have played massive venues like Gatecrasher and iconic london venue KOKO. Do you find particular venues more nerve-wracking ?

I get nervous before any show no matter how big or small. At times I suffer from terrible stage fright and can barely talk to anyone. It actually used to make me physically sick to the point where I'd throw up. It's the anticipation. I just want the people watching to enjoy themselves and the thought of that not happening sends me under. I really come into my own with the larger crowds though. I love playing festivals and opening for people on tour. It's the best sort of 'gang mentality'. When there is a lot of people out to party, it's infectious. You just have to have the right songs and the right energy to kick the place off. Then buckle in and watch people get wild. It's incredible.

The life of a DJ can be quite solitary one.Do you mind performing and travelling on your own?

I kind of like it. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome touring with fellow band members and sharing the experience with your buddies. But I don't mind heading off alone. I put my headphones on and get going. It's a little adventure. I enjoy not having to talk every now and then. Sometimes I just sit and observe the passing world as if I was a ghost, wondering what is going on in other peoples days at that moment. Other times I feel like everybody can see me and are wondering the same thing. They're probably thinking "I wish that weirdo would quit staring at me"

Anyone who has seen you DJ will be aware of your energetic stage presence.You appear extremely confident but is that just a performance persona?

It changes within different aspects of my life. I'm not a shy person generally on a day to day basis but I have my moments where I'll question myself just like most people do. It doesn't help being super self critical either. But when you get up to perform on stage in front of people, you have to bury whatever doubts you might have and really go all out. If you don't believe that what you're doing is positive, then they certainly won't. After I get over the initial nerves then the rest is just me having a good time. The confidence stems from having fun. How can you not have a good time playing massive songs and climbing stages!

Are you someone that does your set then heads home, or do you stay on to party with revelers?

I've always been one to stick around and get involved!

How do you prepare for a set?

Lunges and mild panic

Although it can create euphoric moments people often think of dance/club music as emotionless/soulless... Would you agree, and do you try and instill some depth with your own tracks?

I think people that say that about dance music just don't understand it. I was never schooled in the dance genre but I get a kick out of it and recognize what I like to hear and what I like to play. People are entitled to their opinion and some folks just don't feel certain music in the way others do, so will never quite get it. It's an individual thing. Music, no matter what genre it is, how it is played or where it is recorded, is all about feel. You can't physically touch it or see it but you can feel it and witness what it does to people. It's an attack on the senses. Dance music is filled with intricacies that weave throughout the songs constantly, massive build-ups that send places into a frenzy, catchy melodies, great vocals and structure. I don't like ALL dance music just like I don't like ALL guitar based music, but those specifics are what I look for in any song, no matter what genre. Some people just hear repetitive bleeps and that's why they may make negative comments and they shut off. The truth is that somebody has dedicated their time and effort into creating and producing songs that tap into a vibe that sets dancefloors on fire. Now tell me that has no soul.

Your set at Wakestock this year summer proved very popular, would that be up there with your DJing highlights?

It was a great experience. There were a lot of talented people to watch at that festival. It made me realize that I had to raise my game. I love playing places that are linked to freesports as well. I'm really into my board sports so it was cool to be involved in that festival. It's good to see it growing so much.

What would be the dream destination/festival/venue to DJ?

There are so many countries I'd like to visit and festivals I'd love to play. Snowbombing, Big day out, Coachella to name but a few and obviously there are all the big British ones. There is an event every now and then in Budapest that is thrown in a thermal bath. That sounds interesting. It's a spa-party. A sparty! I'd be into that! I just want to see the world, throw myself around some stages and play some awesome music.

What's on your Ipod at the moment?

I listen to a whole load of different stuff all the time. Today it's been The Naked and famous

What is your USP as a DJ?

I'm low carb with no artificial sweeteners

What advice would you offer aspiring DJs?

If you enjoy it then just get out there and do it. Practice, discover new music, play for your friends, make mixtapes. Most importantly, have fun.

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm writing new material. I've just finished a track with Undersound so we're looking to get that out asap. I'm also working on my glutes.


Interview with Jodie Marie

“With a pin-you-to-the-wall lyrical candour, she has to be a hot tip for hugeness” is how The Sunday Times Culture referred to young Jodie Marie. But they were not the only ones showering acclaim on the welsh songstress with Q, NME and respected Radio DJ's Huw Stephens, Jen Long and Steve Lamacq offering similarly complimentary words after the release of her summer download 'Single Blank Canvas.'

Under Transgressive Management (Foals, Noisettes, Johnny Flynn) and via Decca ( the re-launch of Verve) the Narbeth raised artist is set to stamp out her unique position within the music scene with her latest single 'On The Road', a release which will see her join in the mass female onslaught which is currently taking precedence in the UK.

As a Suede fan I wanted to find out what Bernard Butler brought to the production and writing of her debut album ( out March 2012) , how she feels about her upcoming tour with Pop idol alumni Will Young despite her passion for music from bygone eras, and how she deals with performing such exposing and emotionally charged songs on stage.

Supporting Will Young

27 Swindon, Oasis

28 Bournemouth, BIC

30 Belfast, The Waterfront

31 Dublin, The Olympia


2 Nottingham, Royal Centre

3 Oxford, New Theatre

4 Ipswich, Regent

6 Liverpool, Liverpool Empire Theatre

7 Blackpool, Blackpool Opera House

8 Sheffield, City Hall

10 Aberdeen, Aberdeen Music Hall

11 Glasgow, Glasgow Academy

12 Newcastle, Newcastle City Hall

21 London, Shepherd's Bush Empire

22 London, Shepherd's Bush Empire

26 Cardiff, St David's Hall

Supporting Ed Harcourt


15 Manchester, Matts and Phreds

16 London, Bush Hall

remix of single by SUMMER CAMP here:

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Interview with oh My!

I had been spotting a definite gap in the music market of late, the hole being in the shape of a sassy female duo. With Oh My! it looks like we may have found the ladies to fill it... and boy do they do it in style. I caught up with the charmingly cheeky Alex and Jade to see what gets their juices flowing in the fashion stakes, what it's like working with Example and how they feel about their upcoming tour with The Saturdays....

Hello Ladies, how are we feeling today?
We're both really well Thank you!
What have you got planned for the day ahead?
We are on an Under 18s club tour at the minute so we are on our way to Burnley this evening to play to bouncy kids!
I saw some lovely shots of you both in UK Elle last month. Are you enjoying getting styled for shoots and are you happy to let stylists manipulate your style and try out new looks?
Thank you! Yeah we both love it, don't think any girl wouldn't like it, and we're both open to anything the stylists want to try out. We have our individual looks that run through what ever we're doing, but it’s always fun to try out fresh ideas .
Do you feel comfortable posing in front of the camera ( and all the other people that seem to linger around on shoots)?
Lol! At first we were a bit taken back, and obviously it does take you a while as find out which are your best angles! But we never work with people that we wouldn't feel comfortable with and so far we've not had any bad experiences (touch wood!)
I guess you are being sent lots of lovely things to wear, what’s been the best thing so far?
Wow there has been so many things, its such a privilege. One thing we both always wear and you can spot us from a mile away from it is our matching Lazy Oaf rucksacks! It's fast being our trade-mark!
How do both your styles compare (where do you both shop and who are you style icons)?
We love the high street shops like Topshop, H&M and Urban Outfitters, but we love little fun brands like Monki and Lazy Oaf.
I am still yet to venture to one of your club nights, Little Boots has joined you for one... what music are you spinning at the moment and who might we see join you in the future?
We both love pop so we always play up to date pop-music and then we take it back to the old school! Alex likes to play upbeat soul and R&B and Jade usually does a bit of a garage section! So far our guest DJs have been Little Boots, MNEK and Amir Amor ... Who will be next?!
I guess you are mixing with some rather exciting people at the moment... Have you had any cool meetings/starstruck moments you can share?
We work quite closely with Example but he's become more of a friend then anything. We were starstuck with Adele, we met her when she had just done her Brits performance , which had knocked us out. She was so lovely though so within a second it didn't feel weird at all
You did a school tour, in front of the watchful eyes of an incredibly critical and honest audience... how did you go down?
Haha! Kids tell the truth no matter what which is why we loved doing it! It went down great. we had kids back-flipping off the stages, mosh pits, the lot. It was such a good laugh!
Coming back to Example, you met off-chance at the studio, he was impressed by your banter and ended up writing songs with you. He is outspoken and incredibly honest too, how was it working with him? Will we see single collaborations in the future?
He is great to work with, he is very honest but he really takes your thoughts into a song. He loved our banter! Not too sure if we'd collaborate on a single at the moment, we want to build up ourselves and not to be just known because we know him , that's really important to us and Example.
Can you tell us something suprising about him, even if its something he might not like you sharing?
He doesn't like getting his hair done or getting ready in general actually! And he likes green tea!
Can you tell me a bit about your writing processes, what environment aids your creativity and what you both bring to the table....
We can be anywhere and start writing, we like writing in parks actually! Jade usually thinks of one liners and then alex has the topic so we just work round it together.
Your video shoot for Kicking and Screaming was slightly marred by having to scoff a very sickly cake, how was it shooting the video for new single Dirty Dancer?
Omg that cake was so sickly! Lol! I was nearly being sick and it was custard, yuk. Dirty Dancer was completely different - we had the boy dancers on set which was a laugh , plus there was a lot of randomness in this video which was fun to watch happening .
For those that haven’t heard the single can you tell them what it's about.....
It's about people that just stand there in clubs and don't dance. They stand their with their drinks or looking pretty, what is the point?! When we go out we wanna see people partying and having a laugh!
There aren’t many girl duos/bands around at the moment, did you guys always set out as a group or did you consider being solo artists?
We never really considered anything else, everything just fell into place, just the two of us and we love it like that. 2 is company, 3 is a crowd! :)
You have said it would be advised to be able to take a joke if you want to come on tour with you.. Who would be ideal tour buddies?
We'll were really looking forward to the Saturdays tour, its gonna be lots of fun. Both of us normally get on really well with lads, so we always say it would be hilarious to tour with the Wanted, cause they seem sound and up for a laugh!
Have you and The Saturdays bonded yet?
We met them for the first time at a party a few weeks ago, and the girls are super sweet, and I'm sure bonding will begin when December comes, as we are all really busy until then.
Have you got any pranks planned?
Not yet! We tend to do things more spur of the moment depending on how mischievous we're feeling. But when we do- were like Dastardly and Mutley!
You guys have owned up to tomboy tendencies... how do you feel about the prospect of so much oestrogen?
That's fine! We can also be really girly. We love getting dressed up for a night out just as much as any one, but when we're on stage we like to feel comfortable and chilled
I read an article in the Daily Star that said you were trained dancers, does a live performance always include impressive dance moves from you both?
Well there's no backflips if that's what you mean, it's more about us just grooving out to the music on stage, with the odd move that we do together!
Will we therefore never hear an Oh My! ballad?
Yeh! We love to do a bit of everything and when it's the right time we will drop a ballad Oh My! Style...
You’ve already appeared on some pretty high profile TV shows and stages... What event would be the ‘we’ve made it’ moment for you?
I'd say when we get on of those Nando's free chicken cards - life couldn't get any better! Or you know. having a Number 1 hit, or and headlining Glasto like Beyonce!
Does the prospect of fame and the intrusive nature of press scare you at all?
No not really, although when there's loads of paps taking pictures of you, it proper blinds you and you can't see where your going. When it's happen it's not so much scary, just we always think we'll trip over!
What are your plans for the rest of 2011 and 2012.?
We are gonna be introducing the world to our music, touring with the Sats, more schools tours then eating lots of mince pies at Christmas! Then back in the studio in the new year to finish our album that will be coming out early next year - eeeek!

Most embarrassing moment?
Kids shouting Joey Essex over our songs! Bad times
Weird talent/party piece?
Alex can back flip
Guilty pleasure?
A. Justin Beiber
J. Super noodles!
Most prized possession?
A. My 'Love' necklace!
J. Photos
First record purchased?
A. B*witched
J. Usher
Recently played on your ipod?
A. Hotstepper
J. Plan b
Dream Date (destination and person)?
A. Zach Efron - in the carribean
J.Taylor Lautner (Team Jacob)- Paris!

Watch youtube :
Stream on soundcloud :!/OhMyOfficial!/ohmyofficial

Interview with Foley Artist

In my new role of Music Editor I will aim to showcase new and emerging acts as well as the established. I wholeheartedly encourage Culture Compass readers to let me know your opinions on my discoveries and will look to cover any artists you think deserve a mention . For one of my first interviews I wanted to introduce you to Surrey based trio Foley Artist. If you like what you see and hear be sure to head down to the The Bull and Gate for the launch of Cardinal Jacks debut album on Thurs 3rd Nov, where you will be able to enjoy a reliably energetic and sweaty live FA experience.

You formed about a year and a half ago, so you are relatively early on in your journey as a band... Have you all been in bands previous to Foley Artist?

Olly - Yeah music is something we have all been involved with since we were kids. For example Jimmy used to play in a band called Bad Day and I used to play in a band called Roadside Ruin. The first time I met Jimmy was at Bad Day's first ever show in Guildford. I think we were playing too. I cant remember now haha!
James - Music is a massive part of all of our lives so yeah, we’ve all been in bands before. Me and Matt were in a band called HYKYA before and had been jamming together for a while before we decided to get Olly in, who we both knew from college and school. The two of us also play in a ska/reggae band called Tree.House.Fire! although Matt plays bass for that.
Matt - Death Metal to pop punk to jazz funk, reggae. Lot's of mucking about in different scenes.

Did you all share the same tastes in music therefore making it clear what band you wanted to become or was it case of jamming and letting it be an organic?
Matt - We've all got similar influences, but in differing amounts. For instance where James'll be jamming some Mars Volta or Blink 182, Olly will be listening to a bunch of Four Year Strong and Laura Marling and i'll be hooked on some old Fall of Troy or Shy Child. We all like all of these things but there's a nice push and pull and about what blend comes to the surface.
Did it click instantly or has it taken a while to find your ‘sound’?
James - It’s all a case of jamming really – at first me and Matt would basically try and out-do each other in terms of technical difficulty and basically just rocking out until we passed out! But now there’s a lot more melody in what we are writing and it’s becoming slightly easier to dance to. I don’t think we’ve ever thought “what style do we want to play?” it’s just been a case of playing whatever feels right, if we’re having fun playing it then hopefully people will have fun listening to it!

I hate to ask such a generic question, but why Foley Artist?
Matt - I saw the job title when watching the credits of a film, and when I found out what the job was (the bloke behind screen that puts the noises to the action on a film) I thought it'd make a good band name. Also my previous band was a five word name so two words felt better.

You have said that the music you make is mainly a bunch of noise to get sweaty to.... are you generally the guys that get in the thick of things, getting right in the heart of the moshpits?
Olly - Definitely when I was a teenager. I'm a bit lazy now and care too much about spilling my pint! Its such buzz though to see people enjoying your music.
Matt - Yea, although the band has to earn it! They've got to put that party energy in you. It's no good when a band has to tell the audience what to do, you know?

Does this mean most of the music you make is aggro and ferocious, or are there some lighter sounds in there too?
James - To be honest, I don’t think you could call it angry – it’s very difficult to get angry to a 7/8 beat! I prefer the term “energetic”! But yeah, there are plenty of lighter sounds in there, we like dynamics.

In a band each member brings something to the table. Apart from your musical contributions what do you all offer?
Matt - I reckon we all bring some mischief to the table! And alcoholism.
James - Haha! I don’t know what the others would say about me but I guess Olly is the rowdy one – being a rugby lad he can out-drink any of us! Matt can also be quite rowdy but only in short bursts which is handy because he does most of the “business” side of things. We’re basically a rowdy, drunken, funny, energetic bunch of lovely guys and are the best of friends!
Olly - Great question. Jimmy is definitely the more chilled one of three of us. Matt and I can get grumpy with each other at times but mainlywhen a bottle of jack is involved haha! I would probably say Matt is the brains behind the outfit but I guess that comes with age...
Matt - Easy with the age bit Man-Mountain.

There thousands of bands trying to make their way in the UK, what do you think is your USP or thing that will make it happen for you?
Olly - Its technical music but with a pop sing along vibe as well. More than anything I think its great fun at our shows.
James - You know what, we have fun doing what we do. If someone likes what we’re doing enough to come to one of our shows, buy a cd or offer us a deal that would be great, but we’re gonna have fun either way. Maybe that’s our USP….not enough bands have fun these days!

You are from Weybridge, a town known for being the homeplace of UK success story YMA6. Has their rise to fame served as inspiration?
Olly - Those guys are great. I used to go to school with Josh and remember him as a little kid, and went to ACM in guildford with Chris. It just shows that it is achievable. There's a few local bands that are really getting somewhere now too, the likes of fIN and Arcane Roots for example.
Matt - James once picked up Nick Oliveri (former QOTSA and Mondo Generator bassist) from Surbiton station and drove him into Twickenham or somewhere. My inspiration is to give James that level of fame, that he can just request lift's places and people are stoked to help him!

Who would be your dream collaboration?
James - Normally, this is a really easy question but for some reason I can’t think of any! I’d love to get a keys player into the band so maybe Ikey Owens from the Mars Volta would be a great addition.
Matt - I'd like to write some music for Luc Besson, or should the Wachowski's ever do anything good again for them. Otherwise some musician that shouldn't work well with our style, and get em to gel without cliche's. Like Ludicris, or Jools Holland. Something interesting.
Olly - Always a tough one but I think somebody like Dave Grohl. He's done it all. He's a great musician but mostly because I reckon he'd be fun to go out on the smash with!

If you could tour with anyone?
James - Oh man that would be a long list! Definitely Mars Volta, just to be able to enjoy their sheer musicianship night after night on tour would be such an honour. If you really mean “anyone” then Led Zeppelin for exactly the same reasons!
Matt - Yea there's a few local bands like Trails or Cardinal Jack that i reckon would be a fun tour. But The Mars Volta, RHCP, Foo Fighters. Any of the monster touring bands would be awesome.

Dream festival to play?
Olly - Personally. Reading and Leeds. Great British rock festivals. You'd have a good home crowd along with some great bands. But overseas probably the Warped Tour. I grew up listening to bands of that tour. Shame I never got to go however!
Matt - Yea Reading too, for my youth. I'd love to get involved with SXSW or Coachella too.

You are currently working on a mini album... Can you give us a clue as to some of the topic your lyrics may cover?
James - Think this one is for Matt!
Matt - Some of the usual suspects like love, kinship and such, but also dealing with debilitating or degenerative syndromes and those that suffer from them. A bit of a spectrum really. Although it'll all be buried in misdirection, gibberish and singalong hooks, so answers on a postcard.
Which do you find more pleasure/therapy in, writing lyrics or composing the music?

James - I always find it ridiculously difficult to write lyrics so I leave them to Matt! For me, it’s all about composing the music, structuring and thinking of new sounds – I could do it for hours!
Olly - For me when you come up with that riff that just fits or that Bassline that blends really well with what Matt and Jimmy are doing. That's awesome. Cant beat that for me.
Matt - I find both to be an extension of mood or situation, so they both work well in working the emotions out. Anything that hangs the soul over the washing line and thrashes the dust off of it is fine by me.

Can you paint the picture of your writing/recording processes?
Matt - We all present idea's whether in the room or not, or they'll be born out of jamming. More often i'll take such ideas away and get some base melody/chord/riff relationship going and then we'll all go from there.
James - Yea sometimes a whole song will just come out of a 10 minute jam but most of the time Matt or Olly will come up with a riff or two and then I will add a beat and we’ll start playing with other riffs until we’re happy with a structure – then we’ll rock it out!

You released a video earlier in the year, do you guys feel comfortable in front of the camera?
Olly - It was a first for all of us I think. Personally it felt weird to start with but you soon ease into it. Its actually quite good fun to
James - I was actually a bit apprehensive about the video shoot but Alan Harford who directed it was so professional and in the end I had an amazing day. In previous bands I’ve been the one nominated to do interviews and things so I guess I feel quite comfortable in front of the camera.

Will the video be another area that you will want control over creatively?
Matt - Not complete control. It's healthy to share these things around a bit with people you trust, and also having other folks input can help change a view point and help an artist be more objective.
James - If someone has an amazing idea and we all like it then we’ll go for it. None of us are directors so it’s always wise to listen to the person with the experience!

What have you got planned for the coming months?
Matt - Work! Play as many shows as possible, get this album done and ready; share ourselves with as many ears and eyes as possible! It'd be nice to be described one day as 'a hardworking band done good'. "

If you want to hear more check out 'The Gorgeous Dog' EP that they put out for free at the beginning of the year or view the live performance video for 'Loretta D Brown'
Loretta D Brown -
Main image courtsey of Alan Harford

Interview with Giovanna

With the influx of talented young ladies creating stirs within the music industry of late it is necessary to have something that sets you apart... luckily for Giovanna she has this in spades. This songwriter, performer, producer and vocalist is an exotic and intriguing character, with an ancestry made up of Italian, Hungarian, English, Scottish, Irish and French roots ( she is bilingual in French and studied Italian for 5 Years) and an extremely eclectic mix of influences, she is sure to deliver sounds that suprise audiences. As a definite one to watch for 2012 I wanted to find out more about the processes that have gone into creating her EP... as well as how she feels about googling herself!

Your track Out in Bold is extremely atmospheric and raw, it feels quite a mature sound for a 21 year old. Would you say that is also mirrored in your personality?

That's very kind of you to say so; not sure if I have an atmospheric personality ! And I can be very immature!! but I guess its up for people I meet to make their mind up about my personality. Its not up to me!

What I have heard of your music it doesn’t feel over produced and your voice is very exposed, this makes me think you are extremely confident in your sound.Did you always know the sort of music you wanted to make?

Thanks, over the last couple months and year I've really come to terms with what my kind of sound is, what kind of music I would like to make, what I’d like to hear, and I am still developing! Don't think that ever stops.

You seem to cover a lot of different genres and use some unpredictable instrumentation. But journalists love to pigeon hole though.What genre do you think would be most accurate to describe your music?

Wow. I'd say its open for interpretation but my music tries to get the best from a lot of genres- incorporate that into some soul, afro-beat, ambience. I’ll leave it to others to define my genre.

From your brothers success with Mumford and Sons you have no doubt been given a great insight into the industry and what happens to peoples lives when things go big. Has anything shocked you about what is involved. What has been the biggest tip/lesson/invaluable tit bit that will help you as your success grows?

I'm always a bit hesitant when I have to answer questions about Mumford, because my sound is completely different, but I'm really happy for them that they're doing so well and to be associated with them is a real compliment. Nothing's really shocked me its just a beautiful thing their whole sound. They've taught me to 'work more earn, more live more have more fun!' in other words it takes time but you always reap what you sow! (I know that's a Laura Marling Lyric ;) )

Has his success spurred you on further? Is it important to you that you separate yourself from what he does and carve your own identity as an artist?

Winston has taught me to persevere and don't be afraid to repeat sets as they will only get tighter. Definitely like I said before we have really different sounds.

Did your family create an environment encouraging of creative/music endeavors? Did they help to cultivate your talents?

Definitely, my parents are the ones who made sure that I carried on playing piano- there was one point when I wanted to quit, but they were like ‘no! We're not having any of that!’. My parents are very musical but didn't pursue it as a career.

Your EP "Shaky Ground" is scheduled for release early 2012. Will you read reviews and start googling yourself? Do you worry about what you will see?

I thought about this, and I don't thinks so - I read one negative comment in an email that was sent to me and it sort of put me off! I definitely don't worry about reviews in the creative process.

What do you cover lyrically on this EP?

Love, spirituality, friendship, romance, tragedy, fate .

Will we hear you showcase your flair for languages?

Unfortunately for this Ep there's only one French lyric 'Un amour indestructible'', but expect more from my album! There’s also an accordion!

Can you describe to be the environment in which you work and your personal process when creating a song?

Well music can come spontaneously in the most obscure random places- a dream, shower, lying awake in bed at night, or (most commonly) at the piano. Reading and listening to music inspires my work- I do a lot of work in the studio.

Do you tend to be more creative in times of turmoil or when content and happy?

These are good questions! I must say a lot comes out if I'm in turmoil, I think its easier to create in turmoil. But I love to create in peaceful serenity.

Did you produce this EP yourself? If so is it hard to step back and access and be critical of work so close to you ? If not, do you find it hard to hand over control to someone else?

I co. produced it with some fine gentlemen at MI7 records. I loved every minute of it- even being critical is fun!

Why do you think you and Mi7 are such a good fit?

Well first- how awesome is the name?! Its a secret mission organisation in collaboration with James Bond, now I've told you I may have to kill you! No, but really I love the doors its opened me, to work with some real wizards and really be as creative as I want with no boundaries.

Do you get more out of the live performance or from creating the songs?

They're both really different and I completely love both in really diverse ways. I love the exhilaration you get in live performance, and I love how being in the studio is like having a painting pallet with an unlimited amount of colours.

I am yet to see you live, do we see you sitting at a piano? Are you an expressive and kinetic performer or static and introverted (in a mesmerizing way of course)? Is there much stage production or is it pretty stripped back?

About half the songs are at the piano and half standing up! Production is key, Im quite kinetic- I love to dance! (I won't say more – you’ll have to come to a gig)!

Will we see you take a big interest in your styling and video treatments too?

I think styling is a great way to express yourself just like music. As N.W.A say ‘Express yourself!’

What is on your ipod right now?

In no particular order:Enya, Sufjan Stevens, Alicia Keys, Laura Marling, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, Moby, Prince, Sinead Oconnor, U2, The Fugees, James Horner,
Dream Collaboration?

Any or all of the above.

Dream stage/festival?

Hammersmith Apollo

Aims for 2012?

Release my EP, continue working on my album- see where that takes me, play lots of gigs/concerts and grow in the art.

Out In Bold - TNT Remix (TruFix and Twiggy)
Out In Bold - Music Video

Scary Style

She's Just a Devil Woman....

Miss Selfridge Black Crochet Lace Top £32.00

ASOS Sam Edelman Lorissa spike and diamant trim heeled shoe £180

Zara Mongolian Fur Handbag £79.99

Black Milk The Vamp Swinsuit £55.79 and Leg Bones Legging £46.49

Topshop Velvet Halter Dress £95

Ashish Skeletan Dress £1025

leana Makri Skull 18-karat rose gold and diamond earrings £925

Don't Fear the Reaper Boys.....

Dead Heroes Genesis Black Unisex Vest £9.99

Made in Hell Boney Fingers White £20.00

Ralph Lauren White Gold Cufflinks with Diamond Eyes £5175

Lazy Oaf It's Dark In Here T-shirt £28

The Kooples Gilet de costume bordeaux £175

Topman Scare on Glow In The Dark £28 and Black Skeleton Foot Socks

Asos Peter Werth Crinkle Velvet Scarf £15

P.S Gorge on gore with these amazing heart cupcakes from Lily Vanilli..

Friday, 21 October 2011


Whenever I watch TV shows Come Dine With Me, How To Look Good Naked, Trinny and Susannah etc, where they see it fit to rifle through peoples underwear drawers I recoil in horror. The mere thought of someone having access to chaos that is my underwear drawer makes me feel all hot and bothered... and not in the good sense. It's not because they house a vast selection of risque and sexy attire but because they contain a ridiculous amount of holey, worn, discolored articles that should have been forced the the fashion graveyard many moons ago.

Fashion Experts always bang on about the importance of great underwear, which should not only work as a great foundation for your ensembles but also make you feel secure and sexy. While I wholeheartedly back up this theory, as a singleton who rarely gets to showcase pretty undergarments I find it harder to splurge on a lingerie set than say a nice new blazer or pair of boots. I tend to have faithful bras, ones that are comfy lived in bras that I have owned for a few years and are almost just inbuilt in to my dressing routine. I find it hard to part ways with these, even if they've turned an unattractive off- white hue or if there is a split that reveals some of the padding. My hoarding tendencies only compound the issue, but I am trying to change my ways... promise. When news of the following greeted my email inbox I decided I really didn't have an excuse to maintain this spilling mass of past-it underwear... It IS time to be ruthless with my body scaffolding and rejuvenate my collection with some sexy new up-lifters.

To support Octobers Breast Cancer Awareness Month, premium lingerie specialist Rigby & Peller is calling on women across the UK to recycle their old bras in support of Breast Cancer Care. From 4th to 31st October for every bra that you recycle you receive £10 off per bra that you purchase from the extensive range including the stunning new Autumn / Winter 2011 collection and mastectomy range.

With a donation of £1 for every 10 recycled bras going to Breast Cancer Care, the scheme is one that is close to founder, Mrs. June Kenton’s heart as a fellow breast cancer survivor. It was this experience that inspired Rigby & Peller’s development of a dedicated range with a specialised fitting service for mastectomy sufferers and prosthesis.

Mrs. June Kenton, comments: “This is our fourteenth year supporting Breast Cancer Care as a cause that is very dear to me personally and many other women across the UK. We hope that this initiative helps to raise awareness and funds for the cause whilst highlighting the sensitivities around body confidence that sufferers often feel. At Rigby & Peller we understand these sensitivities and pride ourselves on an unparalleled fitting service by highly experienced fitters, whether you are one of the 80% of British women wearing the wrong bra size or a mastectomy sufferer.”

To help support Breast Cancer Care, visit one of the seven Rigby & Peller stores with your old bras to receive £10 towards any new bra purchase.
Visit for more information and store locations.


Cure for Cellulite?

Dannii Minogue told her 690,000 followers on Twitter: ‘My Style Tip. Try Proskins Caffeine-infused compression-wear for reducing exercise when you can’t exercise. Perfect for long flights.’ Another shameless celebrity endorsement via social media you might think.... Whatever the truth Danni is on to something with this particular product....

I was sent a pair of these technological leggings a few weeks ago for review. Having been sent hundreds of so called 'miracle' products over the years, to say I was skeptical was an understatement. That said, the fact that they were professing to improve cellulite, one of the most stubborn of body hangups, I was most definitely going to give them a try. I have not only battled the problem for years, but fought against the misconceptions associated with it. My ripply thighs have always been a bug bear, something I comment on regularly as a personal flaw that I wish I could eradicate. My complaints are often greeted with exclamations 'oh shut up, you don't have cellulite' or words to the same effect. Many believe that only those that fall into the overweight category can be burdened with the problem when the fact is that someone who is referred to as skinny can also be plagued by the troublesome orange peel.

As soon as I slipped on the leggings I felt lithe, well more so than usual. They appeared to slim down my silhouette, so much so than my opinionated father felt the need to comment favourably by saying how flattering they were on me....particularly for leggings, an apparel he often sites as a reliable fashion faux pas. He often returns from the gym with his overview on woman's workout attire, which more often than not fails to impress his critical eye.... this made his particular observation even more of a happy revelation.

I have been wearing the leggings for a few weeks now, whenever I am lazing about the house.. which has been a lot of late after a period of illness. While the rest of my body has deteriorated my thighs have been gunning for success. While I often think reviews of a positive nature can be down to the reviewer being so desperate to believe there is a positive result, I truly believe that has been some significant change in the appearance of my legs in this instance. Not only do my legs look and feel more slimline they are smoother in both appearance and feel. The feature which confirms its status as a genius product is that it doesn't take any effort, which is great selling point for the busy or lazy amongst us. You are not having to waste valuable sleep time working in creams or massaging in gels, you don't have to suffer the indignity of mummifying yourself in bandages or retching while drinking some vile detoxifying tonic, you simply have to slip on some rather nice and comfy trousers. I think we can all handle that!

Before I conclude my gushy product review, my mother, who makes many of her fashion purchases depending on their washing instructions, wanted me to flag up another bonus about the product - The Silver Inside Anti Bacterial Fabric means that you can go a long time between washes with no worry of odour or bad germs, the moisture management system controlling temperature and preventing sweating.

How Do They Work?

Micro- capsules contain...

Caffeine - A renowned active slimming agent that activates micro circulation and promotes fat destruction
Retinol - A skin regenerator which stimulates collagen , giving a youthful appearance to skin
Vitamin E - An antioxidant that helps the skin appear young and fresh
Aloe Vera - A plant extract that makes the skin feel smoother and softer

Enough of the science stuff. Users have reported the following results...

76% Slimming effect

Up to 2cm reduction in thigh perimeter

65% efficancy in reduction of fat nodes

63% stated a reduction in cellulite

72% of users felt leg lightness sensation

It's all pretty convincing isn't it... So come on fellow skeptics, put your pessimism aside for a bit and give Proskins a go....


Well I certainly never thought that I'd discuss these two particular bands in the same post but The Stone Roses and Westlife are arguably responsible for the biggest news stories in UK music this week... albeit for completely opposite reasons.

Westlife Split.....

Manager Louis Walsh was among the first to pay tribute , calling the boys "four of the best ambassadors Ireland has ever had. Westlife were always the best four people I have ever worked with. I had a brilliant time working with them. And it just goes to show how far you can get in this business with the right attitude."
But not everyone is as sad about their demise, one frustrated male contacted ITV show This Morning to point out 'The Stool making Industry will deteriorate.. Big time! Bluntly dismissing any impact on the music industry.

I am far from being an avid follower of relentless balladeers Westlife, but they have seemed a tad off the radar of late, so news of their split didn't come as a great surprise to me. However, the the mass of grief stricken reactions on twitter did. I was surprised and at times disappointed by certain people who outed themselves as die hard fans via devastated outpourings on the social media site ( maybe I'm irked because any of my boy/man band persuasions are heartily aligned with Take That).

I think it is quite clear that I am coping fine with the 'sad' news, but I can't deny that the the Irish foursome have achieved some mighty impressive stats during their lengthy 14 year career - clocking up 14 numbers ones and selling over 44 Million for instance. They also cleverly managed to avoid any major scandal, survive an original members departure, a member coming out, and maintained a hardy fan base that stuck by them even when their brand of music was far from being cool or current. It will be interesting to see where the hardworking members go from here... We know Kian has his hands full co managing his pregnant wifes girlband Wonderland and his new role on The Voice of Ireland. Mark had always had one of the strongest voices so perhaps the West End will call on his talents. Lead vocalist Shane could go solo or also use his vast experience to judge future stars. The prettiest member Nicky who always showcased a good sense of humour during interviews so could maybe take a turn at presenting? I am of course merely speculating with my little amount of knowledge on the foursome.... but let's just hope we aren't inundated with endless reality TV appearances by the former boy band heroes.

Westlife's 'Greatest Hits' is to be released in Ireland on November 18, with a new single, 'Lighthouse', issued a week earlier on November 11.

Dates for a final Irish tour including a monster farewell in Dublin are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Stone Roses Reunite

Two days ago The Stone Roses original line-up - frontman Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni confirmed they have reunited via a press conference at London's Soho Hotel. They thrilled their ardent fans by revealing plans for two homecoming gigs at Heaton Park on June 29-30 in 2012 before embarking on an extensive world tour.

They also revealed they are working on new material which they intend to perform at the shows. That said, fans should try their best to reign in their and excitement to some degree. The band are known for not always sticking to their word, despite the good intentions when the plans leave their mouths. Aware of their somewhat unpredictable nature, when commenting on the task of creating a new album frontman Brown added : We hope so. But we said that before didn't we?"

But it does appear that they have put their differences aside finally. Legandary bassist Mani has always been extremely vocal about his opinion about the band reuniting, once famously stating it would only happen when "Manchester City win the European Cup". But it would appear his love for the band has been resurrected saying "Something magical happens when us four are in the room together, you can't put your finger on it. It's just beautiful to capture it again. I've missed it."

Later, Brown also said the band decided to finally reform because "at times like this you can uplift people" and they would carry on "until the wheels fall off". Meanwhile, Mani said the reunion was a "suck it and see thing", while Reni revealed he "would be happy with 12 months".

Whatever the reunited band end up delivering, the prospect of what could come have caused an exciting stir in the musical ranks... Lets just hope these relative old timers can remind the many bland artists of today how to do it....

Tickets for the double header go on sale at 9.30am this Friday (October 21). For further information go to their newly launched The Stone Roses official website


Versace and H&M

Set to launch in 300 stores from November 17th we finally get to peak at the 90 strong designer/high street collaboration......

Designer and vice president of the Versace group, 56 year old Donatella, can be seen above wearing the studded dress from the collection. Commenting on the venture before it's release....'The collection will be quintessential Versace, perfect for H&M and Versace fans everywhere.' 'For the collaboration we've brought back from the archives, as well as from more recent collections, some of the icons of Versace, such as the bright prints, the Greek key and daring cuts'. 'I can't wait to see how H&M's wide audience will make these pieces their own.'

So as part of H&Ms wide audience I thought I give you my brief round-up on the varied collection....

There was no understatement when Donatella used the word bright to describe some of the designs. My initial reaction was 'too much', but after further inspection I have warmed to the outlandish display. Take the animal/beach scene/gold print skirt.... quite a noisy statement piece but team with a simple black tea and some impressive heels and you have yourself a quirky evening look. You don't have to overwhelm yourself with a complete look by copying the models image piece for piece. Pick one of their statement bags and let it zest up a paired down look. Chuck a traditional tuxedo blazer over one of the busy sequined dresses or add a pair of safe black opaques. While I wouldn't wear the oriental inspired print dress and leggings I admire the artistry and can imagine Jessie J lapping up some of the other over-sized floral print skinny pants. I appreciate the lovely bead/stud work on the flattering hot pink and yellow shift dresses and have been temped to dip into the colour wheel via an ultra feminine lilac number too.

The impressive selection of accessories, largely made up of bright gold teamed with black or bling we can really see the aforementioned Greek influence coming through, as well as the glamour we associate with the brand. For those that don't wish to douse themselves in the designer/high street hybrid a statement belt or knockout piece of jewellery is a great way to infuse a bit of Versace vigor into your ensemble.

As a less than brave clothes the collections range of black dresses are the most appealing, featuring embellishment, subtly sexy cut outs and studding, they have more zazazoo then the typical LBD... although the high hemlines and exposed arms may make them a less desirable purchase for the more mature lady. Versace has always known how to create alluring silhouettes (which is why they are a perennial red carpet fave) and they have carried this on through this collection using corsetry, sexy fabrics (layered sheers, sequins , liquid chain-mail and leather), nipped in waists and decolletage teasing drapes.

I didn't want to leave out the male readers so here are a few stand out looks... although no necessarily for the right reasons.

I can't argue with H&M Creative Advisor Margareta van den Bosch who said 'Versace’s collection for H&M is a moment in fashion. It is full of strong pieces that stand out, with colours, prints and cuts that are clean and precise," but if I saw a bloke sporting studded black leather trousers and palm tree print t-shirt (see above) I would either presume he was making some sort of ironic statement or that he had extremely questionable taste. I appreciate that they have looked at the history of the brand and embraced the heady designs of their iconic 80/90s era, but some looks are better left in the past or at least resigned to a very particular kind of clubs. Despite my reservations I do realize that these looks could work for those that perform - I can imagine Mark Ronson completely pulling off the hot pink suit. The vivid prints and retro vibe also lend themselves well to funky photo and video shoots. I have also seen a fair few people sporting similar bombers to the one seen on the left when at trendy fashion events in East London.... perhaps my distaste is merely down to not being in the target demographic.

However, as with the ladies offerings, I do love the mens black ensembles. You can't go far wrong with a well fitting suit, the sheen of the fabric giving it a hint of Versace opulence but made extremely wearable by teaming with a open weave knit and another winning studded belt. For those that prefer an all black look but with a more of a daring twist the studded shorts paired with this stunning shirt complete with metal detailing is a great look, given further impact by this leather jacket featuring some impressive aztec stud work.

Prices start at £19.99 for jewellery and rise to £199.99 for a man's studded leather jacket.

P.S Versace's pre-spring collection launches online on January 19.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Idiom at XFM

Before my hamster chops really took hold of my face

Frontman Matt Sharland is dead serious about his upcoming XFM session

Grant attempting nonchalance

Drummer Dan looks ecstatic in his temporary new home

Kris didn't feel his usual hair acrobatics were necessary for the session... sadly

Fame at last!

At the mixing desk with Chris as they play their last track

The compulsory group shot

If you'd like to review a show or interview the guys do get in touch...

12th Nov Southampton , Joiners - with Senser

14th Nov EXETER, Cavern - with Senser

15th Nov BRIGHTON, Haunt -with Senser

18th No LEEDS, The Well - with Senser

19th Nov MANCHESTER, Moho - with Senser

25th Nov HIGH WYCOMBE - Nags Head

26th Nov BIRMINGHAM - 02 academy

1st Dec HULL, The Lamp!/mattsharland!/Gidiom!/IdiomUK


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Get YOU ME AT SIX to Number One!!

Last time I read there was 200 copies between the boys and their closest competitor... So get you wallets/ itunes accounts at the ready and purchase their amazing new album Sinners Never Sleep.....NOW!!


Peackcocks Press Day

6th October, Oui Rooms , 40 Eastcastle Street

I ventured to the central london venue mainly for the allure of Pearl Lowes designs, which I have coveted since her first range was released. I was predictably smitten by her display and pleasantly surprised by the other affordable delights Peacocks had to offer....

The mainline womenswear collection showcased an array of colour bright pieces. There were bold nautical stripes amongst vivid jeans and belted evening trousers as well as a scattering of prints. There were also a selection of fab party dresses in jewel tones as well as sexy bandeau leather number. Sueddette monopolized the shoe selection via platforms, court, mary janes and ankle boots. And for heel novices the trusty wedge is present via peep toes and boots as is a cute white boat shoe...phew

Feeling under par to say the least I welcomed the opportunity to sit down and relax for a few minutes and indulge in a bit of pampering and girlie chatter. Beauty expect Joanna Newbold took to work on my embarrassingly neglected talons. We opted for a combination of Peacocks grey and a nail wrap, the print taken from one of Pearl Lowes dresses no less.... I have found in the past that some of the shop own varnishes are either to watery, requiring several layers, or gloopy and thick making it tricky to achieve a smooth finish.

While you were there you could have a feather put in your hair. Not something I can honestly say I have yearning for but I am not one to turn down a free treat.... I went for a relatively safe colour that I could hide behind me ear should I feel uncomfortable with the outcome.

When everyone was fawning and gushing over the vision of Kate in Her McQueen Peacocks were quick to release a version of the lace dress. Inevitably it sold out pretty much immediately. Quite wisely they decided to build on this with a selection of celebrity inspired bridal wear. They haven't just recreated affordable versions though, they have put a twist on the orginal much loved designs... a hot pink version of Pippas bottom skimming dress for instance. At around the £40 these would be great for brides who want to slip into something for the evenings boogying and drinking... something they won't mind spilling on or sweating into after a day of trying to stay immaculate in there expensive custom made wedding dresses. They would also work perfectly for alternative weddings, a bare footed beach side ceremony or a quirky vintage inspired do.

Peacocks Boutique has every occasion/party desire covered. To create old Hollywood glamour there are sequins and metallics a plenty with skirts that flare as you twirl. There are ultra feminine neutral and black lace numbers with nipped in waists and full skirts. Colours are both earthy and jewel, including mustard which has been heralded colour of the season. One particularly wearable dress has a lovely nude sheer section which adds a teasy intrigue to a classic black dress.

I could gush for a boring amount of time about Pearl Lowes collection for Peacocks. I don't know how I would pick one standout dress from the range... there is a stunning floral oriental satin one.....

Velvet was everywhere on the catwalk so if you like to keep up with the trends this is a beautiful way to do so.
Monochrome is a wise choice for those who veer on the side of safety
Daisy was papped wearing a sleeveless version of the red lace dress. Mother Pearl was seen wearing it but a few days later.... Wearable for all ages it would appear.

A couple of examples of the stunning embellishment available on a budget. It is quite amazing you can own pieces with such elaborate detailing for such a small pricetag.

Childrens-wear is not my area of expertise yet... thank god... but my ovaries did throb a bit when I saw these adorable dresses inspired by Daisys little sister Betty. I would have adored this collared plum velvet dress when I was a little-un.

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