New site

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Throwback Thursday: The Libertines - Don't Look Back Into The Sun

This is probably a first for this feature this week as I actually don’t really like this band. I had a mate in college who looked up to Pete Doherty like he was 2nd in line to rock n roll throne behind Hendrix, but I just didn’t get it. And even now I just don’t get the hype around them, decent band yeah, but up there with the likes of Arctic Monkeys? No chance.

But despite all that I do love this record. This was the 4th single from the highly controversial band although it never actually appeared on either of their albums. For me The Libertines were riding the indie wave that was sweeping Britain and the charts at this point. Indie was dominating the airwaves and I simply think that they were in the right place at the right time.
This song peaked at number 11 on the UK singles chart in 2003 and remains my favourite Libertines track by a country mile. This week I bring to The Libertines and ‘Don’t look back into the sun.’ Enjoy.


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Eminem - 'Rap God' Music Video NEW!!!

This is the brand new video for one of the best tracks off Marshall Mathers LP 2. He’s absolutely untouchable on this track. In terms of lyrical dexterity and flow there isn’t anyone else out there who can get close to him on this record. Pretty cool video too, check it below.

Monday, 25 November 2013

West Brom 2-2 Aston Villa. Match Report

First off I just want to say what a fantastic game of football that was. It might not have always been of the highest quality (What derby games are?) but we had a fantastic atmosphere, some crunching tackles and some fantastic goals.

It’s often said that managers earn their money by their ability to make the right substitutions at the right time. If this is the case then Paul Lambert will be looking for a pay rise in the morning. His Villa side were outplayed, outclassed and  2 goals down for nearly an hour until he made a triple substitution that completely changed the game, and eventually led to his team fighting back to earn a point.
Albion were a goal up after only 3 minutes as Brunt played a long ball over the top of the Villa defence where it was taken out of the air like Bergkamp in his prime by Shane Long and he cut inside Nathan Baker and slotted a low left foot shot into the far corner. And things soon got even better for the Baggies as they doubled their lead on 11 minutes. Make-shift Villa right back Bacuna played a ridiculous pass across his own area straight to Long again who beat Baker with a step-over and clipped the ball over Guzan. Sessengnon, who had an absolutely terrible game, should have put the game to bed inside 20 minutes but he got his feet all wrong when attempting to meet a cross from the right hand side at the back post; scuffing an effort wide from 4 yards.

The only relative bright spot for the Villains was a Kozak half volley which cannoned off the crossbar following a flick on from Benteke. In short Villa had been awful. They had threatened very little going forward and looked incredibly fragile at the back especially when defending long balls. Without a doubt the star man had been Long. He had scored both goals and had been a constant threat to the Villa back line.
The 2nd half began in much the same fashion as the 1st had ended. Albion were in control and dominating possession. Any attempts by Villa to gain some forward momentum were often brought to an abrupt end through their own mistakes as they repeatedly gave the ball away. Then came the defining moment of the game. Lambert replaced Kozak, Tonev and the ineffective Sylla for Weimann, Agbonlahor and Delph and the game changed almost immediately. All of a sudden there was an urgency in the visitors that had been lacking in the 1st half and when El Almadi got on the end of Weimann’s flick on to knock the ball over Myhill in the Albion goal with just over 20 minutes to go, it was game on.

It was now the home side who started to look uncertain as confidence rushed back into the Villa ranks as they pressed for an equaliser. And in the 77th minute their hard work was rewarded as Goran Popov who was making his 1st start in the league this season headed a clearance straight to Westwood who took a touch and hammered a low shot into the bottom corner. Not a bad way to score your 1st goal for your club by any means. Both teams had half opportunities as the game thundered towards a conclusion but were unable to find a way through giving them both a share of the points.
All in all a draw is probably a fair result and in truth also a fair reflection of how closely matched the teams actually are. Albion had been control of the game with impressive performances from Long and Mulumbu but as soon as the Villa substitutions were made and when they got a goal back there was only one team who looked like winning the game. So I don’t think either side can have too many complaints. Anyway, the two previous encounters between these sides had finished 2-2 so I guess there was only ever going to be one result, right?  

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Throwback Thursday: Fountains Of Wayne - Stacy's Mom

Pretty much everyone I know will raise a little smile listening back to this record. It is hated by anyone called Stacy or anyone whose name can be shoehorned into the chorus for that matter. It tapped into the whole pop/punk thing that was going on in the early 2000’s, it’s not the greatest song of all time by any means but it’s fun, catchy and has a great video.

The song charted at number 11 and the UK and sadly marked the highest point for the band as it was all downhill from here.  But for a laugh and a little bit of that school day nostalgia, hit play.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Throwback Thursday: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Theme Tune

Right I think it’s about time that you guys got the chance to find out a little more about me so here goes….

In West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I’d spend most of my days….
Yes boys and girls you guessed it… I’m not a random bloke sat in his underwear somewhere in the UK I am in fact Will Smith!!!!!!!!

Well, sort of. I mean my name isn’t Will or Smith, I haven’t got a kid named after a tree, and I don’t look like I haven’t aged since 1994. So yeah, in truth I’m not even close… but a broke man sat behind a keyboard can dream right?
Anyway, in honour of the fact that Alfonso Ribeiro, Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (One of the greatest sitcoms ever)to you and me is going to be in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!

The Fresh Prince ran from 10th September 1990 until 20th May 1996, spanning 6 seasons and 148 episodes. But as we all know it has been repeated within an inch of its life ever since.
The theme was written and performed by Will Smith although the music was put together by Quincy Jones… Quincy Jones!!!!

It was never a single but did appear on a Will Smith greatest hits a few years after the last episode had aired.
I know you all know the words to this so lets go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Face Of A Stranger - The EP. Exclusive First Review

Through the decades the West Midlands has always been the real heartland of hard rock and heavy metal. I know that is a pretty bold claim but here is the proof, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest formed in Birmingham, Led Zepplin have their origins in Coventry, and Diamondhead are from Stourbridge. That right there is a roll call of rock and metal royalty and in a few short years we may just have another name to add to that very impressive list, because what I currently have in my hot little hand is the debut EP from Face Of A Stranger, and simply put, this record bangs.

This hard rock outfit from the Black Country comprised of singer Mitch Jones, guitarists Joe Lewis and Josh Pagett, bassist Ben Slater and drummer Luke Watton with the help of producer Jonny Hands have crafted a record which wouldn’t be out of place alongside the worlds established names in your local record store. I truly believe that this record is that good.
Track one is my favourite track on the EP and my favourite track of theirs full stop, I am of course talking about ‘The Road.’ There is a very good chance that if you have caught the band live then you will have heard this track before but here it’s not quite as you might remember it. There have been a few subtle little tweaks, with the result being a real rounded well put together song. The first part of the track is really stripped back, meaning that the emotive vocals are pushed to the forefront and left to set the tone of the song. Then on the two minute mark the song really comes to life, the volume increases, a powerful vocal emerges and it’s time for the guitars to take centre stage.

The solo here from Mr Lewis will be one of the best that you will hear all year. In its tone and style it is very much in the Slash mould from the Appetite For Destruction and Use Your Illusion era. The track then switches right back down to its starting point, stripped back and almost haunting, a great way to finish.
Next up is lead single ‘Shutting Me Down.’ This track first hit the internet last week, (you can check my review here at )and has been on heavy rotation for a lot of people ever since. I originally said the intro sounded like ‘Come as you Are’ from Nirvana but having given it a few more listens I think it has in more common with ‘Heart Shaped Box,’ anyway, you get the picture. Personally I think that the best songs make you think and can mean different things to different people, and that is the case here. For me the track is about the end of a relationship and all of the emotions that come with it…looking back over what happened and what went wrong. However, the track could also be interpreted in some ways as a trip into the protagonists’ mind, where they are talking about the mistakes and suffering that they have gone through in their life and the mental scars that have been left behind.  Like I said, the song gives you something to think about.

The final track is the Velvet Revolver -esque ‘Dysphasia.’ Here we get a look at another string in the bands bow. This track is straight hard rock; in your face and uncompromising. Big guitars, big bass, and a powerful vocal while the drummer smashes the hell out of his kit, what more could you want? Again, I have only ever heard this song live so the layering of the vocals is a nice a little surprise addition. Though as I hinted above, it is not just about how good the song is but the fact that it gives the band a chance to showcase a slightly different style, gone is the melody driven nature of the other songs and in its place is a sound that hits you like a musical brick wall.
What the band has achieved here cannot be understated. The current line-up has only been in existence since April, and this after all is their first ever recording. The band just seems to fit together seamlessly. The bass, the drums and the rhythm guitar work in perfect harmony to provide the platform for the vocals and soaring guitar solos, and this really comes across in what is a very well-produced and well put together record.  A record, that in my opinion every rock fan should have in their collection.

Favourite song: ‘The Road.’
Favourite lyric: ‘Why do I build these cathedrals when I worship no one?’ (The Road)

Rating: 5/5

*It has also been confirmed today that the band have two gigs coming up at the Flapper in Birmingham on the 5th and 15th of December. On top of this they may also have a gig at Base Studios in Stourbridge this coming Saturday the 16th November, so keep an eye out for those if you want to hear more from them.*

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Face Of A Stranger Live @ Slade Rooms - 8th November

Its 8.30pm, the 2nd support act Theia have just finished their set and the number of empty plastic glasses at my feet indicate that the bar is doing a roaring trade. The atmosphere is building, granted its beer assisted, but it’s definitely growing. No pressure boys…

The last support band has just finished and the crowd is live. So far we’ve had band members in with the audience and a few people head-banging in chicken masks. Like I said, the crowd is live. It had already been a night of many questions. Would we get lost on the way to the gig? Would we be able to work out how to get the pay and display machine in the car park to work? But now there was only one question left to be answered, could Face Of A Stranger make the step up from support act to headliner? All the ingredients are there but who knows. One thing is for certain, we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

I had heard in the build-up to the gig that the band had been working on something special for the big night but I had been kept in the dark as to what this surprise was, and I really wasn’t expecting what I heard. The band took the stage and opened with a rock version of ‘Monster’ by Eminem and Rihanna, like I said, me and the rest of the crowd didn’t see that coming. After a couple of quick choruses the band fired straight into ‘Dysphasia.’ This is one of the tracks that appear on the band’s eponymously titled debut EP and it has been a staple of their live shows for a while now, but it still carries the same hard hitting hard rock impact that it always did. At this point I took a minute to glance round the room to see what the audience were making of it, and not only was the room full for the first time one the night everyone was along with the band for the ride.

There was barely time to draw breath as the opening chords of ‘Swallowing Grenades’ burst into life; this was rock music in its purist most raw form. Big, brash and most importantly loud. The aforementioned head-banging chickens were in their element and loving it. High praise indeed.
Next up was a typically jolting performance of ‘Violet.’ The thing with this track is that the first 30 seconds to minute just lulls you into a false sense of security. The vocal is slow, delicate and haunting as it glides over the light instrumental track. It’s a rare moment of serenity amongst a night of chaos. It’s soft and tranquil; for all intents and purposes it’s a ballad. Except it isn’t at all. The main riff kicks in and hits you like a sledge hammer to head, where did the slow thoughtful melody go?! It’s a shock to your senses and catches you by surprise but it definitely works.

The next song was one I was looking forward to hearing live having had it on repeat since I reviewed it the other day. I am of course talking about the band’s debut single ‘Shutting Me Down.’ And I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed, it was absolutely on the money, with singer Mitch Jones visibly lifted by hearing the members of the audience singing along with him. There was then a short break in proceedings as the band tuned up giving drummer Luke Watton the chance to show off his skills. What followed was a near 2 minute (totally improvised) drumming clinic. The roar of appreciation from the crowd said it all. What followed was the 2nd surprise of the night as we were treated to some new material, a new track called ‘Broken Words’ which had never before been performed in public. I think the best word to describe it would be ‘heavy.’ The rest of their repertoire is hardly Mumford and Sons but this was another level. It was uncompromising as it hammered through riff after riff and phase after phase, at its end I felt battered, I needed a lie down.  

After a short interlude/impromptu jam session while the band organised the giving out of their CD I got my lie down in musical form by way of the final track from their EP, a track called ‘The Road.’ As much as the rhythm guitar of Josh Pagett and bass of Ben Slater drove the previous track, ‘The Road’ really brings Joe Lewis and his Slash esque tones to the fore. The solo delivered here was as good as anything you will hear from some ‘name’ guitarists, and as the song softly plays towards its end the crowd for the first and only time all night the crowd were silent, what an impact. The final track of the night came in the form of now traditional show closer ‘In My Veins.’ By now the band didn’t look like they wanted the show to end as they gave it everything they had, complete with a full on rock finish as set of the drummer’s drum stick went flying past my head into the crowd. What a night.

This gig marked the move from small cramped room to real music venue and the journey from support act to headliner, but I have a feeling that the Face Of A Stranger journey is far from over, in fact I think that it's just beginning.  

Friday, 8 November 2013

Feel Good Friday: 50 Cent - In Da Club

Due to work commitments I didn’t manage to get online yesterday to give you your usual helping of Throwback Thursday but as always I’ve got a plan B, and as usual that plan B comes in the form of Feel Good Friday.

Now the idea of the feature is to put you in a good mood and kick start your weekend getting you ready for your night on the town. But at least on a personal level today I feel like I’ve failed.. all I have done today is depress myself. I think some of you will get where I’m coming from though. This track is 10 years old!!!!!!! 10 years!!!!!!!!!! Where the hell did that go??!!!! Man, I feel so old.
Right now I’ve got that out of the way, todays track is a classic. It will get played at every party you ever go to, it charted at number 3 in the UK, it topped the Billboard hot 100 in the US for 9 weeks. It comes from arguably the most hyped hip hop album of all time ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ and even though of you out there who hate hip hop will bop your head to this.

Here it is, 50 Cent and ‘In da Club.’
Go shawty, its ya birthday…….

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Face Of A Stranger, Debut Single - 'Shutting Me Down.' Exclusive First Review

The hype around this band right now is absolutely crazy. Now if you are a big music fan like myself you will know that 90% of the time hype means absolutely nothing but, there is always that odd occasion where you catch on to something and it stops you, and all you want to do is make other people hear what you’ve just heard. You might have stumbled across it by accident but once you’ve heard it, it grabbed you and you’ll spend the next however long boring your mates to tears with how they need to listen to this track.

Every music fan worth their salt can relate to what I’ve just said and this is exactly what happened to me when I first heard this band, I really think that they are that good.
And all of this brings us to their 1st ever single, Shutting Me Down. This track has been a staple of their live shows for quite a while now but this is the first time that it has been put to record and laid down in a studio, and honestly it doesn’t disappoint.

You want a big sound… tick. You want a powerful rock vocal…tick. You want big guitars mixed with huge polished drums…tick. This is hard rock at its finest. From the Nirvana esque intro (think Come As You Are) to the big thundering chorus, it’s all there, and it all adds up to what is a fantastic track.
And to top it off for you music nerds like me out there it’s stupidly well produced. All the sounds are crisp and clear, but the guitars, bass and drums still hit you hard, that raw energy is still there.

You will be able to get your hands on it soon as it will be appearing on their debut EP that will be coming out on Friday. It will be available for free at their 1st ever headline show at the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton.
Right, I’ve waxed lyrical enough about this track and this band in general, but I’m not going to tell you what to like. Check it out for yourselves. Apparently this track is also getting a play on 102.5 The Bridge tonight, and I’m sure it will get some rotation in the coming weeks.

Anyway enough of me, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls I bring to you, Face Of A Stranger and Shutting me Down. Enjoy.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Premier League Weekend Review: Arsenal March On

As always it was a big big weekend in the Premier League as this season continues to be as unpredictable as ever.

Probably the biggest game of the weekend saw Liverpool travel to the Emirates to take on league leaders Arsenal. You’d have got pretty decent odds at the start of the season if you would have said that at this stage this game would have represented a top of the table clash but that’s exactly what it was. But in the end what promised to be a tight game turned into a comfortable victory for the Gunners as they dominated the opening hour and ran out 2-0 winners, Aaron Ramsey scored another brilliant goal; you should really check it out if you haven’t already. The result not only kept Arsenal top of the table but moved them 5 points clear… does this mean that despite the limitations of their squad they are serious title contenders?
Arsenal’s cause at the top of the table was aided by the shock of the weekend, when in the early kick off on Saturday Chelsea went down 2-0 away at Newcastle. The Magpies get to keep their title as the most unpredictable team in the league as they put in a brilliant performance to see off a very under par Chelsea side. But the real big question to emerge from this game is that if the real Fernando Torres was back last week does this poor performance mean that he has gone again?

As Saturday afternoon turned into Saturday evening both Manchester clubs simultaneously landed big right hands to put Chris Hughton and Martin Jol on the managerial ropes. Manchester City were supreme in hitting 7 past a hapless Norwich. Obviously the 7-0 score line will be a huge concern for Norwich manager Hughton but not as much of a worry as seeing the playing down tools as they went 2 down. Meanwhile over at Craven Cottage Manchester United were putting Fulham to the sword to a soundtrack of ‘Out, Out, Out’ from Fulham fans venting their frustration at their manager. 3 goals in 13 1st half minutes did for Fulham and although they did rally in the 2nd half the natives are getting very restless.
However the strangest moment of the weekend was reserved for the Stoke v Southampton game where Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic scored after 13 seconds. He hammered a long clearance into the Autumnal sky and the wind did the rest taking it deep into the Southampton half and causing the ball to bounce over a stranded Artur Boruc in the Saints goal. This game eventually ended 1-1 but the opening goal only served to give the world an insight into the problems in this Stoke team, upon scoring that goal Begovic has become the Potters joint leading scorer in the league… Oh dear.

Elsewhere this weekend Spurs and Everton played out a goalless draw, and despite the lack of goals and the stick the manager is getting from some Spurs fans this was a good result and they remain in the top 4 and will only improve as the season goes on. The big talking point though was the stupid decision from the Spurs medial and coaching staff to allow Hugo Lloris to continue after he had been knocked out. He could have sustained some serious damage and been seriously injured and was needlessly put at risk by those at Spurs. Ridiculous.
The 1st ever Welsh derby in the top flight went off without a hitch as in one of the most boring games all season Steven Caulker’s header ensured Cardiff walked away with the bragging rights. West Brom did what pretty much everyone else has done this season and beat Crystal Palace, and West Ham and Aston Villa played a depressingly boring 0-0 draw.

Right that’s all for me for now but I’ll be back with more keyboard wizardry very soon.