Monday, 29 December 2008

David Peace in The Guardian Guide

This week's Guardian Guide contains their Pop Culture Guide to 2009, including my short piece on David Peace. March sees both the cinema version of his novel The Damned United, and Channel 4's promising-looking adaptation of his Yorkshire Ripper novels. You can read my take on it here

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

How To Fight An Orc

The current FHM is out now, including my epic tale of being beaten senseless by a pack of orcs in a forest at 2AM. Or, to put it another way, what happened to me when I hooked up with Heroquest, the UK's oldest Live Action Role Playing society. The superb photos are by Peter Kindersley.

They're compensating for the world around them – one which just doesn’t offer men the excitement and challenges that it used to. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many LARPers are IT guys who came of age at a time when boundless futurism promised that come this millennium, we’d be living in an evolved world of circuit boards and video wrist-watches. The escapism, excitement and utopian future that they hoped technology would deliver never quite arrived. But every two weeks it actually exists in an old youth camp on the Welsh border.

The Most Corrupt Man In Music?

The new edition of Q is out now. As well as a nice looking cover shot of the goon from Razorlight, it features my lengthy feature on the rise, fall and criminal lunacy of Backstreet Boys manager Lou Pearlman.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Anvil in Arena

The current edition of Arena is out this week and includes my lengthy article on Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Sacha Gervasi's superb documentary about the early Eighties Canadian heavy metal legends. Ultimately, the film - and the article – are a celebration of the little man.

"Watching these two men, bound together by nothing more than a childhood pact to always rock together you realise that failure doesn’t have to be – and wasn’t always – something to be mocked or despised. Historically there was always a tension between creative and commercial success in the arts. It’s only relatively recently that the market has become so dominant that even self-style ‘indie’ bands will happily sell out to any commercial enterprise going and art only has a worth if it can be measured in sterling. Watching This Is Anvil you see that failure, when realised so completely and when still allied to an unshakeable belief in the righteousness of your own cause, can be truly noble."

Here they are proving my point at the Tokyo Rock Festival in 1984:

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

New Q

Current issue of the new, redesigned Q is out now. As well as a cover story on Angus Young (yes), there's my massive feature on The Sun's Gordon Smart and other showbiz columnists, and my review of the enormous Toumani Diabate show in Zaragoza.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

What's wrong with book publishing?

I made my debut on the Guardian books blog yesterday with a piece about Daniel Davies' excellent debut novel The Isle of Dogs. The article looked at how such a great piece of work has managed to get so little coverage and compared the problems publishing is going through now with what magazines went through seven or eight years ago. You can read it here.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Iron Maiden's Going To Get You

My account of Iron Maiden's North American tour ran in yesterday's Guardian Guide as the cover story. Pictured are two absolute legends who were at the Seattle gig and still had the banner they made when they saw the band 20 years ago. Pretty neat handiwork.

Read the piece here

Monday, 5 May 2008

Why puppets are funnier than humans

MTV's new series FUR TV revives the idea of the puppet sitcom. My piece in this week's Guardian Guide looks at why felt animals being stupid works so well, taking in everything from Zig & Zag and the Muppet Show to Dustin The Turkey and Triumph The Insult Comic Dog. You can read it here.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Kenneth Williams RIP

20 years after his 'possibly a suicide' death, my piece commemorating Kenneth Williams is on the Guardian arts blog. You can read it here

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Scott King in The Guardian

My piece on graphic design legend Scott King was in yesterday's Guardian, promoting his semi-retrospective MARXIST DISCO (cancelled) show in Munich. You can read the piece here.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Help the blind

I'm sure when I was a kid there were different variations on these - Twickenham High Street used to have one collecting for polio, complete with callipers. With hindsight, the fact that polio had been nigh-on eradicated in the first world by 1980 makes me a bit suspicious as to where the money was going.

Still, as this photo shows - there is a corner of Marylebone where the residents don't give a fuck about mocking the tiny blind. Personally, I'd have given him a labrador and really gone for the 'cute sympathy' vote.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

When Daley hit the Lucozade

Finally showing up on YouTube is the seminal Daley Thompson/Lucozade/Phantom of The Opera advert.

Word to Thompson, the original GOAT. Young cats like that cheating scum Dwayne Chambers need to recognise what you could do with only Lucozade, Iron Maiden and a pair of Adidas. Peace out, Daley!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Welcome to Syria…

With Imad Mughniyeh's assasination, Syria suddenly looks like a more exciting/dangerous place again… Clerk and Teller's excellent travel blog has just been there. It's got coffee, revolving restaurants, proper biblical architecture, and more military hardware on display than you can imagine. What else do you need?

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Fatties are in danger

My piece on the heart attacks, strokes and other obesity-related dangers facing rappers is in today's Guardian Guide. You can read it here.

If you're out tonight, pour some on the ground for Big Pun. Couldn't nobody maul the Statue of Liberty's tits like he could.

Friday, 8 February 2008

The Balearic Revival in today's Guardian

My lengthy piece on 'The Balearic Revival' is in today's Guardian. The piece includes interviews with Balearic Mike, the Balearic Brothers, Mo Morris from Mountain Of One and Boy's Own affiliate Cymon Eckel (pictured above right, showing the new jacks how it was done, way back when at a Boy's Own party in 1989). You can read it here.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The Hard Sell in The Guardian

I took over the Guardian Guide's Hard Sell column last week, reviewing the Christmas adverts generally and in particular The Mastercard ad which I found surprisingly moving. Must be getting soft in my old age…

You can read it here

Monday, 21 January 2008

Our Balearic game was strong

Last Friday's inaugural The Beach was an unqualified success. We packed out Life on Old St, the crowd dressed in everything from white jeans and pastel cashmere to powder blue all-in-one ski suits, and the DJs absolutely tore the fucking roof off the place. Especially me. The free Cornettos were a good move as well.

The only down sides were accidentally breaking my copy of Steve Miller's 'Macho City' in half and that creepy Italian fuck who was caught masturbating in an alcove towards the other night. Honestly, these people.

There are photos here (of the party, not the creepy Italian).

Thursday, 17 January 2008