Archive for September, 2008
Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
Photo frames are great not just for pictures but for keeping postcards, birthday cards, ticket stubs, or any other mementos clean and protected from spillages, creases and getting lost. Laura Ashley have got a great range in all shapes and sizes, from an antique to modern look.
This set of 3 frames is great for smaller things, and they can be hung altogether or separately. The delicate white frame is detailed but won’t over power the picture, and they’re attached to the wall with a ribbon for a rustic, d-i-y look.
They’ve also got some larger ornate vintage effect frames that would look great in the centre of a mantle piece.
The set of 3 frames cost £22 and is available to buy from the Laura Ashley website. They’ve also just opened several new stores nationwide, so check if there’s one near you.
Thursday, September 25th, 2008
I bought tickets to see the Sound of Music for Saturday 18th October 2008 (at the London Palladium) for me and my sister, but then stupidly booked a holiday and forgot about the tickets! I therefore now have 2 tickets available for the 7.30pm performance if anybody is interested.
The tickets are for stalls seats D19 and D20 and they cost £55 each, we will consider offers of £45 and over per ticket. I will be placing them on ebay on Monday if nobody has contacted me by then so get in quick if you want them! I can accept cheque or Paypal and the tickets will be delivered as soon as payment has been received.
If you would like to get in touch please leave a comment or email [email protected]
Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
The Streets released their first album, Original Pirate Material, in 2002, and since then Mike Skinner’s been likened to Dostoevsky by some and called the ultimate chav by others. His latest release, Everything is Borrowed, is undoubtedly his most accomplished album to date. Instead of his trademark sampling, it features an orchestra and a choir and even the odd guitar solo.
However, unlike previous albums, it seems Mike Skinner has finally moved on from drinking too much and dating celebrities and is starting to focus on bigger issues, like the environment and the afterlife, too match his new found serious musicianship.
His witty, kitchen-sink lyrics are on form and as funny and accurate as ever. If you’re not a Streets fan, you probably won’t be after hearing this, but if you are then you’ll recognise this as a giant leap forward for the band.
Everything is Borrowed by The Streets is available from Amazon for £8.98.
Monday, September 22nd, 2008
Stand up comedian Russell Howard has just embarked on a huge nationwide tour that sees him take in the length and breadth of the UK over the next 3 months. The Mock the Week regular has quickly become one of best live stand-ups around,despite his relatively young age of 28. His optimistic observations on society are a refreshing change to the world-bashing tirades of other stand-ups and his ridiculously high energy levels makes his hour and a half set feel like 20 minutes. He’s even got himself kitted out with a Britney Spears style radio mic for this tour so he can leap about the stage all he wants without worrying about tripping over wires.
Despite his child-like nature of telling stories – an over excited ramble with the words tripping over each – his social observations are surprisingly insightful and clever.
So if you fancy a break from the current doom and gloom, book yourself some tickets for Russell Howard, who’ll give you plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
Check out his tour dates here, or you can pre-order his DVD, released on November 17th, from Amazon.
Thursday, September 18th, 2008
Carla Bruni, the First Lady of France, made her musical debut on Jools Holland’s Later show on Tuesday night. Sharing the rather eclectic bill with Metallica and Kings of Leon amongst others, she played songs from her third album ‘Comme si de rien n’était’ (which roughly translates as ‘as if nothing was’).
After retiring from modelling, the 40 year-old turned to music, which she fits in around her duty as wife of French President Nicholas Sarkozy. She played two songs on the show and did a brief interview, where she said that her husband didn’t particularly enjoy her music and she often kept him awake in the middle of the night with it.
She was accompanied by a guitarist and bass player and despite the fact most of the audience probably didn’t have the French skills to understand what she was singing about, she seemed to go down a treat.
Catch the extended version of the show on Friday at 23:35 on BBC2.
You can get a copy of Carla Bruni’s latest album, from Amazon.
Monday, September 15th, 2008
Before Simon Pegg delved into films and sold his soul to Hollywood – his next film sees him starring alongside Kirsten Dunst – he was responsible for one of the best British comedy series. It’s hard to believe, but Spaced graced our screens nearly a decade ago now, although it’s hard to find another comedy series that’s topped it since.
Starring and written by Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, the pair play two strangers who pose as a couple in order to rent a flat, and focuses around them, their friends and their neighbours. It’s laden with pop culture references, but you don’t need to be a complete film or movie swot to get them. Each episode is also based on at least on film, including Star Wars and The Sixth Sense. Despite this surreal angle, the sitcom is surprisingly believable and true to life, featuring characters we’ve all come across at some point.
This Definitive Collectors’ Edition features both series of Spaced, as well as loads of extras. If you’ve never seen Spaced before don’t bother with buying just one season, you can pick up the whole lot for just over £15 and I guarantee you’ll want to watch it all!
Spaced – Definitive Collectors’ Edition is available as part of Amazon’s Autumn Deals for only £15.97.
Thursday, September 11th, 2008
Manchester based band Elbow triumphed at the Nationwide Mercury Prize, winning the accolade for their album The Seldom Seen Kid. The prize is judged by music industry insiders and awards the best album of the last 12 months. Also nominated this year were Radiohead, Laura Marling, Adele, British Sea Power and The Last Shadow Puppets.
Aside from the prestige of winning the award, the band also receive a cheque for £20,000. Elbow have been together for nearly 20 years, and have experienced their fair share of lows, including waiting nearly a decade to be signed, and then being dropped a few years later. The Seldom Seen Kid is the band’s fourth album, and is dedicated to the memory of Brian Glancy, a friend of the band and a much loved prominent figure on the Manchester music scene who died suddenly in 2006.
It received huge critical acclaim, and is arguably the band’s best work to date. From the dark, foreboding sounds of Grounds for Divorce to the beautiful centre piece of the album The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver, The Seldom Seen Kid is melancholic, uplifting, heartbreaking and epic.
The band described their win as ‘the best thing that’s ever happened to us’, and after years of producing incredible but largely unheard music, their gracious and humble attitude showed that no one deserved it more than Elbow.
Get a copy of the Mercury Prize winning The Seldom Seen Kid from Amazon.
Monday, September 8th, 2008
Glasvegas release their debut album today, one of the most highly anticipated and critically acclaimed albums of the year.
Hailing from Glasgow, the four piece have been together since 2000, but only really made it onto the music radar late last year when they released the single ‘Daddy’s Gone’ which started a bidding war amongst the major record labels. Their self titled album showcases their honest, brutal, but also beautiful lyrics, in a retro rock and roll style that’s high in atmosphere and low in pretension.
Currently in the middle of a hype storm, with claims of ‘the best thing to come out of Scotland’ and ‘they’ll outsell Oasis’ flying around, it’s a wonder the band managed to make an album at all under such immense pressure. But they’ve made an album that well and truly lives up to the hype and the high standard set by their singles. Whether they outsell Oasis isn’t important, they’re certainly more relevant and talented and crucially, far more gracious. Their debut is a powerful collection of songs that sum up our culture in an eloquent way, set to huge, epic-like music.
See what all the hype’s about, get Glasvegas by Glasvegas from Amazon for £8.88.
Thursday, September 4th, 2008
ITV debuted its new period inspired drama last night, Lost In Austen. The plot revolves around city girl Amanda being transported into the world of corsets, dances and chaperones from her favourite book Pride and Prejudice through her bathroom door, and swapping places with Elizabeth Bennet (played by new Bond girl Gemma Arterton).
Despite sounding decidedly cheesy and a bit naff, the show was very funny, particularly the struggle Amanda endured attempting to speak ‘proper’ English, and surviving without modern comforts (like a toothbrush). No doubt it will have ruffled a few Austen purists’ feathers, but taken with a pinch of salt this is a light-hearted twist on a literary classic.
Next week Mr Bingley declares his love for Amanda, who attempts to rebuff his advances by telling him she’s a lesbian, and more characters from the famous novel are introduced.
Catch it at 9pm on Wednesday on ITV1.
Monday, September 1st, 2008
I love baking, especially cupcakes, and I’m always on the lookout for new recipe books. I recently got The Cupcake Book by Susannah Tee, and after some rigorous testing (and much cake eating) I can confirm that Susannah’s recipes are delicious.
The book is split into three sections, including one dedicated entirely to chocolate. There are also some healthier recipes, including delicious Banana and Honey cupcakes and Blueberry Muffins. And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite there are some beautiful cupcake pictures in the book, as well as hints and tips on cooking equipment and decorating.
The recipes are easy to follow but be warned – they make big cupcakes! You need to use muffin cases rather than fairy cake size cases, and most of the recipes make one and half dozen. Luckily though they also work perfectly fine when halved.
Pick up a copy for only £5.46 from Amazon and get baking!