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How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

October 14th, 2008

How To Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby YoungI recently saw the film How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, and whilst I thought it was pretty funny, especially if you’re interested in the journalism industry, I’ve since been told that it’s not a patch on the original book it was adapted from. The story in the film follows Sidney Young, who makes the move from small time journalism in London to join Sharps magazine where he gets into all sorts of scrapes including hiring a strip-a-gram on bring your daughter to work day in the office and taking a rather large amount of cocaine whilst at a photo shoot.

In actuality the book is written by Toby, not Sidney Young, and the American magazine was Vanity Fair, and not the fictitious Sharps. I suspect the romantic sub-plot between Sidney and his colleague Alison has also been exaggerated in the film, because after all it is Hollywood.

So if you fancy finding out the real story behind the film you can get How To Lose Friends and Alienate People from Amazon for £5.99, which is cheaper than going to the cinema!

Black Books

October 10th, 2008

Black Books Complete Box SetI’ve said it before and I’ll say it agian, they definitely don’t make comedy like they used to. Black Books is undoubtedly one of the funniest sitcoms ever made, starring Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran and Tamsin Greig. It’ set in a book show, owned by Bernard (Moran), who spends his day drinking red wine and trying to get rid of his customers. His assisstant, Manny (Bailey) tries to repiar the damage done by Bernard and keep the customers happy, and Fran (Greig) owns the shop next door, and pops in from time to time for a drinking session with Bernard.

Despite the fairly ordinary sounding setting, the hilarious and clever writing is what makes Black Books such a great sitcom. I’ve yet to meet someone who’s seen it and didn’t like it!

On paper, some of the scrapes the characters get into sound utterly ridiculous (drinking wine that was supposed to be for the Pope, a blind Russian piano teacher, dead bees and beard fetishes), so the best thing to do is pick up the complete box set of all three series from Amazon, which is currently only £9.98, and see for yourself!

The Late Greats- Life Without Balloons

October 7th, 2008

The Late Greats - Life Without BalloonsEastbourne’s finest The Late Greats released their debut album this week, ‘Life Without Balloons’, on the brilliant Izumi Records label.Taking their name from a song by the band Wilco, The Late Greats other influences can be heard all over this album, from At The Drive In to Bloc Party, this is spiky indie pop at it’s best.

The double vocals of Max ‘Velvet Hands’ Arnold and Ryan ‘Piss Whiskey’ Griffiths complement each other perfectly, and their ridiculously catchy riffs will be in your head for the foreseeable future after one listen. Life Without Balloons is cheerful, unpretentious, solid music that has a comforting familiarity about it. They’re not trying to break boundaries, change politics with their lyrics or invent new sounds, but this record is like a cup of tea – dependable, perfect for lifting spirits, and quite good at fixing problems.

You can get a copy from Amazon for £7.98.

The Fins Debut With their Single ADAPTOR

October 6th, 2008

The FinsHampshire lads The Fins have been battling their way to stardom since they got together in 2005. In the past few years they have set up their own record label ‘Numerical Blue’ and played 100 gigs all over the UK.

Today they launched their brand new single ‘Adaptor’ and band members James, Lawrence, Ryan, Rauf and Macca have had a pretty amazing week. Not only have they knocked many popular UK artists off the top of Amazon’s hottest release charts but it is so popular Amazon has sold out!

Check out the official Fins website for more information about the band and head over to iTunes to download the single. It’s definitely worth a listen!

Winter PJs!

October 3rd, 2008

winter-pjs.jpgThere aren’t many benefits to winter, but one of them has to be getting to wear some lovely warm pyjamas. Marks and Spencer definitely lead the way on this, they’ve got a pair everyone, and ever budget. These Per Una Berry Tartan Pyjamas, costing £29.50 are definitely the quintessential pair. Long sleeves, long legs, and even better, they’re on trend with a tartan print! They’re 100% cotton, so they’ll keep you warm, but not too warm, and won’t aggravate your skin.

If you’re looking for the ultimate in night time comfort, then have a look at the Autograph range. You can find pure silk pyjamas, or bottoms made from modal which is apparently like cotton but resistant to shrinking, fading and super-soft. Naturally though there’s a premium to pay for this range.

So embrace winter and hunt out your perfect pjs!

Laura Ashley Photo Frames

September 30th, 2008

Laura Ashley Set of 3 Photo FramesPhoto 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.

The Sound of Music Theatre Tickets For Sale

September 25th, 2008

Sound of MusicI 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]

Everything is Borrowed

September 24th, 2008

The Streets - Everything is BorrowedThe 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.

Russell Howard on Tour

September 22nd, 2008

Russell Howard Live DVDStand 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.

Carla Bruni does Later

September 18th, 2008

Calra Bruni - Comme si de rien n’étaitCarla 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.