The ‘Never Let You Down’ music theory

I think I just posted a link to Rita Ora.

Did that just happen? Just listen to it once and cast the memory of this blogpost into the darkest pits of your mind. You’ll feel clean, I’ll feel clean and the whole world will continue to spin until everything rots into a giant toffee apple orbiting the Sun.

Only problem is, that pop dynamite ear worm is still nagging away isn’t it?

I’ve tried to explain to myself why Rita Ora’s latest single has had such a tight grasp around my listening lobes recently. It’s perfectly natural Adam. It’s why these things sell so well. She just caught you at a vulnerable time, watching the Michael McIntyre chat show in a glum hotel room desperate for any kind of positive escape. You’re a victim Adam and you need support.

But then I found an explanation that made sense of my iTunes library and didn’t completely crush my own self belief. Any song entitled “Never Let You Down” or with some mild variation on the words, is guaranteed to be an absolute banger. It’s a music formula that seems to have gone unnoticed for years, stemming across genres from rock to hip-hop and even to album tracks that you perhaps weren’t even aware of. It’s a joyous thread that transcends diehard fanatics from every musical spectrum into one beautiful music-loving happy family.


If you don’t believe me, I’ve cherry-picked some examples below into an intentionally ‘thread’ like fashion. This metaphor is going to sing dammit.

Alright WordPress just does it like that, but I’ve delivered a scenario where the Honeyz followed by the Beatles seems perfectly reasonable. What else could you possibly want?

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Oscars 2014 Preview.

The Oscars are a drag. We know it, whoever has sat through its three hour running time knows it, heck we’re pretty sure the actors/actresses know it too. So let’s look ahead to the ceremony and see what will most likely pan out at this year’s event, saving us all the bother and giving us time to bleed the radiators.wolf of wall street2

As with every academy award season, a handful of films have been thrusted into the limelight for our viewing chops. This year sees the plights of slavery going against sci-fi blockbusters like Gravity and drug peddled stockbrokers in The Wolf Of Wall Street. That’s without mentioning the surprise turnaround of Matthew McConaughey in the Dallas Buyers Club, or the impressive belly acquired by Christian Bale for American Hustle.

But who is going to come out on top? While many will be hoping to see Leonardo DeCaprio claim his long overdue Oscar, judging by the relatively conservative academy panel, we’re perhaps more likely to see Chiwetel Ejiofor bag the best actor gong for 12 Years A Slave. His performance ticks all the academy boxes of surefire Oscar success; tender, historic, brutal and no sign of cocaine abuse off a lady’s caboose.

Judging by the winners of the Golden Globes back in January, the best actress nods will be plucked from a pool of Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’o. If Adams wins, expect baskets of tears and a slightly overlong tale of triumph, Blanchett will charm us into a coma, Lawrence will ramble like an excited puppy and Nyong’o will be so surprised she’ll explode into a fountain of confetti.

In fact the whole event looks set to be a bit too lovely this year. Talk show extraordinaire Ellen DeGeneres is presenting, so don’t expect anything quite as outlandish as Seth MacFarlane singing “we saw your boobs” with a gay men’s choir like last year. Pharrell is on board to sing ‘Happy’ from Despicable Me 2, but we’ll be deprived of classic Essex bantz courtesy of Adele. Happy, Ellen and no Essex bantz? What kind of Oscars is this?

If history at the academy awards has taught us anything however, it’s that the truly bizarre moments sometimes have to drip from the bosom of spontaneity. Who could have predicted in 2011 that hosting duo Anne Hathaway and James Franco would drop more clangers than a politician in a council estate? Let’s not forget when George Clooney awkwardly claimed in an acceptance speech that Hollywood contributed to the awareness of AIDS and the civil rights movement. Smug levels that made an entire room of Hollywood A-listers feel a little flustered.

So our enjoyment of the 86th Academy awards essentially relies on an intern screwing up the batch order of Iceland Chicken Goujons for the pre-party buffet. Bale will kick off, Dame Judi will throw her Dench credentials to the wind and the whole evening will dissolve into a ticking time bomb waiting until Jonah Hill cracks out the “lemmons”. In a world where the Oscars aren’t such a sick-inducing parade of the beautiful, this would be a fairly reasonable prediction. As it stands the “biggest entertainment celebration of the year” will most likely amount to a pat on the back for Gravity and 12 Years A Slave, featuring a guest spot from Jennifer Lawrence falling down the stairs again.

That bathroom definitely needs grouting.

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F-Zero Is My Crack.

So Wii U, you’ve had a relatively bad time of late. Your financial prospects have been slashed, the other next generation consoles have been reasonably well recieved and there are currently only about four games that are set to be real “must-buys” for the system. Not even the year of Luigi could save your pretty gloomy prospects.

But what is that I see? A flickering light in the distance, zooming at 2000km/h to the sounds of throbbing 90’s trance with added boost power. It’s circling around loop-da-loops, colliding with any futuristic machinery that gets in its way. It’s the messiah, the unashamed bearer of child-friendly ecstasy wrapped in a magical Nintendo foil that locks in all the taste. This is F-Zero, and its return is long overdue.f-zero x

While the idea of a Nintendo fan requesting a new F-Zero game is the equivalent of a mouse scraping at the cheeseboard, the last installment, F-Zero GX, was released on the Gamecube way back in 2003. That means it has been over ten years since we’ve seen the franchise. A statistic that should make anyone familiar with F-Zero GX crumble and weep into a cold turkey induced coma. All we’ve had to tide our addiction is the baffling and irritatingly teasing Captain Falcon’s Twister Race contained within Nintendo Land. A mini-game that was like steering the wagon of an American pioneer with a NOS boost kit.

But at a time when Nintendo seems to be solely relying on its primary core franchises like Mario and Zelda to sell systems, what could really help boost the prospects of the Wii U is some more left-field entries. We need more games in the vein of Bayonetta 2 and Kid Icarus: Uprising for the 3DS, which came out of nowhere and provided more flesh to the 3DS library at a significant time of need. There are so many old IP’s that could be revived which would increase the appeal of the Wii U. Star Fox, Earthbound, Pilotwings and where the hell is Pokemon Snap?

In my own brain however, F-Zero is the game that could create a real buzz around the console once more. It’s sleek, slick and absolutely tough to the core. Racing games have recently strayed away from the futuristic aesthetic in favour of realistic and contemporary environments. A new F-Zero title therefore would hurtle from space like an apocalyptic meteorite zoning in on an unsuspecting Skoda. Alarming, unstoppable and exuding a confidence that could only come from having the glitziest pair of galactic space balls in the business.

To spread my enthusiasm, I want to end by engaging you the reader. Switch on the music in the link below and sink into a world of extreme imagination. A place of thumping rock and electronic infusions that tests your sense of sight for all its worth under a wave of visual black magic. You’ll feel slightly sick, you’ll be at a speed that I’m not even sure exists, but you’ll be trapped in the most addictive combination of mind, music and perilous space machines that exists outside of severe substance abuse.

Want to save the Wii U Nintendo? SHOOT US A FIX.

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The Full-Time Movie Awards 2013.

Here we go again. It’s time for the awards show that treasures the minuscule, celebrates the forgotten and gleefully claps at crossovers, cameos and Jennifer Lawrence. A place where we can admire the pocket gems of wizardry contained in some of the best films of the past six months. As Christmas is upon us, there might even be a little peak at what the future holds in 2014. All you have to do is mindlessly trudge through this festive back-slapping knees up that doesn’t make an awful lot of sense.

So take your seats, sneak out the vodka from your handbag and grab a quick selfie with that bloke from Emmerdale. The Full-Time Movie Awards (sponsored by JML) are about to commence!

Marvels Most Disappointing Post-Credits Scene Of The Year Award. (Sponsored By Marvel) 

Winner: Thor: The Dark World – Getting Off On A Crap Balcony.

I thoroughly enjoyed Thor: The Dark World. It was a silly, escapist fun that contained some snarly delights from Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. I enjoyed it so much I insisted on seeing the post-credits scene promised at the very end of the reel. So I waited and waited some more, only to find my dreams of Avengers cameos swiftly excreted upon by Natalie Portman flying the piddly romance balloon with the Thunder God. I mean really, do we want Portman grinning or thunder hammers swinging? Oh no, not like that. Filthy animals. ALL OF YOU.thor and portBest Use Of A Wasted Eddie Marsan In A British Feature Award.

Winner: Filth – Eddie Marsan Popping Pills.

Now from inter-dimensional hammering to getting REET hammered, this award serves to recognise exceptional use of a wasted Eddie Marsan in a motion picture. While the drunken debauchery featured in the sci-fi pub crawl of The World’s End was worthy of note, the top prize goes to the animalistic jiving found in the brilliant Filth. After being unwillingly coaxed into taking some pills in a shifty nightclub, Marsan is unleashed upon our screens partying like it’s 2099 atop the Starship Enterprise at light-speed. Sadly Eddie Marsan isn’t here tonight to receive his award, he’s too much of a fuckin’ lad.marsan manThe Brian Blessed Fellowship Award For Bellowing Laughter. 

Winner: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Caesar Flickerman.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire might be my favourite blockbuster of 2013. It was vastly superior to the original and pushed the serious themes tickled at in the first movie to bleak new heights. Luckily, the flamboyant cackle of Caesar Flickerman was on hand to keep us smirking through the class oppression, teenage torture and revolutionary upheavals. The world of fictional show-business doesn’t have time for that. Hair needs to be pruned, dresses need to be set-alight and the chuckle of a generation needs its audience. Someone needs to be around to make Peeta Mellark not look like a complete tit too.

flicker gifBest Screenplay For Continuous Bad Luck To An Individual Award.

Winner: Gravity – Poor Sandra Bullock

If there was one thing to take from Gravity, it’s that space can be a cruel mistress. You struggle to breathe, a mere nudge can send you careening to your death and floating debris can swing round and knock your friends face off. Sandra Bullock survived all of this even with a babbling George Clooney floating around. Oh and her space station is set on fire and she nearly dies crashing to earth. Then the sea has a pop too. Jesus Alfonso, leave the poor strong-independent-woman alone.gravityyy

The Cumberbitchin’ Moment Of The Year In Dragon Form Award.

Winner: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Bilbo Vs. Smaug

Alright I’m cheating a little here. But with so many Cumberbitchin’ moments in one year, it seems only fair that he receives a second gong for his efforts. Specifically his work in helping to create the brooding, sinister and downright amazing Smaug. A character that manages to have more personality than the majority of the human/dwarfish/elvish cast. Hopefully if Peter Jackson continues to tamper with the source material, we’ll see a savage dancing dragon parade that bakes all the dwarves in a fiery feast, leaving Smaug and Bilbo to fly off into the night for a spin-off adventure. G’warn Peter. bilbo smaugThe Outstanding Contribution To The Art Of Making My Pants Wet For 2014 Award.

Winner: X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

I promised a look at 2014, so here’s a trailer that has already circulated the internet for approximately two months. Even if you’ve already seen it, it’s worth watching again just to glimpse at the monumental cast that is set to grace our screens over a small two hour period. It includes Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Peter Dinklage, Patrick Stewart, Nicholas Hoult, Sir Ian McKellen, Jennifer Lawrence and even the possibility of some other random X-Men cameos. I’m going to lie down now and scrape at the calendar with a chisel. Goodnight.

Feel like I’ve missed something worthy of recognition? Drop it below!

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Stepping out of Grandma’s house, you gaze out towards the vast ocean that separates you and the beginning of adventure. Stunningly vivid colours that wash into the distant lands, seagulls perched atop lookout posts and grass patches just waiting to be sliced. This is Outset Island, the retirement home of the Legend of Zelda series. It’s so lovely it almost makes the promise of another puzzle-solving marathon seem unappealing. You want to stay with your Grandma, laugh at that kid with the ridiculous runny nose and cause reckless torment to the pigs wandering by the sea.

Thankfully the adventure that lies ahead is The Legend of Zelda:The Wind Waker. A bold, beautiful and incredible journey that deserves many gamers re-evaluation. Overlooked by many at the time of its release, it stands as perhaps the best 3D Zelda title of the past decade. Now as a HD remake is about to hit Nintendo’s Wii U console, it seems like a perfect opportunity to rediscover the magic behind one of my favourite games of all time.wind wakeerrr

Released originally back in 2003 on the Nintendo Gamecube, the Wind Waker arrived when Nintendo was experimenting with some of its key icons. Luigi was wielding vacuums, Mario was handling water packs, Donkey Kong needed bongo peripherals and Metroid acquired an extra dimension. However, it was the unveiling of cel-shaded Toon Link at Space World in 2001 that ignited worldwide outrage. Forums exploded and expectations of a natural successor to the Nintendo 64 classics were smashed, leading many gamers to abandon ship to caress their beloved Playstation 2.

As the years passed and comment sections grew weary, the game finally released to critical acclaim and a general feeling that the outrage had been silenced. It took the classic Zelda level design, threw in a few surprises and applied a timeless graphical coating. The charming aesthetic invited Disney comparisons and the creature designs are still some of the best ever committed to the series. From the mighty presence of Valoo to the adorable Makar, every character had a personality that seemed lightyears beyond what we’d seen before in a Zelda title.

This personality shines through in the Wind Waker’s more wackier moments. The bizarre Elvis lookalike on Windfall Island, wind deities that resemble frogs and the ravenous birds that sound sexually frustrated whenever you’re in their vicinity. It’s a bittersweet death when you have to fire an arrow at a horny bird, especially when it probably had to deal with this terrifying buzzard for a mother.big bird

I’ve appreciated the Wind Waker more as the years have trickled on by. From the surprising stealth segment in the Forsaken Fortress to the offbeat humour that litters the cut-scenes. Each dungeon feels just as memorable as the last, and it’s arguably the last Zelda game that has managed to capture a sense of wonder as you step out into its world for the very first time. Something I felt was missing in Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.

Combat wise it is perhaps the finest of the series. Skyward Sword may take the innovation crown by successfully executing 1:1 sword motion controls, but its battles felt a little too calculated and rigid. The Wind Waker in comparison improved the lock-on system in Ocarina of Time in every single way. Managing to be smoother, faster and more satisfying thanks to some simple audio cues that made basic attacks sound like a painful backhand to the buttocks.

Sadly, not everything was perfect. The Tingle fetch-quest before the final stretch of the game was the glaring mistake in an otherwise fantastic package. It was tedious, unnecessary and dragged the pace considerably. But this issue has been addressed for the Wii U remake, meaning the cumbersome chart process is only required for three items rather than eight. If don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, this is basically a very good thing.

So if you haven’t tried The Legend of Zelda:The Wind Waker, I urge you to dedicate some precious time to its existence. It provides a stunning introduction to an alternative Zelda universe that still holds up brilliantly against titles released today. Maybe now the internet has matured and is more accepting of creative experimentation, it will finally receive the recognition from gamers it deserves.

Alright that’s bollocks, but it was a nice thought for a moment wasn’t it? Here’s a nice trailer as a reward for that positive thinking.


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It’s time to get deep. Over the past couple of weeks I have bizarrely started to analyse my life from an outward perspective. Looking at how I seem to operate in my own little world and what delivers my required fixes on a regular basis. And I’m not just talking about my internet history.

Why you ask? I don’t even know why. It’s since I’ve acquired a new job dealing with an art I hold most dear (VIDEO GAMES) that I’ve started to realise how my life is an endless cycle of boxes. I love looking at boxes, I buy boxes, I write about boxes, I’m surrounded by boxes in my room and now I sell boxes, arrange boxes, stack boxes, clean boxes, recommend boxes, I’m a mother-fucking box machine.

I’m not the only one out there either. Plenty of us relish in boxes and sleep happily knowing that we’ll wake up faced with a monumental tower of boxy-goodness. Friends may come over and lovingly compliment our vast range of boxes. Heck, some might even ask if they can borrow our boxes to admire in their own spare time. You’ve now acquired so much boxed magic that you’ve become a pocket retailer yourself, distributing to the unfortunate like the Mother Teresa of home entertainment.

But then something like GTA V releases and your mind is ripped apart by the volumes of joy contained inside one simple little box. People have queued up for hours, preordered and attended launches in the middle of the night just to get their hands on that box. I’m pretty sure we would be oblivious to an alien invasion around the GTA launch window. The news will pick up on it of course, but they’d probably angle it as a necessary purge of corrupted youth, tainted by the natural enjoyment that comes from causing immeasurable chaos in a beautifully constructed virtual city.

There isn’t a whole lot to this ramble. I just think it’s pretty strange really. If there’s a insightful metaphor or moral epiphany that should be washing over me right now then please let me know. Maybe I’ve sunk so deep into introspection that I’ve lost my ability to pick up on such things. Either way, it seems my life at the moment is nicely packaged into boxes. Lovely.

To bring this pointless tale to a hip-shaking end, here is a cracking song that is currently providing the soundtrack to my violent outbursts on GTA V. It also features the words ‘dirty’, ‘white’ and ‘boy’. So if it isn’t placed on this blog, where else will it find such a loving home?


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The Half-Time Movie Awards.

It’s late July, the heat is sticky and the thunderstorms are fierce. But do you know what this time of year needs? A ridiculous movie award list!

The majority of 2013’s big blockbuster movies have already graced our cynical eyes, so instead of just outright declaring my love for Star Trek: Into Darkness; here is a little list of the golden movie moments that many countdowns will fail to appreciate. The moments of magic/horror that deserve merits above simply good pieces of popcorn nosh. Welcome to the Half-Time Movie Awards, a ceremony brought to you by JML. No not the consumer products company, a JOLLY MOVIE LOVER.

Best Unintentionally Hilarious Zombie Of The Year Award

Winner: World War Z – Mr. Teeth Chatter

World War Z saw Brad Pitt take on a new kind of zombie/infected. The type best compared to a horde of ants who have spent too long nesting in a pot of Baked Alaska. A worldwide sugar rush pandemic that gave us one of the most hilarious zombie goons ever to be placed on film. An undead specimen whose teeth click around Pitt’s Lion face as he attempts to suss out if he’s worth the time of day. Is that Cherry Garcia I smell? Oh wait it’s terminal illness, never mind.

world war z funny

Lamest Death By Tornado in A Supporting Role Award

Winner: Man Of Steel – The Death of Kevin Costner

Man Of Steel aka the pretty girl with the horrific accent. Many looked past your charmless, rigid dialogue and swung it up regardless, but the joy will wear thin for those soon. Especially when attention is turned to the lamest movie tornado death in the history of movie tornado deaths. A moment that could have been avoided for all the time spent dramatically staring for ‘emotional weight’. You don’t even see Kevin Costner get flung to the high heavens. I thought Superman was supposed to be fun? GEEZ.

man of steel tornado

The Cumberbitchin’ Moment Of The Year Award

Winner: Star Trek Into Darkness – Head Smash!

So I couldn’t resist at least one mention of the latest Star Trek film. In particular the moment when Benedict Cumberbatch owns the movie in one gruesome crush of the skull. Not that you see it mind. I’ve just envisaged the event as something similar to that part in Kick-Ass when they cook a man inside an industrial microwave. The power of the imagination is extraordinary when it’s tainted by scenes of extreme violence.


The Creepiest Face Attached To A Rope Emerging From A Tent Award

Winner: A Field In England – Reece Shearsmith.

As I watched Ben Wheatley’s mushroom tripped ride into the English countryside, I expected a few things. Mushrooms, Michael Smiley and a big fuck-off field. What I didn’t expect was Reece Shearsmith to swan out of a tent attached to a rope, carrying the scariest grin I’ve seen this side of ITV2. You’re not even shown what has happened to warrant such a deranged smile, so I just imagined that he’d foreseen the birth of Piers Morgan. I’m sorry extreme violence, please don’t leave..

a field in englandMost Spectacular Use of A Kylie Minogue Song in a Feature Film Award

Winner: The World’s End- Step Back In Time

The last entry in the Cornetto Trilogy has a pretty glorious soundtrack. From Pulp, Blur, Stone Roses, Primal Scream all the way to… Kylie Minogue. It takes a true director to wedge in a pop song so irresistible as ‘Step Back In Time’. The fact it happens within a gloriously 90’s disco club with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost sexually grinding a ‘marmalade sandwich’ makes it even more worthy of an accolade. I was going to include a link, but who doesn’t have it open on a tab already? REMEMBER THE OLD DAYS…

world's end pic

The Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Dancing With Dogs Award

Winner: The Place Beyond the Pines – Ryan Gosling

I also didn’t include a link for Kylie Minogue because we only accept the best to close this prestigious event. Ryan Gosling has had an impact on many aspects of our lives today, the internet memes, the inadequacy that all males feel in comparison and because that Drive jacket now forever sits in my mind as a must purchase. Now in The Place Beyond the Pines, he has conquered dancing with a dog to Bruce Springsteen. Is there nothing this man can’t do? Everybody, grab a hound and crank up the Boss. Those legs were made for shaking.

Feel like I’ve missed a wonder that deserves recognition? Drop it below!

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The One Year Anniversary Special!

I can’t quite believe it. It has been a whole year since I started this blogging nonsense. How do you feel? Old? Mentally exhausted? Overexposed to an incomprehensible amount of DirtyScribble action that, much like Rihanna, has left you wishing it would just piss off for a little bit and return with some new shtick? Well that isn’t going to happen. This dead horse is on fire, and I’m going to send it tumbling into the grave with a thumping Calvin Harris drop. I’ve found love in this hellish place, and no-one’s around to say this joke is roughly one year too late. A toast to DirtyScribbles!pug party

So here it is, a post to celebrate evolution from my early stints as a naive youthful wonder into the naive older wonder I am today. If that isn’t progress, then next year I’ll hopefully achieve older with a slightly dampened dream. Then maybe a mid-20′s crisis crying into a Jagerbomb, ploughing through memories like it’s Dumbledore’s Pensieve. From there the world will be my fractured oyster, removed of its treasures and clamped around my balls, dragging me into the hopeless abyss that will be the rest of my life.

But I am a positive person. I estimate that I have roughly 5 years until my balls will be clamped. It is therefore my mission to grow this corner of the internet into my blooming garden of rambling. Full of delights that will include life experiences, gaming musings and filmic bruisings. This wonderful hive of activity will be your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the world. Whether Man Of Steel is worth seeing (it isn’t), if the Nintendo 3DS is shaping up to be the best handheld ever (it is), and how I exactly like my crumpets in the morning (buttered, edges burnt with a spongy centre). You’ll be clicking yourself senseless.

What has happened over the past year is that some brave people have actually accepted my views and words onto their website. So whilst this will remain as my personal avenue of unedited garbling, I have increased my scope out onto the wider realms of the internet. As a little vanity trip, I’m going to link the stuff I’ve been most proud of over the past year. It’s a dick move, but this will be a nice post to reflect upon when I’m perusing through people’s bins with sea-life clinging to my testicles. So let me have this one yeah?

Planet Ivy- Games That Won’t Love Me

Game Muse – 5 Reasons Why Luigi Is The Greatest Nintendo Character

Starburst Magazine – Ken Levine Writer On Logans Run Remake

That last one isn’t particularly entertaining, I’m just incredibly happy to be helping out Starburst! There was also my work with Official Playstation Magazine and ShortList, but you know I DON’T WANT TO GO ON ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME. But that happened, I’ve got the prints to prove it. I won’t put them here though, print is to precious for these filthy walls. I’m a bit lazy too. Do you like Pikmin? Here’s a lovely Pikmin 3 picture…Pikmin 3
As expected I’ve completely lost where this was going, but it wouldn’t be an anniversary special without some thanks. If you are reading this now, or if you’ve occasionally read posts over the past year at moments of boredom, then I would like to give you a warm verbal hug. I’m always surprised to hear people actually read my waffle. I don’t think I’m particularly awful but it’s nice to know some people can sandwich a browse here between stalking others and watching videos of cats. I feel honoured, really I do.

But enough of that soppy bollocks, the ticking clock of oyster balls is against me. Here’s to the next long and prosperous year of DirtyScribbles mayhem. Hopefully the next anniversary will bring buckets of new achievements that I can proudly parade in this little hub of mine. If not, I’ve always got this post. A beaming reminder of the heights that I’ve achieved. I’ve morphed into a really shit peacock, and it feels chuffing fantastic.

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Two Weeks Of Experience.

So that’s a wrap on my second dip into the wonderful world of journalism. If you’ve been concerned by my sparse online presence, or have just breezed over here for a casual nosey, I have spent the past two weeks at ShortList magazine in the heart of London. It was a fantastic experience, so I felt it deserved a blog post that waffles on about my little adventures in the big city. I can’t promise a mentally rewarding ride, but you’ll get some nice visual treats. Look it’s the cover!shortlist cover

Whilst it was exciting to work in the offices of a slick mens magazine, it was also fun to briefly experience life as a London citizen. At first I was zipping through underground stations like it was an urban musical, swinging around poles and leaping through doors to the sounds of chugging engines and grumbling business men. As the days progressed I realized this sort of positivity was frowned upon. So I quickly adapted into the act of dismally staring into the grey-floored abyss, waiting for the announcer to declare ‘The next station is… retirement’ with a carpet designed from decaying oyster cards. I was one of ‘them’ and deep inside I loved every single minute of it.

The actual ‘work experience’ was also great, and completely different to my previous escapades at OPM. I was doing similar work like transcribing interviews, researching stories, and writing the odd section or review that is hopefully getting a place in the upcoming issues. But the topics you deal with on a day-to-day basis range from one extreme to another. I went through interviews about the football culture in Brazil, reviewing a book that had turned the Star Wars saga into a Shakespearian play, and then back to researching music events taking place across the UK. It was pretty bonkers stuff.

Even more interesting was transcribing interviews with pretty huge Hollywood names. I got to hear the likes of Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson completely unedited, and it was quite interesting to hear them ramble on about things that aren’t just the movie they’re supposed to promote. Particularly Woody Harrelson, who openly expressed his hate for the press interview cycle whilst still coming across respectful and super-amazingly cool. Of course transcriptions are a bit of a drag, but it gave me a crash-course on how not to totally piss people off in the acting world. A valuable life skill if there ever was one.

I was also given relatively minor tasks like sorting the mail and sending out post, but it was all part of the parcel (HAHA). Also in a very odd twist of fate, dealing with the email inbox meant that I became faced with requests for work experience when I was sat upon the mighty Intern throne. The Starkey angel and devil forms cropped up onto my shoulders, trying to convince me whether to newt the competition or unleash the journalistic gates to my suppressed fellows. The angel won this round, he had a battle-axe for heavens sake.

So my experience at ShortList was very cool, and hopefully another step towards my lofty scribbling dreams. I received a wealth of advice and a few items in print for me to flaunt around like a prized tit, and I got to live in London where I could swan over to the Man of Steel premiere in the pouring rain and stare at Amy Adams. What else could I possibly want?

Oh yes a job. That would be nice.

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A Love Letter To… The Book Of Mormon

Don’t worry, this ramble isn’t dedicated to the religious text. This is a confession of love towards the musical that I finally witnessed at London’s West End. As a massive fan of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s previous antics in South Park and Team America, nothing was going to stop me seeing their latest work. Thankfully, the wonderful holiday of Christmas emerged and saved me from any kind of troublesome escapades that would result in hilarious humiliation. Jesus is so thoughtful like of mormon2

Avoiding all spoilers, I sat down not entirely sure what to expect. Now as I recall the event, I can’t actually remember one moment when I wasn’t smiling, laughing or wildly clapping like a deranged seal. It was incredible. Everything from the story, characters, songs, dance numbers, it all just worked and clicked together perfectly. I could rant about the reasons why I loved it until you’re face decays into sloppy mush, so I will!

What I have always loved about Matt and Trey’s writing is how it feels like a knife cutting through every issue they touch. Instead of pandering to certain groups, they rip everyones faults apart. Exposing all the hypocrisies and ridiculous ideas that have become the norm in modern culture. Some people wrongly cast them aside as the creators of that foul-mouthed TV show which has caused a few upsets over the years. In reality, South Park has expertly dealt with contemporary issues with an intelligence beyond nearly all television today.

With the Book of Mormon, they have created the finest display of their capabilities yet. It’s crude, hilarious, heart-warming and has a wonderful outlook on religion as a whole. Mormonism has always been an easy-target for satirists, but this musical uses them as a springboard to broadcast ridicule across all religions. Sure they cling to stories and rules that simply don’t make sense, but if it brings people together and gives them hope, who cares what they believe?

It also has some of the best songs I’ve ever heard committed to anything. Hello!, Two By Two, Man Up, and I Believe are just so perfect they’ll make you bubble with envy. That’s even before I’ve mentioned the hilarious Turn It Off. An upbeat tap number about suppressing ones negative and devilish of mormon turn it off

That is the real achievement behind the Book of Mormon. It manages to bind these themes and messages into a musical that could stand on its own without it. The characters are relatable and the songs are catchy enough that it can be enjoyed at face value. A story about two individuals that simply want to help people for their own reasonings, only for it to spiral out of control around them.

As with most of their career, the reaction to the Book of Mormon has generated an entirely new story upon itself. The Mormon community have admirably used it as a massive advertising opportunity, some theatre regulars have been appalled, fans have lapped it up and many have championed it as a swift-kick to the current theatre scene. Whatever the reaction, you cannot deny their talent as writers. They have managed to have overwhelming success through television, films and now musicals. How many other writers have managed that?

If you want a true reaction, I’ll refer to a discussion between an elderly couple who were sat in my proximity, bearing in mind this was shortly after a song that mentioned raping babies and maggots in scrotums.

“So are you enjoying it?”

“Yes. Yes I am”.

Now how can you argue with that? Take it away Andrew Rannells!

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