2016: A Topsy Turvy Dream

Are people still talking about their 2016? Motivated by my irritating need to bank thoughts on a ropey dying blog, I’ve decided to return to DirtyScribbles to offer an extraordinary tale about a year which has somehow topped the last.

Personally, of course. The wider-world of 2016 has been almost impressively diabolical. A never-ending sequence of shock horrors which transformed western national identities over night, divided humans like never before in recent memory, and made us all realise how the likes of David Bowie and Prince aren’t immortal godlike forces – but tragically fragile humans like the rest of us.

But let’s remember them as the magnificent stars they were. Heck, no one wants to be human right about now.

Moving topical glum aside, 2016 from my surprised eyes has been a bizarre ascension towards everything I’ve always hoped for. After leaving ‘intern’ status at the Telegraph way back in January, I bumped my way across jobs before landing as an entertainment keyboard smasher at Metro online. This is superb for many reasons, but being able to officially call myself a ‘journalist’ is perhaps the simplest joy of them all.

Alright, I’m partially lying – because there’s the perks. The wonderful perks which allowed me to chat to Russell Howard in a Camden pub about death, come to grips with myself on video while quizzing Kelly MacDonald about Trainspotting 2, and jet off to Toronto to write silly about my ventures around the sets and sights of X-Men.

How’d you like them link sprinkles? I think I’m getting better at casual acts of bragging. Here’s a top 2016 banger to take your mind off that sick feeling frothing in your stomach. The after-effects of extreme twattery are an ever-present threat to us all.

Through all the immense chats and opportunities however, it was an email which I’ve treasured from my time in 2016. A certain glorious sentence within an email, to be exact.

For context, I wrote a largely personal piece celebrating the tenth anniversary of The Killers’ second album, Sam’s Town. In the hope of getting the article to the band’s fan base, I shot it across to their manager – a move which usually yields little to no results due to their own busy lives dealing with worldwide fame.

So not expecting anything back from it, I carried on my business scoffing Pret sandwiches and binging on trailers for the new Legend Of Zelda – before this plonked in my inbox and blew my mind into oblivion.


Hmm. Right, let’s just blow up those first words for a second.


Okay, so as a naturally sceptical human being – my mind immediately started weighing up the percentage of this actually being true.

Point 1: They didn’t have to reply and could have simply ignored my chummy advances.

Point 2: I tagged the band in Twitter posts – so perhaps Brandon Flowers did have a sweeping look around the web and caught my flogging in action.

Point 3: Why would he lie about such a claim? Would their manager tease an innocent fan with a quick throwaway ‘yeah he loved it mate’ without so much as a ‘many thanks xoxo’? Surely not.

By this thorough analysis – I’ve calculated this sentence has a 73% chance of being an accurate statement. A 73% chance of being the beautiful words to set off my inner 14-year-old on a screaming naked run across the unsuspecting streets of Streatham.

That was an awful lot of experimental erection stroking – please enjoy this trailer for Legend Of Zelda: A Breath Of The Wild which looks amazing by all accounts.

All this joy hasn’t been one continuous spree however, with new working pressures, moving to a new house in London and generally assembling life down south causing a few bumps along the way. But on the whole, I can’t really complain about 2016. To be honest.

So while I’ve already littered some links throughout this piece, here’s my annual dump of the pieces of work I’m personally most proud of this year. Please enjoy.

DJ Yoda talks scratching video games, DJ Hero 3 and gaming’s connection to hip hop

8 important life lessons we’ve learned from 20 years of Pokemon

The Walking Dead’s Michael Cudlitz interview

Not excited for Fantastic Beasts? You’re not alone

What it’s like to start playing World Of Warcraft in 2016

So where do we go from here? Who knows. There’s a few ventures I’m hoping to experiment with over 2017. This random URL on the internet is also sitting here a bit pointlessly, isn’t it? I should probably sort that out.

For now, hopefully events over the next year will continue to fall suspiciously in my favour. They probably won’t, life is a dick like that. But I’ll be ready to wrestle luck’s turning tide with my dainty, keyboard-stubbed boy hands when the cold sting of karma inevitably comes to whip.

Wait, you want another 2016 banger? Of course you do. You deserve it.

Happy New Year!

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2015: That’s more like it

Now that’s a transformation. Rewind 12 months on this URL and you’ll find a mess of MNEK music videos, incredibly accurate ‘Mad Max: Fury Road will be the best film of 2015’ predictions (sort of) and disillusioned rambles. I tried my best to conceal it, but by the end of 2014, I was a version of Pixar’s Inside Out where Sadness and Anger were cooking Joy in a cauldron of hot piss.

But in a magical turn, 2015 has been one of the best years of my life. That might be quite irritating to hear, especially if you’re reading this as part of a wave of awful Facebook end-of-year schmaltz or looked at the news over the past 365 days. But I mean it, it’s me. These quips don’t lie. But before you write off the following as one last self-indulgent stroke of my erection, please listen to what it has to say. It might even whistle a tune for you. A mighty sweet overlooked 2015 banger of the highest calibre.


For the unknown web traveller or slacking snooper, my year has seen motherbase shift to the bright lights of London for a journo gig. It’s been a consistently repeating sequence of terrifying, exciting, incredible which has come to form my natural state; terricitible. As I’ve got myself aimlessly lost clinging to CityMapper apps, or stumbled my way into having free haircuts from press credentials, terricitible has been the fabricated word I’ve been searching for. A constant balancing act between dropping a brown clanger and straddling the most beautiful being imaginable.

Luckily, straddling has mostly won out. In between being a busy-body office type and practising my best ‘I’m fucking exhausted, back off my grill’ face on the Tube home, I’ve danced between events, luxury trips and dilly-dallying with words like a bawling wizard. You’re probably thinking ‘how can that be exhausting you smug little twat?’ Well gurl, I’ve had to schedule tweets after prosecco in time for a whisky-tasting session at 7:30, can you plz leave me alone alright, yeah?

In all seriousness though, it’s been incredible. I’ve learnt from ace writers, met some lovely folks, bashed out endless pieces about Star Wars and felt like a somewhat workable cog in a rather big machine. It’s been a blurry dream looking back, one punctuated with regular intakes of canteen jacket potatoes and the occasional spell of dumbfounded ‘what the fuck is going on’. A phrase I’ve come to despise over the past few months as it impedes on my mindset and social media posts to an ever-increasing degree.


So in pretty-awful end of year tradition, here’s the pieces I’m most proud from over the last calendar cycle of life. Let’s hope the links don’t die like last year. Because that was fucking annoying.

Interview with Horrible Histories author Terry Deary

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Review

Star Wars: 6 video games that need to happen

Meet the ultimate Star Wars memorabilia collector

Once again, this is more a perfunctory catalogue for myself. So while they’re sat there like beautiful, showboating buns in the HTML twilight – this is actually an act of sacrificial mental rehabilitation. And definitely not just a tug of my thunderous erection.

Do you know what is tugging my thunderous erection? THIS BLOODY SOUTH PARK GAME TRAILER FOR 2016, YEAH.

Basically, I’ve been pretty happy with 2015 on a personal level (including stints as a Best Man at a bezzies wedding). But much like my elated jubilation at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I’m even more excited about what’s to come. 2016, while largely covered in the unknown, has all the promise of a tooting adventure directed by Rian Johnson. Rian Johnson directed Looper. He’s set to direct the next Star Wars. You should be excited. Please clap this link. Thanks.

But I’m aware this joyous spree can be easily taken away too. So as with everything, I’m going to lock, tighten and cling to this ride as long as possible. Like an arcade race where the clock thins and pace quickens until you manically veer into a gaggle of hookers cheering at the sidelines, 2016 is my test of trivial nerve and desperation. Will I crash into a fiery cataclysm of youth? Who will stop me from burning myself with the iron again? Will the hookers even cheer me on from the sidelines? And will the foxes of south London continue to diet-shame my KFC addiction to the entire street?

2016 has a lot of unanswered questions and I’m both excited and incredibly terrified awaiting the result. Terricitible you might say, you know, if you’re a jammy prick.

Happy New Year! XOXO

fox gif

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As a social media creature who ravages content and distills it into bitesize chunks for the average cynical joe, I’ve become at one with worlds which I’ve previously chosen to ignore. High brow art galleries, trendy diets, Sadie Frost, and the most batshit insane of all, fashion.

Fashion is a fascinating enigma. Endlessly morphing and frequently running in circles, it’s an industry of significant power yet is built upon the ridiculous. In many ways, it’s similar to games, and I’m increasingly worried my writing zen is being invaded by fashion ground troops. Do you see where I’m going with this? I think you do..



lara croft

If you haven’t kept up with the latest in Croft couture, you’ll be pretty shocked by the lack of titilation on the modern incarnations of the Tomb Raider. Where’s the unsettlingly blocky cleavage, smutty leers and those combat shorts barely suitable for a spring break? This is progressive Lara guys, and nothing says 2015 like ‘sexy’ dialled to zero per cent.

It’s raiding chic you see. Generations of excessive pampering have caused Lara’s untainted thighs to take realistic shape and become bogged by the elements. Here, a lipstick red puff jacket and glacial utility belt should protect those vulnerable pins during any late-night raid. Just don’t forget your Vesachi satchel Lara, girl’s gotta construct a bonfire to upgrade her hiking equipment.


nathan drake

Jesus, Nathan. We last saw you sporting desert scarfs and breezy summer tees to make any straight man question the love for his digital entertainment. Now look at you. You’re old Drake. Your hair is even losing its brown boyish shine. You might as well be dead.

Luckily, there’s a special place in heaven for someone who wears gruff, jungle garb with such effortless style. It’s called Naughty DAWG. And your Dad-of-Chris Pratt rough charms have just landed you a spot. Don’t let those tight combats chaff your grenades on the way out. OOFT.


king dedede

Sometimes there’s looks which should never be replicated. A sense of style married with such brazen confidence it morphs into an indestructible fashion-breaking entity all unto itself. Think Grace Jones, Lady Gaga’s stage attire and the floral horrors of Noel Edmonds.

Well add this dreamland P.I.M.P. to the list fashion-deprived reader. Bobble hats and MacDaddy robes are this Autumn’s hottest trend for pensively wallowing through the leaves. How do I know? Dedede told me so. And I’m not arguing with that fucking mallet.


Bayonetta 2

Some argue Bayonetta’s skin-tight catsuit and theatrical hip thrusts are too over-sexualised for 2015’s anorak audience. Some also dislike hummus. Human beings, right? Scattershot lumps of opinion, the lot of us.

But whether you’re aroused, repulsed or overcome with profound liberation, we can all agree Bayonetta sure knows how to work a loaded heel. A slick, studded leather boot strapped to a death cartridge may sound like a risky look for the high street, but pile on the confidence and you’ll be doing more than shooting from the hip. You’ll be lampooning deadly angels and demons into the fiery pits of Hades. Because that’s what she does. In the game.


garrus vakarian

We can’t leave without giving you a sneak-peek at the attire tearing up the catwalk from the autumn/winter collections. The autumn/winter collections of the year 2183 that is. For the Turian race. On the planet Palaven.

Meet Garrus Vakarian, aka the hottest fashion icon of inter-planetary politics. Want to stay ahead of the curve? Try a tuscany blue visor with a Buzz Lightyear egg-cup space suit. The uninformed may scoff at your threads, but in 178 years time on a distant planet in the middle of the galaxy, you’ll be at peak fashionista. Just make sure your style doesn’t overzealously swing into Grunt territory.

Because, have you seen Grunt?



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Before I start, I must apologise. If you’ve encountered my social media avenues over the past few weeks/millennia, you’d have noticed a distinct whiff of Brandon Flowers fawning which has become a little irritating of late. It’s not my fault, he’s a bafflingly handsome man riddled with pop banger-itus. If anything, it’s you guys with the problem. Pricks.

But I’ve realised blaming the world and the idiots it contains isn’t going to win me any friends. So instead, I thought I’d deliver my unequivocally biased reviews on four songs he has released for his upcoming second solo effort, The Desired Effect, to get it out of my system. Hopefully my enthusiasm and excitement will somehow gag in your throat until you’re forced to keel over and come to terms with the fact that this is the end. The end of your shitty-ass opinions.



And the first bomb doth drop. If you are unaware of Brandon’s previous solo effort Flamingo, it was a good-but-not-great affair which often felt like a record from The Killers with a diluted bombastic kick. It was extremely satisfying therefore to hear Can’t Deny My Love, which dials up the thrills with hit-producer Ariel’s modern licks. Tumbling drums, epic 80s sparkles and an opening breakdown to match an angel slowly screwing a finger into your ear canal, this was Mr. Flowers having a ‘this ain’t no 6/10 job’ moment.

Favourite part: The slightly premature kickback into the final chorus with wispy ghost vocals which sound like he’s been set free from a magic lamp.


THIS IS INCREDIBLE. It’s like Young Americans-era Bowie with a modern paranoid wink. Oh even the video is ruddy marvellous. Have you even listened to it yet? DO IT.

It’s an example of Flowers at his playful lyrical best alongside the likes of Spaceman and Bones for The Killers. A love song to beckon to your dearest over worries of ‘nuclear distress’ and ‘climate change and debt’. His lyrics and humour often go overlooked by the majority of the world, because you know, they’re fucking idiots.

Favourite part: The classic Flowers ‘knooooooooOOOoooOwww’ which has been refined and trimmed to perfection from this live Abbey Road version of Human at 3:07.

Nope, you’re still the weird one.


YOU CAN’T JUST DROP THIS NEXT? Springsteen spun through a synth wormhole, this jam requires you to re-enact the video almost instantly. I’ve got one fist wildly flailing even as I write this, with a disco face somewhere along the lines of a constipated Ed Miliband. There’s also something about ‘spinnin’ like a gravitron when I was just a kid’; which from 2 minute research turns out to be a fairground ride which was prominent in the U.S. at travelling carnivals.


Favourite part: ‘DO YOU FEEL THE THUD WHEN I FALL’ *smashes head on desk*


Now this is just ridiculous. Dark disco with a hand from Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant about blazing a trail through the driving rain. It’s a desperate, pulsating cry as Flowers echoes ‘even if it’s not who I am, I can change,’ over a throbbing bass which recalls the excellent Mr Brightside remix by Jacques Lu Cont. While suitably mounted for a blinding remix, it stands by itself as an incredible song too. Can you enjoy this please so I hear it in clubs everywhere? Thanks.

Favourite part: The part when the music starts and he sings and then you’re transported to the backseat of a car on a neon highway and he’s just singing ‘I can change for you’ while stroking your hair.



So there you have it, a bundle of spectacular opinion wrapped into one handsomely packaged blog post. If you catch me wildly embedding his ass on any of my social media channels post review bomb, you have my permission to hurl abuse my way until I kindly tell you to stop.

But then please do carry on.

No seriously, stop.




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OUT THERE (In London)

Gather round young trolls, for good news must be shared. People on this fine planet have granted financial stability and an extraordinary opportunity my way, so a (possibly brief) portion of my life is set to be staged in the manic hubbub of London. Will I survive? Who knows. Is Kanye headlining Glastonbury? Of course he is. How will Britain fair under Osborne’s budget proposal? Oh, come on. Can you ask why I’ve embedded a Disney classic in this blog post? Please? Just let me… oh okay, you want to know why now? You seated? Tango Ice Blast? Right basically, it’s because…


So I’ve actually been living here for about a week now. My plan was to release this blog post as I descended upon the capital; utilising my excited drive and nervous energy into a folly to tickle every humour gland in your possession. Unfortunately, this plan was swiftly dropped once I realised the amount of organisation which comes from moving to another city and starting a new job. Heck, I even bought sandwich bags. What kind of domesticated creature does that?

I did however write a preliminary paragraph on what I was feeling at the time. So here’s a flavour of my mindset roughly a week ago:

“My main message is of excitement, nervous trepidation and insanity’s loosening grip. Tides are coming in, covering the relatively drab past six months under a comforting blanket. It feels amazing and frankly, I wish I could bottle this feeling and shove my face in it whenever life decides to throw up its next bag of shite.”

In prickish italic speak: I felt pretty good, basically.

Nothing’s really changed either. Except I’m now slightly adjusted to my new routine and ready to stride into the festival of fools just like Quasimodo with boundless hope. Hopefully, unlike him, I won’t come out of the experience locked into docks and splattered with a barrage of fruit from my fellow man. But who knows? London’s a wild place. I’ve already seen one guy barking dog noises down his phone.

So to round-off this skittish piece, I’d just like to thank anyone who’s ever graced kind affection towards my words. You’ve helped push me to this point, and frankly, I wouldn’t be currently sat in a room, drinking swedish beer and watching Paddington after a week’s work in the offices of the Telegraph without them. Even writing that seems obscene. What the fuck is going on?



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How the Brits 2015 Should Pan Out

It’s remarkable how the Brit Awards are always a disappointment. Despite music being arguably our greatest export, the televised celebrations of our bustling music scene never fail to be frustratingly tepid. Some say it’s a glum reflection of music in 2015 (you’re wrong), while others argue television has horribly misrepresented British music for the past decade via all-conquering reality TV contests (warmer), but what can we do to stop it? And how?

Well through the power of imagination and blog bashing, I’m going to run through how I’d like the Brit Awards to pan out this year. I’m going to ignore who’s been nominated, who’s scheduled to perform and generally just make this shit up as I go, but hopefully it’ll be a much more accurate depiction of our vivid music scene. So watch me wreck the mic.


PJ & Duncs

OPENING PERFORMANCE: Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk

The lights go down and the ‘Da Doh’ intro hums within the speaker’s fizz. A sparkling orgy of Jasper Carrot’s golden balls descends from the ceiling and before you know it – BOOM.

Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars strut from the back of the stage spitting Michelle Pffiefers white gold with a purple cadillac of backing musicians in tow. Cheap smoke machines pump the floor into a heavenly 80s space cloud while illegal catherine wheels litter the stage; spinning off their hinges and sparking small fires on nearby celebrity tables. Possibly near Noel Gallagher. Who’ll probably still think it’s shit.

It’ll be the kind of opening showstopper where people will wildly flock to Twitter and express cynical feelings of ‘#Brits2015 already peaked’ and ‘Uptown Funk? More like Back the Fuck Down LOL’. #socialengagement.


Ant & Dec do their opening welcome thing. It’s already better than James Corden.

Quick glance at the celebrity tables and there’s still a fire kicking off below. Zayn from One Direction is on his third haircut of the night and Harry’s gone for a bloody piss again.

2ND PERFORMANCE: Jessie Ware & Katy B Duet

The two London underground pop divas collaborate for the sultry massively underrated gem, Aaliyah. The stage background looks like Katy B’s Crying for No Reason video, only with two massive fuck-off plinths for each to stand while lasers propel over their heads. As the line ‘this is green envy’ is more commonly used, plumes of green smoke will fill the plinths and become jettisoned with lasers to look like a basement rave pumped with the Incredible Hulk toxin.

Jessie will be prodded regularly so she does some lovely high notes.


A small award is given to Sam Smith. It comes with a disclaimer saying you’ll receive the bigger, better award if you prove you’re a lasting presence beyond this initial storm. P.S. call Disclosure.

Paloma Faith is proper rat-arsed.


As the most exciting popstar on our shores, this performance will be an unashamed platform for Charli XCX to catapult into the British consciousness. Ideally, it’ll be a jumbo-sized medley; starting with Break The Rules morphing into Boom Clap, before a cascade of bloodied unicorns form a dance collective for Breaking Up. It will climax with Doing It, with the words ‘now we’re bringing this back to life’ becoming headline material as one of the unicorns gives birth to Madonna.

Because reasons.


Taylor Swift has formed a campfire around the burning debris of Mark Ronson’s performance. She starts to sing Style and everyone else joins in. It’s a beautiful moment.

Ant & Dec welcome Cat Deeley to present an award and it’s a heartbreaking CD:UK reunion. A montage is then played to echo their beloved heydays. Everyone cries.

4TH PERFORMANCE: Drenge Vs Royal Blood

To appease the likes of Kasabian’s Serge Pizzorno who recently didn’t get nominated/argued the Brits were conspiring to shut out rock ’n’ roll, we’ll have a classic battle of the bands face-off with two opposing stages at the end of each arena. In the Derby corner will be two-piece-come-three-piece Drenge, with the Brighton corner housing Royal Blood.

Each combatant will play quick one minute blasts of their most notorious thrash downs, bouncing off each other and escalating to the point where two-headed dragons and monstrous gorillas emerge as spirit animals and brawl until the death. Just like that scene in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, only with musicians dodging incoming debris and rapturous gladiator chants brewing from the non-celebrity peasants above. The loser will be drip fed to a pool of swirling piranha.

Scott Pilgrim battleThat’s rock ‘n’ roll, right?


Union J are shuffling up to One Direction telling them how much they love McBusted and think forming two fan bases together is so swell. Union Jirection is proposed and quickly discarded.

Sia accepts an award for ‘belting song about a Chandelier’ but refuses to turn round and as such cannot thank her relatives for her existence. Her Dad starts kicking off and everyone realises it’s Cousin Itt from the Addams Family.

5TH PERFORMANCE: Calvin Harris & all his collaborators

Ignoring Calvin Harris’s usual stage setup of the monolithic DJ platform, this performance will instead see Calvin’s head replicated via a gigantic, towering hologram beaming out like a sexy super villain. It’ll start with the intro from I’m Not Alone, with the mention of its title cutting out the lights before a gaggle of stars including Example, Florence Welch, Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Tinie Tempah, Rita Ora, John Newman and Kelis emerge one by one to make blood sacrifices to their EDM overlord. Each offering turning the blueprint of Calvin’s face gradually into human form.

Upon completion, Ellie Goulding will turn up and perform ‘Outside’ while Calvin’s head manically chuckles under a blanket of neon-lit smoke. Lightning strikes and a swarm of ghosts wisp around the arena into the souls of those clambering for a hit. Jessie J grabs a fish net.


Kanye West turns up after a walk in the peaks with his child, North. His fatherlike warmness creates a chemical imbalance and he begins to sporadically convulse into a tyrannosaurus.

Scared by this transformation, Swift runs for the peasant tiers clinging to her awards for ‘easily best pop album of 2014’ for 1989 shouting “I DESERVE THESE, YOU PIECE OF SHIT.”


After receiving the ‘alright, he’s done pretty well this year’ award, there’s an obligatory spot for Ed Sheeran. However, he’s not allowed to perform his heartfelt ballad nonsense and must proceed with his infinitely more interesting powers with loop pedals on Don’t. He’ll then do a rap skit where he’ll confirm his next album will be called ‘divide’ and won’t feature anything involved with an acoustic guitar or below the ‘plod’ tempo range. Calvin’s swarming ghosts hover like vultures.


Paolo Nutini cashes in his small award for a bigger, better award following Caustic Love. An extra prize is given where a still-rat arsed Paloma Faith lovingly dry humps his leg.

Years & Years are looking at the destruction around them and thinking whether this pop game is worth all the hassle. They still churn out corkers, whatever they decide.


Having been cleaned off after a messy unicorn rebirth, Madonna takes the coveted legendary spot with alarmingly disastrous results. As an infant trapped inside an elder body, she cannot control her expansive limbs and lumbers around the stage like an alien-controlled puppet to Ray of Light. But with the admirable ‘show must go on’ mantra coded into her genetics, she proceeds to tussle with her consistently lavish production values – uncomfortably grinding against backing dancers and setting off pyrotechnics ahead of the scheduled trans-animal kiss with a honey badger.

Angry at the performers lack of professionalism, the badgers descend upon the stage and strap her to a giant wooden cross in the style of the Rebel Heart album sleeve. Like A Prayer kicks in and the badger collective strip to white cloaks and sway with the hearty unison of a gospel choir. ‘It’s like a dream to me’ echoes throughout the audience, with a Barry White influenced sea otter pulling off a killer solo. Madonna, realising this isn’t the planned choreography, ushers her unicorn spirit and slays the honey badger uprising. She whispers the words, “just like a dream, you are not what you seem”, before the cross is set ablaze and a rainbow of fireworks coat the rafters.

honey badgerTorn by the emotional plight and with their background VT’s freshly edited, the honey badger’s sons and daughters become regular contestants on The Voice and the X Factor for the next 25 years.


Well that’s my Brit Awards 2015, but what’s yours? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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The ‘Doing It’ Music Theory

Following the staggering ‘I Never Let You Down’ music theory which correlated seismic waves of musical perfection across the belt of audio existence through verbal expression, here I am with a new theory. A pretty similar theory to be honest. Only this time I have rewritten the language variables to take the shape of ‘DO IT’, ’DOING IT’ or some variation on telling someone to bloody get on with it.

Bizarrely, this theory also possesses a link (if tenuously) to controversial cleavage extraordinaire Rita Ora. Admittedly in a ‘feat’ spot within the spectacular new Charli XCX single, but it’s still a bit weird isn’t it? Maybe she has a power over this blog which is beyond all control.


But seriously, this song is the absolute tits (not now, Rita).

A Bacardi Breezer rush of the twinkling 90s some might say, a sprawling jam which probably didn’t need Ora’s chops others may chirp, in the end – it’s just a bloody pop banger.

I know this because I’ve been meaning to sleep for the past 45 minutes, but the chorus has formed a comfortable nest in my cranium and refuses to cooperate. Right next to Uptown Funk’s flat, too.

Without further apoo, here’s a string of youtube videos to reinforce my theory of how brilliant songs become when they’re adorned with such words. All the way from Swedish popstars to chemical siblings. Don’t say I don’t treat you.

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2014: Growing Pains and Learning Curves

I’ve not written an overtly personal blog piece in a while. Partly because the internet doesn’t really have time for my ongoing life exploits, and mostly because three quarters of the year have involved  churning words out in the name of MA education. In hindsight, the odd piece here documenting my tormented student woes might have been a nice reprieve during bouts of deadline insanity, but when does madness let you slow down and gather your thoughts? NEVER IT DOES.

Now I’m equipped with too much free time, I thought I’d reflect on the year that was 2014. While I’ll flutter between personal achievements and a few juicy downers, if you were hoping for a more general ‘round-up’ of the year, I’ll casually intersperse slices of entertainment which have been the artistic highlights of this fairly mixed year. I know you need content fast in this turbulent age, so I’m going to cram you like goose fat smothered turkey meat. Strap in.


So in many ways I’ve had a pretty great year. I’ve completed a Journalism MA, met some lovely people and seen my name stuck in places around the internet I’ve long dreamed. At the same time, my confidence has wildly swung from broken to Yeezus in the space of a week, I’ve sunk into glum spells like never before, and received knockbacks with frustrating frequency. When combined with falling slightly in love with a Taylor Swift album and gushing over a Paddington Bear movie, I feared my sense of self was about to collapse on itself. I’d crossed lines which bore no return; floating in blank limbo and clinging to pop songs telling me “it’s gonna be alrigggght’ in a Nashville twang.

I’m fine though. It’s just been in an oddly unstable and directionless kind of time. Like trying to navigate around the house hungover with a backlog of piss in your gut – tripping over yourself and knocking into things with dizzy abandon. I know what I’m aiming for, but I’m clumsily slipping downstairs and bouncing off picture frames into the hard bumps of the interiors – hoping the sweet haven to release golden relief will smack me in the face along the way.

That was a fairly heavy pissing metaphor. Here’s a trailer for one of my favourite games of the year. You’ve earned it.

So it’s been an odd time of ‘maturing’ and generally trying to get a hold of myself in the past few months. Not in the sense that I’m tearing apart at the seams, but figuring out what I’m doing and where I fit exactly in this world of great Paddington movies and Goat Simulator video games. Is there space for weird in today’s world? What if this career path doesn’t want pissed metaphors and comprehensive pieces on the life and times of Nicki Minaj? Asses have made big news this year, maybe there’s room for a posterior correspondent at the BBC in 2015? Spinning 3D graphics of Kim Kardashian’s rear and predicting the forecast for incoming celebrity arse.

It sounds like an identity crisis, doesn’t it? Maybe it is. But according to psychologist Erik Erikson, this can often result in delves into crime or drugs. I stole a bouncy ball once. And I’ve read enough of William Burroughs to know drugs are a bit beyond my station, even if they can make great novels sing. Heroin addiction for a bestseller? It’s either that or appear on a reality show – but no-one needs another pissing autobiography from a twenty-something right now.

You know what you need? A HOT MOVIE FOR 2015.

What I need from 2015 is a blanket of comfort. It’s all looking a bit foggy at the moment and I’m worried I’m going to be swallowed up like John Carpenter’s 80s sophomore effort. Hopefully it won’t be, Halloween released two years earlier was way better. I don’t want to go down in the vein of a disappointing follow-up. I want a drawn out tussle with Michael Myers; fighting atop a balcony with curtain poles until one of us buckles and ends up plastered on the front lawn.

But nonsense aside and in the spirit of a previous back-slapping anniversary special, I’m going to post some links I’m particularly proud of to commemorate my 2014 experience. It’s a dick move again, but sea life is still circling my testicles and they’re getting closer to my battle nuggets.

Official Xbox Magazine – Is Spiderman All Played Out?

Official Xbox Magazine – Ninja Theory Interview

Nottingham Post – Example Interview

Nottingham Post – Alison Balsom Interview

Starburst – Watamote Review

I also got my mug in Official Xbox Magazine talking about my love for South Park: Stick of Truth. So here’s an image of that.


It’s a bigger list than last year so that’s something. Actually I’ve had a pretty good year now I look back in list form. Ignore all that bollocks above – 2014 has been a rewarding year even if I’ve often wanted to throttle its neck until it pops. Hopefully by the close of 2015, I’d have learnt to get to the point and not flounce around with fairly pointless tangents which benefit nobody. Let’s do this.

Happy New Year! x

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Alien: Isolation deserves GOTY praise

Alien: Isolation is one of the most exciting games of the year. It’s too long, fairly repetitive and suffers from tedious Android sections where the cat & mouse dynamic deteriorates into catch the pigeon with a stun baton. But excitement doesn’t brew in the bosom of perfection, it grows from riding with the frustration; a repeating volley between the rough and the majestic where shaking like a hunted Yak in a blacked-out room defines the peak of gaming excellence.

And for 2014 it most certainly has. The intense scares of Alien: Isolation stand alongside the riotous laughs of South Park: The Stick of Truth and the joyous Bayonetta 2 in my personal standout games of the year. But unlike the latter two, Alien: Isolation triggered my gushing excitement for an entire genre. A horror resurgence in any medium is long overdue, but it looks like video games are flying the flag for the future of its thriving existence.

Coupled with the terrifying P.T. demo, horror games are finally matching their movie counterparts in using aesthetics to achieve bone-chilling atmospheres. A mere walk down P.T.’s corridor and the first thing you notice is how unsettlingly real it looks; the lifeless worn walls, family photographs and darkened silhouettes who tease you in the distance. Played alone, it’s one of the most terrifying experiences you can have from so-called ‘entertainment’. And it’s merely a demo for Silent Hills.

Silent Hills

Alien: Isolation takes this further by replicating the setting of Ridley Scott’s 1979 horror classic with remarkable attention to detail. The 80s sci-fi bleeps and bloops echo in corridors, doors leisurely slide with a satisfying swoosh and spinning panic sirens coat the spaceship’s hallways in the kind of glowing red which encourages hysterical dilemmas of not knowing where to run, but to run somewhere and simultaneously anywhere.

Yet running in Alien: Isolation is an unwritten mechanic for instant death. The continuously prowling Alien cripples you into playing defensively throughout the majority of the game. You’ll walk slowly, strategically hide behind obstacles in open rooms and check your motion tracker with OCD style affliction even when the Alien isn’t near your location. When confronted with the beast, every voice in your body is telling you to freak out, yet you quickly learn that your survival relies on your ability to swallow your fright and slowly crawl to safety. It’s terrifying, tough and simply unmatched as a horror experience despite its influences from other survival titles like Outlast and Amnesia.


The reason behind this praising outpour stems from a cold feeling chilling my loins. As this year’s GOTY (GAME OF THE YEAR) discussions on various media outlets take place, I’m worried Alien: Isolation is going to be largely ignored due to its polarising nature. While I should probably learn to loosen up and just be content with my own positive experience, I’m not a man to let such little things slide. I bubble and froth like a sexy Winter stew if games worthy of praise are brushed over in the leading game discussions. So here I am singing its praises via a piddling blog.

So while it certainly has issues, Alien: Isolation is a spectacular emulation of the horror movie experience. Big budget games rarely arrive so mechanically divisive and ballsy when dealing with a beloved movie franchise. And thanks to the team at Creative Assembly, a horror film nasty has been reborn and exciting steps towards a golden era of horror games look etched in the sand.

And if somebody higher doesn’t start talking all this up, I’m going to burst into potato broth.


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Spice Up Your Shuffle

One of the greatest outcomes of the digital music space is undoubtedly the shuffle. The balls-to-the-wall option perfect for unstoppable career climbers and party go-getters who can dance their way through time, genres and specifically ordered album tracks. It can be a heady parade however if your music tastes swing wildly from club bangers to instrumental compositions, so I’d like to suggest a few song types which serve as a cleanser for the beloved powers of your shuffle.



The debut album from Duck Sauce is a minigun barrel of camp disco bangers which is perfect shuffle fodder. Unconvinced? Just imagine you’re relishing in the musical intricacies of a Radiohead track, you’re completely absorbed by the complex layers and textures, clear of your direction in life, when Spandex drops. Swooping your clear thought space and carrying it forward with the finger-shaking strut of a free lioness. It’s an awakening many are afraid to admit too, but you’ll feel it when fellow commuters swerve your path. No-one stops Spandex.



Sometimes your shuffle can send you into a daze. In your attempts to front load your iPod with cool tracks from the latest acoustic crooner or minimal synth troupe, production which really pops is sorely lacking from your musical library. Enter, the Super Mario shadow comet theme. It gears you up for urgency and will having you feverishly panicking as you dash in a circle looking for any remaining coins. Then you’ll wake up and realise Super Mario isn’t real and the whole endeavour was an acute reflection of how society’s money-driven world has embedded into your natural thought process. Sucker.



I’ll give you an insight into my iPod. Currently I have the Django Unchained soundtrack from top to bottom stored on there; mainly for the title theme, the John Legend track and ‘Freedom’ which is the ideal sound for any pensive walk over the desert hills. Also littered in there are dialogue extracts from the film which I’ve slowly grown to love over my shuffle journey’s. They’re like the irritating skits you get on rap albums, only they’re good because they can hysterically lead into a Taylor Swift single or ‘Go All the Way’ by the Raspberries. Get involved.



Because doesn’t everyone need a dictator in the morning?



Shuffles are designed to cheer you up. They may anger or frustrate from time to time, but it’s important to remember the amount of joy you put in is what you’ll inevitably get out. So to treat yourself, stick on Joe Esposito’s ‘You’re The Best’ from the Karate Kid. You never know when you might need the audio-equivalent of a hearty pat on the back, so you’re best leaving this somewhere in the mix. The shuffle gods will see its delivered when you need it most – probably reading a blog post about how best to spice up your shuffle because you’ve exhausted every morsel of happiness to be had from the internet today. No wait, come back! Stay! WITH ME!

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