I am a London-based Digital PR/Social Media/SEO Consultant, music producer/anorak, deep sea diver, avid cyclist, worldwide traveller and football-loving technology bod! This page functions as a kind of online scrapbook/resource featuring my favourite blog posts and news items as well as my own personal reviews and recommendations in the worlds of music, sport, travel and technology!
Sunday, 24 January 2010
New York-based designer Mike Deal has a great project going visualizing The Beatles.
If it grabs you, head on over and take part. See you there!"
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Friday, 15 January 2010
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Graffiti and street art are often wrapped up in the same category. Certainly in past times the eyes of the law viewed them as exactly the same - straight up criminal damage. But times have changed and street art has become pretty much publicly accepted and law enforcement attitudes have moved around to seemingly turning a blind eye to it while some councils are more likely to apply for a preservation order than press for charges. The same can't be said for graffiti that is born out of a different need. I'm talking about serial tagging, spray paint on the steel sides of trains and tubes and throw ups on the side of walls where the owner certainly never emailed in a request for a "street artist to do their thing". This is where last years 'Crack and Shine' book comes in. Ordered before Christmas it's a book I find myself going back to again and again. There's no stencils, paste ups or 'installations' in here. No, this is a fiercly independent take on the underworld of 'real' London graffiti. And it's by far the best graffiti book I've read all year.
There's a world of difference between sneaking into Shoreditch from the home counties to put up a paste up in Blackall Street and the events detailed in this 212 page full colour book. Trespass is a civil matter in town but when you jump (or boltcutter a fence) to go trackside it instantly becomes a criminal offence. This book talks to writers who have seen the old days when a simple saunter off the end of the platform into the rail system after school could be achieved through to todays 'military grade' security in London Underground's fortified depots. It charts the times when station staff turned a blind eye and trains could run for weeks with graffiti etched into their sides to the crackdowns and the frequent busts of the 90's that nearly killed the scene. It's style and tales are part Cass Pennant, part Brinks Mat but its always full on detailing the best of times and the worst of times. Teach offers up some of his vast photo collection, Elk explains why getting to Brixton's lay up was his 'Everest' and Grand tells of when he hit the yards hard and then stayed around to watch and explore. You also get to see Mr C DDS keeping it real by racking clothes, boltcutters, paint and Champagne (Moet & Chandon, natch) and Bozo DDS's run through of his Farringdon trip turns from a climb, drop, crawl story to a full on burglary.
There's a wealth of photos taken in the yards but some of the best are taken the morning after when the trains are in service. Marking the train on the front writers know when their cars are coming through and catch them in photographs as they arrive to puzzle (and sometimes delight) commuters - check the whole car 'Britney Spears Is The Devil'. Extra special are the portraits of the artists themselves taken by photographer Will Robson-Scott. He captures Mr P up on a roof top in Hackney Wick, Cosa in Whitehall and ATG at home amongst a mass of quality portraiture.
photo: Will Robson Scott
No other book gets inside a graffiti scene like this one. Subway Art documented a time and place that seemed far away at the time. Crack and Shine brings it home and then some.
Crack and Shine, published by FFF London, ISBN-10: 0956242308, ISBN-13: 978-0956242303
Monday, 11 January 2010
Anyone who's been to Vietnam will remember the sheer amount of street sellers plying their 'trade'. With this in mind, here's a quick poem (which could easily develop into a song with the right music) that I wrote earlier today while waiting for a bus:I am a Saigon sunglasses salesman
Every weekday that's my guise
I stock many fake Gucci, Dior, Oakley and Raybands
To you for very cheap prizeWith the beat of the street right behind me
And the heat of the sun up above
I like to hover locust-like around my prey
But still this life brings no money or loveI hunt all the rich tourist dollar
And harrass them all slowly one by one
For me I only need but just one or two sales
And my work here on earth's just about doneFor I am a Saigon sunglasses salesman
Every weekday that's my guise
I stock many fake Gucci, Dior, Oakley and Raybands
To you for very cheap prize
Sunday, 10 January 2010
Friday, 8 January 2010
2. Lie in mudbath for 30 minutes and feel like a pig in shit
3. Sunbathe so the mud containing all of the natural minerals dry's on your skin
4. Take a mineral water jacuzzi for 30 minutes
5. Feel guilty for the rest of the day for living like a millionaire when the whole of Vietnam are so poor Nevertheless, the feeling afterwards was of total relaxation and I'd recommend it to anyone who's never tried it before On the way back I met a really nice kiwi girl called Margot and invited her out for a few drinks and dinner in the evening with my diving instructor buddy Ross who I'd agreed to meet, his mate Matt from the UK who'd quit his job as a Marketing Manger in Spain to go and become and diving instructor and another guy Stef - a hippie from Portland in Oregon who shared the same music tastes as me and had just that day done a deep 70 metre dive to complete his Dive Master qualification. It was a top night that ended up at a rave on the beach until 4am and I was woken at 7am the next morning to take a bus to Dalat in the mountains
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Was handed some literature in the street today and it contained a poem that I thought captured the vibe and atmosphere of a typical Vietnamese town:The Color of Phai Street At Tet, people buy chickens in the market
I bought a clay rooster when I was a child
Although that earthen rooster lies in the earth
His crowing still echoes brightly in the sky
Suddenly a rainbow sweeps before me
Many beautiful flowers speak dreamy words
In the flowers a small angel keeps appearing
Her dark eyes waiting, full of anticipation
Sometimes I think the soul is the color of Phai Street
Its silent mossy tiles, its silent walls
The morning weather, like being seventeen
The leaves waking up, releasing their strange scent.
Today I set off with a bunch of hardcore divers from all over Europe to check out some of the wonders of the Na Trang underwater world.Having gained my Advanced Open Water certificate in Sharm El Sheik in Egypt last December as well as diving various sites off the coast of Thailand in previous years, I'd heard good things about the Vietnam marine life so decided to enrol on three dives for the mere cost of $85 with Rainbow Divers who are PADI certified.We set off on the first day at 7am and anchored the boat some 40 minutes from the Na Trang harbour to explore Rainbow Reef.I did this dive with a guy called Ross from Torquay who recently moved out to Vietnam to become an instructor, a Dutch guy Jens and Hans the German.After a quick refresher dive, I soon got back into the swing of things and we went for a 14 metre dive that lasted around 45 minutes underwater. Visibility wasn't the best due to the time of year but amongst the rich array of spectacular coral I managed to spot a blue starfish, velvet starfish, pin cushion starfish, long-spined sea urchin, cuttle fish, five or six grouper, a large Harlequin sweetlips, some clown anemonfish, a racoon butterfly fish, an amazingly thin trumpetfish, some humbug and a pufferfish as well as lots of unique angel fish I couldn't quite name.For the next two dives we headed to a deeper spot called Debbie's Beach where I dived down to a depth of 30 meters with a dive time of 35 minutes. The coral at this site was similarly stunning (despite the 4 meters visibility) and I also managed to spot a large barracuda, over 400 white fusilier's circling above us, several humphead parrotfish, moon wrasse and a stunning picasso triggerfish.Afterwards I went out for a rare meal consisting of Mountain Hedgehog, Civet Cat and fresh grilled Tiger Prawns washed down with a few ice cold Saigon beers with Ross and another girl in our group called Yindi from Leeds.Yindi has been working as a barrister in Hong Kong for the past 6 months and decided to travel the coast of Vietnam before transfering to London. We then ventured over to a really cool bar nearby for some fresh Dalat red wine with some others and then hit the sack.A great day and lots of new friends made :)