Me Top 5 Singles Of 2013 So Far

We’re about halfway through the year, the sun is absolutely shining and here in Wales this rarity is something we should treasure and make the most of. We are country so often shrouded in darkness and what feels like eternal rain that we should take what chances we get to bask in the golden rays of happiness.

So here I am inside writing up a pointless list of 5 songs I really like.

The rules: its Singles of 2013 list so naturally, they’ve got to have been released individually since January 1st 2013. Its getting more difficult to tell what a ‘real’ pop single is because of buzz tracks, artists bopping a song on iTunes for the lulz, music videos but no individual song release, CD or not, mixed up release dates etc etc. I’ve decide to discount ‘Racer‘ by Giorgio Moroder since its more a song from a game/Google Chrome app freebie and I’ve talked about its instant sweet-spot hitting at length. A very close sixth goes to Little Mix and ‘How Ya Doin’?‘, even though it was on their 2012 album, the single was re-swizzled enough with extra chorus bits and a Missy freakin’ Elliott guest spot – but it wasn’t as good as the other five.

Let’s crack on eh?



I’ve already waxed lyrical about this one too so I won’t go on about how it reminds me of the Almighty Aloud, brings some much-needed tongue in cheek to band in need of personality, isn’t caked in Auto-Tune or featuring Sean Paul, was the best performance of their Radio 1’s Big Weekend slot which suffered from awkward dance moves, mic issues and not great singing , follows the rule of amazing second single from an album (not counting ‘30 Days’) and has an insanely catchy rap middle eight.

To be honest, it would’ve cracked the top 5 just for the line “Cause most guys just hit it and quit it/and then they wonder why most girls just spit it”


Get Lucky

The one everyone knows about. After four weeks at number one its finally been dethroned. Four weeks at number one and its still not got a proper full music video yet. More importantly, after four weeks at number one it still sounds pretty fresh and not getting on my nerves yet. I’ve given the album a bit of (but not nearly enough time) and its a definite grower, but worth picking up for ‘Giorgio By Moroder’: the best musical monologue about music since… well last year’s ‘Over The Border’ by Saint Etienne.



A divisive one amongst their fanbase (isn’t everything they do nowadays though? :/). For a band whose first hit opens with the lines “Sometimes your better off dead/There’s a gun in your hand and its pointing at your head” and whose lyrics are often so ambiguous people still debate the meaning years after I can see why some people are disappointed. The only lyrics to ‘Axis’ are things like”turn it up”, and “feel the power”. And that’s absolutely fine. Some days (most days) I want to listen to PSB songs that could be about love or a terrorist suicide bomber depending on how you look it at, but some days (also most days) I want to listen to a straightforward, insanely catchy club banger. David and co. can are clogging up the charts, radios and dancefloors but in some parallel world where everything is at it should be; me and my Uni friends would be necking Jagerbombs in a club screaming “ELECTRIC EN.ER.GY., ELECTRIC EN.ER.GY.” at the top of our lungs, rather than me pretending to tolerate “Feel This Moment”. 


Live a Little

Three exact minutes of pure joy.

That’s all I really need to say about this one but I like to ramble on. This song is written for some sort of SONY Headphones advert campaign thing – I’m not really sure. All I know is it sounds great with my SONY Headphones (not the ones involved in this campaign, a pair I picked up a year ago in Tesco for a tenner) so I guess this proves great music is great music no matter where it comes from? It is a fact of life great music comes from Florrie and Xenomania, who will surely make up for the whole Amelia Lily disappointment when she releases her major-label debut album.

Clearly Florrie is some sort of heaven-sent angel, with her beautiful voice and gorgeous looks, who has blessed us with three EPs of incredible music completely FREEEEE!!! She also gave us Shot You Down, which is just ‘OK’,  but we can forgive her for that one. She is performing live music for us mere mortals in London on the 25th of June – the EXACT DAY I’M OFF TO TURKEY! Whilst I cannot wait to Live (a Little) up in the sun, I’ll only be ticking skinny dipping off my Bucket List this June, and not ‘Raving like a lunatic to Call of the Wild in front of its (most likely slightly disturbed) performer’.


Take A Look

Club thumpers with female vocalists featuring on them usually make me sigh. “A sample of a good song with an annoying Eurodance beat, terrible lyrics about putting your hands up, probably a guest rapper who’s bit is so phoned-in its literally recorded off the answering machine and vocals more processed than cheap hot dogs” I whine to anyone who wants to (or realistic, doesn’t) listen. But then, like a superhero, comes Norwegian Popstar Annie (as I have to call her, because people think I’m on about the musical ¬¬) to rescue me. Teaming up with fellow Norway folk Ralph Myerz, they have created something so wonderful that I think Scandinavians should be put in charge of Earth.  The production is an icy disco throb for the verses, coupled with Annie’s mysterious, sexy voice floating on top before it all lifts off for a euphoric chorus. She cheekily teases “take off your clothes, now come and have a swim with me” and later even thrown in a reference to a song she co-wrote ‘Left My Heart In Tokyo’ performed by the gone-but-never-forgotten Mini Viva. Excellent stuff.

There’s nothing different or quirky about the structure, genre or anything really. It’s a straightforward dance-pop song. The quirkiness is left to Annie’s solo comeback single ‘Tubestops & Lonely Hearts’ which is pretty darn good, but I can’t help but think of the low-budget awkward video whenever I hear it. Sadly you cannot take a look (pun!) at the music video for this song, because its not out yet. Annie promised on Facebook it would be out in June but I cannot wait until then to do this countdown. I’m hoping its epic, obviously but for me, ‘Take a Look at the World’ is so good the video could be someone chopping their toenails and it wouldn’t detract.

Though in all seriousness Annie, please don’t ever make that into a video.

Well, that’s my top 5 of the year so far. If you would like to enquire as to who these artists are and which other songs of their you should check out, or why ‘Scream & Shout’ wasn’t featured then please leave me a comment or get in touch.

The Apprentice Series 9 Episode 4 Review

Apprentice 2013 week 4

After being two days late in writing my review last week, I promised to not be late on this one. So here I am, refusing an offer to go to the pub, writing this as I’m watching the fourth episode of the ninth season of The Apprentice.

5:20am and… half the candidates look already dressed before they get the phone call. 5:20?!? That’s like the middle of the night! The only time I ever dressed at that time is when I just get in from a night out, kebab in hand. And those bits are blurry.

The contestants are summoned to the farm and Lord Sugar tries to build up suspense about the task. It’s a farm shop, duh.

The teams are mixed gender so at least one of the girls will be on the winning team, for once. Rebecca the Hilary Devey lookalike wants to be project manager but gets shot down by Luisa. Sparks are going to fly.

Neil Clough (the one who refers to himself in third person a lot) is in charge of the other team. Alex suggest cheese on toast but gets some dirty looks from his teammates. But now I want cheese on toast. Dracula has powers of hypnotism. That or cheese on toast is just that good. Once again, another brilliant idea thrown out the window. Bacon flavoured beer, I will never forget.

Sadly Alex doesn’t have the power of calculations. And can’t keep up with a cow. After last week’s win he’s back to being the clown.

My housemate just came down and I got distracted, but the Apprentice Twitter tweeted (as you do) that someone confused a cow for a horse. And then a dog. I’m glad I didn’t see that. My faith in humanity has been shaken a fair bit today as is.

Kurt, whose business is about fruit drinks is all focusing on milkshakes. Karren isn’t convinced, maybe he should tell her that it is certain to bring boys to the yard.

There’s an eggs in one basket joke. Sigh. I am allowed to make bad puns because KEYBOARD WARRIOR!!

Neil is not happy at the end of day one, but I bet its just the editing. His team will probably win. Or not. As I said before, I really don’t know who will win or lose. Unlike X Factor, its not totally predictable after all these years. Fairplay.

Day 2 and Luisa has called her shop Buffalocal and cleverly put Nadine Coyle  in charge of charming the customers. She’s also put Rebecca on onion cutting duties. Because she loves to make her cry.

The other team have called their shop… ‘Fruity Cow’ I’m not even. But their milkshakes are bringing people to the yard. Karren makes a joke about orders thick and fast. Leave them to me please, K babe.

At this point I’d like to point out something mentioned by @islandniles on Twitter: the Android logo is featured SO MANY times per episode. And yet they have to refer to Argos as “the big catalogue shop”. Food for thought there.

Jason makes the kind of comment that is going to bite him, stating ‘he’s happy to be in the back doing all the hard labour’. Grating cheese. Hmmmmmm. Then again I love cheese. Did I mention that? Cheese.

Neil and Myles both bitch to the camera about how useless Jason and Uzma are, whilst Jason and Uzma both gush about how amazing they think they’re doing. Alex is doing a pretty good attempt at sales outside, bellowing in his dulcet tones. I want to know if he’s related to the fruit stall man who stands at the top of Cardiff Queen Street every single day.

Oh, and Lord Sugar tweeted this…

AppEp4 Tweet 1

And then makes many, many cowboy jokes in the boardroom. And then to balance out the product placement, makes a joke about Apple and Blackberry milkshakes tasting like smartphone. Or something. I sighed loudly as soon as he started that sentence.

Neil’s team made an alright profit of £500 and once again the team I thought would lose made a profit of £91 more. Kurt looks dismayed, I think he is going to sue Kelis because of lack of boys in his yard.

Luisa doesn’t seem to take winning very well, refusing to hug outside the boardroom and storming away. The four course meal and alcohol cheers her up. No amount of sugar in Kurt’s tea can cheer him up.

There is a brilliant boardroom moment where every candidate tries to get everyone else to be quiet and ends up making everyone else talk louder and then Alex pipes up and everyone zips their lips. He made me laugh at everyone else, not himself. Fairplay.


Neil brings Kurt and Uzma back to the boardroom, and for her, its a losing battle. She tries to say she is an easy target because Lord Splenda said last week he has his eye on her. I think it’s because she’s done naff all personally. She’s going to go.

But now he’s ripping into Kurt, unfairly in my high opinion. Maybe he’s going to go.


Oh, Uzma’s gone. Phew, I was on tenterhooks.

Next week… everyone’s off to Dubai. Interesting.

But for now, off to the pub!

Musings on Microsoft’s XBOX ONE Reveal

I’ve left this post a day because 1) There could have been announcements/reveals after the live event (and there were), 2) I’d have time to process my thoughts and 2) I had a horrendous migraine.  But I’m better now and I’m ready to jot down my (admittedly, still muddled) thoughts on…


and how it compares to the PS4.

Looks wise, its big and bulky and I’m not surprised. I’ve never liked the look of Microsoft’s consoles (The 360 Slim is OK) so at least they’re keeping consistency. This one reminds me of the BOSE CD tower stacks they always used to advertise on the back of the TV papers in the early noughties. Modern.

I’ve never understood why people adore Xbox controllers. Maybe I just find the Dualshock’s symmetry to be the perfect design – analog  sticks should be next to each other, end of.

The much maligned Kinect is going to be a major part of this console and I’m open in thinking they could make it work well. If the navigation is smooth then it could be a real clever selling point. Then again, I remember how much of  a big thing Siri was for the iPhone, and people I know (me included) rarely use it.

The new Xbox is hopefully going to replace that TiVo or Sky+ under your TV. At least Microsoft hopes. Again, this doesn’t sound too bad. I’m not adverse to having a few things under my TV but if integrated properly with multitasking watching/recording TV with downloading games or whatever then the Xbox One could be the All-in-One device that MS want it to be. Oh, but it runs on something that looks very similar to Windows 8….

I’ve got a bad feeling about this…

The Xbox One also comes with Skype functionality, which actually sounds pretty cool, if not for me. One of the things Xbox fan tell me they love the most is cross-game chat and this sounds like the perfect next step. Personally I’m more of a solo player and when I’m playing a game I like to focus on it and not be distracted by talking to other people. Unless its something mindless like Dynasty Warriors where I have been to known to talk to people on loudspeaker on my phone or Skype on my laptop. But no, can’t really fault this. Its not groundbreaking but its a solid addition.

But now, onto the bad stuff…

  • Its still unclear about the ‘always on’ connection debacle.  This is something Microsoft needs to outline exactly, and soon. Apparently you can watch films and play single player games without being connected to the internet but you need to connect at least once every 24 hours… what?!?
  • Discs are only there to install games to hard drives. The Xbox One comes with a 500GB hard drive (I’m sure there will be more models available with different sizes), a ‘significant portion’ of this is taken up by the operating system. Current gen games take up around and above 5GB of HDD space, with PS3 games like Ni No Kuni and Uncharted require around/over 40 to be downloaded and installed. How many next gen games will you be able to have on your hard drive alongside recorded TV shows before you need an upgrade? Hmmm.
  • The big issue is about pre-owned games. If you take your disc to a friends house you can install the game on their system and play on your account fine (I’m guessing with cloud storage you can pick up your save where you left off at yours, which is cool). But if they want to borrow the game, they have to pay who-knows-how-much-yet to activate usage of it with their account. Even if the cost is as low as a fiver or a tenner, its still a bit of a bummer. This applies to pre-owned games too, its likely when you buy a pre-owned game you’ll need to be connected first time you boot it up so the service can checked if its pre-owned and then charge you if necessary. Paying more to use something you’ve paid for? People aren’t happy about this. Current gen systems like Network Passes are bad enough. This may not be a huge problem in the UK as the price of new games often comes down to about half the original price within a few months anyway, but pre-owned bargain hunting is one of my favourite things about buying games.
  • Whilst your account and gamerscore moves over, your games won’t. Like the PS4, this is due to different computer architecture and is a shame, but understandable. Sony offered a glimmer of hope saying emulation may be available through Cloud streaming, but we’ll see.

This brings us nicely to the selling point of all games consoles: the games. I had an argument with my housemate this morning about the whole reveal and next generation. He is pretty cynical about the whole thing, talking about advertising and features and whatnot and my response was, it all boils down to the games. This current generation has had its misfires, sure but there have been some of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had over the last few years. Uncharted, Heavy Rain, Mass Effect, Skyrim, Journey, Metal Gear Solid 4, LittleBigPlanet: all pushing the boundaries of storytelling, gameplay and what games can really do. The reason I’m a massive Sony fan is because they invest time and money into the keyword: exclusives. Experiences I can’t get on any other console and are unique, artistic, different. Sony’s mission statement for the PS4 was that it was a games machine first and foremost. Whilst the titles they showed looked good, they were still your FPS shooter, cartoony platformer, gritty adventure game etc. I’m hoping at E3 they’ll show us something more left-field and characteristic of Sony’s diverse exclusives range.

Microsoft have positioned their machine is an all around entertainment device, which is , funnily enough, what Sony did with the PS3. They apparently have 15 exclusives for the console, 8 of which are new IPs and potential franchises. We got shown one, alongside a new Forza and an already announced Call of Duty. Both companies haven’t played all their cards yet, and that is understandable, but Microsoft haven’t answered the burning questions everyone wants to know. First impressions are important, and whilst we haven’t got the whole picture from Sony or Microsoft about their new consoles yet, the former has left a much better taste in my mouth by focusing on what gamers love: games.

Amazing New Song Alert! ‘Racer’ by Giorgio Moroder

Giorgio Moroder is a pretty big deal. He is practically the godfather of synthesized music, producing Donna Summer’s classic ‘I Feel Love’ all the way back in ’77 (the year of A New Hope. What a great year!) and kickstarted the use of of all electronic instruments in everyone’s favourite genre – disco. Modern music owes so much to disco, and Moroder – techno, house and the current Eurodance EDM craze all have these 70s influences all over them. You could even say ‘dance music’ is just a way of repackaging disco after America decided to wipe it from its history, along with racism and the fact the country was built off immigration.

I’m digressing (into possible controversy), the point is that this genius is making something of a comeback. He features on the new Daft Punk album – apparently the most pre-ordered in UK history, in a song called ‘Giorgio by Moroder’ which is a monologue set to his life set to amazing music. I assume, although the whole thing is streaming legally online I’m saving myself until its out properly. But this is more than keeping me entertained.

The song is called ‘Racer’, for a Google Chrome game of the same name. It’s a free download if you have a Google account and some music app software I deleted right away after download. Its a full on electronic assault affair, building on a funky beat with sparse, possibly French vocals, occasionally dropping to a twinkly piano melody before coming back up for you to game – or dance to.

There’s not really much else to say about it; its simple but layered and progressive, totally throwaway but utterly addictive. Give it a spin.

(Get it, spin like a record, but also like wheels on a car – coz its a racing game. Oh I give up)

The Apprentice Series Nine Episode 3 ‘Review’

Apprentice 2013 week 3

To all my many readers, I must say sorry for the lateness in this review. Whilst this episode aired on Wednesday I was down t’pub wishing my pint was bacon flavoured (you REALLY missed a trick, boys team) and then came home and watched a BBC Three documentary on Eurovision.

Yeah, I know…

I couldn’t stop watching, despite bringing back long repressed memories

The killer clown!

Yesterday I didn’t watch because I was finishing off my last EVER Uni assignment (break out the small violins) and then powering through Uncharted 2 on the hardest mode because I’m that cool.


But yes, this is me watching The Apprentice in my dark dark living room. As one person said during this episode ‘students aren’t going to have £75’ and this is true. I can’t even afford to feed the hamster that runs on its wheel to give my house power (the TV is running on my tears).

So, I found this episode a bit boring to be honest. The editing made it look like the girls were flying but the boys slaughtered them. Sadly for me this rug-pulling was spoiled by the evil internet and that’s why I will endeavour to watch the rest of the series ‘live’.

I thought both products were a bit rubbish, maybe I’m just gutted the vampiric Alex didn’t make a flat pack coffin (imagine seeing one of those in Ikea with a silly Swedish name). But his… thingy got tons of sales and heaps of Praise from Archbishop Sugar.

He did provide the comedy gold moment of this episode, whilst also being even more disturbing than the video I linked to above. When pitching to Argos everyone’s favourite underdog this series showed us his underside. It was grim. But brilliant. I laughed out loud, but felt really bad about it afterwards.


Skipping ahead, Lord Splenda listened to the sound of two harpies fighting each other to the death and decided to fire the quiet one. I feel really bad for… what’s her name again? She didn’t get a chance to get herself noticed because all the big characters went off on one, forcing their shoddy ideas to be put through. This team can’t work in harmony and rather than getting rid of the problem, Siralun decided to… oh who am I kidding their shrieking made for great TV. It was like Xena fighting Bianca from Eastenders.

Bring. It.

Moving onto a point sort of Apprentice related. I’m officially done with University and headed into the terrifying yet exciting world of…. real life. And it all starts with the daunting process of job hunting, rejection, telephone interviews and questionnaires. Can I just go on a reality show, pretend I know what I’m doing, make lots of puns and shout at people so Emperor Palpashugs can make me rich?

Next week on the Apprentice: a farm task. Anyone who makes a single Welsh/sheep joke will be fired. From a cannon.

The Saturdays ‘Gentleman’ Review

So yes, The Saturdays. They started off being put together by Girls Aloud‘s record label, supporting GA on the Tangled Up Tour 2008. They released their first album Chasing Lights whilst the Aloud were at their peak. Then, the Almighty Aloud went on a year hiatus that lasted three. During that hiatus, The Sats could’ve become huge. But they just sort of… meandered around, fussing about with removing an ‘underperforming’ album off iTunes then releasing an overpriced EP with songs from that deleted album on it. They brushed close to the top spot on the singles charts a few times, coming VERY close by collaborating with Xenomania, the masterminds behind the Aloud only to follow it up with an album that truly underperformed. Then, on the week Queen Nudheen Coyle and company announced their heartbreaking split, the Two From S Club Juniors and company FINALLY hit #1 with ‘What About Us’, a terrible auto tuned mess with fake Rihanna style accents and… Sean Paul.

What I’m trying to say is, The Saturdays have always been entwined with Girls Aloud. They were clearly put together to keep us going during those cold, cold years of enduring Cheryl Cole’s solo career. And as I said above, they did OK. But now, we are entering the POST-ALOUD years of pop. Following that #1, is it time for The Saturdays to flourish?

Hmmmmmm, probably not. Their reality show Chasing The Saturdays didn’t make huge waves in here or America. Manufactured bands don’t always last that long – JLS have called it quits after five years. Una has already had a baby and now Rochelle and Frankie (the ones who were in S Club Juniors) are expecting as well. So the group’s upcoming album The Chase may prove to be their swansong.

So, following a poor lead single, can ‘Gentleman’ raise expectations?

Basically, yes. Before I get to the inevitable Aloud comparisons, which in this song are more apparent than normal, there is another comparison to make. To this:

Thankfully the songs sound nothing alike. The girls have ditched the electronic club trend for something more proper left-field. Ie: rapping. Little Mix and Stooshe are both bringing back the 90’s R&B girlband sound, and this does sound a bit like the latter’s debut ‘Love Me’ but what I find it has most in common with is GA’s Tangled Up album track ‘Control of the Knife’. There’s a cool, speedy reggae-pop beat during the verses and lots of white girl attitude where men are put in their place.

The lyrics too, play with innuendo in the way the Aloud used to (its still hard typing about the Aloud in past-tense) especially during the chorus: “Cause most dudes just hit it and quit it/And then they wonder why most girls just spit it”. Naughty, if not Super Naughty (‘All Fired Up’ reference). And whilst I don’t agree with their choices of men in the breakdown, I’m going to have fun trying to memorise that bit.

So in short, its zippy, catchy, full of attitude, a little bit left field and the best thing I think The Saturdays have done for a LONG time. I’ve complained the bands songs have been too generic and trend-chasing but this could be a turnaround. So far the hit/miss ratio of singles for this album is 50/50, so if half of The Chase is as good as this, that half will be happily on rotation on my iPod playlist.

The Apprentice Series 9 Episode 2 Review

Apprentice 2013 week 2

So the second episode of the new series of The Apprentice has JUST finished as I start to type this, so it’s time to jointly watch You’re Fired and assemble my bullet points into something resembling a review.

Today’s episode starts on a high because…



And it gets better, tonight’s episode involves alcohol. I don’t think I’ve ever been as psyched for an episode of the Apprentice ever. Imagine the ‘LOLZ’ (modern term) as the candidates get all merry from tasting the product they have to make, or have a cheeky pint whilst working ‘because of the stress’ and start firing off incoherent insults at each other and throwing up on SirAlun in the boardroom.

OK, that’s never going to happen but tonight’s is a bit of a gem. In the bank that is now a pub (sounds like my kind of bank) SirLordAlunSugar puts Tim in charge of the girls team after his little outburst at the end of the last episode. I’m assuming he chose Tim because as much of a wally as he looked, at least he knew the poor wally’s name. “Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Britain” he tells them (or close enough to, I quickly jotted this one down as I was forgetting it) and sets them off on a task to make and sell it. I’m a little surprised by this fact, £1 Jagerbombs are pretty popular amongst the kids nowadays, not that I’d know…

Anyway… onto the bit where the contestants, desperate to prove their creative GENIUS, offer ideas for what flavour beers to make.

First suggestion: nettles flavour.

Nettles flavour.


Like, stingy stuff. Or worse…



But, joking aside, one of the boys comes up with an idea that is actually genuinely actually the best idea anyone has ever had on The Apprentice if not ever, except for maybe the internet and pre-grated cheese in a plastic bag. Ready?

Bacon Flavoured Beer.

This actually sounds incredible, I genuinely was eating a packet of Smoky Bacon Crisps whilst watching this episode and thinking that in the pub, I often have the taste of ye olde ale and bits of streaky walkers mixed in my mouth (such a LAD). Combining the two would be the most ultimate manly thing in the world, apart from my iTunes playlist (end sarcasm here).

But in the end they go for Chocolate and Orange. But not Chocolate Orange flavour, because Terry’s and this woman would have a few issues with that…

The girls led by Tim go for an odd choice of Rhubarb and caramel. It doesn’t fill me with me confidence but they enthusiastically tell Karren about their choice, who just shrugs. Like the legend that she is.

As Lord Siralun pointed out on up and coming social media site ‘Twitter’

AppEp2 Tweet 1


Although I stuck up for Alex yesterday, I have to notice that he did look quite Dracula-y running around the lab with a vial. He did rightly calling Jason a ‘stupid s**t’ and ‘dozey pleb’ so swings and roundabouts.

The teams name their beers Rhubarb & Riches, for the rhubarb one, and A Bitter This for the other. One of these is genius. And I have to disagree with Lord Shugs, puns win me over everytime. I mean… PantsMan!

So after the first day, despite the boys not being able to drink or not fans of drinking they still crack on OK for day one. Tim’s team… well by the end of the first day they’ve wasted a few kegs which amounts to £100 due to poor ratios. As Primarch Alan points out:

AppEp2 Tweet 2

Though to be honest he admitted he was watching The Apprentice and the football at the same time, so goodness knows who he’s on about.

Onto Day Two and things get worse for Tim’s Team (which sounds like a dodgy spinoff of Time Team). They go to a ‘beerfest’ which turns out to be a gathering in a pub. Seriously, I’ve had more people at house parties, but then again my playlist did include the Cha-Cha Slide. The boys sell their pint in a more busy location for £4 a pop, which doesn’t seem that bad to me considering a lot of pubs I go to charge something stupid like £3.09. Sometimes I think they might as well just round up to the nearest pound. Nick doesn’t agree and does some frowning. I’m a bit disappointed by any killer one liners by Mr. Hewer. Karren has a good go, observing ‘there are lots of people at this wine bar. Drinking wine…’ Can you imagine the gold these two could’ve come out with if they were drinking on the job? Seriously, if they do this task again the producers should definitely consider it – there’s so much potential here!

As time goes on the boys team start making a few blunders. They go to see a specialist and don’t bring anything for them to try. Maybe the boys have been drinking after all! The specialist shoots them down and there is a wonderfully silent tracking shot of them walking down the street. Alex/Dracula doesn’t look best pleased at all. Or maybe it’s the sunlight. The other half of the team move base to the South Bank, wasting over an hour in transit and leaving them with only two hours to sell 300 (pints, not the film). You know what would sell, boys?


Look At The Bacon

Crispety crunch.

Meanwhile, Tim’s Team don’t really deserve me commenting on their performance because it might bring me to despair. One good thing I will say though is that Leah brings her Nadine’s Irish Mist skills to the table and makes me love her a little bit more.

To the boardroom now! Emperor Sugar (I’m running out of these fast) starts off with: ““Alex, sit up properly… something wrong? You got a backache or something?” which I find a bit rude. Sleeping in a coffin is probably quite painful you know.

I really should stop with these clichés actually, because I’m about to berate SirAlun, who told us in the last episode how much he HATES them, for calling non-drinker Zee “dryer than a cream cracker in the Sahara desert” and ends the boys arguing by saying “Time gentlemen, please”.  At least he redeems himself with the excellent putdown of “Are you from the office of fair trading?”.

Of course, Our Lord doesn’t just make witty one-liners on the show, no no. He tweets new ones as well, as you’ve seen above. They don’t always have proper spelling or grammar but I can imagine that he’s just thought of something so excellent he just can’t wait to get it out. Or he’s tweeting from an Amstrad brand iPad. The Amspad? I’ve got nothing.

AppEp2 Tweet 3

‘The ladies seem to like Tim’ he tweets with irony. Except that their team fails under his leadership, and they blame him for it. They don’t seem to like each other much either. Lord Sugar calls all the girls ‘dumb’ and they are sitting there with ‘dumb’ expressions on their faces. They do look a bit like rabbits in headlights, or like they are at an audition for a manufactured girlband (and we could really do with some more actually, Girls Aloud split, The Saturdays all getting pregnant, Stooshe delaying their album, Little Mix messing up their latest single release).

As I said, the girls lose so therefore the boys win and get to jet off to Belgium. Thinking about it, there are some really good treats for the winners. I may enter this show just to get the chance for these all-expenses paid nice things and the chance to meet Dara when I get booted off the show. I have a chance, I can come up with terrible metaphors (as evidenced, well, everywhere) and have no business sense. I’d fit right in.

In the boardroom Tim, Rebecca and Francesca all get a major tongue lashing from Lord GaGa. And this is why I continue to watch The Apprentice. As reality shows go on, they get predictable to the point you know exactly what is coming up and nothing surprises you. But of the final three contestants, I rarely know what will happen. I thought Rebecca looked likely to go, despite apparently being the best seller, better than everyone else on either team COMBINED. But she was demolished for being difficult in other areas, whereas Francesca who should’ve gone had less of a verbal throttling. In the end it was Tim who went, which is shame because he was bouncy and fun – even comparing himself to Tigger in unshown footage from You’re Fired. Dara even gave him a Tigger onesie.

The biggest shame is that of all the contestants who went, it was one whose name I didn’t have to look up whilst writing this.


The Wanted ‘Walks Like Rihanna’ Music Video Review


The clip for the new music video by boyband The Wanted is up online. Here are my thoughts…

In short, I like it. Its got that cheeky playfulness that has made me warm to One Direction in their two most recent music videos. If we are going to compare, I have usually preferred The Wanted‘s music, they do great lead singles but their slowies and album tracks aren’t up to standard. By the title alone you’d think this song would be in the same mould as Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Moves Like Jagger‘ but lyrically it has more in common with the Robbie Williams/Pet Shop Boys collab ‘She’s Madonna‘ (go check that one out, Robbie bears a surprising resemblance to Jessie J circa 2011). The chorus is catchy enough and there’s a few ‘boom booms’ and ‘oooh ooooooohs’ but it kind of plods along in my opinion. I think this is definitely their weakest lead single yet, but the music video makes up for it.

The lads parody other boy bands, with my favourite being the Take ThatBack For Good‘ (Take THAT Take That!) spoof with water bottles standing in for rain. Jay even chucks in a little ‘Gangnam Style’ in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. Its nice to see Nathan looking well, obviously he’s been through a lot since then. I can imagine all their fans are hoping he recovers quickly.

So yes, The Wanted ‘Walks Like Rihanna’ : the song is OK, and the video is a lot better than Annie‘s ‘Tubestops & Lonely Hearts‘ (what isn’t? Seriously Annie, I cherish you and all but what were you THINKING?!?).

The Apprentice Is Back!


I always get excited when a new series of The Apprentice starts on BBC One.

I mean, weeks upon weeks of catfights, egos, genuine tension in the boardroom, Lord Sugar’s putdowns, Karren looking bewildered at stupid decisions and Nick Hewer’s facial expressions.

But most of all, the thing I get excited about is THAT music!

So, as the first TV show I want to review/write about on this sparkly new blog, I thought this was the most apt an-


Where’s the theme music?


 OK, well despite the lack of ‘Most Grandiose Yet Spine-Tingling Television Introduction Theme Ever’ this new series started off well, with the amazingly stupidest, stupidly amazingest (amupidest? – add it to the Anderictionary) boasts right off the bat.

One -I don’t know names yet, I never do until week 5- happily claims to EVERYONE WATCHING they will cheat and manipulate to win, lucky for them its not a public vote. There’s more gems “I am one of the greats of this generation… (something about Napoleon) I will conquer!”, “Energy of a Duracell Rabbit and the sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit”. Blimey.

My favourite has to be the woman who claimed to be ‘half machine’ and can process things at the speed of light.


Where’s Jedi Jim when you need him?

 This was Jaz, unlike many first week losers I think she’ll be remembered for actually doing jazz hands and according to Twitter looks a lot like Mel B. When it came to being Project Manager (which you should NEVER do on week 1, let alone throw yourself forward to do it) she could have done with a bit of scary. No one took her seriously and she didn’t have a great business plan. Her sub team did better, led by Leah – whose name I remember because she is Irish and as Nadine Coyle proves, the Irish do everything better.



A lot of the episode was a bit standard: sales blunders, running around like headless chickens and slick editing to make it look pretty close between the two teams. And it actually was, Sir Alun (as he will forever be known) and co. revealed the difference was only £58 in the boardroom.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, because before the boardroom…


Finally one of life’s greatest mysteries is getting closer to being solved. At first I thought the legendary Apprentice Secretary was a mannequin or elaborate BBC prop, or even controversial Series Three contestant Katie Hopkins actually having a job for Lord Sugar (Sir Alun) giving the already nervous contestants evil glares.

But now, to the boardroom!

Its a bit too early in the series to know everyone’s names, and also too early for the really venomous comments to come out but we had some great moments, the two that stick out for me most are:

  • Jaz trying to knock down Sophie (I’ve resorted to checking the website for names, if I’m going to write about the show I think its best to learn them sooner or later, although I shall try not to get too attached because they are all going to drop like flies) by pointing out the latter made no sales. LordAlun quickly responded with the fact Jazz sold absolutely zero as well. And then fired her. 
  • After the boys won, Tim went on some odd tangent about how he’s learned from his mistakes and will do better next time, prompting Alan of Amstrad to issue a priceless “you won…. you won… shut up.” In his defence it got him noticed, I hadn’t even noticed him speak all episode. All publicity is good publicity.

The standout star of the episode had to be Welsh man Alex.

But not in a good way.

Most of the Twittersphere, one of his fellow contestants and everyone on You’re Fired compared to him – not Freddie Mercury, sorry boyo – but Dracula. I’ve seen a few comparison pictures and Dara did show us a great mockup which I was going to post here BUT I stumbled across this:


Put. DOWN.

I’m guessing he’s not going to be the winner this series.

But seriously though.

I mean, how can you be nasty about this face?


Bless his cotton socks. Maybe I just like the underdog, or its because he’s a fellow Welshman. Saying that though, so far – my money’s on Nadin- Leah.

Thanks for reading my first television review/blog post, I hope it was mildly amusing. I’m sure these will get better, I’ve just kind of knocked it out instead of going to bed. If you have read this and would like to give me a few pointers on what works or what didn’t (or are looking for a weekly Apprentice reviewer…) then feel free to get in touch. 

Backdated Post: My Thoughts On The Girls Aloud Split

One of the first things I’d like people to know about me is that I absolutely ADORE pop music, I could happily be paid to write about it every single day (hint hint). My longest and most emotionally invested blog post was from the 20th March, after Girls Aloud announced their split on Twitter. I’m very proud of it so here it is, on here.


Ok, so it was pretty much inevitable. Even though I would have loved them to do a Take That and do a group album one year and solo endeavours the next, I get it. They bowed out on a high, following a tour full of nostalgia and the biggest songs that defined them and a generation of music. Would they have success if they carried on? Something New dropped like a stone, TEN barely made it inside the top ten and Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me was a mess. Their solo projects are just that, and no amount of generic solo Cheryl tunes, nice but boring Kimberley covers, Sarah being in Danny Dyer films, Nadine’s gaudy outfits in NY gay bars and Nicola’s music being amazing yet written off by the public because she is ‘ugly’, ‘the ginger one’ -and thereby somehow lacking talent- can tarnish their group legacy together. But if they carried on and released the kind of music the Saturdays, Amelia Lily (what ARE you thinking Xenomania?!?) and all these American artists put out, it would dilute their musical output.

And what fantasical musical output it was. I get people have opinions but it really annoys me when people write Girls Aloud off as just another girl group. Yes, ‘Jump’ and ‘Love Machine’ are incredibly cheesy and camp but there is so much to them than that. ‘Sound of the Underground’ and ‘No Good Advice’ are edgy, combining disco, surf guitar and drum and bass together, but unlike many artists, their debut was in no way their peak. ‘The Promise’, ‘Call the Shots’, ‘The Loving Kind’ (co-written by The Pet Shop Boys, surely a sign of their amazingess) are incredibly sophisticated; a word not commonly associated with pop.

And then there are singles like ‘Sexy! No No No…’ and ‘Biology’ which are actually genius. Listen to them, and think about them. They don’t just follow the standard ‘verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle 8, chorus, end’. ‘Biology’ doesn’t even give us a chorus until the last minute, and all the little ‘bits’ of it are so different, just jumping from one genre to another. Go list to ‘Graffiti My Soul’ and tell me what the chorus is. There’s about 3. ‘Miss You Bow Wow’ is basically four minutes of continuous choruses. I’m not trying to say all this stuff in a ‘my music taste is better than yours’ way, I’m trying to express my genuine adoration for these songs. I find as I listen to music now I’m older and more versed in these things, I can tell how most songs progress from the first thirty seconds.

Listening to many of these wonderful Xenomania productions (and don’t get me wrong, without them I doubt GA would’ve lasted past album two), there is a genuine feeling of ‘what’s next?’ and pure thrill of when rollercoaster songs like ‘Swinging London Town’ go in a COMPLETELY strange direction.All the time, throwing earworm hooks one after another. Credit to Brian Higgins, Miranda Cooper and co. The oddball lyrics and detailed production are just so… clever. I’m not the biggest fan of R&B because I don’t find there’s music ‘there’ in the songs, I like mine to be full of ‘stuff’, for lack of a better term.

And then there’s ‘Untouchable’, ie: my favourite song of all time (album version of course). This song is basically Star Wars in song form. It’s epic (6:40 album version, although Justin Timberlake had decided to make every song on his new album that length or more) and creates this wonderful, spacey atmosphere, especially on the Instrumental version. The opening forty seconds create this feeling of hugeness, the vastest open space imaginable, then Nicola’s gorgeous voice comes in with fantastical lines about flying through the flames. These squiggly electronic sounds sneak up on building to this chorus that takes off, the girls singing ‘and in my dreams, it feels like we are forty stories tall’. This little twangy guitar bit comes in after each chorus, and it’s not much – but its symbolic of those little things in these songs that all add up. Although its pretty conventional in structure, the third chorus is followed up by a beautiful middle eight by Nadine “Whenever you’re gone gone, they wait at the door, everything’s hurting like before. Without any meaning, we’re just skin and bone, like beautiful robots dancing alone”. It doesn’t make complete sense (many of their songs lyrically don’t, but that’s the fun). Who is waiting at the door? Beautiful robots, dancing alone – what?!? I find some existential meaning in these lyrics, and its lines like this and “Late at night, I dream I’m falling into love again. Twenty five electric angels are dancing in the rain” from the sublime b-side ‘Memory of You’ endlessly poignant. And these are songs that would sound great in the club, but contain no references to being ‘in the club’. I’d love to be dancing in a dark room, with crazy flashing lights with tons of people having an amazing time, experiencing happiness and sadness at once – living life whilst singing about being skin and bone.

Going back to a point I mentioned earlier. Girls Aloud are what really got me into MUSIC. As in, going online, talking to like minded people about my interests, seeking out demos, b-sides, remixes and other rarities. Being recommended artists that I now hold incredibly deeply to my heart. I’ve got meet lovely people, online and in person, as passionate about pop music as I am, when before people just blindly listened (I know you don’t need eyes to listen, you know what I mean) to what was on the radio; accepting whatever Radio 1, adverts, X Factor and the musical channels threw at them. I learnt how to forge my own musical ‘identity’ I guess. Researching Xenomania, I became fascinated in the process of writing and producing music, the things that go behind the scenes and this web of people all working with each other. Richard X, William Orbit, Stuart Price, all the way back to Giorgio Moroder. I appreciate music much more than I did before. It used to just be just ‘there’, but now I consume it: songs old and new as if its food and I need more to survive.

I feel I could go on forever, but I’m going to wrap this up soon. I really got into ‘The Aloud’ (for it is they!) after the Out Of Control Tour had basically sold out and I couldn’t find the money, or people to go (damn you not coming to Cardiff). So whilst I am absolutely gutted its over, I have had the fulfillment of finally seeing them live on this latest tour. Thank you for giving me the opportunity, and one of the best nights of my life. Seriously, the amount of acknowledging my existence they all did was so worth the wait. And Nadine singing the entire middle eight of ‘I’ll Stand By You’ directly to me, her perfectly manicured hands trying to grab my extended arms after reading my ‘Queen Nuhdeen, yew are Unsayshuhbuhl’ t-shirt will never be forgotten.

As half-hearted as this reunion/farewell few months has seemed at times (and the announcement being on Twitter of all places, don’t even get me started!), it has been great to see that am I not alone in how passionately I care about Girls Aloud. Life, and music, goes on and I’m sure I will discover some absolutely wonderful artists who I will adore a dearly as I do Queen, Pet Shop Boys, Lily Allen, Kylie (god my music taste is gay) but I highly doubt that for the rest of my lifetime, I will never cherish any musical act as much I do The Almighty GIRLS ALOUD.