My Article Appears In This Month’s Irish Vintage Scene Magazine!

I went to cover the IVVMCC Leopardstown Motorcycle Show & Autojumble in October last year and this month my article appeared in the Irish Vintage Scene Magazine on page 61 about the event. With words by me and photos by both me and John Garrett, you can read all about it in this month’s issue.

Very exciting, it was to see it in print. Very pleased. :-)

For more info on the new issue go to:

http://www.irishvintagescene.ie/

Bobby Beale Revealed As Lucy Beale’s Killer In Eastenders!

Last night was the big reveal in Eastenders of Lucy Beale’s killer!

And it was 11-year-old Bobby Beale, Lucy’s brother. Viewers watched as he rang his stepmother, Jane Beale after he had killed Lucy and she arrived from two doors down where she was living at the time with Masood to find Lucy’s lifeless body on the floor and Bobby clutching the weapon of the music box.

“Whatever she says, she started it. She made everyone unhappy.”, Bobby told Jane.

The first of two episodes on their 30th anniversary ended with Jane Beale possibly been the killer when Ian Beale confronted her and told her to “tell me exactly what happened” that night causing many websites which rushed to reveal she was the killer but Culture Vulture waited, thank god. However in the flashback episode after, it showed that Jane had found her stepdaughter’s body and Bobby had killed her.

I thought it was a good ending and well-written but there is some loopholes that need to be ironed out like Emma saying to Max, “You knew.” How would he know? The text in the square could have been to the accomplice Jane so that bit kind of works. The park/phonecall situation was sorted tonight as it was Jane who went along to meet her so Emma must have originally thought it was Jane so I’m hopeful the other bits and pieces will be ironed out too. Also on the plus side though, kudos to the writers for going unpredictable and also how amazing were Eliot Carrington as Bobby and Laurie Brett as Jane Beale in the final live scene on Thursday and all the Beales tonight?! Amazing!

OutCry Start The Year With Gigs In London And Sheffield!

OutCry began the year with a bang playing two gigs – one in London and one in Sheffield. The first was The Alleycat on Denmark Street in London on the 9th of January while the second was on the 31st of January at Corporation in Sheffield.

At the end of 2014 the band posted on their Twitter page:

Some Tweets About The Gigs

Sheffield

London

Sam Smith Clears Up At The Grammys While Boyhood Scoops Top Award At The Baftas!

It’s been a whirlwind of awards ceremonies recently with some of music’s finest turning up for the Grammys in America and some of the acting greats turning up at the Baftas in England. The talent, the performances, the style … it’s been another glittering year for these two prestigious ceremonies. Let’s take a look at the highlights starting with the Grammys.

The Grammys

Sam Smith’s Four Wins And Performance With Mary J Blige

I am so happy for Sam Smith on his four Grammy wins. Sometimes the big winners at some of these ceremonies can be very hyped up acts but this year a true singer came out on top. Winning Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Speaking after winning his final award for Record of the Year, Smith (22) said,

“I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart because you got me four Grammys.”

He later said of the man who inspired the record,

“I’ll be seeing him soon. So I can let him touch the Grammy — once.”

Hozier’s Nomination And Annie Lennox Duet

So proud of our very own Hozier who was nominated for Song Of The Year for Take Me To Church on the night and performed Take Me To Church and I Put a Spell on You with Annie Lennox. Stunning.

AC/DC Open The Show

One of rock’s finest AC/DC opened the show to perfection with tons of energy.

John Legend, Common and Beyoncé Perform

Stunning and emotive performance by John Legend, Common and Beyoncé about the rights of people of colour.

And the style:

Most Stylish Men on The Night

Sam Smith

Hozier

Best Female Style

Charlie XCX

Katy Perry

Full List of Winners

Record of the Year
Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
Steve Fitzmaurice, Rodney Jerkins & Jimmy Napes, producers; Steve Fitzmaurice, Jimmy Napes & Steve Price, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer Label: Capitol Records; Publishers: Sony/ATV Songs LLC obo Naughty Worlds Ltd./Universal-Polygram Int. Tunes, Inc. obo Salli Isaak Songs, Ltd./Universal Polygram Int. Tunes, Inc. obo Method Paperwork

Song of the Year
Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters

Album of the Year
Beck – Morning Phase
Beck Hansen, producer; Tom Elmhirst, David Greenbaum, Florian Lagatta, Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Robbie Nelson, Darrell Thorp, Cassidy Turbin & Joe Visciano, engineers/mixers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

Best New Artist
Sam Smith

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera – “Say Something”

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Cheek To Cheek

Best Pop Solo Performance
Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Best Pop Vocal Album
Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour

Best Rock Performance
Jack White – “Lazaretto”

Best Rock Album
Beck – Morning Phase

Best Rock Song
Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”
Hayley Williams & Taylor York, songwriters

Best Alternative Rock Album
St. Vincent – St. Vincent

Best Metal Performance
Tenacious D – “The Last In Line”

Best Rap Performance
Kendrick Lamar – “I”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Eminem Featuring Rihanna – “The Monster”

Best Rap Song
Kendrick Lamar – “I”
K. Duckworth & C. Smith, songwriters

Best Rap Album
Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP2

Best R&B Performance
Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”

Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Jesus Children”
Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Best R&B Song
Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”
Shawn Carter, Rasool Diaz, Noel Fisher, Jerome Harmon, Beyoncé Knowles, Timothy Mosely, Andre Eric Proctor & Brian Soko, songwriters

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Pharrell Williams – Girl

Best R&B Album
Toni Braxton & Babyface – Love, Marriage & Divorce

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer – Bass & Mandolin

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Aphex Twin – Syro

Best Dance Recording
Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne – “Rather Be”

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
Frozen
Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Tom MacDougall & Chris Montan, compilation producers

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media
“Let It Go” from Frozen
Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, songwriters (Idina Menzel)

Best Country Album
Miranda Lambert – Platinum

Best Country Solo Performance
Carrie Underwood – “Something In The Water”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
The Band Perry – “Gentle On My Mind”

Best Country Song
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You”
Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond, songwriters (Glen Campbell)

Best Bluegrass Album
The Earls Of Leicester – The Earls Of Leicester

Best American Roots Performance
Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best American Roots Song
Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best Americana Album
Rosanne Cash – The River & The Thread

Best Folk Album
Old Crow Medicine Show – Remedy

Best Music Video
Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Best Music Film
20 Feet From Stardom
Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill
Morgan Neville, video director; Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers, video producers
We Are From LA, video director; Kathleen Heffernan, Solal Micenmacher, Jett Steiger, video producers

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Max Martin
“Bang Bang” (Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj)
“Break Free” (Ariana Grande Featuring Zedd)
“Dark Horse” (Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J)
“Problem” (Ariana Grande Featuring Iggy Azalea)
“Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift)
“Unconditionally” (Katy Perry)

Best Instrumental Composition
John Williams – “The Book Thief”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
Pentatonix – “Daft Punk”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals
Billy Childs – “New York Tendaberry”

Best Recording Package
Jeff Ament, Don Pendleton, Joe Spix & Jerome Turner, art directors
Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood & Jack White, art directors
The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27)

Best Album Notes
Ashley Kahn
John Coltrane – Offering: Live At Temple University

Best Historical Album
Colin Escott & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer
Hank Williams – The Garden Spot Programs, 1950

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Beck – Morning Phase
Tom Elmhirst, David Greenbaum, Florian Lagatta, Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Robbie Nelson, Darrell Thorp, Cassidy Turbin & Joe Visciano, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
Tijs Michiel Verwest, remixer
John Legend – “All Of Me (Tiesto’s Birthday Treatment Remix)”

Best Surround Sound Album
Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Elliot Scheiner, surround mix engineer; Bob Ludwig, surround mastering engineer; Beyoncé Knowles, surround producer

Best Regional Roots Music Album
Jo-El Sonnier – The Legacy

Best Reggae Album
Ziggy Marley – Fly Rasta

Best World Music Album
Angelique Kidjo – Eve

Best Children’s Album
Neela Vaswani – I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)

Best Musical Theatre Album
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Jessie Mueller, principal soloist; Jason Howland, Steve Sidwell & Billy Jay Stein, producers (Carole King, composer & lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast)

Best Blues Album
Johnny Winter – Step Back

Best Spoken Word Album
Joan Rivers – Diary Of A Mad Diva

Best Comedy Album
“Weird Al” Yankovic – Mandatory Fun

Best New Age Album
Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman – Winds Of Samsara

Best Improved Jazz Solo
Chick Corea – “Fingerprints”

Best Jazz Vocal Album
Dianne Reeves – Beautiful Life

Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Chick Corea Trio – Trilogy

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band – Life In The Bubble

Best Latin Jazz Album
Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra – The Offense Of The Drum

Presented By: LL Cool J

The Baftas

Boyhood Wins Best Picture

Boyhood collected the Best Picture award on the night and looks set for Oscar glory.

Stephen Fry’s Kiss-athon

The host Stephen Fry had a kiss-athon on the night sharing kisses with Michael Norton, Edward Norton and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Kasabian Open The Show

The wonderful Kasabian opened the show brilliantly.

Jack O’ Connell Wins Rising Star Award

Actor Jack O’ Connell follows in the footsteps of James McAvoy (who presented him with the award) and Ben Whishaw by winning this prestigious award.

Eddie Redmayne And Julianne Moore Win Leading Acting Awards

Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore look set for Oscar glory adding the Bafta to their collections.

And the style:

Best Male Style

Stephen Fry And Elliott Spencer

Douglas Booth

Best Female Style

Julie Walters

Keira Knightley

Full List of Winners

Best film
Boyhood Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland

Best actress
Julianne Moore Still Alice

Best actor
Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything

Best director
Richard Linklater Boyhood

EE rising star award (voted for by the public)
Jack O’Connell

Best costume design
The Grand Budapest Hotel Milena Canonero

Best adapted screenplay
The Theory of Everything Anthony McCarten

Best film not in the English language
Ida Paweł Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzięcioł, Ewa Puszczynska

Best original screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson

Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer
Stephen Beresford (writer), David Livingstone (producer) Pride

Best cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki Birdman

Best supporting actress
Patricia Arquette Boyhood

Best supporting actor
JK Simmons Whiplash

Best special visual effects
Interstellar Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley

Best animated film
The Lego Movie Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Best sound
Whiplash Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann

Best editing
Whiplash Tom Cross

Best short animation
The Bigger Picture Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka

Best short film
Boogaloo and Graham Brian J Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney

Best makeup and hair
The Grand Budapest Hotel Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier

Best production design
The Grand Budapest Hotel Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock

Best documentary
Citizenfour Laura Poitras

Best original music
The Grand Budapest Hotel Alexandre Desplat

Outstanding British film
The Theory of Everything James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten

Bafta Fellowship (announced earlier)
Mike Leigh

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema (announced earlier)
BBC Films

Presented by: Stephen Fry

The Link Between Shyness and The Creative Arts!

When I was younger, I used to sing in school shows and the amount of times I heard that it was a surprise to people that I did perform on stage was countless. I don’t think people mean it with any malice. I think they just genuinely are surprised. I think it has been conditioned into peoples’ minds that shyness somehow means that a person will be cowering away in a corner half the time or something. And that doesn’t tend to be true. I think where the problem begins really is that people don’t understand what shyness is. Shyness is when a person is not confident in how they speak. That doesn’t necessarily mean that that lack of confidence in one area of their lives translates in any other particular area. It’s like a person who isn’t confident in their driving for example, it doesn’t mean they are going be not confident in another part of their lives such as playing a sport for example. And it can completely go the other way too. I have seen people who are the biggest talkers freeze when they go on a stage and that’s because they are confident in their speaking but not in performing.

I always find it weird when people say that they don’t think people can achieve in creative fields due to their shyness. Especially when you look at the history of so many successful people in the creative industries. And I’m not just pulling at straws. So many of the people who were successful shy creatives have been major names in show business and have been brave enough to be unique and do something new. Let’s look at a few and celebrate them for a few moments:

Music

David Bowie

“I’m not particularly a gregarious person. I had an unbearable shyness; it was much easier for me to keep on with the Ziggy thing, off stage as well as on. Who was David Bowie and who was Ziggy Stardust? It was motivated by shyness.”

Ella Fitzgerald

“I’m very shy, and I shy away from people. But the moment I hit the stage, it’s a different feeling. I get nerve from somewhere; maybe it’s because it’s something I love to do.”

Bob Dylan

“I remember Bob had soft, squidgy, little hands and was really shy – he hardly said two words.”

– Thin Lizzy’s Gary Moore speaking about Bob Dylan.

Freddie Mercury

“In real life nobody knew Freddie. He was shy, gentle and kind. He was never the one, he was on the stage.”

– Queen bandmate Roger Taylor speaking about Freddie Mercury.

Brian Molko

“I am actually a shy person, but there is a need for the flamboyant aspect of myself to express itself. The context for that is the live show. That side of my personality is satisfied by the act of performance, and I don’t need to behave extravagantly in my everyday life. Which I’m quite grateful for.”

Elvis Presley

“Here I was with somebody who I didn’t know was going to become famous. But I did know two things: I knew that he was not shy – I mean, Elvis was shy in the sense that he was introverted,but he was not shy to the camera – and he made the girls cry.”

– Alfred Wertheimer speaking about Elvis Presley.

And alas, that’s just six in music. If you Google it or read music biographies you’ll find so many more your eyes will burst with pride and awe if you are shy like me.

And now onto fashion which I shall list three people from but like music if you search you’ll find so many more!

Fashion

Yves Saint Laurent

“An ugly, ungainly, overgrown boy with thick glasses, and so horribly shy he couldn’t take his eyes off the floor”.

- Womens Wear Daily’s correspondent speaking about Yves Saint Laurent.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

“I remember reading a book about Chanel in which a woman talks about seeing her singing in a little cabaret when she was maybe 18. Chanel was described as a shy, ambitious girl. This adjective of ‘shy’ surprised me. I think that is what is interesting about her, that she had such different dimensions. She couldn’t only be a strong and tough and stubborn person, because you don’t create with your confidence. You create with your doubts.”

– Audrey Tautou speaking about Coco Chanel

Gianni Versace

“I’m still the little, provincial shy boy who forced himself to be a public person.”

And three examples from the acting profession darlings!

Acting

Cillian Murphy

“The shy Corkman tells Stephen Milton about his venture to the small screen and how he’s recently started getting offers to play ‘dad’ roles”

– from independent.ie speaking about Cillian Murphy.

Ben Whishaw

“Dressed in a black polo neck and blue trousers — an ensemble that wouldn’t look out of place on Bond himself – Whishaw is sitting opposite me on a sofa somewhere in central London. Slender and stubbly, he appears initially nervous as he distractedly picks at a sandwich. But I soon realise that he is appealingly shy.”

– James Rampton speaking about Ben Whishaw.

Keira Knightley

“I am crap at parties. I tend to sit in the corner. I’ll sit in the corner and find one person to talk to or I’ll go on the dance floor and get quite drunk. But I am not good at that whole … (About been at the round of parties for Pride and Prejudice with her brother and parents.) We all stood in a corner, saying ‘Oh, this is weird!’.”

So I think all these people and countless others have proved that shyness won’t stop a person achieving what they want to achieve in life. And yet even today people say, “Great yet shy.” like the two can’t exist together or it’s strange that they do which I find a little strange really. I often wonder where the rule that to be publicly successful you had to be a great talker anyway came in. After all, what has it got to do with a person’s craft and talent? We may not be the bravest in social situations but we are in life.

Belated Happy Birthday Darren Criss!

Glee star Darren Criss turned 28 yesterday!

The heartthrob who plays Blaine Anderson in Glee and who has treated us all to many cute scenes with on-screen boyfriend Kurt Hummel played by Chris Colfer and spellbinding performances over the years turned another year older yesterday (Feb. 5th) and to celebrate let’s take a look at three of his Glee performances over the years!:

Teenage Dream

It’s not Unusual

Don’t Stop Me Now

The Vanishing of Richey Manic Review!

The Vanishing of Richey Manic (1996) is a documentary I recently came across on YouTube. It is a harrowing documentary and that’s not even the subject matter which you’d expect to be harrowing. It is the exploitation and insensitivity shown to something which is very sad which made me feel sick and uneasy watching it.

The general theme that runs through this documentary about the disappearance of Manic Street Preachers’ member Richey Edwards is centring on the stereotypical rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of excess which is a very narrow-minded way to deal with a documentary. Yes Richey was troubled and depressed but every individuals’ situation is different and it’s the sinister way in which they deal with the situation that makes it very chilling. If you switched on this documentary and didn’t know it was a real situation that happened you couldn’t be condemned for thinking it was a plot by a thriller writer the way the ‘reconstructions’ are done and the narrator is talking. And this is before we even get to the commentators.

With the exception of Simon Price and Steve Lamacq I found the commentators all rather insensitive. I think what really got me was I was thinking of his loved ones watching it. Definitely if this documentary was about someone I loved I’d hate it. I don’t actually think that the fans who were talking represent every Manics fan. I think there definitely needed to be a more wider spectrum of fan views there which would have made it feel less like propaganda but that would of course not have fit in with what the aim of the makers seemed to be. I am a fan of Boy George but this was not one of his highlights for me.
“I think if he is alive it would make the whole story much more interesting and much more intriguing and exciting and we could all drag it out for a lot longer.” was one comment and it almost felt like he was talking about a fictional mystery TV show or something. In fact that was the vibe of the documentary in general. Like one was sitting down having tea and biscuits and a good old gossip about a mystery on the television. It was a bit weird really.

So definitely I would give this documentary a thumbs down but watch it below if you get time and form your own opinions from it. And Richey Edwards, wherever you are whether you are with us or not I hope you’ve found peace.