The Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport Hosts UFPI Management Auditions!

Today the Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport in Swords, Co. Dublin was the setting for girlband auditions – and of course I was there auditioning!

The round of auditions was the final round of auditions for UFPI Management in their search for a girlband.

I chanced it even though I’m clearly more a hippy rock chick! You can read about my experience at the audition here:


Spotlight On … Sam Ajjuri!

Recently I interviewed the very talented Sam Ajjuri. Here is the interview below:

What made you realise that music was the profession that you wanted to pursue?

Simply how quick things began to happen, from collaborations to gigs and to people that wanted to hear my music, these are all things I really never thought I’d do within the one year I began rapping!

Who are your musical influences?

My moods, trust me haha!

What influences your songs?

My aims and plans, my achievement aimed at that particular project, I could pick up a pen one day and be influenced by a total twat. That makes me want to write Bars and that could end up being a track that goes viral…. We live in a crazy world!

Is there any songwriters whose work you draw inspiration from?

Completely not actually (not in a weird way) but for me being a song writer is just a title. The reality of it is, or my reality at least is song writing is a spare of the moment think out loud thing with of course a nice melody. My life experiences really can be the only influence to a song written.

You are currently working on a mix tape. How has that experience been?

Long, tiring, painful, frustrating, indecisive, emotional and challenging. But the best experience of my life and I wouldn’t change a second for shit.

Tell us about Homeboy OgO?

My life. Homeboy OgO is my gang, my family and my future the concept is to make a change if even a small one it’s a statement and its proof of the hustle, as typical and cliché as that sounds…

Tell us about your work as a dj?

I have quite a big gig soon that’s being organized!! I loved djíng forever!! And It’s a good way to take me away from writing for a couple of hours a day, to do something a lil more than sitting at my desk! Hip hop, EDM, TRAP mainly but I do adore all types of house and chill too!! And its how I make my money too, so great stuff all round! I love it!

What’s next for you in your career?

Forcing Nicki into retirement 😉 haha! The beauty is with what I do is I ain’t got a clue what’s next only god knows!

To hear more of Sam Ajjuri’s music go to:




Buster From Down Wins The Nose of Tralee 2014!

Pet Sitters Ireland held the most fabulous competition The Nose of Tralee for animals around Ireland! Yesterday I blogged about The Rose of Tralee and now I’m blogging to you all about the animal version. As an animal lover my heart was bound to be stolen a million times over!

The eventual winner was the debonair entry from Down Buster while pretty Gia from Kildare was the runner-up. My personal favourite was 3rd placed the unassuming and pretty Kilkenny entry Penny who reminded me a bit of my own dog who I had for 12 years but I liked the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Wexford Lulu too. And of course I loved Meath’s Rio, Dublin’s Colt and Wicklow’s Amber. But to be fair I loved all the entries! 🙂

Kate McQuillan, Managing Director of Pet Sitters Ireland said,

“This is a great opportunity for pets of all shapes and sizes to compete to represent their county and become crowned the 2014 Nose of Tralee. We would love all types of animals to enter – not just cats and dogs. There is no reason the 2014 Nose of Tralee couldn’t be a hamster!”

Well done Buster on your win! Well-deserved! 🙂

To see all the entries go to: (Warning: Prepare to aw a lot!)

Philadelphia Rose Maria Walsh Crowned The Rose of Tralee 2014!

Last night the Philadelphia rose Maria Walsh (27) was crowned The Rose of Tralee winner in a well-deserved triumph! The new Rose of Tralee said following her win,

“Wow, I appreciate it – thank you very much. The calibre of Irish women is phenomenal. I mean look at these.”

She began her celebrations with her new friends the other 31 roses who made it to the two-night televised final in The Dome in Kerry while country singer Nathan Carter, who had also performed for the crowd earlier in the night, sang the traditional closing song entitled, “The Rose of Tralee”.

Walsh, who wore a stunning and understated dress on the night, is from Boston in Massachusetts and moved to Shrule in Mayo along with her family 20 years ago. After she graduated in Journalism and Visual Media from Griffith College the newly crowned Rose moved to New York which she admitted was a great city but didn’t suit her “work-life balance” so she subsequently moved to Philadelphia.

In the course of her interview with host Dáithí Ó Sé she spoke about her cousin Teresa Molloy (19) who was one of four women killed in a crash in Galway in 2009 following a day out shopping in Sligo.

“It’s moments like this, like being in the Rose of Tralee, that make you really seize the day and appreciate life and take everything as it comes. She has given me a lot of good luck to date, so I know she’s looking down on me and my family.”

British boyband Union J also sung as part of the festival.

Well done Maria! 🙂

R.I.P. Teresa Molloy.

Towie’s Harry Derbidge Speaks Out About Anorexia!

Recently I read about The Only Way Is Essex star Harry Derbidge talk about his struggles in his battle with anorexia. It didn’t surprise me because I went through a mild version of anorexia myself and when you do you tend to see the possible signs even though you are only reading about a person in the press. I think he is incredibly brave to talk about it, especially been so young. It’s a major issue to put yourself out there and talk about after all.

Derbidge (20) told Now Magazine,

“I’ve suffered with an eating disorder from a very young age. I was probably anorexic and didn’t know it. That’s how bad it was. I was always OCD about my food. I was so fussy, I couldn’t stand how it looked or smelt. My poor mum had to separate the food at dinner time – she put chips on one plate and the peas on another. I remember gagging, like I was doing a bushtucker trial.”

He says that he realised at 14 that he “had a problem with food.” and says that his mother Karen sent him to a doctor because she was so worried. There the doctor weighed Harry. His weight was 7 and a half stone.

“An average boy should be around 10-12st and I’m 5ft 10in. My chest was just bone.”, Harry said.

He admitted that at this time he “used to cry himself to sleep, just cry and cry and cry. I was very ill. I’d have hunger pains but I used to work through them.”

Speaking about how long he has went without food Harry admitted,

“I once went two days without food.”

He also admitted,

“I’d eat my dinners but whatever I didn’t like the smell or taste of I’d hide behind my tongue. During the meal I’d say I wasn’t feeling well and needed the toilet. I’d throw it all down the toilet from behind my tongue, especially meat, like steak or lamb.”

The reality TV star admitted that he always hated how he looked saying,

“I’ve always hated my look – gaunt and skinny. I remember crying when I looked in the mirror.”

And admitted that it affected his self-esteem,

“I didn’t like myself at the time. Everyone was talking about my weight issues and people made jokes about me. It was so hurtful. I had people saying: ‘Ooh, you gay boy, you skinny twerp.’ But it made me stronger.”

Asked whether it affected his relationships he replied,

“I’m not desperate to have a relationship. At 18 or 19 I remember panicking about even walking into a club as I wasn’t sure of myself. It was so hard.”

He told how he went to a doctor a year and a half ago who weighed him and told him that he was near anorexia. The doctor told him that if he didn’t do something about it he would end up in a clinic.

“That was the moment I was lowest of the low, being told that I might have to be force-fed through a tube.”

Family and friends have been a huge source of support for Harry during this difficult time,

“Amy’s always been there for me. She’s so supportive. And my mum’s the best. I don’t think I would’ve recovered without support from my family. The only people who knew about it were my best friends Sam Faiers, Amy and my mum. I remember going to dinner and they’d help me through it and not try to push me. I’ve been lucky.”

Talking about why he decided to talk to Now about what he had and was going through Harry said,

“Because I feel better for it. If I can help one person, that means a lot. Also you don’t really hear of a male anorexic-it’s very rare. Boys generally love their food.”

Speaking about whether his ex boyfriend fellow The Only Way Is Essex star Bobby Cole Norris knew about what he was going through Harry said,

“He didn’t really know about it. He met me while I was recovering.”

The former couple broke up recently after Bobby found out that Harry had cheated on him with his ex but Harry says,

“I’m single at the moment. We’re not together but we both love each other. What will be will be.”

Harry says that he is now “much better but it’s a long process” and said that he hopes people with an eating disorder will “get help immediately-go to your doctor.”

For help and information go to to:

Eating Disorders Charity Beat: or call 0845 6341414

Culture Vulture Express Turns 1 Today!

For a couple of months before I actually started Culture Vulture Express I had the idea in my head for the blog. It had just been a matter of finding the perfect platform for it. A site I understood how to use too!

But on the 10th of August last year my baby was born and was named Culture Vulture Express. With the idea been to write a blog where cultural news of every aspect could co-exist happily!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their support over my first year as Culture Vulture Express’s writer and admin, I guess. Whether you liked, commented, followed, reblogged, gave a link to or read an article I am very thankful to each and every one of you! Thank you!

Here’s to the future of Culture Vulture Express and a second year of nerdy cultural drama! Stay tuned! 🙂

Movie Review Of Cavalry!

I recently went to The Mermaid in Bray with my mum and sis to see the box office smash Cavalry starring Irish legendary actor Brendan Gleeson as Father James Lavelle. The theatre is a lovely little theatre. Very intimate and cosy. My mum has always been a huge Brendan Gleeson fan and Gleeson never disappoints in his various diverse roles in cinema and this particular role was no exception to that rule as he played the kind priest who is on the verge of paying for the sins of the bad priests in the Church.

The writing by John Michael McDonagh was really superb. If you live in Ireland you see so many films where people have the same respect as years ago for the Church and that simply isn’t an authentic reflection of everyone in Irish society nowadays. What McDonagh done superbly (and rather bravely really) was to write the various different reactions to the Church and priests from people who have faith to people who despise the Church and the views of everyone inbetween. The characters are so well-rounded, even the more minor characters in the film and the movie really is a bit of a masterpiece. It shows the complexity of people and how not everybody is as black-and-white as they appear. You get worried when there is the level of hype which surrounds a movie like the hype surrounding Cavalry but it definitely lives up to it’s hype. The scenery of Sligo also looks absolutely beautiful throughout the movie and Patrick Cassidy’s music is very emotive. I also must mention the scene with Brendan and his gorgeous son Domhnall Gleeson when the priest goes in to see Domhnall’s character serial killer and cannibalist Freddie Joyce. They play it really well. It was a bit surreal but they played it really well.

It's a family affair in Cavalry!

It’s a family affair in Cavalry!

My personal favourite characters were Milo Herlihy played by Love/Hate’s Killian Scott, Leo played by Owen Sharpe and of course Bruno the dog. Done in a comedy way, the character of Milo’s shyness and fear of not finding someone is played out. It is a way a lot of people feel but isn’t always addressed in film. Leo just makes me laugh. He is really brash and funny but an interesting element which is touched upon through his face when talking to the priest while playing pool is that he may not be as happy as he pretends which is true of a lot of people who pretend that everything is Ok all the time. Then there’s Bruno who is just such a sweetheart. I absolutely love dogs and he’s such a dote and so loyal to Father James. I love him! 🙂





Father James with Bruno and his daughter in the movie!

Father James with Bruno and his daughter in the movie!

The film is a stunning piece of writing with many characters you can identify with or if not many you know someone like while Brendan Gleeson takes on the protagonist with gusto and gives an amazing performance proving why he has been at the top of his game in the acting world for so long. The rest of the cast are also amazing in their various roles as well whether they are playing a major part or a smaller role in the production. This movie proves that Irish acting, writing and film in general is alive and well and ready to take on anyone at their craft.

James Byron Plays Mamma Lizz’s Voodoo Lounge In Stamford!

James Byron played Mamma Lizz’s Voodoo Lounge in Stamford on the 31st of July and a friend of his filmed a half an hour of the gig!

Looking as usual stylish in a grey half-moon top and matching jeans he sang many of his own songs like Rage Through Me, Good Enough, Watch This Space, Wine, It Won’t Make A Difference and 2 Days as well as covers like Cry Baby and Love Hurts while accompanying himself on his guitar. The set was of course amazing.

I’d love to someday see him play live but it was really great to see the gig online.

You can see his performance below:

Kiki deVille’s Amazing Style!

The Voice UK 2014 star Kiki deVille wowed us all on last year’s BBC show with her powerful voice and amazing style! Full of vibrancy and colour deVille’s style is unique, eccentric and absolutely fabulous. Below I have compiled some of her best style in terms of clothing, hair and make-up:

Fashion Sense

Kiki’s style is very vintage-inspired. There is so many amazing looks which look inspired by many legendary movie starlets from various different decades. It is always wonderful seeing people individual enough to take inspiration from vintage styles because it was some of the best and most stylish fashion in history and Kiki, like all the movie starlets before, looks brimming with confidence and elegance as she dons colours as diverse as black, red, green and gold proving that she can rock any colour. She also accessorises her outfits perfectly.



DeVille’s make-up is amazing. Her red lipstick is a huge emphasis of her make-up look as well as her perfect smoky eye looks. It is also amazing how she matches her red lippy to her red nail varnish. It’s all very timeless and classic.


In terms of hair some of her styles remind me a bit of Bette Davis or Joan Crawford. She is most known for her jet black hair but she also looks well with blonde and even both together at one stage. Whether she is wearing her hair up or down she looks absolutely amazing.

Spotlight On … Ksenia Blake!

Recently I interviewed the very talented Ksenia Blake. Here is the interview below:

Who is your biggest musical influences?

I am influenced by many different artists since I listen to very different styles of music. Ben Howard, Paramore and Birdy tend to influence my song choice whereas State Champs’ and The Wonder Years’ lyrics often inspire my own. I also seem to connect to Demi Lovato’s personal story and her voice is incredible, so she is a huge inspiration to me.

What made you realise that music was the profession that you wanted to pursue?

I have been doing music since the age of 3. I would always sing and dance for family guests and on trips abroad, in hotels. There was nothing that could stop me from performing. After I started professional training, I knew it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Music is an outlet for me and I feel safe while I’m singing. Even if I’m bearing my soul to the audience, it is rather comforting because I know there are other people in front of me, who went or are going through the same things.

What was it like taking part in Maslenitsa 2013?

The Maslenitsa 2013 competition was absolutely fantastic. I think it’s important that we remember where we come from and celebrate our culture and this competition presented the opportunity to open the annual Maslenitsa on Trafalgar Square. Opening the whole show was an honour for me and my duet partner, Alexandra Maks (Skachko).
The audience was not quite warmed up for a festival, but throughout the performance we felt welcome as people started arriving and clapping. When the audience gives back the energy while you are on stage, it’s unbelievable how much easier performing becomes.

What was it like taking part in the International Dance & Music Festival Riviera in Italy’s Portofino?

The International Dance & Music Festival Riviera in Portofino was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills from other performers. People came from all over: Ukraine, Russia, England and several others. The dancers were especially entertaining and incredibly talented. Vocal ability varied throughout, but I met several people I learnt a lot from, especially in terms of stage presence while performing.

Tell us about your experience as part of the 8th UK Russian Song Festival and International Contest?

As for the 8th UK Russian Song Festival and International Contest, I can say the level of performances was probably the best I have seen throughout the competitions I have taken part in. Many people from all over came to celebrate the Russian culture as well as its integration in other countries. The competitors in my category were very strong and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to perform with them. The contest was held in The Royal College of Music, which, of course, is a fantastic venue, the acoustics are great and it’s an honour to have been able to perform there.

Where did you get your stage name from?

Well, originally my name is Ksenia Kazintseva, which is a bit long and complicated for a stage name considering that people have to be able to say it and remember it. Ksenia still is quite hard for some people to pronounce, but I felt that my name is what makes me unique and I though that keeping my name would celebrate my background. Blake actually came from some TV series, I think. To be honest this family name’s been on my mind for quite some time and I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. The original idea was making my stage name an object or feeling, but when it came to picking one, I could not find something that hasn’t been used, so this seemed like the best bet. I think it’s important to have a unique stage name since it’s what people will refer to you as and if it’s like any usual name, you won’t stand out.

Did you enjoy playing Sharpay in High School Musical?

Playing Sharpay in High School Musical was probably one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. To be honest, I am generally very similar to Sharpay in life. Not that I’m borderline rude or like pink, it’s just the way she talks and the way she is so cutely sarcastic and very sassy is a lot like who I am. The role sometimes was like playing myself, which definitely made it more enjoyable, pretty much exaggerating my regular self. My friend, who played Ryan (Sharpay’s brother) was also perfect for the role and we got along so well and shared the sass. I could not have asked for a better stage partner to be honest, we understand each other from half a word.

What’s next for you in your career?

Right now I am in the middle of recording an original song, which I was fortunate enough to get a contract for. It’s the biggest project I’ve done so far and it’s a collaboration, which makes it even more fun. Hopefully the song will be recorded by September and then when it is mastered, it will be available on iTunes. I’m not quite sure where life will take me after that, hopefully more exciting experiences, collaborations and experiences should be on the way. It’s possible I will be collaborating with a pop punk band next, which would be great since that is the type of music I listen to and trying myself at it would be a dream come true.

To listen to Ksenia Blake’s music go to: