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Friday, 29 November 2013

A horrific moment for all of us

It's impossible to ignore the horrific revelations about Lost Prophets frontman Ian Watkins that have come to light this week. I'm not going to recycle any of the unnecessarily graphic detail released by the press as that kind of nastiness has no place on these pages. But I do want to have my say.

Never in my life have I felt such disgust and anger at another person. Operation Yewtree and the terrifying fact that every tv or radio personality over the age of 60 seems to be a paedophile is shocking but I have to I be honest, I haven't had the same reaction as I have to Watkins. I cheered as Lost Prophets delivered a sterling set to thousands of fans and naysayers at Download 2008; I sang along in full, tuneless voice as my brother's band covered Last Train Home; I defended their image change from skater punks to emo poster boys in the Rooftops video.

And now we find out that whilst all this was going on, the charismatic frontman is a fucking barbaric child molester. He used his position and the fact that young girls and women adored him to commit depraved, inhuman acts. I'm the proud father of a nearly two year-old girl, which has made me even more irate at everything he's done.

I wish death on Ian Watkins, I really do. He's said to be on suicide watch at the moment; I'd happily take a shift and help the fucker on his way. The one thing that offers any comfort is the fact that he has been stopped. Pleading guilty means he'll be spending a lot of time inside and people like him do not do well at Her Majesty's leisure.

Fans around the world with Lost Prophet tattoos will be lining up to get them removed, and the poor bastards who played alongside Watkins have seen their world as successful musicians collapse. Thousands of teenagers and twenty-somethings will be confused and betrayed by the sick actions of their former hero, a rat-faced little prick from Wales.

May you get what you deserve Ian Watkins. You have caused boundless pain and have showed no remorse. The world does not need another disease and you are a cancer. Do the honourable thing and blow your head off.


Friday, 22 November 2013

Doing a lot of good work for charidy

I'm not a sporty person. I play darts to a local pub level, I know my way around the pool table table and am reasonably adept at table tennis. It really goes no further than that. I am, however, a man who enjoys a challenge and a man who likes doing things for charity, so it's with a sense of overwhelming trepidation that I'm going to be running the London Marathon in April 2014.

A few years back I ran 6 miles for Sport Relief, which was bloody horrible as it was just twelve 0.5 mile shuttle runs along the Brighton sea front. Boring, cold and exhausting. And as I was running with my brother in law, I couldn't listen to any music. The only noise accompaniment was my James Gandolfini laboured breathing and the sound of an ill-advised full English I'd had two hours before the event slopping around in my stomach. 

I've been out on a few runs over the last couple of weeks - I'm not in any shape to leave training until the new year - and have been listening to different musical styles to see if I can get exactly the right balance of beats to help me take on 26+ miles through Central London. Here's what's happened so far:

1. HIM 
Theory: One of my all-time favourite bands would inspire me whilst I was pounding the Tarmac.

Fact: About three songs into Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 I had no energy whatsoever and instead, wanted to sit naked in a darkened room with a bottle of red wine.

Iron Maiden
Theory: there's nothing more motivating than Maiden. Even if I'm asleep, as soon as I hear the opening bars of Aces High I feel the need to charge bayonet aloft at the nearest German.

Fact: Despite classics such as The Trooper and 2 Minutes being perfect for a bit of a hill climb, the long, undulating nature of Ancient Mariner and Phantom are better suited to holding a pint in the air than any kind of distance running.

Theory: Energy, and plenty of it.

Fact: Perfect for sprinting, but sustained pace is impossible. As soon as Lowest of the Low comes on my legs start firing away, then it stops and I realise my heart is about to explode.

Limp Bizkit
Theory: I love them, and Wes Borland's bouncy as fuck riffs would mean it's easy to get into a rhythm.

Fact: I get out of breath running and rapping at the same time. I can't help myself.

Miscellaneous early 2000s trance
Theory: Monotonous beat constantly thumping in my ears will be a metronome for my feet.

Fact: Works bloody well. The music becomes a bit of background noise as opposed to something to listen to though, which means I do tend to focus on how much my legs hurt and/or the fact that I should have probably had a dump before going out for a run.

So it's still a work in progress. If I can get the balance right though, it'll be a piece of piss I'm sure. Next stop, something like Nicki Minaj as I'm sure this will make me try to run away from my ears.

The serious bit: I'm running for a charity called Child Bereavement UK, who do amazing work with families who have sadly lost their children, or children who have lost parents. If you can head over to my page and spare a couple of quid it would be spectacularly good of you and I would be eternally grateful.

Until next time,


Friday, 8 November 2013

Troll lols

It's my favourite time of year; Download headliners.

In the last year my poxy day job has kept me from immersing myself in new music as much as I would like, which has meant the creative blogging juices can get a bit dry. However, come Download headliner time, the plethora of material to choose from across the webosphere is more than I can cope with.

So what do I think, I hear you ask?

Avenged Sevenfold, the first announcement, was pretty obvious and a great response to both crowd demand and the schools who believed no 'new' bands were ready to step up the the plate (aside from Slipknot). This will be the biggest gig A7X have done and it's going to be a lot of work for them but as Synester Gates riffs his way through The Beast and the Harlot I'm sure the crowd will get moving.

Next came Linkin Park. I have always said I would only see Linkin Park if they played Hybrid Theory, an album which I almost wore out at university whilst trying to impress girls with my baggy combat trousers and classic turn of the century over-gelled hair. I firmly believe everything they've done since has been disastrous (except for the outing with Jay-Z) but as they have confirmed they'll be playing Hybrid Theory in full, this will be one hell of a show. Possibly.

And then there's Aerosmith. Good old Aerosmith. Their last headline performance at  Download 2009 (I think that's right) in the pissing rain fluctuated between average and bloody spectacular. Steven Tyler has one of the greatest voices in the rock world and the spirit of the crowd during songs like Love In An Elevator is something else. Are they exciting enough to close the festival? Absolutely. Is it the best booking? No. I backed Bon Jovi in a conversation with my mate The House (but at least mentioned Aerosmith so can retain a small level of 'told you so'-ness) as I reckon they would tear Donnington's hallowed ground apart.

My [always correct] opinions aside the absolute highlight of the festival season is the internet trolls. My eyes lit up when I saw A7X and Rob Zombie announced; with only these two out of the 100+ bands on the poster comments like "shit festival" and "rubbish emo band" made my day. Adding Linkin Park was even better and I could sense thousands of greasy haired teens in Seasons In The Abyss t-shirts pausing World of Warcraft to furiously protest by commenting on the Metal Hammer Facebook page.

It's going to be a fun few months.