LISTEN: Bearded London meets the Handlebar Club

This gallery contains 21 photos.

Originally posted on Bearded London:
The Handlebar Club is an international society for men with moustaches. On the first Friday of every month, members of the club meet up to drink, chat and flaunt their fabulous facial furniture at the…

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You’re the top! Cole Porter proves that life really is good

Who knew that a simple writing exercise could make such a big change?

Two weeks ago, me and the other journalism students on my Good Writing class at City were asked to rewrite the lyrics to Cole Porter’s You’re The Top. Here’s Ella singing it.

The exercise proved to be one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done this year – combining as it did my dual interests in writing and pretending to be Ella Fitzgerald.

On Friday, our tutor Marcelle D’Argy-Smith gathered her two classes together to judge the songs. Then AA Gill rocked up unexpectedly to present the prizes and gave a talk incorporating many swear words, which we all liked very much.

Then, as if the day couldn’t get any more surreal, I skipped off to Camden to cover the CAMRA London Drinkers Beer and Cider Festival for another uni project, Bearded London. It is, as one of my Facebook friends drily observed, a ‘hard life’.

Except it’s not, is it? Writing new lyrics for a perfect song about the best of everything was
challenging, but an utter treat. I urge you to try it. It’s a great way of reminding yourself about all the things there are to really, deeply love about the world.

My attempt is below. I’m aware that some of the rhymes are cheesy (jalfrezi/daisy) – but some proved impossible. There’s a prize for anyone can make ‘the LOLcats meme’ and ‘Martin Luther King’s dream’ scan correctly. But I had a lot of fun writing it.

It was not so much fun singing it to AA Gill. 

1. You’re the top!
You’re a fresh cut daisy.
You’re the top!
You’re a murgh jalfrezi.

You’re a Bach prelude,
A Mozart melody.
You’re a silver birch,
You’re the giggles in church,
You’re ecstasy.

You’re the moon,
You’re the stars in heaven,
You’re the tune,
Clotted cream in Devon.

I’m a laughing stock, I’m a stumbling block – a flop.
But if baby, I’m the bottom – you’re the top!

2. You’re the top!
You’re a colour photo.
You’re the top!
You’re Obama’s go-to.

You’re the glass of fizz
To the left of a private jet,
You’re a poem by Goethe,
You’re Frank N Furter,
The Internet!

You’re high art,
You’re a lazy morning,
You’re the start
Of a new day’s dawning.

I’m a rubbish bin, I’m the last one in the shop,
But if baby, I’m the bottom – you’re the top!

3. You’re the top!
You’re a spoon of cake mix.
You’re the top!
You’re The Bridge on Netflix.

You’re the crescendo
And the letting go of a sneeze,
You’re the daffodil
On my window sill
You’re anti-freeze!

You’re first kiss,
You’re a Lamborghini,
You’re the twist
In a gin martini.

I’m a hairy chest, at the very best, a sop.
But if baby, I’m the bottom – you’re the top!

4. You’re the top!
You’re a clear blue ocean.
You’re the top!
Poetry in motion.

You’re a crisp french fry
At the top of the Eiffel Tower,
You’re a Highland fling,
You’re electroswing,
You’re happy hour!

You’re the goal
In the game’s last quarter,
You’re a song
Written by Cole Porter.

I’m a dozy fool, and I’m begging you to stop,
‘Cos if baby, I’m the bottom – you’re the top!


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Video: arty film shows strangers kissing for the first time

This film by director Tatia Pilieva went up on YouTube 20 hours ago and has already racked up over two and a half million hits.

I think I’d find it more romantic were it not for the little wet noises that come across over the soundtrack. Watching it has caused me to have two epiphanies:

1. Kissing is one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time but is actually a very, very odd thing to do.

2. Tongues are like big weird shellfish that live in your mouth.

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Basset hound GIF + WordPress

A new day, a new journalistic challenge. Today I asked myself: Is it possible to blog a GIF of a basset hound shaking in slo-mo?

The answer is yes. Yes it is.

Basset hound shaking in slo-mo

via reddit

Next question: why have I not done this before?

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Doc Brown’s BUG 41 @ BFI Southbank, 28 February 2014 – complete playlist with embeds

BUG 41 @ BFI SouthbankFor the uninitiated – BUG is a bimonthly live show at London’s BFI that showcases a brilliantly-curated selection of music videos for an audience of hipsters. And me. 

The idea is that watching vids on the big screen with proper sound lets you appreciate them way more than watching them on your laptop, with crappy headphones, in your pants.

Vids are usually interspersed by skits from the show’s host, Adam Buxton (of Adam and Joe fame), but this weekend’s BUG 41 was the first Buxton-less BUG since 2007.

Although there were a few groans from audience members when his replacement was announced, Doc Brown, was a – dare I say it? – more than adequate substitute.

He’s a likeable, funny presenter, an incisive interviewer (his guest, director Josh Cole, showed several vids – see below), and most importantly, he knows his shit.

Watch out, Buckles.

Here’s this month’s playlist, curated by David Knight and Phil Tidy. If you’re strapped for time, my picks are Burning House (2), Oneohtrix Point Never (5), Louis M^tters (8), Damon Albarn (10), The Last Skeptic (12) and Disclosure (13).

The Julio Bashmore (3) and Jon Hopkins (11) vids should come with a health warning. I recommend not watching while under the effects of any stimulant, tea included.

What are you waiting for? Trousers off, crappy headphones on. Enjoy.

1. She Knows – J Cole feat. Amber Coffman
Director: Sam Pilling

2. Post Party Stress Disorder – Burning House
Director: Arno Salters

3. Peppermint – Julio Bashmore feat. Jessie Ware
Director: Noah Harris

4. New York Morning – Elbow
Directors: Mark Thomas, Mat Norman

5. Boring Angel – Oneohtrix Point Never
Directors: John Michael Boling 

6. Cocaine – Fidlar
Director: Ryan Baxley 

7. Not Giving In – Rudimental
Director: Josh Cole 

8. War with Heaven – Louis M^tters
Director: Josh Cole 

9. Alive – Chase and Status feat. Jacob Banks
Director: Josh Cole 

10. Everyday Robots – Damon Albarn
Director: Aitor Throup 

11. Collider – Jon Hopkins
Director: Tom Haines 

12. Pick Your Battles – The Last Skeptic
Director: Jeff Metal 

13. Grab Her – Disclosure
Director: Emile Sornin 

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Valentine’s day is over for another year. Thank God.

Bollocks heart (C) Christina Kenny

At last, Valentine’s Day is over. Again.

It’s just so predictable. No sooner is Christmas wrapped up do journalists fast-forward to the next big calendar event. Every year, commuters’ reading matter veers from Santa to romance quicker than you can say ‘January weight loss’.

Before you know it, it’ll be summer and time for dozens of column inches on fake tan. Then back to Christmas and comfort food before St Valentine rocks up again on his tired old steed, regular as clockwork and pointless as Cupid’s figleaf.

Last week the Standard‘s Rosamund Urwin declared war on the ‘showmance’ of V-Day. But does the most pointless festival of the year even merit a war cry? Surely it’s time to ignore it altogether…

Read the rest of my Valentine rantings on the Huffington Post: Valentine’s Day Is Over For Another Year. Thank God

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My crap basket #5: crap Barcelona basket

Kate's crap Barcelona basket

“Carrots. Greek yoghurt. Total cost €2.64 from Lidl.”

A big thank you to Kate for demonstrating the glamour of life in the Mediterranean.

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