Tag Archives: Music

Man of London is no more. Long live Man of Scotland.

Hello,

once again thank you for following Man of London.

Please check out my new project Man of Scotland. A different focus on modern Scottish culture. 

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Man Of London Listens : Gossip : A Joyful noise

Beth Ditto has done it again.

 

Correction, Beth Ditto, Hannah Blilie and Brace Paine have done it again.

 

Gossip (Formally The Gossip) have produced an album that is simply top notch.

 

The group, who found fame in the U.K with Standing in the way of control, a track many still associate with E4 show Skins, have raised the bar once again with their latest sound.
A joyful noise is an eleven track album which has a sound that Man Of London cannot get enough of.

 

Immediately when listening to a preview of the bands new album on The Guardian website, several tracks instantly bounce from the speakers.

 

The first is move in the right direction is an anthem of hope, determination and self-empowerment. The delicious tones of the synth that fill your skull from the beginning of the track made it very difficult for Man Of London not to dance.

 

Rewinding one track to Get a job and the ferocious power of Ditto’s voice comes through very quickly. Her voice matches her strong ‘not giving a fuck’ persona that she’s been known for throughout her career and, as always, she tells it like it is.

 

Not every track on the new release has the party atmosphere. The album as a whole is more emotive than that.

 

I won’t play is a track that is for anyone who has ever loved and lost. However, rather than sit alone and the corner and cry, Ditto takes a stand, she isn’t going to lose out. Man Of London doesn’t like quitters. One thinks Beth Ditto and friends know this.

 

 

It’s hard to convey how fantastic this album is without listening too it. Man Of London offers you one piece of advice. Go Listen! This is definitely going to be a staple of my music collection now, rather than later.

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ManOfLondon special feature: Festival Internacional de Benicassim

Main Stage Beni

Escenario Verde- Main Stage at Benicassim

ManOflondon is going to let you in on a little secret. He is having a love affair. A love affair with the Spanish town of Benicassim. Every year, it plays host to FIB Benicassim, a four-day music festival that draws the best acts from all over the world.

As a British gentleman, my general idea of music festivals before 2009 was mud, rain, warm cider, no sleep and fried food. Benicassim blew that perception out of the water.

With a growing irritation of waking up in a sea of mud, in a tent sinking into a black abyss, I decided to make a swap.

Polar opposites

I swapped day for night, cold for warmth, rain for sun and wellingtons for plimsoles.

Free time that was once spent lying in a cold unwelcoming tent preparing oneself for the day ahead could now be spent basking in the warmth of the sun on a speech on the eastern coast of Spain.

FIB tends to have a great mix of acts in it’s line up. Over the past few years we have seen big name acts such as The Killers, Vampire weekend, Calvin harris and 2manydj’s grace it’s stages. The eclectic mix of indie, rock , soul and dance ensures the festival appeals to most people, and it won’t take too much of an effort to convince all of your fellow gents to go on a new adventure!

Strapped-for-cash

Times are tough. The economy is bad, which is bad for your wallet. Benicassim doesn’t have to be expensive however; the festival itself costs less than all of the major U.K festivals and includes eight days free camping so you can get a summer holiday too!

If you do decide to be economical with your money, ensure you have enough sunscreen to protect yourself during the long days in the Spanish sun and enough money to keep yourself hydrated. From personal experience ManOfLondon is all too aware of how difficult it is to sleep in a tent in the middle of the Spanish summer. Prepare yourself!

Find a way of securing your valuables either with a money belt or in a locker in a local train of bus station. Doing this makes sure you aren’t as easy target for those ruffians who pilfer and steal from the modern man. It is a sad fact, but this occurs at all festivals, but these precautions will reduce the likelihood of it happening to you.

Personal experience

ManOfLondon at FIB

We all like a little luxury. ManOfLondon couldn’t personally handle eight days in the Spanish sun without air conditioning. MOL (That’s me!) Is quite happy admitting this fact. This is how one does it :

Flights to Benicassim can be an absolute steal if purchased far enough in advance. Flights to Barcelona (two hours train ride, arguably the closest international airport to the destination) can be found for around £90 return.

Although this won’t be a business class seat with a champagne lounge, you will get these comfortably enough. Flights to Barcelona can be found from all of London’s airports as well as from various regional airports across the United Kingdom.

Apartments and hotels around the area book up well far in advance so it is advisable to organize that at the same time or not long after you secure your ticket. These come with a wide range of facilities to suit various budgets. ManOfLondon tends to go with something in the mid range.

Apartments in the town of Oropesa Del Mar (a town next to Benicassim) can hold around six guests with air-con, a balcony, a pool for the complex and a bubble spa bathtub.

Unfortunately, only a very few companies offer these apartments and have quite a monopoly on the prices. The experience however is worth more than the money you pay.

A good Idea is too book your apartment as early in advance as possible, as this is when the companies are most likely to entice customers to book through them by offering things such as free shuttle busses to the festival site, which can be essential as some apartments are located in the next town to Benicassim itself.

Drinks at Benicassim can be seen as it’s only downfall. The prices of drinks at the festival is enough to bankrupt even the wealthiest gentleman, so prepare now and start saving!

The bars on site do offer a good range of drinks however with a large selection of soft drinks to cater to the gentleman who may have been a bit liberal with the moonshine the night before.

With only one act announced for this year’s festival so far, it is too early to tell which gentleman next years festival will appeal to most. It might attract those who like to rave all night and sleep all day, or those who like to rock out all night…or sleep all day. Either way the best is yet to come. Watch this space for live updates from the festival come July 2012. ¡Viva La Benicassim!

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ManofLondon Reads: One Day. David Nicholls’ one for the lads.

The book has been one of the biggest sellers in the U.K. What has made the book a staple read on the London transport system?
My view is that its success is down to it being a love story men can relate to.

Every man can see part of himself in protagonist Dexter Mayhew, while at the same time wishing he could ooze charisma in the effortless way he does.

His infatuation with Emma, which spans over twenty years, is an extreme version of feelings men stereotypically have trouble expressing. (Although us modern men don’t have that problem, of course!).

Nicholls has written a love story that the modern man can relate too. The timescale which story takes place encompasses a large part of his life.

From Young Dexter’s boyish charm he uses to succeed in television, to the utter panic he faces when being left with his newborn daughter alone for the first time, we see someone who is truly human.

Man of London had the exclusive chance to ask Mr. Nicholls what character he related to the most, and somewhat surprisingly, he didn’t choose either of the main characters: “I actually relate most to Ian. Especially when we see him as a father”. Quite the comment from someone who is very modest about his Dexter like charm over everyone in the room.

Dexter Mayhew exposes his most vulnerable side to an audience who didn’t expect to see it when they finished chapter one. One day is a new kind of love story. One written for the modern man, and one that is destined to be a classic in fifty years time.

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