KULTURE KIOSK

Manila: Transport – More Fun in the Philippines?

Posted by in Transport, Travel

This piece was originally written in 2013 at a time when the Philippines was being battered by a storm from the Pacific. Fortunately this did not affect the capital where I was, but Manila also needed a lot of work. Let’s start at the beginning and a big thanks to my friend and journalist in the Philippines George Buid for the updates. ARRIVAL The Philippines are in the midst of a tourist drive. With their colourful and quirky ‘more fun in the Philippines’ campaign and slogan attracting a lot of media…read more

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Fade In, Fade Out: Top 10 Producers

Posted by in Culture

INTRO AND HON MENTIONS Well I’ve done it, I’ve managed to compile a list of my favourite producers but it was not without deliberation, trial and error. I mean how does one compile this, is it quantity of fave artists covered or the less is more clarity over quantity. As always I struck some sort of a balance. Still love them all and without further ado here’s the list of those whose ideas and ear worms still inhabit my cranium and colour my world to this day. First the Honourable…read more

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1991: The End of an Era

Posted by in Culture, Music

JANUARY: KISSING THE ETHER Everyone has a golden era of music. One that symbolises youth, their teenage years and perhaps  early adulthood. An age of discovery before life finally consumes us all and we stare at the TV screens only to sigh, and say Who the fuck are they? Where did they come from? And things were much better in my generation. My golden era was most likely 1981-1991 and it’s hard to believe it was 30 years ago. SEAL then a newbie is now a veteran of the business….read more

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Birmingham: Out of the Blue

Posted by in Culture, Travel

INTRO Quick note here, this is one of the hardest blogs I’ve done but as one of the biggest cities in the UK you can’t leave Birmingham out of the equation. It’s a pity that during my time there, like Manchester, several key places to visit were closed. PEN MUSEUM – CLOSED CHINA EXPRESSION GALLERY – CLOSED ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM – CLOSED until 2022! Not only that but I spend several visits trying to locate the city’s iconic Selfridges building only to find the mottled pink, and black blob…read more

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Hats off to the Scots!

Posted by in Culture, Music

SCOTLAND – THE REAL LAND OF SONG? It’s been just over a decade since I ventured north to Scotland (pre-blog) and while I’m not knocking being Welsh I have to admit our being known as the ‘land of song’ seems a little strange when you consider both our major bands (the Manics and Stereophonics are now industry veterans with very little coming through, save for possibly Gwenno). And Scritti Politti (our Blue Nile in terms of output) are even older. The Scots by comparison have held a formidable consistency since…read more

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Remember That Flight

Posted by in Culture, Travel

1 COURT LINE Luton – Barcelona – Luton It was the 70s, and airlines were getting funky with their colour schemes. Across the pond America’s Braniff flew planes in anything from Orange to Olive. At home Court line opted to do similar, with 3 tone pink, green and in this case yellow/apricot and orange. It was a Tristar (two engines on each wing and one incorporated into the tail). It flew me (and my family) from Luton to Barcelona then went bust. 2 TWA London Heathrow – Los Angeles I…read more

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David Sylvian: The Sound Atlas

Posted by in Culture, Design, Music, Travel

Writing anything at all about David Sylvian is extremely difficult. So much has already been written and a new level of vocabulary is required, perhaps words that don’t even exist. A body of work that is manicured, stark, at times terrifying (think Tallow Moon or The Rabbit Skinner) and strangely engrossing. It’s often said Sylvian has provided the soundtrack to one’s life so herein lies my personal history (though I hope it is identifiable to you the reader). I should add this is a long read some 9,000 words or…read more

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Tears for Fears: Before and After Love

Posted by in Culture, Music

*This blog contains affiliate links. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for purchases made on third party sites. CHANGE OF SEASON In early 1983, unaware of Mad World which I had missed through the vortex of global relocation (from NZ back to the UK), my first meeting with Tears for Fears came with Change; an energetic marimba driven song with lyrics both cool as they are obscure: ‘You walked in to the room, I just had to laugh, The face you wore was cool, You were a photograph.’ Change carried enough youthful fizz to reach…read more

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Boom Crash Opera: Crazy Times in Ordinary Heaven

Posted by in Culture, Music, Record Cover Design

HEY-HEY, HEY HEY HEY! 1988, I was young(er) and Australia was having a birthday. To celebrate we (in the UK) sent our DJ Simon Bates to cover it. More importantly he played the new clutch of Aussie bands that were aiming for international super stardom after INXS. There was Wa Wa Nee, Big Pig, Noiseworks (I had no inkling it was Jon Stevens singing) and before I knew it my next musical crush were on. ‘Hey Hey, hey hey hey!’ ‘WOW, what was that!!?’ My 17 year old self was sent…read more

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Scritti Politti: A World to Know About

Posted by in Culture, Music

OVERNITE: AN INTRO ‘When I was 17, (tell us about it Green) there was a world to know about (check it out)’ – Overnite When I was 17 there was a world to know about but I could barely step into a burger place in Newport without a cold spine shuddering feeling of urban paranoia that everyone was staring at me! Well being Newport they probably were but more importantly that burger place was a stone’s throw away from what was John Frost Square (name checked in the lyrics to…read more

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