KULTURE KIOSK

Steve Hogarth: Here There and Everywhere

Posted by in Culture, Music, Record Cover Design, Travel

*this blog includes affiliate links WHO IS THIS GUY? The late eighties were, as I’ve most likely said elsewhere, a time of discovery. Now in the age of Wiki we can look up anyone of interest and know all about them in moments but back then it was all detective work, piecing together fragments of information.  For those of us music junkies or audiophiles who took time to read the sleeve notes, certain names appeared. I can’t remember which one went first, it could have been The The, it could…read more

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Swansea: City By The Sea

Posted by in Culture, Music, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links PREVIOUSLY Three cities, three sisters, three connections on the map, dotting the southern Welsh coastline. The second largest is Swansea, a mere 40 odd miles west of Cardiff yet I’ve barely been there. This is only my fourth ever visit and by some considerable distance my most comprehensive. The first was in 1986, a rushed affair which took in HMV (where I saw David Sylvian’s Gone to Earth and INXS Kiss the Dirt single). The second I can’t remember and the last one was at…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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Kiev: A Collision of Cold, Caffeine and Colourful Churches

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains an affiliate link THIS MUST BE KIEV ‘Kiev’ my train cabin mate declares, seconds later we pass Zhuliani airport and I know from my research that we are within four miles of our destination. A typical melee to get my bags through the train doors and onto the low platform below ensues. My cabin friend and I shake hands and head in separate directions. He has another hours bus ride ahead of him while I have an art hostel to find (not knowing if they have a room available). ALARM…read more

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Newport: Jigsaw Falling into Place

Posted by in Culture, Travel

SEE THE BEAUTY IN YOUR DRAB HOMETOWN *this blog contains an affiliate link. It is not often I get to blog about the hometown (technically speaking somewhere between the M4 and Caerleon), so rare in fact it’s never been done, so here goes… It’s fair to say that Newport doesn’t exactly conjure up positive imagery; even Lonely Planet has previously referred to it as ‘a bit of a dump’. A faceless grey town on the banks of a muddy brown river with an equally bland name (it sounds better in…read more

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Cardiff: A Different Man

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links CROESO – A 2022 UPDATE Hi or Shw mae (‘sure-my’) as we say in Wales. This piece was originally written in 2018 in what was in travel terms, a completely different world. I had returned from many years living in China and extensive travel in Europe. In 2022 Cardiff again beckoned still in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic although this now has become almost as tired as some of Cardiff’s signs and buildings, more on that below. If you’re moving to the capital you’d…read more

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Malta: Noughts and Crosses

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links LIFE IS A ROLLERCOASTER Malta on a map is a mere speck, surrounded by the beautiful or hazardous blue (depending on your circumstance) of the Mediterranean sea. The day I land its airspace is being smothered by a storm! This makes Air Malta’s A320neo a flying roller coaster as we are batted around from side to side and up and down through air currents, air pockets and god knows what else.  Breaking the cloud seems to take forever and when we do the Med seen…read more

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ICEHOUSE: Crossing Borders

Posted by in Culture, Music

INTRO You don’t care about how a band is formed, how it starts, you just hear the music. You don’t know how long a band has been around for before you hear the music, how hard they’ve worked to get an audience and a record deal. You can however hear their influences and in Iva Davies initially with Flowers and thence ICEHOUSE these are ringing loud and clear; sometimes in a good way and sometimes not. FORMING FLOWERS AND EXTERIOR INFLUENCES The role and power of influence can be difficult…read more

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Paris: Memoir from the Past

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links INTRO Paris is always a good idea – Audrey Hepburn You can’t really have a travel or culture blog and not feature Paris can you? And if I know anything about travel writing, it is this… I could blog about Cardiff and Shenzhen with all my heart – and as regular readers know I love those cities – but I also know Paris will easily eclipse them in terms of visitors numbers. A-list cities are like rock stars. You can write about them until you’re…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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