02/07/2014

Glastonbury 2014


One of the best descriptions of Glastonbury I've heard to date was made by my friend Henry as we dragged our tired and disheveled bodies, along with what was left of our belongings, back towards the coach depot that we had entered the festival through, bright eyed and bushy tailed, 5 days previously. "It's just like when Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts," he said, "but we're only here for 5 days." And he's so right. From the beginning of the festival on the Wednesday until it's end on the following Monday, you're exposed to a world that is so out of touch from reality that you can't help but feel that it would take an author with such an abundance of imagination, like that of J. K. Rowling, to dream that world up.

This was my second year at the festival, and I'd been looking forward to it since I'd left the first time. This year was just as good, and although the weather was a bit moody at points, it didn't make much of a difference to the weekend.

Before the festival had even officially began, the Wednesday and Thursday nights had loads in store for everyone who had opted in for the long haul. On the Wednesday night Block 9 played host to the London Underground and NYC Downlow, and on the Thursday I went to see Detroit Swindle, Richy Ahmed and Route 94 play at the Wow stage. When the festival began on the Friday, and the heavens decided to open, I was treated to Blondie, Drenge, Temples, and Haim, before seeing Lily Allen, Elbow, and Arcade Fire play on the Pyramid stage. Both Temples and Arcade Fire being the outstanding performances of the day for me. On the Saturday I saw Warpaint, Jagwar Ma (who were outstanding), Jack White (who was a little less impressive, dragging out every song for what felt like an eternity), Machinedrum, Jon Hopkins, a Disclosure DJ Set at the infamous Arcadia, and A Guy Called Gerald who played at 3 in the morning on the Shangri Hell stage. Sunday was the worst day for clashes for me, but in the end I watched Holly Cook at the ever-welcoming Gully stage, and that evening I headed over to West Holts to see The Wailers, Bonobo and Disclosure, which saw the end of the live music on the main stages at this years festival. I was so happy to finally have seen Bonobo, and he was absolutely bloody brilliant. As well as having a live band on stage with him, a vocalist called Szjerdene provided chillingly beautiful vocals for Bonobo.

On the Sunday night after the headline acts had finished we made the obligatory pilgrimage to the stone circle to watch the sunrise as the festival drew to a close.


Another glorious Glastonbury festival experience came to an end, and as we headed back to the tents at 9am on the Monday to pack our bags and make the return journey home to Manchester aboard the National 'Hogwarts' Express, the only thing we could bare to talk about was returning to Michael Eavis' hippie wonderland again next year.

20/06/2014

Lyme Park - Winter 2013



So me and my housemates went to Lyme Park in December, and since then I've not really had chance to edit the footage. I forgot how nice this afternoon was, and how the low sun cast such lovely shadows. This was shot on a 550D, and the song used is You by Gold Panda!

13/06/2014

Create Salford Festival 2014

Today I was excited to learn that my Northern Soul radio documentary 'New Century Soul' is to be featured at this years Create Salford Festival, which takes place at Media City UK between the 12-14 of June. You'll be able to hear my programme, amongst some of the other of this years featured material playing in The Sound Den across the weekend.

Here's a little bit about the festival from the organisers, and if you'd like to learn more please visit the website 'Create Salford Festival 2014'

"Create Salford 2014 is a showcase for the best creative work from the University of Salford’s School of Arts and Media students – with special input from our closest industry partners and friends. The festival runs from 12-14 June at MediaCityUK and the programme features original theatre productions, immersive visual arts exhibitions, daring fashion shows, debut film screenings and creative workshops."

20/05/2014

Second Year Pre-recorded Radio: 'New Century Soul'



For my Pre-recorded Radio module, and as part of my second year of studying BA Television & Radio at Salford University, I was asked to produce a 10-12 minute radio programme on a subject of my choice. I had a few rough ideas - none of which I'd really pursued very far - but by chance, I happened to stay up late one night and catch a re-run of a BBC Culture Show special on Northern Soul, presented by the BBC's economics correspondent Paul Mason. In the documentary, Paul relived the good old days by returning to the Northern Soul 'scene' (shudder) 40 years on from the night the infamous Wigan Casino had shut down. I found it fascinating. A long lasting subculture built on unsuccessful underground black-American soul records with a loyal following, and events taking place around the country every weekend. I wanted to get involved and find out more.

From there I contacted Chris Waterman who runs the New Century Soul all-nighter events in Manchester, and he very kindly agreed to meet me and do an interview. From there, Chris lent me tonnes of Northern Soul books and DVD's, introduced me to some of the people who attend his event, and very kindly invited me along to one of his bi-monthly events.


The event was fantastic. It ran from 9pm until 7am the next day, and by the end of the night I was so tired I was almost delirious, but the music was great and the people were welcoming, so what more could you ask for?

Chris also put me in touch with Dave Molloy, who is not only extremely knowledgeable on Northern Soul, but is also an all round really nice bloke. He invited me to visit the site of the old Casino in Wigan, and made me feel welcome in a town I was unfamiliar with. Cheers Dave.

And on that note, I'd like to thank Chris, Dave, Calvin, Wulfie and the rest of the bunch at the New Century Soul all-nighter for being so kind and helpful and for their hospitality as well.

It was a great experience, and although I found it challenging at times, I feel like I've developed skills that I didn't have prior to this assignment. And, although I appreciate there are places in which I can improve, I'm extremely happy with the outcome of this project for my first attempt.

13/04/2014

Northzen - Show #19 (Final show of 2013-2014)



If you missed show number nineteen on ShockRadio it's now available on Mixcloud for you to listen back to.
Thank you to everyone who's listened and gotten in touch a long the way. It's been great fun, and I'm really proud of what the show's achieved this year, and more importantly, that people actually enjoy listening. I'll be back in October!

08/04/2014

Charity Shop Jukebox - Week 19 (£10 Special)

Where Have I Been \\ This Week
RSPCA - The UK's leading animal welfare charity, that specialise in rescue, animal welfare and preventing animal cruelty.

Barnardo's - A British charity who care for vulnerable children and young people.

PDSA - The PDSA provides free veterinary services for the pets of needy owners in the UK.

Address:
RSPCA:
565 Wilbraham Rd,
Chorlton,
M21 0AE

Barnardo's:
563 Wilbraham Rd,
Chorlton,
M21 0AE

PDSA:
569 Wilbraham Rd,
Chorlton,
M21 0AE 


What I Discovered This Week \\ This Week

Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures (£2.00)
1. Girls Who Play Guitars
2. Our Velocity
3. Books from Boxes
4. Russian Literature
5. Karaoke Plays
6. Your Urge
7. The Unshockable
8. By the Monument
9. Nosebleed
10. A Fortnight's Time
11. Sandblasted and Set Free
12. Parisian Skies


Groove Armada - Vertigo - (£2.00)
1. Chicago
2. Whatever, Whenever
3. Dusk You & Me
4. Pre 63
5. If Everybody Looked The Same
6. Serve Chilled
7. I See You Baby
8. A Private Interlude
9. At The River
10. In My Bones
11. Your Song
12. Inside My Mind (Blue Skies)


Jamie T - Panic Prevention (£2.00)
1. Brand New Bass Guitar
2. Salvador
3. Calm Down Dearest
4. So Lonely Was the Ballad
5. Back in the Game
6. Operation
7. Sheila
8. Pacemaker
9. Dry Off Your Cheeks
10. Ike & Tina
11. If You Got The Money
12. Alicia Quays



Blue Boy - Remember Me (50p)
1. Sure Is Pure [7" Edit]
2. Original 12"
3. Sure Is Pure [12" Remix]
4. Cavern 3 [Remix]
5. Rae & Christian [Remix]


Kaiser Chiefs - Employment (£1.50)
1. Everyday I Love You Less and Less
2. I Predict a Riot
3. Modern Way
4. Na Na Na Na Naa
5. You Can Have It All
6. Oh My God
7. Born to Be a Dancer
8. Saturday Night
9. What Did I Ever Give You
10. Time Honoured Tradition
11. Caroline, Yes
12. Team Mate


Fatboy Slim - You've Come A Long Way Baby (£1.50)
1. Right Here, Right Now
2. The Rockafeller Skank
3. Fucking in Heaven
4. Gangster Tripping
5. Build It Up - Tear It Down
6. Kalifornia
7. Soul Surfing
8. You're Not from Brighton
9. Praise You
10. Love Island
11. Acid 8000
 

07/04/2014

Shock Radio Awards 2014




The annual Shock Radio Awards were held at Tiger Tiger in Manchester this year. It was a fantastic night, and I'd like to say a huge thank you to the organisers, namely Dave Dullage, Oscar Smith, and Orry Verducci, who were responsible for making it such a huge success.

Myself and my show Northzen were nominated for 6 Awards: Best Feature (for Charity Shop Jukebox), Most Improved Presenter, Best Male, Best Specialist Music Show, Sexiest Male Voice, and Pick Of The Year. I was massively surprised and honored to be considered as a nomination in so many categories, and once again I'd like to thank anyone who was kind enough to put my name forward. As you can probably tell, after the votes were totaled up, I was the winner of the Pick of The Year award. By my standards, that's quite an achievement, and I was over the moon to accept the award.

So, thank you to anyone who listened to Northzen this year, and supported all the things I do. It made all the effort just that little more worth it. A special thank you to my mum and Henry Lewis, who tuned in every week without fail. Congratulations to the other award winners. And I'd also like to thank the Executive Committee at Shock Radio for working tirelessly behind the scenes throughout the year to give people like myself the opportunity to broadcast on the station.

I've had a fantastic year, as I hope everyone else has, and I'm looking forward to returning to the station in September to continue to the good work that we do.