Saturday, November 28, 2009

The two best songs of the decade

I'm not sure if they are the best songs of the decade, but they're the first two I could think of where I could write around a hundred words each for.

So Simon, the ace music blogger at Sweeping The Nation, was after some people to write about the best songs of the decade. As the take up on the offer was rather low that meant I could swoop in with my meagre offerings and get published on something other than my own blog.

Everyone else seemed to be writing about the song itself, whereas I went for a mini-biography of a pop star and rabbiting on about my watabe wedding. Both posts included poor jokes.

If you're interested in this then please go to:
Spiller featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Breathless

(Two blogs in three days? I must be doing something wrong*)

* Oh yeah, I am being made redundant** which does mean I have a bit more spare time nowadays

** And being made redundant must mean I'm doing something wrong

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One Late Night Left

I've never been to a game festival before. Well, I remember my Dad taking me & my brother to a computer fair in Harrogate where we each had to spend one pound to get in, spent ten minutes to have a look around, realised everything was crap and left.

Not'num Game City is different. It's free.

And alright, it does hold your attention for more than ten minutes. And there are some people you'd actually want to talk to.

Live! & Derek's head!

I turned up on the Friday after loads of events had already taken place. The major discussion point was that some Japanese game designer was designing a playground for Not'num. I joked that Jonathan King was designing a similar playground for the kids of Derby, but no-one really laughed at it. Shame.

But, after checking on my Grandma in Clifton, I showed up in Market Square to go see One Life Left live. Which was almost immediately delayed as Ann Scantlebury and Simon Byron's train was delayed. I thought I saw Stels but didn't want to bother him.

Luckily by this point Down Home Kitty showed up so I wasn't on my own anymore and before too long Derek and Dbot arrived. The first place we looked at was the EA van, but we quickly left it as it was full of the kids who would usually be crowding round the game-nngh-pods at HMV.

The next place we avoided was the Crysis Live event. Partially because there was a massive queue. I also thought that because it was Crysis - but in real life - there would be too strict a person requirement to go on it*.

So the indie tent was the only alternative left. And of course being student indie games they were either games with a message and therefore absolutely no gameplay, or based on an existing game but done slightly worse. Kudos to the young tykes who were trying to hack one demo PC into showing dodgy YouTube videos. I doffed my cap to them and moved on.

The other main showing in the indie tent were the multi-multi-player games happening on the big screen. These involved about sixteen people playing altered versions of Bit Trip Beat, Jetstrike, Pirates! and reverse Base Jumpers. It all seemed great fun, if you were one of the three people who knew the controls and didn't die straight away. However, if you've got a big screen, sixteen PStwo joypads and multiple multi-taps then I highly recommend it (I agree - A Zelda Four Swords on the Gamecube owner).

Dancing! Live!

Before the fun and games had to finish and One Life Left were to do their live show. As usual with these things there was somehing to make it literally unbroadcastable. In this case it was the annoyingly uncatchy tunes from the big screen and having to play music from a broken DVD player. Despite all this it was rather jolly with special guests like Raina Karaoke Lee! Jonathan Lego Smith! Syphus Blockbusters Syphus! Martin Barber Hollis! and Student Unpaid Helper!

There was also a Gameboy chiptune masterclass with Sabrepulse and Syphus, which actually required some musical knowledge and therefore of absolutely no use to me.

And then it was One Night Left. As official bootleg videographer I recorded Derek's performance which as usual involved a performance worthy Vegas showman at the top of their game. The Paper PlaNES remix going down particularly well.

Craig 'the Rage' McClelland then dropped his poetry on those assembled and, as can be from Mr. McClelland, there was a mixture of shock and amusment from the crowd. He was there selling his book, which I got signed to Nick Griffin.

Next were the main headliners. I felt Syphus just shaded it above Sabrepulse as his tunes were more Amiga based and hit my nostalgia gland more compared to Sabrepulse's Darkcore Rave (I think that's what it sounded like to me). Also Syphus had a keytar.

By this point I was flagging and when team OLL hit the decks I was mostly sitting down. Although I did get to talk to Martin Hollis, Jonathan Smith, Mitu Komplexsurnametospell, Charlie Miller and Craig McClelland. I also think I was the only person sad enough to have their photo taken with the award:
The new Ste?

So it was a good night. And apparently Saturday was a good day too with the supergroup of Derek, Charlie and Mazrim hitting the Lego Rock Band stage to the delight of Raina. But I was having tea with my Grandma** which was a lot more fun if I'm totally honest. Sorry everyone.

I highly recommend Game City and if I'm not in a job where I need to work that week*** I'll try to go for much longer.

* Which would probably be needing to be at least 6ft 4, to have the same memory as a Cambridge graduate and Games For Windows Live.

** Except I did go to a comic book shop which had damaged Jake and Jessie Gemini figures, thus keeping one of Wrestlecrap Radio's running jokes running on.

*** Although in a job where I can afford to book a hotel for four nights

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Swinging London

Highly illegal, which is why it'll only be up for a week, but here is the Hazy Osterwald Jet Set's Swinging London.