Sunday, 28 March 2010

Live Review: The Automatic - Audio Brighton 27/03/10

The last time this reviewer saw the Automatic live it was June 2006 and the Welsh four piece were ending a frantic 18 months of touring with a first album closing, homecoming gig in the heart of the valleys. Fast forward four years and The Automatic take to the stage Audio stage with a change of personnel (yelping keyboardist Pennie replaced by former Yourcodenameis:milo man Paul Mullen after the first album), and a recently released third record in tow.

Opening with latest single ‘Interstate’, the Automatic power through a set heavy with new album material, vocal harmonies and powerful guitars sounding more mature, and more alive than they ever have. Of course, the old material is greeted by the biggest cheers - ‘Raoul‘, ‘That’s What She Said’ and ‘Recover’ have been slyly reworked without losing their sing-a-long brilliance - but even the lads themselves don‘t seem to mind. Closing the triumphant set with powerhouse anthem ‘Steve McQueen’ wearing large rubber animal heads, even a bear, a horse, a pig and a penguin can’t hide the band from the adulation of the Brighton crowd.

The Automatic have come along way since the first album boom of 2006, buoyed by the recording and self-release of their third album, they’re a tighter, louder and dare I say it, a better band than they’ve ever been. To show you just how far they’ve come, I nearly made it the whole review without mentioning that song.

New album 'Tear The Signs Down' is available now.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Who the man?

I love this new advertising campaign from French Connection. With an emphasis on guys to ‘man up’ their wardrobe this spring, this campaign certainly follows the trend. It’s simple, eye-catching and the guy has an EPIC beard, how much more manly can you get?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

England Footballer Plays Away From Home

Back when I was a wee lad running round the fields of the West Country, long before I discovered girls, music and how to appreciate fine cider, I lived and breathed football. To this day it’s one of my true passions, but it’s not often I get to mention my first love in the same breath as more ‘cultured’ pastimes like fashion and music. That was until February when the most unlikely of occasions, an England kit launch, changed all that.

While we all watched John Terry and Ashley Cole’s personal and professional lives unravel before our eyes, kit manufacturers Umbro were busy making a bloody good job of promoting the new England away kit for the upcoming World Cup. In previous years the first public glimpse of the new kit has been at a press conference, modelled by an uncomfortable looking group of players. But this year Umbro gave the debut honours to Kasabian, an English rock band playing 'away from home’ in Paris, with front man Tom Meighan returning to the stage for the encore wearing the new ‘66 inspired England away strip.

Meighan (who’s Irish decent we‘ll try to ignore) told "They said they wanted to take it away from the footballers for once and do something up to date. They wanted to combine with rock n roll. They're two powerful things... I'm honoured to wear it."

Two powerful things indeed, and as fashion makes that three, I say hats of to Umbro for giving us a shirt that’s genuinely wearable and something outside of the ‘WAG culture’ actually worth talking about.

The new England shirt is available now from all good sports stores (and some rubbish ones as well) and will be worn this summer by World Cup winner’s England. Well, we can all dream.

The future's bright, the future's grooming

Over the last two years working and writing within the grooming industry I’ve been lucky enough to sit down with some of the industry’s most respected insiders, picking up mountains of product knowledge along the way. In the coming months I hope to pass on some of this valuable information to my faithful blog readers, because at the end of the day, we all want to look our best whether we believe the industry hype or not.

This week saw my grooming writer debut over at and my first instalment of grooming advice, so check it out and let me know what you think.