Parklife Festival Review

It is festival season yet again. To kick this one off we spent the weekend at Heaton Park in Manchester for the Parklife festival. What attracted us to this particular one is the lineup of artists that were on show. The main attractions being A Tribe Called Quest, Damian Marley, George Ezra and Frank Ocean. This is not to say these are the best or biggest acts, although this may be true for some of the artists. A Tribe Called Quest is iconic and don’t often do shows in the UK as far as I am aware, so if the chance comes, you’ve got to grab it with three hands. The same can be said for Damian “Jnr Gong” Marley. This was George Ezra’s second festival ever! Frank Ocean doesn’t do tours, and hardly performs at festivals so again, it’s not to be missed. 


Location:

This was my first time attending this particular festival. The location was quite good, with easy access to the city on the tram and buses. There were also quite a number of coaches run by Big Green Coach from various part of the country. 

Accommodation 
The decision to go was very last minute for me, so it took a lot of last minute planning and rigorous search of the web to find a decent place to stay. To achieve this I took the AirBnB route, which I had never taken. There were a few places listed when we got on but these would quickly get spanned up while we were sending messages back and forth to agree whether we wanted to stay here or not. 
As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for the reasonably priced ones to be gone. We actually had one that we went all the pay to the payment part after selecting dates and everything. Only to be told that those dates where no long available. If AirBnB or anyone who works for or with them reads this, I am of the opinion that just adding a functional timer for booking would go a long way. I don’t know, five minutes where they hold your booking for you before allowing it to be spanned up. 
We stayed at this place: 
The host was brilliant, and very accommodating. His home is extremely clean. 
Acts:

I’m still trying to remember all the acts I went to. Will update this section asap. 

SetUp:

Stages


Frank Ocean’s personalised stage was great. I wasn’t impressed with the fact that the setup of that stage meant that everyone had to wait for an extra half an hour for Frank to get on stage. I don’t know if this stage was a last minute thing, or if the planning was just not done well. Whatever the case may be, no one wants to wait half an hour for an act. By then you had best bring our 2Pac and Biggie. 

Organisation:

Coach parking was a great idea. It was located in a convenient area for all entrances. There were quite a lot of car illegally parked, that made it very hard for the coach drivers to move in and out of the carpark. 

Accreditation 


Accreditation was pretty quick, with the usual festival vibe where it seems some of the people don’t know what they are doing. That being said, we were in in no time at all. We were through the guest entrance, so I don’t know how that would compare to general entrances. 

Sign posting
  

Security:

After what happened at the Ariana Grande show in the same city a few weeks prior to this festival, I was quite anxious going into this. The level of security was very reassuring though. Searches were being conducted thoroughly at all entrances as well as just after the entrance in case someone made it pay the first one. 


There was also a sniffer dog, doing what he does best. One of my friends had to be strip searched on both days, for some unknown reason. They didn’t find anything on him at either time.

I was rather annoyed on the second day when after emptying my pocket, I was informed that I could take my tiny bottle of cologne. It’s non-alcoholic and oil based. I couldn’t make sense of it. What vexed even more was the fact that I had taken it in the first day. The guard asked me to “spray it on” before going in. What a joke.
Crowd:

I’m very picky when it comes to crowds, do pardon me. Dress code was shocking to me. All the females seemed to be dressed in a uniform, bum shorts and a cleavage flattering top. Not that I’m complaining or anything, but what ever happened to individuality. You know? Just being yourself and not dressing like 49000 other people?

Some behaviour from the crowd was appalling. Pushing and shoving through without the least bit of “excuse me”. Excuse me, where are our manners?

Verdict:

I really think it’s ridiculous that it is still common for places at a festival to not access card as a form of payment. What year is this? We are a plastic generation, it should not be tolerated. Whatever their reasoning behind it, please sort your lives out. 

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Why we all saw Kanye West in J Cole’s False Prophets

Is Kanye one of the False Prophets in JCole’s Song?

3 days ago, rapper J. Cole dropped a much-anticipated album, “4 Your Eyez Only.” While the artist has built a loyal legion of followers over the years leading to and after the drop of his debut “Forest Hills”, the tracks that he released leading to the release of this new project had a lot of tongues wagging. He dropped two videos just a few days before the album was expected to be officially released. These songs heightened the expectations. Even non-Cole fans were now anticipating it. One of the main talking points was the track “False Prophets.” Most people quickly settled on the conclusion that it was some sort of subliminal dig at Kanye West. The track itself was descriptive in nature, it did not put any names on blast, just described the people he was referring to. Verse one is the one that brought Kanye to most people’s minds.

Hope you have now watched the video. Let’s get into the lyrics that have everyone talking.

False Prophets Verse 1 Lyrics Analysis

Yeah, life is a balance
You lose your grip, you can slip into an abyss
No doubt, you see these niggas trippin’
Ego in charge of every move, he’s a star
And we can’t look away due to the days that he caught our hearts
He’s fallin’ apart, but we deny it

(This is probably the first line that most linked to Mr. West. After his recent on stage rant and hospitalisation. He’s falling apart, but we deny it seemed to fit the bill).

Justifying that half ass shit he dropped, we always buy it

Most Kanye fans will tell you that they are not as impressed with his latest work when it is compared to what he used to drop. The old Kanye, the college dropout Kanye. His art has perhaps matured in that time, but not in the direction that some would have wanted. Even those that dont like it, still buy it. So again here, I can see why most people would have linked this to him again.

When he tell us he a genius but it’s clearer lately

I dont even need to get into that one. I don’t know many rappers who have told us that they are geniuses. Mr. West has done this though quite a few times.

It’s been hard for him to look into the mirror lately
There was a time when this nigga was my hero, maybe
That’s the reason why his fall from grace is hard to take
‘Cause I believed him when he said his shit was purer and he

DO you remember Kanye’s interview on the Ellen Show? He placed himself in the same category as Steve Jobs and Ghandi, with his being the only living entity in that equation. Nothing says purer than that.

The type of nigga swear he real but all around him’s fake
The women, the dick riders, you know, the yes men
Nobody with the balls to say somethin’ to contest him
So he grows out of control

How many times have we all wondered why no one ever speaks to Kanye to get him to tone it down, He has had his fair share of out of control moments. Nobody around him has had the damn balls to say something.

Into the person that he truly was all along, it’s startin’ to show
Damn, wonder what happened
Maybe it’s my fault for idolizin’ niggas
Based off the words they be rappin’
But come to find out, these niggas don’t even write they shit

There was an uproar not too long ago about Ghostwriters. Kanye was one of those that were implicated by this. There is no shame in that. He has made some great music over the years. I dont know why people complain about having someone else help an artist articulate their thoughts. He has never claimed to be a writer.

Hear some new style bubblin’ up, then they bite this shit
Damn, that’s what I get for lyin’ to myself
Well, fuck it, what’s more important is he’s cryin’ out for help
While the world’s eggin’ him on, I’m beggin’ him to stop it
Playin’ his old shit, knowin’ he won’t top it

I am one of those that are waiting for Mr. West to top his previous releases. The newer albums have left me with more doubt than hope. The problem with my view is that music is very subjective, what may seem to be a slump in my eyes is a rise in another person’s eyes. Just because his newer stuff is not as appealing to me as the other releases were, does not mean he has fallen, perhaps it’s an indication of me more than it is of him.

False prophets

 

Only J. Cole can say for certain whether or not this was directed at Kanye, but we can all speculate.

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Review: Arctic Monkeys @ Shepherds Bush Empire 28 March 2010

When reviewing a gig I usually endeavour to post it before the following day while the memories are fresh before they become too distant and I begin to blur the lines between imagination and reality and I weave tales based on my retrospective emotional state rather than the facts.

arctic monkeys setlist

The trouble with an Arctic Monkeys gig is that at the age of 30 you begin to feel like a chaperone to the scores of 14-16-year-olds who’ve turned out for the event… so even faced with the prospect of losing out on great seats in an unreserved seating area, the thought of queueing among them like the awkward beanpole-kid that’s been held back a few school years is enough to drive anyone to drink… and so we cue the pub, and a reference to my opening paragraph.

Having seen Arctic Monkeys perform live before, the idea of a special show dedicated solely to the performance of Humbug played from top to bottom was a rather special diamond encrusted belt notch I thought, but for a first timer… a little unfortunate.

Conveniently, the opening track on Humbug is current single My Propeller so kicks the set off with a real sense of here-and-now. Playing through the familiar chronology, though some may have found too predictable, I found gave the set highlight moments to look forward to based on song preferences, without the risk of disappointment when a band doesn’t play a song you’d hoped for in normal gig circumstances… and the convenience of a timed bathroom break for the lesser ‘choice’ songs – Nice!

Overall, though short-lived, it was a marvellous affair with Pretty Visitors being the highlight for me, as well as Crying Lightning b-side and Nick Cave cover Red Right Hand closing the set as only 1 of 5 b-sides following on from Humbug’s 10 track run.

So what can I take away from last nights performance that will stay with me forever?… This may sound a little lame to most, but I’ve always wanted to see it in the flesh and unlike the first time I saw them, Matt Helders was using the Agile Beast, which if like me you’re a drummer and a Matt Helders fan, is the Holy Grail of an Arctic Monkeys gig.

Arctic Monkeys albums are available to download at Nokia Music Store or if you’ve got Comes With Music get them all for free!

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Big Stinking Bass

Being a proud born and bred Bristolian it’s only natural and somewhat stereotypical – I have to accept, that I’m the type of guy thats obsessed with the deeper kind of frequencies that only a decent sub-cabinet can provide. So in my posts I’m gonna be providing you lot with all things bass driven, be it stuff happening in the world-famous Bristol Dubstep/Bass Music scene, tracks you can find in Nokia Music / Ovi Store, general rants or bits of bass related info.

So first off, I gotta give a mention to some of the things I’m involved within my home town. First of which is Karnival at The Tube on Unity Street. This is a monthly club night dedicated to the sounds of UK Funky, Bashment, Dancehall, Soca and Garage. It’s ran by residents Dub Boy, Atki2 (Monkey Steak) and myself, Stylatron. Last Saturday (5th of Dec) we had the pleasure of witnessing Ghislain Poirier and MC Zulucome and give the dance floor a serious workout. Anyone who knows these guys’ tunes knows that it would have been a lively one for sure! For those unfamiliar with The Tube, its an intimate joint with bags of character but, most importantly, packs one hell of a sound system!

Other nights I’m involved in are Ruffnek Diskotek and the mighty Monster Bassevents. Both of these nights are dedicated to Dubstep, Bashment, Dub, Reggae and general heaviness. Ruffnek are monthly events at Cosies with regular guest DJs, while Monster Bass’ happen only twice a year. We have the fantastic Mungo’s Hifi Sound System as our resident sound, which to experience is worth the entry fee alone! Past events have seen:

Chef and LD – Myspace / Myspace
Mala – Myspace)
The Bug and Warrior Queen – Myspace / Myspace
2562 – Myspace
Gemmy – Myspace
Dusk and Blackdown – Myspace
Starkey – Myspace
Monkey Steak – Myspace
Murderbot – Myspace
Heatwave – Myspace
Grevous Angel – Myspace
L.V. and Dandelion – Myspace

Trust me, its kinda big ;)

Stay tuned…

(PS: you can find most of these artists on the Nokia Music / Ovi Stores. Just  copy the names into the search box to find their releases)

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