Songs of the year

Without ever considering formalising it, I’ve had a favourite song of the year pretty clearly marked since about 2009. So, as I’ve now been furnished for a full year with Spotify’s ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist (what I’ve always wanted, really), I thought I’d make a bit more of a thing of it. Here are five songs released in 2017 that tickled my fancy.

(NB. a number of favourites from this year’s ‘Discover Weekly’s weren’t actually released in 2017, much to my dismay. Happily, there were plenty of belters to choose from anyway.)

Hand Habits – Sun Beholds Me [Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void]

Burgers on board!

One for the Londoners.

Something to redress the balance – why should pregnant women get to hog the cool-badge limelight?

Perhaps you’re an expectant father. Perhaps you’ve just completed an impressive eating challenge. Perhaps you’re suffering in a carb-coma. Or perhaps you just feel you deserve a seat on the train/bus more than those lean and athletic-looking twenty-somethings do.

Hit me up if you want one. I’ve got about a million.


Releasing and promoting music

I finished recording some music earlier this year, and self-released it as an EP. You’ve no doubt heard it, having seen the poster campaign, been flooded with emails and had your social media accounts wallpapered in adverts.


Oh. Err… here it is anyway…

Yeah… so the thing is I probably didn’t make a great job of promoting the release. Having sorted the music, I looked for a guide to releasing it, and didn’t find one that was quite relevant. I suppose that shouldn’t be a massive surprise – the way music’s consumed has changed so much and so quickly. And the way you release and promote music made by a youthful gigging indie band, a bedroom-based grime artist, and an alternative lo-fi doom metal act are probably very different.

Got somethin’ to say?

Everyone’s petrified of a potential customer, employer or collaborator heading to their website’s blog or their Twitter feed and finding three years of inactivity. It just doesn’t look good.

But I’m well aware that business priorities rarely promote kicking back, reading mags and blogs, having a think about the big wide world, and penning half a dozen thought pieces over the course of a couple of days. Work tends to get in the way.

And employing someone purely to publicly commentate on your behalf sounds risky and, well, expensive.

There’s another way. I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. And it is good.

Analyse The Analysts – EURO 2016

QualityIt’s that special time. The season’s finished. The year ends with an even number. Telly is shit.

It can only mean… it’s time for a load of fat ex-pros, fat club managers and soon-to-be-fat injured footballers to analyse a major football tournament for us.

I’ll do my best to keep track of the insights, bad shirt choices and Colemanballs over the next 30 days, occasionally using the hashtag #analysetheanalysts. I nearly chose #commentatorcommentary. But just to be clear, I didn’t. Excuse the odd missed match – I’ve got girlfriend’s-cousin’s-wedding or some such tomorrow (unbelievable), and I really ought to do some proper work now and again – but I’ll be inviting others to chip in and fill in the gaps.


IMG_3635Beer brand-building

Sometimes as a copywriter you are asked to write about something boring and paid reasonable money for it.

Sometimes as a copywriter you are asked to write about something interesting and paid nothing for it.

This is a tale, fortunately for you, reader, comfortably within the second of these categories.

My mate started brewing beer. Like a teenager does. He bought the same kits. He delivered the same foul, often extremely potent, results.

Then he took it seriously.

He sought out the proper equipment. He multiplied suggested ingredient quantities by two, and then five and ten. He paid complete attention to sterilising advice.

Jokes that only work on 6Music

Shaun Keaveny this morning asked for listeners’ ‘jokes that only work on BBC Radio 6 Music’.

I didn’t offer this one up as it also requires some bi-lingual skill. I came up with it, somewhat unbelievably, when in the midst of a heavy hangover in Bordeaux:

Qu’est-ce que Daddy G de Massive Attack dit quand il a gouté la vindaloo français?

C’est comme un korma.


Farewell midweek drinking

I’m a pretty decent writer. However today I have been a waste of oxygen. I used to enjoy a midweek drink, and even sort of get a kick out of struggling through the next day. It isn’t quite as fun when ineffective = not earning though. Uncommon practice as it is for me to booze on a school night nowadays, do turf me out if you happen to see in the pub Monday to Thursday. Ta.

Mercury is poisonous, you know


A title bristling with insinuation, isn’t it?

Well I’m not going to damn it to hell, but I’ve always had a bit of an issue with the Mercury Music Prize. Or the Barclaycard Mercury Prize, as it now refers to itself. But rather than just blindly slagging it off like usual, I’ve had me a little sit down to think about just what that issue is.

I think it’s made up of three mini-issues. And here I present them unto you.

What, exactly, does the Mercury Prize celebrate?

What a Lush experience, Captain

Cat massage

I’ve been known to complain. Like after my girlfriend and I had been shoehorned into a knackered old coach without a toilet for four hours on our return from a three-day festival. And when I ordered a new bath panel and nobody ever contacted me about it, or its absence, ever.

And even when I pay for something decent, it’s not unusual for it to come with a few ‘rough edges’.

So when I experience something good, I feel it’s my duty to at least make some small attempt to balance the scales by saying thanks. And ‘thanks’ is exactly what I said to LUSH Spa on Oxford Street ( following my massage treatment there last week.