Tech-addiction. What is the real Legacy of Mobile Media?

The issue of when children should be exposed to multi-media is getting swept so far under the carpet it’s now bordering the eye-achingly ridiculous.

According to a new report found on Mashable Today “Nearly two in five children have used a tablet or smartphone before they could speak in full sentences” 

As I was lucky enough to spend my early years in the outdoors (running over wildlife with my bike, illegal fishing and exploding things) I feel that modern offspring are missing out. – This is a trailer for a new documentary film following the efforts of David Bond to reverse the seemingly unstoppable trend of modern youth spending untold hours behind apple screens. David does a sterling job of highlighting what the tech revolution could really be giving to the next generation.

Need some motivation? check this Shocking statistic and full article posted on Mashable: check out David Bond’s ‘Project Wild Thing’ campaign here


Smiling Ivy – The Music Video

Courtesy of Smiling Ivy boys

Courtesy of Smiling Ivy

You may have seen in my previous post on the genius music video workings of Ham Pocket, now retired undefeated in the realm of irreverent dirty music humour. After this success there is now a new beacon of music video light emerging from dark underbelly of Sheffield’s SKA Dub scene: Sheffield boys Smiling Ivy will be releasing their first Music Video for One of the biggest and full flavoured tracks on the new EP: Gagging Order –

The mix of  creative, pure debauched stylings of the band folded into the creamy, professionally led – shoot – cut – edit to follow is something much like having Charlie Sheen organise your friday night – ridiculous, stimulating and inevitably dangerous, which has my mouth watering at the thought of it.

This new video offering is eagerly anticipated, not least because it has been shot, produced and cut under the careful eye of James Roberts, now a Lead Techie at one of Danny Boyle’s Visual FX companies in Soho. James or ‘Kneyhi’ is a long time friend and fan of the band and his expertise comes as a welcome addition to their first debut Vid.

Find their new Video October 19th at and be sure to get all the updates on ff and twatter @smilingivy


We need a Coffee Revolution

Hello little coffee bean…

You are responsible for artificially instigating bouts of productivity, spates of dizziness and shakes worthy of Elvis .. And the humble cup of Jo holds the title of the most popular hot drink worldwide (temperature dependent popularity is a fickle scale).

I love my morning coffee, or espresso, macchiato or Latte… or sometimes all four. But, to quote esteemed directed Quentin Tarantino; ‘I want to taste my coffee when I drink it’. I bring this quote to light (ref. pulp f) because it seems that some people are really struggling to grasp the concept behind making coffee. And it really grinds on me. Literally.

How hot is too hot?

Why the ‘big boys’ in the coffee industry (not to name any names but it could rhyme with mars – trucks) refuse to respect how a coffee should be made is a conundrum that has puzzled me for years… Capital coffee crime numero-uno: coffee should be made with hot water, stop… not boiling or just boiled! Just ‘hot’, as in ‘above warm’ (why?) so you don’t burn the beans (good idea) so what do we do? Burn the beans… grrrr

Stop distracting us with muffins and rich mahogany

Many coffee outlets forego the idea that we might understand the concept of where coffee comes from by presenting us with a grossly large vat of coffee beans in an intimidating Perspex wall. Stood cowering beneath this monstrosity I imagine a scene of impending doom; The wall… ripe to breach… at any moment, enveloping those careless enough to have lusted upon a few minutes of free WiFi … crushed under the weighty sea of lava java in mission-impossible-esque dramatics.

Anyway.. coffee is ordered. Currency is exchanged. Loyalty cards are scanned in a futile attempt to regain a sense of financial responsibility. The impossibly large steampump  machines grind away, beans spilling from atop their tower, plunging a few whole feet from their holding pen – the chosen few.


Trustworthy Beans…

All to ensure your coffee is ‘freshly ground’! People like to witness grinding you see. After freshly grinding your coffee from the second largest Perspex-locked stock pile of natural matter in the county you are presented with your paper cup with the insulative properties of a wet paper bag.

To feign value for money – your coffee is topped up with a pint of milk (no matter what you’ve ordered) run through the steam again and placed upon a counter several miles away from where you entered the shop -You proceed to try and identify your drink, at the baggage claim area- luckily someone wrote your name on the cup. Well they asked your name. Unless your name is ‘unidentifiable scrawl’ you are shit out of luck son.

You do however have enough time to wait until all the other coffees have been claimed as you need at least 30 minutes before thinking about putting your face near to the cup, let alone drink it at a safe temperature…

What is the light at the end of this espresso black tunnel? Well all credit to the Spanish and Italians who for the vast majority know how to make a good cup of coffee (pat on the backs all round) And I will be joining your ranks once i’ve got a down payment on theVilla  ¡Viva la revolución del café

Smiling Ivy Tour the French Alps: Northern Soul meets va-va-voom

ski a

At the precipice… of the crucible… of the *more epic preamble here*  of early-spring 2013 ( a time still vivid in my mind…) as I was to embark on a ‘no holds barred’ all out chaos, music fest, booze-up and extreme sports weekend with my favourite Funk/Dub Band Smiling Ivy.

My perilous voyage into the deep French heart-land. The home of the croissant (and suspiciously rare-cooked hamburger) .. could only be for one reason…  to spend a few of my days on this mortal plane upside down on ski slope with a bottle of snapps.. All to the sound track of “Ape-O-Calypso” by Smiling Ivy.

To begin my journey at the beginning: Picture a guy.. possibly a bit lost, deshevilled,  hung over and clinging to a foamy Amstel like he’s at the last port before the Storm (the Airport bar in the middle of the day….) know the type? That’s me… departing Easy-Jet for the most extreme combo imaginable: Smiling Ivy (Kings of the debauched  sex, drugs & rock’n’roll lifestyle.. with the gig perched on top of an Alp – Funk me!! (excusing my French)

I sat considering this and pondered if I would get back to old Blighty with all my vital organs intact…  but I also had to think of the party about to ensue….. A band boastful of Northern soul leading the SKA / funk / Reggae fusion scene of the North… And generally salt of the earth party-animals (who I am proud to have known for a number of years) and have been at the epicentre of the best and most debauched encounters of my youthful years.

When I heard they were making the road trip in a Van best described as ‘barely legal’ up the perilous French mountains of Les Deux Alpes.. I couldn’t just stand idly by… I told my boss to open up some emergency time off, booked my flight and fortified my liver. For anyone considering going to Les Duex Alpes, Easy Jet offer a  pleasant (if a little basic) trip to Grenoble for the modest price of £47 return. (Thank you Sky scanner!) It was then a 45 min Bus ride or a 30 min TAXI to the top, when I was stood in the doorway of buzzing Bar, filled with the most energetic and physically fit partiers and dancers I’d ever seen, I knew then, I had made a great call.

ski ski i ski 11 ski iii

Smiling Ivy played 4 funk filled bouncy gigs over 3 hazy nights, the mixed European crowd were a riot and the Ivy boys got a reception way beyond anyones expectations.  I flew to the Alps for 2 reasons: To share the experience of their first international gig, as they’re doing it!! Another reason is to see the reaction of the French or Italian or Dutch as they absorb Ivy’s unique sound in the surroundings, that are so majestic and impressive.

Finally we enjoyed a marked occasion with a feast of a meal joined by the ‘Seasonaires’ Hippy-boarders who would rather go head first down the precipice of a monstrous mountain than face a real job… god bless them.  The next day we took our pounding heads and dragged our weary bones up a mountain to try our hand at snowboarding! Whilst hung over and with little, to no experience between us….. Several concussions later and with a fully inflated sense of pride and ego we disembarked from the frost bitten mountain side to recover in the comforts of another well-earned drink(s), Hot tub, sauna and massage. All capped off by a rum and schnapps chaser, and then another sobering encounter spent face first down the mountain.

Big thanks to all that helped the band: Chis ‘the Arnivore’ Arnold – DJ and eventer @coolbeans  Sam Staton and especially a massive shout out to James kearney “Seasonaire Extroadinaire” for making this happen. You can find James’ latest entrepreneurial exploits in his typically tongue in cheek clothing brand ‘Stupid’  —

like it here:

Buy it here!


To Check out Smiling Ivy’s latest sounds, golden oldies, Tour Dates and much…. much more please visit . Also they will be back next year in Les Deux Alpes for a Tour bigger and better than last year (If that’s possible) I hope to be illuminated.

Please send any of your pics of crazy gigs in exotic or not-so exotic locations, Do it for London Boy  #LBcrazygigs