Thursday, 10 March 2011

Testing the new Dashboards Outbound functionality - publishing modules from Dashboards 2 into Blogs, Intranet, etc.


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Isle of Wight Festival 2010 - Singing in the Sun

Bless me reader, I have sinned. I've not blogged in a while. I got back from the Isle of Wight Festival weeks ago and I've still not created a new post ...
No more sinning for me.
Well, at least no more virtual sinning in blogspace.

If I had to pick my big three highlights they would be:
1. The Strokes
A real festival crowd pleaser of a set, all the big hits were belted out in style and it was a pretty tight performance. The atmosphere was great, with everyone was singing and dancing - Last Night was electric, and 12.51 and Someday real standouts. The banter left something to be desired (see awards).

2. Macca
Magical Tour de Force. I was slightly wary of a Wings dominated performance but it was actually a very balanced set. Jet and Band on the Run were very good. Live and Let Die was a high point - forceful, energetic and with a loud and bright back-drop of fireworks. As expected, a huge cheer went up for Hey Jude, and there was a very real danger that the crowd would never stop singing the Chorus and reprise. My highlights from the Beatles back catalog were probably Day Tripper, Eleanor Rigby, Yesterday, Back in the USSR and Sgt. Pepper. Macca connected well with the crowd (see awards)

3. James.
A very different atmosphere to the main stage, the James experience in the "Big Top" tent was - intense. Tim Booth can be really quite scarily intense. There was nothing that seemed out of place in a very strong set, and it's hard to pick my favourite moments. Laid was a high energy dancing sing-along, Sometimes was an uplifting joy, Sit Down stand-outOut to Get You melodic and intense. (see awards)

The Friendly Fires, Courteeners, The Doves, and Vampire Weekend were also great and I would go out of my way to see them again. Crowded House had lost something of their glorious spark, but were still reliably good.

*Most energetic performance*
Another close tie between James and Friendly Fires. When not standing rigid and staring intensely, Tim Booth was twirling around the stage like a mad man, throwing in a few of the best 'Dad moves' I've ever seen. Friendly Fires were constantly jigging, jumping and dancing in the midday heat. Based on sheer physically exertion - proven by the sweat-drenched shirt of Ed Macfarlane - the latter should edge it. Award goes to Friendly Fires.

*Worst facial hair*
This is a close tie between the 'tache' sported by Crowded House' Neil Finn and beard of the Editors' Tim Smith. Neil looked like he had trained a grey slug to balance on his upper lip. Tim Booth looked like he was auditioning for the Wolfman. Award goes to Tim Smith, Editors.

* Best banter*
The Strokes' Julian Casablancas is of worthy mention, his banter was so bad it was almost good! He seemingly forgot to greet the audience, eventually stopping Hard to Explain to mumble something, slurred and drawled 'cool' and 'yeh man' after every song.

Sir Paul greeted the crowd like a true professional, and continued to string entire intelligible sentences together throughout his set. He even threw in an anecdote about Jimi Hendrix (seeking out Eric Clapton in the audience to help tune his guitar) and a touching tribute to his friend John. Award goes to Paul McCartney.

* Best over-heard quote *
This had to be the moment where, in carefully jumping over small rivulets in the toilet queue, a Mother stated to her child "We'll wait till we get to the camp-site, the toilets will be better there". Poor naive festival virgins.

Oxegen next .... Can't wait!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Countdown to IOW Festival ... Highlights from 2009

Very excited about Isle of Wight festival. 40 Days and counting.
It's got me thinking about what I want to see/hear/do/experience this time round, and some of my highlights from 2009:

1. Lots of sunshine!
And sunburn. I will go factor-15 prepared this time.

2. The Big Top.

I was dead against the introduction of a second stage - I hate having to pick a band, and the idea that I could be missing something amazing on the other stage. By the end I was sold though. I had seen Prodigy before and they bored me slightly after the 20th round of tourette's so I went to see Ladyhawke instead. She was not a natural performer - hiding behind her mic, her hair, her status-quo-denim, - but the music was really good. Calvin Harris was also great as were Australian Pink Floyd.

3. Impromptu acoustic sessions on Guitar Hero stage.
This was slightly surreal. I would walk by protecting my ears from the god-awful racket some deluded member of the public was making - only to chance upon a real musician. I saw James Walsh from Starsailor, and Midge Ure (Ultravox) playing a few hits. They were brilliant.

4. The Big Wheel.

Being a bit sad again. Well, it did have amazing views up at the top.

5. The Red Arrows.
Yes, I know it's a bit sad to be impressed by this. But I don't care. There was an announcement that the Red Arrows would be appearing in a few seconds, and seconds later they flashed over our heads. They proceeded to show off at high speeds at high altitude.

6. Hogroast.
Ummmmm delicious. Really, compared to the standard festival stall fare it was excellent.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Red, Blue or Yellow? Election Songs

Fed up with repetitive politicians? Confused by the different party policies? Desperately seeking inspiration for polling day?

This is my musical tribute to the three main political parties.
To make it more difficult (I Wanna be Elected being way too obvious) ALL the songs are by bands playing at my Absolute Summer of Festivals.

Alternative theme song!

LABOUR: I Can't Win, The Strokes

CONSERVATIVES: Acceptable In The 80's, Calvin Harris

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: Get This Party Started, P!nk


LABOUR: Getting Away With It (All Messed Up), James
CONSERVATIVES: Locked Out, Crowded House
LIBERALS: Roll Away Your Stone, Mumford & Sons

The economy?
LABOUR: Dog Days Are Over, Florence & The Machine
CONSERVATIVES: Supermassive Black Hole, Muse
LIBERALS: Hurry Up And Wait, Stereophonics

Nuclear weapons?

LABOUR: Atomic, Blondie
CONSERVATIVES: Seek & Destroy, Kasabian
LIBERALS: Giving Up The Gun, Vampire Weekend

MP scandal?

LABOUR: Let It Be, Beatles/Paul McCartney
CONSERVATIVES: Please Don't, Courteeners
LIBERALS: Go/Dissident, Pearl Jam

LABOUR: War Child, Blondie
CONSERVATIVES: We Started Nothing, Ting Tings
LIBERALS: Barely Legal, The Strokes

Proportional representation?
LABOUR: You Never Know, Goldfrapp
CONSERVATIVES: Standing In The Way Of Control, Gossip
LIBERALS: One Way Or Another, Blondie

Hung parliament?
LABOUR: Vision Of Division, The Strokes
CONSERVATIVES: Apocalypse Now, Muse
LIBERALS: Right Here Right Now, Fatboy Slim

It's fun! Have a go: What would be your song choices? Leave a comment!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Line-up! magical festival tour

The latest announcement from Isle of Wight festival is that Paul McCartney will play main stage on Sunday. The news headline was: Ticket to Ryde! Genius, no?

Macca joins an already impressive IOW line-up: Calvin Harris, Doves, Florence & the Machine (1), Pink, The Strokes, Blondie, Biffy Clyro, Crowded House, Friendly Fires, Editors, Spandau Ballet, Courteeners, Vamptire Weekend, Suzanne Vega and someone called Jay-Z.

... I'm most excited about Isle of Wight because a) It is the 1st festival, on 11th June b) I've been before and really enjoyed it c) Crowded House are one of my favourite bands (2) d) Macca. Enough said. e) I'm a self-confessed geeky 80's fan and quite looking forward to Blondie/Spandau

The line-up for the other festivals is equally exciting though:

Oxegen line-up. One word: Muse. Awesome.
A few more words: Kasabian, Fatboy Slim, Goldfrapp, Faithless, 30 Seconds to Mars, Temper Trap, Stereophonics, Black Eyed Peas, Eminen, Newton Faulkner, Paolo Nutini ...

Rock werchter line-up. That word again. Muse. Doubly awesome.
Other acts include: Faithless, Skunk Anansie, Ting Tings, Gossip, Pink, Editors, Green Day, Jack Johnson, Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Alice in Chains, Ramsteinn.

Benicassim line-up. Prodigy, Kasabian, Leftfield, Echo & the Bunnymen, Ian Brown, Klaxons, The Specials, Temper Trap, Calvin Harris, Vampire Weekend, Mumford & Sons and more.


(1) Half looking forward to seeing Florence and the Machine, half scared. The album is great. But she is a complete nutter. As if the lyrics for 'Girl with One Eye' were not disturbing enough, last time I saw her live she dedicated the song "To all you two-eyed f*ckers out there. I'll carve your eyes out with a spoon". Or something equally charming.

(2) I think my all-time top ten would be: Beatles, Crowded House, Muse, Depeche Mode, Foo Fighters, Blur, The Delays, Pink Floyd, Snow Patrol, Fleetwood Mac. But my current favourites tend to change ...

Friday, 12 March 2010

Newbie blogger, jammy winner

500 Days of Summer Movie
I'm new to this, be gentle with me.

I decided to blog about my prize.

I won a competition on Absolute Radio, a Summer of festivals with 500 days of summer. I had to create a Spotify playlist (1), inspired by the film 500 Days of Summer (2).

... I waited on the line. Jeff Lloyd announced my line number. I had apparently forgotten how to count, and lost the power of speech for a moment, only managing 'Hello ...?' as in "what? do you mean me???". Duh. I was a bundle of nerves and elation live on-air, and managed to string together a few vaguely coherent reasons for my selection, before threatening to go jump around the room in excitement. And I did. I think I damaged my newly laid flooring.

My absolutely fabulous prize includes flights, transfers, camping tickets, and insurance for 2 people to attend 4 European festivals:
1. Isle of Wight
2. Benicassim, Spain
3. Oxegen, Ireland
4. Rock Wercter, Belgium

I will try my damnedest not to boast, but rather share my experiences with you lovely people, review the bands and post lots of photos. Enjoy!!

(1) For those of you interested, I chose Depeche Mode, Just Can't Get Enough, Ladyhawke Delerium, Godley & Creme Cry. To be honest, I was feeling quite sorry for myself and rather tipsy, as you can tell from my playlist description. I did have fun playing around on Spotify, if you have not used it before I thoroughly recommend it.

(2) 500 Days of Summer is a 'romcom' but strictly not what you would expect, it is more about often false hope, obsession and break-ups than love and the perfect relationship. Think High Fidelity for the noughties. It is a sweet, charming and fresh film - wonderfully acted, cleverly directed, wry, and very very funny. In my review I gave it 9/10. The film soundtrack would get 10/10

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