Monday, 3 October 2011

Breaking News: Amanda Knox and Rafaele Sollecito Acquitted at Re-Trial

Meredith Kercher - RIP
20:20 I am sitting at home watching BBC News, waiting for the announcement of whether Amanda Knox and Rafaele Sollecito will be found innocent or guilty of murdering of the beautiful Briton Meredith Kercher at the re-trial that has taken place over the last few months. 

I am interested in the result, as are many people around the world, but as I type this I can't help but wonder what is going through the minds of Meredith's family who have flown over to Italy to hear the verdict.

Amanda Knox

20:25 The re-trial must be such a painful experience for the Kercher's - re-opening all of the wounds and emotions that they have already been through as part of their grieving and during the first trial. I can't imagine what they are going through right now.

20:30 I'm still not actually sure what I believe to be the facts, whether the stories of a sex game gone wrong were true, if it was something more sinister or if they were innocent. I don't even think I have a gut feeling. 

Rafaele Sollecito
Whatever the outcome, I hope the media are respectful to the family of Meredith - who surely only want justice for the horrific crimes committed against her.

20:35 Knox and Sollecito have now been in prison for almost 4 years and this appears to be their last bid for freedom. The case has been brought for a re-trial due to the defence challenging the forensic evidence.

I think it is very strange to have the media allowed in the courtroom - this is not something that is allowed in the UK. I am not sure I feel it is appropriate - ironic maybe as I sit her watching it and typing away. 

 20:40 It looks like the announcement will be made shortly now. 'Foxy Knoxy' is trending on Twitter! One of the things that has been very interesting about the public response is that Amanda Knox has had so much more publicity than Rafaele Sollecito. In fact I didn't realise at first that the re-trial was for both of their cases. Is this because she is an attractive young woman?

20:48 The judge and the jury are entering the court-room. It all sounds very complicated!

20:50 BREAKING NEWS - Amanda Knox and Rafaele Sollecito are freed - they have been acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher. The Knox family are being quite muted - hopefully out of respect. 

My thoughts are with the Kercher family - they look quiet and dignified. I can't imagine what they are feeling now but my thoughts go out to them. 

RIP Meredith Kercher!
What do you think?

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Cher Lloyd Second Single: 'With Ur Love' (Watch)

I loved Cher Lloyds first X Factor audition so much I played it over and over during the audition stages but by the time it got to the live shows I had started to go off her. I didn't dislike her, as I did Katie Weasel, but she had started to act way too diva-like for me.

I had mixed views during the live shows. Some weeks she nailed it and others left me cold. By the final I had warmed to her again but at this point wanted Rebecca Ferguson to win. 

Then she released the absolutely awful 'Swagger Jagger' which somehow got to number 1 in the UK. I really hoped this wouldn't set the tone for the type of music she was going to release and so was pleased to hear her new single 'With Ur Love', which is a massive improvement. 

To me 'With Ur Love' has got a very M.I.A kind of sound to it. She's still using the word 'swag' (get over it now please Cher) but none of the annoying 'rapping' - it's much more melodic this time round and you can hear her voice more. 

The video is uplifting, featuring heart shaped balloons floating around the city and sees Cher with an Amelle (from the Sugababes) undercut, which suits her. 

The video also features Mike Posner who sings the line ' I don't even care if you sing my songs wrong' a reference to her  performance at Judges Houses on the X Factor where she couldn't finish the song due to losing her voice and messed up some of the words.

What do you think of the song and video?

What do you think?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Restaurant Review: Polpo (Soho, London)

Choosing to go to a hugely popular restaurant that doesn't take bookings, in the heart of Soho, on a beautifully warm evening where the streets were packed with people enjoying a last stab at a summer wouldn't normally be advisable. Somehow though, despite all this we managed to get a table at Polpo relatively quickly.

Quickly, but not immediately, so we first took advantage of the bijou basement Campari bar. Our pre-drink at the nearby Alphabet Bar proved to be a mistake, as we each tucked into two of the most deceptively lethal cocktails I have had in ages. Lethal but delicious all the same; well mixed and presented in cute little glasses. Don't be fooled by the size though.

I went for a 'Sidecar' (Vecchia Romagna - an Italian brandy, triple sec and lemon juice) and the Grumpy One had an 'Old Fashioned' (Four Roses bourbon, orange zest and bitters) - fitting I thought, as we were celebrating his 45th birthday.

By the time our table was ready, we were both a little sozzled to say the least. And ravenous. So we trotted upstairs to the restaurant proper, fitted out in a welcoming slightly down-at-heel, downtown New York, shabby chic sort of way. I particularly liked the ceiling, tiled with rusted tin panels.

Polpo, if you don't know, is a Venentian bacaro - which is essentially Italian tapas. Dishes consisting of small plates designed to share. We chose 7 dishes between us, which turned out to be the perfect amount. 

Highlights for me included the anchovy and chick pea crostino (the balance between the salty anchovy and the chikpea was perfect) and the runner beans with red onion and pecorino. Who knew runner beans could be so fricking sexy? They were dressed to perfection and worked brilliantly with the pecorino. I couldn't get enough of them. In fact I would go back just for that dish alone. 

The grumpy one wasn't that keen on the wild mushroom piadina. I thought it was delicious - but having now moved onto to white wine my ability to find fault with any of the dishes was diminishing by the minute. Anyway he thought the bread to crispy, for me that is what I liked about it. We both liked the mushrooms though.

As I don't eat meat I didn't try the calves liver but the feedback from the Grumpy One was good. I think I remember the word succulent being uttered. He devoured the chicken liver crostino before I had even had the chance to see what it looked like. 

We left room for dessert and I decided to throw caution to the wind and order the one item on the menu I didn't recognise, a sgroppino - expecting someting interesting to tickle my taste buds. I got a sorbet; which was actually delicous, refreshing and light but still just a sorbet. The Grumpy One went for his 'favourite'  - the affogato al caffe - and then realised it wasn't the one with the nougart! He still polished it off though and I only just managed to get a taste. 

Polpo has a concept I like very much - small Italian dishes, well made, well priced (the meals with cocktails, wine, water and service was a very reasonable £90) and delivered in a friendly and welcoming environment. I'll definitely be back - once I have tried their sister restaurants Sputino and Polpetto.

Polpo. A bacaro in Soho.
41 Beak Street
London W1F 9SB.
020 7734 4479. 
What do you think?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Brixton To Get A New Theatre: Brixton Empire

My beloved Brixton has many great things going for it - concert venues large (O2 Academy) and small (Electric Brixton), a great cinema (Ritzy), clubs (Plan B, Mass, Brixton Clubhouse Terrace & Bar and Jamm to name just a few); and more bars, cafe's and restaurants than I have the time to list. 

Throw in the wonderful markets, Brockwell Park and the Lido and it really has everything. Well nearly everything; what its lacked is a great theatre space. Until now that is.

St Matthews Church
I am very excited that Brixton is now to get its very own theatre space. Opening in October, Brixton Empire will be situated in the vast St Matthews Church building - which also hosts clubs Mass and Babalou as well as being the venue for the brilliant Samba classes run by Paraiso.

Brixton Empire, will have a capacity of between 150 to 200 people, with plans for a cafe and bar and even an extension into a bigger studio (with a 400 capacity) if all goes well. 

Brixton Empire is the brainchild of Daljinder Singh, who directs the opening play 'when the chickens came home to roost', a play about Malcolm X, set in the 1960's and written by Laurence Holder. It featured Denzel Washington as Malcolm X long before he played the role in the Spike Lee film of the same name. 

The play is a taste of what is to come from the Brixton Empire it seems. Speaking to 'The Stage' magazine, Singh said; "We're not going to be programming very traditional work - for instance period pieces, Chekhov or Shakespeare. There are fantastic companies out there that do that work superbly, so we're looking at other kinds of work that have that unique edge to it that symbolised the spirit of Brixton. We chose this play because we thought it was a fantastic play and despite being set in the Sixties it very much reverberates into the present - there are many parallels with the issues that are coming up today."

The theatre is currently looking for front of house volunteers, who will benefit from getting to see plays for free. If you are interested in volunteering check out the theatre's Facebook page.

'When the chickens came home to roost' is on from October 5 to November 4. Details can be found here. Tickets can be bought here. Get out and support this new local theatre!

Brixton Empire
St Matthews, Brixton Hill, SW2 1JF

I'll be reviewing the the theatre space and the play here on Mr Musing soon.
What do you think?

Friday, 16 September 2011

Nicola Roberts Bares Her Soul: 'Sticks and Stones'

Tear Jerker Alert! Nicola Roberts bares her soul in a powerful track called 'Sticks and Stone's; a deeply personal song, which talks about the bullying and taunts she has faced since hitting the big time with Girls Aloud, after appearing on Popstars: The Rivals.

The song, has a sort of chilling, child's nursery rhyme feel to it and the video is simple but effective, really drawing the atention to the lyrics. It's like reading her personal diary.

This is Nicola's 'Beautiful' (one of Christina Aguilera's biggest hits) and judging by the comments it's already got on Youtube, the song could become an anthem for those who have ever been told they are ugly.

Chris Moyles, the radio DJ who Nicola accused of bullying a few years back should make this his song of the week! I am not sure if this is going to be released as a single but it will appear on 'Cinderella's Eyes' her album which is out soon.

Also check out 'Fix Me' - the B Side to 'Lucky Day'...

What do you think?

Professor Green feat. Emeli Sande: Read All About It

I've just heard the new Professor Green song 'Read All About It', which features the brilliant Emeli Sande and I love it. I think this could this be the British 'Love The Way You Lie', it's got the same epic feel to it, a haunting female vocal on the chorus which contrasts with Pro Green's angry verses. 

It's hard not to compare Pro Green to eminem - yes he's white, yes he raps but it's actually the tone of his voice, when he goes angry sounding, that for me is really similar to Eminem.

Emeli Sande missed out on a number one last time, with her single heaven but I am sure this song will get her there, whilst also giving Professor Green his first number one single. It's out on 23rd October.

What do you think of it?

What do you think?

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Ms Dynamite Covers Wretch 32's 'Don't Go'

OMG I LOVE THIS COVER! Ms Dynamite (one of my favourite artists) covered Wretch 32's 'Don't Go' (one of my favourite songs) on Radio 1 Xtra's Live Lounge earlier this week. 

There is not much I can really say about this one. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! Check it out below. What do you think of it?

What do you think?

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Who's Hotter: Rihanna or Beyonce?

Rihanna and Beyonce are two of the sexiest women on the planet. Well in my opinion anyway. If there were ever any women that could turn me, these two would be high-up on a very short list.

With both women recently releasing new videos - Beyonce with '1+1' and Rihanna with 'Cheers' - where they pretty much appear on their own, meaning we get to see lots of them, it got me thinking; just who is hotter - Rihanna or Beyonce?

If I was to post this on Youtube there would be floods of comments praising one over the other and there would probably be a very heated debate. The comments on Youtube really are something else - pure vitriol sometimes. My blog isn't Youtube though and I don't think with the number of people who actually read it that I am at risk of starting a Rihanna v Beyonce war!

So let take a look at each of them in turn...


The beautiful Barbadian has had a multitude of hairstyles and colours but always manages to look great. Rihanna might look petite but she stands at 5' 8" even without heels. With them she is amazonian! And those legs, and eyes and lips. Is there actually anything at all wrong with her?

She certainly knows how to work it in her videos too - I absolutely loved her in Rude Boy. Heaven. In fact in all of her videos she is just seriously stunning. And did I mention those legs, eyes and lips?


With flowing locks reported to cost ten's of thousand's of dollars, I don't think I have ever seen Beyonce having a bad hair day. Or a bad anything day. Admittedly I haven't seen her staggering out of bed with a hang-over, gasping for a glass of water; but even then I'm sure she does it in full make-up and heels.

Beyonce is pretty much a goddess. She may be a few years older than her rival (well rival in this instance anyway) but she certainly wears those extra years well. Even when she's got mascara running down her face - a la 'Why Don't You Love Me' she looks just stunning.

The Verdict
Well, I should say It's my verdict rather than the verdict. I'll let you guys let me know what you think. For me though, it's just got to be Rihanna

There is just something about her that makes me think she would be so much more fun to hang out with and for me that makes her hotter. Also those moves she pulls out when she shows off her Bajan side are just too too hot!!!

So let me know what you think - take my poll below - or leave a comment!

Who's Hotest: Beyonce v Rihanna

What do you think?

Friday, 19 August 2011

Battle for Number 1: Emeli Sande v Wretch 32

I'm really pleased to see that there is a good-old chart battle going on this week for the UK number 1. Mr Musing featured both Emeli Sande and her song 'Heaven' and Wretch 32 and his song 'Don't Go' back in June and just knew that both songs were going to be massive.

It feels like a really important week in the charts this week because it's been a while since there have been two really good artists battling for the number 1 spot. Record labels nowadays seem to carefully scan the release dates of other artists to ensure that they pick a week to slip their song into the charts and the charts have not exactly been filled with great artists recently - Cher Lloyd or the Wanted? Pah.

What's even better is that both artists are amazingly talented and British - showing once again that the UK has some of the best talent around.

If I had to put my money on who will come out on top it would be Wretch 32 but hopefully it will be close and I don't really mind either way. I am sure numbers ones will become a regular thing for both artists soon enough - in fact I think they could come up with an amazing collaboration.

What do you think - who will get the number 1 this week?
What do you think?

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Arsenal: Fabregas and Nasri Saga Runs Into Opening Day of Season

So the new Barclays Premier League season 2011-12 kicks off in just a few hours and when most teams are making final preparations to get their season going (after having a pre-season to bed their new players in) Arsenal are still right in the middle of the Fabregas and Nasri saga. It is just unbelievable. 

How are the team supposed to focus on todays match against Newcastle when all of this hangs over them? It's become more than a farce now - season after season - when Wenger should be concentrating on strengthening the team and plugging the gaps that existed the season before, he spends most of the summer in a dispute with Barcelona. 

I think this is seriously going to harm our chances of doing well this season. We limped into fourth place last season, have still to qualify for the Champions League proper and now we will have to fight off a resurgent Liverpool as well as the likes of Man U, Man City, Chelsea and Spurs. We could be playing the the flipping Europa League next season! I really hope that's not the case.
What do you think?

Friday, 12 August 2011

Taking a Sledge-Hammer to a Nut: Wandsworth Council Evicts Family of Looter

Talk about using a sledge-hammer to crack a nut! Wandsworth Council have announced that they have served an eviction notice to the family of one London looter, becoming the first Council in the country to do so.

Council Leader Ravi Govindia said, "in Wandsworth we are determined to take the strongest possible action against any tenant or member of their household responsible for the truly shocking behaviour perpetrated on local home and businesses earlier this week. This council will do its utmost to ensure that those who are responsible pay a proper price for their conduct. Ultimately this could lead to eviction from their homes."

I suspect this is really about political points scoring. A Tory borough taking tough decisive action against 'broken Britain' and garnering lots of press coverage in the process.

Now I am all for punishment of those that have done wrong and I do believe that parents have to take some responsibility for their children's actions but evicting the whole family, surely that is a step to far? 

Some parents have been shocked and outraged by their childrens actions. Some parents have even shopped their own children to the police, disgusted as they were by what they had done.

How does Wandsworth intend to distinguish between these parents and those who might not give a damn. Not all families can be tarred with the same brush.

The families of other criminals don't get threatened with eviction - murderers, rapists and the like so why should it be the case here?

I wouldn't be surprised if the actions of Wandsworth Council actually provokes more trouble, but I am sure the core voters will love it.

I would be interested to know the proportion of looters that don't live in Council owned homes, I am sure we would be surprised. So what happens to the property owning families of looters - will there be a similarly headlining grabbing action taken against them? I don't think so.

What do you think?

Nicola Roberts: Lucky Day (Video Premiere)

So after watching the unedited version on repeat for the last couple of weeks, the full version is now out. No more looking at 'add effect here' - we get to see the video in all it's technicolour glory.

Still loving the song - good honest pop. Hope this one does better than Beat of My Drum. What do you think of it, and where do you think it will chart?

What do you think?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Amy Winehouse: Get Over It

I realised that the title of this post might read like I am saying get over her can I just say that's not the case. This post is actually about a song of hers called 'Get Over It'...

I've noticed that there are quite a few old Amy Winehouse songs that I have not heard before floating around on Youtube at the moment. Not sure if how long they've been about (probably years) but it's nice to hear something that I've not heard before.

I just love listening to her voice and it's still so sad to think that we will never hear her sing live again. 

Anyway, I thought I'd post up one of the songs...if you've not heard it before and are a fan enjoy and savour it. The track is called 'Get Over It' and to me it sounds like it is more from the 'Frank' era than the 'Back to Black' one?

"The chemistry we had is might as well be fuckin me in my head" - Pure Amy!

What do you think?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wash Your Pits You Mingers (Personal Hygiene and Public Transport)

Source: iStockphoto
I am generally quite a laid back person and it takes a lot to get me really angry but today on the train home I ended up sat next to what has got to be the stinkiest person I have ever had the misfortune of being in close proximity to. 

I know it's hot - well actually it's not that bloody hot - but seriously, there is absolutely no need to reek so badly. It was toxic!

I just don't get it, the guy in question looked quite smartly dressed and appeared fairly well groomed, his hair was neatly cut and he was clean shaven, so he obviously wasn't homeless. If he could take the time to shave, he could have squeezed a few more minutes into his routine to have a shower. Because he obviously didn't. Is it asking too much?

I know some people have a propensity to sweat but generally it is a 'clean' kind of sweat. However, this was stale. The guy is obviously single. I refuse to believe that anyone smelling that bad could even get a date, let alone keep hold of a partner. It got me thinking though, why doesn't someone say something? A family member, a work colleague?

I am not one for confrontation, I may be a mouthy git to people I know but I turn into a timid mouse when I don't know the person, so I didn't dream of saying anything to him. However, the fact I had my hand cupped over my mouth so tightly, relaxing it only when absolutely necessary so that I could take small gasps of air was surely a give-away. I wasn't doing it that discreetly. But he was oblivous to it all, merrily sitting there reading his paper, all the while filling the air with his rank stench.

People - it is bad enought having to squeeze ourselves onto over-priced, over-full carriages night after night, without the added displeasure of smelling a crusty pit. So please wash your pits you mingers. 

Rant over.

Would any of you say something, to a total stranger sitting on a train, or would you just keep quiet, say nothing and suffer in silence?

What do you think?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Is Twitter Fueling the London Riots?

Last night as I was winding down, getting ready for a night in front of the TV I logged onto Twitter to get an update on the Tottehnam riots. I was surprised to see Brixton trending.

Brixton had been hosting the annual Brixton Splash only hours earlier, an event I had planned to go to but unfortunately missed. Looking earlier at the photo's of people enjoying themselves en masse, dancing, eating, drinking, socialising and generally having a brilliant time, I was pleased that the event had taken place without any major incident. 

Brixton Splash
Brixton Splash was an event celebrating multi-cultural Brixton, even more poignant having read and watched the events unfolding in Tottenham only the night before.

But Brixton wasn't trending only because of the Splash. There were literally hundreds of posts about a supposed riot kicking off in Brixton, post stating that gangs of youths had descended on Brixton and were causing trouble. 

Locals were quick to point out that actually there was no trouble, that they were in fact in Brixton at the time and apart from people milling about as expected after a festival there was nothing particularly newsworthy going on.

That didn't stop the rumours though. It was becoming a frenzy at this point. Windows were being smashed, shops looted and police were battling to stay in control. Except it wasn't happening. Pictures emerged of a looted H&M, which was actually miles away in North London. 

The next thing I know, it was actually kicking off for real. The looting, the fires, the smashing of shop windows was actually happening for real. In the UK at least this is the first real rioting of any substantial size that has taken place during the Internet generation and it felt last night, like the Internet, in the absence of any credible, accurate and up to date information from the media was the place to turn to get an update.

Social media can be a brilliant tool - I have witnessed campaigns ranging from saving a local cinema to taking action against the stoning of an Iranian women but it can have it's downsides too. The hysteria building on Twitter last night about supposed riots in Brixton, long before anything had even kicked off was nothing short of a red rag to a bull. 

So is Twitter and other social media fuelling the London riots, pouring fuel onto the proverbial and literal fire?

Today, similarly to the events of yesterday, locations around London appear to be trending, with tweets about riots taking place long before they actually seem to happen - Croydon, Deptford, New Cross, Lewisham, Brockley. Is it really that social media is the quickest way to get news out there or a self-fulling prophecy, waiting to happen because the rumours on Twitter say it is? I fear the latter.

The police have said that they will be looking at Twitter to see if there is evidence of people inciting violence and encouraging the looting and rioting that has spread across the capital. I guess that will be like looking for a needle in a haystack, what with the tweets, re-tweets and suchlike that occurs on the site.

It's not that I blame social media entirely. The saying goes that there is no smoke without fire and there have been brilliant efforts by people today to re-tweet messages of how to help and get involved in the clean-up in Brixton. As I said at the start social media can be a tool that has positive uses. But it is worrying. 

What do you think? Has social media - Twitter, Facebook etc played a part in these riots? 
What do you think?

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Back With a Bang: Ms Dynamite 'Neva Soft'

Back in 2001, having just finished university and working in a job I didn't really care for, I spent many a brilliant night in Tooting with some of my best friends, smoking badly rolled joints and listening to Ms Dynamite.

In fact, make that every Friday night for a good few months. We loved Ms Dynamite's album 'A Little Deeper' so much it was often played on repeat for hours on end. Ms Dynamite was new (well to us anyway), fresh and we loved her message. And we weren't the only ones. Mobo awards and the coveted Mercury Music prize all found their way into Ms Dynamite's hands and for a while she was the hottest thing in the British music scene.

Fast forward a few years and after taking a break to have a baby, Ms Dynamite followed up her debut album with the 2005 'Judgement Days. I didn't love this one nearly as much - it didn't have the same impact as 'A Little Deeper' and I wondered if she had lost her way.

Then came the wilderness years. Ms Dynamite went to live under a rock (well in musical terms anyway) and it wasn't until her recent collaboration with Katie B on the brilliant 'Lights On' that I even remembered she existed.

Now she is back though, with a solo single and a new album on it's way. Her new single 'Neva Soft' was produced by Labrynth and is a brilliant drum'n'base-come-dub-step-come-reggae-come-soul extravaganza with an infectious beat. I love her voice on the bits where she sings, in fact I love it all. It's a get up on your feet and shake-it kind of song. She is back and I can't wait to hear the album.

What do you think?

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Join Mr Musing's Fantasy Premier League 2011-12

So the Barclays Premier League is nearly here, with just one week to go, and to celebrate Mr Musing is setting up a Fantasy Premier League. 

Fantasy Premier League (if you like football) is sooo addictive. You have a budget of £100m to pick the best squad you can afford and each week select a team you think will score you the most points. I am such a geek when it comes to this game.

You need to sign up at and enter the pin code 1055793-248954.

To make things more competitive I have decided to run a few competitions.....

Many of you will have your own blogs/websites so the team that scores most points each months will get a banner ad on the top of my site pointing people to your website. The banner will stay up for the month. 

For the overall winner I will write a dedicated blog post, which will stay up permanently - advertising your blog/site and hopefully sending some readers/followers your way. 

I am not claiming to be Perez Hilton with a million followers but every little helps eh? 

Post your team name and blog/web address in the comments section to enter. 

Good Luck 
Mr Musing. 
What do you think?

One to Watch: Singer Josh Kumra
I really loved the sound of Josh Kumra's chorus on Wretch 32's song 'Don't Go' so was pleased to hear some more of it on this track 'Stand Your Ground'.

The British singer, who comes from Swindon, has such an interesting sounding voice and 'Stand Your Ground' has some beautiful lyrics layered over the soothing sound of the acoustic guitar.

Apparently he is working on solo material, so it shouldn't be long before we can hear more, and judging by the comments written about him all over the youtube video for Don't Go, he is sure to be a hit.

Listen to the song below and let me know what you think.

What do you think?
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