All posts by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

wet leg earmarked for mainstream success after debut single

 

Wet Leg’s debut single, Chaise Longue, already has more than 35,000 views on YouTube.

A newly formed band has released its cheeky debut single after signing with Domino Records.

Musicians Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers — regularly spotted among Plastic Mermaid alumni — have teamed up to form Wet Leg.

The irreverent duo’s new track, Chaise Longue, dabs at the inner-ear in a manner fit for the love-child of Billy No Mates and a youthful Bob Dylan.

Rejecting the all-singing, all-smiling etiquette synonymous with weekend TV talent shows, Rhian remains virtually deadpan throughout the music video, while Hester’s visage is obscured entirely by an oversized straw hat.

Chaise Longue is the first of a string of releases planned by the band this year, and a promising platform from which to launch.

Hooking, uncluttered and dripping with ironic undertones, Wet Leg’s debut single offers welcome contrast to a glut of painstakingly manicured musos lurking around the mainstream.

The song has been produced by the prolific Jon McMullen and mixed by Alan Moulder — he of Arctic Monkeys, Beach House and Foals fame — while the music video was directed by the band themselves.

Wet Leg, an appealingly peculiar double act, have captured lightning in a bottle. If they can remain authentic, the apex of their ascension is boundless.

The first of a number of live performances is scheduled for Margate on July 10, with a hometown celebration set for the Isle of Wight Festival in September. 

Dates and further information are available online at www.wetlegband.com

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Amazon Go-ing to the Isle of Wight?

$116.9 billion.

A figure beyond the bounds of most of our imaginations, a sum too staggering to comprehend for all but the select few.

Could Amazon be set for the Isle of Wight?

More tantalisingly still, the gargantuan figure is the net worth of a man who upon starting his own business in lieu of an actual desk placed four wooden slabs beneath a supine wooden door inside his garage to use as a makeshift table, with a hastily erected Amazon logo subsequently hung nearby.

From such humble beginnings, Jeff Bezos prospered to become the wealthiest man on the planet, overhauling fellow Seattleite Bill Gates in late 2017.

Now a global brand, the one-time literature database has targeted the UK as the next market with potential for expeditious expansion. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed: “The UK will play a leading role in the company’s global innovation.”

Manchester and Cambridge were the first UK locations to host Amazon warehouses, creating an abundance of employment, although workers past and present have given mixed reviews, with sections expressing concern for the company’s probation policies.

Speculation has been rife amongst business media moguls that the next progression will be for Amazon to roll out their ‘Amazon Go’ checkout-free grocery stores around the UK in late 2020, with Newport, Isle of Wight, among half a dozen prospective destinations blueprinted for the prototype.

Far from the recruitment generated by the Manchester and Cambridge sites, this is a predominantly machine operated franchise destined to affect a slew of issues for adjacent supermarkets.

The concern with Amazon Go is that it relies almost entirely upon cameras and sensors to run its stores, with only a sprinkling of entrance and shelf replenishing staff necessary for the successful operation of the location.

There are already more than 25 of these active in the US, following the Seattle initiation at the start of 2018.

Customers place their credit or debit card on file before entering and are then tracked by cameras, which register the items that they’ve taken (or put back) and subsequently funds are removed from their accounts within seconds. In the case of returns, the customer can re-enter the store, replace the item and receive a refund within minutes.

This all sounds fine and dandy in principal, other than further evidence of the foreboding lurch towards Orwellian society, but the reality is that it could cause more harm than good.

Stores such as Asda, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury are likely to be hit by this development, as people opt for the convenient, time savvy alternative that Amazon Go offers. As one domino topples it is likely others will follow.

Jeff Bezos is currently worth $116.9 billion

The pool is already too crowded in the Island’s capital town for another warm body to dive in haphazardly, let alone one that manipulates the Isle’s populace as figurative rodents plodding around a hamster wheel as part of this behemoth’s quest for global domination.

While I am all for the next wave of technological innovation, this advancement reeks of redundancy. Are we not, as Brits, proud of our tolerance for static queues? Are we not the kings and queens of small talk with cashiers? Let us stand as one and chant “ASDA, ASDA, ASDA” until our throats are bone dry.

You can take our minimum salaried, labour intensive jobs Amazon, but you can’t take our seven minutes of waiting for the person in front to dig through their shrapnel to find the right money!

I am grateful to Mr Bezos and his Amazon website for making Clipper tea bags, Anonymous masks and memory foam pillows so readily affordable, the man is a genius – this is a step too far though. It is time that the Wight unite to make sure that we don’t become fungi in a billionaire’s Petri Dish… Unless he wants to throw in a floating bridge that doesn’t sink that is.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Interviews with Creative Minds. No.22: Samuel Z Jones (part deux)

The 22nd instalment of the Creative Minds series welcomes back a previous guest for the first time – Fantasy Author Samuel Z Jones spoke to me about his upcoming book launch, for not one but three new titles!

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

To get in touch with the man behind the words, simply follow one of these links…

Sam on Facebook

Sam on Smashwords

Sam on Amazon

Interview blast from the past

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Not Coming Out

Dom Kureen takes a glimpse at the homophobic attitude and fear associated with ‘coming out’ in men’s professional football.

Justin Fashanu’s limp, lifeless corpse dangles from the rafters of a dingy lock-up garage in Shoreditch, London, his neck is bound by a short length of rope and hangs loosely, seemingly held in place by something akin to a layer of Origami paper, as a member of the public stumbles upon the tragic scene.

Aged just 37 at the time of his death on May 2, 1998, Fashanu had at one point been regarded as English football’s next breakout star, signing a lucrative contract with Brian Clough’s high-flying Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1981 – subsequently becoming the first black player in the game to command a seven figure sum, following his £1m move from Norwich City.

Clough, a brilliant but often unnecessarily outspoken manager, had been shaped by traditional Victorian family values. This didn’t bode well for his new acquisition, who was banned from training with the rest of the squad after his sexual orientation and party lifestyle became common knowledge around the football club.

In one particularly fraught exchange, Clough barked angrily “Why do you keep going to that bloody poofs’ club?”

The relationship had reached breaking point and was severed irreparably soon after, when the Forest boss had his young striker escorted from the training pitch by two police officers.

Rapidly falling from grace, Fashanu came out publicly in The Sun newspaper published on 22 October 1990 – the first high profile British sportsman to do so.

The sensationalised revelations led to widespread public and private criticism, notably at the hands of his younger brother, John, who was also a professional footballer.

“I wouldn’t like to play or even get changed in the vicinity of him, so if I’m like that then I’m sure the rest of the footballers are like that” John said shortly after his brother’s tabloid revelations. The two siblings didn’t speak during the final seven years of Justin’s life.

In the three decades that have passed since the Justin Fashanu exclusive broke, no active male professional footballer has come out, although a handful, such as former Aston Villa and Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, have done so shortly after retiring from the game.

In the semi-professional game in Britain there is only one openly gay footballer, Cleethorpes Town’s Liam Davis, who has been public about his homosexuality since 2014.

Rugby, cricket, tennis and a myriad of other sports have long accepted homosexuality: be it Gareth Thomas, Steven Davies, Martina Navratilova or more recently Tom Daley, the diver who broke millions of female hearts when he used YouTube to announce his relationship with another man and was generally well received for his honest admission.

Tom Daley used YouTube to reveal his same-sex relationship
Tom Daley used YouTube to reveal his same-sex relationship.

Former England international footballer, Sol Campbell, was the target of derogatory, homophobic chants from the terraces throughout his career; despite no evidence to suggest that he was gay. The former Arsenal, Tottenham and England defender now has a wife and son.

Campbell revealed to BBC News that in his opinion many fans and professionals still have the blueprint of a stiff upper-lipped 1970s footballer in their mind, so anything deviating from that prototype makes them uncomfortable.

England women’s soccer international, Casey Stoney, went public with her sexuality in 2014, revealing to the Telegraph newspaper that she was inspired by the positive reaction Daley received:

  “I feel it’s really important for me to speak out as a gay player because there are so many people struggling who are gay, and you hear about people taking their own lives because they are homosexual. That should never happen.”

Conversely, the majority of her male counterparts remain, on the surface at least, far from ready to accept the presence of sexual persuasions in conflict with heterosexuality among their peers. The primitive psyche surrounding the sport is one reason why it is often perceived as the brutish step-cousin of competitive pastimes.

In that sense things have receded rather than progressed since Justin Fashanu was shunned by his peers more than two decades ago.

One need only look at how that situation regrettably played out to see why there is still an thinly-veiled taboo on top-flight players admitting such a thing, but can more than 5,000 professional football players really all be ‘straight’?

The blinkers are on. As football agent Eric Hall assuredly stated for Inside Story: “Football isn’t really a game that gay people play, I believe that there aren’t any homosexual players among the professionals.”

That sort of wishful thinking may provide a misguided crumb of comfort for a game jaded by its own deep-seated insecurities; a sport gripped with fear and judgement fostered from the sanctuary of a reassuringly unenlightened cocoon.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Interviews with Creative Minds. No.21: Chris Brennan

Chris Brennan is the guest on the 21st edition of Interviews with Creative Minds.

21 today! This 21st edition of the Creative Minds podcast series features an interview with Chris Brennan, plus music from Unravellings and Pretty Censored, along with a rap intro straight outta Compton (Bay).

The Links

–> Custom website <–

–> Unravellings on SoundCloud <–

–> Pretty Censored YouTube interview <–

–> Gary Yourofsky talk <–

–> Cowspiracy trailer <–

–> Forks Over Knives trailer <–

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Cowes Mylk

In my time as a journalist I’ve uncovered many stories which have stirred my innards, but perhaps none as likely to divide opinion as that which I share on this page today.

Cowes Mylk

There have been myriad ambitious projects in recent years on the Isle of Wight; 24 hour Tesco Express, Dappy from N-Dubs being booked at the Isle of Wight Festival, and a £7m floating bridge that seems determined to sink.

2019 sees the Island set for its latest offering from the entrepreneurial conveyor belt in the form of ‘Cowes Mylk’. Yes, you read that correctly, not cow’s milk as in the lactation from the teat of a bovine, rather a different form of milk produced, manufactured and bottled in the town of West Cowes.

There is a twist; the milk produced will excrete from the anatomy of female human beings, of whom more than 20 have already signed up to take part, with the caveat of a generous hourly rate and flexible hours offered to those deemed suitable for the position.

The initiative has been hailed as a triumph by company founder Jill Patrick, who predicts that Cowes Mylk will be on local store shelves by late 2019, with the target of getting into duty free stores and larger chains by 2021.

“We were never designed to drink the pus filled discharge of another animal, particularly one which has its calves unceremoniously and traumatically ripped from it at the point of giving birth.

 

“This is a humane and entirely ethical process, in which all of the participants consent fully to supply our demands, whilst also being amply compensated for their contributions.” Continue reading

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Niall Horan – Heartbreak Weather LP review

The only way is up for latest One Directioner transitioning into isolation.

Niall Horan, the one-time One Direction wallflower whose feathers dilatorily became too bright for Simon Cowell’s cage, finally flew unaided on March 13, with the eagerly anticipated drop of his second solo project, Heartbreak Weather – an album likely to have toddlers and lonely mothers besprinkling their jim-jams with equal effusion.

The 26-year-old’s 2017 debut release, Flicker, received critical sneer, with the thinly veiled hallmarks of Syco’s stamp burdening the ensuing yield.

By contrast, the new LP’s snappy title track swung like an unstifled wrecking ball into the subconscious of listeners across the globe earlier this month, adjacent to an accompanying video chock with enough saccharine to overdose a type two diabetic ingesting an unintentional shard.

Niall lets one rip in the red room

The accompanying visuals serve to exhibit the adaptable virtuoso as a master of disguise, ostensibly from the comfort of his loving parents’ dimly lit basement.

Far from a one-track issue, Heartbreak Weather is an LP loaded with prime cuts: Black and White summoning the spirit of preeminent wordsmiths Chaucer, Shakespeare and Mercury, with the gushingly provocative libretto ‘I want the world to witness, when I finally say I do, It’s the way you love, I gotta give it back to you.’

Small Talk is a hypnotic tour de force easily prone to glide under the radar, exempt as it is from commercial incentive. The song bequeathing a peek into the core of a desirous renaissance, while hinting at unrequited yearning.

By a similar token, the melancholic Still, the conclusive canticle of the confessional chef d’oeuvre, provides an epitaph to wistful nostalgia, arcing towards reassuring ambiguity. One can picture Niall strumming his banjo string in a darkened room with some deliberately whimsical off-key whistling for accompaniment.

One Direction acolytes will be elated Niall has so seamlessly transitioned towards inevitable solo stardom, while those lovers of Queen and Prince who have yet to experience the bliss of his ingenuity can eulogise the coronation of the industry’s dewiest royal suckling.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Interviews with Creative Minds. No.20: Jazzy Heath.

With a voice spun from pure silk and rainbow dust, Jazzy Heath is one of the best finds on the Isle of Wight music scene in the past few years. She’s also the 20th member of the Creative Minds crew, sitting with Dom Kureen to discuss life, music, veganism and much more besides!

Features two of Jazzy’s tracks: Freedom and My Spirit’s Free.


The Links

Read Jazzy’s food blog

Jazzy’s website

Jazzy’s Friendlyface page

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Tupac & Michael Jackson Holograms among 2019 IW Festival headliners!

Isle of Wight Festival insiders have revealed that there will be two posthumous headliners on the bill in 2019.

2/3, but the Hendrix hologram was a little too pricey at £3.2m per hour.

Hip-hop royalty Tupac Shakur and the former “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson, will be beamed onto the main stage during Friday and Saturday night using cutting edge projection technology borrowed from Ryde Academy.

Continue reading

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.