Tag Archives: dom

Played in Chelsea

How real is reality TV? Dom Kureen takes a look at how the lines have become blurred since Endemol brought Big Brother kicking and screaming to UK screens at the turn of the Millenium.

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‘Nasty’ Nick Bateman and a hastily assembled jury perched themselves around a table in the Big Brother  house late in the summer of 2000 (YouTube link here.)

The conniving housemate’s best laid plans and schemes had finally unravelled on day 35 of the series, when chief bloodhound (and eventual winner) Craig Phillips tracked the scent that had caused millions of viewers to jab their television screens and scream vicious curse words into thin air for more than a month.

At the time it seemed to matter, with loveable Scouser Craig the perfect foil for dastardly crater-faced villain Nick.

The sense of injustice was raw and authentic, the fact that until then those living at close quarters were unable to recognise the deviant’s mischievous antics only added to the ongoing nationwide exasperation. Tabloids stirred the pot, calling for Bateman to be deported and naming him ‘the most hated man in Britain.’

THE MOST HATED MAN IN BRITAIN!!!

Not a convicted paedophile, a rapist, a murderer, a psychotic vigilante selling Crack-Cocaine to school children – The most hated man in Britain according to the dirt sheets was a 32 year-old dimwit who’d snuck a pen and a few scraps of paper past Channel Four security.

Josie, winner of BB11, she didn't look like this in the house.
Josie, winner of BB11, she didn’t look like this in the house.

Looking at it now, Nick’s indiscretions wouldn’t even generate a ripple among the needy, ravenous whoring of his reality show contemporaries, who play to cameras like neglected toddlers seeking the recognition of strangers.

What was once a genre grounded in the factual has evolved into a scripted sermon of soap opera rhetoric, aimed at advertising products and getting Twitter trends by promoting the interaction of idiots.

Modification became a necessity, people growing weary of 24-hour feeds dominated by snoozing, mastication and mundane jibber-jabber.

Even the juicy bits were rendered irrelevant by time-delay and on the spot editing, ensuring they were reserved as flesh for the next highlight reel.

Success inevitably spawns imitation. Just as Big Brother and The Real World blazed a trail for Celebrity Love Island and I’m A Celebrity, so The Osbournes unlocked the door for the curiously watchable Hogan Knows Best and worthless What Katie Did Next, the latter of which consisted almost exclusively of the obscenely-norked Katie Price berating her humbled hubby, Peter Andre, whose subdued emasculation led to universal sympathy and an even worse spin-off.

Katie Price: Vacuous TV show bombed after initially promising ratings.
Katie Price: Vacuous TV show bombed after initially promising ratings.

It came full circle at the end of the ‘noughties’, with the rise of exclusively scripted (un)reality TV, where scenes are set up solely for the satiation of a wide-eyed audience.

This all brings us nicely to Made In Chelsea; undoubtedly entertaining in a perverse, barely credible way. A make believe universe revolving around equal parts bitching, fucking, cocktails and cock tales.

The Hello magazine of the small screen, Spencer Matthews and co. proudly parade around South West London, their tail feathers gleaming, with not a hint of tangible hardship or hair out of place within the confines of a painstakingly conceived goldfish bowl.

The appeal lies in the voyeuristic observation of the jet-set lifestyles enjoyed by a gaggle of coiffured rich kids, playing with daddy and mummy’s fortunes, heirs to corporations who share body fluids and Jacuzzis in a state of perpetual down time.

It’s fun, but reality?? The veneers that adorn the collective cast’s faces are less phoney than the narratives that play out, act by act, for the consumption of long distance rubberneckers.

Even so, SW3’s brand of entertainment is indisputably several notches above the brainless ‘Real Housewives of…’ franchise and retains a modicum of value courtesy of engaging caricatures and slick presentation.

The continued saturation of the reality genre necessitates an amplification of salacious, unfeasible concepts to provide shock value, the lifeblood of these productions for over a decade now.

A childish public school graduate scribbling names onto scrunched up A5 crescents torn from a notepad no longer gratifies the lust of devotees, numbed by years of smut, hyperbole and recurring adaptations of good Vs evil.

Hulk Hogan: A good guy in WWF, bad guy in WCW... An entertaining wally in 'Hogan Knows Best.'
Hulk Hogan: A good guy in WWF, bad guy in WCW… An entertaining wally in ‘Hogan Knows Best.’

In 2016 reality TV is a three dimensional comic book, ideal for pickling the psyche and providing aesthetically captivating colour schemes. For Gotham, Keystone and Metropolis read Chelsea, Essex and, until recently, the Jersey shore.

How much further can the envelope be nudged? Only time will tell. For the next clutch of fame-hungry wannabes and gluttonous fans nothing seems taboo.

Prepare not to be shocked… in the most shocking way possible.

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.

Spoken Word: Jobsworth

Having written more than 30 poems/raps that I consider decent, I remain reluctant to stick too much footage online as the live performance is always a large part of my sets.

Still, just because I love so many of you, I thought I’d share a poem called ‘Jobsworth’ about being stuck in a place where you’re not really content – be it logistically, in terms of employment or even the people you surround yourself with.

PS: Please excuse the Crabbies sunglasses, it was for an audition and I’ve snipped the intro off to get straight into the meat of the poem.

Love and lyrics,

DxK

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.

101 Great Albums. No.6: Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On

In 1971 Marvin Gaye sought to defy the pop blueprint that had come to identify the Motown label, instead delivering a profound, contentious chronicle of the political and social disparity present in America at the time.

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Motown founder, Berry Gordy, unfortunately did not share Gaye’s vision for revision, dismissing title track “What’s Going On?” as the ‘worst song he had ever heard’ and imploring his potentially pioneering artist to return to honey-bloated, tried and trusted methods.

Marvin indignantly rebuffed such a proposal, asserting that if the track wasn’t released as a single then he would never record for Gordy again, while privately confiding in family and friends that he felt stung by his mentor’s reaction.

Marvin Gaye

Following extensive negotiation, Motown acquiesced and the album’s title track was released, subsequently reaching the US billboard’s top five and acting as catalyst to an era of LP’s strung together by socially pertinent narrative.

To dismiss “What’s Going On” as a one track album would be frivolous of course. The inaugural glut of half a dozen songs are blended together with evident precision, and although a first listen may provoke criticism towards sentimental sameness within the first half of the album, it is soon discernible that this deliberately dovetails with closing cuts.

“Inner City Blues (makes me wanna holla)” arguably showcases the pinnacle of proceedings, with its timely mesh of multi-tracked vocals and gritty lyrics creating an affecting springboard that never threatens to outstay its welcome.

Others of note are the pleading “Mercy, Mercy Me (The ecology)” and effortlessly uplifting “God is Love”, the latter of which delivers optimism in spades, albeit from a religious standpoint.

At the eleventh attempt, Marvin Gaye produced a studio album that broke him out as a legitimate and conscientious solo-superstar.

In the embryonic stages of what was to become Cocaine dependency (and rarely sans-doobie in the studio) Marvin produced and recorded an album which set his career on a fresh (ultimately tragic) course – that’s a story for another time though.

“What’s Going On” topped the R&B charts in America in 1971 and is justifiably regarded as a trailblazing album of its time, as well as being integral to Motown’s shift of gears throughout a fertile decade.

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.

Premier Predictions: Week 6.

Dom Kureen experienced his first victory of the season on Boxing Day, defeating legendary soccer utility player Jonathan O’Shea by 7 points to 5 by predicting seven correct outcomes without an exact result.

Fingers Crossed

Now on a roll, the home predictor takes on Hollister CEO, former Torquay United youth team winger and devout Manchester United supporter Damian Clark – a man who resembles a youthful Lewis Hamilton.

*A correct outcome gains one point, an exact result three points. All games kick off at 3pm on 28th December unless stated.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United
Sunday, 12.00

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Dom: 2-2
Two teams that score and concede freely should contest an open, attractive match at White Hart Lane. Harry Kane is this season’s undisputed champion of scuffed strikes that somehow find the net. Man United will be boosted by the return of Luke Shaw, and with Falcao, Rooney and Van Persie all hitting their stride, a draw seems about right.

DC: 1-2
Harry Kane’s impressive form looks set to continue for Spurs, but with the home team’s lacklustre defence, United’s attacking power will make the difference on the day. The Red Devils have an outstanding record at White Hart Lane and Van Gaal will want maximum points to keep their faint title hopes alive.

Southampton vs Chelsea
Sunday, 14.05

Dom: 1-3
Saints have been miserable against the league’s elite, usually losing by a few goals. Chelsea seem to have swiftly recovered from their only defeat of the season against Newcastle, with captain John Terry inspiring a quartet of victories since. JT might not trouble the scorers this time, but Diego Costa is worth backing to net a couple.

DC: 1-1
Southampton have rekindled the form that propelled them towards the top of the table, highlighted by the excellent win against Crystal Palace that ultimately cost Neil Warnock his job. Mourinho’s troops have ridden their luck at times – this could be the day that it catches up with them.

Aston Villa vs Sunderland

Dom: 2-1
Two middling teams seeking retribution for Boxing Day losses. It was the Mackems’ 3-1 home reverse to struggling Hull City that will have hurt the most, deflating most of the positive kudos that a 1-0 Tyne-Wear derby victory had brought previously. Benteke’s presence should give the Villains the edge in what promises to be the bowling shoe ugly encounter of the day.

DC: 2-2
Benteke’s goals have been priceless for the Midlands side, and with Sunderland not getting the rub of the green against Hull to suffer defeat despite playing well, it makes for an evenly contested, open game of football.

Hull City vs Leicester City

Kasper Schmeichel

Dom: 2-1
The Tigers’ away win at the Stadium of Light was priceless, and perhaps a major reason why gaffer Steve Bruce didn’t join Neil Warnock in receiving his P45. Neither team exactly screams confidence. Leonardo Ulloa looked back to somewhere near his best against Spurs, unfortunately for The Foxes he alone can’t stop the rot.

DC: 2-0
Nigel Pearson and Leicester’s miserable run will continue at the KC Stadium. The transfer window needs to be used wisely if they want to avoid being cut off from the rest of the division. Hull will feel confident of another three points to pull them away from the drop zone.

Manchester City vs Burnley

Dom: 4-0
Man City have been irresistible since opting to use the Spanish Euro 2012 tactics of playing without a striker. The Burnley defenders are barely equipped to stop James Milner, let alone the likes of Navas, Silva and Yaya Toure. Danny Ings has real quality about him, but won’t get the service to make a difference today.

DC: 3-0
David Silva is likely to get on the score sheet again, the diminutive Spanish international looks to be in menacing form. Burnley will need to be at their very best for 90 minutes and hope that one or two City players take them lightly if they’re to salvage anything from this game.

Queens Park Rangers vs Crystal Palace

Dom: 4-1
There seemed little logic to booting out the stale Neil Warnock during such a hectic period of the season, other than if Palace have somebody lined up (which it doesn’t seem like they do.) Harry’s Hoops have been dynamic at Loftus Road, with Charlie Austin filling his boots, the former Poole City striker will enjoy facing this dishevelled bunch.

DC: 1-1
With Warnock’s departure just over 24 hours ago, Palace will be hoping for a fresh start, and there’s no better way to achieve that than by beating fellow relegation battlers in this London derby. QPR have been in good nick recently and will need to maintain that to gain a point against a rejuvenated Palace.

Stoke City vs West Bromwich Albion

Berahino

Dom: 1-0
Stoke have reverted to type recently, utilising Peter Crouch as a loan target man, with the lightning footwork of Victor Moses and Bojan Krkic either side. The Baggies are quite an industrious team, but could really use a Bojan of their own to take some of the offensive burden from the shoulders of reportedly Tottenham-bound Saido Berahino.

DC: 1-0
With Stoke’s organisation at the back and the flair of Bojan, who seems to have finally found his feet after years of European under achievement, they will be too strong for a West Brom team whose manager’s future is in the balance. Berahino’s goals have dried up, as has the visitors’ creativity around the penalty area.

West Ham United vs Arsenal

Dom: 2-1
Andy Carroll and co. will fancy their chances against a depleted Gunners defence, who were forced to slot left-back Nacho Monreal into a central defensive role against QPR a couple of days ago. Olivier Giroud’s senseless red card stretches Arsenal’s reduced ranks further; despite putting in a decent shift I can see them being out muscled in this one.

DC: 1-3
A tough London derby, with both teams battling it out for Champions League qualification. Carroll will be in the mood to pile some post-Christmas misery upon Arsenal, but with Sanchez in mesmeric form it will be the visitors who hold out for three crucial points.

Newcastle United vs Everton
Sunday, 16.15

Dom: 1-1
A bizarre campaign thus far for Newcastle has recently witnessed six victories on the spin followed by four consecutive defeats. Ayoze Perez is a real find and the only Toon player to shine during Friday’s defeat at Old Trafford. Everton’s home reverse at the hands of Stoke was yet another blip in a soul sapping season – two side who need a win will have to settle for a point.

DC: 1-1
Two teams who could have mixed fortunes this season. Everton are yet to hit the standards set last season and Newcastle’s inconsistency has cost them in recent weeks. This one has draw written all over it.

Liverpool vs Swansea City
Monday, 20.00

Raheem Sterling

Dom: 3-1
Liverpool scraped a one goal win at Turf Moor on Friday, having gained a last-gasp point against Arsenal the previous weekend. It seems as if the Reds are picking up momentum, with Raheem Sterling leading from the front. Swansea aren’t great travellers and despite Bony’s presence they’ll succumb to the home side’s new found spirit.

DC: 1-1
Liverpool’s lacklustre summer transfer dealings have hurt them this season. With Luis Suarez sold, Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Daniel Sturridge have barely troubled the scorers. As a result Brendan Rodgers  has been forced to switch Sterling to a central role.  Victory for Swansea will see them climb six points above their hosts in what has been a steady season for Garry Monk’s charges thus far.

The Premier Predictions league table is still led by DJ Rees. Dom’s win means that he now resides in mid-table, while Jonathan O’Shea is unfortunate to bring up the rear, having been the victim of a spate of underdog victories during Boxing Day’s matches.

1. DJ Rees: 11 Points

2. Just Mike: 9

3. True Geordie: 8

4. Dom Kureen: 7.20 (average)

5. Kelvin West: 6

6. Jonathan O’Shea: 5

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.

Throw back Thursday: I hate Emma Thompson!

In 2010 actress Emma Thompson ‘dissed’ the Isle of Wight on the Late Show in America. I was in the midst of creating a spate of parody videos, so it was inevitable that this was a topic I couldn’t ignore!

To see a video of Thompson’s comments, scroll down the video section, I’ve included it there for y’all.

WARNING: Naughty words aplenty in this video!

 

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.

Album Review: Lily Allen – Sheezus

Five years after ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’ hit the shelves, Lily Allen has returned with her third studio LP, ‘Sheezus.’ Dom Kureen takes a gander at what all the fuss is about.

Lily Allen

“Somebody remind me where I am, Miami or Timbuktu? Did I ever tell you my uncle’s monkey ran away from the zoo?”

The elementary opening burst of Sheezus’ most captivating harmony, ‘Air Balloon’ extends an apt metaphor for an album of succinct simplicity and unmistakeably transparent intentions.

With its throbbing, carefree waves, the Shellback/Allen collaboration provides a snapshot of Lily’s blissful existence since her real world evolution from Ms Allen to Mrs Cooper.

Where ‘Air Balloon’, ‘Our Time’, Take My Place’ and the lively ‘As Long As I Got You’ sparkle is their brazenly innate authenticity, rising above tacky insults or staged malevolence.

In stark contrast, the dismally maudlin and horribly titled ‘L8 CMMR’ serves as a misguided attempt to recapture the naïve, indignant spirit of the artist’s inaugural LP, ‘Alright, Still.’

Rude Girl: Lily often plays up her wild child tag.
Rude Girl: Lily often plays up her wild child tag.

Likewise, ‘URL Badman’ provides little more than tedious animus towards fans who dare to question the validity of Allen’s credentials, with some unjustly citing her famous father, Keith, as the driving force behind a prosperous entertainment career.

Additionally, the track contains an almost unfeasibly lousy instrumental section, which sounds as if the singer let her 15-month old daughter, Marnie, bash around on a sticky 1985 Casio SK-1, rather than hiring Greg Kurstin to implement his notoriously lavish production values.

‘Close Your Eyes’ is a minor improvement, but still falls deep into filler territory, with strung out sentimental mush only likely to curry favour with hubby Sam Cooper and a few diehards.

Title track ‘Sheezus’ similarly has its moments, but is too dependent upon crude pop-culture references to warrant a spot on any future ‘best of’ compilations.

Thankfully, the nostalgia sodden ‘Life For Me’ feels less affected, with an unravelling recollection of personal growth. Painting a portrait of contentment, the tune borrows much of its baseline from Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ and seems in conflict with spikier cuts elsewhere.

Having leapt straight to the summit of the UK album charts, ‘Sheezus’ is destined to provide financial and commercial dividends for Lily Allen. There’s enough decent material to warrant an £8.99 iTunes outlay, even if it all feels a fraction flat in the looming shadow of two previous knockout EPs.

If you’re intent on stumping up the bucks, do yourself a favour and dig £2 deeper for the deluxe edition, where the handful of supplementary bonus tracks offset some of the overplayed concepts elsewhere.  

 

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.

Nix Abstentious: An original poem

Chop straws, coil wealth… The party begins.

 

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Sequins dazzle, optics tremble in synchrony with lyrics projecting from quivering rims.

Dilated saucers on the stage we occupy, shaded before another quaff grants consent, attained through diabolical contrivance.

The crackle of chemical artifice, enlightened translation – extract the remaining shards of qualm.

Doesn’t every man deserve the time to shine?

The act of breathing can be tortuously protracted and cutting skin away merely briefly numbs the emotional ache.

Shame unfamiliar branches with depraved journeys along well beaten trails, where mystery replaces ordained allegiance.

Fresh spokes revolve the wheel;

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I. Didn’t. Ask…

to see her pierced veins, she insisted. A rite of passage: each scar a graduation, each blister a flashback.

You don’t realise the time – it was something…. Like…. Spring.

Hands melted and honeycomb vibrated when I closed my eyes.

Conclude with something insightful, whilst a dragon simultaneously eyeballs you from point-blank quarters, those cursory shavings of fragmented, colourless reels seldom illuminate the spirit.

On the unfortunate they prey… Fables conclude. We wake feeling deficient. Vulnerably caged with a violent theme tune for a stinging septum and stained foundations.

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, #2: Mark Dickson

The second in Kureen’s series of ‘Interviews with Creative Minds.’ This time Dom Kureen speaks to artist/musician Mark Dickson, aka Grickonel.

This one includes the singles ‘Rabbit’ and ‘Lofty and Blue,’ which are both available for download right here on kureen.co.uk!

To hear more check out Mark’s SoundCloud 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.

Philosoracle: An original poem

The accusations of apathy linger and the pleasant blaze of the sun only serves as a temporary diversion from the confused actuality of our being. Pathways guilty of seducing the inner optical, all webbed in uncertainty, lie in wait as challenges which attempt to divert us from paramount ambitions.

Any coward can turn blind eyed from the obstacles and conjure another cookie cutter existence based on fear. As tempting as may seem the ease at which mediocrity can be attained, it is also ultimately fraught with unfulfillment.

In reality, it is those brief flashes of idiosyncrasy we all experience sporadically which allow us a glimpse into our uncorked potential and as a bi-product show the futility of residing within the safety of the flock.

Magic 8-ball
So many fear death and crave immortality, blissfully unaware that to live for eternity would merely serve as an excuse to delay our own progression, another reason to exist in the mundane rather than live in the extraordinary.

The select few are the ones who snub normality, aspiring not to merely bestow an imprint upon this Universe, instead electing to tattoo their initials in stardust and carve their philosophy from oak all over its axis.

DxK

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.