Boogy Baby

July 7, 2009 at 11:17 am (Baby) (, , , , )

27.06.09 - reading his bookXander reading his book in the bouncer

I just couldn’t resist posting this video clip of our Boogie Baby! Xander LOVES to dance and has a great sense of rhythm – check him getting his groove thing on!

And yes, if you listen carefully, you can hear me singing along to Numa Numa in the background (well, it’s one of his favourite songs, can you blame me for indulging him?).

Click HERE for video clip

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Eurovision Final

May 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm (Music, Film and Television) (, , , )

Well, what a night! There were a lot of really great songs and terrific performances on show tonight (although the entertainment covering the voting section was quite the worst offering I have ever seen on Eurovision), but the Eastern Bloc vote made for a disappointing evening when it came to the scores…

  1. Romania – Bit of a damp squib for the opening number. It started well, but the female half of the duet let it down with whiny vocals. (45 points / 20th place)
  2. United Kingdom – A flawless performance, full of energy – Andy Abrams made it look easy and looked like he enjoyed himself too – he can certainly be proud of himself. (14 points / 23rd place)
  3. Albania – The youngest entrant was shaking like a leaf and lost it a bit in the first chorus, but got back on track for the rest of the song. (55 points / 16th place)
  4. Germany – Performed by a quartet containing a fright-wigged red head and a screeching blonde that really ruined this Girls Aloud-esque entry. (14 points / 23rd place)
  5. Armenia – Much better than the semi-final performance. (199 points / 4the place)
  6. Bosnia & Herzegovina – An awful, annoying song performed by two very childish singers who were done up like puppets. Honestly, it hurt the ears! (110 points / 10th place)
  7. Israel – A beautiful, simple rendition of a lovely song. (124 points / 9th place)
  8. Finland – Top-notch hot metal – an awesome, show-stopping performance. (35 points / 22ns place)
  9. Croatia – I hated every second of this one – the world’s oldest rapper shouting and scratching gramophone records. (44 points / 21st place)
  10. Poland – The singer looked like she’d been Tango’d. It was a dull song and the performance lacked sparkle. Sounded like it should have been in a Disney animated film. (14 points /23rd place)
  11. Iceland – One of the very best performances of the night – absolutely spot-on! (64 points / 14th place)
  12. Turkey – Effortlessly performed by professionals who look like they’re used to giving shows in huge stadiums. Fantastic show. (137 points / 7th place)
  13. Portugal – A sturdy performance. (69 points / 13th place)
  14. Latvia – Spirited and fun – far better than their semi-final efforts. (83 points / 12th place)
  15. Sweden – A polished performance that should have done better in the voting. (47 points / 18th place)
  16. Denmark – Strong performance. (60 points / 15th place)
  17. Georgia – Some occasional duff notes and not as good as the semi-final effort. (83 points / 11th place)
  18. Ukraine – Energetic, melodramatic and dramatic – a great entry! (230 points / 2nd place)
  19. France – Absolutely dire entry by a bunch of beardy weirdies. (47 points / 18th place)
  20. Azerbaijan – Stunning, both visually and vocally. (132 points / 8th place)
  21. Greece – One of the strongest performances of the evening. (218 points / 3rd place)
  22. Spain -Got booed after the vocalist struck a Christ-like pose during the performance. Rubbish song. (55 points /15th place)
  23. Serbia – Rather melancholy and boring. (160 points / 6th place)
  24. Russia – Atmospheric, but the vocals left much to be desired. Would be better suited to the likes of Justin Timberlake who could have done it justice! (272 points / 1st place)
  25. Norway – Nice, Duffy-esque performance. (182 points / 5th place)

However, it didn’t really matter how the performances were as political voting meant that once again the Western entries were pretty much kept out of the running. The UK finished joint last with Poland and Germany, which was something of a crime as Andy Abrahams was fantastic tonight and we definitely had the best song out of the Big Four.

In the end, it was Russia who ran away with the scores, although Greece did very well early on and looked like they might be in with a shot. But no – next year Eurovision will be held in Moscow.

One has to wonder, however, how long it will be before the Western European countries start to pull out of the competition, and once the Big Four start walking away from what has become something of an institution, it will be pretty much over. Terry Wogan was on top form, as usual, but there was something dis-spirited in his commentary and I wonder if even he will be there to commentate on next year’s competition, as he sounded heartily fed-up with the way things are going nowadays.

The only way the stop the Bloc voting will be to a) split the semi-finals as they did this year AND b) prevent those who did not make it to the final from voting in the final. It would be the only fair way to do it. If something’s not done soon, I can see this fine (albeit tacky) televisual tradition being either split into sections or abandoned all together.

And that would be a great shame.

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Reasons to be cheerful…

May 23, 2008 at 7:48 pm (Life gets in the way..., Music, Film and Television) (, , , , )

I’m in a mighty-good mood today, so I thought I’d just give a wee list of some of my reasons to be cheerful:

  1. I’m now off work till a week on Tuesday
  2. Tomorrow I’m meeting two of my buddies for a cuppa and a chat
  3. The Eurovision Final is on telly on Saturday night – we look forward to it every year
  4. I have another scan on Tuesday – another opportunity to “visit” with Tadpole
  5. It’s my baby sister’s birthday on Wednesday and we’re going out for lunch together
  6. My sister and I are going on a little road trip later next week to visit family in Northumberland
  7. I have a wonderful, adorable husband who bought two bibs for Tadpole today because they have the Chelsea logo on them
  8. I have a parcel waiting to be collected from the post office depot and I have no idea what it is – a surprise!
  9. I have a hot, scented, bubble bath waiting for me to sink into it
  10. Ian Dury and the Blockheads

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Eurovision Semi-Final 2

May 22, 2008 at 9:35 pm (Music, Film and Television) (, , , , )

“This year, the 2nd Eurovision Semi-finalists will mostly be wearing black and silver…”

Mostly monochrome on display tonight, with a hint of red in several shades. Overall I was a little disappointed – despite this leg of the semi-final having the better selection of songs, the performances just weren’t as good as those on Tuesday night, which was very surprising. Dale  and I did quite well in our predictions – I managed to pick 6 winners, but Dale topped that and accurately predicted 8 of them! So, which ones went through tonight?

  • Iceland – gave a good, solid performance
  • Sweden – not as good a performance as we expected, but still our favourite song to win the whole thing if she does well on the night
  • Turkey – well-chuffed to see this excellent rock track go through – the lads gave a crowd-pleasing performance
  • Ukraine – arguably the best performance of the evening.  If they perform this well on Saturday they might just walk away with the top spot!
  • Albania – a surprise to me – the youngest performer in the show at 17 years old
  • Latvia – the pirates were a sure-fire hit despite a lacklustre rendition of their jolly-rogering song
  • Croatia – I suspect this was the “wild card” as it featured an old man shouting a lot!
  • Denmark – I could  almost hear Mika singing “Why don’t you like me? Why don’t you like me?” all the way through this one
  • Georgia – Featured an inexplicably quick-change as part of this excellent performance
  • Portugal – neither one of us predicted this bland song would make the cut

So, what happened to my other favourites?

  • Czech Republic – the vocals were flat most of the time, although it wasn’t quite an embarrassment on the scale of the UK’s Gemini entry a few years back!
  • Belarus – again, flat vocals were the undoing of this entry
  • Bulgaria – more off-key moments, which is a shame because this woman has an amazing voice
  • Malta – I can’t understand why this one didn’t go through instead of Portugal! It was a fantastic performance with plenty of energy!

Still, Saturday should still hold plenty of excitement for Eurovision fans. This year there is a slightly more even spread of representation in the final, with Norway, Finland, Iceland and Sweden all getting through for the North; and Poland, Greece, Denmark and Portugal all joining the “Big Four” of the UK, France, Germany and Spain to represent the non-Eastern areas – the line-up is not quite so East-heavy as it was last year! It’ll be interesting to see how it all turns out.

I’m still touting Sweden for the top spot, but the Ukraine could be hot on their tail, and I think that first-timers, Azerbaijan, will do quite well. And I still reckon the UK could manage a top-10 showing in the end.

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Eurovision Semi-Final 1

May 20, 2008 at 9:36 pm (Music, Film and Television) (, , , , )

In the end I only missed the first five acts of the first semi-final, and fortunately my lovely hubby is as much of a saddo, sorry, fan, as I am of Eurovision, so he was watching before I got home from my class.

This year sees the first time that the semi-final (still relatively new anyway) has been split in two. This was done to make things a bit more fair by eliminating the block voting that was already becoming de rigeur (last year it was all the Eastern European countries that made it into the final as they all voted for one another). This year you can only vote in the semi-final in which your country is participating, which meant that Ireland and the UK couldn’t vote for each other – and neither could all the usual neighbourly / political voters.

So, both semi-finals scheduled to have 19 countries competing – but only 10 going through from each to the final!

Tonight was definitely the weaker selection, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was mostly the better songs / performances that went through. And I’d just like to take this opportunity to shout IRELANDE NIL POINTES! That turkey of a performance by – yes, you’ve guessed it – a turkey was a disgrace and I’m very glad to say it did NOT go through! So who did make the cut?

  • Israel – an excellent performance without a single duff note.
  • Azerbaijan – quite possibly the most amazing vocal range I’ve ever heard from anyone, male or female, and an awesome, show-stopping performance.
  • Norway – nicely performed – natural and un-forced – sounded a little like Duffy.
  • Poland – bit of a naff performance and a non-descript song.
  • Bosnia and Herzogovina – absolutely dire and an undeserved spot in the final.
  • Armenia – good song, but not the best performance – rather disappointing.
  • Finland – and the metal-heads go through! Hurrah!
  • Romania – a bit Renee and Renata, but good vocal performances.
  • Russia – over-rated performer and song which is hotly tipped for the top-spot in the final.
  • Greece – very strong performance – the Greek Britney Spears.

Seeing as how all the really good songs got put into the 2nd semi-final (which will be held on Thursday night), it looks like this year’s final could be very, very interesting viewing!

Kell’s hot tips for the 2nd semi-final:

  • Iceland
  • Sweden (actually my hot tip to win the whole thing!)
  • Turkey (totally rockin’ track)
  • Ukraine
  • Latvia (because they’re a lot of fun)
  • Bulgaria
  • Georgia (it’s a message song sung by a blind woman)
  • Malta
  • Belarus
  • Czech Republic

I also predict the UK finishing in the top 10 in the final (it’s definitely the strongest entry from the automatic contenders).

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Shameless Plug for He Hates Us

October 7, 2007 at 3:58 pm (Music, Film and Television, Shameless Plugs) (, , )

He Hates Us

My old buddy Bryce got in touch again via Bebo after years of silence (not altogether his fault – I’m just as guilty!) and let me know that he’s once again performing musical magic in the band He Hates Us.

I promised a plug (well, if you can’t support a mate when he’s making music, what kind of mate are you?!), so here it is:

He Hate Us in their current line-up are pretty new on the Glasgow music scene and are heavy on the guitars and drums (Bryce is the drummer, but actually is playing the guitar on my favourite track listed on the group Bebo spot, Time To Fight – he’s a talented man!). They have a sort of early-Metallica-ish sound, with a melodic Bon-Jovi-ish touch to the mix, so if you like rock, give them a try.

There are currently four demo tracks listed on their Bebo page, so please do nip along, have a listen, and see what you think.

And in case you’re wondering, yes that’s Bryce behind the drum kit.

 

You can check out their demo tracks at their Bebo Page – HE HATES US.

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Music Mash-Up – Galvanize the Empire

September 24, 2007 at 11:49 am (Music, Film and Television) ()

Another splendiferous music mash-up, from the same guy who did the Snow Police mix (Party Ben, you are a talent to be reckoned with!), this time giving us the most unlikely of combinations – Star Wars and the Chemical Brothers (so, should this be known as Star Brothers or Chemical Wars?). I present, for your musical enjoyment, Galvanise the Empire:

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Music Mash-up – Snow Police – Every Car You Chase

September 23, 2007 at 3:19 pm (Music, Film and Television) ()

Every now and then, I come across a piece of music that is so sublimely mixed that I’m amazed nobody did it sooner. Today’s case is an excellent mix between Every Breath You Take by The Police and Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. Now, I was already a fan of The Police, but Snow Patrol have never really been “my thing” – I’m not a fan of their music; it does nothing for me at all, although I know many people think them The Biz.

Anyway, take a look at this lovely bit of mixing and judge for yourself whether or not this actually makes the Snow Patrol track far better – I think it does. It’s been stuck in my head all day and I just know I would love to perform this live…

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