20 December 2007
Before all you geeks who read my blog get too excited, this is not a post about Cascading Style Sheets – it’s a post about the Brazilian band Cansei de Ser Sexy who a few of us went to see at The Leadmill last night.
We unfortunately missed Joe Lean and The Jing Jang Jong but arrived in time to see Metronomy perform their crazy electronic music whilst wearing battery powered push lights attached to their t-shirts. According to Wikipedia, Metronomy started as a side project for Joseph Mount who’s remixed for loads of bands and is the friendliest man in pop (according to NME). The three Metronomy members have some interesting stage choreography, like saluting the corner of the room in the middle of their “slow and sad song” called Heartbreaker, which goes quite well with their interesting music that sounds a bit like Klaxons. Anyway, I think I’ll be listening to a bit more of their stuff as some of it was pretty good.
One of the reasons I decided to go and watch CSS was because I’d heard that they put on a really good show. I didn’t know that the lead singer – apparently known as Lovefoxxx – once stripped naked at one of her gigs until reading her Wikipedia article just now. Sadly, there was none of that at the Leadmill. Instead, the band casually appeared on stage dressed as Christmas presents while an interesting rendition of Jingle Bells (I think) was being played in the background!
Wearing a skin-tight leotard, high-fiving the first crowd surfer, grabbing someone’s mobile phone to sing into, constantly teasing the crowd with the microphone (she’s not got as much control with the mic as the front-men from Kaiser Chiefs or Pigeon Detectives yet) and generally dancing like a crazy woman for the rest of the time before throwing herself into the crowd at the end, Lovefoxxx is actually a pretty good front-person (is that PC enough for ya?) with too much energy. The crowd did seem a bit confused when 30 minutes into the set she announced “this is our last song’ before playing Alcohol and then proceeded to play from another half an hour or so. My guess was that she meant that Alcohol was their last song to be released and her English isn’t too good but I guess she could’ve also been joking, the cheeky minx. She even kindly thanked someone for throwing a bag of Brazil nuts at them. (What kind of weirdos go to these gigs!?)
CSS also appeared to have their own version of Bez; except theirs was a heavily tattooed girl who danced around the stage dressed up as a Christmas tree for a couple of songs, changed into a Bob Marley t-shirt to hold up a Jamaican flag then a sheet containing some lyrics for another song, and finally appeared as a Christmas present towards the end of the gig. She also helped Lovefoxxx try to teach the crowd how to do their little dance moves which they’ve got for each song. Quite amusing really.
With a bit of token instrument-swapping for the last song, CSS put on an impressive live show. They’re definitely better live than they are on recordings, so keep your eyes peeled for a CSS gig near you!
Labels: music, personal
12 December 2007
Since some new iGoogle themes were released last month and the Holiday Village theme for iGoogle was spotted more recently, I wondered how many other themes Google might be hiding from us... and found these two:
Similar to the default Classic theme, this skin keeps things simple but adds a soft blue gradient background, removes link underlining and adds a bit more space around links in the navigation.
If you want your iGoogle page to show graffiti and a drawing of a “sk8r chick” then you might prefer this theme instead.
To enable either of these themes, follow these instructions:
Enter the following in your browser’s address bar:
Where tc.xml is the XML filename of the theme shown above.
Click the Save button.
Neither of these themes include any information about their author, title or description in their XML files. Nor do they change based on time, weather or day of the week. I guess this could mean they’re not finished, so don’t be surprised if they change or get deleted!
Can anyone find any more?
Labels: blogoscoped, google
6 December 2007
As part of my ongoing mission to watch more live music, we went to Sheffield Arena on Monday night to watch Kaiser Chiefs.
I bought the tickets back in June and have been looking forward to this gig for about five months. I’m not really a big fan of arena gigs though. I prefer smaller venues where you can see what facial expressions the band members are making. It takes an excellent band to put on a good show and make a massive arena audience feel like they’re part of the experience instead of just watching tiny dots in the distance. Luckily for us, Kaiser Chiefs are an excellent band!
Support came from California’s The Little Ones, who weren’t bad but didn’t make me want to buy – or even steal – their music, and New York’s topless We Are Scientists who, despite them being topless, I quite liked these dudes and may even purchase their new album.
The Chiefs played all the best songs (i.e. nearly all of them) from their two albums, Employment and Yours Truly, Angry Mob, along with some brilliant new songs. Frontman Ricky Wilson certainly knows how to get the audience going too. From what I’d seen of them on the TV, I knew he’d be full of energy and running around the stage. I didn’t expect him to suddenly pop-up in the middle of the arena though!
The sound was excellent. The screens – five smaller vertical screens above the stage instead of the two usual big screens on each side, as you can see in my photos – were a bit different but still effective, giving us a chance to watch each member of the band more closely. And the lights were plentiful... that is until some idiot lobbed a pint of beer over the lighting desk just before the encore! Ricky gave the audience the choice of them doing an encore without any lights (although the blinders were still working) or going home. Needless to say, they continued with the encore and the lights gradually came back on.
Personal highlights for me: Everyday I Love You Less And Less, I Predict A Riot, Oh My God and the more recent Ruby (all massive anthems), Modern Way (I love that cowbell), Na Na Na Na Naa and Heat Dies Down (great sing-a-long songs), Saturday Night (purely for the line, “Cos we are birds of feather and you can be the fat one!”), The Angry Mob (wonderful angry undertones), Everything Is Average Nowadays (the guitar playing the same melody as the vocals during the verses is cool), Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning) (always nice to have a ballad in the set), Thank You Very Much (I love the subtle guitar and keyboard melodies playing underneath the bridge/chorus on this), Retirement (the way they kept varying the rhythm between each verse and chorus was pure musical brilliance), Born To Be A Dancer (spooky piano melodies are always good), Highroyds (just brilliant) and I Can Do It Without You (just cos it’s a damn good tune).
Erm, I think that’s pretty much most of the show then!
Not too bad for an arena gig really...
Still to come: CSS (Dec ’07), Scouting for Girls (Apr ’08) and The Pigeon Detectives (May ’08) – again – but this time at the brand new Carling Academy Sheffield, previously known as The New Roxy Disco, which will hopefully open its doors in April 2008!
Labels: music, personal
5 December 2007
Last Friday night, we went with The Rileys to Fahrenheit Restaurant in Wath-upon-Dearne. Chris and Dawn had been a couple of times before and had been wanting me and Suzy to try it for a while. Since little Baby Riley will be popping out in the new year, we decided to book a table for the four (and a half) of us before they get lost underneath a pile of nappies and toys! Having already heard and read what Chris thought of Fahrenheit back in September, I had quite high expectations. And I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed...
After we’d been shown to our table and our orders had been taken, our waiting staff brought us our complimentary rollmop pickled herring fillet appetisers, which was a nice touch. I don’t remember ever trying this before but it was very tasty and just enough for one mouthful. Shortly after finishing these, our starters arrived. I had the Thai Style Crab with Fine Noodles, Lemongrass, Ginger & Spicy Chilli Dressing (which was lovely and fresh tasting), Suzy had the Marbled Duck & Pork Terrine with Sage Infused, Orange & Hazelnut Dressing (the little bit I got to taste was really good) and The Rileys had Charantais Melon with Pear, Rocket and Parmesan Salad (Parmesan cheese apparently goes very well with melon but I didn’t get the chance to try it for myself). I don’t usually eat bread with my meals but the bread they served was really soft and fresh, so I gladly made an exception.
Something you don’t see much of in restaurants these days is an intermediate course. But with Fahrenheit being the perfect place it is, we had a choice of two! Dawn had the Lentil Soup and the rest of us chose the Passion Fruit Sorbet. Very pleasant.
After cleansing our palates, we tucked into our main courses. The Rileys had Braised Lamb Shank with Spring Onion Mash, Rosemary & Redcurrant Sauce (I tried a bit of Dawn’s and it was melt-in-the-mouth-good), Suzy had the Grilled 7oz Sirloin Steak with Oyster Mushroom, Red Pepper Infused Hollandaise, Balsamic Reduction (cooked exactly as she wanted and enough to satiate her appetite, despite thinking the steak wasn’t very big when she first saw it) and I had the Pave of Salmon with Curried Mussels & Deep Fried Leeks. All came served with a selection of mixed vegetables. It’s unusual for me to order salmon in a restaurant – not because I don’t like salmon, I just usually find something else I prefer – but the waitress quite literally sold it to me when she said the curried mussels were Thai-style rather than Indian-style. The salmon was cooked to perfection with nice crispy skin and served on three large mussels in a Thai green curry sauce with a scattering of deep fried thinly sliced leeks. Lovely!
As far as I’m concerned, everything about Fahrenheit is great. It’s in a brand new building which makes it look good from the outside, the decor is modern and elegant on the inside, the staff are smartly dressed and polite, the tables and chairs are comfortable and big enough to allow you to relax during your meal, the menu has just the right number of choices available, the food is well presented and excellently prepared, and the prices are quite reasonable.
Fahrenheit definitely gets the Tony Ruscoe seal of approval!
Labels: food, personal, restaurants