Monday, 28 November 2011

Bananarama 30th Anniversary

Next year will be iconic girl band Bananarama's 30th anniversary.  It's hard to believe that 30 years have gone by since Bananarama first appeared on the music scene.  The band have achieved so much over the last 3 decades. 
The cover for 'Wow' features Bruno Tolioni -
he's the guy in the centre that Sara is clutching onto!
Band member Sara has indicated that there will be news coming about the anniversary.  Sara responded to a tweet from a fan on Twitter: "lots of news to come VERY soon!"  Back in August they tweeted that they are planning several projects - a book, DVD, Greatest Hits album and a tour.  The finer details are unknown at the moment and fans are speculating about what kind of book is being planned.  It might be a 'tell all' biography (although that is doubtful as in the past Keren and Sara have not seemed keen) or maybe a photo book documenting all of the major moments in their career.  I'd love to read a book that details all of the main events in their career... Siobhan's leaving, the chart successes, Band Aid, Jacquie and maybe it could even include some input from some of their famous friends from the era like George Michael.

Overseas fans are also hoping that a tour will extend beyond the UK.  In the past, the ladies have hinted about a possible live DVD.  Fans are enthusiastic about this but most hope for a collection of all of their videos.  With DVD collections being released frequently, it's hard to believe that a DVD hasn't happened already.
Some Bananarama Facts

Bananarama have one US number one single to their belt.  'Venus' hit the top of the Billboard charts in 1986.  A feat that is still quite rare for a UK act.

There has been a number of Bananarama parodies over the years, including one by Tracey Ullman and comedy act French & Saunders - who later performed with them on a charity single for Comic Relief.

French & Saunders and Kathy Burke's parody of Bananarama was brilliant fun.
The ladies thought it was hilarious.
In the early days, Bananarama practiced their act in the Sex Pistols old rehearsal room.  Ex-Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook produced their first single.

After releasing the single 'Robert DeNiro's Waiting', DeNiro himself phoned the ladies and asked to met them.  At first, they didn't believe it was him, but they later went out for a drink and rumour has it that DeNiro was quite taken by Sara!

When seminal band The Specials split and Terry Hall formed 'Fun Boy Three', he spotted Bananarama in the pages of the fashionable magazine 'The Face', and the 2 bands later collaborated on 2 hit singles.

Original member Siobhan Fahey left and went onto form the highly successful 'Shakespear's Sister'.

When Siobhan left the band, Sara and Keren recruited friend Jacquie O'Sullivan, who went onto record one album with the band and tour the world on their 1989 Greatest Hits Tour.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Madonna - Give Me All Your Love


As much as I love Madonna and that I have been desperate for some new material, I wasn't quite prepared to read that a demo of the supposed new single had been leaked and posted on YouTube.  I'm not going to post a link.  I did listen though.  I like.  It's sounds a bit like 'Hey Mickey'.  That's not a bad thing in my eyes. 

L.U.V. Madonna.
Y.O.U. You wanna?

It must be awful to find that your hard work has been compromised.  Put yourself in Madonna's shoes.  Go on.  Ouch.  Hurts, right?  You expected that though, huh?  Anyway, enough sillyness.

Above is a photo of Madonna and the star of her new movie.  Buy the new US edition of Harper's Bizarre for new pics and an interview.  Nice.



Has reality TV turned us into lazy fame-seekers and cynics?

Before you read this, please note that I am a fan of this genre. 

Reality TV has existed for a long, long time.  We used to call them TV documentaries - albeit short ones that didn't have a three month run or have premium rate telephone numbers. 

In recent years, television viewers across the globe have been bombarded with new talent shows, 24 hour game shows and footage of celebrities (or even non-celebs) in their homes.  From Big Brother to X-Factor, the public have lapped it all up - but has it been a good ride?  Is it possible that 'reality TV' has done all sorts of negative things for society?

Take X-Factor for instance. It's a phenomenon.  A ratings winner.  There are only a few people on this earth that have it all.  'All' being a great singing voice - and perhaps an infectious personality? Individual style? Humour? Good looks? 

The public suddenly realised that anyone regardless of age, looks and background can be a star.  It's as simple as turning up for an audition, winning a place on a TV show and the rest is history.  It's not really that simple though is it?  Someone should tell the millions of people across the globe that believe they are the next big thing. 

What about Big Brother? Talent doesn't even need to be an issue here.  A big personality is the key.  Perhaps an outrageous wardrobe? A funny voice?  A sob story?  If you have all of the above then you've maybe got a ticket to celebrity life forever (or at least 3 or 4 years).

Yes, some reality TV shows tell us that you don't need an education or a particular talent to be fabulously rich.  We can all name people that have built massively successful careers out of reality TV.

I have no problem with anyone that has done well for themselves via reality TV, but are they really good role models?   Don't scoff at that comment.  For some people, reality stars are role models.  That's a fact and there are thousands of fans to prove it.  Just ask most Jordan or Kerry Katona fans?

As long as we are fed reality TV shows, there will always be some mediocre, young wannabe wasting his or her life away on a dream that just won't ever come true.  All because he or she truly thought that 'it could happen to me'.   I hope that there aren't too many people putting off university education to audition for a show, but there probably are.

What about the losers of the shows?  The small few that get so far but don't make the grade and are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered dreams.  They might make a few grand from a few more interviews and then it's back to working in B&Q.  That must be hard to handle.  One week they are on national TV watched by millions - three weeks later, they are serving people on the tills and wondering where life is going to take them - or worse, still hopeful and hanging onto an unrealistic dream?

With this genre, the public has also learnt much about what goes on behind the scenes.  Gone are the days when a new pop star appeared on the scene, shiny and glistening with perfection.  Now we all witness the rags to riches stories in pure HD.  Cheryl Cole's wonky teeth and wild eyebrows.  Who'd have thought that there was such a stunningly beautiful woman under there?  All it took was some cosmetic dentistry, a stylist, several beauty therapists and thousands of pounds.  Easy peasy!

We see the managers, the judges, the choreographers, photographers and crew.  We witness the decision making.  The signing of contracts.  It's not a mystery anymore.  Is the twist in the story an amazing reality or is it a carefully planned and scripted strategy developed by a production team?  Nobody knows what to think anymore.  Is Amelia's (UK X-Factor) shock return to the show something more sinister?  Probably not.  We've all been let down by so many media outlets that it's hard to know who to believe.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Madonna Calendar 2012



Next year is going to be big news for Madonna fans.  There will be a new album, a new fragrance called 'Truth or Dare', a new tour and lots more high profile performances such as Madonna's supposed appearance at Super Bowl.

With all those dates coming up, I guess the most fitting way to keep track is to purchase a new Madonna 2012 calendar.  Click here to order.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Scarfs


Now that the cold weather is here, out comes the warms clothes - and course that essential accessory, the scarf.  I love scarfs and I particularly love Vivienne Westwood's designs.  She has created some amazing designs over the years, but for people that like simplicity, see the above design that features a small piece of embroidary and the famous orb logo.  You can purchase these from numerous retailers - and if you're looking for something a little more colourful, check out the below design.

I want one!


Poptweetz recommends: Amazon Kindle

Books are so last season, the Kindle is the way forward

When I'm on holiday, lounging on a ....lounger (awkward choice of word) and reading a book, I often get frustrated that I can't turn a page easily whilst holding a cocktail in the other hand.  It's a problem that has existed since the very beginning of time (who writes this crap? Oh. It's me).

That problem and others (such as having to pack an entire library for a 2 week trip) can be easily avoided by buying an e-reader such as Amazon's Kindle.

My boyfriend owns a Kindle.  I bought it for him because he was driving me insane with his loud 'page turning' antics which are not appropriate when I'm trying to get my beauty sleep.

There is a new version which is out now, click here to order.  It's smaller and lighter and it can also make you a 3 course meal on those nights when you can't be bothered to cook (that last part is blatantly incorrect).

The Kindle holds 1,400 books.  Remember how you felt when you got your first ipod?  You get that same joyous feeling with a Kindle. 

Miranda Series 2

"What have you done today to make you feel proud!"

The second series of Miranda is now out on DVD, click here to order.

If you'd have told me about this show (without seeing it for myself), I'd probably have avoided it like the plague.  It's a funny show - funny as in strange, because it's very family friendly but it also retains an edge and Miranda and the cast are genuinely hilarious.  That's quite unusual these days.

Maybe I can see parts of myself and my friends in the chaos that is Miranda?  Anyway, it doesn't matter because it all works splendidly.  Such fun!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Songs of 2011 - Nerina Pallot / Put Your Hands Up

It's the time of the year when I start to write and reflect about what's happened since the beginning of the year, musically.

Nerina Pallot's 'Put Your Hands Up' is a definite highlight of the year for me. Never has the title of a song been so apt.  There are few songs that have an instant affect on me, such as this brilliant single from Pallot.


Listening to Nerina makes me wonder why she isn't a household name yet?  It's baffling.  She's been around for a while and released her first album 10 years ago.  She's certainly a recognised talent in the music industry.  Although she hasn't reached huge success when you look at the chart stats, she has however managed to carve a decent career for herself and 4 albums worth of material.  Not to mention writing credits for artists such as Kylie Minogue and Diana Vickers.

Nerina's album 'Year of the Wolf' is out now.

Nerina loves a big hat

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Let Capital FM Pimp your facebook status!

Capital FM and some of the UK’s hottest artists are giving you the chance to pimp your facebook status. http://on.fb.me/CFMpimp  



Simply visit the Capital FM facebook page and enter your status. Once you’ve let the world know what’s on your mind,  hit ‘Pimp My Status’ and Capital FM will give your status a cheeky makeover adding a exclusive video from your favourite artists alongside.

Hot artists that could be spicing up your status include JLS, The Saturdays, Tinie Tempah, Jason Derulo and The Wanted.

So what are you waiting for get pimping your status now! http://on.fb.me/CFMpimp 

Amy Winehouse - Lioness

It's still hard to believe that Amy Winehouse has gone.  She seemed to live a terribly sad existence over the past years, with so many media reports about drug and alcohol addictions - not to mention the unhealthy relationship she had with 'Blake'.  It's difficult but we should try to focus on the positive things we are told about Amy. 

She was a generous soul who apparently used to invite homeless people into her own home and cook them a meal.  Amy was sensitive, funny and incredibly creative.  The legacy of her music will continue - and I'll admit that I was little suprised that we would be getting a new album so soon after her death.  Cynics will say that this is a ploy to christmas sales.  That may be or may not be the case.  I'm a little more considered in my opinion.  Fans (like myself) want to hear more music, as long as it up to a standard that Amy herself (and perhaps her family and friends) would be happy with.  I'm not so bothered about the timing of it, or the finanical aspect as it doesn't really matter because no record company is about to give away an album for free, so why argue about sales, finances and marketing? 

This morning we got to hear 2 cuts from the album: 'Lioness: Hidden Treasures'.  Both tracks are gorgeous and I'm glad that we get to feel like we have a little more Amy in our lives.

The new album will be released in the UK on 5th December.  You can preorder it here: click here

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

I'm not dead

Just thought I'd share that.

I've been very busy.

Blog posts coming soon, lovely people.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Songs to cry to (Part 2)

Eddi Reader is a name that many associate with Fairground Attraction, the short-lived but award winning band that had hits such as 'Perfect'.  However, Eddi's solo work is rather lovely too.  There are several stand-out songs from her repertoire, such as 'Semi Precious' from the 1996 album 'Candyfloss And Medicine'. 


Canadian songstress k.d. lang has such a distinct soaring quality to her voice.  She is an artist that rarely fails to touch me in some way.  'Hymns From the 49th Parallel' is an album of mostly cover versions that lang recorded.  'Hallelujah', the haunting Leonard Cohen song is simply gorgeous and 'Case Of You' written by Joni Mitchell is equally amazing.


'Towerblock' is a song by Julia Fordham, it's a firm favourite with many fans and it's often requested at gigs.  The vocals are stunning but it's the sentiment that I connect with.  "All my life, I've been the one who's big and strong for everyone.  Then you come along, a towerblock for me to lean on."  It's simplicity is what makes the song special.  The vocals and piano are enough.  There is no need for percussion or strings or anything else.



I'm interested to hear what your song choices are.  Please add your comments below.

Songs to cry to (Part 1)

I'm not being miserable.  I promise.  Experts say that it's good to cry. It relieves stress. It's cleansing. 

I haven't cried in years, but there are some songs that are so deeply touching that I can't help but feel emotional to a degree where I'm very nearly shedding a tear or two.

"Wahhhhhhhhhh!" cried the blonde temptress, as she realised she'd lost her Sonia Greatest Hits album.
There are several artists that tug on those heartstrings. Joni Mitchell to name one.  She is a genius admired by so many artists, from Bjork to Prince.  There are so many beautiful, heartwrenching songs that Joni has created in her long career.  Songs like the stunning 'Both Sides Now'.


Joni fans have witnessed some stark changes to Joni's voice over the length of her career.  In the beginning, Joni's voice sounded very different to the deep throaty sound that we now know.  It hasn't hindered the quality of her performances though.  It brings a whole new depth to her work.

Kirsty MacColl has always been a big favourite of mine.  She was such a fantastic artist and I still find it hard to believe that she is gone.  Kirsty sadly died in a tragic accident in Mexico back in 2000.  I can't believe it's been eleven years since her passing.  Maybe that adds a poignancy to her work?  Kirsty's strengths have always been her great writing and the ability to create such amazing harmonising. 


Most music fans feel a connection with one artist.  There is something which touches you in a way that is hard to explain.  When Kirsty died, I went to pay my respects at her memorial bench in Soho Square.  I didn't know her personally, but it was my way of saying thanks for creating music that was so inspiring, funny, uplifting and sad. 


Cyndi Lauper is such a rare artist.  She can scream, shout and cause anarchy on the stage - and by contrast, she can also sing notes that are so pure and beautiful.  Cyndi has the knack of creating some amazing ballads such as 'True Colours' and 'Time After Time', which are both considered as classics.  However, I'm going to suggest 'Hymn To Love' from 'At Last'.  It's simple and lovely.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Nicola Roberts: Lucky Day - The Full Video

It's here!!!!

Ring My Bell

Ring My Bell...but who rings their bell loud enough? It's a Ring My Bell Smackdown!!!! ....and Billie Piper is first up!


...followed by Madge herself...


...and finally, Anita Ward....


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sugababes: Freedom - The Video


I don't know why, but some critics have written some not very complimentary things about the Sugababes new single, 'Freedom'. I think it's the best thing they've done in ages.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Fright Night - New and Old

Fright Night used to be one of my favourite films when I was younger.  I would also include 'The Hitcher' and 'Terminator' and 'Alien' as being great movies that I loved in the eighties.  Years later, the original doesn't quite have the same appeal. 


Studios seem to be lacking ideas and of course there is a remake.  Check out the new and old trailers.


Chris Medina - What Are Words

Chris Medina is a former American Idol contestant and his song 'What Are Words' is currently number one in Sweden.  It's really quite a nice ballad, but what makes it so interesting is that the song is about his fiancée who suffered a brain injury as the result of a car accident.

BootyLuv are back ...or are they?

Are they now called 'Cherise & Nadia'?  I'm not sure what's happened but I think they may have moved on and got a new deal.  What do you think?



It's a bit of a low budget video, but the song is quite nice.  As usual, the ladies vocals are great.  This is their new website http://www.cheriseandnadia.com 

Poptweetz CHOON: Nicola Roberts - Lucky Day

Nicola: "I'm one of those people who can sleep just about anywhere....anyway, goodnight popsters...zzz...."
Oh Nicola.  We love you.  We loved your debut solo single and yes, I did dance to the beat of your drum - although I did look stupid because I was dancing in my office, whilst trying to eat a tuna salad sandwich.

The red haired fabulous member of Girls Aloud is back with a new single.  'Lucky Day'?  Yes, it is.


....and check out this B-Side from the previous single. 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

New Will Young song - and it's free!

Go to the link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005EOZ1U6?tag=discounter-21 (Amazon UK)

It's bloody brilliant!

Julia Fordham

Julia Fordham is a funny artist.  Her music varies between pop, jazz and soul - and therefore it's been difficult to categorise.  She's not particularly fashionable and she's never reached the heights of super stardom (although some would argue that she did in Japan and the Philippines).   However, there is a quality to Julia's voice which has interested for me for years.  It's rich and deep, and then, out of the blue she manages to hit the kind of high notes that could attract dogs.


She's also extremely lovely and funny (especially live). I recall meeting her briefly many years ago when I was pulled backstage by her sister Claire (now a successful writer and blogger for the Huffington Post).

Julia's been around for quite some time now.  She started off as a backing singer and then released her first solo album in the late eighties.  'Happy Ever After' was her first hit and it made the UK top forty.  Since then she has released many albums and worked with many producers such as Simon Climie and Larry Klein.  She's toured the world many times and managed to carve out a great career.  Interesting story - Julia was originally going to record 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)' before Bryan Adams - though the record company changed it's mind and Bryan got the song.

Her current album features actor Paul Reiser, and I'm going to be brutally honest when I say that it's not her best work by far.  Infact, it's a poorly produced affair and not even worth mentioning.

Julia's strengths can be found in 'Concrete Love', an album which includes the vocals of India Arie on the title track and Joe Henry (Madonna's brother in law) on the song, 'Alleluia'.  'East West' is also a good album.

The problem is that Julia often makes songs that are completely out of touch with current trends.  She's not a trend-setter.  However, if you seek out certain songs from her back catalogue, you will be touched by the emotional content and the range of her unusual voice.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Amy Winehouse RIP

It's been over week since the death of Amy Winehouse. RIP Amy.

(Apparently) taken at Camden Lock

Lost Gems: Pop Albums That Deserved Success *Part 1*

Made In London were a female trio that were tipped for success back in 2000.  Their debut single 'Dirty Water' reached number 15 in the UK charts and they recieved positive reviews in the press.  Things were looking up until the release of their follow up 'Shut Your Mouth' which reached a disappointing number 74.  Consequently their album, 'Perfect Storm' was pulled and I remember watching a particularly sad interview with band members on Channel 4's Big Breakfast after the news that they had been dropped by their record company.  At that stage they were hoping to be signed elsewhere, but sadly that didn't happen.  'Perfect Storm' is a great album and I have one of the many promo's had been issued, so if you are lucky to find one in a second hand shop, snap it up!  I'm particularly fond of the track 'Believe', but the whole album is a gem.  It's a soulful debut and it's a shame that it never surfaced.

Madasun were another all female trio from 2000.  They released 3 singles, all which made the UK top 40.  Unlike Made In London, Madasun's debut album did get a release.  'The Way It Is' was released in late 2000 and sadly the sales weren't there.  It's a shame because the album had some great tracks including the (perhaps TLC inspired) 'Walking On Water' which is lovely. 
Madasun weren't always this grumpy
I really thought that Madasun had potential. 

Dana Dawson - RIP.  I was so sad to hear that Dana passed away last year from colon cancer.  'Black Butterfly' is a pop gem.  All 4 of the accompanying singles are great.  The thing that stood out is Dana's great voice and her really great sense of style.  For example, she wears Vivienne Westwood on the cover (beyond fabulous!!!)  The album is a mixture of pop, soul and some really nice ballads.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

RIP: Amy Winehouse


It's 7:30pm on 23rd July 2011 and online sources and TV news shows have reported that Amy Winehouse is dead.  It's such terrible, terrible news.  Amy was a star.  She had a unique voice and a talent that will be sadly missed.

Many years ago, my friend Amy (not Winehouse) managed to get me on the guestlist to see Amy Winehouse perform live.  It was before she hit the big time.  I was incredibly excited about seeing her perform because I loved her debut. 

Unfortunately it was a shambolic performance.  She was clearly drunk and staggered across the stage.  Most people knew that she had problems and this was before the media took such an interest into Amy's private live, relationships and addictions.  Me and my friends left the concert early as we couldn't bear to see the disasterous performance continue.  It was a few months later that Amy reached global success. 

Despite the shamoblics, I'm proud to have been in the same room as her.  Addictions and issues aside, Amy (according to the people that knew her) was a vunerable but lovely person.  I think it's important that we don't forget that.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Sensible controls are needed for the press

It's been an odd couple of days.  Whilst we've all been aware of the allegations of phone hacking for some time, can any of us really say that the demise of the News of the World wasn't a shock?  I, like many, have been gripped by how the story has been portrayed in the media over the past few hours.  It will certainly be very interesting to see how this eventually pans out.  Although the NOTW's last edition is on Sunday, this story is clearly going to run and run. 

Some newspaper hacks have been complaining about the sacking of some of the NOTW staff, suggesting that there are reputable people that worked for the tabloid and that they don't deserve this outcome.  I dare say that is true for a few, but do they really expect some sort of sympathy from the public?  The NOTW's conduct is under close examination because of all sorts of alleged sordid activities.  I'll be honest - the sacking of those staff is not something that concerns me in the slightest.  It's not on my radar.  I'm afraid I simply don't care. ( NOTW columnist Dan Wootton would disagree about my lack of sympathy.)  I care more about low earning members of the public who then get made redundant and struggle to feed and keep their families warm.  I have little concern for a journalist who makes his/her money by trying to find salacious stories about football players affairs, which I will use as an example. 

What footballers get up to in the bedroom is none of my business and it should be none of yours.  They get paid to play football.  Sure, they get paid well - but aren't they the very reason why people go to matches or watch them on TV?  Maybe they deserve to be paid well? - after all, they are the talent and without them it would be a bunch of hapless blokes walking around a pitch saying "what do I do with this ball?"  The fact that a footballer is addicted to risky sex is not a big deal to me.  I'm tried of the argument about celebs deserving what they get as some are considered to be role models for kids.  I'm a fan of lots of writers, film stars and pop stars - but I don't know what their basic moral code is, or what they get up to away from the TV cameras, because believe it or not, as humans we are not perfect.

The level of scrutiny on individuals goes too far.  The fact that a famous TV presenter cross-dresses in the privacy of their own is not something of national importance.  We all have our faults, and whilst I enjoy reading some celeb gossip, I put it into the context of understanding that humans fail occasionally.  However, clearly if there is evidence that a serious crime has occurred, then the general public should be aware of it - particularly if the crime is so hideous, such as (ironically) this whole hacking story.

I struggle with the way that some journalists and photographers behave.  I feel that there is a distinct lack of responsible behaviour in many areas of the media. It's the contradictory things - you can't publish a piece about a politicians lack of morals and then go on to print a story which revels about several celebrities sex lives, which we all have and like to keep private. I'm afraid I wouldn't take that kind of publication seriously. 

There clearly needs to be sensible boundaries in terms of behaviour.  I'm all in favour for a new regulator, but equally I don't want to live in a society where really important stories never get to see the light of day.  We need balance.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

More Madonna Album News

Earlier today, it was revealed that it was Madonna's first day in the recording studio for the new album.

There are two other producers which have been mentioned as possible collaborators: A-Trak and David Guetta.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Style: Habitat



The news that yet another (much loved, in my eyes) retail chain has gone into administration is very sad.  It feels like our high streets are going down hill.  Certainly in regards to Habitat, many stores have not made the necessary changes to keep afloat during these hard times.  Even the wealthy are holding onto to their pennies. 

Perhaps a chain like Habitat should have been creating more affordable ranges? I don't have all the answers, but I bet Mary Portas has a few ideas.  This is what she said on Twitter: " ...its been a long time since Habitat was brilliant. Some private equity running it without vision or taste has led to this. Its sad". 

Follow me on twitter


If you didn't already know, you can follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/poptweetz

Celebrity Reality TV: career destroyer or saviour?

It's very easy to have an opinion about the celebrities that appear on reality TV shows such as 'I'm a celebrity...get me out of here'.  To most people, and perhaps quite rightly, it's their idea of hell.  The celeb contestants are filmed 24 hours a day and made to do all sorts of embarrassing (and in some cases revolting) tasks in an attempt to win first place.  Surely the only people that sign up to these shows are those celebs who are desperate and penniless? - or are we too quick to judge?

"This show is boring" said Granny Poptweetz
Reality TV shows are not only a common occurance.  They are also a ratings winner.  Should we be really judging the people that sign up?  Should we be congratuling them for making a smart move?  After all, that exposure can give a star many more opportunties - such as magazine interviews, advertising and endorsements...?  The exposure can help promote a book, a tour or a new album.  The rewards could be amazing. Unless of course you are not seen in a good light.  It's a difficult decision to make.

Celebrities should think hard.  Are they willing to let the public see all of their flaws?  No matter how good an actor or actress, nobody can keep up an act 24 hours a day.

The news that Rachel Stevens (solo performer and former singer with S Club 7) has apparently signed up for Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5 is not a shock in the sense that we haven't seen much of her recently.  According to rumours, she will be realising some new material via 'Fascination Records' which is home to The Saturdays.  I can't confirm either story.  In case you have forgotten who Rachel is, see the below video:

Madonna's next album - who will produce?



The recent news that Madonna has started preparing for a new album is sending fans into a frenzy.  The latest rumour (courtesy of www.examiner.com ) is that Madge might be collaborating with Jim Steinman.  To those that didn't know, Jim has produced and written some of pop's most celebrated songs for artists such as Celine Dion and Meatloaf. 

According to the source, Joe Henry is a definite collaborator - and you may remember Joe as he worked on 'Don't Tell Me' and 'Jump'.  I admire Joe greatly as he appeared on Julia Fordham's 'Concrete Love' album, duetting with Julia on the haunting track 'Alleluia'.

Many Madonna fans are hoping that she will reunite with William Orbit as he did such a fabulous job on the 'Ray of Light' album. 

Links: Guy O'Seary , www.madonna.com

Pit stains, bad hair days and dodgy pants

Admit it.  You love to criticise people.  You love to sit outside a cafe, watch the people go by and comment on their appearance.  You like to think that you are better than them.  Well, quite frankly who doesn't?

We all love to judge people and even if we think we are grounded and fair people, there is no denying that we all take a bit of pleasure from talking about folks bad hair.  I'm probably one of the worst culprits for doing it but I don't do it in a mailicious way.  I don't confront those people (even though it takes all of my strength not to).

The thing is, none of us are perfect (although I am nearly there).  I realise that I don't have a right to comment on why a woman in her mid sixties is wearing a mini ra-ra.  I dare say that some people don't like the clothes I wear (although, let's face it, I seriously doubt that).

Open the pages of any weekly gossip magazine and you are confronted by a series of photos of celebs looking worse for wear - but I don't mind that - it reminds me that we're all the same.  We all have pit stains from time to time and most of us never look good in the morning.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Florrie: This woman can do no wrong!!!



DJ Earworm ‘Party on the Floor’


DJ Earworm’s been mashing up the latest chart topping tunes again. This time the incredible mashup was made for Capital FM's 2011 Summertime Ball at London's Wembley Stadium. 'Party on the Floor' features all the artist from this year's huge event including Jennifer Lopez, JLS, Nicole Scherzinger and The Wanted. 

It makes me sad that I wasn't able to go this time. The line-up was so brilliant! 

Poptweetz loves: Jill Scott

Ever since I saw the fabulously sassy video to Gettin' in the Way, Jill Scott's debut single, I've been a huge fan. 


After sorting out some problems concerning recording contracts, Jill is back with a new album titled 'the Light of the Sun' and it looks like it's going to debut in the US album charts at no1.  It's her first album in 4 years.


Jill is an incredible artist.  She has a fantastic jazz / soul voice but she doesn't have have quite the same size of fanbase in the UK yet.  I hope that changes very soon.

France - more photos...









Monday, 20 June 2011

Retro: Scream (UK Horror Comic)

Oh joy! Whilst I've been (getting drunk and binging on cheese) relaxing in France, I've also be indulging in several retro activities - listening to old music I'd forgotten about and reading old comics from the eighties.  'Scream!' was a horror comic that only lasted about 15 issues.  It was brilliant and apparently pristine issues are selling on ebay for a fortune.  Hang onto those magazines, folks! There's money to be made!

Free fangs - that was a draw for me.  Oh to be young again....

Off and On - Sophie versus Roisin - Which is best?

'Off and On' is a track that appears on Sophie Ellis Bextor's new album 'Make a Scene'.  There has been a few demos that hit the web (naughty people!) - I think there was 2 versions by Sophie and at least one by Roisin Murphy.....but which is best?

Sophie or Roisin? (Well, they are both so similiar - apart from the vocals...and both artists are fabulous)  Conclusion: I have too much time on my hands.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Rye Rye feat Robyn - Never Will Be Mine



Rye Rye featuring the fabulous Robyn.

Kerry Katona

I had the ...(insert appropriate word) fortune / misfortunate... of meeting Kerry Katona in Croydon a few weeks ago.  She seemed happy and was looking after her daughters.


I'm afraid I struggle with the concept of Kerry Katona, like I struggle with the concept of Katy Price.  What purpose do they have?  I know that the public loves to read about Kerry but I'm not sure why.  I can't put Kerry in the same catergory as reality TV stars because she did start out as a member of Atomic Kitten (a girl band).  She found fame before the reality shows and she was married to a former member of Westlife.  The only purpose I can think of is that Kerry reminds us that our lives are not so bad.  Sure, we all complain about our own lives from time to time.  We might not have (had) the money that she has (or had), but at least most of us are relatively untroubled.

...and now there is another drama in Kerry's life, she has apparently been dumped by her manager.  I guess that's another story to sell and more cash in Kerry's pocket.

Fighting a losing cause?


There have been many media reports about Cheryl Cole and Ashley, the supposed secret meetings and perhaps even a reconciliation.  We'll probably never know what the exact story is because I'm sure that all of the reports include very little truths and vasts amounts of speculation.  However, if there is even a little truth in the fact that Cheryl is apparently still in love in him, I'm afraid I cannot even try to understand why.   I don't want to judge Cheryl so I won't try to.  However, when I reflect on my previous relationships and those of friends, when something ends, I like to close the door tightly shut.  When there are issues concerning trust and betrayal, it's hard to even consider allowing that person back and the risks of getting hurt again.  I know that people make mistakes but I don't feel that I'm capable of cheating on anyone.  As human beings, we have the capacity to make decisions and know what is right and wrong.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Poptweetz loves: Bebel Gilberto

I stumbled across Bebel in a record shop many years ago.  The album 'Tanto Tempo' had been released and it was marked on a shelf as being a 'recommendation'.  I took a risk and bought the CD and I wasn't disapppointed.  In fact, 'Tanto Tempo' remains just about my favourite album of all time and I've purchased everything else Bebel has done since.

Check out this song, 'Samba de Orly' from the soundtrack to 'Rio'.  Bebel is the sound of the summer in my eyes.

Poptweetz loves: True Blood

I was told about the successful TV series, True Blood, by a friend who suggested that I watch it whilst recovering from an operation.  I knew that I was going to be bored out of my brain and so I was grateful for any ideas of things to do from friends.  It was whilst watching the first episode that I knew that there was the beginnings of an obsession. 


Season 4 starts its US run this month and it's already causing quite a stir from fans.  The release of an 8 minute preview video for the first episode of the season sets the tone.  However there has also been a selection of other previews that give us more clues what to expect.  I believe that witches play a big part in this series.  I'm very impatient as it can't come sooner.

 

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Peter Wilson - Intoxicated


I recently posted about Peter Wilson and his new retro sounding eighties masterpiece 'Stereo'.  It's deeply rooted in that era and perhaps won't be to everybodies taste.  However, if you refer to the above sample, which is his previous effort titled 'Intoxicated' you will see that there is more to this australian singer.  He can do nineties too! 

Jokes aside, I think it's rather good.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Cher Lloyd, the leaked song and some very unimpressed fans

Not so long ago, Beyonce's new album had reportedly been leaked all over the internet.  It's now a common occurance.  It's a nightmare for the artist and record company and might have a substantial affect on sales. 

Cher Lloyd was one of the contestants on last years X-Factor, the UK talent show that will shortly begin it's US run.  Cher stood out from the normal crowd of wannabe popsters.  Her edgy and aloof personality and her unusual voice made her impossible to ignore.


Cher's in the news again because a new track, possibly her next single, has been leaked. Of course, she is furious.  I must admit I'm slightly sceptical because I'm more than aware of sneaky marketing techniques and this could easily have been leaked on purpose.  The unfortunate thing is that most of the comments I've read are less than favourable about the track.

However, I am sticking by Cher because I'm sure that she will have recorded some amazing tracks for her new album.

Kylie Minogue - Silence


Listen to 'Silence' by Kylie Minogue.  It's a track on Kylie's new single.


Peter Wilson - Stereo


It's the late eighties.  A british production trio has taken over the pop world and created some of the most celebrated pop music that there has ever been.  That trio is of course 'Stock, Aitken & Waterman'.

It's now 2011 and an australian singer called 'Peter Wilson' has released a song that is so highly influenced by SAW that there had to be a connection.  Read the below promo info:

Following up his very popular “Intoxicated”, Peter managed to get two of the biggest names of the late 80’s to produce and mix his second single “Stereo”. Dave Ford & Ian Curnow, who have remixed for many of the biggest names in pop while at PWL have delivered a great piece of pop dance with another of Peters massive sing-a-long choruses.

This single precedes the album of the same name that is a homage to the sound of the 80’s and features brand new songs by Stock Aitken & Waterman alongside new tracks produced by Pete Hammond, Ford & Curnow and Matt Pop.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The ants in France

I'm currently sat in my bedroom in a large house in a village in the south of France.  About an hour ago, several ants nests hatched outside, causing much grief to my other five friends (one of whom is my partner).   You could say that I'm in hiding.

I'm not drinking wine (yet).  In my hand is a can of caffiene free diet coke and to my right is a large bag of Haribo sweets.  Despite the flying ants problem, life is finally good. 

If you're reading this, you might think that I don't have a lot to complain about.  For starters, I'm in France - and that alone is exciting - particularly as this is my first trip here.  However, there is a point to this brief post.  If you're young (and by young I mean 16 to 21), don't ever waste your life by not going out and having enough fun.  When you're older, lots of things can change.  Your health, your friends and families health - and worst of all your partners health can take a turn for the worst.  It's all part of that thing we call 'the aging process'.  Along with that comes loss of hair in areas - and more, unwanted hair in others.  So - I'm pleading with you all.  Live life to the full.  Don't regret doing things which are within your grasp.  Lot's of things have happened to me recently and I've put things into perspective.  Don't complain about the small things.  It's a waste of valuable energy.

Oh no.

I'm like the UK's gay answer to Oprah Winfrey.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

New Videos!!!!

Mel C's new single, 'Rock Me'.  Looking good, Mel.


 
Nicola Roberts 'Beat Of My Drum'.  Amazing and I cannot wait for the album!

 

Introducing Beverley Knight's new album, titled 'Soul UK'.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Cheryl Cole and X-Factor USA; PR stunt or victim of TV bosses hasty decisions?

Simon's grin was photo-shopped onto this photo. 
I'm not sure that we'll ever know the real story behind Cheryl Cole's supposed exit and re-hiring as a judge on X-Factor USA.  Was it a PR stunt, as some people are suggesting?  It seems unlikely because Cheryl has been in the firing line of some highly critical press since the story ran.  Mocking her fashion sense, her accent and suggesting that she lacks 'chemistry'.  Cheryl seemed to be unstoppable before this began. 

The lack of any official press releases has been quite frustrating. 

What do you think?

UPDATE: Cheryl's not been re-hired.  Simon Cowell's spoke to press.  Cheryl's still silent.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

WIN THE ULTIMATE VIP EXPERIENCE

WIN THE ULTIMATE VIP EXPERIENCE AT THE CAPITAL FM SUMMERTIME BALL WITH STARBUCKS FRAPPUCCINO® KICK-START YOUR ROAD TRIP NOW



95-106 Capital FM are taking over Wembley stadium on the 12th June to bring you the Summertime all with the biggest artists performing the biggest tracks. J-Lo, Jessie J, LMFAO, The Wanted, icole Scherzinger, Katy B, Cee Lo Green, JLS and many other massive acts will all be performing their hits.

Want some VIP tickets? Capital FM have launched a competition for you and three friends to win the ultimate VIP experience which includes VIP tickets to the ball, An exclusive backstage tour, a night in a 4* London hotel and a road trip to get you from door to door in style.

All you have to do is join your local Capital FM road trip at the Capitalfm.com. Your position on the road trip is determined by a daily question, answer correctly and you’ll move up the road trip answer incorrectly and you’ll be moved backwards. There will also be secret accelerator codes released on Capital FM’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, via Capital Street Stars out and about in your area and more exciting destinations so keep your eyes peeled for your chance to jump forward in the road trip.

Aswell as a grand prize for each Capital Region, there will also be weekly spot prizes handed out to random places in the road trip. The spot prizes include Topshop vouchers, standard Summertime Ball tickets, Starbucks vouchers and Starbucks Ready to Drink Frappucinos®. J-Lo, Jessie J, The Wanted, LMFAO, Nicole Scherzinger, Example, Mike Posner, Katy B, Cee Lo Green, JLS, Wretch 32, Far East Movemnet, Ne-Yo and Enrique will all be performing at this year’s 95-106 Capital FM Summertime Ball with Starbucks Frappuccino®. This is the first event since Capital went national in January, to become the UK’s number 1 hit music station. The concert takes place on Sunday 12th June at Wembley Stadium.

Join the road trip here for your chance to win http://roadtrip.capitalfm.com/
Follow Capital FM on twitter at www.twitter.com/capitalofficial
Join Capital FM on facebook at www.facebook.com/CapitalFM