Ariana Grande Knows Better in new Soundcloud Remix

Ariana Grande surprised fans with a late night update to her Soundcloud profile. The new track “Knew Better Part 2” is a funky remix/update the original track that appeared as a mini-track on her latest album Dangerous Woman released earlier this year. The original track was a two minute song, that is treated like an interlude to the shimmery “Forever Boy”, however this version drops the shimmer and becomes a fully realized track on it’s own which I dare say is an upgrade.

An ode the lady who has been treated any less than she deserves, Ari casts any ideas of getting back together with this sassy ‘Screw You’ to her ex “I don’t fuck with your energy”, while ushering in the “new boo” with the sassy line “this is what you’re soulmate looks like, I look good right?!”

The track also unveils a new talent from the 23-year old powerhouse, she is a pretty capable rapper. Considering Ariana’s rumoured new “boo” is rapper Mac Miller, his influence is definietely felt on this track.

Check it out!


Spice World: Millennial Post-Modern Masterpiece or Nonsensical Pop Propaganda?


Let’s go back to a simpler time, the late 90s. The teen Rom-Com ruled the box office, every white, Hollywood starlet had an on-screen tryst with a bumbling Hugh Grant and tattoo chokers were fashionable for the first time. In 1997 the Spice Girls were the female One Direction with sold out international tours and young girls clambering over themselves for just a glimpse of true girl power (or possibly a solid platform shoe) instead of really pretty boys. Any millennial will remember watching whether by choice or by force. At first glance, Spice World is a hurricane of nonsense with a nineties pop soundtrack, however over time it begs the question: This must have been on purpose, right? Normally when a movie is so scatter-brained it has, like, nine writers (cc: Catwoman). I am convinced that there is a method to this madness of a quasi-kids movie.

Like a condemned house, the structure of Spice World is shaky at best. The plot is a mish-mash of ideas crumpled together, much like a manufactured girl band put together by record execs in the late nineties. Though what else could you expect considering that the script was in the masterful hands of Kim Fuller who six years later brought us S Club 7 movie, Seeing Double and the American Idol movie, From Justin to Kelly.

Spice World is a subversive popstar movie, somewhere in the zeitgeist between Never Say Never, in its pandering to children (kind of), its core audience, and Spinal Tap, as it often verges on parody such as the storyline with the Rupert Murdoch-esque villain.

In the same vein as A Hard Day’s Night, Spice World is light-hearted and the nonsense just serves as more evidence that the purpose of Spice World is purely spectacle. The main plot is the Spice getting ready for their first performance at Royal Albert Hall, a milestone in their career, and their random Asian friend, Nicola, is getting ready to have a baby without her off-screen boyfriend, which she can do alone because Girl Power.

The vignettes that are sporadically placed within the narrative, with seemingly no purpose or meaning, add a Russian doll complexity to the film. The F plot of that guy from cheers and his cohort trying to convince the Spice Girls to be in a movie, inside the movie, is at times confusing. However, Alan Cumming’s Q plot documentary is fascinating in its inability to accomplish anything. His character wants to “capture the magic” and “raw emotion” and achieves nothing, which could speak to a post-modern audience that spends too much time talking about what they want and ruining the metaphorical B-roll, or it was a terrible running gag, most likely the latter.

The Spice Girls don’t want to show you the real them, they use the stereotype forced on them for comedy’s sake and attempt to subvert them through character development such as Posh Spice wearing trousers in a few scenes instead of always “the little Gucci dress” and driving the Spice Bus. See! Subversion… The whole SPICE-y crew have story credit so they had a heavy hand in the development process and it shows in their portrayals and the flow of the story.

Spice World also does a great job of subverting our understanding of the media by exaggerating the villain, leaving no room for ambiguity. Bringing Enquirer articles to life with alien encounters, I’m sure Geri was never the same after being groped by a cape wearing alien. Yet is gives a hint of the cooped up nature of stardom, it shows the girls mostly working, even during jokes they are on the job.

Four years the predecessor to Zoolander, the movie works overtime on cameos squeezing as many favours from British talent, acting wise and other in between the multiple storylines that are occurring simultaneously on-screen. From Rocky Horror cult favourites Richard O’Brien and Meatloaf to the other charitable Irish rocker, Bob Geldof, the list of celebs popping their heads in for a quick laugh is endless. Also, I’m pretty sure that Nile Rodgers is in the background of ‘Spice up Your Life’ however I have no evidence to back this up.

While I feel more confident that cocaine was on the mind of the production team than post-modernism, this isn’t a straight forward popstar movie. It isn’t pandering to children, in fact it’s not quite clear who this movie is for. It is at heart an ode to a classic and yet is so frantic that you wouldn’t be able to catch the homage because there are 75 storylines. I think that Spice World lives in the millennial nineties ‘so bad its good’, as a recovering teenage girl growing up during the golden years of Top of the Pops and Smash Hits, this movie in all of its batshit craziness is a classic and it’s not the “get to know me” concert movie that we get now. Spice World is pure nonsensical fantasy and a fresh breathe of Indica.

Christine & the Queens – Chaleur Humaine

Christine & the Queens have been a well kept secret considering this album came out in France two years ago after three successful EPs and a slot opening for Lykke Li. The first time I heard of Christine was her amazing performance of ‘Tilted’ last November on The Daily Show where Trevor Noah praised her for being “absolutely amazing” and “weird”. Her performances came after a Pitchfork article a few months before that gives more insight into the woman and the thought behind some tracks such as ‘iT’ and some background on the self proclaimed Freak-Pop artist, born Héloïse Letissier.

Chaleur Humaine (Human Warmth) was completely in French and has been partially re-recorded in English to make it more accessible on some tracks. I have a confession to make, my working knowledge of French is stunted in year 8 and yet the transition from English to French is so seamlessly done you won’t notice until it’s already happening. The songwriting is restrained yet undifficult and poised. The synth pop record plays with r&b, trap and electronica in a unique way, weaving them into the fabric of this aesthically Pop album. The first thing that stands out during this record is how well produced it is. The electronic glitches, sweeping synths and Letissier’s smooth French-tinged crooning stays on side of nuanced and inviting.

Where the record really shines is when Lesissier is subverting the narrative and exploring a gender less identity such as on the grandstanding opener ‘iT’ where she professes “I’m a man now and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.” evoking the idea that she will not be restricted by the notion of gendered narrative and yeti later verse gives away “she draws her own crotch by herself but she’ll lose it because it’s a fake.” 

Another highlight of the record is the intergalactically bouncy ‘Science Fiction’ that creates for the listener how Christine experiences going into public with her partner.

A standout track on the record is ‘Paradis Perdus’ a track that interpolates ‘Les paradis perdus’ by Christophe and ‘Heartless’ by Kanye West. She encapsulates the atmosphere of a song that is iconic for West and make it truly her own creating a moody, familiar moment that stands apart.

Ultimately, Chaleur Humaine is a perfect antidote to the pop that currently dominates the charts. It’s intelligent and intricate without being intimidating. If you’ve seen the adverts for the album and like what you see then definitely check out Christine and the Queens’ YouTube channel a heck out her stunning dance moves for yourself. 


Here is the video for ‘Tilted

Curtains Up: A Peek Behind the Set Pieces of London’s Greatest Theatre Productions


The set design model for Matilda The Musical

I went to this new exhibition at the V&A in my favourite part of the museum, the Theatre and Performance collection. Curtain’s Up: Celebrating 40 Years of Theatre in London and New York is a stunning collection of costumes, set pieces, set design and technology that goes into the making of some of your favourite musicals. Where else would you find a to scale model of the Matilda’s stage and the one of the original drawings from The Comedy of Errors from 1971.


The Lion King costumes for Mufasa and Nala

The curators did an amazing jobs of fitting 40 years of theatre into such a small place, considering the exhibition only takes about 30 minutes to get though (45 if you are a diligent reader). The collection is vast and varied, starting off with a classic, the London staple Lion King costumes and ending with a room that recreates the stage of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.


The exhibition will be running until the end of August so it is definitely a must fr any theatre lovers that are in South Kensington for the day.

Lumiere London 2015 Photo Highlights


It’s rare to get people out of the house on a cold January evening that doesn’t involved sitting someone warm for a few drinks. Yet, Lumiere London, a free series of light installations and interactive art have hundreds, possibly thousands of people a night crowding the streets of central London over a long weekend in pursuit of experiencing the city in a new light.

Lumiere first began in 2009 with the first show installed in Durham, now in it’s seventh year the show has expanded to Derry and now London. Sites around our nation’s capital included Piccadilly Circus, Grovesnor Gardens and King’s Cross and features over * pieces.

Here are my highlights of the festival:


Litre of Light by Mick Stephenson Central Saint Martins Students, MyShelter Foundation


Les Voyageurs (The Travellers) by Cédric Le Borgne (France)


1.8 London by Janet Echelman


Garden of Light by TILT (France)


The Aquarium by Bendetto Bufalino & Benoit Desielle (France


Brothers and Sisters by Ron Haseldon (based on the drawings by school children from the Isle of Dogs, London)


Les Luminéoles by Porté par le vent (France)


Centre Point Lights


195 Picadilly by NOVAK