Tuesday, 31 January 2017

SOMETHING GOOD / SOMETHING SHIT 001

SOMETHING GOOD: AMAZON

Internet shopping in itself is pretty wild to think about. It’s kind of weird to think about now given we spend almost every living moment on it, either remotely or not, but the internet hasn’t always been around. It seems so intertwined with life these days, like with my recent house move I was without internet for almost a fortnight, and it completely changed the way I lived. I didn’t realise how many things I used on a day to day basis rely on having the internet. It’s hard to imagine life before it. Fast forward to 2017 and we’ve got guys like Amazon on the team. They offer an incredibly simple service, with an amazing interface and app. It literally could not be easier. Every little feature and change they ever make is always in the right direction and they’re just going to get bigger and better. Every single time I use their wonderful service I’m thankful I’m alive in this rich age of technology. They’re slowly taking over the world and I’m happy to watch.


SOMETHING SHIT: ENERGY SAVING LIGHTBULBS


Don’t you just fucking hate these things? As if finding the right lightbulb for you isn’t effort enough, the market is now swamped with this shite. Those bulbs where you flick them on and they just glow a dim orange for 5 minutes before mustering up a piss-weak glow. Why are they here? Are they good for the environment? Should I care more? Are lightbulbs really the thing that are killing the planet? Whenever I flick them on it annoys me so much. They literally do not light up, and that’s the only purpose of a lightbulb. That’s all I ask of the humble lightbulb, light. They’ll catch you out too. I’ve avoided the spiralled ones for years, but now the dim, orange energy saving shite has started manifesting in the regular bulb shape and I for one am furious.

Monday, 30 January 2017

SINCE WE LAST SPOKE

So even though I’ve not been posting any Wickedland, I’ve still been snapping away. It’s so weird, I’ve literally been writing this blog as long as camera phones have been a thing and it’s hardwired into me to just snap notable or funny shit I see. My camera roll is a mess. Either way, it means I’ve got some content to post. I’ve discarded the stuff that’s now out of date and just kept in all the regular shite, here it is.

Zoom in on this rack. Pound for pound this might be the best confectionary rack in all of Leicester. This is proudly owned by Choice Supermarket on London Road. We found this when me and Olly were on the hunt for the illusive white Snickers. It was as blinding at the rack that housed it.


Think Mr Nas-a could get in a lot of trouble for this? No point coming up with your own logo when you can just rob somebody elses. Waaaay easier.



Odd one this one. On the one hand I’m thinking a job is a job, and we’d be in a way better place if we had a lot more people like Spiderman here than the dole dossers that make up the general population of our country. On the other hand I like to wind myself up thinking this bloke is choosing to dress like Spiderman because he’s a bit wacky and a bit mental.



Does this photo do justice to just how big this space actually is? Truly incredible parking here.


Yet another unrealistic standard expected of men


This pure tall guy was in the gym and had to come off the treadmill because when he ran his head hit the ceiling hahaha


I’m fascinated by how certain types of people flock to certain places. I guess that’s social science right? When I have my inevitable midlife crisis and look to change career remind me to go back to uni and study social science. Anyway, some new coffee shop opened up a while back on Market Street and it’s pretty fun walking past it most days and seeing the sort of people who go there. I didn’t even know we had hipsters like it in Leicester. They sit outside playing chess desperate to be noticed haha. Well there you go, I’ve put a picture of you lot up on the internet. Hope you’re happy.


Look at Jacks fucking head hahaha. So wide it’s stressing a regular size party hat. He’s got some change spare at the back of his head haha. I don’t know why this photo makes me laugh so much.


Mad the way all vegans look the same isn’t it. I tweeted this picture and someone replied saying ‘cause those involved in the world of grime dress much more diversely’ which on the face of it is a fair comment. But then think about it. Music has influenced subculture and been closely linked with fashion since forever. Diets haven’t. For me, what you eat shouldn’t dictate your sense of self, that’s so bizarre. Who cares? Just get on with the veganing, I don’t understand why you have to conform to a certain look. Is it a nod to other vegans? Like to let them know you’re on the team and in turn reap the rewards? I really don’t know.



I saw this guy and just continued to walk past him. The I thought nah this is too good. This is perfect Wickedland shit. I had to catch him back up and get a photo. Why is he wearing that? What makes him awkward? To be honest, when I stopped and asking him for a photo he was anything but awkward so he’s a fucking liar. His hat should say #LIAR


Is it safe to say with this that quality control on slogan T-shirts is at an all time low? Everyone knows a Dave! Aaaand that’s it. Not a ’Everyone knows a Dave that _____’, that old classic format for Facebook memes. Simply ‘everyone knows a Dave!’ I guess at least they’re broadening their potential customer base with not excluding anyone. I think everyone does know a Dave. It’ll be a best seller.


I wanna know more about this shit. You ever see guys with these doing some shit in the street? I spoke to the guy who was setting it up the day I took this photo and he was pretty closed, he told me he was measuring buildings. His friend had a similar set up about 100 yards down the road. I need closure, what the fuck are you lot up to? Someone who is reading this must know more than I do.


I wanna punch everyone who buys this book. I don’t care if it’s parents buying it for their twat kids, lets punch up the parents then take it to the kids who like this shit. Are you familiar with these dickheads? Ben and Elliot, creators of what is quite possibly the most rancid content on the whole internet now have a book. Detailing Ben’s life and Elliot’s ‘journey.’ What’s more depressing than this book existing is that people will actually buy it. Fucking rubbish.


More literature. I don’t even recall taking this photo. Apparently it was at 01:33am on Christmas Day, so this would have been something I found whilst out on my Christmas Eve pub crawl. I guess this is produced as a humorous secret Santa present. A novelty item. I wonder if anyone bought it this Christmas and made that excuse as they were at the counter in Waterstones when really they were brimming, thinking they’re gonna be getting laid constantly in 2017 haha.


I’ve never thought about this before, a faulty batch of sex toys. Imagine being up town getting your bits on a Saturday and you go past Ann Summers and see this sign, knowing your own little Christmas present to yourself has to go back because of a faulty wire, irrespective of if you’ve used it or not haha. I wonder if they actually had any returns or if it was just a formality.

Here’s the boys


Remember when people won those talent shows and they weren’t on to super stardom? I guess the actual winning of the show was cheapened as soon as Simon Cowell just started signing everyone who came runner up, and loads of them went on to become huge stars. Funnily enough I tweeted this picture and a few Sam Bailey super fans found it and retweeted it, and even followed me, replying to the picture. A brief look at their accounts and they really live it, dates in their bio when Sam has interacted with them on twitter and then tweets to her telling her they’re going to see the show for the third or fourth time. Imagine in 2016 we have access to all the music in the world, and can dedicate our fanship to anyone, and these people really love Sam Bailey. What a time to be alive.


Why the fuck do we need this many lightbulbs? It’s so nuts. They’ve all got so much fucking code on the boxes it’s just a minefield. How are you expected to get the right one when they’ve made it so there’s so many different factors to them? It’s nonsensical. I think we need about 5 lightbulbs.


So remember that new sports bar that opened up on Belvoir Street? For all the wonderful fittings it’s completely shambolic. Heartbreaking because it’s got so much potential to be so good but they’ve hired a team of complete donkeys to work there. It’s almost impressive how dumb these people are. I’ve been there a few times now and every time something has gone wrong. Probably the best was when I waited for 2 hours after ordering a hot dog only to be told ‘the kitchen is closed.’ Cue the manager refunding absolutely everyones food orders.

Another fun venture was when I went to watch Liverpool v Man City on New Years Eve. The biggest fixture in the country over the Christmas period. 2nd plays 3rd in the premier league. Huge game. Instead they had all the TVs set to show Brentford v Norwich. When I asked the lad behind the bar if they were showing the game on one of their many, many TVs he replied ‘It’s kind of just what’s on is on.’ I had to explain to him that all the people who were trickling in weren’t doing so to watch Brentford v Norwich. Fucking moron. Imagine hiring a team of staff who don’t have any interest in sport to work in a sports bar. It’s pains me, this place could have been great.


One day I wanna be that guy who wears fan garments and frequents crap pubs in town in the daytime just so people see them.


It’s good to be back! Thank you for reading and I’ll be back very soon indeed

Sunday, 29 January 2017

THE BELATED FOURTH ANNUAL WICKEDLAND AWARDS

We are barely breaking the new year in, and here are the Wickedland Awards. You lucky sods what a feast for the senses. Better late than never, right? Have a bang on these then



FILM OF THE YEAR - Nocturnal Animals

Admittedly I’ve slacked this year. Reviewing this years cinematic releases I realised I’ve not frequented the cinema as much as I would like but I think it’s fair to say that the year that offered me Angry Birds: The Movie hasn’t met me halfway. I don’t like Star Wars, and there hasn’t been too much on offer. One film I did see and really enjoy was Nocturnal Animals. Written, Produced and Directed by Tom Ford, with a strong cast (Amy Adams, Jake Gylenhaal) it really was a ride. The film has a wonderful unique lineage, as is cuts between Amy Adams reading a script sent to her by her ex boyfriend, and then into the story in the script itself when Jake Gyenhaal stars as the lead. It was unique, gripping, thought provoking and interesting. The movie I enjoyed the most this year by far.



ALBUM OF THE YEAR - Skepta - Konnichiwa 

Wasn’t a bad year for Skepta was it? 2016 meant we finally got Konnichiwa, his long awaited fourth studio album, and first full length project since 2012. It’s a lean record with only 12 tracks, a few of which we’d already heard, much to the annoyance of a lot of fans. Although the album did have a couple of pretty old singles on, I can understand why Skepta did this. This was always due to be a big project, and with the international attention it was getting it made sense to put “That’s Not Me’ and ‘Shutdown’ on the record. In 10 years people aren’t going to remember they were released a year before the album dropped.


All in all, it’s wonderful, varied and complete. I love that this album was going to attract the attention of the mainstream media and it’s still a grime album. It’s authentic, and sounds like the music I fell in love with. That’s not to say it’s stunted in the usual way grime albums are. It isn’t samey or low fi, there are some real nice pieces of instrumentation. When he won the Mercury Prize for it I was made up, I’m glad it got recognised. A 100% independent artist releasing an album on his own label and rightly getting the kudos he deserves.



TRACK OF THE YEAR - Kanye West - Ultralight Beam

Can you remember where you were the first time you heard this song? Kanye did me the favour of holding the album release/listening party/Yeezy season 3 launch on my birthday way back in February, and I went to the cinema to watch a live stream with Darryl. The next day I flew off to Dam and whilst highly intoxicated I must’ve listened to the audio rip from the stream 100 times over the weekend. I was mesmerised by this beautiful song. Although sadly the album didn’t hold up to the high standard the opener set, it doesn’t make that one track any less wonderful.



NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR - Brexit Britain

The whole Brexit thing was pretty nuts wasn’t it. I’ve never been the biggest follower of politics, and for the first time in my life I was really interested. It seemed like the stakes were higher, the things they were discussing were likely to affect people my age regardless of class, race or gender. Everyone around me was talking about it. The live coverage as it unfolded overnight and the social media meltdown that followed in June was insane, it was everywhere. I don’t remember feeling so immersed in a political issue ever in my life. What a fascinating part of history to live through as a Brit.



SHUBBZ OF THE YEAR - Vicky Park Leicester City Title Parade Celebrations

Have you ever known a turn up like it? The whole city turned into a carnival under the blazing sunshine with an eventual pilgrimage to Victoria Park, and absolutely everyone was there getting pissed in the sunshine and celebrating our city becoming world famous. I saw everyone. I’ll never forget it, the scale was mind blowing, they said 240,000 people. Sadly a few of those 240,000 were Kasabian, but nothing in life is perfect.

I remember thinking on that day that the richest rich is seeing the people you love happy. This day has got to be top 5 best days of all time because everyone you knew was there having the sickest motive. How can anyone in this city possibly hate football?



SPORTS MOMENT OF THE YEAR - Hazard’s goal V Tottenham to win Leicester City the Premier League

It was starting to crack wasn’t it? A couple of wayward results and points dropped and people were starting to think City were gonna get pipped at the post. Spurs, who were bang in the running found themselves 2-0 up at halftime with plans on closing the gap between them and Leicester with a couple of games to go.

Cahill scores in the 58th minute and the whole world of football fans were watching mindful of the fact that if Chelsea levelled the score and finished the game with a draw, Leicester would win the league. It was the 83rd minute and I remember watching the build up to the goal and you just knew it was going to go in. Hazard slots it and Leicester City, against all odds become Premier League Champions 15/16. The city erupted and as one marched to the King Power stadium for an impromptu all night party. Wonderful.

It’s almost poetic and ironic that despite all the talismanic heroics last season and stand out performances Leicester put in, the moment that caused city-wide hysteria was sculpted by a Chelsea player. I was living near a main road when the goal went in and I remember the noise that instantly followed the goal. Everyone was following the score. Car horns beeped all night. It was surreal.

(Skip to 8:16 if you're in a rush)




WICKEDMAN OF THE YEAR - Gucci Mane

Look at how this guy is living! Fresh out of prison and he’s really turned it around. He’s an upstanding member of society. On March 6th Gucci was finally freed and soon after it was clear something was real different. Little videos surfaced where he was speaking completely differently, being all light and polite and shit. Not to mention the radical weight loss. Fast forward a few more months and he’s swimming, mountain biking and still finding time to write, record and release 3 full length albums in one year. Be like Gucci.



WICKEDWOMAN OF THE YEAR - Michelle Obama

I pondered over a few different possible winners with this one. I consulted a few people too to see if I was missing an obvious front runner. Although I was hesitant to give the cake to Michelle Obama it just made sense. She’s the name people kept coming back to me with and the name I had at the front of the pack from my first thought. She’s been the picture of class in the twilight of Barack’s reign as the POTUS, so dignified whilst the world falls down around her. What a role model.



WASTEMAN OF THE YEAR - Donald Trumps

In writing this I looked back at last years Wickedland Awards post and I gave Trump the award of best twitter breakdown, noting how mental it is that he wanted to be the leader of the free world. Alas, here we are, on the brink of the biggest backwards step the western world has made in a very, very long time. One thing the world doesn’t need is more column inches explaining why Donald Trumpington is a donut, and I’m sure you’ve done your reading so I’ll spare you. But it couldn’t have been anyone else.


Or my remix version of this picture hahahaha 




WASTEWOMAN OF THE YEAR - Hillary Clinton

Bow bow bow bow US election triple bill for you. It couldn’t be anyone else. Really though, how the fuck did she lose this election? Could she have been more pedestrian and boring during the campaign if she tried? I had an interesting conversation with someone the morning after Trump won and they said It’s pretty clear looking at how the last few general elections have gone (and a very successful Brexit campaign) that charisma is king in capturing the votes of the masses. Hillary had an absolutely golden angle in that she was a woman. The first ever woman running for office who was really in with a good shout. Why was that not leaned on and completely milked? When Obama ran for office way way back he leaned on the fact he was a black man, and demanded everyones attention with his ‘CHANGE’ campaign. The first ever black president? Obviously he had the backing of black people and non racists across America and thereby won. Hillary had wonderful tools at her disposal and squandered it.



WICKEDLAND HONOURABLE MENTION AWARD - Netflix Originals

Pretty mad how good Netflix Original content is, isn’t it. Netflix has grown from a lesser Love Film that people accidentally got signed up to by an annoying bloke in the Highcross to this global institution, something that’s almost not optional to the modern home entertainment set up. They’ve been doing it right for a number of years, but Making a Murderer and a few other titles were hugely spoke about in 2016. Netflix are putting in important work for the culture. Also, if you’ve not seen Last Chance U, go watch that. One of my favourite things I watched last year.



COOL SHIT OF THE YEAR - Desus and Mero (Viceland)

For those who don’t know Desus and Mero are two social commenters/comedians from The Bronx. I’ve followed Mero’s various ventures for a long, long time. I originally come across him when he was an admin for a graffiti forum I used to read in school. Fast forward ten years and after a successful web series released via Complex to YouTube, a great weekly podcast sponsored by Red Bull, slots on MTV2 shows and constant fire tweets from the pair of them they landed a late night show on Viceland, the new(ish) Vice cable TV channel. It’s hilarious, relevant, interesting, authentic and informative. They seem like two super normal guys who are working hard and building their brand. I knew sooner or later someone would pick them up and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy for someone I’ve never met to finally be really doing well. Episodes are around 22 minutes long and air Monday to Thursday every week. I love it, I’ve not missed an episode and I’m so glad it exists haha.




BEST FEATURE VERSE OF THE YEAR - Chance The Rapper on Baby Blue - Action Bronson

Chance is fucking awesome man. This verse was right waaaay back at the start of the year, and it gave me the idea for this award, because I’m always interested in feature verses. They’re an interesting part of rap culture. I was mindful of this verse and almost looking for it to get beaten as the year went on and various projects were released. I still think it holds up. It was a rare highlight on what was an otherwise disappointing project from Action Bronson in my opinion. It divided fans. Chance's delivery is as perfect as the lyrics. His crippling vulnerability in the last few lines of the verse gets me every time.

The whole song:



Set to start at 3:34, Chances verse:



BEST NEWCOMER - Drumstick Squashies

There was a 3/4 month long period as summer turned to autumn last year where bags of these were on offer at the Tesco Express near my old flat for £1. I rattled through them. I cannot remember a sweet with such a perfect consistency. They’re light, delicious and moorish. As if that isn’t enough they’ve got a few different flavours to choose from. They really had me for a while, it’s rare a new sweet comes out and cleans up the way this one did. It’s like when Man City got their big cash injection and could suddenly swing it with the big boys. I hope they never leave me.



FOOD SPOT OF THE YEAR - Crafty Burger @ St Martin’s Coffee

My love affair with Crafty started a long time ago when I first reviewed it for the blog. It really was love at first bite. The beautifully crafted gourmet burgers would stand up anywhere in the world, let alone in little old Leicester. I think they still hold the top spot, even after this recent boom of independent restaurants in Leicester. The burgers are juicy and made with love and the topped fries are just gorgeous. If you haven’t been, go. I don’t know anyone who has been who doesn’t rate it very highly.



BIGGEST L OF THE YEAR - Instagram


What the fuck went wrong man? Instagram used to be a wonderful chronological archive of pictures, nice and neat and orderly. Why is it everything Facebook touches turns to utter shit? Now every other post is an advert, and it’s just in any old order, so even though you follow certain people you simply will not see their posts. You can even refresh the timeline to see more content and it only shows you the few posts it chooses to show you. The algorithm timeline really is one of the most rancid things about modern social media. Instead of seeing the content you want to see you get adverts. It was perfect before. Now we’ve got live videos like Facebook, Stories like Snapchat and you can like comments too. What is that shit? Is that what Insta is? I just want a neat, chronological archive of little square photos. You can stick your Boomerangs up your bollocks.


Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this post please share it! it would mean the world to me, STAY WXCKXDLXXXXXNDDDDDXNG 2017

Saturday, 28 January 2017

WHATS COMING UP OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS



So as I said for the relaunch of Wickedland I’m going to post 14 different posts in 14 days starting tomorrow. There’s going to be all the usual stuff you’d know to expect, some completely new stuff and something that got recorded in Autumn and never posted. Here’s what's coming up:

SUN 29TH JAN - THE BELATED FOURTH ANNUAL WICKEDLAND AWARDS

MON 30TH JAN - SINCE WE LAST SPOKE (PHOTO POST)

TUES 31ST JAN - SOMETHING GOOD / SOMETHING SHIT: 001

WED 1ST FEB - PEOPLE AND PLACES - (AMSTERDAM JANUARY 2017)

THURS 2ND FEB - YESTERDAY I LISTENED TO: 001

FRIDAY 3RD FEB - WASTEMAN OF THE WEEK: 064

SATURDAY 4TH FEB - WHAT A DAY TO LOSE MY HEADPHONES

SUNDAY 5TH FEB - EDIBLE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE GREAT WICKEDLAND BLACKOUT OF 2016

MONDAY 6TH FEB - LAST NIGHT’S FILM: 001

TUESDAY 7TH FEB - WICKEDLAND 9TH BIRTHDAY SPECIAL

WEDNESDAY 8TH FEB - AMSTERDAM GRAFFITI

THURSDAY 9TH FEB - YESTERDAY I LISTENED TO: 002

FRIDAY 10TH FEB - WASTEMAN OF THE WEEK: 065

SATURDAY 11TH FEB - WICKEDLAND PODCAST 119: KAMAKAZE, THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY - (RECORDED 13.10.16)




Sunday, 15 January 2017

WHY WICKEDLAND WENT AWAY AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WHY IT IS BACK

So way back in September I had to put my blog on ice for a bit. Things all got a bit hectic going into the busiest period of my working year, with a few time consuming freelance projects popping up, 2 house moves and a new art project and a radio show I just was not finding time to write it. I’ve been writing Wickedland for 9 years and have never had to shelf it. I’ve never wanted to and thankfully never needed to, but at that time I thought it would be better to take a little time out rather than keep it moving in a half arsed fashion. BUT alas, now we are back, and things are gonna be more fun than ever.

I’ve had a little time to think and consider what I actually like about blogging. Admittedly at times it did become a bit routine, and in turn started to feel a bit like work. I’ve thought about slight changes to content and the way I upload posts. So as well as all the usual good stuff you come here for I’ve got a few new ideas that I want to introduce.

Also, I’ve just brought a lovely new MacBook! I’ve never owed a laptop before, so anytime I didn’t fancy being sat in front of a computer, my blog wasn’t getting written. I’m gonna become one of those people who’s laptop is constantly… on top of their lap, so there’s probably going to be too much Wickedland if anything. I’d get out now if I was you. Sack it off.


So the plan is to relaunch the blog on January 29th with 14 posts over the following 2 weeks. For anyone who missed the old Wickedland, it’s going to be all the regular shit you’d expect, plus a bunch of new stuff too. If you’re new to Wickedland and you’ve never read my blog before it’s never too late to go for a dip, and the water is going to be as sarcastic, relatable and outspoken as ever. It’s fun here.