CLUB KURU – THE ENGINE SHED, LINCOLN

We’re now only days removed from the second ever 2Q festival in Lincoln and what an amazing day it was. Delivering on all fronts, 2Q brought Lincoln to life and filled the city centre with enthusiastic music lovers and concert goers for a nine venue day of exploration and adventure. It was hard to judge which bands you had to see as we were all spoilt rotten with choice, but with each name being a winner, there was no losing out and I can honestly say myself that I came away with some new favourite bands.

However, the reason we’re here is to talk about, in my opinion, the best band from the weekend and that being, London based alt-psych five piece Club Kuru.

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One of the coolest things 2Q festivals organisers do for us is to publish a Spotify playlist featuring all the acts from the upcoming festival. This gives you plenty of time to discover new music and plan to see the musician, band or artist live when the day arrives. In using this facility I immediately was drawn to the dreamy sounds of Club Kuru, and made it my aim to catch them live. Think Tame Impala, think Temples, that sort of sound. Their smooth musicianship and clear talent for songwriting had them standing head and shoulders above anyone else I’d seen, and this was all at 2pm at the festivals largest venue. The crowd was sparse due to the early time slot, but leaning on the front barrier, with the band only metres away I looked round at equally excited music fans. We’d found the one. We’d found that band that could make it anywhere, that could develop a following or a scene that will raise them to the lofty heights my previous comparisons have been enjoying for years. I’m still to dig more into the world of Club Kuru but I’m already excited about doing so.

More importantly, let this serve as a reminder. Always take a chance on music. Always look to discover what you don’t already know. Go and see that band that sounded good. Pick up that album purely based on its cover or because you had a gut feeling. Music is forever a journey to take yourself on, so go ahead and do it.

You can find more out about these guys by heading to their Facebook page or their Souncloud profile.

 

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SLIPKNOT / ALL OUT LIFE

So its been around a week since the unexpected unveiling of the latest musical offering by the undisputed kings of modern heavy metal, Slipknot. The most iconic metal band of our time has returned and its straight back to business for the Iowa legends.

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It’s been a few years since Slipknot have released new music, and in that time, front man Corey Taylor has been concentrating on his other band, Stone Sour, and their latest album ‘Hydrograd‘ but as if out of nowhere, Slipknot have resurfaced, re-masked and thrown a brand new track at us in the form of ‘All Out Life’.

A new album isn’t expected until the summer of 2019, but this reintroduction is a welcome, early treat. ‘All Out Life’ certainly upholds the traditional Slipknot algorithm for new music as they’ve hit hard with a heavy and fast tempo track, featuring the brutal growls as well as the hypnotic melodies of Corey Taylor. Not only does it stand up musically but the visual presentation is just as substantial, with a dark and violent music video to accompany the single. The look of the band, just as it always has done when a new album is on the horizon, has changed entirely and although there’s no confirmation that this is the bands chosen look for the forseeable future, including their 2019 live shows and tour, it appears to be more uniform, leaving very subtle differences between the musicians in the band. It’s difficult from this one video to distinguish exactly who is who, except of course Shawn Crahan who is clearly the more clown shaped of the bunch. Shawn is also credited with directing the music video, making it easier to encapsulate that traditional yet permanently evolving style that Slipknot has held for twenty years.

Of course, the music video is secondary and the track is what we’re really looking at here, and it does not disappoint. It’s Slipknot at their finest, keying in all those elements we know and love them for but whilst spreading on a layer of something new. It sounds more similar to their first album than anything they’ve done since mainly due to the fast paced, semi rapping style of the earlier verses. But it’s a song of two halves as we break halfway and reprise with a rally cry akin to a political rally of which we’ve seen many over the last few years. It’s like a dark call to arms for everyone that’s pissed off and had enough. But in the constant never-ending endeavour to evolve and transcend the death metal sub culture, Slipknot appear like they’ve come full circle, encapsulating all that they’ve done previously and using it to create something incredible. This new album, their sixth, could well be the most exciting yet, and I can’t wait to hear more.

EATING GREEN: KINE, LINCOLN

You’ll likely remember an article I wrote previously, which was a plea for help from the local community to use your amenities and facilities in an effort to provide help towards revitalising your own local economy (if not, here it is) especially independent business’ and the large retail stores around your city. The retail industry and the high street as we know it has been taking a hit due to national franchises, online shopping and convenience, and this had one hell of a negative impact, as business rates and rent costs are too high for high street stores, bars and restaurants to remain open when business is so inconsistent and lacking. Lincoln is the example I’ve used previously, as that’s the closest city to me and it’s been shocking to see how many retail units, business’ and buildings are being vacated and left empty, leaving entire sections of Lincoln’s city centre empty and desolate.

Now, this problem is of course national, and who knows how the rest of the country is progressing, but Lincoln is on the rise and making a come back. Since the piece I mentioned above was written, the problem did get worse, and worse, and all faith in Lincoln as a city was about lost. But, as if out of nowhere, an uprising appears to have taken place and many of these inner city vacancies have been filled. House of Fraser has been saved, Cote Brasserie was replaced by Craft, the long empty Status has just been opened as Swampy Johns American show bar. The list goes on. A slew of brand new names and places to discover have arrived in Lincoln, but the reason for us being here, is one in particular. Introducing Kine…

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Kine has opened up at 6 West Parade, in place of The Optimist wine bar, which relocated earlier this year as The pessimist. It was previously The Bronze Pig and Taste of Italy so the location does have a bit of a lucky streak. On their Facebook page they describe the restaurant by writing “Kine is a laid back restaurant and bar serving fresh local produce with a side helping of great drinks” and I have to admit, after our first experience their, I couldn’t agree more. After booking over the phone on Friday morning with extremely helpful and friendly staff, we made our first trip to Kine and was instantly welcomed into a warm atmosphere, neatly and effectively decorated and it was already bustling and full of customers. We were shown to our table and greeted by a simple and small menu, stating early on that this was all quality and less quantity. Just the way it should be. The staffs attentiveness and friendliness was consistent throughout and as well as a small but very interesting food menu, their selection of wines and ales was admirable. I chose Hammerton’s N1 session pale and we were on our way.

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Starting with Arancini and then heading for the fried chicken sandwich, accompanied by fries and coleslaw. Simple, but perfect. There were two other burgers on the menu, of which I want to go back and try both, but it was noted that the vegetarians are catered for, so don’t be fooled by the name of the place.

The service was great, the food was on point and the waiting times very reasonable for a busy Friday night. Kine has opened up and started on the right foot, and I hope they continue to provide great service and consistently terrific food. I’ll be back again soon, guaranteed. Lincoln’s looking up, and its an absolute pleasure to see.

2Q FESTIVAL 2018

One of the hottest summers in a very long time has finally reached its eventual end, the nights are drawing in, the temperature has dropped and the floor is littered with brown leaves. Autumn is well and truly here. But in the cathedral city the fun is only just beginning as for the second year in a row, one of the UK’s greatest new festivals is getting ready to take over Lincoln city centre.

In 2017, 2Q landed in Lincoln for the first time and what a day it was. With a stacked lineup and a multitude of venues, each one of them packed to capacity, the city was transformed into one colossal celebration of live music and this incredible metropolitan music extravanaganza is ready to do it all over again.

On the 3rd of November 2018, thousands will gather to explore nine completely different venues for a marathon day of live music from bands, DJ’s and artists such as PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING, Little Comets, Honeyblood, Beans on Toast, Ducking Punches, The Slow Readers Club, Gengahr, The Orielles, Black Foxxes, The Blinders, Jamie Lenman, King No-One, Anteros, Asylums, BILK, Club Kuru, Dead Naked Hippies, The Dunwells and a ton more…

The venues include The Engine Shed, Home, The Loft, Red Five, The Drill Hall, Liquor, The Swan, The Angel Coffee House and Back to Mono Record Shop. It’s a lineup of some of Lincoln’s greatest treasures and situated right in the heart of its busy city centre.

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Ticket information is available from 2Qfestival.co.uk and they’re going fast so make sure you don’t mis out on this extremely unique one day event. If last years 2Q festival was anything to go by, we’re all in for another incredible day.

Until November 3rd rolls around, why not check out some of our reviews from last year for a taste of what to expect…

2Q festival review

LIFE @ THE LOFT

CIRCA WAVES @ THE ENGINE SHED

JAWS @ HOME NIGHTCLUB

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A GUIDE TO… LOST VILLAGE FESTIVAL

With the bank holiday weekend looming, and festivals popping off all over the country, we’re looking at one in particular. One that’s very special, still somewhat in its infancy, but one that ticks all the boxes for an incredible bank holiday music festival experience. Here we’ll take a look at a few of the things you have to look forward to, can not miss and will find this year at Lost Village festival

Amazing Food

From the UK’s finest street food to a Tribal Banquet, right upto a variety of carefully selected menus by top names, Lost Village isn’t the sort of festival where you need much luggage space for snacks. With a wide array on offer and all of it at the highest possible standard, you’d be insane to not get around as much of as possible and sample them all. With four days to do it, there’s certainly no excuses…

The Village

Unlike most festivals, Lost Village is a world unto itself, and every attempt is made to have you transported into another world as soon as you walk through the entrance. With performers circulating constantly, incredible attention to detail and an aesthetic presentation that you can hardly fathom, it’s a world you’ll never want to leave. The site is wide and every stage has its own story, idea and look so there’s plenty of opportunity to get lost.

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The Music

It wouldn’t be much of a music festival without music now would it, BUT, Lost Village has always been proud to explore the genres and provide a lineup fit for everybody to enjoy. From the most passionate house music fan, to the indie kid and beyond, there’s always been something for everyone and this years lineup has gone above and beyond. With headliners such Friendly Fires, Fourtet and Everything Everything and returns from Village regulars like Mr Scruff, Craig Charles and The House Of Good, the sounds in woods are something to look forward to. As someone who’s played at the last two Lost Village festivals, I can tell you first hand that something about this place brings you to life and makes you work your hardest, and I don’t expect any of this years performers will be any different.

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Something New

As mentioned previously, the festival is still somewhat in its infancy, at only four years old and with something so special being still so new, it’s a fantastic enterprise to get behind and watch it grow. The past few years have been incredible and left everyone involved whether on stage or off, backstage or otherwise, extremely proud. Your chance to be a part of history is right here and waiting for you.

The Variety

It’s almost unfair to call Lost Village a music festival as it has so much more going on and in equal measure. The lineup for performers is stacked as we stated earlier, but that’s all before you even get to the comedy in the Lost Theatre. Huge names like Tiffany Stevenson, Russell Kane and Joel Dommett will all be on stage over the coming weekend. Plus there’s the Institute of Curious Minds, the Circus of Astonishment, various workshops, The Botanical Greenhouse, yoga, hot tubs, a breathtaking fireworks display, massage therapy and loads loads more. It’s far too much to list so just go find it for yourself.

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The festival has been sold out for some time now and its easy to see why. If you are one of the lucky people to have picked up a ticket, have a great time and get yourself well immersed in the alternate universe that is Lost Village Festival 2018

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION….

We touched on this a little while back when talking about the often brought up subject of social justice and public offence, but today an entirely new example of offence has been spotlighted on social media as Jamie Oliver became the accused in a case of what is known as cultural appropriation. Just quickly, cultural appropriation is basically pointing out that a person has borrowed, used or taken an example of another cultures methods, apparel, music or in this case cooking habits or recipes. Here’s why this is offensive… oh hold on, it isn’t, but it is a fantastic opportunity for people with nothing better to do, who love to claim they’re being oppressed or victimized, to stand up, shout and make a public, or at least social media led attack on an individual for something.

Focusing on the example that’s making headlines today, we have Jamie Oliver, the nations favourite food vigilante, who has spent years campaigning for not only healthier school dinners for children but a healthier diet nationally for us all. As one of the UK’s most talented chefs he has a widely eclectic blend of different recipes and ideas and I’ll admit I’ve used them multiple times. In fact one of the first recipes of his I ever followed was an incredible and festive Jerk ham, which only indulged my love of Jamaican cuisine even more and Jerk chicken remains my all time favourite dish, without question. So upon the reveal/advertising of Jamie Oliver’s new “Punchy Jerk Rice”, available in all good retailers, probably, a voice on Twitter, two days ago called CULTURAL APPROPRIATION! Now, anyone making such a statement seems like an attention seeking, reality-phobe who just wants to be heard making a fuss over absolutely nothing, but hat can only make matters worse is that it’s a Labour MP doing the shouting.

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Dawn Butler, the Labour MP for Brent central has created this whole backlash out of absolutely nowhere and it’s such a massive shame to see. As someone who has no political leaning, and certainly doesn;t want to choose one team or another, I must admit I’d normally favour the left and did vote Labour in the most recent elections. Seeing this crap is not only a disappointment but points the party out as a bunch of whining children with nothing better to do with their time, but then that might just be a perfect description of politicians. This isn’t extortion, Oliver hasn’t burst into Jamaica and claimed Jerk Rice as his own, a culture or nation hasn’t been ripped off mercilessly, it’s merely a product, and one you can choose to buy or not. Cultural appropriation is one of the most moronic social justice complaints I’ve ever encountered as it does nothing more than widen the gap between us all, and make that line between us geographically, nationally and culturally, even more visible. The inconsistencies in the argument of cultural appropriation are ridiculous to, as we all, as a species, borrow and trade ideas and perspectives from each other, and damn right as well. I, maybe not as much as Jamie Oliver, love to cook and I enjoy nothing more than experimenting and exploring foreign cuisine, and as I mentioned before, as chance would have it, Jamaican would be my favourite. I’ve cooked it with friends, I’ve cooked it for friends and I’ll continue to do so for the rest of my life, regardless of some pathetic Twitter tirade.

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Dawn Butler, reassess your priorities and find perhaps a little more tolerance for the world working together as one and enjoying what we all have to offer.

WRESTLING REVIEW: WWE SUMMERSLAM 2018

Anybody who knows me will know that one of my favourite things to talk about is wrestling, but it’s been absolutely ages since I did a professional wrestling based post. In fact this is my first one since the review of Wrestlemania 34 earlier this year. A ton has happened since then and I’ve felt compelled to write about a variety of different aspects but have never actually followed up on it. However, with one of the biggest weekends in the wrestling calendar year fast approaching and a plethora of different subjects and themes to look at, analyse and get excited about, I thought we’d stop to take a look at five of the most important things to watch over this Summerslam weekend…

NXT call ups

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Now don’t get me wrong, NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4 has got a stacked card and the main event alone, pitting Johnny Gargano against new NXT champion Tomasso Ciampa in the third installment of maybe the most intense and violent rivalry in history, is going to be one of the highlights of the whole weekend. But, almost ungratefully, I’m looking right past it, and anticipating any of the NXT roster being moved up to the main brands, Raw or Smackdown Live. Hopeful predictions include Aleister Black to Smackdown Live, Velveteen Dream to Raw, and of course, Nikki Cross to join her Sanity team mates on the blue brand also. Reasons being, Aleister Black against opponents like AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Jeff Hardy, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton just fits so well. Plus, the time may have long gone for a really decent feud, but with the dramatic entrance, the dark persona and the mysterious aura, a short program with The Undertaker is as organic as it gets. John Cena has already pointed out Velveteen Dream as an opponent he’d like to share the ring with and from that alone, an instant rivalry is ready-made. Plus something about Sanity seems to be lacking since their call up. Is it that Killian Dain is now wearing some weird one piece? Maybe, but maybe it’s because of the absence of Nikki Cross as the Scottish, female counterpart to a stable with all the potential in the world.

The Universal Championship

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What is going on with the Universal title picture? I mean, I’ve been more interested, more invested and more entertained by the Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar feud in these past few weeks than I have all year. With the Oscar-winning performances by Paul Heyman, it’s not hard to see why either. BUT, we’ve all been teased by this potential Reigns and Heyman pairing, with Lesnar being double crossed and left out in the cold, title-less and on his way back to UFC while the new pairing of Reigns and Heyman stand atop the Raw landscape, possibly under a new heel persona for Reigns, and the crowd appear to be loving it. That is until this past week on Raw when it turned out that the only one being double crossed was Roman Reigns and in actual fact, nothing is different from this Sundays match, and Wrestlemania 34’s main event. What’s going to happen? I don’t know, but I HOPE that this won’t be an another ten minute match with 7 F5’s, 12 german suplexes, a couple of spears and a million completely ineffective superman punches. I also WONDER, has this story line build up all been a distraction from the fact Braun Strowman will be waiting with the Money in the bank briefcase? We’ll see.

Hell In a Cell

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Again, I may be looking past the weekend at hand, but don;t these big events get you thinking ahead of time? With Hell In a Cell being the next event on September 16th in San Antonio, you’ve got to be wondering, what rivalries or stories are going to transcend Summerslam and end up in the cage. Early predictions are the WWE championship match. AJ Styles and Samoa Joe have managed to put together an extremely personal rivalry in such a short space of time. Bringing family into it, sneak attacks and scathing promos slandering the other, I’m not at all sure which way I see the match this Sunday going, but regardless of who the champion is, I think the rivalry might well end up inside Hell In a Cell. As well as that, and for completely different reasons I see Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss making their way into the Cell for the second ever women’s Hell in a cell match. There is certainly the right amount of venom behind the rivalry, but I think the biggest point to play off is that they’ll be locked inside a cage for a one on fight, giving Rousey the advantage due to her cage fighting background. The expectation to break the cage and pull crazy stunts has been high for the past 20 years and never normally lives up, but just once, I think the fans will want to see what goes down between these two in a cage. No escape. Plus how about the United States title moving into the Cell, with a triple threat match between Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura and Jeff Hardy. Only reasons being, the animosity of the three-way rivalry, but also the desire Jeff has mentioned previously about diving from the top of the cell. With Matt looking like he’s on his way out of the WWE, perhaps Jeff will follow, and in typical daredevil fashion.

RAW Women’s title match

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Speaking of Ronda Rousey, I’m very much looking forward to her Womens championship match against Alexa Bliss. As mentioned previously, this rivalry has been played brilliantly and has enough venom to create a great story, and as we’ve seen from Rousey previously, she can really deliver in the ring. Since this feud was sparked back at Money In The Bank, Alexa Bliss has been even hotter than normal and as one of the front-runners of the women’s division for the past two years, the match is no doubt going to be incredible. Is it too early to pass the title on to Rousey though? Is it believable that Bliss beat the former UFC Bantam weight champ? Where will this all go next?

Daniel Bryan vs The Miz

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How much do I really need to say about this one? There have been areas where I feel like parts have been missed or skimmed over, but on a whole, the build up to this has been fantastic. There have been 8 years of build up to this huge showdown at Summerslam 2018, and when you look back and realise it was Summerslam 2010 when Daniel Bryan was the mystery partner on team Cena vs The Nexus, stepping on the toes of The Miz who had assumed he was the fifth member of the team. Prior to that you have the whole NXT series one drama, following this you have a United States title feud and then they seemed to go separate ways until Bryan became the general manager of Smackdown Live and the whole Talking Smack promo. Since that Promo they’ve kept these guys close, teasing a feud, teasing another match, and even since Bryan returned to the ring at Wrestlemania, they’ve done everything to kep the match relevant, but keep them apart. The pressures on, and I just hope they deliver. But a large part of me still, despite being such a fan, wants The Miz to win via some sort of foul play, never proving anything truly. I’d love to see both of these men in the main event of Wrestlemania 35 with the WWE World Heavyweight championship on the line.

So check it out, NXT Takeover on Saturday and Summerslam 2018 on Sunday, all on the WWE Network…

GOODBYE, TO THE QUEEN OF SOUL

It’s never nice to write pieces like this, but when the feeling of utmost respect, gratitude and heartfelt loss crop up, writing down some thoughts and feelings just seems to be the natural thing to do. No more than now as today saw the loss of one of the true greats of soul music. The Queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, who passed away today at 76 years old has left an indelible mark on not only the music world, but the world as we all know it today.

It’s always easy to romanticise the ones we’ve lost, whether in the public eye or on a personal level, but in this instance, there’s no romanticism required. Aretha Franklin will be remembered as one of the most important figures in soul music history, and although the media need to throw in daft adjectives and monikers, like diva or soulstress, the words that will truly define Aretha will be icon, pioneer and legend.

As time continues to go by we are unfortunately forced to say goodbye to more of the innovators of the music universe, whether it be a creative enigma like David Bowie, a hard living metal icon like Lemmy Kilmister, the man who gave birth to rock n roll in Chuck Berry, or the lady that showed soul what soul was all about in Aretha Franklin. I implore you all to pull out your records tonight and throw on some music that moves you and ignites your passion and makes you want to move and remember that without people like the aforementioned four, things may never have been this way.

 

Thankyou, Aretha Franklin…

A WHOLE NEW FLAVOUR

It’s been a little while since I’ve sat down to write as I’ve been away in Portugal getting sun burnt and enjoying a few pints of Super Bock. However now I’m home, I can indulge in some real ales and get back to exploring the world of craft ale. Now anyone who knows me, knows how much I love my craft ales, but I’d like to imagine those same people would testify to the fact I’m not a beer snob. I don’t care about the politics of particular breweries or even too much about what glass is best for which Porter etc etc. What I do care about is the flavours. I care about lovingly crafted ale, made with precision and expertise. I enjoy forward thinking distribution, an eye on keeping carbon footprints low and of course, because who doesn’t, interesting artwork on the front of the can. In 2018 it’s easy to find all of the above, as long as you’re looking. Most outlets sell craft ale now, and plenty of pubs and bars will stock something up your street. But it doesn’t get any easier or more convenient than Flavourly.

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I was first introduced to Flavourly by my best mate Adam, when he signed me up to a three-month subscription as a birthday present (did I mention he was my best mate) and what a surprise it was when a box full of carefully selected beers, stouts and IPA’s landed on my doorstep, ready to enjoy at my own leisure. As you can imagine, the next two deliveries were much-anticipated, and despite Alice’s complaints that the fridge was permanently full of ale, I was discovering some truly amazing breweries and independent companies that were pouring every bit of love and genius into their products. I’ve been lucky enough to stumble across some of my now favourite beers by breweries like Tiny Rebel, Crazy Mountain, Stewart Brewing and Brewgooder. What’s even better is the value. Following my initial three month subscription I couldn’t keep away and have come across some undeniable deals that have soon filled our fridge up again.

I’ve tried boxes from other companies like Honestbrew and even Beavertown and they’re all great and a lot of fun, but none have come close so far to Flavourly. The deals are incredible, the selections are fantastic and what’s better is that Flavourly even have their own selection of ales. including a tropical IPA called Flamingo Juice and a chocolate marshmallow porter called Pillow Fight. Both are absolutely beautiful.

For fans of good beer and exciting flavours, Flavourly is well worth a go, and as their community continues to expand, things are looking up even more for this fantastic company, so get on board…. Drink Different

THE TROUBLE WITH BLOGGING

It’s a rather strange view to project over the format of which I’m talking about, but it may even prove the point. Back at the start of the year, I folded our longstanding music publication, Mojo20.com, to go on to other things and take some time out from the pressures of running a brand and various monthly events. After a short time however I began to get itchy, and as an extremely opinionated person, with plenty of passion and a love for writing I decided to open business back up and write about other things. I’d cover ecology, music, current affairs and personal opinions, politics and culture as well as lifestyle, health and all that other stuff. But now I’ve been “Thinking Green” for a good few months, I realise that I haven’t shared one personal opinion. Not one mention of politics, culture, social justice or injustice. Not once.

Why?

Because I’m just not that confrontational and unfortunately in this climate of constant connection and extreme division, sharing an opinion, thought or even just mild musing may result in an all out attack from a random stranger who feels extremely different. I remember only last year getting mauled by Jedward fans because I claimed they were crap (and they are) and being forced to love and appreciate them by hoards of violent and obsessive fans, but that’s just fluffy entertainment (if you can call Jedward that) nonsense. When it comes to real issues, contentious points that may be received differently or even perceived alternatively, it opens up a dangerous minefield that I’ve decided I’m just not going to walk on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I hold a bunch of controversial views, but what is controversial to one nowadays is fuel for the fire over at another camp. The world appears to be divided down the middle in either left and right, or old and young and both appear as extreme as the other.

Personally, I never had any political leanings or even interest. Any friends of mine will attest to this, but I always found it insane that a person can faithfully devote their ideology to a party, rather than individually to policies and actions. I still do. I still also feel the same way politically and it’s actually easier to now as the two sides at their most extreme seem to have become giant caricatures that don’t apply to anybody willing to seek sense and logical thinking, and an argument is always the best way to go… apparently.

So, this is a non-article really, it’s just me saying hello, and explaining the lack of hard-hitting content, not that I owe an explanation or anything, but I did also wonder whether anyone else does the same. Are you a blogger that fears to write what they want to write? Are you altering your pieces for an easy life? Do you have any thoughts on this subject? Are you a Jedward fan?

Of course you’re not… nobody is

 

EATING GREEN: CURRY JACKS, LINCOLN

So this isn’t even necessarily a food critique or a restaurant review, it’s more of a recommendation. A suggestion if you will. In fact it’s a blatant, unpaid advertisement for a local Lincoln business that has impressed me from afar and now won me over entirely since getting a chance to drop in and try what they have to offer.

If you’re local to Lincoln like me, you may have heard the name Curry Jacks, perhaps you’ve seen their page on Facebook or had a friend mention them. I came across them as soon as they opened when I heard mention of them on social media and liked the look of their branding and the idea of a new curry house in Lincoln. I’ve ben going to Bombay on Steep hill for years and Saxilby Spice is great and all but can you ever have enough good Indian cuisine? However, despite liking their Facebook page I never got the chance to go and find them. As more and more time passed I found myself further impressed and even more intrigued as claims of locally sourced produce, fresh ingredients and a consistent eye on community, ecology, environment, charity and maintenance of that personal touch were visible on their social media presentations. The ever-changing but simple and unique menu was enticing and the time had come to go and find this hidden treasure.

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What I didn’t realise was that it wasn’t a restaurant at all really, in fact its more of a pop up stall, situated in the heart of our city centre inside the market. Immediately upon arriving we were greeted by the friendly staff and notified that there wasn’t much left as they’d had a hell of a busy day. Normally this would be disheartening and disappointing news but to see a business like this, so homegrown, independent and in our old market building, this just came as great news. They had Lamb Korma and rice left, so we went for that. The entire time we were there we chatted, about food, about Lincoln, about business and we had a great time finding out more about the place. All of the above claims were entirely true also. The food was fantastic and you could taste the fresh ingredients and the carefully crafted recipe for the sauce. The cutlery and napkins were all biodegradable and you could see how precise they’d been in all their decisions. After half an hour of chatting and eating we said goodbye and assured them we’d be back soon to try some of their vegan food, of which they permanently serve at least one dish.

Only yesterday Curry Jacks presented their new van which will still reside outside the market place but will help to spread the word and bring their food to the streets. Not only that but they’ll be holding their monthly curry night at Coffee Aroma, and we happen to know they’ll be serving a variety of Moroccan tagines. If you haven’t tried these guys out yet, go and do it. You’ll be supporting business with a heart, with ethics and a passion not only for food but the people they’re serving it to. Curry Jacks, you’ve certainly got a friend for life over here.

FITBIT REVOLUTION!

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet, and I’d like to think you all know that I hate ever trying to ram something down your throat like I’m one of these social media influencers, BUT, it has to be said, I’ve been keeping it too quiet for too long and now the time has come to shout it from the mountain tops and let everybody that is reading this right now know… I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’D DO WITHOUT MY FITBIT!

Honestly, I know that sounds weird but here comes the hard sell on this and not for any sponsorship deal or capital payoff but just because I’ve found it so personally life changing. Now, I’m aware that I’m obsessed with statistics, targets, goals and numbers (anybody who remembers me running Facebook event promotions will attest to that) but it really is the most wonderful way of pushing yourself, every single day, towards your own personal fitness or health goals.

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I first started wearing one at the start of last December when I was bought one for my birthday by my dear old mum, god love her, and it hasn’t left my wrist for any reason since then except charging or showering. After all this time, the novelty has far from worn off and has in fact grown as I push my own limits further and further and see obvious physical change, whether that be towards weight, stamina or general health. It’s not been easy but then again I wasn’t the most prime candidate for such an evolution as only two years ago I was still smoking twenty a day and drinking far too much. But with the help of my Fitbit I’ve seen a loss in weight of about a stone and a half. I’ve seen my resting heart beat drop from a very reasonable early 70’s to a fit as a fiddle mid to late 50’s. My cardio fitness score is currently 54 which is bordering excellent for a man of my, undisclosed, age. All of it I attribute to the hard work put in attaining goals that are constantly being pushed on me by the item on my wrist. I log my water intake and have managed to habitually destroy my targets every day, whilst also completely restructuring my eating habits. I can log my calorie intake against the amount I’ve burnt off that day to make sure biology is doing its thing properly. It’s pushed me into taking up hobbies like running and cycling, both of which can be tracked and the entire workout broken down piece by piece and, along with everything else, can be analysed on the easy to use app.

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I’ve spread the word to friends and told them the benefits, only to see them then go forth and smash the hell out of all their expectations. Which brings me to my next point, the community aspect of it. Just like anything these days you can add friends and become part of a small group, competing to rank the top of the table as far as your weekly and daily step averages are considered. It’s a lot of fun… when you’re winning. When I’m not I get angry and start pacing the house trying to beat them, but that might be another story.

Anyway, the point being, as far as revolutionary inventions and advancements in technology I put the Fitbit, or smart watch of any brand or model depending on what suits you the most, up there with some of the best. Have a think about. Have you always wanted to make that physical change but don;t know where to start? Just look down at your wrist and you’ll have all the answers.