Work. Rest. Play (Pt. 2)

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Thanks for checking out the second part of the tour film, Work. Rest. Play – there will be two other parts uploaded in the coming weeks. I made this with my two buddies (Brains for Breakfast and MoJoe) to chronicle our experiences for fun. On this episode, we jam with Sean Music TV in Liverpool, roll through the Blues Bar in Harrogate and wreak havoc in my old stomping ground of Leeds. If you like any of the artists, and want any info to check them out, give me a shout. Share this video with your friends, and be sure to check back for more real soon. Also, subscribe to the Chameleon Recordings channel on YouTube to see the other episodes.

Thanks, I hope you enjoy the show.

Craig [Editor]

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Work. Rest. Play (Pt. 1)

Video

Thanks for checking out the first part of the tour film, Work. Rest. Play – there will be three other parts uploaded in the coming weeks. I made this with my two buddies (Brains for Breakfast and MoJoe) to chronicle our experiences for fun. On this episode, we start with the launch show at our then home, before moving on to dates in Manchester, Bolton, Derby and Stoke. If you like any of the artists, and want any info to check them out, give me a shout. Share this video with your friends, and be sure to check back for more real soon. Thanks for reading!

Craig [Editor]

Why Paul Scholes was the pick of the retiring bunch

Paul_Scholes_vs_Man_CityPaul Scholes – Source: commons.wikimedia.org

It’s hard for me, as a very partisan football fan and avid hater of all things Manchester United, to give credit where it is due. But one man has always been capable of extracting such emotion from me, and that man is Paul Scholes. Along with Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel, he is among the hand full of United players who I think aren’t overrated. In light of his retirement at the end of this season, I’ve been inspired to offer a few words on why I feel he deserves the recognition he has received, and probably more.

All the talk over the last few weeks has been about the retirement of Satan himself Sir Alex Ferguson. Yes, this was big news. But there have been a host of big name English players who have also decided to call it a day this year. They are Micheal Owen, David Beckham, Jamie Carragher and Paul Scholes. Each of them have achieved success in varying levels. They have all represented their country and clubs with pride. But who achieved the most success, and who was the best player of the four? The BBC asked people for their thoughts online, and some of the responses were so ridiculous, they fuelled me to write this post. I’m gonna take a look at the four myself, and let you know why Paul Scholes was by far the best.

Michael Owen

I’ve never been a big fan of this guy. He had a very impressive opening chapter to his career. He possessed pace, guile and finishing ability. His success while playing for Liverpool was unquestionable, and helped him carve a reputation for himself on the international scene. However, since those early days, the player has been plagued by injury. His spells with Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Manchester United were forgettable. But his choice to end his career with a meaningless pay-day at Stoke City questions the very character of the man.

He hasn’t been at the top of his game for a long, long time and instead of finishing on top (like Paul Scholes), he chose the undignified route of not knowing when to admit that injury beat him. He was a good, quick forward in his early spell, but even then he was a little overrated, and pumped up merely for a couple of particular memories (like the goal against Argentina) – In his later years, he has fully shaken off any gloss of a top player, and now is just a shell. This was a retirement long overdue, and not because of age.

David Beckham

Chris Waddle had the cheek to suggest that Becks wouldn’t make it into his top 1,000 Premier League players. This interview must have been as hilarious as Bret Hart’s shoot on Triple H for Wrestle Talk TV. An irrelevant man who never really made it poking at a seasoned veteran because of his own pathetic jealousy. David Beckham is one of those guys. He has looks, money and talent, and so is hated. He scored some of the most impressive and most important goals in Premier League history, not to mention on the international stage. His dedication to fitness and technique are unquestioned. As a set piece taker, he laid the groundwork for people like Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to follow in his footsteps. A true great!

Unlike Owen, he had a largely successful stint at Real Madrid, and then went on to take his global brand to experience football in Los Angeles, Milan and Paris, where he won championships galore. His number of trophies and individual accolades are as impressive as most other top stars. The big difference about him is that he has a lot of extra-curricular responsibilities aside from the game. When Micheal Owen will be lucky to get a spot covering the game on Sky Sports, Becks will be jetting around the globe spreading the gospel of football, while being adored by millions. You can see why he is the subject of a lot of envy from a lot of people.

I would advise people to just take a step back and look at the facts. The man would die to represent England, and is the most capped outfield player in history. His exclusion from the Olympic squad was an abomination after he secured the games for London almost single-handedly, with his popularity. His long range shooting, range of passing and phenomenal crossing ability made him the star he is. His determination and work ethic helped keep him there. No matter how much jaded people like Chris Waddle would like to believe otherwise, those are the facts.

Jamie Carragher

There isn’t too much to say about Jamie. He can be summed up in a few words: loyal, dedicated and hard working. As a strong, physical centre back he played a most vital role for Liverpool over a career spanning almost two decades . He stayed loyal to his club all the way through, and now his son is in the kids team. He is red through and through, and the perfect example of what you want in the heart of your defence. Unlike Owen, he spent his whole career with one club, which is very rare these days. He produced some game changing performances when his team really needed it, and even towards the end of this season, he had re-established himself in the starting line-up at Liverpool. He will be sorely missed by the Kop faithful, and held in much higher regard there than the likes of Michael Owen (Man, I really do hate this guy, don’t I?)

zinedineRonaldinhoZinedine Zidane and Ronaldinho – Source: en.last-video.com

Paul Scholes

Now for the man who inspired me to write this post in the first place. I have already laid out some of the reasons why I rate this guy so much, but why listen to me? In my opinion, the best footballer of all time was Zinedine Zidane. What did he think? The French dynamo described him as “the complete midfielder” Dutch legend Edgar Davids said “Every one of us should emulate him” and even Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona and Spain declared that “Paul Scholes is a role model. For me – and I really mean this – he’s the best central midfielder I’ve seen in the last 15, 20 years”

Some of the best players to have ever played the game, and who have been lucky enough to share the pitch with Scholes have heaped praise on him at every given opportunity. His cultured style screams Spain or Brazil, more than it does England. We were very lucky to have him, and I could even admire his brilliance when he was playing for United. When it comes to choosing between this illustrious group of 2013 retiring stars, it’s an easy choice. Paul Scholes has been one of the best players I’ve seen in my life, and it really is a shame to see him gone. He wasn’t a media icon like Beckham. He was and still is just a normal guy, who wants to stay out of the spotlight and work on the game he loves. I hope we see him do that in a coaching role soon, preferably away from Old Trafford.

TOUR BLOG #5: Liverpool – Studio Jams

IMG_0468We left Bad Edit yesterday very deflated. The venue was great and the people were cool. We just don’t understand why so few people feel the need to check it out on a Saturday night. The crowd was the worst of the tour so far. We were a little down in the dumps about the whole thing. As soon as we finished the show, we headed straight to Liverpool to stay with Sean Music TV. We were a little bit apprehensive going on as none of us had ever met Sean and had no idea what to expect. I’m sure he felt the same way.

Turns out he is a total legend and basically couldn’t be more on our level. It was like it was written in the stars. We would have settled for a cold floor in a shed, and we got absolute luxury. This guy knows how to host and how to entertain. We spent the whole night making music in his recording studio, getting a lot of inspiration. We smoked a whole load of inspiration last night. We recorded everything on audio and on video. We made a lot of memories and hopefully made a friend for the future. We then retired to bed with a sofa and huge duvet each in front of Toy Story 3 on a huge plasma 3D TV. This has to be the tour version of the Hilton.

This morning we met some of Sean’s friends. A rapper and an electric guitarist. We got the acoustic guitar and the two ukuleles on the go and had another huge recorded jam. We mostly rehashed a very interesting version of ‘No Cocaine by Alborosie. We all had a huge breakfast, and even got showers. Liverpool has already been my favourite place on the tour and we’ve only been in this house. We are really excited to drive into town for the show in a bit, but it will be a shame to leave behind a bunch of cool, like minded people. Hopefully we can all keep in touch.

IMG_0476We have a car full of friends coming up from home to come to tonight’s show. It’s gonna be so good to see them. The show is guaranteed to have a good crowd. Everything about today and tonight is the remedy for the depression we all felt in the car yesterday evening. I can’t believe how happy I’ve been in the last twenty or so hours. After tonight, it’s on to the three Yorkshire dates, which will probably be my personal highlight. I can’t wait to revisit my home away from home and hopefully see a lot of old friends.

IMG_0472Well we need to hit the road soon, but I’ll be back tomorrow to let everyone know how we got on at the Lomax, and beyond. Sadly it seems I’ll definitely be missing Wrestlemania until I can download it tomorrow, so avoiding all results like the plague while regularly making online tour updates is going to be a real challenge. Nonetheless, Liverpool has been incredible and I can’t wait to get to the show.

A cry for help

undertaker-vs-cm-punk-wrestlemania-29As you should know, I love wrestling. You also may have heard about the full UK tour I’ll be going on with my close friend Brains for Breakfast in support of his upcoming EP over April 3-17. This means that for Sunday 7th April (For those of you who don’t know, this is the night of Wrestlemania 29) – I will be in Liverpool. Gutting, right? I’ve been scouring the internet for weeks now trying to secure somewhere to watch the show. Since I got into wrestling in 1998, there haven’t been too many years that I’ve missed watching the Showcase of the Immortals live. I really don’t want to do so this year.

Obviously, I have some options. We will be staying with the very generous and talented Emilio Pinchi after the show that night. He has broadband, so illegal streams may be my best shot. But I don’t want to leave my favourite night of the year to a stream. They are renowned for being slow, stop and starty, and are usually taken down after a while. I don’t want to be trying to find a new stream after mine fails midway through Undertaker v CM Punk. I know this because I used them a lot when I was at university. They are majorly hit or miss. For RAW or Over The Limit yes, Wrestlemania not so much.

Sky have very kindly informed me that I can’t order the show on Sky Box Office like I normally do, and watch it on my iPhone or laptop using Sky Go. Surely it’s only a matter of time before they add this feature, and I can’t wait for that day. In the meantime, I’m very sad to hear this news. I would happily pay even double the price of the PPV just to get to see it on my laptop, but no. So legal streams aren’t an option.

My best choice would be to find a venue that’s ordering it and showing it themselves, and party all night watching Wrestlemania. Ironically, Walkabout in Birmingham (the city I work in and live just outside of) is having a huge party showing the event, and expecting over 800 people, just like they did last year. They are charging £4 for the privilege, which is great business. People save £11 and they get to have a great time drinking and partying with friends, and making new ones. The bar makes an absolute killing on tickets, food and drinks. This must be happening everywhere!

I looked, it isn’t. How ironic. Walkabout bars in Carlisle, Cardiff and Glasgow are doing the same thing, but that appears to be the lot. Some independent pubs and bars across the country are showing it, but I can’t find squat in Liverpool. Very frustrating. I’ve been making calls, sending emails and googlin’ my fingers off. This is testament to just how much of a wrestling nerd I truly am. But it seems it may be tragically all in vain.

This post is a plea. If you’re reading this, and you live in or around the Liverpool area, please respond to this with a comment, or send me an email at slam.dunked@live.com

I would really appreciate the help. Whether it’s a house party that welcomes a random, travelling wrestling fan passing through town, or if you know of a small pub that shows the event, please do get back to me. I really appreciate any help or advice I can get!