Sandwell Street Dubz Vol. 1

Sandwell Street Dubz mixtape cover FRONT FINALChameleon Recordings is proud to bring to you the brand new mix-tape Sandwell Street Dubz Vol. 1. Recorded and mixed by MoJoe at Chameleon Studios, it features the very best in emerging and established rappers and MCs from all across the West Midlands. Its content is strikingly varied. Made up of many interesting takes on hip hop, grime and trap, it features big names like Sox, Slick Don, Big Dog Yogo, Zimbo, Flawzz, Jae Sosa, Chucky and even Roachee from London’s world famous Roll Deep crew. Most of these bold and fresh tunes are previously unreleased and unheard. They are bold, fresh and exciting. A couple of older tunes are thrown in there, helping to maintain a balance between the experience and the youth.

Sandwell Street Dubz mixtape cover BACK FINALThis is just the start. There is a lot more to come from Chameleon Recordings. Expect regular releases showcasing the hottest names in a thriving underground urban music scene. A lot of the tracks on the mix-tape feature regular clients of the studio at Chameleon HQ. This is the culmination and integration of a lot of different music made by different artists from similar environments. The lyrical content is very street orientated and although it deals with many different concepts and subjects, it has a common source. It touches on a lot of real life experiences of different kinds, that the majority of people living in modern day urban Britain can relate to. Get it on Saturday 4th May completely free through Chameleon Recordings.

Check out the following pages for more information:

www.facebook.com/chameleonrecordingsuk

www.soundcloud.com/chameleonrecordingsuk

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Talking points from Monday Night Raw in London

ukwweLast night saw the biggest wrestling company in the world bring it’s flagship show back to the UK. The 02 in London was packed to the rafters with some of the best wrestling fans in the world. Every time they come back over the pond, we viewers are treated to a show with a real atmosphere and energy. I’ve been to shows in this country many times (televised and otherwise) and it’s just a great time. British fans really do know how to have fun at a wrestling show.

Sadly we are certain to be treated to another eleven months of mostly dull and generic crowds, outside of the traditional strongholds. They will cheer the superheroes, and they will boo the bad guys. I know that the business obviously needs these people, otherwise the basic dynamic that forms the backbone of wrestling would be lost. It’s just nice to see and hear some fans who are intelligent, well read and inventive in expressing their opinions to the powers that be.

As you can tell, I was anticipating a great show with a crowd on fire. I would say it lived up to about half way for me. It wasn’t as good as the hype, but it was definitely an above average episode of Raw. In this post, I’m going to summarize the show, while bringing up what I feel are the main talking points it will spark. Some of them may not be big topics for a lot of people, but these are the things that have got me talking about last nights show. I’d love to have some comments left behind and spark some debate on these issues.

Lesnar v Triple H again

So the show opened with a very typical segment in which Paul Heyman mocked and goaded The Game into coming to the ring to give his response to the challenge laid down previously by Brock Lesnar. He came down and of course accepted, before delivering a pedigree to Heyman, narrowly missing the microphone on the canvas. So it’s set, a Steel Cage match between the two of them at Extreme Rules. What do you think of this? Don’t get me wrong. It sounds like a great match and I’m sure the two of them can have a convincingly tough encounter.

RAW_1032_Photo_173My only concern is that this is now the third time we have seen the two of them face each other. There are so many potential opponents for Lesnar, and so many people he could be putting over for the sake of the future of the business. However, given the fact that they had a brilliant match at Wrestlemania, only to have it stripped bare by a deflated, exhausted crowd, maybe the two of them thought they deserved the chance to have that main event moment together. My love for Brock is so strong that I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for this match, even though I should be completely bored with it. I just don’t know how they can really improve too much on their last two matches.

What now for Antonio Cesaro?

So Antonio Cesaro lost the title to Kofi Kingston. Then he lost his rematch. That’s pretty logical if you plan to take the title off him and move forward. Things could now go one or two ways. He could be on the up, and possibly on the way into the title picture. He could be dropped straight into the jungle that is the WWE lower mid-card. Now without even a meaningless title, which direction could he be going next? After losing last night to R-Truth, it seems that question may have been answered. This guy could have some incredible matches with Del Rio, Swagger and Ziggler, but somehow I just don’t see WWE viewing it that way. I have no idea why. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler had one of the two excellent matches of the show.

Big E. Langston has a new entrance!

Okay, it may not seem like the biggest news in the history of the business, but it was pretty damn cool. On the stupid Twitter bar at the bottom of the screen, I noticed that Big E had posted about his new entrance that was coming up on the show. I have to admit that it was quite good. Powerful but understated. He had a singles match with Zack Ryder which wasn’t quite as comfortable a squash as I’d expected. Nonetheless, he put him away with ease and made off up the ramp to his great new music. Perhaps it could be time to split him up from Dolph sooner rather than later. What are your thoughts on that?

The Shield continue to roll on

In the other of two excellent matches on this card, The Shield continued to stay undefeated by beating Team Hell No and the legendary Undertaker in a six man tag team match. I thought this would be the main event and was shocked to see it show up over an hour before the end. Nonetheless, it was a really, really good match. Some excellent sequences (particularly with Bryan and Rollins), some great tension and excitement and most crucially the right ending.

Bryan went for the diving headbutt only to miss and be rolled up for the win by Dean Ambrose. The three guys then made their exit. The Undertaker is still undefeated at Wrestlemania and a loss to The Shield on Raw certainly won’t be cropping up in his Hall of Fame vignette. Kane and Daniel Bryan are unfortunately still Tag-Team Champions. The Shield still have their momentum, and it’s growing with every week. Any other ending as far as win/loss for this match would have been stupid and wrong. This match was definitely one of the successes of the episode.

Fandango comes home

We were given a real treat when Fandango faced British favourite William Regal. As soon as the infamous music hit, the crowd erupted in song. This continued for some time. If he was facing Santino, the general spectacle of the whole thing would have been hilarious enough to make it entertaining. Throw in a genuine legend and you have a very cool moment. Regal is usually restricted to working the pre-show matches on UK tours these days, so to have him on TV in one of the final matches of the card was a really nice touch. Something he, and that great crowd, both deserved. The last few weeks have made me a very proud British wrestling fan, if you haven’t noticed. Fandango continued to gain momentum, at least with the UK crowd. There is no signs of the phenomenon of Fandango-ing going away.

fandangoAJ Lee won a number one contender battle royal and could now be a part of the first coherent, meaningful storyline involving the Divas Championship in recent memory.

Mick Foley and the cheap pop

The Hardcore Legend was back to plug his new DVD and there is no harm in that, it looks amazing! This segment on the other hand, was not. I’m pretty tired of seeing Mick do the super-face/elder role where he comes back to lecture a heel on why they should be less dastardly. Everyone must be pleased to see Ryback now actually being allowed to ‘use his words’ and show some character. Turning him has actually increased his credibility tenfold in my opinion. Foley did the same thing with Punk not so long ago, and its a bit played out. Love to Mick Foley, but do something more inventive with your ad time on Raw.

On the whole I would say the show was solid, not outstanding. It was a good enough episode with two particularly excellent pay-per-view quality matches. There was a distinct lack of star power though. Seeing Taker, Cena and Triple H was cool, but the other three of the big six were missing. With The Rock and CM Punk both healing injuries, they could really do with getting Lesnar on TV more to bolster the card. Some of the lower level stars were also missing. Orton and Sheamus were obviously spared another crucifixion from a British crowd bored of their schtick.

sheamusortonWith the talent they did have, they didn’t really do the maximum they could. Is there any need to make TWO singles matches for Brodus Clay/Tensai and Rhodes Scholars? Really? The guys on the lower end of the roster crying out for a chance must be pulling their hair out, but that’s life! I understand that they can’t help injuries to major stars after Mania, but if you’re going to do a three hour show, utilize the whole roster effectively. On the whole, I can’t complain too much about the show. It was solid, with some flashes of brilliance.

The main purpose of this post was to spark some debate, so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think about my opinions. Leave yours! Follow the blog, and like the post! Thanks a lot for all the support!

Believe in Fandango!

Tour Blog #16: Walsall – The Homecoming

IMG_0617So, I’m sitting on my sofa in my lounge writing this final blog on the Brains For Breakfast ‘Work. Rest. Play’ Tour. Before I go into last night, the ride back and today, I’d just like to thank a few people. I’d like to thank Andy (Brains For Breakfast) and MoJoe (Chameleon Recordings) for working with me to make this tour a success on every front. We had a lot of fun together, did a lot of work and helped get the very best out of the tour. We will now begin editing the huge amount of footage we captured into the tour video, which will be released episodically on YouTube. I’d also like to thank everyone who has given this blog a read over the last couple of weeks. I hope you have enjoyed the posts and found them mildly interest. It really means a lot to get the kind of views I’ve been getting. I will also be releasing a photo blog of the tour over the next couple of days, so check back for that and follow the blog if you’re on WordPress.

Now for this final post business. The show at The Pull And Pump in Brighton last night was absolutely great! The perfect way to end the tour. Everything about the show was positive. The venue was a quaint pub made up almost entirely of wood, with lovely staff and an absolutely brilliant couple of promoters. The room was packed out with an audience of people who actually paid attention, made a lot of noise and showed a lot of respect and love to every artist on the night. The place had that sweaty, bar blues feel to it.

The show had a genuine character about it. I would put it in the top three shows of the tour. As I mentioned, the crowd were enthusiastic and encouraging. We even did a whip round for petrol and they gave extremely generously. The artists were all tremendous, easily one of the best bills of the two weeks. The promoters (along with Leeds and Nottingham) were a league above all those others we encountered. They were supportive, generous and beyond helpful. I can’t give them enough credit for the way they handled the whole show, and the way they treated the talent. Most importantly, Andy played a very good set and was greeted warmly by the local crowd.

After shaking a lot hands and saying a lot of goodbyes to all the great people we encountered, it was time to hit the road. We made the long walk back to the car with the merch and instruments through the city centre. The bright, vibrant city of Brighton does seem to suffer from one epidemic which plagues most great cities: homelessness and poverty. We were confronted with a slightly depressing sight as we made our way through the centre. There were many beggars, buskers and folks sleeping rough on the streets. It was a sad thing to see, but I can’t really hold that against Brighton. I’ve been to Barcelona, Venice, New York, Dublin, you name it and I have always seen this.

We got to the car and headed for Uxbridge, London to drop Dan off. It was great for us all to hang out with such an old and good friend, but now we were on our way alone down to Walsall, home. We finally got back about 3.30am and I didn’t get to sleep until about 5.30am. There was some kind of tornado going on in our area last night. The wind was so loud that you heard it over the TV. I woke up today at about 4pm. I was supposed to be at my Birmingham 2022 workshop tonight at 5pm, but there was no way I would have made it. I had to cancel, and now I’m worried that I may not be allowed back, but I hope I will be.

IMG_0625The tour was pretty incredible, but it’s cost me a lot and I’ve had to sacrifice a lot. I’m very broke right now, as you can imagine. This means (for the first time in five years) I will have to miss the annual Leeds Zombie Film Festival, a tradition I carry out every April. I missed Wrestlemania!, I missed two of my magazine workshops, and may possibly have lost the project. All of that stuff is pretty annoying but it was worth it to see all the things I saw, meet all the people I meet and go to all the places I’ve been. I wouldn’t take it back, but I do think I’d do it differently in the future. But, you live and learn. I’m thinking of doing my own free zombie film festival at our place, so I’ll be sure to post about that if it happens.

I’ve loved the last two weeks but I’m happy to be home for many reasons. I feel clean and fresh, comfortable and relaxed, happy and content. It’s been a crazy roller-coaster ride, but now  it’s time to get back to focusing on all the things I need and want to achieve for the rest of this year. I’d like to once again thank everyone for their support. If you like what you read, create an account and follow this blog. Be sure to check back for more posts upcoming (including the tour photo blog) and share this site to your friends if you think they might like it.

Thanks a lot for reading.

Peace

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Tour Blog #15: Brighton – Waves

IMG_0606Today is the final day of the tour. We are joined by Dan, an old housemate and band mate. The four of us have had an amazing day out in Brighton. We are sitting in a pub called the Prince George. I’m hooked up to The Cloud so I can actually upload this post immediately after it’s been written for a change. I think we can all agree that we don’t really want to go, and it’s not because we don’t want the tour to end. It’s simply because this place is so great. I described it as paradise earlier, and I don’t think I was far off the mark.

As for yesterday. The show at Gigalum Bar in Clapham was pretty average. The crowd was okay, but it wasn’t really the right kind of place for Andy’s brand of music. It was still cool to pass through London though, mostly because we got to stay in Uxbridge with Dan. We had a great catch up and watched movies, viral videos and UFC into the early hours. His house mates were all really great guys too. The hospitality we have been shown on this tour has been incredible and restored my faith in humanity a bit. Yesterday was no different.

IMG_0607When we got to Brighton today, we parked the car and headed off around the town. Every building looks different. It’s such a colourful, beautiful place. That’s just the shops and the stalls. I absolutely have to come back here in the summer for a few days with a few hundred pounds to spare. 3 amazing shirts for £8 – what the fuck!? It’s literally like heaven. When we got out onto the sea front, it was too much. The water, the rocks, the skies. You could easily sit out on the beach for hours and hours getting lost in it’s beauty.

We decided to record a couple of music videos down there near the pier. We got some pretty cool material and had a great time doing it. It’s been really cool last night and today getting the band back together, so to speak, hanging out like old times. The only difference is we aren’t underneath a smoggy sky in a concrete jungle, but breathing in pure air and taking in fascinating and spectacular imagery. So much graffiti, so many crazy fashion trends and a lot of happiness.

Brighton is such a creative and positive place, and this is the impression I’ve got from being here for about four hours. I really, really NEED to come back here this summer. I can’t speak highly enough of the place. Passing through London was cool, but I’ve been there a million times and never felt as fascinated and inspired as I have at times here in Brighton. Tomorrow I will post a final update about tonight’s show at the Pull and Pump, the journey back and what it’s like to be back in our natural habitat

It’s almost over. It’s been a hell of a ride. Thanks for reading.

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Tour Blog #11: Birmingham – Driving Under Influence

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I’m sitting in the back of the car next to my lovely girlfriend. I am pretty wasted. Yes, this is my first drunk post of the tour, I think. We have just left the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham. Tonight’s show was peculiar. The room was packed for all the artists but the crowd didn’t pay a whole lot of attention. Nonetheless, the petrol fund received some more sizeable donations.

We had a good time passing through our hometown, or at least the next best thing. We saw some good friends and family members, and had lots of drinks. We have hit the road to head straight for Leicester to go out and party, with our one night tour groupie Grace.

Andy is looking forward to starting the drinking. The rest of us are all on our way. It’s been a good day and evening back in the West Midlands, but we are all happy to be heading back out further afield to see new things and meet new people.

We are on the guest list for Mosh so we are either going there or a place called Basement until the early hours. Then it’s the show at The Shed tomorrow which should be a great one. My old and close friend Rich is coming to take us out on the town afterwards and we are looking forward to that. I’ve never been to Leicester, but now I have a couple of nights to get to know it. I can’t wait.

For a drunk person on an iPhone in a moving car, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of this post. I’ll be through tomorrow with another update. I’ve almost hit 1,000 views which is pretty amazing. I reached 100 US views earlier. Again, thanks so much for checking out this site and showing support to what I’m doing. Whether it be the music stuff or the wrestling, I love writing and it means a lot to know that some of you guys from all over the world are reading.

For now, peace, thanks and come again!

Tour Blog #10: Worcester – Stuffed

IMG_0545So the show at Alley Café was a success and we met a few cool people. I met James Dalby, the YouTube sensation who was featured on CBS America for his acoustic cover of Ignition by R Kelly. He was one of the other artists playing and turned out to be a really cool guy. We are hoping to get him down to play and stay at ours for a big baking session sometime. The guys who ran the café were so sound and even gave us £20 towards our petrol fund. Two of the guys there last night were also from Walsall originally. What a small world! We seem to encounter some Walsall people most places we go. The atmosphere was so good there. We all had a really awesome time and then went on for one quick drink at the Pit and Pendulum, which was a cool place. On the whole, the night was a big success on all fronts.

I continued my tradition of falling asleep to the Randy Orton v Sheamus match from Monday Night Raw and woke up desperate to spread the Fandango news even more. Today I’ve already had fifteen views more than my previous daily record, and it’s only 7.30pm. This has a lot to do with my Fandango post I think, or maybe some of you guys are actually following this tour blog. If so, leave a comment and have a chat! I spent the whole morning and afternoon online either laughing at Fandango related memes, or watching Wrestlemania highlights. I didn’t go and take photos of the lambs sadly. Maybe I’ll get a chance another time to see some adorable lambs again and photograph them. We did however; go to the campus canteen where I had epic fish and chips. I need to stop eating so much. I’ve already added chicken and chips to that within four hours of eating it. I think I’ve put on at least a stone, I feel like a stuffed pig. I need to clean up my act when I get home.

I’m currently sitting on a very plush sofa writing this blog on Word. I’m hoping to get some Wi-Fi soon and upload it with a couple of pictures. Andy is doing a little sound check at the moment and besides a few other musicians, nobody is here yet. It’s the perfect time for me to write this so I don’t look so antisocial later. Apparently Joe has to run the sound for the night this evening, which we weren’t aware of before. I hope we get some kind of money out of this, but we’ll have to see.

Worcester looks pretty standard. The venue we are at – The Firefly – is pretty cool though. It has very nice décor, cool little corner next to the bar for the artist and sound engineer, and an even a pretty amazing smoking balcony and garden. I can’t complain about the place. I just hope the night goes to plan for time so we don’t have to hit the road for Birmingham too late. It’s not far but I wanna get back there as early as possible tonight. But yeah, just arrived in Worcester and besides the venue and Asda I can’t really say a lot about it. I won’t be seeing a lot of it later either, so it’s just one of those also-ran cities on the tour sadly.

IMG_0546I hope the show goes well, and we could do with making a fair bit of money for the tour. Hopefully Andy’s family will be generous as they are coming tonight. Mine and Joe’s are both coming to the Birmingham show tomorrow too, so we are hoping this weekend can be the time to raise the money to pay for the travel for the rest of the dates. Fingers crossed. I’ll be sure to update tomorrow when I get the chance, to let everyone know how we got on tonight, but if you’re reading this and you’re local, come on down tonight to The Firefly in Worcester or tomorrow at The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham.

For now, peace and thanks to everyone who is viewing these things on a regular basis. I’ve almost got a thousand views and I really appreciate the interest and support.

Tour Blog #9: Nottingham – Flock Of Sheep

IMG_0529So, this will be a pretty short one as I don’t have too much to report. The last couple of days have been fairly quiet. I’ve been falling asleep a lot. I think I’m becoming fatigued or something, but nonetheless, I will persevere. I’m sitting at another makeshift merch stand in a very cute little place called Alley Cafe in Nottingham. It’s just around the corner from the main centre with the fountain. It’s a vegan/vegetarian place that sells the amazing Staropramen. I even got a free pint, so I’m happy with that. It’s a small, quaint place but it has a great character. It’s decorated in old wood and greenery, with wine bottles shelved above the bar. A great place for acoustic music with a great atmosphere.

It’s very different to The Hop in Sheffield, but great for different reasons. The show last night was pretty cool, but my personal highlight came afterwards. I had the best meal I’ve had since we left home nine days ago: an epic cod and chips. It was so good that I’m considering revising the Steel City solely to get another one. I then fell asleep for practically the whole ride home in my back seat bed made up of sleeping bags, throws and pillows. When I woke, we were arriving at Faye’s again for another stop over in Nottingham.

Faye lives at the Brackenhurst Campus of Nottingham Trent University. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, just like my uni campus was. It’s a million times nicer though. After we had woke up this morning, and had an actual shower for the first time in four days, we decided to go and make the most of our surroundings. We shot a really awesome video of Andy playing one of his earliest songs ‘Flock of Sheep’ with a backdrop of… you guessed it, sheep. There were also some adorable little lambs in the field. I’m planning on heading back down to the field tomorrow morning to get some close up shots of them again.

We then went and trekked through the woods, saw an awesome tree house, swung from the trees like Tarzan, jumped over some brooks and saw some pretty beautiful, amazing scenery. The whole area is pretty stunning, and fascinating. Being out in the middle of nowhere must have it’s downsides, but it definitely has it’s upsides. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to go and explore a little bit. We are staying over again today after the show, and hopefully we can go and have another look tomorrow, and maybe shoot another video.

IMG_0535Well for now, we have the first artist on in the Alley Cafe as I type. Andy will be going on last and then we are off to finally see Brewdog and maybe a few other bars. I’ve started on my free beer and I plan on having a few more and partying on. Hopefully we can sell a tiny bit of merch tonight to help out. Tomorrow it’s off to Worcester, before we get our one night stop off at home. I’ve loved being on the road for so long, but I can’t lie, I’m looking forward to getting the one night back in my own bed, and finally seeing my girlfriend again. Then it’s the Birmingham show at Sunflower Lounge on Saturday, and then straight to Leicester to get wasted! One more sleep, before we temporarily go home.

I’ll be through with another update tomorrow of course! Keep checking in to see what Brains For Breakfast and the rest of us are up to travelling the nation. Search online in all the usual places to check my boy out. Like and follow my blog. We all really appreciate the support.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back tomorrow!

Peace and Love.