Sunday, 30 November 2008

Back to UK Blak - The Pasadenas



These guys remind you of another group in particular? The 50's throwback fashion, the West Side story-esq choreography. The eye-sore Didier Drogba wet-look hairstyles. Can't think? Well how about this year's X-Factor contenders - JLS. When I first saw Louis' boys prancing around on stage in baseball jackets and trainers a few weeks ago, they took me right back to the original 80's black boy band - The Pasadenas. The group were a  five part harmony band who first scored a hit with Tribute (Right On) in 1988, before following up with other chart hits like 'Riding on a Train' and 'I'm Doing Fine Now', which peaked at No. 4 on the UK national charts. See the JLS performance below and see how they compare.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Jourdan is Britain's Best Top Model


This is definitely the year of the Dunn. The Black British teen model sensation was named 'Model of the Year' at last night's prestigious British Fashion Awards which took place at Lawrence Hall, Westminister. The accolade is the icing on the cake for what has been a spectacular year for the young supermodel. First up was that much talked about cover and fashion spread in Vogue Italia's  'All Black' issue. A few months later Jourdan was unveiled as the new face of fashion giant -Top Shop, as well as gaining contracts for other popular fashion chains such as Gap and Benetton. According to the London Paper the model was in tears as she collected her award, but still managed to quip that although her mother will be proud, she would have probably preferred a house. I really like Jourdan. She's obviously great at what she does but also seems down to earth, intelligent and is not afraid to speak out against the ugly prejudices that exist in the fashion industry. Congratulations lady! 

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Alesha: Music To Your Ears?


Brace yourselves for the release of Alesha Dixon's new album - The Alesha Show, released on Monday 24th November. The album is a mixture of new songs and remixed tracks from her shelved project from a couple of years back 'Fired Up'. I sooooo want to love this woman's music. Alesha is one of my favourites on the Brit Pop scene and I'm sure I'm not alone in my thinking. Since Harvey-gate she has provided women across the country with a template on how to act if your man is caught with his pants down, publicly humiliating you in the process. Whilst most of us wouldn't have been able to resist the urge to get our claws out at any given opportunity, Alesha handled the situation with such grace, honesty and maturity that I'll forever be in her corner. But her music, well… now that's another matter. She obviously feels extremely passionate about it, because she could have easily bagged herself a TV job following her Strictly crowning. But no, she chose to give her singing career another shot. And I really wish she hadn't.

Colour me mortified following the first listen of 'The Boy Does Nothing', the first single released from the album. The singing, the lyrics, the melody: every aspect of the track is simply woeful. Not surprisingly though it catapulted straight in the national charts at No.8 (sigh), which explains the exact reason why the likes of Alesha has to sell their musical souls to sustain a musical career in this country. Question: why is it that Black British artists can only be accepted as their authentic selves only after establishing themselves first in the USA a la Floetry and Estelle? I’m now thinking the likes of Alesha, Lemar, Terri Walker, Keisha White and Beverley Knight need to just up sticks and move to the land of milk and honey, and bloody decent record producers, like pronto.

'The Boy Does Nothing'

So Long Rach



In all honesty she lasted a lot longer than I anticipated, but Simon did the right thing by putting her out of her misery. Her spark was gone. The women we met with the cocky one liners and impromptu whinning had been replaced by a timid, nervous wreck who week by week was buckling under the pressure. I guess it doesn't help matters much when the press are out to get you, portraying you as a gun toting gangster on the basis of a one off(Bo! Bo!) celebratory gun signal. Definitely a classic case of cultural misinterpretation methinks, Rach, you obviously wasn't aware of the furor surrounding Barack and Michelle's so-called "terrorist fist jab". So who's gonna win? Well I'm still backing Alexandra who was absolutely amazing tonight. But I wouldn't be mad if if Ruth or Diana won, but sooooooo don't get JLS.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Simon Backs the ACLT in Bid To Become King of The Jungle


Note from the ACLT:

Simon Webbe; former member of the boy band Blue has chosen to support the ACLT (African Caribbean Leukemia Trust) in this year's I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! 15p from each call made will be donated to the charity. 

The ACLT are so grateful for the support but unfortunately Simon has only been given an 11/2 chance of being crowned this years winner. I’m making a bet straight away because I predict that, as soon as the ACLT family get behind him those odds will improve dramatically! We need your help, please support his efforts and in turn support the charity by keeping him in the competition and vote to save him!

I know he often gets a lot of stick, but I quite like Simon. He has done quite well for himself considering he isn't the greatest singing talent (reality check: like that ever mattered in this country). Not to mention, he's definitely easy on my eyes... I haven't had a chance to catch any of the shows yet, but will hopefully get to tune in tomorrow. But that's great news for the ACLT,  get voting peeps! www.celebrity.itv.com 

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Stabbing at the Urban Music Awards


LONDON (AFP) — Three people were injured in ugly scenes at the Urban Music Awards ceremony, with one person seriously hurt, police said on Sunday.

Two others sustained minor injuries during a disturbance at the sixth annual Urban Music Awards at the O2 centre in London late on Saturday. One person has been arrested.

"We were called at 10:11 pm on the 15th to a disturbance at the O2 Arena site," a Metropolitan police spokesman told AFP.

"We found three men suffering injuries. Two are not serious injuries, the other one is. They appeared to be stab or slash victims. There has been one arrest."

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said the three casualties had been treated at the scene and taken to hospitals.

Police sources indicated that the most serious casualty may have been stabbed and the other two might have been hit by flying glass.

The show was being held in the indigO2 -- a 2,350-capacity venue inside the former Millennium Dome.

Leona Lewis, Dizzee Rascal, Duffy and Estelle were among the performers nominated for awards.

Soul singer Mica Paris was to be presented with a lifetime achievement award.

Andre Nevling, 24, said a woman sat at the same table as himself was "covered" in blood.

"Obviously the guy who got stabbed must have run straight past her and she's pretty shaken up," he said.

"I saw blood all over the floor and then I was like, 'Jesus you're covered in it'," he said.

Another eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I didn't see what happened but there were champagne bottles flying and I hid under the table."

Natalie Williams, 32, said: "It's a huge shame that a small group of people have ruined everything for everyone."


I was so shocked to hear this. I was supposed to go. Call it divine intervention, but we couldn't find a babysitter so me and the fam decided to go down to the 02 for some grub instead. When we were on our way home we walked past the venue and it looked chaotic to say the least. There were hundreds of people gathered outside watching the red carpet activity. Rude boys were out in all their bejewelled finery, and young girls were screaming their heads off shouting "Oh my gosh, I'll never wash my hands again", after the likes of Sway and Chipmunk, brushed past them. Rich and I were saying that we were kinda glad things didn't work out because it looked so young, and sorry to say... quite ghetto. Although having said that I have every admiration for the Urban Music Awards. It's designed as an antithesis to the MOBO's, who have been criticised throughout the years for ignoring non-mainstream black artists to bag those all-important corporate sponsors (I mean, can you really imagine the MOBO's honouring Mica Paris with a lifetime achievement award?). I could really envision a time when the UMA's eclipsed it's much-maligned rival, but now can't even be too sure whether it will take place again next year.

My thoughts go out to the victims, and also Jordan and the UMA crew.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Leona Gets a New I.D



Leona Lewis is the surprise cover star of the December 08 issue of the style/culture rag, I-D magazine. And guess what? The pics actually look pretty good. I-D is not exactly known for embracing manufactured pop acts, but I'm glad they broke the mould and went for a non obvious choice. Besides, I guess it's a good trade off for both parties involved. Leona will no doubt gain cool points from the trendy left of centre, Hoxton Square set, and I-D will probably sell a few extra copies courtesy of the singer's over zealous fans. It's so refreshing to see Leona looking youthful, edgy and contemporary for once, opposed to the thoroughly uninspiring "prom queen/beauty pageant" look that her stylists are obviously deeply fond of. I haven't read the interview yet, but let's see, I'm almost certain that she'll be talking about saving animals, adopting children in Africa, and her favourite topic of the moment - why she'll never leave Hackney. Mmm, come to think of the beauty pageant dresses are starting to make sense now.






Saturday, 8 November 2008

Afrique, So Chic



Last summer I couldn't help but notice that high street retailers such as Top Shop, Primark and H&M were featuring African inspired fashions in their collections. Whether in the form of bold brightly coloured tunic tops, wooden bangles and accessories, or skirts with African style prints - inspiration from the Motherland could be found everywhere. Without a doubt the interest was well overdue. The fabrics, colours, patterns and styles to emerge from the continent are nothing short of breathtaking. Yet for far too long has never received it's fair props.

This unprecedented interest also coincides with a new fashion movement from indigenous designers throughout the diaspora who are blazing a trail with collections that utilise traditional African fabrics while incorporating contemporary styling. Over the last few years we've had events such as Kulture 2 Couture, which was paramount in bringing the talents of African designers to the forefront in the the UK. The event was created under the Mayorship of Ken Livingstone, and consisted of a weekend of fashion shows, workshops and seminars. Of course with Borris now in City Hall the official line is the event has been suspended until next year. But hmmm, we'll wait to see how that pans out. However, fear not, on November 29th an event called Kouture Africa is being held at the Barbican, London. The aim of the event is to bring together African fashion designers in a rare fashion extravaganza that will see fashion and clothing as dictated by African aesthetics. There will also be African inspired beauty products, accessories, arts and crafts, and soft furnishings available to purchase. For further details visit www.kouture-afrika.com. I've also been recently notified that an Africa Rocks event is in the pipeline, following in the footsteps of the hugely successful Fashion Rocks, which merges high fashion with music. I'll keep you posted on dates when I receive further details.
Now see below for my round up of the hottest designers:

Angela Baruch

Nkwo

Deola Sagoe
Stoned Cherry
Sika Designs
Ruki Garuba (Top) Gisella Boutique (Bottom)
Colures magazine's homage to the Headwrap
Duro Oluwu

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Dizzee for Prime Minister, what do you reckon?



After watching this last night, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry?

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

So where exactly were you when history was made?


My eyelids feel like a tonne of bricks. I stayed up to watch it. I knew I would suffer the next day but it was worth every minute of the dribbly mouth, desk bound haziness I experienced at work today...

So here's how my night went, please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors because like I said, I'm knackered.

I arrived home around 9.45pm from netball training. I got ready for bed because I was exhausted. I asked Rich to wake me up when Obama was declared president. I was 99% confident that he had done enough to seal the deal but kept reminding myself - this is America, you never know... Rich agreed to wake me up, so off I went to bed, deciding to keep the TV on with the intention of drifting in and out of sleep while the live coverage was on. At approximately 1.30am I abruptly woke up, which is strange for me, because anyone who knows me knows that I love my sleep. Word from the polling booths put Obama ahead, I can't quite recall exactly what the vote counts were, but all I remember thinking was wow, he's almost there. Compelled, I was fully awake now (Rich was fast asleep in the sofa by the way, so much for being my eyes and ears for the night), we were on the verge of history and me, little old me, was there to witness everything unfold on the little screen. Just after 2am they announced that Ohio went to Obama. The roar from the crowd when this announcement was made was a sound I will never forget, it was immense. Political pundits who were hired to be "objective" were shouting and whooping "he's done it, he's done it, Barack Obama has won the race", convinced by the theory that no other Republican candidate who had lost out on the Ohio vote had ever gone on to win the Presidency. But I still wasn't convinced. As much as I'm a born optimist, I vowed to put the champers on ice until he reached the golden number of 270. For what seemed like hours later the moment I sacrificed my sleep for occurred at 3.58am. How I felt the moment it was confirmed that Barack Obama was the President of the United States is indescribable, especially in my subdued state. I just wanted to share my experience of this hugely inspring and significant moment in our world history.  

Goodnight

Ms Quichexxx

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.