Switch anniversary and the year ahead


Hi everyone.  I’ve not posted like this in a while.  Life’s been pretty busy start of the year despite me managing to cram in rather a lot of movies to review.  Also there seems to be some good stuff on the horizon for me, and thought I’d give it a little write-up.

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First it would be remiss of me not to mention that today marks the first year anniversary of the Nintendo Switch, a console I have fallen in love with and over the past twelve months has given me so much fun and enjoyment.  Highlights of course include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, but along with this smaller titles like Rayman Legends and Steam World Dig 2 have also been a lot of fun.  The portability, versatility of this system can not go un-mentioned either and it’s a unique joy to play it in bed, sitting in my living room or in front of my bedroom TV on a larger screen.  Having the best of both worlds.  In the process, the Xbox One and PS4 have fallen by the way-side and not the Switch is my go-to console of choice and with games on the horizon like Donkey King Country Tropical Freeze and Yoshi, I can see it staying that way for the foreseeable future.

IMG_0286I’m of course also looking forward to seeing Garbage again in concert in September.  It will mark the 3rd time I have seen my favourite band live and well, I’m still pinching myself that I actually got to meet them as well back in 2016.  This tour will mark the 20 year anniversary of their second album ‘Version 2.0’ and as it’s my favourite album of theirs where I went from liking the band to being a real fan, this concert where they’ll play every track and every b-side released at the time … fills me with excitement.  I’ll be meeting up with a few like-minded friends when I am there so it should be a great experience for me again.  Incidentally, lead singer Shirley Manson was recently honoured by UK publication NME with their first ‘icon’ award which was presented to the Scottish singer at their annual NME awards in London.  As a long time fan this was a very proud moment for me.  I have said it before and I’ll keep saying it .. Garbage don’t get the recognition they deserve and it’s awards like this that feel even more special simply for that fact.  Well done Shirley!  Currently they are working on album #7 with a hope of a release in 2019.

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In other news, I’m currently watching several TV shows, including new seasons of Homeland, X-Files, The Walking Dead and Mr. Robot, the latter I consider one of the best shows available right now.  Speaking of TV shows, I was pleased to see a brief return of one of my favourite cult shows over Christmas, namely The League of Gentlemen, which was only three episodes but it was bliss.  The creators, Mark Gatiss, Jeremy Dyson, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton then followed this up by announcing a tour, of which I rushed to secure tickets.  Strangely enough it’s scheduled for two days after I see Garbage.  What a weekend that will be!  Their brand of humour is rather dark, character-driven comedy that is probably an acquired taste, but I love it.


As far as this blog is concerned, I want to vary the content a little and might do special posts of certain subjects, like favourite actors, movie genres etc and more stuff on video games and music.  I’m unsure what form that will take as I want to make it as interesting as possible, but I continue to love writing this blog and it keeps my love of writing alive.  Hope you all manage to get something from it too.

Until next time.

Craig.

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What’s going on?


blondie garbageSo with a slight update to my usual ‘update’ heading on here … I thought I’d do a post about what things have been peaking my interest of late.  Let me firstly get out of the way the awesome news that my favourite band, Garbage are this summer going on tour with legendary 70s / 80s band ‘Blondie’ fronted by none other than the iconic Deborah Harry.  Yes, THE Deborah Harry.  Now, Shirley Manson has previously been on stage with this singer and former actress, and they are old friends from way back, so I suppose their imminent teaming up for what has been titled the ‘Rage & Rapture’ tour should have been an easy guess.  This for me is two generations of a similar band, at least as far as a female-fronted, otherwise male orientated bands are concerned and there are certainly some similarities to Shirley Manson’s singing-style and that of Deborah Harry’s.  So for any fan of either group – these are going to be shows not to be missed!  More info: Click Here.

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In other news I picked up the eagerly anticipated Resident Evil 7: Biohazard last Friday and have been nervously enjoying this scare-fest ever since.  It’s of that recent trend for genuinely unnerving and scary horror games as apposed to the action-orientated style the series had gradually become known for, and is probably more like the very first game, what with secluded mansion to explore and limited ammo etc.  I’m playing it on Xbox One and having a great time with it.  It drips with atmosphere and the dark and gloomy visuals and accompanying eerie sound design have me on the edge of my seat.

On the music front I’ve been enjoying albums from Blossoms, Tegan and Sara and Two Door Cinema Club in my growing journey to broaden my horizons and discover different artists than purely my beloved Garbage.  It’s fun finding out what’s out there and Apple Music is helping me do that perfectly.

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TV-wise I’m getting into the latest series of Homeland, a firm favourite and also gritty British period drama Taboo starring Tom Hardy, which will do me nicely in the run up to The Walking Dead and eventually the return of Game of Thrones.

Other than work, that’s pretty much me for now.  Come back soon and I’ll tell you a little more.

Craig.

Autumn TV Goodness and update


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Yeah I know to the majority of my readers, that’ll be ‘Fall TV goodness’ but I’m in the UK and well, that’s just how I roll.  Starting pretty much from now, there seems a plethora of exciting TV shows coming my way to fill up my nights with quality drama.  First off we have the return of The Walking Dead for it’s sixth series.  This very consistent and very well made show has never disappointed and the characters and storylines remain as compelling as ever.  Next up will be the return of er…The Returned, a French horror drama about a group of dead people who return to their hometown seemingly unaware that the people they love have been mourning their deaths for several years and had only just began to rebuild their lives.  Season One was excellent with some great characters and a quality, eerie atmosphere.  So I’m looking forward to whatever this season has install. 

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Last week also saw the latest season of acclaimed drama Homeland hit UK screens and going by that first episode, it looks to be another gripping season ahead.  Homeland has certainly been one of the best shows in recent memory and the real-world relevant backdrop of terrorism adds a great deal to the impact this show can have.  Starting this Monday too, is the second season of that surprise hit TV spin-off Fargo, based on the Oscar winning Coen Brothers movie of the same name, this time set a number of years before season one.  I don’t entirely know what to expect, but last season was so damn good, it should be pretty unmissable.  Now add to this I’m still catching up with Game of Thrones which has been fairly consistent and gripping through the almost three seasons I’ve watched thus far, and that’s a lot of TV to cram in.

In other news, I’m gearing up to see my favourite band, alt-rockers Garbage on the 9th of November in London, a very long-awaited and never before realised dream for me personally.  Th12094917_1078237858853731_1035346105295295619_oe highly anticipated 20 Years Queer Tour kicked off stateside on 06 October and runs until end of November with a final date in lead singer Shirley Manson’s hometown of Edinburgh.  I’ve been watching videos on Periscope of them backstage, checking Facebook fairly religiously and probably doing my head in (and everyone else’s) during the build up – but dammit, am I excited and looking forward to it.  In preparation I got myself a copy of the re-mastered edition of their debut album in a deluxe version on CD, as well as buying a couple of t-shirts and other bits of merchandise.  Hey, I may never see them again as it’s not the easiest thing for me to arrange or make happen … so why not go all out?  I’m intending to take some photos and possibly record some footage so maybe I’ll put some stuff on here once it’s all over with.

In recent posts I have remarked on depression and difficult times and I’m trying my best to steer away from this now.  I have some amazing things on the horizon that should and will give me a different, more positive outlook on life.  I think I’ll always be prone to negative thinking and dwell on the past and on certain people in my past, but looking to the immediate future …. it’s more positive than I sometimes let myself believe.  My 40th birthday is also right around the corner and it will mark a milestone in my life and a step in the right direction, and I need to see it that way.  I need to look ahead with a clearer outlook and not focus on the past at least not as much, anymore.

More TV than you can shake a…


My free time lately seems to be taken up with watching the latest series of various TV shows I have been following.  These days I am happy to report us Brits are not as behind as we used to be and usually there is only a few weeks gap from a TV shows U.S. screening and it arriving in the UK.  I can’t watch everything and tend to miss some good shows due to time and well, actually wanting to do more than sit in front of a TV set all day…so here’s a little run down of the shows I am currently enjoying.

Orange Is The New Black

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Season Two

This was a surprise.  The first season took a while to really grab me, but as it progressed I fell in love with the darkly-comical tone and some great characters.  Loving Season Two so far.

Homeland

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Season Five

Just started watching this again, and really enjoy it.  Real-world relevant and very powerful with a great performance from the often underrated Claire Danes.  Not sure how this season will pan out after the shock ending of season 4, but first episode was decent.

Boardwalk Empire

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Season Five

Think this has been disappointing.  After a superb first two seasons, a fairly good season three, and a slightly downbeat but still good season four, it feels like the writers of this show just don’t know how to satisfyingly ending this final season.  The acting is still top drawer, but the writing seems disjointed like they are just making it up as they go along and tying up loose ends in a very rushed fashion.  Very sad.  I only have two more episodes to go, and can already see where it’s going … but not really expecting a conclusion that will satisfy.

The Walking Dead

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Season Five

A show that can do no wrong in my opinion.  Powerful, gut-wrenching and very well acted.  The cast of characters has always been good and if the opening episode to this latest season was anything to go by, it’s only going to keep up the high standard. 

Gotham

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First Season

The new kid on the block.  I’m still a bit on the fence about this.  First two episodes were ok, but had a rather over-acted, cheesy tone that felt very nineties.  That being said it’s quite glossy, has a decent Benjamin Mackenzie as Jim Gordon and the idea of it being set before Batman intrigues.  Will keep going with it to see how it progresses.

Wentworth Prison

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Season Two

Who would have thought a re-imagining of the classic Australian soap Prisoner Cell Block H would actually be any good?  Very well cast and with a more stylish, gritty feel … this is turning out to be essential viewing.