What Do YOU Search For On Google?

December 4, 2009

Here’s my latest (and last) newsday package of 2009! This time I’m looking at the Google Zeitgeist, a compilation of search data for the year.

This years insight makes quite interesting reading and for the first time splits the search results into specific regions. As I’m based in Stoke, I looked at what was popular in the region but also what scored highly nationwide.

So please click below and discover the wonder of the Google Zeitgeist!

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Muse – The Resistance Tour

November 6, 2009

I rate Muse as pretty much one of (if not the) best music act to have ever graced our planet. So you can imagine the excitement I had as I built up to Wednesday 4th November in Sheffield, Muse’s first 2009 UK tour date!

This was only the second time I had seen Muse (the first being the almighty Wembley Stadium gigs in 2007) andP1050702 expectations were pretty high. I have to say at first, they didn’t quite deliver.

The first thing to take into account is that the stage is quite small. Obviously this is not the end of the world, but it did seem a little bit of a let down compared to the massive structure I witnessed at Wembley. But none of this mattered at 8.40 when the lights dimmed and the music started to play.

After a short introduction, three curtains fell and Muse were in front of us playing their hit single ‘Uprising’. Now I absolutely adore this song, been playing it on a loop for weeks, buts something about it live just didn’t click. And to this moment I’m not sure what. Perhaps it was the fact no-one around me was standing (I was seated and fairly near the back), perhaps it was the average lighting for this song. Maybe even it was the strange ‘Kanye West’ style glasses Bellamy was wearing! But something underwhelmed me about it… and it continued into ‘Resistance’, another song I love.

I was starting to worry that Muse had lost it live… until. ‘New Born’.

With this massive track from their earlier days, Muse turned the whole gig around. The pillars they were stood upon lowered and the amazing green lasers beamed across the arena. It  was quite a spectacle. This also (finally) got the crowd to their feet. I felt the atmosphere really changed with this song, both for the crowd and for the band onstage. Matt Bellamy really got into the song and Chris Wolstenholme headbanged like there was no tomorrow. It really was a stunning performance, the only criticism being that maybe the band had peaked too soon.

There were a couple more fast songs (‘Map Of The Problematique’ and ‘Supermassive Blackhole’) which were P1050795again true crowdpleasers, before we moved on to ‘Guiding Light’. There was nothing really wrong with the performance here, the lights were good and the sound impressive, but I still feel the song itself is a bit weak and a little bit of a slowdown after the last few songs.

Hysteria followed, which was again a flawless performance, before we moved into ‘United States Of Eurasia’. The screens lit up with oh so familiar shots of Muse’s online Eurasia game which took place in the run up to ‘The Resistance’s release. The finale of this was also fun with mass screams of ‘SIA’ from the crowd!

The next song annoyed me… ‘Feeling Good’. Now I have no real problem with the song, but why play it live when it’s a cover. Muse have so many other great songs, please please please play them instead!

After an old song (Unintended) and a new song (Undiscosed Desires – the lasers were again incredible during this) we moved on to ‘Starlight’. Now I know a lot of Muse fans are still against this song, but you certainly wouldn’t know that on the night as a mass cheer erupted during those first few notes!

This flew into my personal highlight of the night, ‘Plug-In Baby’. This song is so old now, but really still is one of their best and the atmosphere, even at the back of the arena, was immense. The lighting, the sound, Bellamy’s over-the-top performance and of course the collection of giant balls bounced around the crowd made this absolutely fantastic.

The set finished with ‘Time Is Running Out’ and ‘Unnatural Selection’.

Muse chose the encore to showcase one of their more unusual sounds, part one of the Exogenesis symphony. IP1050808was very pleased to hear it as I think the track is a masterpiece, but I still think it’s a shame that we only got part one. Now I know a 14 minute symphony is a bit weird for a rock concert, but Muse are no ordinary band and this was no ordinary concert. I think it could have been spectacular if they had done so.

We raved through ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ before Chris got out his harmonica to begin part one of ‘Knight Of Cydonia’… the finale. And what a finale it was. The crowd were really into it by now and this just made for an amazing ending. Lights and smoke evrywhere, people jumping like mad, it was like complete chaos! – the perfect way to end such an amazing gig.

This was easily one of the best performances I have ever seen and may even have topped Wembley. However I did notice something quite strange. Much as I love ‘The Resistance’ I found that all of the songs of this album seemed to lack something, whereas the older stuff was amazing. Perhaps the band just have to perfect this newer stuff still!

If you ever get the chance to see Muse live, take it… you wont regret it as they really are one of the best musical acts… in the world!

To see pictures from the event visit the gallery!

For video visit the media section or watch New Born below!

 


Muse Media From Last Night

November 5, 2009

As you may or may not know, last night I saw the recently voted ‘Best Act In The World’ – Muse.

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And now in the gallery there’s a collection of photographs from the event! They were taken from the back of the arena (which is unfortunately where I was situated) but they should give you a good idea of the amazing show they guys put on. To view them click here.

There are also YouTube videos on the way (the first of which can be seen below), and the rest of them will be placed on the media page when they’re done. Also by this time tomorrow I’ll  have a review of the gig ready for you… I really am too good to you all.

So sit back, relax and enjoy the mighty Muse!


F1 2009: What A Weekend!

March 29, 2009

Never before have I seen a sport so rejuvenated in such a short amount of time than I witnessed this weekend. The 2009 Australian Grand Prix has set a new high standard for a motorsport that was becomming very dull and tiring.

The plans for the 2009 season started late last year. Many tech specs and aerodynamic systems were thrown out of the window. Slick tyres were re introduced for the first time in many years. And a new KERS system introduced to provide a ‘boost’ system for drivers. All were introduced to shift focus away from how good the cars are and back to the skill of the drivers.

But there was one more thing that was about to mix everything up… Brawn GP. Forged out of the remains of the failed Honda F1 team, Ross Brawn (former Ferrari technical director) created his own F1 team. It was all organised literally 2 weeks before the season. At the time I thought it was great we were getting an extra team, but lets face it, they weren’t going to get anywhere.

How wrong I was. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing when Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello took the front row. And the highest Ferrari? 6th. And the highest McLaren? 12th. Am I watching Formula One?

It was all set for a fantastic first race and it truly was. The first few laps were unmissable. The amount of overtaking was incredible. It reminded me of why I actually watch this sport. Suddenly we were back in the 90’s when this sport was spectacular! We also had a few incidents with Barrichello managing to knock everyone out but himself!

Later on Nakajima became the first big crash victim of the season when he lost it on a high speed bend. What happened next for me was very disorganised and confusing. The safety car should have been deployed immediately. I’m not sure why Charlie Whiteing and co (nice to see them by the way) took so long to make the decision, but it was ridiculous and something they need to look into.

As the safety car was finally deployed, Giancarlo Fisichella made a most unusual mistake, missing his pit box. Not quite sue how he managed that, but it kept the entertainment up.

After this segment, I felt the race calmed down a little, which wasn’t bad at all. I like it when the race ‘calms down’ because things are still happening. It wasn’t a dull period, just a time to take stock which was great.

The race started speeding towards its climax and became clear that both Kubica and Vettel provided quite a threat to Button’s lead. They were about a second away from the Brawn GP car. But the one thing they didn’t account for was each other!

Inevitably, they crashed into each other, quite spectacularly actually! They were obviously determined that if they were going out, they were gonna do it in style! In my opinion, the accident was purely that, a racing incident. Vettel was being ambitious on the inside and Kubica was being harsh on the outside. It was a shame that it did end in incident as it would’ve been interesting to see what would have happened with Button.

But this incident gifted Brawn GP the race, Button a well deserved victory and Barrichello a long overdue 2nd place. Something that I don’t think anyone would’ve believed. It’s fantastic that this sport has become so open again that anyone can genuinely win a race, its the way any sport should always be. Hamilton (somehow!) made it up to third place after Trulli was disqualified for overtaking under the safety car.

This was a brilliant race and it proved that the new ideas worked. The reduction of aerodynamic aids has stumped some teams and drivers (especially Raikkonen who made a dramatic error into the wall!). The reintroduction of slick tyres seems to be helping cars follow whilst also becoming unpredictable. And KERS looks like a great idea (although I do think everyone should carry it, not just some.

Another shout has to go to the BBC this weekend who’s coverage I feel has been great. For the first time ever we’ve had all three practices on TV, theres been extra chat programmes on the red button and re-runs of the race continuing now (I’m watching it as I write this!). Jonathon Legard seems to be a good commentator, Brundle is of course great, jake Humphrey looks promising and heck, even Ted Kravitz doesn’t seem annoying anymore. So well done BBC, heres to more great F1 coverage this year.

This has been the best start to a season I can remember and I’m traditionally a Ferrari fan! I feel even if you didn’t like the result, you can’t deny how entertaining this grand prix was. The whole of the 2008 season was rolled into one race and it gives me hope that this could be a great year for formula one. Lets hope it all continues next week in Malaysia!


The Oscars 2009… who cares, it’s The Golden Raspberries I want!

February 23, 2009

Last night saw the most important date in the Hollywood calendar. Nah, not the Oscar’s, The Golden Raspberries.

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This ceremony is held just before the main awards every year and ‘celebrates’ the worst that film has to offer for the year. So who are the big losers?

Well ‘The Love Guru’ (or Goro as some say) seems to be the film to avoid, winning worst screenplay, worst actor (Mike Myers) and the ultimate criticism, Worst Film. 

Paris Hilton will be very pleased I’m sure with her double on the night. She won both Worst Actress for her performance in ‘The Hottie and Nottie‘ and worst supporting actress in ‘Repo: The Genetic Opera‘. 

This years worst sequel, prequel or re-make was won by the widely criticised ‘Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull‘. 

Finally, Uwe Boll who bought us such jewels as ‘FarCry‘ and ‘Tunnel Rats‘ won worst director and worst career achievement. He said the awards had ruined his life and he would never be back!

So that’s the Razzie’s for another year, the guide of what NEVER to watch in the world of film!

Source: Golden Raspberries