Monthly Archives: June 2012

So – I’m now 23 and Project 22 has finished.
And it was mostly a success!

22 Gigs – Completed
22 Books – Completed
22 New London Pubs – Completed

The 22 brands didn’t get finished – it was forgotten about until two or three weeks before the end of the project. And I spend all of my working day talking about brands – it was a poor choice last year!

The 22 albums also didn’t get bought. I bought 4. But I’ve been using Spotify – it’s changed the way I listen to music. So I’ve summarised the music I’ve been listening to this year instead.

22 Gigs

1. Ryan Adams
2. Kings of Leon
3. Goldfish
4. Scott Matthews
5. Willy Mason
6. Nizlopi
7. Hanson
8. Duke Special
9. Andy Oliveri
10. The Great Last
11. Jake Morley
12. Rich Robinson
13. Andy Oliveri
14. Willy Mason
15. The Staves
16. Scott Matthews
17. Duke Special
18. Ryan Adams
19. Alabama Shakes
20. Johnny Parry Chamber Orchestra
21. POB
22. Lunar Festival

22 Books
1. Awkward Situations for Men
2. Perfect Pitch
3. The Fry Chronicles
4. Truth, Lies and Advertising
5. Life (Keith Richards)
6. The Advertising Concept Book
7. Hegarty on Advertising
8. Treasure Island
9. Catcher in the Rye
10. How to Live on 24 hours a day
11. Friends like these
12. Dear Coca Cola
13. The Art of Client Service
14. Yes Man
15. Danny Wallace and the centre of the universe
16. The Love Letters of Dylan Thomas
17. Steve Jobs Biography
18. Cutting Edge Print Advertising
19. Catch 22
20. Animal Farm
21. A Clockwork Orange
22. The Upright Piano Player
22 New London Pubs
1. The Prince Regent, Marylebone
2. The Apollo, Marylebone
3. The Globe, Baker St
4. 1888, Marylebone
5. The Masons Arms, Marylebone
6. The Woolpack, London Bridge
7. The Globe, Covent Garden
8. The Lyric, Soho
9. The Ship, Soho
10. The Island Queen, Islington
11. The Kings Head, Angel
12. The Green Man, Great Portland St
13. The Eagle, Old St
14. William IV, Old St
15. The Swan, Chiswick
16. The Punchbowl, Mayfair
17. The Castle, Pentonville
18. The Edinboro Castle, Camden
19. The Bull, Islington
20. The Rocket, Kings Cross
21. The Grand Union, Wandsworth
22. The Hope and Anchor, Islington
4 Purchased Albums + 18 Spotify Albums
1. Jake Morley – Many Fish to Fry
2. Andy Oliveri – Sing Mercy
3. Farm Dogs – Last Stand in Open Country
4. Scott Matthews – Live in London
5. Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
6. Scott Matthews – Into the Firing Line
7. Turin Brakes – Live at the Palladium
8. The King Blues – Punk and Poetry
9. The King Blues – Save the world, Get the girl
10. Frank Turner – England Keep my bones
11. Anchor and the Wolf – The Cinema Suite
12. Whiskeytown – Strangers Almanac
13. Alexi Murdoch – Time Without Consequence
14. Fionn Regan – 100 Acres of Sycamore
15. The Watson Twins – Talking to you talking to me
16. Feist – Metals
17. Sam Brookes – Sam Brookes
18. Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam
19. Treetop Flyers – To Bury the Past
20. The Staves – Mexico
21. James Blake – James Blake
22. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Now to Project 23…

5) Apple – My first laptop was an apple. I wasn’t one of the original fanboys – I wasn’t there first – but I certainly wasn’t there last. The entire purchase process was easy and quick. It’s one of the few companies that actually manages to share its brand values through actions not words.
They have a work manifesto up on the wall in the Apple HQ – I think it’s brilliant.
How brilliant is that? I want to swim in the deep end.
With regards to Apple’s advertising – I think an awful lot has already been written about it elsewhere.
But it’s great.
6) Fender – Ah my love. I own a Fender Jazz bass.

It’s beautiful.
What I love about the Fender brand – is that it’s built on providing for real hard working musicians.
And so half of their communications show battered instruments.
And you know what – they look better than the new ones.
Half of me wants to knock my bass around just to get it looking like the old beauties.
Yet again – it’s a brand that’s built around providing great products, not providing fluff and nonsense.
J.Wilshire’s ‘Make things people want > Make people want things’ strikes again.

The final gig.
And a complete punt.

With little time left before the end of the project, and with only one gig to go – I went rogue and bought two tickets to the Johnny Parry Chamber Orchestra. Blind.
You know it’s going to be a strange one when you’re buying tickets because of the venue, rather than the band.

Nevertheless – I sat back on my pew and listened to the support, Dan Michaelson.

Wow the guy has a low voice. So low that it’s pretty damn hard to figure out if there is a tune at all.
The guitar work was basic and the songs uncomplicated – nothing too eye opening – but his dry stage talk was his saving grace. He won round the audience with his sarcastic drawl before exiting sharpish stage left.

Returning from the bar, I see the stage is now populated with 20+ musicians. The orchestra has arrived.
As has Johnny Parry.
Johnny Parry looks like a cross between Tim Minchin and Jack Sparrow – falling somewhere in Duke Special territory, but without the eye makeup or dreads.

The room is half empty – I quickly do the maths and check that there are more people in the audience than on stage. There are. Just.

The strings start up and they sound wonderful in the chapel.
The bands sound is huge – awesome in a church.
The arrangement was tight, the drummer superb and the opera singers impressive.
Arthouse films play on the projector behind the band and Johnny Parry sings in a TomWaitsEsque drawl.

Without his voice, the sound was incredible – a delicious blend of Elbow and Mercury Rev.

But with the voice – it just didn’t click with me. If I’m honest – the songs need a little work too.
Have it my way and the orchestra would break away from Johnny.
Find a new leader.
Rise up.
Be free.
Take up with a new singer songwriter – and earn a few bob.

Going back through my journal and my blog, I seem to have had split objectives on my 22nd birthday last year..

In my notepad, I’d written see 22 gigs, visit 22 new pubs, buy 22 new albums and read 22 books.
On here, I appear to have written see 22 gigs, visit 22 new pubs, buy 22 new albums and write about 22 brands I like.
Obviously the thought of 22 books scared me enough to change the objective at the point between copying from my journal to the blog. However – with only one book left to read – I’ve just realised I haven’t started talking about brands.
So here’s my starter for ten. Or twenty two.

1) Ginger Joe – I only got to know this brand in December last week, and it’s disgustingly hard to find the product in the shops. But the branding is excellent – with a flaming ginger moustache on every bottle and a solid block font that helps it stand out on the supermarket shelf. They do some fairly me-too stuff on facebook (tache-yourself etc..) but the product is great, and the product branding suits it perfectly. If only it could sort out its goddamn distribution!

2) Heinz – Ah the great British institution. Obviously it’s a brand I’ve grown up with over many years, so there’s too much to say about it… But AMV are doing some hearty work  – especially their ‘magic beans’ fairytale TVC that’s on at the moment.

3) Tommy Hilfiger – I’m not a big designer clothes buyer. In fact, I’m more likely to buy clothes from a charity shop than from New Bond Street. But I quite like TH’s product, and I really like the american vintage college outfitter vibe they manage to communicate through their photography. Nice.

4) Jaffa Cakes – It’s nice to write about a brand I’ve worked on. However – I have to say there were very few things I managed to get out of the door that I was proud of whilst I was on it. The late, great 90s advertising is no more – but built the brand to what it is today. It’s a great product, and the mischievousness that people know it for is something I’d like to see return.


So after a long time comin’, Lunar weekend finally arrived.
Unfortunately so did the rain.

Clicking the heels of borrowed boots and looking a bit like a toddler that had been dressed by an overprotective mother, we headed to Lunar. The festival was hidden away in the Umberslade Farm Park – with only half moon signs to guide you to the site.
Once there, the (lax but very friendly) security wrapped our wrist bands on and we headed to the beer tent for a pint of Purity…

Over the weekend – we saw a number of nice bands and a number of not-so-nice bands and got thoroughly drenched – but it was bloody brilliant all the same…

– Scott Matthews – As ever, was incredible. Backed only with a drummer, but on home soil, he really took the house down. For once, I didn’t miss City Headache. And he played all the hits. Was fantastic.

– Fionn Regan – I haven’t seen Fionn for a long while, but really didn’t need to worry. He was great as ever – an Irish Bob Dylan, with a mean talent for guitar and a distinctive voice. The songs were fantastic, but as we approached the encore, disappointment dawned as I realised he hadn’t played my favourite track (The Underwood Typewriter.) After an encore of Be Good or Be Gone, I started to leave – elated but with a tinge of sadness. Next thing I know – a (drunk) organiser walks up on stage and asks him to encore for a second time. And he plays it! Fantastic.

– Michael Chapman – Really great, older guy. Fond of a swear word, but fantastic acoustic player with a gravelly but great voice.

– Goodnight Lenin – The band that pulled the most people all weekend I think.. After the rains increased, people started to leave! They were really tight, comfortable and charismatic.

– Boat to Row – Much tighter than when I saw them at the small beer festival a little while ago. With violinist in tow, they played well and despite some dodgy banter, were well received.

– Ashley Hutchings and Blair Dunlop – Father and son duo. Father being ex-Fairport Convention. Son being shoved into limelight by ex-Fairport Convention father. Actually a very nice set from the two of them – but the poetry felt a little bit pretentious.

– Jim Moray – Thought he was interesting – very traditional folk but brought the crowd along with him. Including two uber fans. They loved him. Peg n’ awl.

– Duotone – I thought the whole loop-pedal thing was over now, but clearly some people are still going for it! They produced some great layers and despite a couple of timing issues, were really quite impressive.

Not so nice
– Hannah Peel – I just didn’t get it.
– Rapunzel and Sedayne – Tone deaf wizard and wife.