Taboo is an 80s New Romantic romp set in that gay sub sub culture that ostensibly rubbed shoulders with Culture Club way back when, though it’s mostly original music (penned by Boy George) so it’s not just an 80′s compilation. With all the drag, costumes, singing, comedy and drama it’s got a heavy cabaret vibe too, which is awesome!

To be honest the “main plot” plays second fiddle to the larger-than-life characters featured like Leigh Bowery, Boy George, Steve Strange and Marilyn; but that’s probably for the best. The guy playing Leigh struck me as familiar and it turned out with good reason, it’s him off the tele! And know what? He’s actually brilliant in it.

Four stars. Loved it. It’s basically restored my (modest) faith in musicals since the awful travesty of Viva Forever. It’s on most evenings at the delightfully random Brixton Clubhouse, and the run ends in March so gogogo!

Agree? Disagree? Kicks4free? Tweetme.

Working in the city, ish.

Dear diary

I currently live near the east side of “The City” and the new job at VML is on its west side, so I walk across the whole skyscraper-studded banker-infestation at least daily. It’s fun passing under the new Leadenhall Building AKA the “Cheese Grater” or the “Walky Talky” on Fenchurch Street and seeing the giant skeletons rising. It’s also a bit weird seeing these ostentatious temples to Mammon go up against the backdrop of economic doom and gloom – here ‘austerity’ is something that happens to other people – but I guess that’s pretty standard. Yay capitalism.

This odd commute will be short lived though: work is moving to Mornington Crescent next month and I’m supposedly moving to somewhere in the very vague vicinity of Canonbury. I don’t know the north side of town so well but presumably I’ll no longer pass 3 Sainsbury’s, 4 Tescos and 5 Boots on the stroll home. Woe.

Looking forward to 2013

Dear diary

Happy new year everyone! Also happy hangover and pyjama day!

New Year’s resolutions are deathly prosaic but I regret not writing them up last year: they show whether I’ve made much progress or I’m just going round in the same circles like a good little worker drone.

Even so, 2012 was pretty sweet! The only fails were putting on some weight and moving in with someone who stresses me out (by reminding me so much of my father, oddly). So the big aims for early 2013 are: get myself physically back to where I was a couple of years ago (more or less) and find a new place, preferably with awesome people. The former’s all up to me but the latter you can help with, please let me know if you hear of anyone looking for flatmates! Two more months at the current place…

Smaller aims for 2013 are:

  • NO MORE TAKEAWAYS (after today)
  • keep things moving professionally
  • be a better boyfriend
  • keep going to and papping fun things
  • go away somewhere new and exciting on holiday
  • maybe a music festival?
  • some heavy deposit saving, like the grown-up I am

Looking back on 2012

Photography

2012 was kindof a big year, what with the damp jubilee boat thingy, a ‘lympic or two, a pregnant princess and a few more failocalypses… But as for me, in roughly chronological order, I…

  • Got a Kindle and my reading rate rocketed: got through about thirty this year!
  • Moved from a massive 8-person flatshare to a smaller 3-man place closer to central.
  • Set up a photography Facebook page, took thousands of snaps for a handful of clubnights and randomly had pics in QX and the gaytimes blog.
  • Designed, built and endlessly tweaked this site.
  • Went to Edinburgh, to Malaga and Amsterdam with family and/or Dom.
  • Upgraded from my Blackberrylol to an actual Android type HTC One S. Such a difference.
  • Finally quit my job and got another, dealing with a dozen languages and CMSs I’ve never used before.
  • Got well into Azalea Banks and saw her. Got into TEED and saw him.
  • Had my first London Christmas.
  • Made my 10,000th tweet.
  • Also I discovered take away food and ate too much. Oops.

My blog was offline this time last year so there’s no New Year’s Resolution to score myself against, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s been a bloody good one.

I went to a marvellous party

Recaps

I took loads of pics at Ciaran/Dean/Caroline’s awesome houseparty last week but I’ve not had time to look through them til now. You’d think not going home this Christmas would mean less things to do and more time to do them, but I’ve been rushed off my feet this past fortnight, and next week is going to be even busier! ^_^

I’ll eventually get all the snaps up on facebook once they’ve been trimmed, nipped and tucked to my relative satisfaction, but this probably couldn’t wait.

So MA cho.

Instagram lol

Interwebs

As I blogged recently I have one eye on photosharing at the moment, and GOOD GOD this Instagram malarky is silly.

I’m fairly pragmatic about it: unless you lock it down hard content posted online is pretty much public domain so people can share the love and make awesome things go viral. Of course things turn sour when someone claims credit for somebody else’s work, but that’s just an obvious douche move. Right?

Well Instagram is not only doing that on a massive scale but also charging for the user-generated content that’s already swimming round the interwebbian ecosphere. Imagine if Twitter started selling people’s tweets?! To add insult to injury they’ve put in a clause that says they might put in ads that aren’t marked as such, just in case anyone was unclear that they’re now team Palpatine.

Unfortunately for Instragram this coincides nicely with the beleaguered Flickr finally launching their all-singing all dancing iphone app. What a difference a couple of weeks can make!

[UPDATE: This article hashes out a beautiful bottom line on all this: I’m Not The Product, But I Play One On The Internet]

Place for the Paps: 2013

Bloggery Interwebs Photography

Well, assuming the Mayans are wrong…

When it comes to putting my pics online I use Facebook for the most part and Flickr for special cases. but they’re both looking a little bit rubbish at the moment:

On Facebook the larger photoview is nice but it keeps linking to the out-of-date tiny view. Also traffic to Pages has ostensibly seen an 80% drop-off as they throttle it to flog the “promotion” posts, the tagging system on Pages seems to be a couple of iterations behind everywhere else and I recently realised (yeah, LTTP) you can’t see the page at all unless you’re logged in. Contentious objects can’t play my reindeer games.

I’ve had a Flickr Pro account since about 2006 and it doesn’t seem to have changed much since. It serves up different sizes of picture so I can use them on my site for various things which is cool, but for a paid service they seem super slow to update with new features, and in a world of dropboxes and google drives I’m beginning to wonder what I’m paying for.

I briefly tried out into 500px which looks spectacular as it promotes the best photos really well, and it even lets people buy prints or hi-res copies of the image for a few quid, but it seems it only ever shows/serves the same compressed size of image so it’s not the panacea I’m looking for.

Oddly Google+ is looking pretty good now, it’s a bit of ghost town but it’s also very visible in terms of SEO, it serves larger pictures, it’s got a nice album view, and it ties into Picasa (for better or worse). It doesn’t put a mask over images like 500px and Flickr do which is a shame…

I should just host the things myself and make a pretty gallery to display them here on my own website, but even then I’d need a gallery/wordpress plugin to organise them all, and there’s more of those than there are photo sites!

Any ideas of favorite photo websites or wordpress plugins? Tweetme.

There’s something about basking in the talent of friends: Watching a gig by Gabi & The Whoremoans (best version of Love Shack I’ve ever heard), seeing what Harry and Cola have put together for Push The Button, laughing at Cribble’s latest animation or just being stunned by Ego’s drawings. It’s humbling, inspiring, even enviable, but more than that it makes awesomeness much more tangible when you know the people involved.

It right gives me the itch: Must! Make! STUFF! As talented as these people are the difference between a practised expert and a hopeless neophyte is almost small, next to the gap between people who put in the work and those who have nice ideas but never bother.

Photos are still pretty cool I guess—this one came from Tom’s 40th party. I’ll probably take the camera to Push and make an appearance at NYE Douche. I’ve still got tons of room for improvement (next to people like Sharp Shock I’m totes rubbish) but compared to the leaps and bounds of a year ago it feels like a plateau. Meh.

The new job is certainly challenging; I seem to be learning JSP and CQ5 which is unexpected. Broadening developer horizons is good and that’s interesting for now, so I can overlook the fact they’re probably being broadened in the wrong direction.

I need a new project. Maybe I’ll make a photo book with Blurb or a wee site with Bootstrap.

(I don’t have comments on the site, so any abuse, just tweetme.)

The last lot of Halloween pics are finally up on Danpaps, which is nice. It’s not so nice that the reordering functionality on Facebook seems to be completely borked and the more I try to fix it the more it breaks: The glamorous boozy journey is splintered and the narrative lost. Add the fact that Facebook now throttles traffic to pages like mine by 80% unless you pay to promote it, and G+ is looking quite attractive once again. Not attractive enough, mind. Not yet.

Birthdays evrywhur

Dear diary Photography

Saturday was the 1st birthday of Songs of Praise at Eastbloc which was amazing. I lamed out and left at near 3 but it was still in full flow. Pics up on Danpaps!

Speaking of birthdays, it’s my 31st today. It’s been a crazy productive year: starting doing photography for clubs and such, two(!!!) holidays abroad, this shiny new website and even quit my job: my last day was yesterday and I start the new one on Monday!

So there’s lot to celebrate. Last year that involved watching these fireworks on a roof, a couple of dozen friends armed with disposable cameras (that I’ve still not developed) and a trip to Eastbloc. This year I’m keeping it simple: SHAKE YER DIX is having its 2nd birthday at the Star Of Bethnal Green on Saturday and at least two friends are having their birthday shindigs there too. Imma go and make it 4 birthdays in 1. Bargainous. How can you say no?