"He can't see, man! He can't see!" Aside from Watership Down's Woundwort's general vibe, for people of a certain age, there is no other more traumatising recollection from 90s children's telly than the blinding Of PJ in Byker Grove. It was a genuine shocker, headed home after a day at school, calmly tucking into a Club or a Rocky at tea-time, faced with a paint-balling accident that went horribly wrong. PJ was, of course, played by Ant McPartlin, who hosted the Brits with side-kick Dec Donnelly on Wednesday night (February 25).
Not much happens in Arcata. A 17,000-population college town in northern California, when term finishes and the students flock home, it empties to a near eerie state of quiet according to locals. “Chernobyl with sunshine and a health food store,” one resident I speak to jokes. It's got a claim to fame, though. 20 years ago this week, the town became a footnote on the story of arguably the biggest band on the planet.
For George Constanza, the neurotic, bald-headed ball of fury at the heart of Jerry Seinfeld's famous sitcom about nothing, every day is "just one of those days when you don't want to wake up." Which is why the below mash-up of the show's cheery slap-bass theme tune and Limp Bizkit's 1999 nu-metal ode to destruction 'Break Stuff makes a weird amount of sense.
London band Echo Lake's 2012 debut 'Wild Peace' was overshadowed by the sudden death of their drummer Peter Hayes a mere days before it was released. Songwriters Thom Hill and Linda Jarvis spent the two years following working on new material behind closed doors, eventually stepping out with the seven fresh, luscious tracks that form their second LP, 'Era'. Recorded at Holy Mountain studios in East London, it represents a progression in sound, style and maturity that should build on the group's acclaimed first steps.
You'll recognise Helsinki's main man, Drew McConnell, from his time playing bass in Pete Doherty's Babyshambles. What you might not realise, though, is he's been doing his own thing for years now. 'A Guide For The Perplexed' is his second solo album, recorded with Mark Rankin (who's also worked with giants like QOTSA and Adele), which offers an expanded portal into McConnell's creative endeavours. Reggae ('Choices') and folk ('Rising Heights') mix in a way that feels completely organic while guest spots from Doherty, Albert Hammond Jr and more give extra edge to proceedings.