Akala @ Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

“Raises more questions than John Kerry’s entire campaign.”

IN just one sentence, referring to ‘Why?’ by Jadakiss, the Source Magazine identified the failings of the eventually unsuccessful Democratic challenge to George Bush’s presidency in the 2004 US election.

Akala 2015

With Britain currently going through the motions of another general election I find myself asking why does a hip hop show raise more questions than weeks of campaigning and TV debates or non debates by the various party leaders. Continue reading

SNP terror? A question for David Cameron

DAVID Cameron’s election campaign rolled into Powys this week and with it the chance for me to interview the Prime Minister.

My picture, from the back of the room, as David Cameron addresses Welsh Tories near Builth Wells

My picture, from the back of the room, as David Cameron addresses Welsh Tories near Builth Wells

When I say interview, I mean ask a question. Yes Dave finds the time to face the local press corps, six minutes to be exact. That works out as one question each for four newspaper reporters, including myself, and one radio journalist.
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My top 10 gigs of all time

“I can see clearly now the rain is gone…gone are the dark clouds that had me blind it’s gonna be a bright, sunshiny day”

I DOUBT Johnny Nash was only thinking about the weather when he wrote the above, but counting the days down to spring they, and the time I saw Jimmy Cliff sing them live during a miserable summer in Cardiff, come to mind.

As the dark clouds of January and February burn away my spring optimism is the promise of live music, getting underway right on cue this Sunday, March 1 with a live show from Maxi Priest on the first day of the season which is also Dydd Gwyl Dewi (Saint David’s Day). Continue reading

An email, a pub quiz and the Al Jazeera three

“I got a letter from the government/the other day/I opened and read it/It said they were suckers/They wanted me for their army or whatever/Picture me givin’ a damn – I said never”

Peter Greste (R) and Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy (L) inside the defendants’ cage at the police institute near Cairo’s Tora prison

CHUCK D’s defiant blast launching Public Enemy’s ‘Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos’ are the lyrics that form one of the greatest opening verses of any song.

In typically uncompromising style Chuck ain’t bending, regardless of his opponent’s position of apparent strength. As ever speaking truth to power holds no fear for Chuck.

I got my own letter, via email, not from the government but a previous UK Prime Minister’s chief spokesman and rather than the army he wanted me for his pub quiz team. Continue reading

The South Wales Rivalry, American Football’s derby

The rivalry between Wales’ biggest cities finds itself on the gridiron

Cariff Cobras QB Rich Gardner surveys the Swansea Titans defence

Cariff Cobras QB Rich Gardner surveys the Swansea Titans defence

AMERICAN Football dates back to the 1870s in the Ivy League colleges of America’s east coast – in 21st Century Wales it is also among the universities the game is flourishing.
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Sage Francis @ The Globe, Cardiff

“Two years ago, a friend of mine asked me to say some MC rhymes…”

NOT really, but a few months ago a friend asked if I planned to see an MC, Sage Francis at his Cardiff show.

Sage Francis peforms Jah Didn't Kill Johnny

Sage Francis peforms Jah Didn’t Kill Johnny

So I said ‘not sure’ as Francis wasn’t a rapper I’d checked for but come last Sunday night, (October 19) a hip hop gig at a local venue was too good to turn down. Continue reading