Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Top Ten Albums of the Decade

After much deliberation here's my top ten of the noughties.

1. Arcade Fire – Funeral (2005)

2. Midlake - Trials of Van Occupanther (2006)

3. Paul Weller - 22 Dreams (2008)

4. Prefab Sprout - Let’s Change the World with Music (2009)

5. Elbow - Seldom Seen Kid (2008)

6. The Decemberists – The Crane Wife (2006)

7. Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise (2005)

8. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (2006)

9. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That’s what I’m not (2006)

10. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (2007)

Here to discover, enjoy, debate and criticise. Over to you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Top ten Albums of 2009

Here's my top ten for 2009.

1. Prefab Sprout - Let's Change the World with Music
2. Florence & the Machine - Lungs
3. Doves - Kingdom of Rust
4. Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
5. Noah & the Whale - First Days of Spring
6. Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
7. Echo & the Bunnymen - Fountain
8. Decemberists - Hazards of Love
9. Maps - Turning the Mind
10. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More

Hopefully that lot will stimulate a little debate. I'd be interested in hearing about your top ten's. I'll also be compiling a top ten of the decade in the next few weeks, so look forward to receiving some alternative suggestions.

Open Neck Shirt 2009 is nearly upon us. Another year, another Open Neck Shirt, Friday 4th December, no doubt in the usual places. Look forward to seeing 'most' of you then.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yorkshire Futures website

To huge sighs of relief the Yorkshire Futures website is finally here. After 10 months from project initiation to go live, the Yorkshire Futures website is now up and running.

Our expertly written press release says it all.

New website for regional data and intelligence

Yorkshire Futures have launched their new website which has been re-designed in collaboration with Futurate, a Sheffield based digital agency. The website has been re-launched with a vibrant new look, new content, new features and provides the latest data and intelligence about the region.

The site is designed to be easy to use and informative, whether visitors want to find out about how the region is performing on the economy, environment and society, read about the latest published research and statistics, view and download images from around the region or find out about conferences and events.

The new design follows several months of research and development with website users and partner organisations, to find out what they wanted most from the site.

Ian Aspinall, Communications Manager at Yorkshire Futures said:
“Our aim was to develop a website that reflects our role as a provider of high quality, timely and relevant information. As well as providing key research, statistics and data, the site showcases good practice within the region, the changing economic, social and environmental life of our region through Progress in Pictures, as well as a new events calendar, RSS feeds, e-news bulletin and micro sites which all enhance the user experience.”

“This will significantly improve our digital presence and supports our mission to provide information and intelligence about the region, for the region, to improve decision making and better prepare us for the future.”

The site was developed in partnership with Sheffield based digital agency Futurate, who brought their award-winning creative design and innovative approach to the website, together with a fully integrated content management system, accessibility guidelines and website components.

Gill Osguthorpe, Operations Director of Futurate said: "It’s been great to have the opportunity to work with Yorkshire Futures to create an innovative new digital space. We’ve invested a lot of thinking in developing new ways to support their role as a key provider of research, information and intelligence in the region.”

Major new features on the Website include:

*Progress in Pictures - a longitudinal study of progress in the region through the medium of photography
*What Works Showcase - detailed case studies of best practice from around the region
*Tabbed News, Events, Research and Publications - Easy to use tabbed menu of news, events, research and publications means that finding the latest information is at the touch of a button
*Fully Integrated Search - includes searching of Yorkshire Futures partner sites

Talking about the new website, Simon Foy, Executive Director of Strategy at Yorkshire Forward and Chair of the Yorkshire Futures Steering Group, said: “ The new website is a great improvement on the previous site and provides a range of new features and services that will be extremely beneficial to our partners and other people working in the region. “

The new Yorkshire Futures website is now online at www.yorkshirefutures.com

Note to Editors:
1. Yorkshire Futures is the region’s ‘Intelligence Network’. It seeks to help make Yorkshire and Humber a better place by bringing issues to the fore that need resolving; communicating solutions; and monitoring progress.
2. Yorkshire Futures commissioned Futurate at: www.futurate.com a Sheffield based digital agency to produce the website during 2009.
3. For more information, please contact Ian Aspinall, Communications Manager, Yorkshire Futures on 0113 394 9988; email ian.aspinall@yorkshirefutures.com
or Bea Jefferson, Programme Manager, Yorkshire Futures on 0113 394 9694 email bea.jefferson@yorkshirefutures.com

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bye Bye Brucie, Bring On Bobby

Bye Bye Brucie
3 June 2009 - Steve Bruce leaves Wigan for Sunderland. Bruce did a very good job for Wigan in the year and a bit he stayed at the club. An 11th place finish last season, not bad for a little club. Yet there was a certain inevitability about his departure. Many Latics fans knew that he would leave when he got a better offer. According to reports Wigan paid him £45,000 per week, but Sunderland are now paying £60,000 per week and have suggested a transfer kitty of £60million.

Bring on Bobby
4 June 2009 - Many Wigan fans could be forgiven for feeling disappointed and let down by Bruce's departure, but the mood was soon lifted by the news that the former Latics midfielder and fans favourite Roberto (Bobby) Martinez was coming back to the club where he started his British footballing career. Bobby spent six succesful seasons at the club, initially as one of the three Amigos. His success as a Manager with Swansea was well noted and as soon as Bruce left, Dave Whelan moved quickly to get his man. We wish him a very successful stay at the DW stadium.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

David Byrne on tour

Looking forward to seeing David Byrne in Manchester on Monday night. He's playing songs from his collaborations with Brian Eno. Here's some photos from his world tour.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Adventures on the High Teas - In Search of Middle England

Following on from Cider with Roadies and Pies & Prejudice, Adventures on the High Teas - In Search of Middle England is due for launch on 5th March 2009. Can Stuart Maconie make it a trio of excellent books?

As with Pies & Prejudice - In Search of the North, Stuart goes on a journey of discovery - trying to find the real 'Middle England.'

"Is Middle England about tradition and decency or closed minds and bigotry? Is it maypoles and evensong, or flooded market towns and binge drinkers in the park? Stands the church clock still at ten to three, and is there honey still for tea? And is Slough really as bad as Ricky Gervais and John Betjeman make out? Does Middle England hark all the way back to Arthurian legend and Merrie England, or is it a modern concept borne of Top Gear and Princess Diana? From Shakespeare to JK Rowling, Vaughan Williams to Craig David, William Morris to B&Q, "Morte D'Arthur" to "Midsomer Murders", Stuart Maconie leads the expedition, with plenty of stop-offs for tea and pastries, to discover the truth".

Perhaps his book jacket copy is getting a bit formulaic, but I'm sure he will come through with the goods.