Berghain…..

This weekend I was away in Berlin for the umpteenth time this year. Bloody love that place, from the amazing art, the open minded people, the bars, the random food stores, the amazing (if a little confusing at times) transport system and Berghain. I am in recovery mode from Berghain even though this time I only spent a total of 10 hours in the massive building which features The Lab, Panorama Bar and the main Berghain area… my pb is a mere 22 hours.

Berghain queue.... be prepared to wait, but it is worth it

For those who have never been, it is Berlin’s worst kept secret, a huge sprawling former power station in Friedrichstain which has been open since 2004 in the wake of Ostgut closing in 2003. It is a gay club that the breeders love too, it hosts parties that go on for days rather than hours and inside it is a den of iniquity including a darkroom and a fetish club as well. To get in is an achievement, where you either need to be off your box, fancied by the fussy door queer or just damn lucky, I have had plenty of friends who have made the journey to Berlin just for Berghain and then been turned away.

What I like the most is that there is virtually no guest list, absolutely no tosser like VIP room and that what happens in there is never photographed as all cameras are banned. So any of my weekend’s activities will remain between myself and those who witnessed them or were appalled by them.

My German friend who is a regular at all three rooms of Berghain has informed me that there is talk that it may have to close soon due to the development of local superstores nearby…. With that in mind I am booking in another trip for December and another in March

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Azari & iii

This isn’t exactly hot off the press but they are still on my playlist right now. They featured at Rough Trade doing a live PA and were good enough for me to then go to their full show at XOYO the following night…

Any music that seems to be channelling Prince directly is on top for me.

Fanchester FC – How far could it work for a brand?

So we are playing a 2 3 5 formation

A football team in Mexico have taken crowd involvement to a whole new level by basically putting the entire future success or failure in the hands of the fans. Now the lunatics really are running the asylum. They have done away with the usual manager, coaches and trainers and given the job to fans who will make decisions live through text message or an online vote. I suspect that the fans are given a list potential decisions and then they vote, otherwise this could be a disaster of a stunt, still it has given a lowly Division 2 team in Mexico access to a whole world of new fans, not to mention sponsors in Coke and Joma on the website

Springwise pose an interesting question though, how could brands benefit from such activities, in the past brands have listened to consumers about the name of products (see Coco-Pops) and recently Kellogg’s have launched a campaign which allows consumers to choose which of their new flavours of Krave cereals will stay, either caramel or chocolate. I wonder how far this could be taken….

Could it decide the cost of a dress sold on Asos?

Could the local community vote on products to be sold at their local Sainsburys?

Could Ford create three concept cars and ask which one to build and what to add to it?

Could BA offer their customers the chance to choose their next head honcho?

Maybe a bit far fetched but one thing is for certain, by giving consumers a role in the decision making and shaping of products and experiences, they have more of a vested interest. They will create conversations within their peer groups which could lead to recommendations and more custom, an ambassador campaign which can be sourced and managed could be a really powerful tool.

Trophy Wife

Trophy Wife.... great at aural....

No I do not want one… but good band and good album. @ the Nest in November for a free gig, worth checking out I’d say.

The video for Microlite is pretty amazing as well… charts the life of a guy and things he could have done. I likes.

At first it was funny…. The only way is Dalston

We laughed about it before, thinking maybe it was a joke, hoping. Now there is a trailer which I still frankly think is a joke, I wonder who is behind this funny and elaborate ruse as there is absolutely no chance of this programme being successful. For a start who will watch it past the initial rubber-necking first episode? Also, what is with the faux American accents?

insert amusing comment here

East London has long been seen as a bit of joke to outsiders who see it as Nathan Barley and generally full of shit, news flash, people who live there make the same jokes. There are some nice bits as well, any area is going to have the stereotypes which we all love to laugh at, sometimes we even dress up as them for fancy dress parties. But let’s get this clear it is nothing new. Northern monkeys have ideas about soft southern fairies, the English think certain things about the Welsh, ask anyone who lives north of the Thames and they have certain thoughts about people who live South, West London has been ridiculed for Sloanes for years and Camden has had it’s fair share of jokes in recent years. I’ll not even get started on the Fat-Face / Diesel jean wearing Claphamites who flock to the green surroundings of South London as it is the closest thing they can find to home after they leave uni and move to the smoke for the first time. So I guess I am saying embrace… it is good joke fodder!

Roadhouse

I spotted this on a cycle last month down by the canal in East London. I know that London is crowded but really….

Building houses anywhere

This was actually not permanent and has now disappeared, it was made entirely of wood, what I think looks amazing are the the colours and textures of the wood set against the dark road either side. This pop-up house is built under two sides of a busy dual carriageway and the top just peaks up high enough to be seen from the road. Amazing place for a party… gutted I missed that boat

Brixton continues to show you the money

It's a Brixton thing

On September 17th 2009 the Brixton pound or B£ was launched with the aim of supporting  the local economy and businesses, the idea was that people would spend the notes in local stores to encourage sourcing local goods and services. This is really interesting, creating a chance to forge closer links in the community and attempt to keep cash in the immediate community, it seems to be working so far. With the recent riots across London, I think anything which shows local solidarity is great and should be encouraged. After the riots, local communities came out to clear the streets and bring a semblance of normality back asap.

You know you have made it when you are minted

The notes feature images of famous people from the Brixton area on one side and local landmarks on the other, some of the first people to feature were Olive Morris and James Lovelock. Recently the scheme celebrated the second anniversary of the launch and added a few new iconic figures, this time with a more modern contemporary slant. Arguably Brixton’s most famous son, none other than Ziggy Stardust himself David Bowie features on the new B£10 note whilst NBA star Luol Deng who grew up in Brixtonia also features on the B£5 note

Because they are one of the coolest things ever. FACT.

Tri-colour not try-hard

I loved them, I simply loved them. It is not usual that something so damn stylish manages to also be amongst the most useful things in the word but bum bags managed it, of that there can be no doubt.

Clearly uni-sex

Our elasticed-waistband-jean-wearing cousins from over pond call them, fanny packs

Snakeskin chic

It took real flair and the need to carry a lot of essential items to go for two

Double bumming

Mr Motivator was never seen without one

Words are not enough