11 04 2016


Virgo Bass

I started a Joke

That I could sing folk

When in fact it was more my foe

As I wanted to sing more disco

I’m just the man in the middle

Of a group who mostly played the fiddle

I had dreams of fame

But everyone told me that was just lame

You Win Again

I said, with words like Acid Rain

And so I gave up

To drink the loyal blood cup

On this our wedding day

Your love showed me a way

Your beauty, like sweet-smelling soap

Brought me long forgotten hope

You should be dancing

Where at the floor you were glancing

But you came too in addition

To join me in my ambition



Pokémon and Dire Straits: A Brilliant Combination

22 10 2014


For nearly two years now I have been playing Pokémon on Thursday nights at Juicafe in Lancaster. I used to collect and play Pokémon when it first came out in the UK in about 2000, but without much of somewhere to actually play it; I ended up just playing it mostly with family and some friends. Eventually, while I still wanted to continue it, my interest waned. Then in 2013, Juicafe started a Pokémon Trading Card Game League and so at long last I was able to play again, and this time with other enthusiasts.


Playing Pokémon again was brilliant, and I enjoy it so much more than when I first started and is a definite improvement and better option to playing Magic: The Gathering competitively, for which I have now retired from. In the past year though, I began to notice people naming their decks, something I didn’t quite understand. From what I was able to gather, It was more for the experimentation of deck building to see how a certain deck works out. Being somewhat of a standard player, I did not consider naming my decks at all (I still prefer to play the cards with no sleeves as it feels more authentic despite the card scuffing, as well as the fact that I do actually have sleeves for them).

Pangoro Boxes

Well eventually I did decide to name my deck, but me being me, I decided to name my deck which was made up of Grass and Psychic Pokémon as Strong Arm Of The Law. I chose that name for one very good reason, it’s a song by British Heavy Metal Legends; SAXON. Strong Arm Of The Law is a very good song with a cool intro and riff, and a pretty good chorus section that is also kind of catchy. So pretty much there and then I decided to name my decks after Saxon songs. I planned to call a possible Fairy/Steel deck Princess Of The Night, while if I was to make a mainly Grass deck, that would be called And The Bands Played On. A Flying deck would receive the name 747 (Strangers in the Night) and a Fire deck (with possibly some Grass) would be Unleash The Beast. So I had it all planned out really.

That was until very recently. I decided that come the new season in September/October time I would start the construction of a new deck. I had been using Strong Arm Of The Law since about March/April 2013 and so in order for me to try something new plus some possible variety, I decided it would be best to get a new deck going. Strong Arm Of The Law was originally built by a friend at Pokémon by combining two Intro/Theme Decks, so I bought two decks at a brilliant Board Game shop in Horsham (BattleQuest Games). While I did do my research into Intro Decks and there were some with more powerful Pokémon, I went for a Dark and Fighting intro pack with a Panda like Pokémon on the front card called Pangoro. While I still need to build the deck, (I have yet to open the boxes) I have already chosen a name for my new Deck, and being a fan of Saxon, and deciding to name my future decks after Saxon Songs, my new deck’s name is,The Sultans of Swing, which many people know is the name of a song by Dire Straits.

Mark Knopfler

So why did I choose that? Well, during the summer, mostly thanks to listening to Money for Nothing about this time of year last year, as well as constant exposure to Romeo and Juliet on my Writing Adaptations module at University, I became a fan of Dire Straits. So pretty much the only music I have really listened to for the last 2/3 months is music by Dire Straits. One song in particular; The Sultans of Swing, I have listened to more than others. When I first heard it I wasn’t too impressed, I thought the song was a bit plain, but then when you listen to a live recording version and give it some time, it becomes one of their best songs. The lyrics the tune, everything. I once listened to it about 20 times in one week, I like it that much. So why did I decide to choose Sultans of Swing as the name of my new deck? Well, because:

  • A) I think it works, and…..
  • B) because I couldn’t think of anything else.

But the name does work, because in essence, I am calling the Pokémon in the deck, The Sultans of Swing. It is more of a personal name for them and gives the Pokémon cards both Character and Personality, and on top of that it brings two awesome things together into one brilliant combination; an Awesome Card Game and an Awesome Rock Band. Pokémon and Dire Straits is quite literally a Brilliant Combination (unless the deck turns out to be rubbish, in which case it may be the last time I use a Dire Straits song as the name for a Pokémon deck).

GENEPOOL (I could call a future deck Telegraph Road, but the deck would need to be so evenly mixed enough for the full 14 minutes of the song to take effect).

Top 10 Eurovision Song Contest Songs (Part 1)

7 05 2014

ESC Logo

I love the Eurovision Song Contest. Since I first took an interest in 2004, it has been one of the staple viewings for me personally of the year. From the moment that one is on, and a winner is crowned, I am already starting to get excited for the next contest the following year. It is an amazing spectacle to watch and I love the variety of not just the songs themselves, many bands and artists of which I have become a fan of since their appearance but also the show itself, and there have been many times when the music and the show have been on equal footing together, producing an amazing show (and with a minor thanks to me, three songs I have voted for went onto winning the year they entered). As 10 years have passed since I first started watching, as well as the next contest being this coming Saturday, I thought I would celebrate by choosing my top 10 favourite songs from the last 10 years of The Eurovision Song Contest.

Now choosing the top 10 was hard, I already knew the top 5, but the other 5 more so, and the thing is there have been many amazing songs over the last 10 years. So, just so that those songs may get a mention as well, here are the songs that didn’t get into my top 10, but deserve a mention as well (and click on the name to hear the song): Germany 2010, Denmark 2013, Norway 2013, Ukraine 2007, Belarus 2009, Moldova 2010, Netherlands 2006, Moldova 2007, Denmark 2010United Kingdom 2006 Iceland 2012, Lithuania 2006, Romania 2006, United Kingdom 2011, France 2010Malta 2006, Croatia 2006, Poland 2006, Spain 2007, (I know most of them are from 2006, but it was a pretty good year).


10. Sweden 2012 – LoreenEuphoria: While I initially voted for Iceland, there was something great about this song. It was more than just singing, it was also dancing, two things that don’t really mix at Eurovision from what I have seen, in that they are rare together. The song had a mix of disco along with some more natural elements to it, particularly the way Loreen danced in her bare feet, meaning that she could perform in a more natural state to her, but also meant that it had a more natural world feel about it. The song itself had great moments in the chorus and was almost three songs in one, the verse, the chorus and the pause before the end. The dance works in co-operation with beat of the music and the lighting also as well as some of the end snow effects. It is hard to explain this song other than being mysterious, but also incredibly enjoyable. This was definitely something different to both the usual and anything else presented before. Maybe that’s the meaning of it, the song is meant to be mysterious? For what is a song contest, Euphoria is both a celebration of Dance as well as music, but also a celebration of what can be achieved when they are brought together.

Elena Paparizou

9. Greece 2005 – Elena PaparizouMy Number One: In all honesty I did not notice this song until 2006. I remember watching it win in 2005, but did not notice until 2006, and I liked it, a lot. The song has a very traditional sound about it, the instruments that make up the track sound authentic and traditional and even the dance has a traditional, perhaps country dancing look about it. But there is an aura with this song, the singing is well performed and easily understood. It is a love song at heart with the singer talking to someone, stating what they are to her, but it isn’t a slow song, it is really upbeat, and one that you almost want to join in, both the song and the dance and it is a song that once you have heard it a few times, you will struggle to not only forget, but to also to join in with it.

Elnur and Samir

8. Azerbaijan 2008 – Elnur and SamirDay After Day: 2008 saw the debut of a country that would shake up Eurovision every year after its arrival. Since 2009 Azerbaijan has always finished in the top 5, coming third in 2009, second in 2013 and winning in 2011. But it was in 2008, their first year, that they arrived, and produced a song that went to number 8, very easily. Day After Day is an unusual song where as it tells a story instead of being about something all the way through. It is a classic, setting with an almost Fairytale styled theme and setting over the long duel of the sides of Good and Evil. On the good side, the parts are sung almost operatic while still conventional pop, where as on the evil side, it is not so operatic, almost more normal, but the overall message that good will always win over evil is very much clear by the end. the song has a strong chorus which will is easy to join in, and will make you want to join in, and along with its well designed and strong presentation, Day After Day is one song that cannot be overlooked.

Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov

7. Bulgaria 2007 – Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan YankoulovWater: 2007 was a great year for the contest. Such a great amount of diversity from all who participated, and the arena was nicely designed and the overall show was brilliantly presented. One song stood out for me in particular, it had a mix of loudness, speed, slow at times, brilliant dancing and singing and a presentation that was unlike anything else that year. The song was more a piece of music than a song, like Euphoria is more like a piece of dancing instead of a song. The main form of instrument was the use of constant percussion which sounded very tribal in its essence and the vocals that there were used in tandem with it, worked as such. The talent that Stoyan and Todorova poses in both their chosen and instrument and vocals is quite clearly seen, and while they may not have won, their talent and piece was so obvious in it’s showing that it helped them get into the Top 5; Bulgaria’s best result to date. I look forward to the possibility of them entering again someday.


6. Finland 2008 – TeräsbetoniMissä Miehet Ratsastaa: It is a common feature for songs at Eurovision to be sung in English, as it is the most spoken language in the world. But on an occasion you will get someone singing in a different language altogether, and not just bits here and there, but all the time. Now depending on your own language, these occasions can be hard to join in with, but it is possible. Also, Eurovision over the years has featured mostly Pop orientated pieces, not much Rock or Metal, but when a band does so, it can lead to some success in the contest. Now mixing both these points together is hard, but when the song is as catchy as this one, you will want to join in, in the language they are singing the song in. In 2006, one of the contests most unluckiest countries, Finland won for the first time, and with a record score using a song that was quite definitely Rock (and lead to me voting for them for four years in a row). in 2008, they decided to try and repeat this success with this. Missä Miehet Ratsastaa, translated to ‘Where The Men Ride’ is the song Finland used in 2008. A definite Rock, more like Metal song performed by native Power Metal Band Teräsbetoni whose look and lyrics are a lot like Manowar but whose sound is more like Faroese Folk Metal Band Týr. The song itself is actually very catchy and when the chorus comes in you will just want to sing it with them, in Finnish (Like I do, I pretty much know the entire song off by heart). As for its look and presentation, it’s something you are unlikely to forget anytime soon, but in now way is it off-putting and the design of the whole thing including the guitars themselves is beautifully done. The song is brilliantly played and orchestrated but with most of your attention turning to the both brilliant Vocalist and Bass player; Jarkko Ahola leading the song. For a contest that most of the time is filled with mostly Pop, it’s good to see something from the world of Rock and Metal, and when it is at a quality as good as this, it doesn’t disappoint (unlike YouTube who won’t let me put the video up on here, please click the below picture to hear the song).

Terasbetoni Video (Please Click To Watch Video)

GENEPOOL (That’s it for part 1, check back on Friday for the Top 5).

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