Month: November 2013

MUSIC REVIEW: The Overtones, Saturday Night At The Movies

The Overtones are back with their third album, an upbeat take on a number of classic songs from the movies combined with a few others, including some original songs written for the album. Covering tracks from such films as When Harry Met Sally, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Dirty Dancing, the boys ably apply their vocal harmonies to a broad selection of songs.

By Paul Szabo | 30th November 2013

The Overtones

The first noticeable thing about the album is how instantly recognisable the track list is and on a quick glance you will probably recognise most of them. The title track is first on the album and sets the tone of what is to follow perfectly well. From thereon in, the album contains a number of classic songs such as “Moon River”, “Do You Love Me?” and “Pretty Woman” all of which are well executed and put together.

Using their tight and polished vocals, the group reinvigorate the classic tracks and introduce us to some new ones – “Miss Hollywood” and “Superstar” in particular were unexpected pleasures. The album is mainly upbeat and catchy with you finding the songs feeling familiar even upon first listen. However, the group have managed to add something just different enough to the songs to ensure that the album never comes across as just straight covers, but equally that it does not stray too far from the originals to make them unrecognisable or overblown. There is also a pleasant balance between music and vocals, which allows the group’s vocal strengths to shine through.

With the right mixture of upbeat numbers and slower ballads, this collection is easy to listen to and is, in the majority, likeable and fun. That said; there are a couple of songs which seem a little out of place and don’t really fit with the rest of the track list. Whilst “The Bare Necessitates / I Wanna Be Like You” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” are good enough as standalone tracks, they don’t seem to sit well with the rest of the songs and interrupt the flow of the album.

Album highlights included “It Had To Be You”, “Runaway”, “Superstar” and “Shake A Tail Feather” and the whole thing was enjoyable enough. As with all music, you have to appreciate the style and genre of music, so this is not going to be an album that suits everyone. If you love your hard-core house or death metal, then you should steer well clear.

However, if this is your kind of music, the overall flavour of the album is very much peppered with a 50’s tinge and fans of Do-Wop, rock ‘n’ roll and swing music will find a lot to enjoy in this album. It has a genuine feel of nostalgia to it and a pleasant, foot tapping, sing-along charm of its own.

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14 Tips to Beat Bullying

This month it’s been anti-bullying month here at The Gay UK. Bullying takes many forms: Name-calling, making negative comments on your work, making someone feel worthless, physical abuse are just some examples.

by Antony Simpson | 30th November 2013

So we’ve put some tips together to help anyone out there who might be being bullied. It doesn’t matter if you’re being bullied at school, college, university, work or home.

Remember if you are being bullied remember it’s not your fault.

Image Credit: Damien000 @ Flickr

Write Everything Down

Keep a log of every incident; write down the date, time, location, what happened, what they said and any witnesses that were around.

Image Credit: Pattie Tierney @ Flickr

Tell Someone

Tell someone in authority and ask them what they intend to do about it. Tell them any fears you have about reprisals from the bully.

Someone you trust, like a family member or friend can also be useful. It means that you’re not dealing with the problem on your own; a problem shared is a problem halved.

Get Support

Don’t try to deal with it and your feelings about it all on your own. Get some support. Consider counselling for some additional support around your feelings.

Know Your Rights

All educational settings have anti-bullying policies. Some employers have these as well. Even if your employer doesn’t they will have Equality & Diversity Policies as well as other relevant policies. Read them.

There will also be procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying – so have a look at these as well.

Know your rights. Nobody has a right to bully another. Make authority figures aware that you know you’re rights.

Don’t Let It Get To You

Try to not let the things the bully says or does get to you. Bullies bully for a variety of reasons, but it’s always about their issues, not yours.

Try Not To Show A Reaction or Smile

Don’t let the bully see that they are getting to you. To do this, try to give them no reaction or smile. You know that phrase: Smile – it confuses people.

Walk With Confidence

Use your body language to make you look larger. Stand with your legs apart, your back straight and your chest pushed out slightly. Have your arms slightly away from your body and loose by your sides. Head up as you walk looking straight ahead. This does take a bit of practice, but try practicing in front of a full-length mirror. Believe it or not, this is how most bullies walk.

When we see someone walk like this, especially a bully, we do the opposite with our body language. We make ourselves as small as possible including hunching our back, pulling our arms in close and looking down at the ground. Try to remember to keep this confident body language, even when you see the bully.

The only time to avoid using body language to make you look larger is in the event of a physical assault. In that case, have your side to the perpetrator, as this will give them less of a target. In the event of a physical assault, get yourself out of the situation as soon as you can and to a place of safety.

Remember nobody has the right to be violent towards you; likewise you don’t have the right to be violent towards anyone else. All physical assaults should be reported to the Police.

If It’s CyberBullying

If the bully is sending you messages, texts, images and videos, keep them all. Don’t respond to any messages and make good use of privacy settings. Block/Ignore the bully and report them to the social media provider. If the messages get particularly abusive report them to the Police (this is why you need to keep all the messages as evidence).

(Image Credit: Ian Britton @ Flickr)

Take Sensible Steps To Keep Yourself Safe

Keep yourself safe by carrying a mobile phone, personal attack alarm and being aware of your surroundings. Never walk home on your own and always try to stay with someone when travelling around the setting were you come into contact with the bully.

Involve The Police

Any violence or physical assault should be reported to the Police.

If the bullying is homophobic or racist in nature you can report it to the Police as a hate crime. Hate crime also covers bullying that is related to disability religion, ethnicity or transgender identify. Find out more about hate crimes on the True Vision website.

Come up with Good Coping Strategies

We all have different coping strategies. Some good ones are: taking up sports or martial arts (these are particularly empowering and you learn to defend yourself as well), talking to people, expressing how you feel creatively (e.g. writing, music, drawing, making movies, etc.). All of these activities also raise your confidence and self esteem - something that bullies try to damage or destroy.

Avoid Drugs & Alcohol as a Coping Strategy

There is research that links drugs and alcohol misuse to bullying as a coping strategy. Avoid using drugs or alcohol to cope with the bullying. It might make you forget or feel happier in the very short term (for the night), but the next day the bullying often seems much bigger problem.

Know that It Gets Better

Bullying is a massive issue. Many people get bullied. Remember that the situation you’re in now wont last forever. There will be a time that the bullying will stop.

Avoid Becoming The Bully

There’s some research that shows that some people who have been bullied, later become bullies. Don’t let it happen, you’re better than that! Remember how it felt to be bullied. If you’re in a position to safely stand up to a bully that’s bullying someone else – do.

If you’re affected by bullying please check out our resources page for further help and support.

ADAM LAMBERT: Over The Years

We feel Adam Lambert doesn't get enough love in the UK, even though he's sold quizzions of records... So we've trawled the net for some pictures that show why Adam Lambert is an incredible artist that demands our attention...

by Newsdesk | 30th November 2013

So it all starts with a kid and a pig... as every good story does... (Obvs!)

Adam Lambert | YouTube

But it really starts when we see AL as he enters the judging room for American Idol... Will he? Won't he impress the judges?

Adam Lambert | YouTube

Don't be daft, of course he will! This man has a voice of a god!

Adam Lambert | YouTube

So a lot of stuff happens on AI, which is all good and everything, but sh*t don't get crazy until he releases his own material... in 2009... and he was like 'check me out and my cheeky smile... and how good do I look rocking eye liner..." and we had to agree.

Adam Lambert | YouTube | Vevo

and then he was like: 'How can I get the world to talk about me.? And became an LGBT hero and completely stole the 2009 AMAs when he kissed this dude - live on TV.

Adam Lambert | YouTube

and Adam was like - "For shits and giggles I'm gonna do this lots and lots..."

Adam Lambert | YouTube

and lots and lots....

Adam Lambert | YouTube

and then he was screw the kissing... "Wanna try this?" and were like... hummm... YES **eyes pop**

Adam Lambert | YouTube

Lucky bastard dancer...

Adam Lambert | YouTube

Then Adam calmed down and showed this more beautiful side and we thought we could def take this man back to Mumma...

Adam Lambert | YouTube

and we knew that she'd completely agree with us...

Adam Lambert | YouTube

But what we love is that no matter what this dude wears, he just looks incredible...

Adam Lambert | YouTube

and is the only guy we know who can rock a mullet and still look HAWT!

Adam Lambert | YouTube

World AIDS Day: Government resistance to sex and relationship education is putting young people at risk

LGBT Labour marks World AIDS Day highlighting the Tory-led Governments continued resistance to sex and relationship education.

Tom Burke, Co-Chair of LGBT Labour comments:

“Earlier this year, Michael Gove removed HIV from the national school curriculum. He has continually resisted calls for all young people to take part in sex and relationship education. Even where sex and relationship education does take place, school inspectors say it requires improvement in more than a third of schools.”

Young gay and bisexual men remain at higher risk of HIV. Yet, this Government is denying them the education they need to make wise choices.

The vast majority of parents back sex and relationship education and learning about HIV in schools. It’s time for Michael Gove to listen to parents, experts and young people themselves and make sex and relationship education compulsory.”p education required improvement in over a third of schools”.

The post appeared first on MySoCalledGayLife.co.uk.

NEWS: Will James Arthur appear on X-Factor this weekend?

Thousands of people have signed an online petition to have the previous X-Factor winner James Arthur banned from singing his new single on World AIDS Day.

Newsdesk | 29th November 2013

James Arthur

It’s still unclear, as momentum grows, if James Arthur will or will not appear on the show. It seems thousands of people are still not happy with the singers behaviour over the last few weeks where he made a rap video calling a fellow rapper a ‘fucking queer’.

James apologised for the rap saying, ‘Some of the things said in this rap can be mistaken for homophobic slurs and I assure you homophobia is something I do not believe in’.

However some people have spoken up about there being no mistake in the language choice used.

‘The context was "you're a fucking queer" and went on to say "'you probably want to stick your dick in me" - if that doesn't insinuate homosexuality then what does? There's no mistaking!’, messaged one reader on GayStarNews.

With the performance set for World AIDS Day, some have questioned if this is appropriate as more people seem less impressed with Arthur's apology. The big question still being asked is, will James perform or not?

Top 5 Gay Friendly Hotels in London

Top 5 Gay friendly Hotels in LondonIn London, the gay community is home to a wide range of gay hotels. At the heart of London, there are many gay hotels located all over the place with wonderful rainbow flags and welcoming the LGBT traveler. Gay travelers looking for accommodations and hotels in London will be pleasantly surprised at the wide selection available. London is one of the best of gay friendly places worldwide.

Top 5 Gay friendly Hotels in London

Lincoln House Hotel

  • This is one of the distinguished and an elegant gay friendly hotel in London.
  • Lincoln House Hotel is perfectly located near some popular interesting attractions.
  • It is very close to the gay and lesbian night life which makes it more preferred by most gay people.
  • The hotel is affordable offering surprisingly low rates to their clients.
  • Technology is well taken care of in the hotels by provision of features such as wireless internet access.
  • The hotel rooms are well equipped with all the necessary amenities for nay occupant such as; mini-fridge, unlimited coffee and tea and many more.

Club Quarters

  • Club Quarters is located right at the heart of London.
  • It is a present day hotel that both wireless and wired internet 24 hour access.
  • They offer on-site exercise rooms with complete gym equipment’s such as treadmill machines, free weights lifts and many more.
  • Their room services are given by professionals who are gay friendly and quite welcoming.
  • Club Quarters commonly accommodates business travellers on week days but still offers more intimate gay friendly environment.
  • Their rates are low considered to most of hotels in London making it possible to cater for people who are on a tight budget.
  • It is just a few meters away from the popular gay and lesbian clubs in London.

Radisson Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel

  • This is a four-star hotel that offers discounted prices.
  • It combines splendour, privacy, and is a luxurious hotel as well.
  • The high level of privacy in this hotel gives a gay-friendly environment.
  • They also have gym facilities for gay couples who do not mind keeping fit during their stay.

Black pool Gay Hotels

  • Black pool Hotels is a popular gay friendly hotel in London.
  • It is one of the gay friendly hotels in London for a long time now and is becoming better.
  •  The hotels prides in holding the Black pool Gay Pride Festivals which features two days of activities including host performers.
  • The hotel offers special gay activities than no other in London.
  • This is a place to be for gay couples in London who want to go out have fun and feel appreciated.

The Antigallican Hotel

  • Antigallican offers a good clean atmosphere for gays.
  • The hotel is well-equipped, cost effective and very friendly for most gay people.
  • This hotel is unique amongst the cheap hotels in London and has a wide selection of accommodations from very affordable rooms to luxurious suites.
  • It is very flexible and accommodates all kind of people.
  • They offer discounts even at the last minute and best of accommodation facilities for gay people.

You can as well search the DVLA phone number online to hire a car in London to search whether it is well registered.

 

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The post Top 5 Gay Friendly Hotels in London appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

THEATRE REVIEW: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biblical musical continues its national tour with this colourful, energetic and enjoyable production of the enduring and well-loved family show.

By Paul Szabo | 28th November 2013

★★★

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

This sing-though musical tells the story of Joseph and his eleven brothers. Joseph is favoured by his father and is given a Technicolor coat, which causes his brothers to become so jealous of his favourable treatment that they take him into the desert to kill him. However, seizing an unexpected opportunity to make some money, the brothers sell him into slavery instead and Joseph is taken to Egypt where his ability to interpret dreams is put to good use by the Pharaoh. The two hour show is jam packed full of songs that you can’t help but know the words to, including “Any Dream Will Do”, “One More Angel In Heaven”, “Close Every Door” and “Jacob and Sons”.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

This quality production was much better than anticipated with the staging of the show being very well put together. There’s good use of the set and scenery with the stage constantly looking full, but never overcrowded. The universally talented cast all performed very well and sounded excellent together. The sound produced by the ensemble cast (especially the brothers) when singing together was superb and their varied voices fitted perfectly together. The casting for the show, in terms of vocal performances was spot on. In particular, Andrew Bateup (making his professional debut) stood out for his enthusiasm and vivacious performance and Rob Wilshaw provided a notable performance in the role of Joseph, handling the show’s best known numbers with aplomb.

Visually, the show was vibrant, colourful and full of an enthusiastic and energetic cast and effective choreography. As expected, the costumes, set and lighting were all awash with a variety of colours, and the whole thing came across as a fun and lively production which was professionally put together. The lighting in particular was incredibly well done. In terms of the production and performance of the show, there was very little to criticise.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

The main issue with the show was despite the fact that the production was updated, modern and well put together, the songs themselves have not aged as well as some of Rice/Lloyd Webber’s other early productions (such as Evita). Whether this is a result of over familiarity or just the way in which musical theatre has evolved over the years, the play itself felt a little dated. That said, the show, thankfully, didn’t take itself too seriously, with a couple of knowing nods to the audience, which was a welcome addition.

Overall, if you are looking of an evening of pleasant and undemanding entertainment, then this is a show worth seeing. The show delivers on many levels, particularly in terms of production, but also in terms of nostalgia (most people of a certain age will remember doing this show as their school play), in terms of good family entertainment and in terms of enjoyable, if fairly cheesy, fun.

Joseph is currently playing at Sheffield Lyceum until Saturday 30th November 2013. For information and tickets, visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk or visit the show’s official website at www.josephthemusical.com

Ariana Castelli – Love is Love

Ariana Castelli’s decision to design big and lively electronic beats around the universal themes of inspiration,morality, acceptance and humanization is, like most significant events in one’s life, a result of personal, professional and familial struggles.

While building success, Ariana battled another cultural monster that was much more potentially harrowing to her dream than being a part of the gender minority. Ariana is a proud member of the LGBT community, knowing from an early age that her identity was not synonymous with the conservative culture she experienced growing up.

Ariana upstarted her career as the gay rights movement was beginning to take American policy makers and cultural norms by storm. Wanting to utilize her battle against discrimination and wanting to empower those who have ever felt deplored by generational stereotypes, Ariana took to writing beautiful, awe-inspiring tracks which incorporated the best of popular club music.

Vibrant, catchy and lyrically heartening, Ariana is currently crafting music that’s pure and wistful.

She describes music as “therapy” and she lives by the message that ”if I could help someone be stronger or move someone through my music then my mission is complete!”

Fierce, spirited and deeply motivated, Ariana is ready to lead a career that will change the lives of people, challenge the narrowed perspective of the monolithic music industry and support the message of diversity and acceptance through the power of her heartpounding compositions.

Info

Name : Ariana Castelli
Born : Brooklyn, New York

Music Video – Love is Love

The post appeared first on MySoCalledGayLife.co.uk.

COLUMN: Testing Times

It’s National HIV testing week: a campaign that I strongly believe in. As a naïve 17 year, I met, and quite quickly moved in with, a much older man. It was the late 1980s and AIDS. was grabbing the headlines. Ineffectual government TV adverts and sensationalist headlines didn’t penetrate my psyche and I ignored the whole safer sex message. As far as I was concerned it wasn’t a worry for me. Condoms were readily available in the gay bars I frequented and for various reasons they stayed gathering dust in my bedside drawer.

by Chris Bridges | 26th November 2013

Don't Die Of Ignorance Ad Played in 1987 in the UK

Five years down the line I started to have concerns. People around me in the sleepy Midlands town where I lived were starting to get diagnosed with HIV and a contemporary of mine died of AIDS. in his mid twenties. Famous people starting dying, people who were remote yet whom I could relate to. I’d not been especially promiscuous (yet) and had only had a handful of sexual partners. Of course, this didn’t mean a thing, as the sexual partners that I’d had unsafe sex with had all had a fair share of sexual encounters. I’d effectively opened myself up to the transmission route of every partner they’d had too. The thought that I might have HIVbegan to niggle away at me.

I did the worst thing possible and ignored it. I flicked past articles about the subject, avoided novels and films with an AIDS theme and tried to supress the thoughts whenever they arose. Trying to keep your eyes, ears and mind closed to something is incredibly counterproductive. Pushing down thoughts can be like trying to hold down a beach ball in a swimming pool: the harder you push it down, the more velocity it attains when it bounces back.

My hypochondria worsened. Every blemish, ache or swollen gland was a sure fire confirmation of my fears. I actually convinced myself that I definitely had the illness and made changes to my thinking accordingly. I stayed put in a bad relationship for much longer than I should (falsely) believing that no one else would want me if I was positive for HIV I tried not to plan ahead or think about the future, as I was convinced that I didn’t have one. I worried and fretted and tried to keep busy to avoid thinking. Treatments were only just coming out to slow the progress of the virus and during this time, several more acquaintances became ill and died. When one of my partner’s exes was diagnosed with the virus, I was certain that my days were very limited.

It took several years before I finally plucked up the courage to have a test. There was no flash of light or defining moment. I was just so sick of worrying and doing nothing that I eventually came to the conclusion, that whatever the answer I was better knowing rather than living like I was. The test was negative. A week of anxious waiting proved just how wrong my thinking was. I was so convinced that I had the virus that I had a repeat test a month later. My mind-set took some readjusting.

Knowing what I know now: I look back and see that had I been positive, I would have somehow coped with the diagnosis. Delaying the testing lead me to not take steps to address the issues and left me stuck in a process of denial and grief. Of course, treatments are better now too and the testing process is much easier and faster with a range of testing options. It’s so important to know your status.

Read all about the campaign here: https://www.tht.org.uk/itstartswithme?persona=3

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