The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Original High

I heard that for the first time digitally, old music is outselling new music. Are you surprised? I hear you all loud and clear. Yes, and no. Old music, well music that has meaning to me as of this time and period, the music that recalls my history – successes failures, loves and breakdowns, snapshots of my life – is bloody wonderful. But all music seems to be knocking it out to Pluto’s cold dark heart.

Like Rudimental’s new album, is packed with good tunes. Vaults, is still my new favourite band – still waiting on that album yo. Beppe needs it. And then I still go back to my old favourites. Nothing reminds me more of the struggle of studying than Kanye West’s Late Registration. Timberland’s Come Around was playing every time I got my eyebrows done. Coldplay’s Sparks sends the sweetest shiver through me, because I got a kiss from all four members of the band when they released their first album. That’s right Paltrow. I hit it first. 

New music right now... Is outrageous. I was in H&M’s changing room when TALA’s Praise came over me like a wave of bliss. I Shazamed it, stretching to the speakers standing in my bra and a fancy skirt with pockets. (I bought the skirt obvs.)  As Patricia says to Art, there’s nothing that a little Lethal Bizzle can’t fix, and I stand by that. 

While it’s great to appreciate the oldies, the newbies are creating goodies too. Hence An Art To It soundtrack. The best of both worlds:

  1. Laura Mvula: Overcome
  2. Mapei: Blame It On Me
  3. Jamie Woon: Gravity
  4. Vaults: Vultures
  5. Beach House: Sparks
  6. Mapei: Change
  7. TÃLÃ: Praise
  8. Kanye West ft. Adam Levine: Heard ‘Em Say
  9. Jessie Ware: Champagne Kisses
  10. Lucy Rose: Like An Arrow
  11. Rudimental: Never Let You Go
  12. Raury: Her
  13. Arctic Monkeys: Brianstorm
  14. Coldplay: Sparks
  15. The Naked and Famous: Young Blood
  16. Lethal Bizzle: Fester Skank
  17. Timberland ft M.I.A: Come Around
  18. Bombay Bicycle Club: Luna
  19. Foals: What Went Down
  20. Theme Park: Jamaica
  21. The Irrepressibles: Pale Sweet Healing
  22. Editors: Ocean Of Night
  23. Beck: Heart Is A Drum
  24. M83: This Bright Flash
  25. James Bay: If You Ever Want To Be In Love

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Up & Up

We're inexplicably still in January. And this month still sucks donkey balls for rent money. -_-

I've decided we need a cheer up. A good old fashioned jolly. How do we do that? I give away, I say. Why not? I'm aiming for a Valentine's Day release for An Art To It, Patricia and Art's story, one of my full extended tales from Season of Love Vol 2. I figure, I should give away a few copies to some folks, and lift the mood.

Honestly, this story was not even a chore to write - I know me I get bored or distracted, but Hot Muse Hank and I were very focused, because despite the soul crushing stress of examinations, and the pressure of getting into university, I had the best of times, with the greatest of friends. (I mean, I had The Spice Girls, Millennium, The Fresh Prince and Bacardi Breezers on the cheap!)

The give away is going to be a two parter; answer on the blog in the comment section below, or send me an email to billylondonluv@gmail. Answer both to be in with a chance:

1. Who is my favourite teen across all my books? There aren't many so this should be well easy...
2. Who was your favourite artist as a teen?

Part one has a correct answer, but two is all your own. The give away will end on 31st January 2016 midnight GMT. We're gonna start February fresh and clean!

Let's get nostalgic! Lemme know! Good memories can only ever bring light to dark times.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Golden Years

This year is not going well, already. Barely two weeks in and one of my musical heroes has died, from that blasted, terrible disease.

Before I existed, when my dad was strolling down the streets of London in a sheepskin coat and my mum wore velvet hot pants and platforms, they were awed and entranced by Ziggy Stardust - the androgynous alien who told them to let the children boogie. And when I turned up, with careful brushing of a needle, they included Let's Dance with the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust to their LP collection, mixed in with Isaac Hayes, Barry White and Areatha Franklin. They never told me that music was exclusionary, only inclusive.

People would look at me strangely when I'd sing along to Starman and Young American and Heroes - as if asking me "How do you know that music?" Because it was always my music. I bang on about it enough how music drives my writing. I'm not sure I ever bang on about how music improves everything. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't listen to something Bowie produced, orientated, inspired, or written. At a recent birthday, I sang the intro to Dance Magic Dance - without prompt. Because I listen to that song weekly. That guitar solo in the bridge, is life itself. How can I not? Bowie juggling crystal balls, wearing those grey leggings, awakening my very soul.

The only reason I bought The Prestige on DVD was because of Bowie's cameo. I don't remember the rest of the film (apart from the secret to the trick) but Mr. Knighthood's are not for me Bowie, is ingrained on my soul. I was looking forward to spending a weekend immersed in Blackstar, revel in some new music, since my Strictly Come Dancing repertoire inclusive of I'd Rather Be High (Venetian Mix), needed accompaniment. Venetian Mix - who else does that? Mixes a song in Venetian style, adds a flaming harpsichord and dares you to not enjoy the hell out of it? Until now. I'm not ready to say goodbye to him.

When it comes down to it, there are two people who have lost their father. And as much as he is an idol to me, and countless others, my thoughts, my prayers, my wholehearted sympathies are with Bowie's children.

David Bowie is extraordinary. I refuse to refer to him in the past tense, because Starmen don't die. Goblin Kings don't die. Diamond Dogs are everlasting. I know in time, I'll be able to boogie once again.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Begin Again

Hey hey! This took foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever, but it's ready! Paperbacks of my lengthy stories and definitely all of the IKs are coming. And we start where we always do. Book One. I was going to refer to another type of beginning, but we're only seven days into a new year and I don't want to get struck by God's lightning of justice!

Breathe in those sweet smelling pages. I have pages! It's so pretty in person, I couldn't quite believe it was my book when it turned up on Christmas Eve, like the best of presents! If Sofia Da Canaveze had her way, they'd be gently sprayed with Diptyque. But I don't have Da Canaveze money so, we're going to have to stay with paper. It's not a wrong decision, it is what it is Sof. Allow it, okay? Haven't you got a store to run?

The interference will never, ever end...

Windows Paperback

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A Whole New World

Merry New Year!

I mean I blinked and Christmas was over and some Essex bloke in a coat and roll neck jumper was complaining about how hot he was as we were pressed against a bar, with at least a hundred people while all I was thinking about was how to get two bottles of prosecco back to my peoples. We were packed in so tightly, had we all been naked, it would have been one hell of an orgy.

Anyways, last year was hard work - it sped by in a blink, but it was terribly hard work. I came to some conclusions:

  1. I still cannot write when I am emotional, and I have been emotional a lot. From weddings, to friends having babies (friends I still see in my mind as wearing school uniform and not having sex), to brotherly relocations (sodding Dubai), it is impossible for me to focus on far away places and love and drama if my heart is on a plane, or in delivery rooms.
  2. I have obligations to family in Ghana. No escaping it, especially when health care costs money. Simple vaccinations can avoid a myriad of problems, and whatever my grievance with them, I have to ensure they are healthy. 
  3. I need a break. I spoiled myself in 2014. I went all over the shop and had a jolly good time doing that. This year, Morocco - whilst incredible - was all too brief. Spain, absolutely beautiful, was too short. And holidaying in London, never feels like a holiday when your mother can call you about hot water bottle recommendations. I mean...
  4. I need a new home. In London means either winning the lottery or getting a promotion with a 50% salary increase... but yah. Change of scenery. Change of location. Seriously. 
The good thing is, I've finished a new adult story thanks to NaNo! It was a young adult, but it got a bit too sexual too quick. I've also nearly finished Wynne's Surprise, which means I have to let the Scot with Swagger go (not ready, not ready, not ready!) I think I've got the paperback thing down, and I can get the meatier stories ready for sweetly scented, papery release. And most of all, with all the fresh, new babies popping out of my friends' bodies, I am feeling twinges of Beppe's story coming to me. Twinges that could be interpreted as sympathy pains, but after an April 2016 jaunt to Croatia, I wholeheartedly believe I will be back on the writing track. 

Change of scenery is nothing less than the best writer's balm to fatigue of too much hard work and not enough rest. So if in 2016, I'm a little quieter, or I'm not blasting people from Made in Chelsea on Twitter as much, it's because I'm watching War and Peace and blasting people on Twitter, or I'm finding my focus in a different country altogether, to get words back on the page where they belong. You know you can't miss something if you're with it all the time? 

I need to miss writing.