Sunday, 27 December 2009

Jump, Jive, Rock n' rollin' - A post about 2010

I've probably said it a BILLION times but I was born in the wrong damn decade! So this time I want to go and play in the 20's, 30's, let's skip the 40's for obvious reasons and the late 50's. What has brought this on? What else? Probably the art form I have the most passion for, Music. Music is my life. It's like an addiction. Even now I'm listening to music (Louis Armstrong if you're interested) and it is because of all the music I listen to that I would love to go to various time periods and experience it first hand. Don't get me wrong, I know that the early 20Th century was filled with racism, huge class divide, the rise of the far left and far right dictatorships, Gangsters in the US and generally a lot of hate (not that different to today, but I guess people today know how to hide it better). But all of the negatives aside I would love to experience a Jazz club in Harlem, a Dixieland parade in New Orleans, A rock' roll bandstand broadcast live on TV and then go to one myself, and the many of the other awesome things that went down. Sure you can experience most of them now in some shape or form, but the spirit of the decade is no longer there, and let's face it if I broke out into a Charleston in the street nowadays I would get some pretty odd looks. So as this decade comes to an end I find myself wishing I could visit various others. But as I can't I guess I'll just find cool clothes to wear (my Swing Kid outfit!) and dance in the street anyway.

So the question I've finally reached is; what does 2010 have in store for us? 2009 was a great year for me for many reasons: In short, I had some AMAZING times with the people closest to me. So I am hoping 2010 will be just as good. Hopefully the world will sort itself out financially and we will start taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions instead of looking to one person to fix everything (usually Obama, but don't get me wrong I think he's awesome but we can't expect him to change the world all by himself without taking action ourselves). So here's hoping the world gets rid of money all together, We'll find alternative fuel that is renewable and doesn't damage the earth, the BNP will just fuck miles of off and we all start loving each other regardless of our differences (I'm such an idealist bordering on Hippie). Oh and reality TV just leaves and never comes back!

I am ready for you 2010... I think...
I hope you are too

Peace, Love and Respect. One love.

-- Tom RDD

"Anyone who doesn't like swing can become a Nazi"

Some potential new threads

Sunday, 20 December 2009

I was there when RATM were Christmas no. 1

So the unthinkable has happened, the mediocre, corporately manufactured X-Factor winner Joe somebody didn't get to number in the UK charts. And he's the first X-Factor winner not to do so, boo hoo. As you can tell this makes me happy, and it does so for many reasons. For a start my faith that the residents of the UK actually have a taste in music (Although most of the top 20 was generic pop The Pogues and Journey made there presence known)has been restored and not everyone out there likes stale, overdone, generic, mediocre music created by a reality tv show where one of the judges has the nerve to judge a singing competition when she herself can barely sing. People "hating" on RATM claim Cowell wins regardless as he owns Sony who own "Epic" but this is not just about the battle against Cowell and the stale pop genre. This is about power to the people. Thousands of people made this possible and all for a christmas song, imgaine what we could do as a nation if we cared this much about important politcal issues such as global warming? And finally the same closed minded arguments we heard when we were 15, "It's shit, it's just screaming" Have you listened to the song? If so you would probably realise that this is not the case, and even so if you dislike it the message within the song is probably more important than anything Joe whatever his name is will ever create. A song against racism in the police force and anti-oppression, and you think it's a shit song? Well doesn't that just describe the inteligence of most of todays youth who have probably never been subjected to music with any real meaning outside the generic love songs that fill the pop genre. Anyway, this is turned into more of a rant (which wasn't my intention) so I think I will leave on a happier note:

Happy Christmas from Tom RDD


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Are we getter closer or getting more lost?

As anyone who knows me well will know I'm not one for really writing about my own negative emotions for people to see and read especially when it comes to my personal life, To be honest I find slightly selfish and self obsessive, and if anyone wanted to know what was really going on in my head they would ask. Even though I hear nobody saying "What's on your mind Tom?" I can't help but want to get something of my chest. Over the last week or so I've felt so damn empty and numb and I keep clutching at straws to try and come up with an answer as to why. I guess it's only natural to try and find an answer especially if you feel guilty about something or don't fully understand why you feel a certain way, the latter of which is certainly true for me. I haven't found an answer and there's part of me that's not sure if I want to. What if that answer is something I'm not ready for or something I'm not going to like? Assuming there even is an answer. Maybe it's just part of the human Psyche to block things out as if to protect you from yourself. Either way this sensation of feeling numb and not really feeling any sense of emotion, be they good or bad, is really starting to wear me down. Maybe my problem is logically trying to find an answer to something that is illogical but whatever the reason I really hope it doesn't continue as feeling as if you're void of emotion and with no seeming way of expressing yourself which makes things seem much worse. Which is why I have chosen to divulge my predicament on here hoping that it will somehow help matters. Fingers crossed.

-- Tom RDD

Monday, 16 November 2009

Cool it you cats there's something on the radio...

As you can probably tell as of late I can't find anything to write about so I just keep putting videos up that interest me. Hopefully soon I will find the motivation to actually write something interesting...


-- Tom RDD

Monday, 2 November 2009

Friday, 30 October 2009


I don't know about you (that's right YOU) but I love rediscovering music that I haven't listened to in months or taken the time to listen to properly in years! The band that i have recently "rediscovered" is the Mad Caddies. When I was a young(er) lad I loved the frantic ska on their albums but I never really had any interest in the tracks that took more of an influence from jazz, blues and Dixie and usually skipped over them. So when they released their most recent album "Keep It Going", which was full of Jazz and Dixie influenced tracks but also had some incredible reggae tracks, I loved the reggae on the CD but pretty much regarded it as one of the weakest albums that the Mad Caddies had made so I never really took the time to listen to it. The good news, for me anyway, is that after taking the time to discover early Jazz from the 19210's and 20's and becoming more aware of the offshoots of jazz (swing, trad, Dixie and "new Orleans jazz")I listened to the album in it's entirety (for the first time since 07) and I have fallen in love with the album (it is now firmly in my top 10) and the Mad Caddies all over again and I appreciate their music so much more. It's not just the one album either, after going through all of their albums there are some stand out tracks from all of them where the influence of jazz, rockabilly and Dixie can really be felt and instead of skipping those tracks I find myself transfixed with them. A pretty pointless post I know, nothing as political or pessimistic as my last few but apparently I am still "an angry young man" but at least I'd be a good play wright if I decided to revive British "Kitchen Sink" Theatre! Whilst I'm doing that have a listen and check out these videos of the Caddies!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Nick Griffin On "Question Time"

This has been a controversial move by the BBC to put Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP, on question time. Many are against this move obviously worried that Griffin will use this platform to incite racial hatred and spread his vile propaganda. I myself am in two minds about this. On the one hand I, as I made clear in another post, do not agree with freedom of speech when it conflicts with the human right to be free of discrimination and if that freedom is used to incite hatred. However I also think it is incredibly hypocritical to be "anti-fascist" and expect him to be silenced. If he is denied this it will only fuel the BNP's paranoia and give them a reason to bash those opposed to their political beliefs, however flawed, racist and ridiculous they seem. If like me you believe there is a fine line where freedom of speech ends and the right to be free of racial abuse begins you will be in a bit of a pickle as to what to think, but here are my thoughts: Personally I think he SHOULD be allowed to go on Question Time and with any luck Griffin will discuss his political views and people will see him for what he is. A racist, paranoid, holocaust denying fool who would have the nation blame all of it's problems on those who are from different ethnic backgrounds and those who do not fit his white supremacist view of an "Indigenous Briton". Denying him this will only fuel the propaganda that the BNP will release and with the protests at the BBC in London, they can already claim that those of us opposed to the BNP's beliefs are also opposed to free speech and claim, like they already have, that we are all thugs. We should promote education, information and discussion not censorship other wise we are no better than the BNP.

So that is my "two cents" as they call it.

Peace, love and respect. as always.

-- Tom RDD

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Everybody's too be afraid to be different

I am writing this post in a vain attempt to express my despair at the current mediocrity of society. To me it certainly seems that a majority of people are happy to live there lives as generic faces barely able to create any sort of individuality about themselves and simply relying on popular culture to put them into a neat little category so they can live their lives as part of a group. Going for a night out is a perfect example of how almost everyone is generic and shows the lack of individuality in our culture. Almost everyone looks the same. Guys wearing TopMan shirts, Girls wearing top shop dresses and legging combos. Even the people who TRY and be different, like the "indie" and "emo" kids, fail as they just fall into the stereotype of skinny jeans and fringe hair cuts. I am not going to lie and pretend I am some sort of pioneer and that I am incredibly individual, I'm even using someones work to express how I feel and lets be honest that's not individuality, but I try to be as different as possible. Not because I think it's cool or because I see myself as a better person but because I can't be satisfied with being something I'm not and being just like everyone else. I try to discover new things on a weekly basis and in the last several months have discovered various forms of music I had previously never been interested in or not given much thought to (Jazz, Blues, Swing, Folk, Country, 50's Rock n' Roll, Surf, Ragtime, Dixie and the list goes on). I know this seems like a bit of a rant and one that is very much in vain as I highly doubt people will leave the safety net of popular culture for fear of being different, but I implore any reader to try and do something different everyday. Something you may not have done before, listened to before or even try wearing some new clothes that aren't "fashionable" but wear them because you think they look good and screw what anyone else thinks. Other people (and society) shouldn't dictate who we are and what we wear and we shouldn't be afraid to be different. Anyway enough rambling I think so I leave you with this video...

Monday, 12 October 2009

Zombieland FTW

Just a quick one for this evening. Went to see "Zombieland" last night and it was pretty epic. I strongly suggest you go and see it. Here's a sneak-peak if you havn't seen the trailer already!

Friday, 9 October 2009

"Many Places I Wont Go, Many Faces That I'll Never Know"

The above quote is from a song by a band called Once Over, who come from good old Brighton town, and it ties in with the conversation I had today in my lecture. The discussion of what life is and what is the meaning of life has plagued man kind for thousands of years and will hardly be answered in a three hour lecture that is supposed to be about Drama but somehow got turned into a philosophical debate. One thing popped up though that I would like to address.

Throughout our daily lives we see hundreds of people we will never properly meet and most likely never see again. And in a way I find this slightly depressing. Of course when I walk past someone in the street I don't know that person, they could be a complete asshole or they could be a really awesome person, but the thought that I will never see that person ever again makes me slightly, and strangely, sad. I may be alone in this but I could sit in a cafe for hours just watching people and making up stories about their lives. I made this comment in my class and was branded a stalker because of it (along with a communist but that’s another story). But still it's totally depressing how many people there are in the world and how few of them I will actually get to meet and it's also depressing how many interesting and exciting places there are and how few I will actually get to visit.

In other news The Moon was bombed to find water. Odd huh?

Peace, Love and Respect. As Always.

-- Tom RDD

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Recently I have been listening to a lot of Jazz, Swing, Blues and Ragtime from the 1920's, 30's, 40's and beyond and I have to say I would love to go back in time for a day just to experience a real jazz club. Here's some videos to check out:

and a more recent video that I think I've posted before, but my god do I want to learn to dance like this...

Sunday, 4 October 2009

First update on my new iphone

As I am sure my friend Adam will tell you I have recently joined the club of iPhone users and because of this I have been branded a "phone Nazi". So thankyou for that people of the world! this is my first post via phone so if there are any spelling mistakes, my bad.

So... What to write about? I really don't know and this is really just an excuse to use my new lease of Internet life. I really don't have a point to make today so I'll leave you with a simple message: Be excellent to each other (thanks Bill and Ted!)

Peace, love and respect. As always.

-- Tom RDD

Monday, 28 September 2009

Promises look good on paper especially from you...

A song that has been stuck in my head as of late. enjoy.

Thursday, 10 September 2009


Recently I've been feeling pretty sceptical about the world especially in areas such as global warming, animal conservation and general creating reasons to hate each other. My first thoughts about the human race is that we really don't deserve to exist. The things that have been done in the past and the things we continue to do to damage the earth and each other are quite sickening. On this planet humans alone have the power to change things like global warming and and the destruction of animal habitats, but how do we use this power? We as a race use this power to continue to destroy what we can save and nine times out of ten it is because of the greed that people have. It normally always comes down to money, money is the reason President Obama is coming under scrutiny about "free health care". And all of us who have a vague sense of intelligence are saying why are you complaining? Your health care system will no longer be based on your financial status" but that's just it, the greedy corporations don't want to have to cut their big paychecks not even in order so more people can get health care and personally I find that disgusting.

So yeah that's one reason the world has angered me as of late, when money becomes more important than human life. Another thing that really makes me think humans don't deserve to exist is the way that we constantly look for and find bullshit reasons to hate each other based on race, gender, sexual orientation etc and I find it disgusting that a group of people are allowed to start a political party based on these intolerance's and fascism. That's right the BNP this goes out to you. What kind of sick bigots would start a political party based on race hate? For those of you who do not know the BNP are derived from the National Front (NF) who held incredibly racist views. On the BNP's inception the leader at the time commented "yes we are racist 100%". So the party is founded on racism and intolerance but you would think as time progressed they might see reason apparently not. Recently the BNP was taken to court to force them to except black people into the party (why anyone from a non-white background would want to join a bunch of white supremacists I have no idea). The BNP's use of lies when it comes to immigration is well documented but the thing that really really gets me is this. They try and make out they're incredibly patriotic and attempt to sell their racist and fascist views to the veterans of WW2 and this gets me angry. For one those veterans fought against the very evil and intolerance the BNP support and that two Nick Griffon is a holocaust denier. Anyone who denies 6 million people were brutally slaughtered and instead call it a world wide Jewish Conspiracy is incredibly sick, twisted and (in my eyes) scum. But apparently they are not all that bad because almost 100,000 of the British public voted for them. Granted many voted through ignorance and apathy but that, in my eyes, is no excuse for voting for racism and hate. Freedom of speech and expression is an important human right that many countries do not have, I am in no way against it but when that right conflicts with people's rights to live free of abuse and racial intolerance I am in no way supportive of freedom of speech.

Regardless of what god or Deity you believe in they ALL preached love, respect, tolerance and understanding. Somewhere we've lost sight of that and decided that it's more fun to blame others for our own problems and rape (there is really no other word to describe it) the planet. If God/ Buddha/ Muhammad is real then they must be pissed.

It's like the best dream to have, where every thing is not so bad

Well I wasn't originally going to write anything on here today because I thought anything I wrote would be too depressing and sad. Today I have had to part from the person who means the most to me in all the world and to say it hurts would be a dramatic understatement. However, I keep telling myself everything is going to be OK and that with the modern day and age it will be easy to talk everyday but anyone who has gone through the same thing will know these words will bring little comfort. But I sit here, I've wiped away the tears and I'm trying my very hardest to stay positive and keep this blog entry and positive as possible.

I think the word adventure describes life pretty well. None of us, including Derren Brown, have no idea what is coming around the corner. We don't know what will happen next and that's what is so wonderful about life, the unpredictability. At times life hurts like we never knew it could and sometimes we relive the pain we have felt before. But our lives have much much more to offer than pain. The happiness I will feel when I see her again and excitement, the anticipation, the rush makes all the pain worth while even I only get to feel that way for a few days, hours or minutes.
Let it be know my love will not die and I will go on loving her until the end of time and beyond. To some that sounds like unrealistic, young adult, romantic drivel but to me it is so much more. I don't have to prove anything to anyone about how much I love her. Our adventure together has only just begun.

Rebecca Alice Hawkes, I love you and I always will.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Tom RDD's film review - Dead Snow: Ein! Zwei! Die!

First off I must say this. I saw the trailer for the DVD release of "Dead Snow" and thought it would possibly be one of the funniest ideas of all time. Seriously, Nazi Zombies? Whose idea was that? Me and the misses, Becki, joke about the board meeting in which they came up with idea. The guy who sat in silence for a while and then piped up with "maybe Nazi Zombies?" deserves a freaking medal! Warning: SPOILERS!

The film follows the story of eight medical students on Easter vacation up in the mountains. They spend their time partying and having general banter until a mysterious hiker arrives. He tells them the dark history of the region; during World War II, a platoon of Nazis led by the dreaded Colonel Herzog occupied the area. The Nazis abused and tortured the local people, stealing all their gold. The citizens finally managed to stage an uprising. The surviving Nazis, including Colonel Herzog, were chased into the mountains. It was assumed that the Nazis all froze to death.

They await their friend Sarah (who is seen at the start of the film running away from the the zombies) who does not show up. One of the guys, fearing the hikers story, goes up into the mountains on his skidoo intending to find his missing girlfriend. Whilst the others stay behind they find an old wooden box filled with Nazi gold. Before they can celebrate their findings one of their number goes missing after a frolic in the outhouse. Moments later the cabin they are staying in is attacked by Zombies and another one of their number is killed. The four remaining students live out the night and start planning their escape. They decide that the two girls will run for the car and the two guys will stay behind to fight off the zombies.

Meanwhile our other student fighting zombie friend has fallen through the snow into an underground cavern filled with Nazi gear and his girlfriends head. He fights off a few zombies in a rather hilarious fight scene. After the fight he equips himself with a machinegun and goes off to find his friends.

Meanwhile, the two guys have equiped themselved with various weapons (chainsaws, hammers, knives etc) and have started fighting the zombies in fight scenes that are frankly nothing short of hilarious. During the battle, all of the students are killed and eaten by the zombies except one, Martin (who has decided to saw his arm off). Martin finally gives in and leads the zombies to where the gold is buried (back in the house, which has burnt down after a failed maltov cocktail). However, his girlfriend slipped a piece of gold into his pocket without him knowing. Martin finally arrives to the car, before starting the car he discovers the gold coin. Realizing what it is, Martin is now aware that his life is still in grave danger. Colonel Herzog awaits him outside the car window and you can guess the rest...


I know nothing I have done as of late is meaningful but hey I'm lazy. In the mean time enjoy this awesome film trailer. Possibly the best thing to come out of the Sundance Film Festival since Garden State or that film about gay cowboys eating pudding!

-- Tom RDD

Friday, 28 August 2009

I'm looking in on the good life I might be doomed never to find...

because I love this song at the moment...

something deep and meaningful coming soon...

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Some things Inside my head...

Below are some songs that have been stuck in my head as of late. Make sure you turn up the volume and enjoy.

and this one hasn't left my head in months...

Peace, love and repsect. as always.

-- Tom RDD

Monday, 17 August 2009

World/ Inferno Friendship Society 16/8/09

Armed with a shirt and tie in the quest to become a true infinite (hardcore W/I fan) I ventured down to Brighton town with my wonderful girlfriend to see one of the most incredible bands I have had the pleasure to see live. Describing themselves as “Cult-Like, Circus related…” and a number of clever adjectives, The World/ Inferno Friendship Society are a band that you cannot pigeonhole into a certain style or genre. To date I’ve heard: punk, ska, swing, cabaret, show tunes, psychobilly and even goth thrown around in a vague attempt to describe World/ Inferno. But instead of trying to find a way to tie them down to something they might not actually be I find it easier to just go along to the shows and enjoy myself, even if dressed like a pretentious fan calling himself an “Infinite”.

Anyway back to the show. First on were a band (or part of a band) I like rather a lot. The band Sweet Sweet Lies have supported World/ Inferno the last few times I have seen them and they always bring something extra to the already wild show. As I said only part of the band were at the show, so the guitarist and pianist braved the stage alone and gave a SSL an acoustic show that was still a great experience. To give you a sense of what SSL are like, they are usually armed with a drummer, double bass, Guitarist and pianist and play songs (often about botched love experiences) in a mixture of folk, bluegrass, psychobilly and post punk. The set comprised of a fair few songs I knew (Overrated Girlfriend, No One Will Love (You Like I Do), A better You) and got the crowed bopping along in an appreciative way. Definitely a band to check out and go and see if possible.
Next up were possibly the biggest surprise, band wise, I have seen in a while. The female fronted “Bird Eats Baby” were comprised of a chello(ist?), pianist and a violinist (who looked like she could outstare a mountain and kill a man in ten paces) who all performed chilling vocals and stunning harmonies, and a bassist and drummer. The band, again, are hard to pigeonhole into a set genre. The band played horror songs about God, love, sex and hanging, none of which were the happiest of songs. But even so the band played well and with their catchy folk type rhythm and strings they got some of the crowed dancing along with them.

And now finally the moment we all had been waiting for. Jack Terrycloth gets on stage and addresses us all in his familiar suit and slicked back hair. His posture and attitude lets us all know we are in for one hell of a night. The drums start and the familiar intro to “Tattoos Fade” brings to crowed together as one as we all start to sing along. The crowed dance, jump, sing and “fuck shit up” to possibly the best live band I have ever seen. Guys in their suits and girls in dresses dancing like it’s a swing or jazz show not a punk rock cabaret. With Jack’s anecdotes added to the sheer enjoyment that is experienced when seeing World/ Inferno the night was another great show from the Brooklyn outfit. If I had a hat on at the time I would tip it to them in respect but as I didn’t I had to use my hands and voice to show my appreciation to an incredible show.

Peace, love and respect. As always.

-- Tom RDD

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Voodoo Glow Skulls - 4/8/09

Firstly, a little side note before I begin. To people who have left abusive comments on my blog this is for you. If you do not like my blog or the things I write don't read the damn thing. If you don't like me then it's highly likely I don't like you, therefore I probably care as much about your opinion as I do about the contents of a McDonalds bin at the end of a long day. You're wasting your time, I delete your comments quicker than it takes you to write them, don't be a prick. the end.

Now that’s over with I can write about the gig I went to last night. Last night I went to my 4th Voodoo Glow Skulls show and as ever it was a great night. First I will set the scene so you can get a feel for what it was like to be at the show. Brighton town, The Prince Albert (tiny venue probably less than 100 people capacity max), full of big sweaty punk types and a band that will get even the most boring "I will stand at the back and watch" types dancing along. I arrived in time to see the first band (Those Damn Owls) finish their set. From the little I did hear they sounded pretty good. Going straight to the bar, I spent the next half an hour listening to a thrash metal band (whose name I can't remember) that were a pretty odd choice to open for a ska band, even if said ska band were darker and had a heavier sound than most. The band was pretty solid and got a few people attempting to use their heads as propellers but finished up rather early. Next it was time to watch VDGS set up and I tell you when you stand next to or anywhere near their guitarist you feel tiny! The guy is built like a brick shit house and had got to be 6"5+. The band set up (guitarist, bassist, drummer, saxophonist, tromboner (teehee)) the introduction to their set began with some jazzed up ska which eventually lead into one of VDGS's most well known songs "Human Piñata". The lead singer, all 6"4(ish) of him, bounces onto stage wearing a Mexican wrestling mask and begins their killer set list as people start jumping around and skanking their hearts out. Some crowed favourites make their way onto the list such as; Insubordination, Discombobulated, El Cooi Cooi, Charlie Brown, Fat Randy, Shoot The Moon, Left For Dead, Misunderstood etc. Even so I found the set list lacking to my personal VDGS taste. I shouted out for songs like Silencer and Fire In The Dancehall (neither of which they played) but as I was out of breath from dancing (that’s right I'm one those people who finds it more entertaining to dance to the music than stand near the back and watch from a far) my words were not heard. The set also missed off possibly their best song (In my opinion), which I found unforgivable. Missing "Band Geek Mafia" was a defiant no-no in my book. Even so the band played very well and got the crowed bouncing until eventually the incredibly hot room (no a/c) had to slow it down before it collectively passed out. The last song of the night (Goodnight) was dedicated to Cat, the birthday girl, and ended the great show. I left tired, sweaty, gasping for fresh air and a drink of water but immensely pleased to have seen VDGS yet again. Also to my delight they are playing ANOTHER show in Brighton on August the 18th, which I just might have to go to, in order to hear the songs they missed out the first time around...

Peace, love and respect (to a select few)

-- Tom RDD

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Tom RDD's Film Review: The Wrestler (2009)

I’ve been meaning to write on here for a while but I can never think of something really worth writing about. Most of what comes to my mind is complete ramblings but today I decided to take a leaf out of my friend Frank’s book and write a film review. So here it is, Tom RDD’s review of “The Wrestler”. *WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS!*

The film in question first needs to be put into context as to why I want to review it. Like many male kids of my generation I became transfixed with wrestling at about the age of 9. I would spend my weekday evenings and my weekend mornings watching wrestling in complete awe of the fetes being performed in front of my very eyes. Like many I grew up with the World Wrestling Federation (later renamed World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE for short) and later my interest branched out to other , sometimes independent, wrestling federations such as WCW, TNA (now a recognised Wrestling brand) and Ring Of Honour (ROH). As I grew older I kept my interest in wrestling to a degree and have never really been able to shake it off. Even to this day I occasionally watch wrestling to relive the awe I felt as a child, however I digress.

The film “The Wrestler” is a gritty portrayal of the life of pro-wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson. In the late '80s, Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was a headlining professional wrestler; however, twenty years later, he makes a living performing for handfuls of diehard fans in high school gyms and community centres around New Jersey. The film puts focus on some of the troubling things that happen in the real world of wrestling such as drug taking. In the film Randy succumbs to a heart attack because of his quest for strength and muscles which he believes he can achieve through the use of drugs and steroids. The side effects of drug use in wrestling are well know through the loss of wrestlers such as Eddie Guerrero who suffered a heart attack and passed away and Chris Benoit who was mentally ill and killed his family before taking his own life. The film also addresses the widely believed “fakeness” of wrestling. Many believe wrestling is fake (this is true to a small degree) whereas the film pushes the fact that wrestling is actually staged and pre-planned. Locker room scenes are used to show the wrestlers planning their matches and planning how they would either win or loose. The matches themselves are cleverly choreographed making them authentic and show the gruesome side of cutting (where a wrestler carries a small blade to draw their own blood) and hardcore matches where the wrestlers are put through tables, window panes and slammed onto barbed wire and thumb tacks (I defy anyway to say that is “fake”).

However, the fast paced wrestling scenes are only a small part of the film. After Randy suffers his heart attack he starts to loose his identity as he struggles to fight the loneliness and uselessness he feels within his life. In an attempt to fight against these and try to live a “normal” life he turns to an aging stripper who he has feelings for and his estranged daughter for help. At first Randy manages to rebuild his relationship with his daughter but before long his lust for in-ring action alienates him from her as he spends his nights partying with his fellow wrestlers (which include an appearance from Ron Killings aka R Truth). With his daughter refusing to see him he turns back to the only place he has ever felt he has belonged. His heart failing, he refuses to let down the fans that love and respect him and not even a last minute dash to the ring by his love interest (the stripper) can change his mind. His final match is fought against an age old opponent (which takes place in the ROH) in which Randy’s heart is seemingly giving up. The film ends with Randy jumping from the top rope whilst performing his signature move, The Ram Jam, his heart pounding and the crowed cheering we never find out if Randy wins his last match or even if survives.

The film uses impressive camera work which is more suited to independent films rather than Hollywood blockbusters and in all honest it looks better because of it. The lighting (often natural) is dark and bleak seemingly to portray not only Randy’s life, thoughts and feelings but the lives of wrestlers everywhere who fight day in and day out battling with depression, drug use and the immortally complex that the fans push onto them.

Mickey Rourke brings a quiet realism to the film and regardless of his faults is strangely likeable and brings moments of humour which are in contrast to the underlying sadness throughout the film. In my view Rourke makes this film what it is, superb. The film shows the grit and struggle of an aging, broken man and his struggle against the world outside the ring. A must see regardless if you are a wrestling fan or not, I highly recommend it. Tom RDD’s rating 9.5/10.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

the last day of being 19 years young...

Is it strange that with only hours before my birthday I find myself forgetting this fact? When I was a child I used to start compiling ideas for possible gift ideas almost straight after Christmas but as I reach the old age of twenty (I know it's not that old but when you're a kid turning twenty seems like turning fifty)I find myself less interested in gifts and more interested in the day after where I do not have to have endless phone conversations with relatives who only get in touch once a year to wish me an age which is never the correct one. I know this might sound ungrateful and miserable but getting older stopped being fun when I was 16. At 16 I was at the age where I could just about fool people into thinking I was 18 but still young enough to convince them I only had to pay child prices on the trains and in the cinema. But when I turned 18 and could drink and vote nothing else in my life really changed. My parents had been lenient about my curfew (or lack of) since I was about 16/17 so turning 18 and becoming an "adult" just meant when someone asked me for some form of I.D I didn't have to make up a story about me losing my wallet or something. So turning 20 isn't really all that exciting. It's just another age, another year closer to being an old man. But of course I will still live for the moment and enjoy my years of youth but the day of my birth is getting less and less appealing.

On a side note isn't Inland Revenue really gay? Not homosexual obviously as the Government doesn't have a sexuality, well at least not one I am aware of, but it's freaking annoying! Today I spent a good hour and half ringing Inland Revenue and my old employer trying to get a tax rebate. It just annoys me how the Government expect you to pay tax out of your hard earned cash each month and the money you owe THEM is expected it within days or weeks but when they owe YOU a couple of hundred quid it takes them months to sort it out! Not too shibby there Inland Revenue!

Peace, love and respect. As always.

-- Tom RDD

Saturday, 4 July 2009

I know it's not a cool thing to do, sing a sad song with a happy tune...

I've spent most of my day writing songs. These songs have not been very happy songs if I'm honest. I find sometimes I need to feel a bit sad and overwhelmed because other wise all my negative feelings build up and come out in a horrible way when I'm either really upset or angry. I know I spend too much time thinking about the past even though I have been trying my hardest not to. I can say in honesty that I have gotten better at it but there are still things from the past that upset me, make me angry and make me want to vent my feelings. So today I wrote a song about something that happened that wasn't a very nice experience. I mainly did this because I've been dreaming about it for the last few nights and it's been going round and round my head so it's pretty hard to ignore. So I turned to song writing to express some feelings I have on the matter. When I write songs I tend to write lyrics pretty quickly but because I can't play the guitar (I really want to learn to play the acoustic guitar just so I can blast out a song I write every once in while) it's very hard to transfer this into actual musical form. This frustrates me rather a lot but at least when I come to write songs when I'm in a band I have loads of lyrics at my disposal to cut and paste into a new song. Anyway, today's lesson. The past is what makes you who you are today. Every single thing, good or bad, makes you the person you see in the mirror every day. And the cold hard truth is that someone out there in the world always has it worse than you do. You can't change the past but you can do something about your future.

Peace, love and respect. Always.

-- Tom RDD

Monday, 29 June 2009

I am writing this, not to be the same as every other person on the planet but because I feel I need to reference something. That's right, Michael Jackson. But unlike many others I will not be sucking up to him saying he was a huge influence on my life because that just isn't true. To me MJ was just a strange looking guy who had some good songs in the 80's and he couldn't quite recapture that during the 90's and 00's. What I really intend to write about today is the hypocracy of mankind. Over the last few years I have really seen this come to light more and more.

My first example is Heath Ledger. When he died everyone started hailing him as a great actor when in my view, as a wanna-be actor myself, he was nothing more than good. Previous to "The Dark Knight" nothing he did really gave him credit to his ability. I would hardly call his performances in "A Knights Tale", "Ned Kelly" and "10 Things I Hate About You" amazing performances worthy of him being called "an amazing actor" but as soon as he died (and even before Dark Knight had been released) people started calling him an "amazing actor" which in my view just wasn't true at the time. After seeing Dark Knight, which I was quite sceptical of seeing, I did indeed think it was an incredible performance however this was AFTER I had seen Dark Knight and not just after he had died. Secondly, and no way near in any comparison to Heath or MJ, Jade Goody. She spent years being hated by people because they jumped on the "Jade is a racist" bandwagon but as soon as she gets cancer people start talking about the influence she has had on their lives. And finally MJ. I'm not going to lie and suddenly forget about all the child abuse charges, In my mind it was slightly odd and sick he insisted on sleeping in the same bed as young children regardless of whatever reason he gave for not having a childhood. I also thought his actions whilst dangling his child out of a window were that of a man who is not all that stable.

The point of this post is not to discredit or disrespect any of the above in anyway. It is merely to point out the hypocracy in today's society. People saying what a huge affect MJ was on their lives when mere days before his death they considered him a freak and a peidofile. Or calling Jade a racist bitch but as soon as she gets cancer depicting her as some sort of angel. I am not going to say MJ was a huge influence on my life because he wasn't. Infact I wouldn't even put him in the top ten. I respect him as a muscian but not much more. I think it far more disrespectful to suddenly respect someone in their death when you've been calling them names for years than just to admit even in death they were still those things you originally thought about them. I still think MJ was a strange, wierd nosed, possible peido who had good music but my thoughts on him aren't going to suddenly change because he has passed away.


Peace, love and respect. always.

-- Tom RDD

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The soundtrack of my life...

After just writing all that it got me thinking of the bands and albums that really make music an addiction to me. In short here is a list of the 10 albums that "changed my life" but without straying into the usual Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin etc...

Rancid - ...and out come the wolves: What can I say? A classic ska punk CD from one of the greatest punk bands ever. The album contains some really great mixes of punk, ska and bouncy reggae.

Less Than Jake - Hello Rockview: One of the first ska CD's I ever bought. Always a classic for the young ska punk lover.

Big D and the Kids Table - Good Luck: Another top album. Great songs, great lyrics and catchy horns all the way through. An album I could never get tired listening to.

Big D... - Strictly Rude: The latest Big D record. At first I was sceptical because of the lack of the ska punk style I was used to but I almost immediately started to appreciated the raw reggae sound of the album. Some very good reggae music is to be had in this album.

Voodoo Glow Skulls - Band Geek Mafia: Possibly the bst VDGS albums without a shadow of doubt. Bumpin' horn lines, awesome bass line and lyrics you can swear by.

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Let's Face it: Again one of the first ska CD's I ever bought. I found it for £6 in HMV and after seeing the video for "The Impression That I Get" I decided to buy it. What a bargain for one of my favourite CD's. The Bosstones have a really good sound to them and I defy any fan of ska to dislike this CD.

Mad Caddies - Duck and Cover: At first this CD amazed me with the incredible horn line for the song "Monkeys" but after my initial reaction to the CD of just playing the same song over and over again in awe I found a top album that does the tile of "one of the hardest working ska bands today" justice

Streetlight Manifesto - Somewhere In The Between: It was a tossup between this and "Everything Goes Numb". Both albums are draw-droppingly good. Streetlight Manifesto are widely considered to be one of the best ska bands today and this album alone, with some of the greatest lyrics ever and horn lines to die for, shows that they deserve nothing but praise.

Home Grown -Kings Of Pop: Without a doubt one of my favourite bands and one of my favourite pop punk albums of all time. Catchy pop punk at it's best.

and finally...

Angels and Airwaves: I-Empire: Didn't expect that did you? Completely out of place with the others I know but I-Empire is probably one of the best music discoveries I have ever made. I used to think of AVA as a pretentious spin off to Blink 182 (who are my all time favourite band) whose front man Tom Delonge was responsible to their demise. However, after actually taking the time to listen to this album I was soon addicted. I find the lyrics soothing and inspiring. The music itself is also somewhat beautiful (if that sort of thing tickles your fancy) and I have fallen asleep a fair few times with I-Empire playing on my ipod.

A short list of albums that I love. Many of them (most of them) are not so out of the ordinary for a fan of ska and punk but if you listen to the albums you will see why most ska and punk loves will have some of these CD's in their all time favourites.

Peace, love and respect.

-- Tom RDD

Just waiting for the afternoon so I can be a kid again...

Many a time in my life I have thought I was born in the wrong period during the 20th century. Part of me wants to experiences the rock and roll' 50's (thanks to a classic childhood film of mine Back To The Future), The some what grotty 70's for the old school ska and punk, the 80's just for the hell of it and more recently I find myself thinking about my own era (the 90's) but wishing I could be the age I am now. Of course I would never change what I have now (love, friends, family and other general things) but I would have loved to experience the 90's as a teenager. More importantly an American teenager living in Orange County (O.C), California. This is not because of TV shows like "The Hills" or "The O.C" but because, for those of you who don't know, The O.C has/ had one of the best music scenes in the world during the late 90's especially for third wave ska. Because I do not have a time machine at hand I am listening to a playlist I created featuring artists such as: Less Than Jake, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Edna's Goldfish, Save Ferris, Sublime, The O.C Supertones, Slapstick, The Suicide Machines and many others to somewhat relive the glorious 90's ska scene. But sadly the ska scene is pretty non-existent in the UK at the minute. Only a handful of ska bands survive as most of the others traded the brass in for tight jeans and stupid hair cuts. It's a pity much of the music scene (any music scene for that matter) these days is so fickle and is seemingly based on fashion and the "in thing" over the actual love and passion for the music. I am all for progression but when bands change styles due to changing trends and fashions that makes them (dare I become a “punk stereotype”… yes) sell-outs in my book.

Below are some lyrics by MC Lars. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who wishes the "old days" could come back. For me it was because I never got to fully experience them. I was only 4 or 5 when punk legends Rancid released the classic"...and out come the wolves" but it sits proudly in my CD collection and is one of my all time favourite albums. Anyway I digress.

Peace, Love and respect. SKA IS NOT DEAD!

-- Tom RDD

Billy built a robot in his parents’garage,
because he had a list of problems that he needed to solve.
He said I’m sick of the Hills, Laguna Beach is fake and wack,
let’s party like it’s ‘96 and bring the horn section back.
Back before Gwen Stefani started rapping withPharrell,
gas cost $1.15 and Goldfinger could sell.
When reality TV wasn’t scripted or contrived,
the brass was fat and bumping and the beats were all played live.
See Billy was obsessed with third wave ska,
the Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, Less than Jake, he’d seen them all.
He longed for a time when even Bill Clinton played the sax,
on the White House lawn, and kids wore shades and checkered slacks.

So Billy sits back in the class and
laughs with a notepad on his lap
as he plans his task. To make a
giant robot, how’s that and bring
the real Orange County back!

CHORUS This gigantic robot kills,
he’s gonna come down the block
he’s going to fire at will. He’s got
a cannon on his shoulder and
a laser in his hand. He’s gonna
win the day for Billy make the
city understand.

The robot was completed and it opened up its eyes,
weighing 700 pounds and standing 8 foot five.
With his black coat, black shoes, black hat, set to attack.
He headed to the hills to give those spoiled kids a smack!
Kristin Cavallari got knocked flat as Billy bumped the Aquabats.
He ripped out Mischa Barton’s spine as he cranked Save Ferris and Sublime,
He burned down Heidi Montag’s home as he bumped the OC Supertones.
He screamed while smashing L.C.’s head, “SKA IS NOT DEAD!”

gigantic robot kills, he’s gonna
come down the block, he’s going
to fire at will. He’s blasting bullets
from his elbows, shooting missiles
from his eyes, he’s gonna
win the day for Billy, take the OC
by surprise.

He’ll make you do the Macarena as you rock your Tamagachi,
With your Newton down in Woodstock playing Sega la-di-da-di.
He brought the 90’s back and then he freed Tibet.
If you can’t find this jam on Napster,
then the Wherehouse sells cassettes
(old school)! Gigantic (he
was) Gigantic (this robot) Gigantic
(so very) Gigantic (ska robot!!)

CHORUS This gigantic robot kills,
he’s gonna come down the block,
he’s going to fire at will. He’s got
a cannon on his shoulder and a
laser in his hand. He’s gonna win
the day for Billy, make the city understand.
This gigantic robot kills,
he’s gonna come down the block,
he’s going to fire at will. He’s
blasting bullets from his elbows,
shooting missiles from his eyes,
he’s gonna win the day for Billy,
take the whole world by surprise.
(Ska is not dead.)

Sunday, 14 June 2009

It's only me that can change...

I have just returned from a shortened weekend in Canterbury with my friends from UKC that I have not seen in a few months. It was really awesome to see my friends after such a long time and the Canterbury Arts Fest was an excellent way to spend some quality time catching up by spending care free hours in the sun, listening to music and drinking cheap cider. Over the period of the day I managed to close the door on a part of my life which has created a lot of negative feelings over the last year. I won't write the reason directly but after a 3 hour train journey I have found words that describe how I feel about a certain person, who for a while I was best friends with. In short I dropped out of UKC and we are no longer friends. The door closed on this situation because I managed to finally say to his face that I was sorry (even though I do not think I was in the wrong. However it was more important to me to try and resurrect a friendship rather than fight over who was right or wrong) for the events of the past and was sorry if I had ever hurt him. Needless to say he was not interested in my apology but regardless of this, the door is now closed. So in the words of Drewvis...

Including two from ten, you'll see that I was always there
Through every thick and every thin,
From outside, in.
I've stopped believing in things you said that always held me up,
Coz you turned your back on everything...

And now as everyday goes by, it's harder to make things right
But I can see, you're blind - not free...
And all I wanted was to help

I know I owe you things but you owe me much more than that,
If money's all you think I'm worth - then take it back.
And I'll take the hand that I gave you each time I found you off the track,
I wish you so much luck in finding what you lack.

And this is where our journey ends,
I'll see you when my memories come by,
Though I will never understand, why every best friend somehow seems to die.

Peace, love and respect. Always.

-- Tom RDD

Monday, 8 June 2009

Unity. What does it mean today?

I've been wracking my brains to find something interesting to write about. I could rant on about how the recent EU election saw two members of a racist and fascist party (who I will not dignify with a name) win seats or I could talk about North Korea or various other topics on Twitter's topic list. If I'm honest it's the former. There is a constant reminder of the stupidity and ignorance of some of the people in this country. Almost 1,000,000 voted BNP and that is very VERY scary. Luckily I live in the south (whey!) and it really seems we are more open minded and less ignorant (no offence unless you are a BNP voter then all offence intended). I was thinking about why people vote for such extremes in times of instability. The only reason I can think of that normal everyday people (excluding most of the racist bastards that usually vote BNP) would vote for the BNP is because the BNP offer them a scapegoat. Let's face it people don't like being shown their own downfalls so they like to point the blame in another direction because it means they don't have to take responsibility. And on this occasion the head-racist or whatever he calls himself over at the BNP said "Let's blame brown people!" and low and behold the idiots of this country go "oh wait, yeah it's those damn immigrants! Let's blame them!". Now at this point the slightly more intelligent human (i.e. those who count up to and past 5) say "wait a minute. That's not true" But unfortunately those who can't count as high as their own IQ point their ignorant fingers in the direction of a group of people who they fear because they don't know anything about them. Simple human logic really, to fear the unknown but damn it people it's not fucking good enough! The people who believe those stupid BNP campaign slogans like "Veterans vote BNP" (Actually I think you'll find they fought a war against the fascist ideology YOU morons at the BNP SUPPORT so why in the name of Zeus would they vote for you!) or WWJD? (I know the BNP actually used JESUS as a campaign slogan. "WTF?" I hear you cry. Jesus, whether you believe he was the son of god or not, stood AGAINST everything you stand for! He was a Jew and most likely a shade of brown himself! He also thought love and peace was the way forward not racism and xenophobia!

At some point the idiots in this country need to stop being idiots because one day someone like me will get very angry and blow them all the fuck up! I'm all up for freedom of expression and freedom of belief but I don't know how people can be so closed minded (he say's while ranting about a "political ideology") and stupid enough to believe the racist slur that comes out of the BNP's member's mouths.

Let me lay down some straight facts about the BNP before I make this rant far longer than I intended:

- When asked in 1993 if the BNP was racist, its deputy leader Richard Edmonds said, "WE ARE 100 PER CENT RACIST, YES". Although this was almost 20 years ago now a party based on racist views often keeps those views for a long time if not throughout the party’s existence.

- Any black person who commits a crime would also be thrown out of the country, even those who were born here.

- Mixed race relationships would be outlawed.

- According to party number two, Tony Lecomber, the preservation of the white race can be done through a racial eugenic programme

- The BNP, its former leaders and present leader, Nick Griffin, have PROMOTED ANTI-SEMITISM and HOLOCAUST DENIAL

And there are many MANY more reasons why this party MUST be stopped. I'm sorry to push my political views onto people but if you believe in tolerance, peace, love and respect please visit various anti-BNP sites like Hope Not Hate and anti-racist organisations such as Plea For Peace. United we stand, divided we fall.

Peace, love and respect. Always.

-- Tom RDD

Friday, 29 May 2009

I love the world for all that's inside it

Friday May 29th, marks my last day as a fresher and an inhabitant of Eddie E. I can tell you saying goodbye to good friends is a hardship that hurts a lot more than you think it would or could. In overall terms 3 1/2 months is a relatively short time but no matter how much you tell yourself this you still get that feeling of despair every time a friend drives off into the distance. Yesterday was certainly a hard day emotionally. Saying goodbye to 3 of your best friends in quick succession is no easy task. People may judge, may laugh, may find it odd that you can be upset when you are only being apart from these people for a few months. But you must remember people that you see literally everyday for 8 months become family and everyone deals with emotional stuff their own way. Some like to cry, others like to pretend everything is ok and other are not phased but such "small" events. To each their own. Change can be a good thing even if it does not seem that way at first. I know that when I get back home I have things to look forward to. Spending time with my family and seeing the girl I love with all that I am. So yes saying goodbye hurts but it is only for a while. We must treasure the times we had. If they were so perfect once why relive them again? It's important to remember where we came from and how we got there but not at the expense of the present or the future.

Peace, love and respect. as always.

-- Tom RDD

Friday, 22 May 2009

If I had my own world, I'd build an empire...

I promised myself I wouldn't but I guess I failed. Today/ yesterday marked the first of numerous almost heart breaking moments. The end of the academic year is upon us and I find myself, after two years as a fresher, dreading the next week. Of course I cannot wait to go home and see my family and my girlfriend but apart of me has almost gone forever and that is the "fresher" within me. As I have said I have spent the last two years a "fresher" so going into the second year of university is somewhat of a big deal. I can't wait for my degree to actually mean something but at the same time I don't want to loose the closeness I have with people I live with. Today marked the first of the inevitable. People have started to leave university for the summer. I will see these people again but not for another 3 months. Leaving the confines of a house in which you have literally seen these people everyday for a year is a hard task to go through no matter who you are. These people I have come to love and call my best friends. I will not forget the times I have spent with them and the things we have shared together. They mean more to me than I can possibly describe and I wish them a happy summer. You have made this last year one of the best years of my life and I am honoured to say that I have known you all.

Yours with peace love and respect. as always.

-- Tom RDD

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Good Morning Heartache, You're Like An Old Friend

It has been a while since writing on this. It's true that twitter is taking over the world one laptop at a time. But unfortunately such a small thing as twitter cannot contain all the words I need to say about my excitement! If you know me you will know I have an unrivalled passion for music. I love listening to it, playing and dancing to it and, excuse the cheese; it is in my very soul. I used to be apart of a ska band that had an unspoken break up and despite efforts to resurrect the band it looks like RDD is gone forever. But out of those ashes rises a new project of mine. My new acoustic reggae band Uncle Fungus has their first show EVER on May 27th @ Evolution in Worcester. This is a very exciting time for me as I have not taken to the stage to perform music for almost a year and I cannot begin to explain how much I look forward to stepping up to mic and saying "Hello, we're Uncle Fungus". Our three piece outfit consists of my two best friends, Mr. Iain Smith on the guitar and Mr. Tariq "Taz" Kahn on the bass and myself on vocals and melodica playing some smoothed out acoustic reggae and bouncy ska. There is part of me who wants to push this band all that I can but at the same time I don't want to make the same mistakes as I did with RDD and take things too seriously and ultimately loose the band and friends along the way. RDD taught me a lot about myself and about how I interact with other people add in the mix we were creating something that means more to me than I can explain it was almost certain things might not be as smooth as they should or could have been. But there is a side of me that believes that pushing the band got us to places we wouldn't have gotten if I hadn't. All in all the times I spent in RDD were amazing but I look forward to Uncle Fungus's transition from an idea into an actual band.

peace, love and respect. always.

-- Tom RDD

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

My Finale

May marks a rather depressing month for me personally. Although the summer awaits and adventures are to be had, being the nastalgi guy I am I can't help but feel slightly saddened. I am a fresher at University and as of the end of the month I won't be. I've been a fresher for two years in a row (seeing as I dropped out of uni last year) and it's one of the best years of your life in terms of being social. I have made so many friends over the last year and although they will still be my good friends I will no longer see them everyday. You may think this seems slightly pathetic and OTT however I challenge you to live with a group of people, see them everyday for almost a year and then part ways and see them maybe once a week or less and then tell me how it feels. The building I live in holds some of the best people I have had the pleasure to meet and call my friends so yes I may feel sad when I leave but I know it's not the end. It's just the end of a certain chapter which needs to be embraced. It's just one of those hard chapters it's hard to finish because you know it doesn't have a very nice ending.

In other slightly sad news my favorite TV show is ending. That's right [Scrubs]. Now that IS slightly odd but never the less I will miss not looking forward to new episodes and if they make another series it just won't be the same without J.D so that's pretty pointless.

In other news Swine Flu is tearing the world apart just like sars and bird flu...

Peace, love and respect. always.

-- Tom RDD

Friday, 1 May 2009


Becuase I've played far too many computer games and especially Supersmash bros. I have set myself the task of learning this song. It's AWESOME! If you have ever played Kirby or SSB You will recognise it. People who know me will know I don't play the piano... at all! I play the melodica and don't even play it that well so it will be pretty difficult but hey I'll give it a go!

Peace, Love and respect. as always.

-- Tom "super smash" RDD

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

everytime I look for you the sun goes down

Being alone comes in many forms I find. Being alone when you're in a group of friends is by the far the worst I feel. Not because your friends are excluding you in anyway but because your mind just cannot cope. It's easy to get lost in a crowed and I think this is the loneliest place to be. Surrounded by friends but still down in the dumps wishing you could be somewhere else. My friends make me happy, very happy, but still that familiar sense of depression creeps in and I need to be alone to get my head around it. But being alone is so lonely I find myself wishing myself to be around friends even though I know as soon as I am I will go back to the first state. It's a very complex situation. I'm usually a very optimistic person which is why I think being sad hits me so hard. But this time things are different. "Goodbye" means being alone but being together again is something to strive to, something that gives me passion and direction. It's hard to believe my first academic year is over but I long for it to go to quicker so I can be in the arms of the girl I love. But when I look back in years to come I will regret wishing it to go faster. These are years of my life and everyday is a step closer to the next big adventure.

Sorry for the fragmented entry. It's been a while and I wanted to write something but words and thoughts don't always come in nifty little sentences. This entry is pure thought on paper.

peace, love and respect.

-- Tom RDD

Friday, 17 April 2009

You'll Never Take Us Alive...

First things first, the Good To Go tour was AWESOME! Really good show and some very interesting people and it was the first time I met a gay punk so it was a learning experience to say the least.

Firstly must say that the first band I saw (after missing the opening act. oops!) Failsafe were pretty damn good. I think I've seen them support some one before but for the life of me I can't remember who. They had a really good energy and got the crowed going which is rare these days to get a crowed to do anything before the main acts take to the stage. So good show from them. Now I had never seen MC Lars before. I had heard a few of his tracks on the old myspace and seen a few videos but hadn't really paid that much attention. To put it simply he was fucking cool! No other way I can describe it. Spoke to him on the merch stand and he seemed to be a real genuine kinda guy who was a little surprised at how many people were at the show (about 500 I believe). Songs were really catchy and pretty funny (below is a video of one his songs check it out). I enjoyed his set so much one of the first things I did this morning was to download some of his songs off his website and have since been bopping along to them at home! And what makes it all the better is that he did his entire set in an Aquabats suit! That's entertainment!

And finally to the headline band, The Aquabats. Nothing makes me happier in the whole world of live music than seeing the most super rad lycra wearing crime fighting band on the planet take to the stage. I've now seen them three times and each time I've seen them they make the shows so fun and generally entertaining. God I love it. Being a drama student I really like a band who can make their shows ridiculous and funny. It's just something that makes me smile and feel all warm and fuzzy. Awesome set by the superheroes in blue. Bopped along and rocked out and they even did a rap battle with MC Lars (Watching an MC Lars Vs. MC Bat Commander rap battle is one of the greatest moments in live music history) and it was the first time I've been told the story of Midget Pirates at a show before (Aquabats fans will understand!)

So the rock kids can go watch AC/DC. The ravers can go see their Prodigy but hell I would choose The Aquabats over any band on the planet to go and see for the sheer brilliance of their shows and the hilarity that ensues. Top show. Only thing that could have made it better would be one or two old school Aquabeats but you can't have everything. Oh and I almost got stranded in London but managed not to. But that's another story...

Peace, love and respect. as always.

-- Tom RDD

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Good 2 Go!

This week has been a pretty dull week for me so far, I have literally done nothing but surf youtube and watched countless amounts of videos and I'm generally not doing anything productive. Even though I have a fair amount of work I could be getting on with I still choose youtube every single time. However, all this will change on Thursday when I go and see one of the most Super Rad bands on the planet! That's right I'm going to see The Aquabats! "who?" I hear you ask. This is who:

(WARNING: this may be too super awesome for some people to handle)

Friday, 10 April 2009

the truth about the youth

Yesterday (Thursday the 9th of April) me and the missed ventured into, what I think, is the greatest city in the UK, Brighton. I’ve been to Brighton more times than I can count and went through a phase of going there everyday in the summer when I was 15/16. I’ve always thought of Brighton as a individual town where the people, like the shops, are different to anywhere in the world. Until recently anyway.

Now first I must say when I was younger I did my fair share of conforming like we all did. I did things and wore clothing to be “cool”. I took part in the skater phase people went through and I wore baggy jeans and skate shoes, which in all honesty I still do. So you get the picture, I was young once and tried my best to fit in with my friends and tried to be “cool” just like them. However, when I was about 14 I found my own way. My friends were all into their metal and rock but around this age I discovered or rather got more interested in punk rock and ska. I had of course heard The Specials and Madness in my day and I had heard the usual suspects likes Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger and The Suicide Machines thanks to Tony Hawks legendary skating game, but it was this age I found a genre of music and a life style which I loved and still do. Of course I was not the only kid into that scene at my school. The more popular kids had already branded themselves as “ska kids” and looked down on me for being a bit too eager to get more involved. But still I didn’t look for their approval because I had my own friends and my own thing going on so impressing them wasn’t really on my agenda. Anyway, you get the point I was a teenager who conformed then found his way into something else and started changing the way I dressed, the way I acted and the way I viewed the world.

It was about this time of all these changes I started venturing into Brighton. Back then it seemed a weird and wonderful place, sort of an Alice in Wonderland kinda thing, everyone was different. There were hardly any “chavs” (remember this was about 2003/2004) and there was a lot more colour and everything seemed bigger and better. Back then it seemed everyone looked and dressed differently. People were different, the fashion was different (as I guess you can say ska was the “in” thing back then), and the music was different. So key thing here.

Old Brighton = Different and exciting

Present day Brighton = EVERYONE IS A CLONE!!!

As I’ve said I’ve done my share of conforming and going with the crowd but MY GOD has it gotten worse! All the kids look the same! Every one of them is a walking Top Shop advert! It’s ridiculous! For instance on the train going to Brighton three kids (all in the same group), no older than 12, were all wearing the same damn thing! All had skinny blue jeans, plimsoll type shoes, a cardigan and a stupid fringe to match the typical “I’m so fucking indie” But it’s not just the clothes it’s the whole damn attitude. This whole “We’re so individual and special and no one dresses like we do” thing that they have going on annoys the hell out of me. All the guys clothes are either from Top Man or H&M and the girls are exactly the same, just Top Shop fashion victims, where is the individualism in that? I wouldn’t mind so much if there was some variation but there just isn’t! This is truly the age of the teenage clone.

Peace, love and respect.

-- Tom RDD

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A thousand faces we'll choose to ignore...

Right, so my last post was a little harsh. I vented my feelings about the situation and now it's over and done with. Hoora! A friend of my mine recently got me thinking about love and how it practically controls everything we do. Well doesn’t it? Isn't love submission? Of course not. The great thing about being in love with someone is you don't have to do anything. You don't show your love by being made to do something but choosing to do it. If we HAD to do things it wouldn't be nearly as romantic. And it's not submission. Love is a two way street which both of you have to pass down to survive. I've been with my incredible girlfriend now for almost three years. We've survived these years because our love, not to sound cliché, is real. I don't know how else to explain it. Since being with her no one can even come in comparison to how I feel about her. No woman can match her beauty and no man or woman living or dead can make me feel as happy and euphoric as she does. I love her with all of my heart, body and soul and there are no words than can begin to describe how deep that love goes. I can only wish that in this lifetime I can show her a mere percent of how much love I have in my heart for her.

We didn't get here through giving in and giving up. We've embarked on what few couples can outlast (being at different universities) TWICE! That's right twice! I've been to two different universities over the last two years and she has been to two different institutions of learning (Art College and University) at different parts of the country and there has never been a moment of doubt in my head, never a moment of hesitation and that's what you need to be in this kind of relationship. This is going to sound slightly harsh but only the strong relationships survive what has come to be known as "university challenge". If your heart is not in it you will fail eventually regardless of whether it takes a year, two or three. When I first came to university people were surprised I was in a relationship and people still are surprised that after almost two years at Uni we are still together and still going strong. People say it's not worth it and it can't be done, well I think we're living proof it is worth it and it can be done. Love is not a battle to won or lost. It's being completely venerable with someone and sharing (that's a key word) life together. Couples fight it's a natural thing and if a couple didn't occasionally argue how can the relationship grow into something stronger? When these moments happen its better to shelve your pride and apologise rather than shelve your love. Because what’s more important admitting you are wrong or tearing apart something beautiful? Arguments come and go but love lives on and, forgive another cheesy cliché but I truly believe it, conquers all.

Peace, love and respect. as always.

-- Tom RDD

Sunday, 29 March 2009


Be aware this rant may offend some of you. If you like celebrity culture and all that you might not want to read on. But other wise give it a read...

This has been on my mind for a while. Jade Goody. No, I'm not going to make any jokes about her but I WILL tell the truth as I see it. She was a washed up wannabe celebrity. She was famous just because she was on Big Brother and that is nothing to be proud of. She then went on Big Brother and called someone a "poppodom" which to be honest is insensitive but not exactly the worst racial slur in the world. Then everyone jumped on the "I Hate Jade" bandwagon and pretended to give a crap about racism just because it was on their televisions sets. Then after a wile flitting around doing pretty much jack shit she gets cancer. Now let me make this clear. Cancer is NOT funny. Members of my family have died of cancer and I know the pain it causes. But it makes me laugh at how the people who hated this woman for being "racist" then suddenly started feeling sorry for her. People saying she has kids, yeah well so do most of the other cancer patients that are in the UK but people don't care about them. Not that they really should, you don't know them, you’ve never met them and they've never influenced your lives in anyway. Cancer is just a very sad fact we have to deal with in this life. So the nation was worshipping a wannabe celebrity because she had cancer. I feel sorry for her family but you will not catch me jumping on the "it's a tragedy" bandwagon. It's not a tragedy; she did NOTHING this country can be proud of. It's sad that her kids are going to grow up without a mom but what about all the other kids who don't have parents that most of you don’t think twice about because they don't have a "celebrity" mother. And NOW to make matters worse for people like me who are sick of hearing about this bloody woman, they are making a film! OF WHAT?!?!? Her life? What the hell did she do that's worth a film deal? This is an honest question someone please tell me WHY! Was it all the money she gave to charity, oh wait she didn’t! Granted kids come first but how much money did she make from all those interviews she did in those wank magazines like Hello? And yet none of her money went to cancer research or other cancer charities. You would think after all the thousands of pounds she made she could at least give SOME money to charity. If someone can provide me with links and sources that she did give money to charity I will revise my opinion on that matter. However, the point remains. This country is becoming increasingly obsessed with 3rd rate celebrity and it’s starting to worry me somewhat.

This is my opinion and if you don't like it tough.

-- Tom RDD

Monday, 23 March 2009


Another song that I really like. WARNING RUDE WORDS!!!

Hey, elitists from L.A.; Los Angeles, California
you know who you are
you drive in fancy cars
your allowance exceeds my rent
well listen to what I have to say
remind yourselves every day
let's get the message on its way

well first of all,
fuck your fucking attitudes
how can you be so fucking rude?
you fucking look at me like when girls are jealous
and fuck your fucking L.A. bars
you're all a bunch of wannabe superstars
yeah, fuck your fucking act
you're a bunch of dressed up fucking rats

you get anything you want
mommy's jobless fucking runt
you're fucking lounging in daddy's fucking mansion
and all your fucking stupid names
Blair and Tavis, that's fucking lame
Z-A-C does not spell Zack,
what the fuck is with all that?

And you think you're so fucking impressive
You can get your name on the fucking guestlist
raise your nose to the people in line
give the doorman a fucking high five

and they go

do my shoes match my shirt?
does my shirt clash with my pants?
do my pants match my eyes?
do my eyes look good tonight?
will this place be cool enough?
your hair looks so, so tough
this looks so good for us
tonight my money's gonna buy me love

and fuck all of your deceiving
what's your fake heart fake fucking bleeding?
and all the girls you lay to your mat
are the same fucking girls you fucking laugh at
and fuck your fucking fake ass world
and all your handed out fucking thrills
some of us, we have to work hard
just to get our little part
and maybe your glamour's not in Boston
but my friends are fucking awesome
and we'll keep on doing our best
even though our lives are a mess

Even though my life is a mess, yeah

and we go

will this check support this tour?
will this tour lose my job?
without my job where's the rent?
should we all just call it quits?
the dinner dates sure cost a lot
when 28 bucks is all you got
and your life is at a stop
and all your dreams are all self-taught

and this is the difference between our lives
no wonder tonight you feel alright
and I'm sorry if my mind is occupied
I'm trying to forget to wonder why

We're built up from nothing
I'm trying to forget to wonder why

Peace, Love and respect. as always.

-- Tom RDD

Somewhere In The Between...

ok I lied. I will post again today. However it is only a quick(ish) one. Basically below are some song lyrics which I think are possilby some of the best lyrics I have ever heard in my life ever. Enjoy.

Streetlight Manifesto - Down To Menphisto's Cafe

If I were you, I would take this as a sign
Believe it's true, we were never meant to fly
And I owe you, I know you more than anyone alive
And I will not let go

They will not remember this song
No matter what we do we'll be wrong
They will not remember this song
No matter what we do we'll be wrong

I can't seem to see the seal we're breaking
I can't seem to see the seal we broke
I refuse to recognize your views
Someone shouted "Everything's for nothing"
Somebody shouted, "All is lost"
But I can't buy that nonsense too

Way back when the prophecies began
Do you think they really had a master plan
Or were they merely writing fables, stories?
I don't know but it has occurred to me
The punishment that they threaten constantly
It's only real if they could just convince me

We're going down, down, down to Mephisto's Cafe
Down, down, down to Mephisto's Cafe (We're going down)
And the gears will spin and the sinners sin, but at least we'll give them hell
And the righteous few will spit on you, so bid them all farewell
We're going down, down, down to Mephisto's Cafe
We're going down (Right?) (Right!)

So fuck the flocks of sheep that keep amassing masses
Asses being led so far astray
And I won't claim to believe the things I read
Black books or agenda magazine
I'd rather see in shades of gray

If I were you, I would take this as a sign
Believe it's true, we were never meant to fly

And I knew you when you were you
Before they twisted all your views
Before you came unglued

We're going down, down, down to Mephisto's Cafe
Down, down, down to Mephisto's Cafe (We're going down)
And the gears will spin and the sinners sin, but at least we'll give them hell
And the righteous few will spit on you, so bid them all farewell
We're going down, down, down to Mephisto's Cafe
We're going down (Right?) (Right!)

Now everybody's telling taller tales
And I don't know who to believe
Ok, if your father really loves you more
What about the other families?

Finally, I met a man with kindness in his eye and fire in his heart
He said you'll never have to choose a side
It's rewarding but oh, the road is hard....

They broke him wide open
Like a dam and a cork that's holding everything inside
You can play the role of rebel
Just be sure to know your wrong from right

I remember it was years ago
You know I still count the days
You and I had quite a ways to go
I never once heard you complain
And you said

Don't crack, because you might not make it back
And if you do you will be alone and you can't live like that
Well I know when I'm wrong and I sure as hell ain't wrong this time

We're going down, down, down to Mephisto's Cafe
Down, down, down to Mephisto's Cafe (We're going down)
And the gears will spin and the sinners sin, but at least we'll give them hell
And the righteous few will spit on you, so bid them all farewell
We're going down, down, down to Mephisto's Cafe
We're going down (Right?) (Right!)

peace, love and respect. always.

-- Tom RDD

Talking about the right state of mind

Just a quick one today. Today I have been blitzing my Mad Caddies albums and boy have I forgotten how good they are! Possibly one of the best ska bands in the world today and what a sound that guitar makes (that guy is a reggae genious!). Here is one of their slower songs off their latest album. Enjoy!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Come on son you haven't got a chance now...

This picture is literally making me smile... rather a bit!

10 points to the person to guesses what it is (not that it is difficult). Anyway, sorry about the lack of updates. Haven't really had much brewing around the old noggin of vague intelligence over the last few days, however someone did tell me that my blog was "very intellectual" which made me laugh a fair bit. I will say one thing however; to give the vague impression I am doing something to inspire you blog readers. Isn't it amazing how the weather can affect our mood? Where I am at the moment (which is Worcester in the west midlands, UK) it is ridiculously sunny and rather warm. And because of this smashing weather I have been feeling very positive. For example I woke up the other day in literally the worst mood ever, I missed my girlfriend, missed home and felt generally lonely. I went out in the sun with some friends and within 10 minutes my problems just faded away. I of course have my very good friends to thank for this but also the weather. Thank you Mother Nature! I of course still miss my beautiful girlfriend and home but the weather helps me see the bright (no pun intended) side of life and remind me I will be with them soon. But until I get to hold Becki in my arms again I will just have to make do with the great weather and lay on the grass and literally do nothing (thank you [Scrubs]). Anyway, wherever you are, whatever you are doing I hope you are enjoying yourself and making the best of it.

Peace, love and respect. as always.

-- Tom RDD

Monday, 16 March 2009


Watch this. Makes me want to go riding even more!

What I want!

I used to be really into riding the old BMX. In my years of riding I spent some great times with my friends riding street, dirt and whatever we could find. So no surprises that I want to get back into it and seeing as my first was a Mongoose Menace, I really want a new Mongoose. Below are some bikes I would like. Enjoy.

Peace, love and respect. as always.

-- Tom RDD