13 things you need to spice up your sex life in Metro!

Read my piece in Metro now...

‘I’ve got the toys to turn your body out,’ cooed New Power Generation vocalist Elisa Fiorillo on Love Machine, a track from Prince’s 12th album, Graffiti Bridge.

Of course, Prince was a veteran of the vagina and a master in the bedroom so we’d all do well to take note – sex toys take things to another level of multiple orgasms.

For example, a butt plug can fulfill a woman’s fantasy of being taken by two men simultaneously. and, at the same time, tightening the vagina for him.

And a dog collar can be decorative or the source of humiliation.

My personal favourite is the feather tickler – it has me bouncing off the ceiling in an insatiable frenzy of sexy fun.

If you haven’t tried a toy before, use lashings of lubricant, don’t be shy and don’t play the part of a shadow – let your inhibitions go and let it drink you till dawn.

1. Erotic literature

Get in the mood with some seductive literature.

Forget 50 Shades and go with something classic, such as Georges Bataille’s ‘Story of the eye’ – a study of human desire.

Story of the Eye
(Picture: Penguin)

2. Dog collar

Make sure it has a ring on the front to lead you to the bedroom and don’t forget to get on your hands and knees.

(Picture: Coco de Mer)

3. Molecule 1

Use fragrance that works with your pheromones like Escentric Molecules’ Molecule 1, which is now widely available.

Tribute 8 do a wonderful homage version for a fraction of the price.


4. Dildo

Get back to basics with a classic dildo.

We all know and love the Rampant Rabbit for its added clit stimulation and if you haven’t tried it yet head to Ann Summers.

(Picture: Ann Summers)

5. Vibrating butt plug

Slightly less known but profound nonetheless.

(Picture: Bondara)

6. Gagging ball

Give in to humiliation with a ball strapped to your mouth – the ultimate in dom/sub role play.

(Picture: Coco de Mer)
(Picture: Coco de Mer)

7. Feather tickler

Be a tease after the strip with a feather tickler to drive your partner to the brink of ecstasy.

(Picture: Coco de Mer)
(Picture: Coco de Mer)

8. Nipple and clit clamps

Pinch the nipples and clitoris for some pleasurable pain.

(Picture: Bondara)

9. Leather paddle

If you’ve been a terribly naughty girl or boy and insist on being punished, try a leather paddle to teach you a lesson.

(Picture: Coco de Mer)
(Picture: Coco de Mer)

10. Latex mittens

For some fetish couture, try some black latex gloves and go fingerless to allow full ‘Roman fingers’ (or finger’s that roam).

(Picture: Coco de Mer)
(Picture: Coco de Mer)

11. Hand cuffs

For BDSM pleasure after hours, try some hand cuffs.

If you’re wearing them, try to wriggle out.

12. Mask

Stimulate your senses of touch by going all the way with a blindfold on.

13. Prostate massager

And finally, I’m delighted to introduce you, gents, to the Aneros Helix Syn – a massager that caresses the prostate.

(Picture: Harmony)

The Swoon Story: Reminding Us How Extraordinarily Fun Dancing Can Be


Once upon a time, way back in the 1990s, Swoon was dubbed “Best Friday night” by music bible Mixmag as well as by Pete Tong on his BBC Radio 1 show. It was always an effortlessly classy night with clubbers mimicking the smouldering 40s screen sirens on the night’s exclusive flyers.

Founded in February 1994, in its heyday it was filmed for Channel 4’s BPM and saw celebrity DJs such as Boy George, Graeme Park, Jeremy Healy, Masters at Work, and Judge Jules headlining – often globetrotting just to get to Stafford. The feel-good atmosphere, the friendly crowd, the excitement for a Friday night out are all difficult to sum up in words. But let’s just say Swoon has always had that je ne sais quoi!

And now the countdown to the next Swoon reunion is on, after a fantastic 1st year back and fresh on the heels of Swoon’s sell out anniversary show. Coming back to the Stafford venue on the anniversary’s spring night, after a twenty year break, was Roger Sanchez. With arms rising to the air like champagne bubbles, the DJ knew instinctively how to draw an utterly beguiling crowd (people talked afterwards of the brilliant atmosphere that’s even better the second time around!)

So, one year into the reunions and Swoon are now hosting a shimmering summer special on 31st July. Buy one of the few remaining tickets before they all sell out in 3, 2… weeks. The line-up for this summer special is almost as bright as the sun that’ll be setting as the DJs prepare for the night.

As well as Jon Pleased Wimmin, they’ll be Allister Whitehead, and residents Angel and Mark Rowley – all reunited under Couture’s giant glitter ball. Need a cold shower after that? Head on down to Room 2 with Sounds Collective, Mark Mac & Guests in for a cooling, more chilled experience.

While there’s no dress code, Swooners (as the promoters endearingly call them!) like to leave an impression. Swoon has always been a glitzy affair and the look harks back to glamourous grunge with metallic silver baby doll dresses, ankle socks and pigtails. The men like their tartan shirts (and many even go for tartan pants).

But Swoon has always attracted more women than it has men – indeed, it was one of the first nights to have a resident female DJ (Angel) and there’s never any trouble behind the glittering black doors.

As always, early bird tickets have sold out in record time and only a few limited standard tickets remain. Make sure you grab them whilst you can!

Swoon. Meaning: to feel a lot of pleasure, love, because of something or someone. Be part of it, come along!

Swoon nights are held at Couture, Stafford. The next reunion is on 31st July with Jon Pleased Wimmin, Allister Whitehead, Mark Rowley & Angel headlining. Tickets in advance, from £15.

Rewd Britannia – published in Fused Magazine


Fatherhood has not fettered the fire in rapper Rewd Adams. His latest offering, Hunger Pains 2, stands testimony to this. Inspired by real life and peppered with a theme of love, Hunger Pains 2 is more melodic and mellow than his previous releases, but by no means is it any less passionate. His lyrics, sometimes wise beyond their years, are punctuated by the sort of philosophy you find down the pub on a Friday night – he’s even made a video on a camera phone filming one such night for his track Hair of the Dog. But his lyrics – his first port of call when setting about making a track – are also punctuated with a Buddha-esque compassion that comes only from walking in well-worn shoes. Shoes that his previous, more venomous work, under the name Skandal, alludes to. Fused caught up with the man to delve a little deeper…

Your new mix tape Hunger Pains 2 is very uplifting & melodic – intentional? What vibe were you going for?
I’ve always leant to the more melodic side of rap, I’m a believer that it keeps the listener engaged and that’s ultimately the aim for me as an artist. It was a conscious decision to base a lot of the songs around the theme of love, which is something I’ve not done before and it definitely made the project a more cohesive listen.

What came first in putting this mix tape together, writing? Can you explain how it got made?
Yeh. I normally start with writing, beats are an important factor because every beat will give me a different vibe and inspire different feelings and concepts. I wrote most of the demos at home and recorded the final versions at Kilamanjaro studios with Chemo (bad boy engineer).

You did an album about struggling to make ends meet (How Not to Make a Living) – does the internet hinder or help you from making a living?
Haha yeh I was pretty pissed off at the time. I don’t think anything or anybody hinders you making money other than yourself you know? There’s always ways to make money whether in music or not. The Internet is just a tool for artists to use for their benefit if they take the time to learn how to use it properly. Most of my sales have been digital so the Internet hasn’t hampered any of my revenue.

Biggest influences?
Life, my family, everyday people and conversations I have with like-minded individuals.

Do you work with any artists stateside? Are there any frustrations to being a “UK Rap Star” rather than one based somewhere else?
Thanks to the Internet yeh, I worked with a producer called Sinitus Tempo on the new project who blessed me with a great instrumental for the song ‘loyalty’. I’ve produced for a cat called Avatar Darko from Seattle as well. I’m slowly building up some contacts and I hope to continue to work with artists and producers all over the world.

Did you know in China they have a genre called C-Rap! What do you make of it?
No I haven’t heard of it, I’ll be sure to check it out…. Wait! C-Rap!? Doesn’t that spell crap?

Hunger Pains 2 features buses, hangovers, etc – inspiration from real life?
Haha 100% unless it’s a fictional character or I’m writing through the eyes of someone else all my music is in person. If I haven’t lived it I can’t really draw much inspiration from that situation. And I prefer to keep it as authentic as possible.

What’s next for you?
At the moment the plan is to keep promoting the new release, keep pumping out videos and do shows while pushing Hunger Pains 2 to as many people as possible.

Download Hunger Pains 2 on iTunes. See the post on FusedMagazine.co.uk.

A Dram for Dad – The Ardmore Legacy


Whack for my daddy-o! Whack for my daddy-o! There’s whiskey in the jar-o!

This Father’s Day I wanted to buy something special for my Dad. In an ideal world I’d whisk him to Scotland but neither of us have the time so I’m bringing Scotland to him with a jar of whisky from the Highlands (unlike Thin Lizzy’s preferred Irish whiskey notes).

The Ardmore Legacy is the perfect introduction to peated single malt whisky. It has notes of creamy vanilla, followed by smoky charcoal and savoury spices with a pleasant smoky taste.

 I think he’ll enjoy quaffing back a full-bodied and smooth dram with a dry, spicy and long-lasting finish al fresco this summer.

Available in multiple retailers including Tesco and Morrisons (RRP £29.99). www.ardmorewhisky.com

Nineties Nostaglia at Stafford’s Swoon

Swoon 1

It’s 11pm and a swarm of neon yellow-jackets are manning the door to Stafford’s Couture night club. They could be having a party of their own. But as myself and my partner reach the doors, it’s clear tonight’s party is the reserve of Lyrca, hairspray and 40-something men in red tartan pants. Yes, it’s as compelling as it sounds – we’re  here reliving our youth.

Tonight at Couture it’s the 1st anniversary of Swoon, and Roger Sanchez is headlining. Swoon, in its heyday some twenty years ago was a haven for high-heels and discernible yoots. Friday nights saw revellers travelling from the far reaches of the UK for a glimpse Boy George et al spinning a set of pounding yet euphoric house music.

Swoon back then, was awarded Mixmag’s best Friday night in the country and filmed for Channel 4 BPM show. Regulars saw it as a mecca for friendly faces, feather bowers, and flights of fancy with the girl next door.

Today Swoon nights at Couture are part of a series of reunions, very much in tune with the zeitgeist for all things nineties (and yes, I keep a scrunchy in my jacket pocket tonight for when it all gets too sweaty). The familiar DJs are back behind the decks to aid us clubbers in stepping back in time. And it is as magical as it sounds.

There are two rooms in the club and the main room fills quickly, by 10.30pm. The second room downstairs, is more of a chill out space. A heavy haze from the smoke machine fills a near-empty dancefloor – not a melting clubber gurning in sight!

Rested downstairs, we venture back up to the main room and it’s clear why this is the drawcord of the night with what we used to call “anthems” or “toons” being played back to back to an audience with their hands reaching for a ceiling that’s almost entirely eclipsed with a glitter ball. No finer point can be put on how friendly the crowd are – some faces are clearly recognisable, others not so much. But all of them adorning smiles. People spotting and garb dissemination are all part of the fun (Where did you get that dress from?)

These nights at Swoon are memories to be cherished and the reunions are no different. As the lurid green laser beams of good times swoop across the dance floor in my final moments of the evening, we have world class DJs and a vibe that tailgates the Madchester era right here in the Midlands. Then and now, putting Stafford on the map and defying the expensive Virgin train to an even more expensive London as the sole route of a really great night out (and the only place to find the lesser-spotted red tartan pants and their happy inhabitants).

Swoon nights are held at Couture, Stafford, just a stone’s throw from the train station (and a kebab shop!) The next reunion is on 31st July with Jon Pleased Wimmin, Allister Whitehead, headlining. Tickets in advance, from £15. For more information visit www.facebook.com/swoonfanpage.

Published in Fused.

Belle & Sebastian preview in Fused Magazine


Rewind to 1996, and Belle & Sebastian’s debut album, titled Tigermilk, is the staple for any art school student worth her weight in Gouache. It starts with a song called The State I’m in, and so the storytelling begins.

She makes models of the Velvet Underground in clay, she fills her pockets with pharmaceuticals to fix her brain, and only one sticks around as he’s rendered incontinent in bed. So here is the Belle & Sebastian protagonist, too uncool perhaps for the fashion brigade on Liberty Hill and steeped in tragedy.

The sound is soothing and the melody upbeat. The lyrics layer irony and teen angst, sometimes simply moments from everyday life (such as a cold cup of tea tasting of washing up liquid), over a guitar.

But we don’t want anything else from the Glaswegian band who beat Steps to a Brit award in 1999.

They’ve appeared on the soundtracks to Adam Curtis’s The Power Of Nightmares, Todd Solondz’s Storytelling, and Juno – a climax to the storytelling is a teacher looking up some girls skirt. Belle & Sebastian’s clout defies the critics’ who so often say they’re a shy and retiring ensemble.

Fast forward to 2014, and they’ve cut their ninth album called Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. Songwriter Stuart Murdoch’s lyrics have very rarely been first person – at least, they haven’t until now. The opening track is Murdoch’s life, at least the life he led just before Belle & Sebastian was born. House-bound and with chronic fatigue syndrome prior to the formation of the group, it’s a period he has drawn on before. But never has he written anything as direct as ‘Nobody’s Empire’ – side one, track one of the new album. He says it’s the most personal thing he’s ever written.

There’s a great quote last year from Bob Stanley that sum the band up: “It’s all about trusting in the restorative power of pop music. If you’d trust anyone to write a great Europop song about Sylvia Plath, you’d trust Belle & Sebastian.”

Belle & Sebastian play at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham on the 10th May 2015. Tickets are priced at £25.

For more information or to book visit www.thsh.co.uk.

Clarks have designs on the desert

My article published in Fused.

Get your swagger on like the best music moguls in the business with a pair of Clarks desert boots. Ghostface Killah named an album after his Wallabees and Jay Z headlined Glastonbury in his. Modfather Paul Weller, Blur and Dizzee Rascal have all deserted their usual footwear in favour of this cool Clarks classic.

Indeed, the influence of the Clarks Desert boot has traveled Sahara wide since it was designed by Nathan Clark in Burma in 1949. He was serving with the West African Brigade at the time. The inspiration came from a crepe-soled boot made out of rough suede popular in Cairo’s Old Bazaar. Then, the footwear of choice for off-duty Eighth Army officers, it was the boot’s simple line and conspicuous comfort that struck a chord with Nathan, a chord that, 60 years later, still sweeps like a sand-storm through wardrobes all over the world.

Over 60 long years after its debut, the Desert Boot lives on like Tutankhamun’s mask, but instead encasing some of the world’s most sought after feet. And this season you can even don a pair by Mr Swagger himself – the ones pictured are designed by Liam Gallagher for his Pretty Green label. They’re like finding an Oasis in the Kalahari.

One in a Million

Successful fashion labels outside London are one in a million. So I do really love hearing about cool style happenings outside the big smoke.

Millionhands is a fledgling British label that started life in 2009. They produce screen-printed tees and have a seaside HQ in Hove rather than Holland Park.

What a good idea… J’adore!

The tee pictured has been designed in collaboration with techno record label, Planet E. It comes in 100 per cent organic cotton and is Fair Wear certified and sweat shop free.

To see the full range of Millionhands T-shirts including further collaborations with Heavenly Jukebox, Oslo’s Smalltown Supersound, Chicago Acid House hero Adonis and musical duo Mock & Toof visit millionhands.net

India Xweets & Xpices

Variety, taste, colour and texture are the main drawcords of Indian sweets. They’re also key ingredients to the new album “India Xweets & Xpices” by Povan Beats and Spanix Graza.

A kind of funked-up westside music box of melancholic sounds stolen from old Indian records – all with a distinctly cinematic sound -the album boasts a large selection of 30 succinct, succulent tracks.

Born and raised in San Francisco Bay, artist Povan tells me: “My influences are Radiohead, J Dilla, and Flying Lotus just to name a few. But I basically listen to everything and my goal is to infuse all cultures and music into one eventually in my own quirky way.”

“That’s what I tried to do with my friend Spanix Graza on this album take something like old Indian records that were quite cliché in a lot of ways and make it into something soulful and unique.”

Of note, track “Japanese Punjabi” tip toes into a vortex of ambient techno psychedelia and “PooPoo Plate” heralds the angelic cry of Indian singers whirling like dervishes behind hip hop MC and something that sounds redolent of a bumble bee.

It’s Devika Rani (early Indian movie star) meets [adult swim bump]. If you like flowing motions, cinematic soundscapes, with a spicy yet saccharine twist, then this is an album for you.

Download it here.

Dear Africa feat. Les Nubians

Blitz the Ambassador’s first single, ‘Dear Africa’ ft Les Nubians is available for free download now, here – Native Sun.

It reminds me of long sunny Sundays spent at Camden Stables – drums, dusty floors and delightful scenery set to an uptempo backdrop of world music.

Cheerful yet also political, with clear nods to west Africa, this new track is the perfect music to receive spring.