I’m getting Strictly-fied!


It’s back, and with Tess and Claudia in charge as many of us wanted, so Yay!


First impressions … Greg was wearing a permanent, infectious grin and Jake looked pretty nifty but too stoney faced. Frankie and Pixie, as expected,  were trim and precise, but Alison outshone both with bags of oomph. Judy seemed a little stiff but her posture looked good – she’ll no doubt warm up, while Thom could well be the whole package – as long as he’s not too earnest. Tim made me laugh – twice – his partnership with Natalie (hurrah, she’s back) already very charming and natural – and he likes flinging himself around, which is something I always want to hear. Simon clearly has a lot of talent, as we’ve seen before, and Caroline can channel the Strictly on Wheels experience to good effect. I didn’t see enough of the others to pass any judgement.

The ‘Unfair advantage’ lot are already pointing fingers, so let’s stop for a moment and discuss: It’s bullshit. Learning to dance ballroom and Latin is totally different to shaking your booty. The pop stars may have the timing, but the sporty folk have the stamina and discipline and the actors bring character. The TV and radio presenters have less experience being on stage but the nature of their jobs is to make the most of their personalities.

Which brings me to the Dos and Don’ts of how to win Strictly:

Don’t be too earnest and over analyse everything – let yourself go and enjoy it.

Don’t moan, cry or complain – we’d give our right legs to be in your position. Which would make things bloody awkward but you get my drift.

Do what your Pro tells you.

Don’t backchat the judges – they know better than you. However, they (and we) love a bit of banter – learn the difference.

Don’t keep telling us how funny you are. It’s like laughing at your own jokes, don’t do it. Make us laugh without meaning to – see note re Tim above.

Be confident, not arrogant.

Do fall in love with dancing – it’ll be obvious to us if you don’t.

Do realise that the worst case scenario of falling over, forgetting your steps or having a major wardrobe malfunction is still massively offset by being given, at the very least, four weeks intensive training with a professional, and two days of pampering and spangly frocks/tuxedos to play at Cinderella or Prince Charming.

Easy, isn’t it?


Happy Tunesday!


I defy you to keep still in your seat to this! For lovers of all things folky and dancey, I give you Ranzo (The Wild Goose Shanty) by The Demon Barbers, a taster from their new album Disco At The Tavern, due in early summer 2015.

It will accompany a festival tour of their new live show The Demon Brothers XL, featuring dancers from The Lock In and special guests Matt Crum (keyboards/sax) and scratch DJ ‘Wax On’.

The album is set to capture all the energy and excitement of the live shows, as they took the decision to cut back on touring  to work on new material. A goodly part of that excitement is down to the announcement that the production team will be Emmy & Grammy Award winning producerDonal Hodgson and Kipper, best known for their work with Sting!

“We’re really excited to be working with such experienced producers and the demo track sounds fantastic, it’s just like being on stage! It’s been 4 years since our last album and we’re keen to show the world how much our music has developed; we’re hoping for a busy festival season!”

Find The Demon Barbers here.

GEEK – Meet, make and play in Medway


Ideas Test and Margate’s GEEK Play team are bringing three days of creative play to Medway on the final weekend in August.

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At the Oast House, Rainham, on Friday and Saturday, August 29-30, the event will open with music and a video gaming carnival on the Friday night.

On the Saturday, all three floors of the venue will be filled with games and play. The top floor is being taken over by the Robot Arena, where you can find making workshops and Mega Battles. In the digital and analogue section, come and play the games you love and learn to play and make new ones. Also on hand: chip tune music, meet Indie Devs, make robot costumes and play Laser Pong.

On Sunday 31st, the game play continues in Rochester, where the Guildhall Museum becomes the hub for a day of play.

Join Dr Sketchy and the GEEK team for some museum based playing before heading out to discover Tourist Trap, Stream the Streets, Special Guests and other games and workshops in and around Rochester High Street. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.geek-play.com.

Ideas Test is a local funding body to which anyone with a great idea to increase arts participation can apply to. They can be found at www.ideastest.co.uk.