Thursday, 24 December 2015

A Message to You, Christmas

Well tomorrow is the big day. No...not my wedding silly... Christmas. Have you heard of it? Have you been good? What is Santa Bringing you? Normally I would write a post right at the end of the year but expect to hear nothing more until the new year when I will be uber busy and may not get round to anything anyway...

It's been an odd year, normally I exclaim at this point that the year has gone over quickly but this year hasn't. I can't remember what happened at the beginning, or the middle and I can just about remember the end. I was reminded by a poster that I have stored at uni;
that I went to see the Lucid Dream. It feels like ages ago. Well it was ten months but I should have a better memory than that. I have been to see them guys (the Lucid Dream melted my face as did Purple Heart Parade), Sleaford Mods (great live w/two awesome supports), Courtney Barnett (I still have a crush on her w/two awesome supports), The Computers & Colt 45 (awesome), The Strypes (w/a support act better than they were), Kazabian (alright) & Resurrection (not great). We have had some amazing albums (see two posts ago for that run down).

In terms of events, two really effected me. Personally, was the floods in Carlisle it meant I could not get to uni or go anywhere in close proximity to the outskirts. As well as, mentally, the Paris attacks knocked me for six, that weekend I had gone home and that was buzzing in my head. I knew no one effected, but innocent people being shot while listening and dancing and enjoying themselves to the music they loved, hurts on a deep level.

Click the link to raise money for those effected by buying covers of the EODM song "I love you all the time;

I saw my brother play his first gig as well as go off to uni. He doesn't know it or may not understand how proud I am of him. He has gone through; a death in the family, the stress of moving away and the nerve to stand in a room of his peers and raise the roof.  He has been through a lot more in previous years too so if you are reading this; YOUR BROTHER THINKS YOU ARE GREAT!
I went to another foreign country that I have wanted to visit for a while. Italy is a marvelous place; beautiful, hot and sunny. We went to visit the pope but he wasn't in so we had to admire the architecture of his house instead. As usual we had to find a record shop so got two punk bootlegs; of course I did. that's normal, right? It will be harder to visit next time if the brexit happens (if being the key word).
A photo posted by JamesAlexander Reay (@jamuggins) on
I think thats all i needed to cover in this brief overeview of the year; more highlights include; Moved uni house, went too NME, Mourned the death of NME,bought lots of LP's, drunk lots of beer, ate pizza. Have a great Christmas and see you on the other side of the new year.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Write Down; JCC

 An ode to the bard of Salford. JCC, is a talent. A true original. Poetry at the speed of light. With wit as sharp as a nail. He leaves everyone in his set to fail. You can copy this man and it will be obvious, your not as good as his royal highness. I am not sure why I am writing this but to tell you people the good word of John Cooper Clarke. Poetry without pretension. Writing as an outsider, what do you think of the human race.

Far from the 3 chord wonders of punk made him the true punk. A bare voice. Nothing to hide behind. No chords to help you guide where this is going. No melody to carry the message. Words mouth to ear. Words on Sci Fi, words on death, words on love, words till he runs out of breath. This man ranks among one of the best lyricists/poets in popular culture. Poetry was a high art, until it married a monster from out of space, thanks to JCC. Bringing it to punks and then the masses rather than the cultured few. Like the beat poets before him; it mattered how it was said, not simply how it was read.

I am have little authority as a designer to do reviews on areas I have little knowledge of, but he is my favourite poet and one of my favourite people in general terms (never met the bloke as with everyone on this imaginary list inside my list, but he's just someone you'd expect to be awesome). Although I have seen him live. It would be hard to choose a poem to end this rant on but here it goes

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Write Down; 2015 in Music

So it's list time of the year and you guys know how much I love lists. So I thought it would be good to combine my love of music and lists for the years run down. Here is the 15 best albums and tracks of the year;

Top Albums
1. Sometimes I Sit and think, Sometimes I just Sit – Courtney Barnett
2. To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
3. No Cities to Love - Sleater Kinney
5. Highest Point in Cliff Town - Hooton Tennis Club
6. Are You Satisfied? - Slaves
7. In Colour - Jamie xx
8. Currents – Tame Impala
9. Why Make Sense? – Hot Chip
10. Key Markets - Sleaford Mods
11. Fading Frontier – Deerhunter
12. Short Movie - Laura Marling
13. Multi-Love - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
14. Get To Heaven - Everything Everything
15. La Di Da Di - Battles

Top Tracks
1) Elevator Operator – Courtney Barnett
2) Huarache Lights – Hot Chip
3) No Cities to Love – Sleater Kinney
4) King Kunta – Kendrick Lamar
5) False Hope – Laura Marling
6) Mystery – Boxed in
7) Distant Past – Everything Everything
8) Ship to Wreck – Florence & the Machine
9) Chateau Lobby #4 – Father John Misty
10) Burning For No One – The Cribs
11) Jasper – Hooton Tennis Club
12) Come Home Baby - The Charlatans
13) Anna – Will Butler
14) Gunga Din – The Libertines
15) Bronx in a Six – Sleaford Mods

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Write Down; Imitation Blame

I have watched the "Imitation Game" the other week and it broke my heart. It is an amazing film, staring one of the people I admire the most Benedict Cumberbatch starring as Alan Turing. This man halted the second world war by two years and was convicted of homosexuality! He was convicted of being Gay. What were the police thinking? Sexuality was never and is not a crime. Murder is. Robbery is. Rape is. But not sexuality.

The way we as a country treated the war hero is shameful. This man saved millions of lives by breaking enigma and he should of been celebrated but instead he was left to his own devices via medical castration to survive. He ended up taking his own life of which we should be ashamed of. A war hero made to kill himself.

It's not just this guy who was convicted, many thousands were so; I hate you police, whom prosecuted this man. I hate the police who convicted all them other people. I hate you who think homosexuality is against nature. It is natural to love who you do. Science says so.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Poetic Verse for the Flood Victims

Tonight we are surrounded by water
& people out there are someones son or daughter
All innocent of crime but all victims of the storm
Whoever you are; man, women or Child, seek the warm
Warmth of heart and of a heater
Just to make the pain feel less bitter
Things are replaceable, you, you are not
So stay safe with the friends or family you've got

Thursday, 3 December 2015

A Year to the Day

So, its been a year. 365 days. 52 weeks. Since one of the most important people in my life past away and went to heaven. I don't know how to feel. It feels longer. But it isn't.

I miss her daily. Every morning, I put on my cross, bought to remember her by. So that she journeys with me everyday at uni, everywhere. She is still a part of my life. I talk to her every so often. Ask her how things are up there. And tell her my news. People may think I am mad but I love her so much to just move on.

I was wondering, how would be suitable to remember her, so I am gonna share the demo of the song I wrote after her passing.

Today at lunch time we are going to have a cuppa and a ginger snap for you.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Write Down; Give it a Squeeze

Singles 45's and Under is one of the finest pop albums of all time. If you disagree you are wrong. Glen Tilbrook and Chris Difford at the height of their powers complied in one single album. Side one when then had one of the best pianist/ TV presenters in the band and the second without but the songs have no less merit. They are some of the most perfect songs ever written since the Beatles. Having come out of time with so much anger and political upheaval (Punk), they sound timeless. I am not sure if its bias because one of my favourite songs ever is on it but wow. I am inclined to explain why ever track is so good but just listen. Harmonies, smooth piano lines, funky guitars, powerful bass and choppy drum patterns. The best part was I spent £1 for this gorgeous LP and its one of the most played albums I own.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Third Time Unlucky; Branding edition

West Walls Artists; an art collective that wanted a re-brand for their 21st birthday so I obliged via a live brief from the university. It was only a few weeks ago I knew nothing of this art collective now I know one of my favourite lecturers was a member of this collective. The art ranges from video, to painting through to sculpture. So it was a challenge to fit such a diverse range of artists into one identity.

I chose to do this my using one font family but change to weight of the font for every other letter. Giving it a unity and mix up kinda feel. I was questioned on the decision of why it was orange and with an answer "I like that colour" made me feel like an idiot. That is a pre-school answer. Inital feedback daid that my work was looking a little flat so I don't know if you can see on your monitor but it features a subtle texture. Just enough to bring it out from being flat.
Below is the brochure, artifact, catalog (whatever you want to call it. This document had to feature all of the artists and their contact details (40 plus of them and at least triple as much contact details). It also had to feature the west walls story and exhibition details. So a small but effective little booklet.
But after all of that I didn't get the gig because of reasons that were never explained to me. The client did respond; saying there was a great amount of clarity to the logo and in the booklet. Simple but effective and it is still a great piece. It's now in my online portfolio as is my record sleeve for Back to Basics (whoever they are).

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Write Down; Opinions

Its Nice to have an opinion or should I phrase that a bit better. Its good to have an opinion. Especially a rounded and justifiable one based on fact. There are lots of people who believe they have an opinion, when they just stole it from someone else. People who believe in untrue facts when the clue is in the word "untrue". And there are people who just have no opinion. I believe it is good to have an opinion as it adds to you as a character and makes you more human. You become interesting when you can debate and have a stance on devisive issues. There is too much emphasis on the clueless zombies who just believe what they are told.

If you grew up in a rascist household and you go around saying those sort of things around town without knowing that they are rascist. You are to blame. You can't blame your up bringing for your ignorance. Why do you think so many kids have left the west boro Baptist Church; because they got brainwashed in to thinking the wrong only to get educated and leave the brainwashers. Twitter is full of these clueless people; because a mate of a mate said something vaguely political about the Corbyn being a terrorist, a bloke thinks that is the truth. The facts are out there to prove he's not. Does this matter to the bloke who over heard this in a pub over a pint of fosters. No. It is easier to be ignorant.

Opinions shape you. It helps who you ally with because you can make a connection with a similar opinion. This works both ways. Some of these zombies have a collective opinion so they decided to form rascist groups called Britain First, the BNP & the EDL, as a collective veichle for no thinking, face value opinions. So have an opinion. Don't have a trendy opinion because its cool. Don't have a zombie opinion, it'll make you stupid. Don't Nick some else's. Have a justifiable one of your own. It will do you good.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Write Down; Odd Time

Its an odd time to be alive really isn't it (never mind be awake). News isn't just at 9, 1, 6 & 10. So at a moments notice we will get to know anything. Social media is a 24 hour news source of personal stories from your drunken friends , your mates holiday snaps or their latest vinyl purchases (or is that just me). These feature along side real and trending news. Real news posted by real sources and trending news which is a celebrity did something, look at that thing that they did & isn't it great/not so great that they did that thing.

We have a great system culturally. We as a nation have managed to have a fashion industry that does match the size of people who are buying it, thus making the really awful word, never mind trend, of body shaming. We, allegedly have a police force that does not match the cultural areas they police in. Sorry Teresa May but there is no way to fix that. You can't force people into policing roles/jobs just to make the numbers look good. And we have a press which outright refuses to accept regulation despite knowing without it they've made mistakes. Phone hacking should of been the wake up call and Mr Leveson should of made it mandatory. Regulation improves quality of the product. It happened in the US, with lifting legal restrictions on marijuana. It drove up quality so the users got the benefits and the idiots just got out of selling because there is no need to sell legal product in back alley's. While on the subject of our Atlantic cousins, I am impressed. Both by the idiocy of some Americans who think Mr Donald Trump is a viable option for election. Probably based on the crude assumption that money equals power and power can only be a good thing when you are a gun toting, sexist, racist toupe. I am also impressed to see a left emerging in the form of Bernie Sanders. I haven't heard a man speak so much since I last watched a Michael Moore film. Dangerous words as I am aware some Americans hate both of these guys; not going to mention any names but that channel owned by Ruppert ... IT'S FOX.

After that short skip across the Atlantic we end up home, I consider this whole land mass to be my home as I never thought I would ever move away from Sunderland and as I write in in Carlisle, I am wondering whether to go back to Sunderland (where the football team is rubbish but my heart is) or to stay here or to go to the bigger city. South or North. Its all up in the air.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Pray for Paris

There is far too much senseless hate in this world. These attacks in Paris have made me feel angry and frightened. Angry that these people have no respect for human life. If you disagree with people, you don't gun them down or blow them up. That's not how society works. & Frightened because this could happen to me. These people were not in a war zone. They were at a gig, in a pub, at a football match. Enjoying themselves wishing no harm on anyone and they are the victim. Thoughts go out to friends and families of these people who lost their lives, doing what they enjoy. ‪#‎PrayforParis‬

Friday, 13 November 2015

We are gather here today to remember the New Musical Express

NME, you had a good life. From Jazz to grunge, Punk to Reggae & Jungle to Beat music. but you have died today, by putting Justin Bieber as the new front cover.

Sell Out, NME.

Sell Out.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

I Swear I was There

I had to make a zine in my last project. So here it is. It was to be linked to the ISTD brief; Eyewitness. A brief where we as participants had to create an exhibition space and sell-able item for said exhibition. Simple really.

I chose the eyewitness account of the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall as written by one of my favourite bassists, Peter Hook, in his book Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division. The exhibition is bright and beautiful so wanted a zine to be in an almost cliche style to contrast the space. So I did, abused the photocopier, cut up letters from news papers and scribbled some words on a page.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Write Down Wednesday; Freedumb of Speech

Have you ever watched something so crass for comfort and still watched it just because the act has the right to do it. Well yep you are looking at (reading this) from a man who has been watching a lot of Doug Stanhope shows on YouTube and some of the things he says are utterly foul but you've got to take the rough with the smooth, most his jokes are great but some border tasteless. Its a good test of faith in the western world, that you watch it because you can. I don't say that I do this for everything but when you consider that if you said some of his set in other parts of this world, he would be killed, jailed or in more liberal places protested against.

We all have the right to an opinion and we should all have the right to say that opinion. Some people's are opinions are part of there act, if comedy, for example, you should take everything with a pinch of salt. And even if you still take it with a pinch of salt and you are offended, express that opinion. As well as the right to say your opinion, you have the right to be offended. Instead of everything just being safe. The parameters of safe are flexible, depending on the person so its much easier to have it other way round.

Censorship of people deemed offensive is foolish because it causes more problems. Censoring all appearances of Anjem Choudary, is just going to flare up tensions between the radicals and liberals. Have an open debate with him as a true vehicle of democracy, and let people choose which side they are on. It is not illegal (or shouldn't be) to have a certain opinion because only if the person who holds those beliefs acts on them; by killing, that is illegal. So believing ISIS are right, is not a problem, to me. But killing members of "the west" is.

The clue is in the name; freedom of "Speech".

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

stadium (bar) fillers

It's quite good when a company you have contacted in the past comes back to you for work. quick work. The Mighty Boof is a promotions company based out of Whitehaven &  wanted two posters doing. One for a comedic songwriter, the bloke on the left looking sad and a member of former indie band, Jonny Brown or Twisted Wheel fame.
I could of done better but I am thinking starting off functional and simple/safe with a client and then once they return, try something different. He seemed impressed with the speed of the turnaround so fingers crossed. Mighty Boof; if you are listening drop me a line if you need any posters doing for your comedians/bands/anything.

Monday, 9 November 2015

I've got my spine, I've got my Band Crush

This is the final NME internship related post I will post. This is the first thing that I was asked to do when I got there. It was to design a logo for a Radar feature; Radar being the NME's new up and coming band section and the feature was to show what artist, another artist and/or band they had a crush on. It was to be named "Band Crush". 

It only made sense for it to be a typographic solution, using heart image would just look cliche. So I started off safe and then went on a tangent of madness. Which I was actively encouraged by Mr Tony Ennis, My mentor for the first week at NME. So that's why some of them are not usable in the slightest. 

PS The one below on the bottom right, is essentially just the Just Eat Logo.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Write Down; The Truth is nothing to be ashamed of

The Truth is what is most important, the truth will set you free but if we were to know the truth in certain incidences there would be a rebellion against powerful people. Seeking the truth does not make you a conspiracy nut, it just makes sense. If you have a suspicion that something is off do your research and see if it adds up.

A photo posted by James Alexander Reay (@jamuggins) on

14 years on there is more evidence that 9/11 was an inside job/false flag operation than there is supporting the "official story". There is no doubt that it was a tragic event with many lives lost but the fact that these people were killed by there own country makes it worse. If the "truth" was accepted by the majority rather than the minority, those involved would be held to account. Mr Bush & Mr Blair would be convicted as the war criminals they are. It was meant as a false flag operation so that "the people" would support an invasion of Iraq; to topple Saddam and get Bin Laden (the man supposedly responsible for the terror attack.

Call me mad, call me silly but I am a man who wants the truth. The truth matters more to me than corporate interests/political associations. People of power need to be accountable for actions and that is the truth.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Write Down; EU better leave!

As of writting this, it is 06:55 on a Saturday morning a few weeks before you are going to read this so let me fill you in. I have been up since I can't remember when and I have been reading guardian articles on Europe and redditing as you do when you can't sleep. I am going into uni later too because it's an open day so they need some people to "look busy" and to help a friend, which makes this early morning rant have more gravitas because I should be asleep.

anyway Europe, did I not say that this is what the rant was going to be on, oh okay. One of the articles I read which was a great piece about who, what & why. Who; which politician. What; pro or anti Europe. Why; because why. makes sense. right?

What I liked so much is it's a minefield for all concerned in the political process. We have already had multiple people tell us any division in a party is bad. Labour manage to sup up it's beer at there recent conference so it looked like they were united as one. The rebel Tories, or the Tory rebels as the press call them were just told to put up and shut up about their European leanings so it looked like they were united.

No one is allowed to budge and so their hand for fear repercussions from the whip or the leader. I am a Europhile at heart so I will be voting to stay in but I am free to say that. If John Mcdonnell says where he stands and opposes other Labour members, the press will jump on it. Some in the team, that are going to have to negotiate the new deal with Europe have an especially difficult job, trying to let their opinion shows.

Sit tight guys it's going to be a fun ride to the brexit (or not).

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Write Down Weekend Special; Meeting New People is Easy

I'd love to tell you that meeting new people is easy, like the Radiohead documentary would suggest, but it is quite a nerve racking experience until you realize the person you are meeting is the perfect character match to your friendship group. Cue Isaac Caplan Wilson.

The guy, the right side of nerdy you can reminisce about Digimon without guilt or judgement. A man who takes a compliment without question. And finally a man so cunning he has missed two of the hardest years at the Grillust campus. I wouldn't normally write a post like this but I didn't expect to be meeting new people at this stage at uni. Friends have come and gone or gone into the background, so the dynamic is new but never this new.

Welcome Isaac and as this is your debut mention on my blog here is your work to celebrate ;

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Talented Friends

The second exhibition in the new uni gallery space (formerly the library)  that I have been too (can't remember the first but we are gonna roll on) went off with a great amount of pomp and hype. Two comic book artists opened it, one American illustrator/artist and the other a Cumbrian with a fondness for walking. Both were in the region for the lakes comic arts festival in Kendal. Oliver East opened it with a small speech about the theme of the exhibition, walking comics, speaking on that, his dyslexia and his future plans and the work is great. Below are my photo's but there are some better ones on the Grillust blog for you amusement.

The reason I am writing this is to congratulate all the illustrators on all of the hard work that they put into their comics. All were fabulous in a variety of different ways.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Wednesday's Weekly Write Down; Lessons of Depression

Depression, what's that I thought, as I was looking down the symptoms of it ticking off over half of them. It was early 2014 and I had officially cracked. It had started a bit before then but I was not willing to accept that I had a problem "I'll get over it" I said. But ticking off the symptoms off it was clear I had a problem.
                University was the dream, ever since I went to my interview and fell in love with it. I am based in Carlisle, with a home town in Sunderland so I was plonked in a house with 11 different people with a few familiar items and just had to adjust. There is a lot of pressure to succeed at university in terms of grades and when you reach below what you feel your potential is you do get down.  But when you set the bar so unreasonably high and have done your entire educational career you are destined to be disappointed. Everything I was doing was a perceived failure because that bar was too high.
                There is also a big big pressure to socialize and go out (clubbing/pub crawling). This was the second problem, I could get on with people but felt the opposite of comfortable about the idea of going out so when I didn't I apologized for my "failing" of not going out. I didn't want to go in a place where I would be uncomfortable but staying in the halls just drove me insane and occasionally to self harm because of the anger I had against myself.
                There is not a pressure as such at university for relationships but I was driven to think there was. All of my actual friends (half of the 11 I was put in a house with) were in long term relationships which gave me the feeling of inadequacy as I had no one. They were my friends and they were happy and I should have been happy for them & not jealous of what they had. I was driven down, thinking I need to get a girlfriend and then I will be happy.
                These are the things that brought me down at university and lead to my depression taking over my life. My mother helped me find the local NHS run mental health service after a close university friend said that the provision of Mental Health Service at the uni wasn’t helpful for her friend.  So I enrolled in classes, 30 minutes a week or two at the local medical practice. After a few months, I was prepared to give up, just remove CBT therapy and put up with it. Nothing was working in these classes. The next session I went to call the whole thing off.  I addressed it wasn’t working and they said “you can move up to the next level if you want?” ”Try that”.  These sessions were hour long and more intensive.
                The next week came, skeptical and open minded, I went in and after a few months it still felt like it wasn’t working but persistence paid off. Every week was talking about problems, then tracking my mood and the problems linked to its decline. We worked out a plan and I was discharged with a weight off my shoulders. I still get the occasional day/ few days of low mood but that’s normal.
                It is hard, really hard when you are stuck in the low mood rut. It is hard to get up in the morning, concentrate on your work & even get to sleep at night because you are worrying bad things are going to happen. But if you are reading this, you are not alone, there is help out there. I am now using my experience to design promotional posters, to raise awareness of mental health problems because there is not enough out there at the minute.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Good, the Bad, the Average and Unique

Happy Birthday Phillip, well for two days ago. Sorry for the delay in presents but in practicality terms it would be been a logistical nightmare to get them on time. For those who don't know my brother is currently at uni and we the rest of the proud went to give him his presents today. Had a Good time and he seemed to like my present which is a relief. But while we were down in Stockton at the Durham Uni campus, my design senses started tingling. 

this is the Average segment of our blog post; very enjoyable but still fairly safe. It definitely improved my opinion of the place knowing that they design was good and that "the Stottie company" was going to have nice coffee because it looked nice to the eyes. designers logic. The colours on the student union are beautiful.

 finally we reach the Bad and Unique segment of our Cater USM themed blog post. The first is from a venue called "Jokers" whick looks like a working mens club and a strip club. It is a poster (as you can see) for an "Excellent Vocaliste" which isn't a word. The Second is for, I think, student reps and features Chiller, Times New Roman and Frozen Themes and pollutes my eyes.

Friday, 16 October 2015

This is an Outrage.

 Would you just look at these? It's amazing what these fake artists will do? Releasing cover album after cover album. Just because you change the style up doesn't mean they are creative people. What really winds me up is the fact that all of these ludicrous LP are being sold, that's right guys these records are being sold by Oxfam online. I am aware that makes them second hand and that someone else may have already covered this. I don't know what else to say. Hammond Organ versions of The Fall? who wants to hear that really. I don't know. I wish these posers would release some original material... RANT OVER!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

New Look is the NME Part 2

 In part one, I addressed the my humble opinion on the "new" NME. and one other thing I will like to add;

A photo posted by James Alexander Reay (@jamuggins) on
Anyway now I am going to get to the point. (yep it only took a post and a half). In the latter half of my time at NME, I had a look at taking the NME look / redesign NME into my own hands. I was told by one of the other interns that they look cool. I rotated the logo because the new magazine doesn't have to fight for shelf space. I made a bar out of this vertical logo to add all of the features too.

I had a limited typeface choice at NME so landed on Tahoma as the most suitably different typeface to sharp sans (the key font of the old design). I took the effort to make all the features relevant to the time, the redesign would come out and that was a few weeks ago here are the first four issues...give em a click to check them out etc etc etc

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Write Down Wednesday: It all feels different

What a pretenious title that is, isn't it? intentionally vague as to trap you into reading my blog. Have I got you hooked? I hope so because you people are busy. Well as you know (or should by now) this is my last year of university as I am scared. Scared for the afterward, the real world & the grade I am going to get. Of course I am that's only natural. But that is not what this is about. I am addressing in the pretentious title the circumstances I am in.

First year was a load of rubbish; met the core of my current friendship group but had to put up with a load of rubbish from half of the 11 people that I shared with. Second year; was better, had a box room but had to put up with rubbish everywhere because people couldn't take bins out when they were full and what's worse is at the end of the year; I needed reinforcements to tidy up the mess my other housemates left. I hope I never have to do that again. It was, to use a smiths album title, "Rank".

A photo posted by James Alexander Reay (@jamuggins) on

A photo posted by James Alexander Reay (@jamuggins) on

Now this year, is different, I am content. I am over the worst of my mental health issues (sorry to keep bringing that up), I have a massive room and I don't think my work is rubbish (heck, some of it I love). But there is one thing really bugging me. I miss home, my family mainly. and my beautiful girls (dogs). It appears the first two years I was happy to be free but it reaches a point when you wanna make a record (cheap plug for my new solo album project) or a hug or conversation about music (with DJ MAR) or just gossip over a cuppa while putting up with Jezza (Mother), and you can't. My parents drive me insane sometimes but most of the time, they are awesome.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

New Look is the NME Part 1

NME, New Musical express, the magazine responsible for my late 00's music obsession. I lived breathed the word of it because it was gospel. I am sure that is blasphemy and as of writing this is a Sunday so oops. Anyway it was all good and the the 10's came along and the awesomeness dropped a little bit although it did have a good start with a beautiful redesign and one of my favourite photos.
The next redesign was nice but was not what I was used to so felt to different to get attached and the content felt so watered down to you could take a bath in it. and now it looks mega modern (rather attractive) but instead of just watered down journalism and opinion it is filled with adverts. Worse than that it has "celebrities" in it's pages. Alt journalism meant you had an obscure indie band on the front. (see above or just google NME and you will see what I mean.) I understand some decisions had to be made to make the free version viable but this... not NME. Just because it says it is doesn't mean it is. The spirit is dead. The ideals are long gone. "Indie" is dead, long live independent music.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Youth, depression and Northern

Youth Focus NE must love me, I came up with an idea/concept for some mental health promotion and they let me follow it through within their brand guidelines (colours and typefaces). I also granted them the freedom to use them as and when they want too. All of the photos are free to use for both home and commercial use which is lavely to hear, as I won't be sued. So that's all good.

I do this for charities and more often than not for mental health charities because of my connection with them. There needs to be more awareness of the mental health of young people. One of my up and coming Write Down Wednesdays is a post written for a Young Minds zine/blog because prior to my experience with it, I knew depression was a think just didn't think it could happen to me.