Posts from 31st January 2010

Jan 10

The FT Top 25 Pubs of the 00s No 9: The Champion, Wells Street WC1

FT7 comments • 1,657 views

For a long, long time my Default London Pub was the Blue Posts on Newman Street. I’m a big fan of the Sam Smiths brand, and the BPNS had it all: cheap, cosy, usually full of people I knew and – most importantly – just around the corner from my office at 76 Oxford Street. When someone suggested going to the Champion one day, just to make a change, I was flabberghasted. Not ONLY would I have to walk a whole hundred yards further to my pub destination,  but… well, it wouldn’t be the SAME, would it? I’d found somewhere I liked, and now it seemed that I would be untimely ripp’d from its warm, comforting embrace. I approached the Champion with a fair measure of resentment.


BIS WEEK: How Bis Are Responsible For Twilight

Do You See4 comments • 405 views

The short answer would be the Secret Vampire Soundtrack, but it would only be a superficial answer. Sure Secret Vampires makes explicit the link between vampirism and pop music, but you would be hard pushed to think that it is any particular clarion call for more vampires in the media. Except at this point of 1995, vampires were at a pretty low ebb. A couple of years after Francis Ford Coppola’s disappointing Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the poor Interview With The Vampire adaptation and the ropey Buffy film, vampires couldn’t be caught dead in the media. Which since they are undead is possibly the point but I digress.

The Secret Vampire Soundtrack contained Kandy Pop which was the track that broke Bis and was responsible for making them the first unsigned band on Top Of The Pops*. As such Bis not only made Vampires fashionable again, they toyed with the idea of vampires not being scary. If Manda Rin, chirpy chanteuse, was a vampire then suddenly the idea of the gothic immortal vampire was turned on its head.