Shopping In Fear?

Many factors can alter the way people shop, more common ones like the weather, the day of the week and if the date is close to the UK pay days or not. However a new factor that is determining whether people stay at home to shop or not is, sadly, the fear of attack.

Ever since the horrific night of the thirteenth November 2015 Paris attacks, shoppers have been more reluctant to leave their homes due to fear of being in a highly populated area. We know this due to facts and figures that show how online sales have increased by a huge 40% whilst in store figures have dropped in big cities, with Manchester being the second most affected area outside of London. London has been majorly affected, with the highest decrease in sales. When the decision for the UK to take military action was passed, sales fell even further than previously before.

I went to Manchester’s Market street to interview shoppers on what their opinion was to the decrease in sales in store and whether they were fearful or not to come shopping. My results were mixed with some people taking  a ‘whatever will be’ approach, but some others were in fact more on edge. I think that the overall consensus was that people were trying not to let what happened affect their routines.

Working in retail myself I have noticed this drastic change in the way that people are going about their Christmas shopping. A particular trend that I have picked up on is that less people now come shopping on a Saturday and are instead coming out on a Sunday to spend their money.With all of this research, I am wondering whether online sales will carry onto increase and city centres will slowly become less and less populated with shoppers, or maybe after time people will start to come back out of their home to browse in reality again.


The F Word

On the 24th November, Charli XCX’s documentary aired on BBC3, ‘The F Word and Me’. This documentary followed Charli as she set upon her world tour and along the way she interviewed other friends and musicians in the industry to talk about the F word. Feminism. This documentary went into depth in what it is like to be a woman in music today.

Feminism in the music industry is slowly improving, with more women taking control of their own image instead of old men, typically white- telling them what to wear and who to be. However with this comes criticism from different places, usually the press. Charli speaks about how if she accidentally flashes her pants during a performance then the press will immediately brand her ‘that classic woman flashing her pants’ but if she doesn’t and is covered up she would be branded a ‘boring hipster’.  What girls wear on stage or in their videos without a doubt starts debate.

Another artist who has spoken about being told what to do by men but ended up taking her own control is FKA Twigs. She spoke in an interview about how she trained extensively for ten years to then go to auditions and be told to ‘look cute’ and ‘rub yourself up a rappers leg’, and with this she was dissatisfied. Since taking complete creative control Twigs’ has become extremely successful.

I went to Piccadilly Records in Manchester’s Northern Quarter to have a look around and see if I could see how women are represented on the front of their albums. Sadly I couldn’t find any in your face pop music to reflect some of the issues that Charli XCX faces in her genre of music, but instead was surprised at how relevant other genres were to the same discussions that were presented on The F Word and ME. The first LP I came across was Patti Smiths Easter.



On the cover you see Patti posing in a way that shows her unshaved armpit, looking very natural and proud of the way she looks. This topic was discussed in the documentary, with female artists saying that they feel sexy when they are natural, and when they were younger they were embarrassed of their own body hair and now want to make younger girls aware that it is okay not to be worried of societies ideals and stigmas.

Another album that I found interesting was Rub by Peaches. On the cover you see a distorted image of Peaches looking very androgynous with makeup smothered all over her face. She looks battered and bruised but is still posing in a way that could be echoing that we see from females in magazines and publications on a daily basis. This could represent the distorted images of women we see in tabloid magazines and porn that show girls how they are supposed to look, but this is not public domain.

This album was also interesting to me because of the names of her songs. Even if you know nothing about Peaches, from the song listing alone you can tell that she has creative control and she is trying to oppose being reduced to stereotypes. However some people argue that this kind of creativity coming from a woman can sometimes be intimidating for audiences and are not a good example for young girls, but they cannot deny that it is empowering for females of all ages. Everyone remembers the video of Nicki Minaj explaining how when a man is assertive he is called the boss, but when she is assertive she is called a bitch.

In music today I think women are less seen as puppets but more of a strong force of creativity, and are bringing something new to an industry that has been ran by men since as long as it has been called an ‘industry.’ Even though women still are the minority, they are becoming a lot more major.

To watch the documentary on BBC iPlayer follow the link provided, but be quick as there is only seven days left to view.

King Krule Comeback

Since releasing his debut album back in 2013, Archy Marshall has been keeping very quiet. However, teaming up with his brother Jack he is now releasing a new volume of work titled A New Place To Drown. I say volume because the press release stated:’A New Place 2 Drown’ is a multi-disciplinary volume of work from brothers Jack and Archy Marshall, comprising a book, album and short film.”

This news was accompanied with a minute long trailer that gives us a taste of what is to come. The trailer shows the brothers going about their daily lives, at home and in the gallery. All of this is to the tune of Archy’s deep tones in the form of poetry.

For fans of Marshall this is big news after the success of his debut Six Feet Beneath The Moon. This album had exceptional songs such as ‘Easy Easy’, ‘Ocean Bed’ and ‘Out Getting Ribs’. Even Odd Future’s Tyler The Creator has revealed he is a huge fan. As a fan of King Krule & Co myself, I can’t wait to see not only what the new album brings, but what success it brings for Archy Marshall too.