Art & Design, Culture, Music

Choice Cuts: Gorillaz – Demon Days

Parlophone Records, 2005Gorillaz - Demon Days artwork, wallpaper edit (1024x576)A gimmick. That’s what they put Gorillaz’ success down to. Despite everything that had been achieved by this unusual musical concoction in the 18 months since the launch of their 2001 debut album, detractors still labelled them a here today, gone tomorrow band. But little did they know that the virtual band, created by musician, Damon Albarn, and cartoonist, Jamie Hewlett, would front what would later be acknowledged as one of the most influential and progressive records of the noughties: Demon Days.


Platform Online’s First Anniversary

[NB: published on 22/12/10 as I was majorly busy during this time]

Somebody pop those champagne corks and order us a dozen large pizzas, because Platform Online has now been live for a full 12 months.

The site has undergone several changes and updates in its first year, the most significant of which was the implementation of category boxes that pull the latest posts to the homepage. It’s been a real struggle to keep everyone on the same page with regard to publication style and technical considerations for the website, and it’s something I don’t think I’m going to conquer this year either, try as I might.

When the section editors should be seeking out fresh, entertaining stories to be published weekly, it’s a sad state of affairs when our Featured posts banner has been dominated by bad news about Platform’s print status or pleas for student to “get involved.” We’ve just lost our music and fashion editors!

It would truly make me happy if all of the section editors were more professional and actually filled their quota. Not to disrespect the fellow editors I’ve worked with (especially Alex Britton, Andy Trendell and Danielle Almond who did pull their weight), but the fact that I’ve published over half the website’s posts to date – that’s more than 460 out of 838 published post on 11/11/10 – is saying something. OK, so clearly I love writing too much! But being an editor is also about grabbing hold of opportunities at a moment’s notice.

After a full year, I believe the post that has still received the most traffic happens to be my opinion piece on Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary. That was just something I got inspired to write in between revision. It was cool and I wanted to share it with people, the fact that it gave us a huge reader spike was a happy accident. But it’s this mentality of writing lots and writing often that some of the other section editors I’ve worked with tend to miss.

Moving on from my continued complaining, Platform Online has had a number of huge achievements that have made me very proud of the site and the dedicated writers who’ve helped us. Again, not to blow my own trumpet, the gaming section has been brimming with big pre-release reviews and features, such as Heavy Rain, FFXIII, hands-on with Move and PS3 in 3D, and interviews with gaming greats like Louis Castle and Charles Cecil.

Spearheading the music section for his four year, Andy Trendell succeeded in getting a series of insightful interviews with the likes of Ellie Goulding, Beverley Night and Frightened Rabbit, not to mention keeping up with album and singles releases. Definitely one of my big highlights this year is getting more involved in music writing, so cheers Gorillaz, Tinie Tempah and Trendell. Keeping a watchful eye on the health section was Danielle Almond with posts on US health care reform to a student giving up alcohol for Lent.

Without a doubt, this year’s surprise stars were Alex Britton and Nick Charity, who took the arts section, one that requires a specific level of understanding and expertise, and gave it an identity. From live music, to books, to TV, to performing arts and fine art, Alex has put his best foot forward since day one, and went from an unknown editorial replacement to a writer and friend I greatly respect.

I’m ecstatic about what we’ve achieved this year with the website. I know there’s some much room for improvement though – not least in my own organisation of contributors and communication with other team members. The site should be getting a much needed nip and tuck soon, so look out for that early next year.

Most of all though, thank you for reading!