Strawberries & Creem Festival’ 2016 Preview

nelly festival

In a game of Cambridge word association you’d be forgiven for avoiding genres and words being Grime, Hip Hop, Reggae, Red Stripe and Nelly, or rather I’d forgive you if you asked me what words came to mind when Cambridge was articulated.

Strawberries & Creem Festival (and that’s with two E’s by the way,) now setting up for it’s third year since its 2014 takeover has revolutionized the perception of a city so well known for its academic history and it’s punting past time. So could we be blamed for expecting a more chilled affair? Yes, yes we could. Swapping textbooks and graduation gowns for sound systems and an array of non quintessentially British delights, Strawberries & Creem are putting the regal city on the map, for the first time running things on a Saturday, the 11th of June to be precise.


In their first year Strawberries & Creem brought together Jus Now, Star One, Shy Fx and David Rodigan and by year two, remember that this was only last year, they brought Skepta, Stylo G, General Levy and My Nu Leng together. Headlining this year will be USA rapper Nelly, ‘Made In The Manor’s Kano and Reggae MBE holder David Rodigan as special guest. Know that the energy will be high before this point with pirate radio’s finest Kurupt Fm, 1xtra’s Jamz Supernova, carnival favourite Channel One Sound System, Big Narstie & Snakehips all in attendance with many more. A break from other House doused festivals, Strawberries & Creem will be soaking Cambridge in the best Grime, Hip Hop, Reggae, Disco and Funk but not only will the music test your stamina, the food will have you teeming. From luxurious lollies to keep you cool in that sought after heat, to gourmet burgers, Mexican burritos, Caribbean cuisine, vegan options, wood stove pizzas and even sausage and scones for those that can’t get enough of our eclectic British delicatessen.

This is a festival that’s about to cause some twitter beef amongst other festivals, the type that some of our favourite musicians are used to these day but remember it’s all love at Cambridge’s Haggis Park. Seriously we wouldn’t delay if we were you because in the words of Skepta, it’s going to be a SHUTDOWN.

Buy tickets here:





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Street Art: Vaults Waterloo

Photo credit to moi & credit to all the talented street artists! Photographs taken using an iPhone 6/ edited via Facebook and Instagram.

Recycle Me Project

The new year is well behind us what with being a quarter of the way through the year. How did that happen? Those new years resolutions, well what on earth are those? Most of us gave up on those pesky things a few weeks on whilst a minority pushed forward.

I called them New Year Goals and I can only remember one that I well and truly smashed (big head here) but it was an important one because recently I’ve been debating what it is that makes one labelled as ‘materialistic.’ Described lightly as being: excessively concerned with physical comforts or the acquisition of wealth and material possessions, rather than with spiritual,intellectual, or cultural values.

Does that definition describe you?

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My plan was to halt my money spending ways on fashion items that I honestly didn’t need, not only was it wasteful of me but it was wasting money that could be going towards better things like experiences. With a wardrobe that hoarder’s would dream of I thought to myself firstly to give away possessions that I hadn’t worn in years (yup, I have clothes that I wore when I was 19 years old,) and secondly to not buy any clothes for at least 3 months, although initially I had little belief in myself and whittled it down to 1 month. I totally should have been confident about my shopping addiction habits because I didn’t even buy what I felt was an essential in those 3 months, I’m talking underwear and tights.. I ended up discovering tights for the masses and after looking in nooks and crannies, I found more lingerie but obviously you have you’re favourite bits that you live in whilst the rest go into hiding.

Feeling like a martyr and excuse the ott example, I went into my challenge with concerns.

I bought my first piece of clothing for the year on 2nd April and I almost toyed with the idea of purchasing it but then I thought of how it would see my right up until summer and I was sold. May I add it was a Primark item and how savvy of me to be thinking of the multiple ways in which I could enjoy it- shirt dress, shirt dress with jeans/ leggings/ jacket/ picnic blanket… Ok the last one was a joke.

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How did I feel after my transaction? Distinctively underwhelmed but that’s all good, I enjoyed wearing it and got compliments but I know I won’t be in a rush to go back to my weekly online shop ways… or at least I say that until my holiday approaches and summer arrives. My sister tried to say I was contradicting myself when I confessed I was going to buy some trainers and when she did it made me feel a bit lousy because me wanting to buy some new trainers when I buy about 4 a year was a distant cry from buying a handbag that I wouldn’t really get much use out of. Yes trainers are a luxury but I’ve never been brought up seeking maximum luxury items, I’ve been brought up to be thrifty and that means me heading to sale sections online and being hella proud to buy something unbranded as long as I make it look good, that’s all that counts.

After I write this I admit I will be looking online on one of my favourite shops Missguided and it makes me laugh because I paused briefly to remember what the place was called. I want to buy something for the weekend as I’m off for drinks in London but over the past few weeks I’ve been struggling for outfit inspiration, so I’m going to treat myself to one or two reasonably priced separates to mix and max with the rest of my hoard (will probably have whatever I potentially buy for another 10 years ha ha.)

I don’t look down on people that consider themselves materialistic, if you can live beyond your means then so be it but I definitely prefer spending my money on memories rather than possessions.





You’ve got to fight for you right, for an education: protest or pointless?


It’s been some time since a blog has infuriated me and enabled me to jump off the fence and join a side.

This Tuesday 25th August, I saw a shared profile picture of a student called Isabelle Warby, she was stood with a sign that read- “I am being denied an education because of the colour of my hair. Please share.”

Dying your hair a bright shade of purple is nothing shocking in the slightest. These days people of all ages are joining in the revolution of unnatural hair colourings, so when I spotted this share, I believed there had to be more to it… To my annoyance there wasn’t.

According to the student, her plea has been shared over 32,000 times (I’m sure not all 32,000 times are positive shares but combine my negative view.) I do not know how old Isabelle is, I’m not even sure if she is English, American, Canadian etc but I do know that she is incredibly naive and perhaps far too wrapped up in this societies social media concepts.

She’s not a rebel, she is not an activist, she is simply a stubborn girl that doesn’t want to dye her hair back to its usual mousy brown hue. The rules stated when I was a school student that hair must be of a natural colour, and as much as I can see its no biggie to have purple hair, why should Isabelle be exempt from the rules? I even went into a job role where that was the same issue, thrown in that tattoo’s must not be visible and voila.. Did I throw a hissy fit about it? No.

It offends me quite frankly that she’s protesting about this as if it were something she was born with. Was she born black and in 1910? Had she known herself to be Bi/ Lesbian and have the prosecution that she couldn’t get married until now? Those are examples that can’t be changed, one can’t be cured of being gay and one can’t change the colour of their skin but this young girl can the colour of her hair.

I can’t fault her for spreading her story but I think it’s a bit of a joke that it’s being so widely spread. I think back to the Pakistani school girl who was shot in the head for her campaign to ensure females the right to an education. It makes Isabelle’s case seem trivial! Malala Yousafzai was just 14 when she depicted how she wanted so badly to have the entitlement to an education, so much so I can imagine she would have shaved her head for that right.


Rules are with us to stop persecution, bullying and suffering. I remember my school would say our skirts must be a certain length to which our teachers tried in vain to get us to pull them down, to then roll them up again. Piercings were frowned upon unless it was one set of earrings, a stud, not dangley’s, definitely no nose piercings. So sadly when my best friend came into school with her nose pierced she was instructed to remove it or be removed from school.

Dye your hair on school holidays, have that exhilarating change and come back to school with the comradeship that you’re there to learn. Isn’t that what muffty days are for? That’s the day when we declare our individuality that when you look closer is far from individual when your sat with a bunch of friends wearing the same branded clothes and the same desired make up.

“Why do you have to be the same as the others? …Most of them are stupid.” Source (unknown)


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It’s been a while since Ke$ha fed us a dose of electronic pop and like her previous tunes, this is scarily addictive.

‘Die Young’ probably wasn’t the most PC of song titles but it’s rather fitting when this year alone Ke$ha has apparently perished once or twice… that’s what the tweeters tried to make us believe. So this track is a nice ‘screw you’ to the haters.

Ke$ha hasn’t disappointed with yet another catchy dance track and after listening to it once, I already felt the need to jump around my gaff and then quite possibly wake up in my bath like the singer has done herself.

Ever the lyricist, Ke$ha entices me to party hard by singing ‘let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young,’ relives my many weekends by suggesting ‘downing shots,’ and describing most teens by mentioning party dwellers ‘stripping down to dirty socks.’ You’ll remember how instantly you loved ‘Tick Toc,’ well we’re have to announce that this is yet another belter….

You can watch the video below:

Written by Vanessa Carby
Twitter: @Oi_CARBY




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