TikTok Talent – how Coronavirus has inspired Joe Rose to rewrite classic song lyrics

Rising star Joe Rose has taken to TikTok to rewrite the lyrics of top hits in a bid to spread some positivity during the coronavirus. 

“I’m amazed – it’s just me, sing out of tune, on a piano.”

The 16 year old from Lewes, East Sussex said: “As cheesy as it sounds, I’m a sucker for positivity. 

“I posted this song and then it got some recognition so I thought I need to do this. It took off all from there, I was 100% surprised by the reaction.”

With over 55,000 followers on the video-sharing social networking app, Joe said he has always loved showmanship.

Joe started with rewriting Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, he added: “A few hours came later and it got some actual recognition which is very surprising.”

Using a lightbox in the background to mark the days, Joe hadn’t originally planned to do many videos and was amazed by the reaction. 

“I constantly am trying to think of ways to spread positivity. At the moment there is so much on the news which is so serious I thought, why don’t I try and spread a bit of positivity and keep some people’s spirits up, even if it just reaches a few people.”

Joe has re-written songs by Ed Sheeran, Cee Lo Green, Elton John, Bonnie Tyler, John Denver, The Killers, and the Electric Light Orchestra to name a few. 

“I spend quite a long time scrolling through albums and finding the most popular songs in the charts. 

“I used to think, Corona – what comes to mind? About staying at home, what stuff do you not have, what things do you miss, feelings and thought. I would write these ideas down. I then started to theme songs so, some songs are all about Zoom, some are about cheese, I spent ages on ‘rhyme zone’.

“Every now and again in the lyrics, I’ll have some funny jokes and sometimes a bit of seriousness, just to keep it current and keep it fresh. It’s genuinely just to put a smile on at least one person’s face.

“So many people in the comments are saying how this is keeping them going and keeping them entertained which I’m amazed at – it’s just me, sing out of tune, on a piano.”

Joe is an actor and magician and is currently a performing arts student at East Sussex College. He has decided to conclude this series and thought there’s only so many times you can say there are no eggs in the supermarkets.

He added: “I’m going to keep doing TikTok but now I want to do something different, I want to perform and have fun but find a new angle to keep followers entertained – I’ve thought about doing funny sketches and magic.”

“I definitely want to find something to do that isn’t on TikTok already and go in a different direction.” 

Check out Joe’s videos on the app @joeprose

Coronavirus and sport: UK Athletics extends suspension

  • Sports continue to be cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus 
  • UKA extends suspension until 31 May  
  • Everyone has a responsibility through this difficult time
  • Athletes trying to continue training at home

“We must now do all we can do.”

As the coronavirus continues to spread, sporting bodies are being forced to cancel or postpone events due to coronavirus. 

UK Athletics (UKA) has announced that all activities, will be suspended until 31 May. 

In a statement, the UKA said that: “We are advising that clubs and groups should not be undertaking training, competitive or other related activities during this period, and it is already apparent that parts of the sport are already showing their own leadership and are acting in this respect.”

England Athletics said: “These decisions have not been taken lightly and have been made in light of the continuing and real risk to life and to the NHS posed by the spread of the COVID-19 virus in England. 

“We must now do all we can do. We would ask that the athletics community in England continues to help one another by staying connected and supportive of each other whilst at home in these unprecedented times.”

England Athletics CEO Chris Jones comments: “We all have a responsibility to play our part in mitigating risk and in reducing the spread of this virus. It will be deflating to many but if we do pull together and adhere to the guidance issued then we will come through this period.”

Speaking to Athletics Weekly, Jazmin Sawyers, said: “Everyone is having to adapt.”

The European long jump medallist said she has been trying her best to train at home: 

“I don’t want to get totally out of shape because there is still going to be an Olympics next year for me to be training for.

“I like to have my structure so I feel like I’ve got something to do every day.”

Charity donates lifesaving defibrillator to Fareham community first responder

A cardiac charity has donated a defibrillator to one of Fareham’s community first responders.

The Alex Wardle Foundation has loaned a defibrillator to Peter Gray, who has just started volunteering as a community first responder with South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS). 

The 49-year-old who lives in Stubbington, approached the charity in the hope that the device could possibly save lives in his job role. 

Peter said: “It could be the difference between life and death.

“You could be pumping on their chest all day long but it’s not going to bring them back to life, only the defib will do that and this will aid us around the local area. 

“If you have them, you’ve got the opportunity to save people’s lives.”

The Alex Wardle Foundation was set up in 2016 in memory of Alex Wardle, who passed away due to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome.

The charity’s founder, Stephen Wardle said he is pleased to be able to loan Peter a defibrillator. 

Stephen said: “So far we have fund-raised to buy 6 defibrillators across the Solent area. It would be amazing if just one more life could be saved.”

The show must go online: musician Andy Muscat live streams gig during Coronavirus lockdown

Portsmouth musician Andy Muscat live streamed his ‘Sunday Funday’ gig online for fans stuck at home due to the Coronavirus lockdown. 

Despite the UK’s lockdown due to COVID-19, the lead singer of COAX took to Facebook to live-stream his gig in the hope the online show would bring people together. 

The 80 min live stream last night hoped to cheer fans up who had been messaging Muscat and still wanted hear his music.

Muscat said: “It’s quite a stressful time for a lot of people and me playing a few songs online for an hour allows people to forget about that for a bit, I’m more than happy to do it.

“It’s nice to see friends and family commenting saying that they were dancing and singing along.”

Streaming from his lounge, the video was viewed internationally as a way to still connect fans. 

He added: “We’ve got some friends in America that were tuning in, they hosted watching parties through Facebook and I saw that their friends were commenting on those as well which was nice to see.

“It brought everyone together and it was nice to see people chatting in the comments and watching it together.”

The live stream received a great reaction with over 1000 views. 

“It’s quite nice to not take it too seriously and just let other people enjoy watching some live music. 

“Where people can’t get out and go and enjoy that, it gives them something else to think about and look forward to. 

“If each week it’s bringing in enough people and as long as people want me to do it, I’ll do it!”

Andy Muscat will be live streaming again on Sunday 5 April via:  http://facebook.com/andy.muscat and facebook.com/andymuscatuk

Things to do in self-isolation from Coronavirus

As toilet roll continues to fly off supermarket shelves and fear-mongering tactics infect the internet, COVID-19 continues to put global leaders under pressure to control the pandemic.

Here is a list of the top 10 best things to do in self-isolation:

1. Play!

Adulting sucks. Release your inner child again and have an old-school fun family games night! My personal favourites include: Connect 4, Monopoly, Guess Who?, Scrabble, Uno, and Articulate.

2. Make a TikTok 

My first TikTok video took FAR TOO long to make that I care to admit but with over 1000 views, I was immediately hooked. Challenges, dance routines and filming daily life, the app is not just for the cool kids so give it a go and you could be an overnight sensation. (Follow me @gemma__96xx) 

3. Binge-watch in a fort

Netflix and chill might be your go to but have you ever binged watched in a fort? Turn your lounge in a castle of blankets and bed sheets, grab your favourite snack and get cosy. 

4. Read

Is there a book you’ve been longing to read but never quite found the time? Now is your chance! Turn your phone off, find a comfy spot and open the first page. Where will the adventure take you? 

5. Get organised

For the Marie Kondo fans amongst us, this one might sound easy. Declutter your clothes, organise your kitchen cupboards or tackle that massive pile of paperwork you’ve been avoiding. Your future self will thank you for it!

6. Dance!

Swap your usual Saturday night stilettoes for slippers and have a dance party!  Spin your favourite vinyl or plug in the boombox, who knew your kitchen made the perfect dancefloor?!

7. Revise 

Whilst Pink Floyd might sing ‘We don’t need no education’ and the idea of your school being closed sounding like a dream, it is easy to forget that education is a privilege. Make revision fun by creating colourful notes or video call friends and revise together.

8. Get crafty

Bake, glue, colour and stick, have a crafty afternoon and see what creative things you can make. 

9. Pick up the phone

Having family and friends that you don’t see very often can be tricky, pick up the phone and have good ol’ natter. 

10.  Breathe

Anxieties can be heightened in troubling times, so sit down and take some time to breathe. The 7-11 trick is amazing! Inhale for 7 counts, exhale for 11 counts, say out loud “I am balanced”, do this three times in sets of three. 

There you have it. If you unfortunately find yourself in self-isolation – you won’t get bored!

Disclaimer: I think the pandemic is horrendous and its effects are going to be life-changing for global society. However, I thought amongst the turmoil and heartbreak the virus is causing, this blog post might be fun. As always, please follow government rules and guidelines about self-isolation and COVID-19. 

Rising Portsmouth pop star works with college students

As seen in The News, Portsmouth, 5 February 2020

Fast-rising Portsmouth pop star – and The News Guide Award Nominee – James Tattington, has been working with Highbury College students on a new video.

One man band James, who performs under the guise of Fugitive Orchestra, spent an afternoon being filmed by BTEC media students.

The local Portsmouth artist spent Monday afternoon working with a group of six Year 1 Level 3 Creative Media and Production students, on a multi camera project, performing his song Tomahawk Caress.

He said: ‘I’m delighted to get in on the opportunity and it is kind of a nice mutually advantageous thing.

‘Hopefully it helps them with the project. They’ve got a focal point for the cameras and working on the discipline of multi-cameras and syncing up audio recordings.’

James, who was nominated for Best Solo Act at The News Guide Awards last month, describes his music as alternative, jazz-infused, bluesy hip-hop. 

He also spoke to the group about the future of music and producing media and offered the students some advice and guidance.

‘There really are so many opportunities. I think that a mixture of patience and hard work and being a little bit imaginative, thinking outside the box, you are making these opportunities happen that someone else might not have even thought of,’ he said.

Take inspiration but don’t compare yourself too much. Your time will come and you are going to find a different avenue that they [other people] will never think of.

Media Lecturer Jeff Ahern said: ‘James was very kind to come into the studio and work with our year 1, level 3 creative media and production students. At very short notice, he was absolutely wonderful and without him we would not have had the success we’ve had today.’ 

Fugitive Orchestra is currently writing new music and is next playing on March 1 at The Wedgewood Rooms.

Boyzlife at Portsmouth Guildhall REVIEW 'Everything you could expect… and more'

As seen in The News, Portsmouth, 9 March 2020

‘Friday night is Portsmouth night!’ Brian McFadden laughs as the predominately female audience boogies the night away at this huge throwback party.

Boyzlife were born in 2016 when Boyzone’s Keith Duffy and Westlife’s Brian McFadden came together to create the supergroup based on the ’90s and ’00s boybands. Friday night was everything you could expect from such a pairing and more.

Katie Kittermaster opened the show. The funky and endearing young star, who is supporting the whole tour, sang covers and originals including Sunday Afternoon.

Fans were screaming at the top of their lungs as Brian and Keith strutted on stage to open the show with Westlife’s hit When You’re Looking Like That.

A packed, non-stop two hour show, with numerous costume changes, had everyone reliving their teenage dreams.

With Keith filming himself on an audience member’s phone and Brian going backstage to get a bottle of water for one fan, telling her to ‘calm herself down’, the duo’s energy was electric and their comedic interactions kept everyone singing and laughing.

Reminiscing about how Boyzone and Westlife changed their lives, the pair chatted about Boyzone’s Stephen Gately who died in 2009 and how Boyzlife’s new album Strings Attached, was dedicated to him.

During Boyzone’s cover of When The Going Gets Tough, a crazy Keith jumped in to party with the stalls and Brian surprised the circle seats. 

It’s a brilliant night of entertainment, rounded off in ’90s hip-hop-like outfits and a medley of songs including hits from Backstreet Boys, One Direction and Billy Joel.

It is clear the chemistry between the pair is one of respect, friendship and ultimately having fun celebrating Boyzone’s and Westlife’s biggest hits.

UP AROUND THE BEND – Highbury College celebrates World Plumbing Day

Bending pipes, saving water and breaking down gender barriers – it’s all systems go for World Plumbing Day. Gemma Wardle swaps her pen for a plunger to discover the world of plumbing at Highbury College. 

Today is World Plumbing Day and students at Highbury College are busy learning the tricks of the trade and promoting all things pipe-tastic!

Grace Eveleigh stands out from her peers as she is the only female student at the Northarbour Centre, Portsmouth. The 23 year old from Waterlooville thought the course would give her the best opportunities in the future. And she’s winning!

Grace said: “At first I was nervous because it is a very male dominated industry and I thought that I might not have the confidence.

“If you want to do it and you’re interested in it then, just go for it!”

Challenging gender stereotypes, Grace talked about situations where women don’t want a man working in the house whilst home alone. 

“There is a big gap in the industry for women where women are needed specifically.

“That will be quite an advantage when I try and start a business, that I will have that niche.

“It’s just not expected of you but it is the best decision I’ve made so I’m glad I did it. In 10 years’ time I would like to be working for myself and having my own business.”

The international event which was initiated by the World Plumbing Council aims to bring people together to promote high quality plumbing, sustainability and environmental health. 

Lecturer and plumbing instructor Andy Morris is excited that the interest in World Plumbing Day is increasing. 

He said: “The day is a showcase for the industry, plumbing’s still a very relevant trade.”

World plumbing Day raises awareness of the need to use resources more sustainably.

Andy added: “We’ve got to save the world’s resources. 

“You can take water from a basin, a bath or a shower and use that to flush your toilet. Now everyone’s on a metered supply, they’re saving water.”

The growing population is increasing demand on an ever shorter water supply. World plumbing day promotes the importance the industry has on providing safe, clean drinking water. 

Andy added: “If you catch all the rain water off your roof and use that to water your garden or wash your car, you’re saving a few hundred litres a year just on water.”

Andy teaches students on both full and part-time courses to work to the high standards of the industry. 

“Probably 80% of our students go into employment. The market is still buoyant, there are a lot of housing developments so students can transfer into the workplace and become apprentices.”

He added: “It is all about working in people’s houses. Learning the skill levels of plastic, copper, and steel. 

“The students get to practice and improve. They also peer assess and self-assess their work.

“All the assessments are timed and have a certain amount of material and pipe and they will be pressure tested to industry standard. 

“What we want is that raise from Level 2 to Level 3 so that we actually get a higher expectation of the tradesperson. That will benefit the customer and benefit the industry.

“It still is a tough course. Their heart’s got to be in it.

“It is just a learning curve, if you were bending copper pipe all day – you would just get better and better!”

The role of the World Plumbing Council is to “promote the role of plumbing in improving public health and safeguarding the environment, by uniting the World Plumbing Industry, for the benefit of all.”

Student Jackson Taylor, 30, hopes World plumbing Day brings everyone together.

“World plumbing day is important because it brings the plumbing community together and lets everyone share their ideas.

“I think renewable sources in the trade is important because we are going to the age where everything is trying to save energy and it is good for the environment.”

Jackson explained that solar panels, updated heating systems, harvesting rain water are good examples of trying to be more sustainable with the world’s energy sources.

He added: “With the global warming pandemic at the moment, everyone wants to have renewable energy.”

Jackson is an employer’s apprentice and recommends this route into plumbing. 

“I personally got involved in the plumbing course is because I love plumbing!

“Hopefully in 10 years’ time I’m hoping to have my own company, who knows where the future will take me!”

The college offers taster sessions to anyone interested in joining the trade. Student Brandon Page started the course because of one.

The 16 year old, originally from Desborough in Northamptonshire said: “It’s something that I’m passionate about now.

“I went to the testing day and I found it quite interesting. If you like getting your hands greasy and dirty, then try it!”

Students are preparing for World Plumbing Day by focusing on their projects to improve their skills. 

Student Harrison Frampton said he enjoys the course’s variety. 

The 17 year old from Waterlooville said: ““I like putting things together. Seeing how it works, the different types of pipes you can get and what you can make out of nothing.

“I quite like bending pipes, that’s fun! Getting a straight bit of pipe and bending and turning it how you want to fit whatever you need.

“It’s important to have a plan so you don’t mess up and waste a bunch of material.”

There you have it! So the next time you turn the tap on or switch the heating up, remember World Plumbing Day and the amazing technology in the walls of our very homes.