Saturday, 7 November 2015

Stokecore Music

Stokecore is a broad fusion genre of music whereby any style of music is mixed with a Stoke sensibility and/or Stokie dialect to make something entirely new.

Pioneering Stokecore bands (included Baps Unlimited, The Fegg Gays and Hatecock) mixed heavy metal with Stoke. Later bands, such as Mr Peabodys Dinner, Bitches and The Derek Hulse Fan Club, mixed genres as wide as disco, reggae and mandopop (respectively) with Stoke to widen what Stokecore could be.

Local bands Pink Pole and Good Gravy are often credited with originating Stokecore in the underground scene before other bands took the idea on and made it mainstream. The Fegg Gays album 'Tar Duck' is cited as the first Stokecore album to hit number one in the local charts, and is often referred to as "the album that influenced a generation". Baps Unlimited (feat. Mick Bullock) scored the first Stokecore number one single with their anthem 'Slaughter at Boslem Gaol'.

Nowadays, as we all know, Stokecore is the dominant musical genre in the city. There is also an emerging Hardcore Stokecore scene, featuring artists who only record songs in the ancient Stoke language of Stokehili, that predates English by centuries, but is now only spoken by about 10% of Stokes population.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Royal Wilkes Trail

The Royal Wilkes Trail is a hiking trail on the north rim of Knypersley reservoir, located at the very north of Stoke.

The paved trail begins in the car park at the southern end of Gracerock Road, better known as one of Knypersley's main dogging sites.

Knypersley Reservoir's northern shore

From the car park, the trail heads south west, along the reservoir, with signs describing the local flora and fauna, such as nettles and bulldogs. Viewpoints along the trail include The Whores Bath (a small pond), The Gay Window (a natural arch with flowers on it) and Bollock Pass (a path between two rocks).

Popular with tourists, the trail is around a mile in length, or about 894 Jonathan Wilkeses laid out in a line. Around 15 dead bodies were found dismembered along the route this morning, averaging about one every 107 metres. Police are not yet treating the deaths as suspicious, although this is subject to change according to the new Staffordshire Police terms and conditions announced yesterday.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Police Appeal For Witnesses

Barry The Clown
Police have appealed for witnesses after an incident yesterday that left a clown with a pie on his face.

Barry The Clown was entertaining at a children's garden party on Gash Road in Newstead when a cream pie was thrown into his face by one of the children, though by which one remains a mystery.

Staffordshire Police were called and detained the children for questioning. Under local laws, they can be held for 2 years without charge.

"We are determined to get to the bottom of this," police spokesman PC Barry Shanks said. "If any passers-by saw anything, now is the time to come forward. Clowns are people too and shouldn't be subject to these kind of calculated attacks. We are treating this as a hate crime."

Once the culprit is discovered, Barry The Clown plans on pressing criminal charges, and taking the case to a civil court to seek compensation.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Fegg Hayes Airfield

Fegg Hayes Airfield is a former wartime US Army Air Forces airfield used during WW2. It is now abandoned and used mainly as a hangout for layabouts, chavs and – occasionally – scroungers.

The airfield is located through the hedge behind the statue of Betty Paige on Humps Road in eastern Fegg Hayes. It was used by passing squadrons from early 1944 until June 1945 as a resupply point and "booty drop zone".

Fegg Hayes Airfield

Despite this, the leaders of what was then known as the Peoples Republic of Stoke declared that no Stokie women actually got pregnant by any of the American guests during the war.

"Aye, I looked after a few of the airmen when I wasn't on the frontline myself," land girl and royal marine Kaylee Hulse, now 98, said. "But their American gametes were much too weak to penetrate our tough working class Stokie ovaries, so they didn't get through thankfully. Everyone was a winner."

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Skipper Grateful To The Boss

Stoke City soccer star Terry Skipper has opened up about his recent off-field problems.

In an emotional interview, that drove most who witnessed it to TEARS, Skipper said: "I won't go on about the specifics of my problems, literally everyone knows what they were, I don't need to go on about them anymore."

"I was at my lowest ebb," he continued. "Even lower than that time that video came out of me roasting those ladyboys with my posse while racially abusing them. Or the time I chucked some rotten eggs at a group of spastics. This was worse, but as I said, I don't want to keep going on about it, no-one wants to hear anymore about it."

"I went over to New Jersey and spent some time with 'the boss', Bruce Springsteen. He really helped me get myself together and move forward."

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Short Story Competition: 1st Place

'Marilyn In Stoke' by Kevin Gout

Marilyn Monroe wiped her mouth. She had never had a man who tasted so good. Big Kev took his hands off Marilyn's head and placed them on top of his own, and leaned back.

He had travelled back in time from Stoke in 2015 to Los Angeles in 1962. His job was to kill Marilyn Monroe, but he had ended up falling in love with her.

He was the kind of guy the chicks loved. He was a real man. A straight-talker, a doer, with a grizzled face and a thick Stoke accent. Sure he drank too much, had a beer belly, thinning hair and dodgy knees, but if anything, this made the ladies love him more. These were the vulnerabilities that made him human to them.

He didn't need Marilyn, he had the cream of Stoke's women in 2015 waiting for him. But there was something about this crazy dame that got to him like no-one else had, not for a long time.

He had started to formulate a plan. It was so crazy it might just work. He would find a Marilyn doppelganger and leave her in Marilyn's deathbed in 1962, and take Marilyn back with him to the present. The real question though, was not if Stoke was ready for Marilyn Monroe, but was Marilyn Monroe ready for Stoke?

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Short Story Competition: 2nd Place

'God Barry' by Barry Machin

As Barry drew the sword from his pathetic wife's now lifeless corpse, laughing as he wiped the blood on the terrible pink curtains he had had to put up with in his bedroom (and it was his bedroom, he had paid for the house with his money) for all these years, he realised: I am a God.

Barry went downstairs and opened a beer. If he wanted to drink during the day, he could now. There was no-one to stop him. He could go to the football now, every Saturday – home and away. Finally get that moustache he always wanted. Everything was coming up Barry.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Short Story Competition: 3rd Place

'Oatcake vs Pikelet' by Terry Hooch

"There's no place in Stoke for sweet foods," the oatcake said to the pikelet. "This is a savoury town and I'm a savoury treat. Just the way the people like it."

"Get lost granddad!" the pikelet replied. "You're past it. Yesterday's news. The youngins of today want something sweet, round and firm, not something old and floppy like you!"

"When I were a lad, youngins knew they're place and respected their elders," the oatcake said.

"Yeah well this ain't Downton Abbey, daddio," the pikelet laughed, and did some street dancing to the oatcake to flaunt his youth in his savoury face.

The oatcake pulled out a gun and shot the pikelet dead. He knew the police would do nothing. Oatcakes ruled Stoke and everyone knew it.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Short Story Competition

The Stoke Literary Society has decided its winners of the Official 2015 Stoke Short Story Competition.

The top three writers all get ten pints of milk, with third place also getting a goat, second place a cow and the overall winner getting a white Vauxhall Nova.

The winning stories will be published here over the following days.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Autumn Music Preview

Music fans know that the biggest time of the year for new album releases is autumn, so let’s look ahead to this year's most anticipated releases!... by local artists.

Bev Collies – "Super Busy"

Bev is known simply as "The Voice" by local music fans, who include Stoke's ruling Council of Elders, for whom she has performed on numerous occasions at Stoke state functions.

On her new album, the third part of her so-called 'Burslem Trilogy', Bev explores the dark side of human relationships, including songs about her time as a mercenary in the Congo and her six failed marriages. The deluxe edition of the CD includes five additional different versions of Carly Rae Jepsen's classic 'Call Me Maybe', including the freeform jazz cover already a hit on Stoke's club scene.

Ted Stumpies – "1989"

Ted's eleventh studio album, released on his own record label Ted's Boutique, is a song-for-song remake of Ryan Adams's song-for-song remake of Taylor Swift's "1989" album.

"I'm a big fan of Ryan's music," Ted explained. "I've already covered his cover of Oasis's 'Wonderwall', so this seemed like a natural step in my musical progression."

The Farmer's Conundrum – "The Ballad of Dave Holdcroft"

Stoke's number one folk band, now that The Queensberry Rules have split up, release their third album this year in late October. It features a host of popular folk standards including 'The Milk Maid's Bison', 'Ballad of the Bald Beardsmith', 'Ye Olde Bastard and the Drunken Butcher', as well as original songs like 'The Ghosts of Burslem Aldi', 'The Green, Green Grass of Fenton' and 'O'er the Valley I Did Lose My Oatcake'.

Barry Money – "Live at HMP Werrington"

Hailing from the country music stronghold of Stockton Brook, Barry's latest album sees him perform for inmates on death row at Stoke's notorious HMP Werrington.

Dropping classics like 'Shotgun Sharon' and 'Girl Named Barry' into his set along with new jams like 'The Hangman's Nissan', the crowd lap up Barry's performance right up until the end of the set, when they go on the rampage, killing guards and roadies with feverish abandon. The sound of the riot itself is only available as a pre-order bonus track on the digital download from Apple's iTunes store.