Month: October 2016

Review: Men’s Hair Co. – Dun Laoghaire

So I am very particular about my hair, as you will know if you know me or have checked my Instagram before with endless amounts of haircut pictures and styles, so I was a little apprehensive stepping into a new barbershop this week for a new cut and style.

Men’s Hair Co. based in Dun Laoghaire and now with a new shop in Bray is an on-trend salon experience for men with professional stylists and masters in their craft. Creative Director, Jason Brophy opened the first Men’s Hair Co. just 2 years ago and it has gone from strength to strength building a loyal client base and I can see exactly why.

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From the modern and stylish look of the shop front to the interior, the minute you step inside you are welcomed by a warm and friendly team of people.

Before I tell you about the experience of the cut, let’s just take a moment to discuss the interior. A very cool and sleek design incorporating wooden finishes with retro objects and lighting, it sets the mood for a great experience. The styling area’s simplistic with amazing lighting design to show off the full extent of the styling really opens up the shop and gives a great inclusive feel to the client. I may just add here that you need to make sure to book in advance, I have never passed this shop without it being packed with men and children alike getting the latest cuts and trends.

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So onto the moment I love but also dread, trying to get my vision of what I want across to someone who has never met me before. Thankfully, Jason knew exactly what I was talking about and the style I usually go for. A style that can adapt to both formal events as well as straight out of bed to a studio or class, as well as a style that is easily manageable and to suit me.

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After discussing the cut and styling of the new do, Jason got to work and I have to say, he did not leave any detail out, taking his time to ensure it was right at every step of the way and that I was happy as he was going. He even went as far as blow drying it into shape and then having to wet it again to cut more, that is professionalism at its finest that you don’t see in many male salons nowadays.

About 30 minutes later and the result was well worth it, a great cut, nice style and excellent service from the reception to the wash and from the other stylists to the time I left the shop, as well as accommodating someone taking pictures while they were trying to work.

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I cannot recommend this team enough and as a barbershop and grooming salon for men, the best I have visited. If you want to be made at ease whether you want a new style or just tidying up your current one, this is the team that will talk you through it and make sure you leave satisfied.

On a side note, they also have their own product range and the strong hold wax used in my hair for styling is brilliant. As my hair is so straight it can be hard to get height and texture but this does the job with added hold and volume. Make sure to get some when you drop in.

The final outcome, a great cut that I am extremely happy with. Cheers Jason and team.

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Check out Men’s Hair Co. On Instagram, Facebook and www.menshairco.ie

Review by @Kenneth_Giles

Review: Farmaphobia – No.1 Halloween Attraction

Last night I had the pleasure of being invited to Ireland’s number one Halloween attraction – Farmaphobia!

Based in Causey Farm, Co.Meath it is the spookiest as well as most fun experience I have attended in a while. If you ever wanted to be part of your own horror movie, get yourself down to it before it closes on November 1st.

So you ask, what exactly is it? Constructed on a traditional Irish farm, the farm house, buildings and fields are transformed into different terrifying experiences. If you don’t like to hear people screaming from the minute you arrive to the minute you get back to your car, then you best stay at home.

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First up for us was the ‘Field Of Screams’, a giant crop field (think of the movie ‘Signs’ and you won’t be too far off) filled with zombie actors, chainsaws and scary dwellings including an underground tunnel which you must pass through to make it out. From being chased by an undertaker to a scary doll, make sure to wear comfortable shoes because you need to run for your life and there is a lot of mud so don’t fall! ( and before you ask, no I didn’t)

Next we were onto the ‘Scarecus’, an indoor maze of mirrors, terrifying clowns and trickery. I walked into more walls in this place than anywhere else, you want out of there but finding your way can be tricky. Remember the creepy clowns around schools reported on the news in the past few weeks? Well you will meet them all in the one place here.

The ‘Vamporium’ was a nice break from the madness but still equally as scary. At each turn you encounter someone new including a dead woman on the stairs, people popping out of walls and scary rooms you want out of before you even step in.

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‘Dead and Breakfast’ brings you on a tour around a very luxurious bed and breakfast set in the heart of the beautiful picturesque….. Nope, it was just as disgusting as the rest of it. A haunted house full of mad staff, people chained to beds and the odd rat running around your feet (don’t worry they are not real, or are they?). Step into the kitchen, laundry, bedrooms and hallway of a freaky house with slides, tunnels and ballooning walls, you must fight to get out alive! (OK, a bit over dramatic but it is heart pounding stuff, especially when you have someone pushing you to always go first 😉 )

Our final experience on the spooky tour was the ‘Mutation Morgue’ were you are put on a bed and pushed into a wall exactly like the real thing, only to be greeted on the other side by a terrifying fright. Make sure to actually get up off the bed and start moving through the morgue, you are not there for a sleep. Blood, guts and butchers are all present in this scare room with another maze of doors, walls and more trapping you in rooms with people you would rather never see again.

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When you are done with the 5 scary attractions you can chill out at the bonfire, grab some food and take some awesome pictures with the brilliant Halloween structures and decorations throughout the farm. A well thought out event and one I definitely recommend to everyone this Halloween.

Tickets are still available for this weekend at www.Farmaphobia.ie

Review by @Kenneth_Giles

Eastenders Star To Release Solo Single!

‘Good Thing’ is the debut single from the nation’s favourite child actor Maisie Smith, who we saw grow up on the set of the award winning BBC show Eastenders as Tiffany Butcher.

No longer a little girl, Maisie proves she is also no longer just an actress but a talented & beautiful pop star in the making.

“I’ve always wanted to make a cool pop record that people could relate to, dance to and feel good listening to. By teaming up with my producer Darren Martyn to make ‘Good Thing’, I feel like we achieved that. I am so excited to finally let people hear it!” Maisie Smith

Maisie (who lives with her family in Leigh on Sea, Essex) has always had a passion for music. She plays the guitar, composes, dances & choreographs her own routines. And all whilst studying for her GCSEs! She has been releasing cover tracks on her YouTube, such as her amazing cover of Justin Bieber ‘Let Me Love You’.

Maisie Smith started her acting career at the tender age of four, starring alongside Scarlett Johannsson in The Other Boleyn Girl where she played Queen Elizabeth I. She started her long Eastenders role at 6, playing Tiffany Butcher where she won various awards.

Maisie has also appeared as a guest in shows including Children in Need, Bookaboo, Sam & Mark’s Big Friday Wind Up and Hacker Time and is confirmed as a guest on The Michael McIntyre’s Show later this year.

Take a listen to the brand new single which is set for release on November 25th right here now:

9 YEARS – It’s My Birthday (Kind of)

So today marks something pretty special for me. It’s my babies birthday!

Ok so before you all ask WHAT?, no I do not have a secret child. My baby is my business! 9 years ago today was the very first outing for Eclipse Stage School. It’s still quite surreal to say I have a business that has been around that long, but it has been, crazy!

At 17, I finished school with a pretty OK Leaving Cert and attempted not one, not two but three different colleges all in the space of a week, now that is impressive. You have probably guessed it but college was not for me, I had just had 5 years in secondary school and I did not want to go back to a classroom again.

So when I looked at what I could possibly do with my time or where I could go career wise, the only thing that jumped out at me was ‘performing’, the only thing I knew how to do and at this time I had done some minor work with boy bands and girl groups so I knew I could hack it.

I set out to create something very different to what was currently around in a stage school, something a bit more cool, youthful and not too strict (I was 17 remember, a baby!). Flyers went everywhere possible around North Dublin, every letterbox in my area got one and people seemed to like the idea.

The first night, 19th October 2007, was nerve wracking, not knowing if one person would show up but thankfully there was about 20 students on the first night and it went great with High School Musical being the in thing at that time, everyone wanted to be Troy or Gabriella.

I could never of guessed that what started so small 9 years ago would become what it is today and what every student has achieved from performing in Croke Park Stadium to Christmas Toy Show appearances and from backing dancers on the Irish tour of Glee to our very own 13 theatre productions to date. Not to mention our award wins including Best Stage School and Dance Group Of The Year.

Away from the stage school, I have been so grateful to be involved with some of the biggest productions and events not only in Ireland but across the world including New York, Canada and the U.K. from radio to TV and theatre to festivals. Let’s hope the next 9 are just as kind.

This is the real start of the countdown to our biggest celebrations yet in 2017 when we reach the big 10 with a massive theatre show like no other and plenty more surprises along the way 😉

Thank you to everyone who has made Eclipse what it is over the past 9 years, it is down to you all the success we have achieved. Ok, enough of the soppiness!

Back in gear for the 4th annual ShowChoir Ireland Championships in 2 weeks time which we will perform at and I will host and we will keep working away on Ten Years On which takes place in November 2017.

Check out some of the Eclipse highlights at http://Www.youtube.com/user/eclipsestageschool

And at our new website www.EclipseEntertainmentIreland.com

 

WIN – Two Passes To Farmaphobia

Would you like to win two X-Scream passes to Farmaphobia for this Sunday 23rd October at 8pm?

Of course you would! The Causey Farm Halloween spooktacular in Co.Meath is the best and most terrifying experience this season. And to win these passes it couldn’t be easier.

I am giving you the chance to enter not once, not twice but three times and here is how:

Facebook – Go to http://Www.facebook.com/popondown , click on the picture, LIKE it, SHARE it and tag 5 friends in the comments below.

Twitter – Go to http://Www.twitter.com/kenneth_giles , FOLLOW, RETWEET the picture and tag 5 friends when you retweet.

Instagram – Follow me at @Kenneth_Giles and then LIKE the picture and comment below it tagging 5 friends.

You can enter on all three sites until Friday morning and the winner will be announced this Friday afternoon.

*Tickets are non-transferable for any other date and must be used this Sunday 23rd October.

Good luck guys!

Kenneth’s Monthly Mix: Music, Fashion & Lifestyle

So in a slight change to the normal posts from me on Pop On Down, I have decided to give you all a bit more of an insight into me: what music I like, where I am shopping and generally how good (or bad) my lifestyle is. So each month I will bring you my Monthly Mix of fashion, music, lifestyle and more.

September has been a great month for me in the general scheme of things with a few hiccups along the way but I won’t get caught up on them too much. Here is my pick of the best from September 2016!

Song Of The Moment for me this month is without a shadow of a doubt the return of Scottish songstress Emeli Sande and her new single ‘Hurts’. An instantly catchy song with amazing lyrics and with a voice like hers, how can she go wrong?

Other notable new releases this month for me have all been about the comebacks from Lady Gaga with ‘Perfect Illusion’, Michael Buble’s new single ‘Nobody But Me’ and Robbie Williams quite strange comeback with ‘The Heavy Entertainment Show’.

 

Shop Of The Month is a hard one for me as I like clothes so much I shop in practically every good men’s fashion retailer in Dublin most week’s but this month it is safe to say that Pull & Bear (online store and Henry Street, Dublin) has been my go to place. They have had an ongoing sale this month with many items up to 50% off and I have bought most of them as you can tell from my Instagram feed….. whoops!

Just to give you a brief insight to my one month clothing turnover, here is my delivery from Pull & Bear online mid-month:

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From their sport trainers to joggers and denims to tee’s, they have you covered for virtually all occasions and they are super helpful with exchanges when you buy something and it doesn’t quite fit how you imagined…. ok, ok when you buy smaller than what you are! No hassle, swap or refund straight away. Props to P&B for their cool staff.

I will also be bringing you trends and fashion insight every week now from stores including Pull &Bear, H&M, River Island, Topman, Bershka, Forever 21 and the one we all love (even if you pretend you don’t shop there) Penneys!

TV Choices have to be the obvious talent show TV for me, Strictly, X Factor and even Bear Grylls Celebrity Island is bearable right now (see what I did there?). TV series of the month for me is the almighty comeback of Cold Feet, which I will point out is almost as good as the first time around and that is hard to do.

My Lifestyle Snapshot has been a varied bag this month from work to personal life. September always kicks off the busiest time for me with work but this year just seem’s even more so but in a really good way.

In short, I am producing ShowChoir Ireland Live Final on November 5th as well as presenting the show with my amazing friend Saoirse Long (FM104), choreographing two Christmas pantomimes, creative directing and choreographing the Eclipse tenth anniversary show for 2017 as well as running a blog, a business and a body (yikes).

My own life has been eventful these past few weeks having lost my Grandmother (Nanny Annie) in August suddenly as well as undergoing a small procedure to remove a lesion from my eye which is a whole other blog post to come I’m sure. It is true what they say though, live every day as if it is your last and be grateful for what you have because there is far worse out there.

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So in general it hasn’t been half bad to be honest, good music, good shopping, good work, good personal life (with the few exceptions) and I’m happy which is the main thing.

Over the next few weeks you will see some changes around Pop On Down as I expand the blog into men’s health, grooming, fashion and lifestyle as well as keeping the music, entertainment and TV side of things going.

Keep up to date with everything that is happening at Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and right here!

Also, if you want something featured or maybe you know an awesome band that deserve to be talked about, let me now at popondown@gmail.com

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