Lewis Pugh swims the North Pole (Image: www.lewispugh.com)

Extreme Swims – including Land’s End to John O’Groats and The Amazon #SwimmingWeek

  Most of us are happy to plod up and down our local swimming pool for a few laps. Or maybe if we are feeling really adventurous heading off for a quick dip in the sea. But what if you really want a swimming challenge to impress your mates? Here we look at six of the most extreme swims ever …

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shinychrisExtreme Swims – including Land’s End to John O’Groats and The Amazon #SwimmingWeek
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So why does everyone hate Kasabian then?

I don’t know about you, but over the past few days my social media feeds have been dominated by a series of moans about 1, Glastonbury in general and 2, Kasabian in particular. Here’s a sample ‘They’re just a cocky, indie-dance-pub-glam-rock band with a ludicrous sense of self-importance, dodgy fashion sense & poor tunes…’ Ouch! Obviously Kasabian have their fans, …

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AshleySo why does everyone hate Kasabian then?

Welcome to the new Brandish

Yep, after a brief hiatus we are back bringing daily dispatches from the worlds of tech, style, music and football to the discerning gentleman. And there have been a few changes. We have a lovely, new easy to follow design, added a few new categories – check out Timewarp to re-live yours (or indeed someone else’s) youth and we are …

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AshleyWelcome to the new Brandish

Arsenal update: if not Morata then who? Remy? Benteke? Berbatov?

Well the Alvaro Morata to Arsenal story didn’t last that long did it? Several sources are saying that Arsene Wenger has no interest in the player who was apparently heading for a few months on loan to provide back up for Olivier Giroud. There are still plenty of names being linked with Arsenal. Pato – though that seems very unlikely …

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AshleyArsenal update: if not Morata then who? Remy? Benteke? Berbatov?

Arsenal update: Higuain deal close, Payet buzz, Villa off to Spurs?

There is still no hard news coming out of Madrid this morning, which means that several news sites are running with ‘Gonzalo Higuain deal gets even closer’ type stories. At least a couple of sites have claimed that an Arsenal entourage are in Madrid and that Wenger may be jetting out to join them soon. Goal also says that Higuain’s …

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AshleyArsenal update: Higuain deal close, Payet buzz, Villa off to Spurs?
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This summer’s hottest plimsolls and canvas shoes

Ever wondered why the plimsoll is called that? According to Nicholette Jones’ book The Plimsoll Sensation in the 1870s it got the name because the coloured horizontal band joining the upper to the sole resembled the Plimsoll line on a ship’s hull. So just like the Plimsoll line on a ship, if water got above the line of the rubber …

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AshleyThis summer’s hottest plimsolls and canvas shoes
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Style – Cricket Chic – how to look good when watching The Ashes

We are now just a month away from the first game in The Ashes series as the under achieving Aussies face the mighty England team at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. If all goes to plan it will be business as usual with the England team notching up their third Ashes series win in a row. But then again when has …

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AshleyStyle – Cricket Chic – how to look good when watching The Ashes
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How to dress like Jay ‘The Great’ Gatsby

In case you hadn’t noticed The Great Gatsby is back in the cinemas again with Leonardo Di Caprio playing the doomed title role alongside his Daily Buchanan, in this instance Carey Mulligan. Given that the director is Baz Luhrmann of Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet fame the film is not surprisingly rather stylised with much of the fashions that …

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AshleyHow to dress like Jay ‘The Great’ Gatsby

The 11 hottest new psych bands – Hidden Masters, Hounds Tooth, Magnetic Mind…

Barely a day seems to go by at the moment without some great new psych music arriving on Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube or (gosh) vinyl. So I have rounded up 10 of the best recent releases (plus one bonus one) and included videos, embeds or links if they exist. So without further ado – here you go. The Sudden Death Of …

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AshleyThe 11 hottest new psych bands – Hidden Masters, Hounds Tooth, Magnetic Mind…

Style – Summer Hats round up – Zara, Fred Perry, Ted Baker and more

In case you hadn’t noticed the sun has suddenly decide to grace us with its presence which is great news for everyone, except for those of us who are folically challenged. It is now the time of year when hat wearing shifts from begin a quirky affectation to a necessity. Fortunately there’s a pretty good selection in the stores at …

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AshleyStyle – Summer Hats round up – Zara, Fred Perry, Ted Baker and more
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Style Safari – Retro Sunglasses guide

With summer fast approaching (- or due to make an appearance any time now) your look is not complete without a set of shades. With so many different styles to choose from and plenty of good High Street versions at a fraction of the cost, some of the coolest ones right now have got to be retro inspired ones. Sunglasses …

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AshleyStyle Safari – Retro Sunglasses guide

Some tricky decisions for Alan Pardew and Newcastle for the West Ham game

Following an embarrassing 6-0 hammering by Liverpool, and after a week where newspapers were warned against revealing the extent of Newcastle’s dressing room tensions, this weekend’s trip to West Ham feels like a particularly important game for Alan Pardew. Newcastle are now in 17th, just one point away from the drop-zone. They could do without further selection issues, but the …

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AshleySome tricky decisions for Alan Pardew and Newcastle for the West Ham game
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Andy Warhol Pepe Jeans Campbell Soup Jacket

Ok, so the Pop Art spotlight is very much on Roy Lichtenstein at the moment what with his retrospective at the Tate Modern in London. But when it comes to a style/art crossover then there’s only one pop art name that counts, and that’s Andy Warhol. There are literally hundreds of Warhol’s prints available on t-shirts – check this lot …

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AshleyAndy Warhol Pepe Jeans Campbell Soup Jacket
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Science of Shaving: we check out Gillette’s cutting edge technology

Every morning dozens of men visit the Gillette Research and Development Labs in Reading just to shave. There they are watched by scientists through two way mirrors in little booths to see how exactly how they perform the act. “Everyone is different,” explains Troy Nimrick, Director, Gillette, Global Blades and Razors R+D . “Some take just around 100 brush strokes …

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shinychrisScience of Shaving: we check out Gillette’s cutting edge technology
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Dress like Steve McQueen – Barbour unveils new range

It is incredible to think that almost 35 years after his sad and premature death that Steve McQueen remains one of the most recognisable and iconic Hollywood stars. Barbour certainly thinks McQueen is a legend. The British brand has been adding to its McQueen inspired range. In keeping with McQueen’s on (and off) screen persona it is tough clothing that …

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AshleyDress like Steve McQueen – Barbour unveils new range
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Flyknit Experience: We test out the new Nike Lunar 1+ in a running ‘flash mob’ along The Thames

If you started running a few years ago, when it was still disparagingly referred to as jogging, you know how heavy trainers used to be – like wearing lead weights on your feet. Not any more. Manufacturers are literally tripping over each other to bring the latest lightweight fabric technologies to our feet.  Last month saw the arrival of the …

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shinychrisFlyknit Experience: We test out the new Nike Lunar 1+ in a running ‘flash mob’ along The Thames
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Oakley and The Macallan launch the ultimate (indestructible) Whisky Flask

Now you might have thought that creating a whisky flask was a largely straightforward job. It is not though when you get high-end luxury whisky brand The Macallan and sports equipment specialist Oakley Inc together and get them to rewrite the flask design book. The pair have been working together to hatch this – just called The Flask – which …

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AshleyOakley and The Macallan launch the ultimate (indestructible) Whisky Flask
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Style Safari – Fred Perry Barrel Bag

Still agonising over whether you need a bag to lug all your gear around? Well I’d get over it. How else are you going to transport your iPad, Kindle, various chargers – and maybe even the odd book or mag if you are old school? One option that more and more blokes seem to be adopting are medium sized Barrel …

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AshleyStyle Safari – Fred Perry Barrel Bag
onkyo-KeyVisual ONKYO ES-FC300 Headphones

CES 2013 – Onkyo debuts its first ever headphones range

Japanese company Onkyo has always been big in home cinema and hi-fi and it has rustled up a pretty impressive iPhone dock or two. Now it is having a crack at a new market – headphones. At CES it took the wraps off a new range designed to be paired up with smartphones and take personal listenting to a new …

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AshleyCES 2013 – Onkyo debuts its first ever headphones range