Musical Moment: Lily Allen ('It's Hard Out There')

Just when we thought it was safe to relax, sit back, tear in eye, and enjoy a more sereneLily Allen singing Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’  in the John Lewis Christmas advert(as an aside… are that bear and the hare actually an item?!) the singer goes and releases the track, Hard Out Here,’ knocking us for six.  No, Lily has not become the all sugary sweet, apron wearing, strawberry jam-making, mother of two John Lewis would have us believe!  Still a feminist to her core, this week Lily released a casual evisceration of the pop music industry sexism we have, particularly of late (thanks Miley and Robin) had violently twerked in our faces.  Lily’s song is a sarcastic take on body image and the outlandish expectations projected upon women, the ridiculous phenomenon of twerking and the horrendous double standards women still seem to endure.  I love the subversive swipe atRobin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ balloons and the liberal use of the word ‘bitch’ repetitively sung alongside the catchy tune - another statement against its unimpressive overuse in popular culture.  Yes.  Just Yes.  Welcome back Lily.

" I won’t be braggin’ ’bout my cars, or talkin’ ’bout my chains
Don’t need to shake my ass for you ‘cuz I got a brain..."

Musical Moment: Gabrielle Alpin ('The Power of Love')

Below: John Lewis has once again produced a brrrrr...illiant Christmas commercial (watch 2011's advert here) showing a snowman’s journey to buy his snowlady the perfect gift.

Following in the footsteps of Ellie Goulding and Slow Moving Millie, this year’s advert features the voice of Gabrielle Aplin, a twenty year old singer/songwriter from Bath, whose haunting cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘Power of Love’ is played during the commercial.  The single, which was co-produced by David Kosten and Mike Spencer, coincidentally was released 28 years to the day since ‘The Power of Love’ was originally released.  In a recent interview, Gabrielle said "I was worried people might hate me because they were so attached to the original single, but I've since been in touch with Holly Johnson, and he said some lovely things about my take on his song." Beautiful.  I cannot wait to hear more of her songs in 2013.

Best Of London - Amelia Warner (Slow Moving Millie)

This year’s Christmas John Lewis advert (below) is a real tear-jerker - guaranteed to tug at even the toughest of heartstrings. The commercial shows an impatient little boy anxiously waiting for Christmas Day to arrive - but not, as you first assume, in eager anticipation to open his own presents, but because he is desperate to give his parents a gift.

The track which accompanies this advert is a cover of The Smith’s ‘Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want,’ sung by emerging artist Slow Moving Millie (left) who I previously wrote about here.

Slow Moving Millie, the beeeeautiful actress and songstress Amelia Warner, has recently finished recording ‘Renditions,’ an album of songs from the 1980’s, including covers of hits by Tears for Fears, Thompson Twins, Bananarama, Yazoo and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. By stripping these songs from their manic 1980's rifts and crazy hair, what remains are "really poignant songs, and they're all about having your heart broken."

Amelia, currently living in West London with her boyfriend, took some time to share with us her London favourites;

Cocktail – I’m not a huge fan of the cocktail, so it would have to be a pint of Guinness at The Coach And Horses in Soho with some lovely friends.

Date night - Spaghetti pomodoro, red wine and candlelight at The Ripe Tomato on All Saints Road with my love.

Brunch - At home with the papers, Bloody Mary's and my friend Markus' home fries!

Boutique - Labour Of Love on Upper Street – I always find something one off and odd.

High St – It would have to be Topshop, although I am also loving COS.

Secret Place - Cork and Bottle, a very old fashioned wine bar hidden and tucked away under the craziness of Leicester Sq - Perfect for a late dinner.

London Icon - Tracey Emin for her humour, honesty, style and complete Britishness!

The single 'Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’ is available as a single now on iTunes and Amazon.

The album 'Rendtions' is released on December 12th.

Slow Moving Millie's MySpace.