Toby Kebbell Drops Out and Tunes In


Toby Kebbell in Wrath of the Titans

English actor Toby Kebbell is a name dropper.

The 29 year-old has a few to choose from having already worked with directors Woody Allen, Oliver Stone, Guy Richie and Steven Spielberg and alongside heavy-hitting actors such as Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarlett Johansson and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Yet, the names littering a conversation with Kebbell about his rise from high school dropout in regional England to Hollywood feature actor tend to be the less illustrious: a schoolteacher, an acting mentor; his parents, his three brothers and sister and fellow strugglers he bumped into along a career path that now straddles the Atlantic.

Review. Paul Weller: Sonik Kicks

Mr Weller

I started losing enthusiasm for the work of former Jam and Style Council singer, songwriter Paul Weller about 20 years ago. Maybe I was having a bad day … month … year … relationship (you know who you are).

True, I gave up on the Modfather a little early. I’d loved The Jam and their barking pop ‘n’ rock, but found (later) Style Council irritatingly self-aware and derivative — they seemed to focus on cashing in rather than celebrating Weller’s conspicuous soul influences.

The Reluctant Lemming


Deciding what to leave out is the hardest part of the writing process.

As anyone who reads my blog, articles, eulogies, business proposals, film treatments, keynote addresses, song lyrics or grocery lists can attest, I need work on this skill.

I tend to write 1000 words then start thinking about how long the piece is going to be. It’s baffling: as a former news agency journalist and newspaper section editor, I spent a good part of my career insisting 400 words were all you needed to tell a good story, but look at me now, I can’t shut up.

Antipodean Etiquette in NYC

Some bridge ... I dunno

Every expatriate with a crappy blog wants to give you advice about ‘their’ city.

I never used to, but kind of feel compelled now I have a crappy blog. I also consider myself to be of two cities: New York and Sydney, so I plan on being doubly annoying, though I’ll restrict myself to my current abode for the moment.

To be honest, my ‘guide’ to New York after 17 years of residency is a boring disgrace. When friends come from overseas they tell me their plans and I can’t help but be impressed. “I wish I was doing that,” I think as they saunter off to The Frick followed by drinks at Le Bain, dinner at Per Si and catching several bands and an attitude in Williamsburg.

AFL Fans in New York: No Soup for You

We have the technology

There was a time, not very long ago (OK, a decade or more ago) when an Australian in New York in need of a televised sports-hit other than the satisfying last two minutes of NBA games and the final 57 seconds of the Superbowl had to search far and wide.

When it came to coverage of cricket, rugby, Australian rules football, Oz soccer, international basketball and rugby league, videos from home (if your VHS-challenged father actually managed to press ‘record’) were often the best way to stay connected although persistence, also known as bar hopping, was sometimes rewarded.

The Art of Travel: The Stopover (Part One)

I should have resisted but, lacking will power, I’d committed a heinous travel sin and now had to pay.

I wasn’t going to hell, but an overly long stopover in Atlanta loomed.

You see, I had been tempted by the cheap, the nasty, the sordid – a ticket on a budget airline with a stopover/change of plane en-route to the destination.

I was racked with guilt from the very start, but I’d left it until late to make my travel plans and the non-stop flights on airlines with planes from the 21st century cost considerably more than YoureGonnaDie Air, or whoever it was that flew the stuffed-bucket service I found myself on … and on … and on  … and

How He Got His Wiggle Back

On the shonky stages of inner Sydney and Melbourne venues in the 1980s, I harbored a quiet confidence that, despite the mullet and my habitually poor choice of clothing, I would eventually find a niche in the music world. Sure, the stony silence that greeted the end of many of my band’s performances was a little unnerving, but the physical beatings were merely sporadic.

Yes, I would tell myself as I slinked off the ‘stage’ at the Sussex Hotel avoiding the gazes of (depending on which band we’d just supported) snarling disaffected youths or poncy rhythm-less geese with peacock hair, my voice will one day reverberate around some of the nation’s biggest venues.

Extremely Loud & Surprisingly Compelling

We all have our favorites. We all have our biases and preferences.

I try hard not to load up on preconceptions before seeing a film or performance or talking to someone who’s been in the public eye, but I’ll concede it happens more than it should.

There is a certain satisfaction in being “right”, yet I have been reminded in recent months, that it’s possibly more exhilarating to be proven emphatically wrong – or at the least, have your eyes opened to something you haven’t recognized previously.

Jonsi: The New Sound of Hollywood


I have a pleasant if vague recollection of being briefly entranced and slightly baffled a few years ago by singer-guitarist Jonsi, his long-time band Sigur Ros and their ability to create a uniquely atmospheric aural soup.

It was a flirtation I should have acted on but, I suspect at the time, I decided to lump them in the Bjork basket of curious, sometimes inspired Icelandic mood-makers and post rock, sound-scape artists — to be considered in depth at some point in the future, probably whilst blitheringly drunk.


Thanks for glancing at the site. Here’s the short story: I’m an Australian writer and journalist based in New York.

In a professional capacity I currently write, predominately, about film and music and the people involved in the arts but in the past I’ve been a business and finance writer and editor, covered sports around the world and reported on politics and major news events. I’m also engaged in writing non-fiction books and have worked extensively as a scriptwriter and consultant, especially in children’s film.