Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Years Eve 2016

Happy New Year!
Here goes another year! I spent the day with my friend longest and best friend Danny, and I'm spending my New Year Eve, quietly. Staying in with my loved one, having a few cheeky Malibu and cokes, and chilling out, and taking a few stupid pictures. Not because I couldn't find anything to do, but because I wanted to. :)

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Korn and Limp Bizkit // Birmingham Barclaycard Arena // 15.12.16

Here we are, the last gig of the year, and what a way to end it. Both Korn and Limp Bizkit in one evening.

Limp Bizkit was probably the first band to get me into trouble with my parents as a kid, I have the imagine in my head now, of my mother in the garden pealing potatoes one summers day, and me disturbing her peacefulness with those life changing lyrics of Hot Dog, as they blast out of my bedroom window. "MELANIE! TURN THAT OFF". Nevertheless, despite the backlash about them, I truly loved me some Limp Bizkit. They have always been on my 'Bands I Must See Before I Die' List, and I'm pretty happy now I get to tick them off my list.

I wasn't really sure what to expect, I have heard from several different places how bad they are supposed to be live. But to be honest, this wasn't really something that bothered me, or put me off. However what I will say is, I probably should have listened to these people, so I didn't feel let down afterwards. 

The setlist was...okay, I guess. I mean for an old school band, I guess you'd be silly to expect them to play anything other than their hits. But c'mon, you guys do have some other songs, so for that I felt a bit let down. Another thing that actually DID bug me... what is with the dance tunes in between EVERY song... did I come to wrong place, I thought we were at a metal show? Or perhaps i'm just getting old... Seriously though, the time spent in between every song with what I like to call just noise, they could have AT LEAST squeezed in another song or two.

Though it seems a little hard to believe, I did actually have fun though. Nostalgia wins over anything, once more.

Having seen Korn before, I already have the experience of knowing that these guys absolutely kill it live, and they are a band I will definitely be seeing again in the future. 

There was a few things different to when I saw them the last time. For one, it was pretty awesome to hear Word Up played, for what is apparently the first time they played this since 2004. Although not their own song, it is still a great cover. The twist of diving into to Queens We Will Rock You, after the first chorus during Coming Undone was also really well done and not expected at all. 

As for their new material, I'm really liking it, and as for hearing it live, it's made me like it even more. It's clear to see that the majority of people lead the same opinion and are enjoying it too. 

Prepare yourselves for the most tragic photos ever. A little bit not worth uploading, but something is better than nothing.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Stratford Upon Avon Trip

One of the last adventures of the year, was spending an overnight at this little gem of a town; Stratford Upon Avon, for my guys Birthday.

Though Stratford is known for Shakespeare, though we were interested in that, I won't lie, we were more interested in ghost hunting. We spent the first day exploring our surroundings, and took a trip up to the church were he is buried but realised it was actually inside the church which was closed. They did have cute little knitted  tree jumpers wrapped around the trees leading up to the church though, which was pretty adorable.

A lot of food was consumed on the trip. We found a few lovely cafe's, one of which was a place called Hoorays. The place felt homely, as if you were actually entering someones home. They bought our sandwiches out on cute little wooden boards. I think it was meant to be known for it's ice cream and milkshakes, but we were too full after our coffees and lunch to try them.

For Dans birthday meal, unfortunately our first choice was fully booked, so we picked another little posh pub along the canal, and boy was it worth it for the desert alone. We had no idea what to expect, but it was like something of Masterchef. You know of of those cakes you pour hot sauce over and it melts into a masterpiece. 

To be honest, we didn't do much shakespeare stuff at all, apart from on the 2nd day, when we went to the Tudor museum... because we found out it was allegedly one of the most haunted places in England. We were the only ones in there, and on the way out we got talking to the guy who owns the place, he told us some ghostly stories about the place and his own personal experiences, which to be honest was fascinating.  

Stratford is such a beautiful little place, I loved how quiet it was just walking around the town, it probably helped it was a weekday, but there is nothing better than walking around beautiful, peaceful places. In this case, it's definitely the architecture and surroundings that did it. 

I would recommend going around December time also, whilst the kids are at school, the Christmas street decorations are beautiful, and if I wasn't already before, I am now definitely in the Christmas spirit.  

Shakespeares Birthplace 

Before his Birthday meal
Dat face doe. Hahaha.. he's going to kill me.
This picture gives no justice. It was a gold chocolate dome, surrounded by popping candy and edible flowers. Inside was ice cream, and you pour on top hot fudge sauce to melt it. Help.
Hoorays! I love how they have decorated this place with so much detail.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

2017 Goals

I could have called this a New Years Resolution post, but to be honest I don't really believe in them as such. I believe however, it's a great idea to have goals, it's a great way to stay focussed and work towards things you dream of achieving. 

I currently do about 0% exercise, unless you count walking.. I keep telling myself 'I'm going to start running', 'I'm going to join an aerobics club', right now I may not have the money to start that club, but there is no price on running. I've figured I'm all about the excuses. This could not only be what I am needing on my body, but on the mind also. It's not something I've ever stuck to before, but it's something I aim to try work at, even if it takes a while to get into the swing of. 

Charity Run
I've done this before back in 2012, I did the 6 Mile Sport Relief run, it was so much fun, and it felt exhilarating afterwards to know that you have not only achieved running 6 miles, but knowing you have helped other people. To do another run is something I am looking into, I'd like to be able to go further than 6 miles this time, and ideally I'd like to run for the MIND charity. Watch this space! 

Try New Foods
Okay, one of the things I am the worst at in this world, is trying new foods. I am probably the most picky eater in the world. If I don't like the look of it, smell of it, or name of it haha, I won't go near it. SO, I solemnly declare that from 2017 on, I'm going to start trying things. I am getting better, slowly, but 9/10 I still won't try things. Originally I was going to try one new thing a week, but that's probably a bit out there, so I will stick to when the occasion arises and someone says "have you tried this" I won't just say yeah (because I don't like the look of it) heck I'll just go for it.

An Adventure Abroad
Annecy - France
The last time I flew away from this country was August 2014, for my 24th Birthday, to Paris. Before then I had only ever been abroad once, when I was about 10, with my family to the Canary Islands. Unfortunately, it's not something I have been able to do since, but it is a goal to work towards for next year. I'm currently lusting over the thought of Rome, Switzerland or Finland. Another place I've always wanted to go in Europe is Annecy in France. There is a something so comforting about being somewhere where no one knows you for miles, or even understands you, kinda like being a ghost. When I was in Paris, I honestly thought at one point, "hey, i'm outside, and i'm not anxious", and for the majority of that trip, not all of it, but the majority, I was somewhat at ease. I want to find that solace again. 

Start Saving
I'm a long way off from saving at the moment, in fact before I start saving, I need to actually pay off my overdraft (which is quite worrying at the moment), but I would love to start being able to put some money away. I'm not getting any younger, and moving out is something I want to work towards, so actually starting to save those pennies, is a must. 

Keep Posting
I really enjoy writing, I have said before how I think it therapeutic, and well, fun! Especially when it comes to music. In 2017 I want to post more material, for myself more than anything. I want to share my music experiences more regularly, and improve on my writing skills, one way of doing that is to keep them neatly together in the form of this blog. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Bullet For My Valentine - The Poison 10 Year Anniversary Show

It has to be said that The Poison was one of my favourite albums from my teenage years. For me, it was one of those gateway albums, that got me into loving the music that I do today.

So 10 years ago, on the first time around with The Poison tour, I unfortunately never got the opportunity to go. Admittedly, after Bullets first album, never other release after that, just didn't do it for me. I lost interest, which I think you will agree is perfectly acceptable. However, when this tour was announced, the inner teenage me got just as excited as I did the first time around.

Killswitch Engage, absolutely killed it. They are a band i've never had the chance to see before either. I was never a major KE fan, with their entire back catalogue and knowing every song word by word, but after this show, it has inspired me to listen to them more. Jesse's vocals are absolutely insane, practically identical to listening from your musical device, and for that alone, they cannot be flawed. 

Another thing to take full notice of during their performance was the chemistry they still seem to pack as a band. Like I said, this was my first time seeing these guys in the flesh, but i've seen live videos before, and how they manage to always keep up their energy and bounce off one another is amazing. Hats off to them. I would even go as far as saying they put on a better performance than Bullet did - not to say I enjoyed either one of their performances more.

To be quite honest with you, It would not have bothered me if Bullet performed absolutely terribly, I probably wouldn't have noticed. I was way to in the moment, and losing my voice in the process to notice too much of anything going on. This is definitely one of the most awesome shows I have been to this year. It was like taking a trip back in time, momentarily. 

I'm very much appreciating the fact that bands are starting to do 10 year anniversary tours of these albums we grew up listening to. I think it's a fantastic way for us old greebos to reunite and celebrate the music that we grew up listening to. 


Saturday, 26 November 2016

Why I Dropped Out From The World Of Social Media

Before we get into this post, let me start by saying I do not mean in this post to offend anyone or say that just because I have deleted all my social media, is not me saying that you should too, or that I am any better than anyone else who does in fact have social media. 

It's been almost 2 years now since I made leap into deleting my Facebook account. It was the early hours of January 1st in fact, you could say that was probably the most New Years resolution i've yet had. About a month or two before that I started down this trail of opting out of noisy internet world by deleting all other forms (Instagram, Twitter, etc).

Building up to this moment, I had been considering it for quite some time, and now i'm out of it, I can see the why people would chose to have these platforms, but I can also see the other side, the scary side. First I will explain why I had been considering leaving these platforms behind, even way before switching off the light on Instagram. 

Whether you like to admit it or not, social media can be addictive. You can find yourself constantly refreshing these pages, scrolling aimlessly, it's a great way to procrastinate and a great way to absorb time from your day. I did in fact do this, towards the end of the life of my accounts, I didn't do this as much. I didn't update my status 6 times a day, but during years before that, I definitely did. It can become an unhealthy obsession in a way, and i'm not saying every single person is like this, but from what I have seen, a lot of people are. 

Another reason I deleted my accounts was for my own mental health. It was one tiny part that I feel a lot better without now. It hasn't cured me, but It is one less thing to worry about. If you knew me well, you would know that I am quite the introvert. There was always something that made me uncomfortable having a hundreds of people on my account, knowing my every move. When the majority of them people I would never have met, only met the odd time, or just not close to. I like now that people can contact me via text if they need me or want to talk, instead of having an online version of myself, the only thing I have to show of myself is the real me, I now have no worries of who's seeing me or judging the online me. 

You know when you see a status, it looks like its aimed towards one person, and then that one person see's it and it kicks off.. I don't miss that. There is always one, we've all seen it. I've had it done to me too. Personally now, if I have a problem with someone of something, I can't broadcast it to the world, I deal with it heads on. I can go to that person, personally, and sort out any conflict, no audience needed and it's a lot less drama.

There are so many thing's I can say I don't miss and I can honestly say I can't name one thing I do miss. Even when it comes to bands and music, I get my updates now from music pages, or I just go check out things myself. I don't miss seeing other peoples updates all the time, or liking other peoples material to give them a brief sense of satisfaction. It's a popularity test I no longer want to be part of. 

One thing that I do find highly irritating, is the constant "why did you delete Facebook", "You should get Twitter back" should I? Why? Maybe I should ask you why you haven't deleted it? I hear it all the time, and It is quite saddening that it has become alien to some people the thought of someone not having these platforms. And although you could argue I still have this blog and YouTube, I think everyone has their line, and these in my eyes fall slightly different. I use YouTube as another form of 'television', if you like. And this blog is just a way to express my creativity. 

Now it's gone, I don't find myself on the internet as more, I find myself doing other things with my time. I started reading books more, being more creative and doing things I love and enjoy. I no longer have to worry about what people think about me online. If I want to show someone pictures, I'll do it with them personally. I even have took to having photographs the old fashioned way, by printing them and putting them in a scrapbook, there is nothing more special than keeping hold of awesome moments like that, rather than posting them on Facebook to later on be forgotten about.  

I feel a lot better without it, I feel refreshed and it is honestly one of the best things I have ever done. If you are considering it, i'd say go for it. Your future self might even thank you for it.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Underoath Rebirth Tour 2017

2017 is looking up to be a fantastic year. Only the day before this was announced I was sitting looking at the Australian tour announcement and praying that they were going to grace us UK citizens with their presence. IT'S HAPPENING..

On a more personal level, me and my other half have been discussing this for quite some time now, and what is even more perfect is the London date falls on our anniversary. 

I have a prediction here, you can say whether you agree or disagree, but as a Slam Dunk Festival veteran (I just made that up haha), I'm sensing a little Slam Dunk appearance might be in store? I mean it would make sense seen as they are lurking about Europe around that time.. 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Emmure Are Back..

We all know there is a lot of hate about this band, but I have no shame in saying I'm a massive Emmure fan, always have been, but after Frankie Palmeri went it alone, I must admit I was skeptical. 

So, I just opened YouTube, and to my surprise I am gifted with a brand spanking new Emmure song. Guys, I love it. It may not be the most musical genius thing the world has ever seen, but to be honest we never expect that from them anyway. I see them more as just awesome fun other than anything. Them vocals though seemed to have stepped up a notch! I can't wait to hear more, and I am now actually very tempted to buy some Emmure tickets for their upcoming UK tour.

Something about this band could make me want to see them again and again. Having seen nothing of the 'new' Emmure lineup, I think it would be interesting to witness first hand what these guys are about now and how they compare to the 'old' Emmure. 

Never the less, I am ready. Hopes are high! 

Sunday, 9 October 2016

October Wish List

It's October, which means it's apparently it's acceptable to wear black, everyday. Strangely enough, i've been lusting over a few 'colourful' items lately. When I say colourful, make sure you take that lightly...

There once was a time where I would only ever wear band tees, my style may have changed quite a bit since then, well, kinda. But I still like to indulge in the odd band tee or graphic tee, especially in the winter when all you want to do is wrap up warm. 

The design on this is typical for what i've been lusting over at the moment - eagles. I have no idea why. The cold shoulder sleeves make this extra different and unique.

If you are looking to add some basics to your wardrobe ready for the cold weather we have lurking around the corner, I have found you the perfect cute little jumper.

I picked the charcoal one, but there is a ray of different colours, and.. are you ready... its only 7.99. Bargain! 

Me and my love for Motel are forever going strong. They keep dropping more items and I can't keep up. I've said before about my love for tartan prints, and you can't go wrong with a checked shirt. The perfect layering item that every wardrobe needs. 

I found a similar one on New Look which is slightly cheaper, click here

This brand really deserves a post dedicated to them of their own. I could post every single item here that would be on my wish list, but I decided to not be greedy and just pick one.

I recently purchased their collared moon print tee, and it's so comfy and cute! If you're not to keen on this, go check out their other items anyway, i'm sure you will find something you love. Especially if you are like me and love t-shirts, great prints and peter pan collars. This brand combines them all!

Grab these badboys quick! They are currently in the sale for 19.50! These are so versatile and will go with almost any outfit, smart or casual. They have a creeper feel to them with their platform and lace duo. 

Give me all the velvet in the world. I've seen a few velvet jackets around lately, but this one is my fave! Mainly because it's green and different.

This winter be prepared, as metallics are in. I must admit, it's not a look i've ever tried to pull off, or been attracted too. But it looks like some retailers are really nailing it at the moment. I couldn't resist the cuteness of this dress either. 

Friday, 30 September 2016

Friday Favourites - Casey

This week I want to bring to your attention a little band from the South of Wales, Casey. If you follow my posts, you would know that I have mentioned these guys before, but now their album is in our hands, I feel they only deserve to be mentioned again.

Love Is Not Enough is the first full length album from Casey, I think they kept us waiting long enough. The opening of the album starts with Bloom, which in my opinion left me in anticipation for almost the first minute with what I can only describe as an instrumental intro. It takes a while for the lyrics to kick in, which I feel is cleverly done. We are already left eagerly anticipating the song/album to really kick in. 

The second track on the album Little Girl I can definitely feel some Being As An Ocean vibes creeping in on this song - not a bad thing as I am a big BAAO fan. I don't feel like those vibes are too overpowering though in a way which it feels like they are just another BAAO style band, they definitely have their own individual sound. Another thing I love about this song as it has my favourite line on the album, "Our hearts lay on the bedroom floor, and one was mine, but both were yours".

Regarding the lyrics, I think we can agree that from a melodic hardcore band, you expect to hear heartfelt, emotional lyrics, which is what we are given through this album. That being said, the lyrics in this album are just as important as the music itself. There is not one part of the way it has been put together which sticks out more than another. I am pleased that Haze made it's way on to the album and has been re-recorded. 

I was planning to do a gig review of their Old Blue Last Show from last Saturday. But unfortunately we arrived at half 9 as we couldn't arrive any earlier, thinking we would have made it on time for their set, but only got to see them play their last two songs. 

It only took them two songs however to appreciate this band as a live act, and I will definitely be seeing them again. There is nothing better than a band that interacts with the crowd and feeds off their energy, like the the audience does the band. The emotion you hear through your stereo at home, is the exact emotion you will see at their show. All in all, I am in love with this album. 


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Decorating Your Witchy Castle

If you are anything like me, and love your home decor with a witchy vibe, you are going to love this collection I have put together for you. Expect lots of black, lots of spell related products, and a tiny bit of glitter.

I think Amazon and Ebay are fantastic for the likes of home decor, as many people in to crafts find it the perfect platform to set up their own stores. It's just about finding the right searches.

I've had a browse around, and tried to find the cheapest place to buy each of these items. If you of course find something cheaper somewhere else, leave a link in the comment section. If you have something else you think i'd like, please do let me know :) 

Melanie x

Saturday, 3 September 2016

September Wishlist

This month i'm focussing on saying bye bye to Summer, and preparing myself for the weather change that is dawning upon us. The fact the nights are getting darker earlier, is the first sign of the dreaded Winter months. 

There's still some time however to not wrap yourself from head to tow in your winter warmer just yet.

As i'm taking a trip to the Royal Albert Hall in London later this month to see David Gilmore (admittedly not my thing but my boyfriends dream come true, so i'm very happy to go enjoy the experience with him),I've been looking for and trying to plan my outfit. I'm kinda stuck, as it's in the Royal Albert Hall which I have never been to before, it looks kinda posh, so even though its technically a gig do I rock up in my usual glad-rags or do I actually make an effort? SEND HELP.

Heres a few ideas I got diggin' around..

Lace Overlay Cami

Cute or what? I love the lace detailing to this, it makes it pop! It has two parts so I could either wear both separately and style to different outfits or wear the cami with a white t-shirt underneath. Neither too dressy or too laid back, I was thinking this would be perfect. Maybe with a leather skirt, or denim skirt? Possibly team it with my creepers. 

Harness Bralette

Seriously, Missguided are killing it at the moment for goth gear haha. Another idea for the top half of me at the moment, I love the idea of this simple harness bralette wore underneath a scoop or V-neck t-shirt. Maybe not worn alone to the likes of the gig, I think that may be a bit too much (were not going clubbing). 

Denim High Waist Skirt

Pretty much a wardrobe essential, it just so happens to be that I don't yet own one. I picked this one from Asos, because when it comes to denim, Asos is usually my go to place. Whether it be their jeans, shorts, etc, they always seem to fit me perfectly. (I usually struggle with all things denim fitting me properly) If its not Asos or Topshop, It usually results in me returning the item. 

Fine Knitted Jumper

Fun fact, my favourite colour isn't actually black... it's green. When I saw this jumper I fell in love with it. The colour, the way it's slouchy rather than fitted. Definitely a winter investment, hopefully they get some more in stock soon. I looked one day, and the next it was gone, so I guessing this I this was quite a hit. Otherwise the search for a knitted slouchy jumper continues. 

Mother Of Pearl Silver Choker

Another one of my favourite one stops for shiny things, especially chokers. I do like simplistic things, and what draws me to this is at a glance it may look simple, but pay closer attention and the detailing really comes out. From the rope like chain, to the glimmering colours of the stone. What an absolutely gorgeous piece of jewellery. Check out Regal Rose.

Metallic Coated Jeans

Every now and then it's cool to have a piece of clothing in your wardrobe that is totally out there. I'm lusting over these jeans. I can just imagine feeling like a mermaid strolling around town in these, and bringing a sparkle to autumn. 

High Waisted Tartan Skirt

Motel have blessed us with a whole bunch of new tartan print pieces, and boy am I happy about that. Tartan still holds a place in my heart, and now it is impossible to choose just one item with the same patten, I would have them all. As winter is around the corner, they also have a coat with this tartan print, it's gorgeous.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Friday Favourites - Wage War

Not a new release by any means, as Blueprints was released in 2015. But I only gave this album a listen around February, after seeing them pop up everywhere I look and not actually getting around to playing it all the way through. 

I can only describe this album as fun. It is one of those albums, full of heavy riffs, that constantly makes you want to mosh around your living room, by yourself, and turn up so loud which your neighbours would be thankful for. 

For a first album, these guys are setting the bar high for themselves, and have clearly got a lot of potential. Can we also take note of the lyrics on this album that have got stuck in my head, time and time again, and I find myself signing out loud randomly. Or the riffs that I find myself making guitar noises to with my own mouth. 

If you want proof, just give the intro; Hollow a few listens, "MARK MY WORDS, RUN YOUR MOUTH, WHEN NOBODIES AROUND, NO ONE REMEMBERS THE COWARDS WHEN THEIR SIX FEET BENEATH THE GROOOOUUUNNDD", which by the way is an awesome one to do the dishes to. That is exactly what I am going to name this album - "one to do the dishes to" making chores more fun (but probably extending the time they should take to do). 

Then we have Alive, which if you have heard of Wage War before, you most probably would have already heard. If you haven't started jumping around yet whilst playing through this album, I guarantee by now you would have done. 

I don't see me getting fed up of this album anytime soon. Even if there is a dry patch of Wage War in my life, sooner or later it comes creeping back and I remember why this album is just so damn good. 

Wage War are supporting Amity in the UK in December. Go catch them then, even if you are not an Amity fan!

Who wants to see Wage War live? (me) 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Truth of My Youth

We all have those special places growing up, places that will remind us of our youth and bring back magical memories. If I was to choose one place that pretty much sums up those wonder years, it would be The Carling Academy, Birmingham.

Though it is no longer standing, I will never forget those precious times spent there, which between the ages of 15 and 17, seemed so very far from home, although not far up the road, seemed like the most adventurous road trip ever - every time.

It wasn't just the shows that I went to at the Carling Academy, it was the whole experience with a group of friends who made that time of my life, just that bit more special. Though the bands I saw were pretty cool. 

Funeral For A Friend. 2008.
The best quality picture from then, you're going to get from a camera phone.

It was the place where I first saw Funeral For A Friend, after years of waiting to see them, but never being able to because I was too young before (my parents were quite the worriers), it was the first place I saw New Found Glory, which still to this day is one of my all time favourite gigs I have ever been lucky enough to go to. The 2008 Easycore tour - with New Found Glory, Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals and Crime In Stereo - what a line up. Some of the few bands I still love and go see today.

Funeral For A Friend - 2008.

Whether it be our friend from Kettering, driving all the way down to pick us up, or whether it be getting the train, the travelling was always exciting. We were never a bunch of kids who wanted to experiment with drink, we never did, we were just a bunch of kids who wanted to explore away from our hometown.  

Birmingham in general also holds a strong place in my teenage memories. It was THE place to go for us, something drew us to it. Then there is the Birmingham Barfly - Where we first saw A Day To Remember, where Tom Denney was still a part of the band. A small sweaty venue, with a bunch of kids where it felt like a family, you don't feel that at gigs so much these days, people are more interested in their camera phones. Waiting to go in we all sat on the pavement outside, where the members of A Day To Remember, Alesana and The Devil Wears Prada all came out to say hello and thank us for coming to the show. As a kid, that was the coolest thing ever.

A Day To Remember. Birmingham Barfly June 2008.
Great quality camera phone picture
Amongst all this, there is something about taking a drive somewhere out of town with a group of friends, that felt so refreshing. And even though we were doing nothing wrong, it felt rebellious, no parents, a can of Rockstar and the road, that's all we needed. The most rebellious it got with road trips was the time I asked to go on a day trip to Wales with my friends, I wasn't allowed. I told them I was going to a gig and hanging out with my friend Tash for the day, I went anyway, I was shitting myself - we will save that story for another time.

These friends who I spent those years with, I will never forget. Some of which are my best friends still, and I know will be for life. These memories and these people are things I will always treasure. Of course, I have had more amazing memories into the life of adulthood, and there are still a heck of a lot more to come. But places like The Carling Academy to me are very special.