Sunday, 13 December 2015

Through The Lens | Winter Walk

I recently went on a walk with a few friends and ended up taking a lot of photos.  I've shared a few of the photos on my instagram already, but I thought I'd share a few more in a blog post for you. 
You can view the rest of the photos on my Facebook page for my photography by clicking here


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Music Matters

You know when you find a song, or an album, that you love so much that you play it on repeat for days.  Sometimes even weeks.  You know when that song gives you that tight feeling in your chest that makes you feel like you're exploding. 

When that drum fill hits you right in your heart.  When the vocalist puts their all into a final chorus so that you can feel the emotion in their voice.  When you love a song so much that you want to write the lyrics down and carry them with you forever.   Music can give you that feeling as though it's literally holding you together when you're about to break.

It's an incredible feeling.

Going to concerts is amazing.  Sometimes very scary.  But so amazing. 
Being surrounded by people who love that artists music as much as you do. 
Knowing that you're with people who get the music, so in turn they're highly likely to get you. That moment when the musician is just about to come on stage, the venue is dark and you can feel that shift in energy amongst the crowd. 

It doesn't matter that your personal space is being violated beyond belief because you're too busy dancing, dancing along to that song you normally dance too alone in your room, for once surrounded by people dancing too. 
Complete strangers look out for you; make sure you have water, give you a hand up if you fall, help you to the front if you need out of the crowd. 

Everyone in that room is looking out for each other just because they like the same music.  You're singing along to your favourite songs so loudly that you end up losing your voice.   Leaving the venue with a grin slapped on your face, your ears ringing and your head thumping.

We all have those days, weeks, months.  When life seems to be throwing everything bad at you all at once.  You feel tired.  Lost.  Worthless.  Scared.  Confused.  Isolated.  So you put in your headphones.  Press play.  Turn the volume up to it's fullest.  Close your eyes.  The music just fills you up.  You dance.  You cry.  You smile.  You're completely overwhelmed by the music that's taking over you and holding you together.  Music can help you feel a little less alone.

Music brings people together.  People who might never have otherwise met can build relationships through their love for music.  Music can bring back memories.  Music can create new memories to be treasured in years to come.  Music can be a safe haven for someone.  Music can create friendships.  It can bring a smile to someone's face.  Music can make you dance around your room and sing from the top of your lungs.   It can fill someone's life with a passion. 
Music can start a spark that turns into a fire.

Music can give you that feeling as though it's literally holding you together when you're about to break.  Music matters.

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Sweater Weather Tag


Autumn.  By far my favourite season.  I know, I'm such a cliché.  
I absolutely love Autumn; cosy jumpers, hot drinks, and the most gorgeous colours in the trees.
I saw the sweater weather tag over on Molly Mac and thought I'd give it a try, although I have slightly amended it to suit myself.
Favourite candle scent? 
Yankee candle orange splash.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? 
Hot chocolate all the way!  I especially love a caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks.

Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner? 
I would normally say winged eyeliner because I'm actually okay at doing winged eyeliner but probably dark lips.  Although I really can't pull it off myself, I love to see it on others.

Best fragrance for fall? 
I'm still madly in love with my Zoella Blissful Mistful Fragranced Body Mist (you can read my thoughts on this fragrance by clicking here).

What's the best Autumn memory you have? 
I recently went on a long drive with my friend Issy running various errands.  We stopped at Starbucks, had awesome car-eoke sessions, and I was wearing knitted tights, a maroon dress, and a cosy jumper - it all felt very Autumnal.  Also, te driveway up to where we stay is surrounded by trees and the colours are just incredible to look at.

What is autumn weather like where you live?
Chilly but sunny.  Sometimes quite rainy but I'm used to this since I live in the UK.

Most worn sweater? 
My oversized maroon jumper from New Look.

What book(s) are you reading this Autumn? 
 I've just finished Rachel's Tears by Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott.  It's an absolutely incredible and powerful read.  I'm going to start One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann bickley, which I've been wanting to read for quite a while so I'm excited to start reading it.
Football games or jumping in leaf piles? 
Jumping in leaf piles!  What's not to love about jumping in a pile of gorgeous coloured leaves?


Skinny jeans or leggings? 
Skinny jeans for sure.  I seem to spend more time trying to fix my leggings than feeling comfortable in them whenever I wear them!

Chelsea boots or Uggs? 
Chelsea boots for the win!

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype? 
I honestly don't know, I'm yet to try it.

Favourite fall-related quote? 
Is Fall Out Boy an acceptable answer for this question?

What song really gets you into the fall spirit?
Clairvoyant by The Story So Far, at least this year it is anyway.  I'm also loving I Hope This Comes Back To Haunt You by Neck Deep.   Another song that I have been listening too a lot is Twenty One Pilots cover of Can't Help Falling In Love, it's an incredible, haunting version of a classic song.

I hope you've enjoyed reading my answers for the sweater weather tag.  I tag Izzy K, xImmortalMindsxProfessional Daydreamer, and anyone else who loves Autumn as much as I do. 

Let me know in the comments what you're favourite things are about Autumn, I'd love to hear why you love this season.


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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Becoming Your Own Hero | Part 6: Choosing Happiness
To be completely honest with you all I've started writing this with no idea as to where it's going.  It's been so long since I just sat here and typed away to you all, I've missed it dearly.  But now that I'm attempting to get back into blogging, I'm having a seriously bad case of bloggers block.
Over the past few months I've had a lot going on.  I got my first full time job (which is the main reason why I've been very absent from the blogging world for just over two months!), I moved out to live with strangers, but these said strangers are now my closest friends, and I'm living in and adjusting to a completely new environment.
My self confidence has been on a horribly hectic rollercoaster.  The majority of the time it's not been in a good place but, I do have moments where my self confidence is starting to get better.  I think this is due to me feeling a lot happier with where my life is just now.  Although I'm currently not feeling all that good.  But I'm trying not to dwell on this.
I'm trying more to focus on the blessings I have in my life.  As someone with a pessimistic mind-set, you can probably imagine that this is extremely difficult for me.

Happiness is a huge factor in self confidence and I guess this is a big reason as to why I'm struggling with self confidence so much.  I let the littlest of things get me down, and I definitely take almost everything personally.  I focus on the negatives in my life rather than all the great things God's blessed me with, but I've decided I need to try and flip this around.
Life is a gift and to be completely honest, I wasted the majority of my teenage years being selfish, jealous, and feeling sorry for myself.  I don't like that I used to be like that and that I sometimes still am, I hate myself for it.  I don't want to waste anymore of my life moping around.  Don't get me wrong, I see nothing wrong in feeling these emotions because I believe that God wouldn't have given us these emotions if he didn't want us to feel them. But I'm so, so tired.

I'm tired of allowing my happiness be supressed by other peoples opinions of me, what clothes I own/wear, my weight, my voice, how easily I laugh, my height, my relationship status, what other people have that I don't, whether my hair is doing what I want it too or not, how many views my blog posts are getting, the way I look in general, my skin, and so many other things.

I let one small thing affect my day to day happiness in such huge ways that I end up wasting entire days, or even weeks, feeling down and sorry for myself.  I'm starting to get really fed up with myself for feeling this way.

Choosing happiness is not easy.  It's not something that can be done 24 hours a day.  And it can't be done 7 days a week either.

Happiness is a result of self confidence and vice versa. 
I need to start appreciating the things in my life that make me happy, to stop feeling guilty or embarrassed when I am happy, and realising that it's also okay to feel down from time to time.

But most of all I need to start choosing happiness.  Because I feel that if I'm able to choose happiness, then in time I'll be able to start gradually choosing to feel confident in myself as well.

This post is part of my Becoming Your Own Hero series, you can read all the posts in this series so far by clicking here.

Let me know in the comments some of the things you do to choose happiness, I'd love to get some ideas!


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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

All Time Low & Neck Deep Concert | The Edinburgh Corn Exchange
It's been a while.  In fact, it's been over seven weeks since I opened up blogger or anything blog related.  To be completely honest, I've rarely been on my laptop at all.  But, I'm going to explain all of that in a different post that hopefully will be up soon - but I can't make any promises!
But right now I am so happy because a week past Tuesday I saw All Time Low and Neck Deep in concert at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh.

It was an incredible gig.
 This was my second time going to see All Time Low (you can read about the first time I saw them in concert by clicking here) and since I'd been really busy for the few month before the gig I hadn't really thought about it much.  But the morning of the gig the weeks worth of excitement all arrived at once.
I was originally meant to be going to this concert by myself which really scared me but at the last minute I managed to arrange to meet up with a friend in the queue.  This meant we were pretty near the front of the queue as her and some of her friends had been queuing for quite a while.

This meant when we got in we were about 12 people away from the stage which is a spot I was really pleased with.   It was absolutely packed in the venue, the show had been sold out for about 3 or 4 month previous to the gig. 
It was very claustrophobic and got hot very quickly, I've always been quite protective of my personal space but I had to do my best not to think about it otherwise I would have started panicking. 
It made me realise what standing gigs are really like - hot, sweaty, and claustrophobic.
Neck Deep opened up and they were incredible.  I was pretty excited to see them as I've heard they're just as good live than in the studio and I definitely agree.  They brought so much energy to the stage and the crowd were feeding off it, which made Neck Deep go for it more as well. 
I didn't know all the songs that they played but I knew a few - I was slightly gutted that they didn't play Growing Pains but otherwise I really enjoyed their set. 
Although I've listened to a few of their songs a lot, seeing them live has made me want to properly listen to their music so I'll probably be ordering a copy of their newest album 'Life's Not Out To Get You' pretty soon.


I had decided before the gig that I didn't want to take loads of photos and the closeness of the crowd helped me to make sure of that.  I ended up only taking 20 photos and 3 videos during the concert, compared to about 60+ at other concerts I've attended, it feels like I barely took any photos.  This means that I didn't take any photos of Neck Deep.  Partly because I wanted to just enjoy their performance but mainly because I was being pushed around so much I couldn't get my camera out to take photos. 

The change between bands was very quick.  At other concerts I've attended the change between opening bands and the headlining band has always seemed to take forever, in some cases it was about a half hour wait which is never good if it's a standing gig. 

When All Time Low came on they opened with Satellite from their new album, 'Future Hearts'  (you can read my album dissection post for the Future Hearts album by clicking here) and the atmosphere in the venue was electric. 

I had expected the pushing to get a lot worse when All Time Low came on but it surprisingly didn't which I was quite relieved about.  Although the crowd was a bit pushy at points the majority of the concert goers there (at least all the ones that I interacted with) were really nice. 

Their set list had a good mixture of old and new songs.  They didn't play as many songs from their new album as I was expecting but they did play a few which was really nice to hear, especially Runaways, Kids In The Dark and Missing You.
During Time Bomb they got a lot of fans on stage to sing with them which was great to see, I loved seeing loads of the fans getting to interact with them on stage and have a lot of fun.  Since I was quite near the front at this point it meant that I managed to squeeze my way through to the second row which was great. 

The atmosphere throughout the entire set was incredible and when they came back on for their encore, opening up with one of their newest singles, Kids In The Dark, the crowd was buzzing.

They closed the gig with their song Dear Maria, Count Me In from their album  'So Wrong. It's Right'.  At this point my throat was in a lot of pain, I was roasting hot, and my ears were ringing but I was grinning like an idiot.   During the third verse of Dear Maria Jack and Alex came down to the barrier and the crowd were singing so loud, it was incredible.  At this point everyone was pushing forward and I managed to get pretty near the barrier, so close that at one point I held Jack's hand which I still can't believe happened!

I had an amazing time and it's definitely the best concert I've been to so far, it was absolutely incredible, both bands put on a fun, energetic performance.

Let me know in the comments what concerts you've been to, I'd love to hear about your experiences.  Also if you want to see what some of my concert tips are then click here to read a post full of the advice that I have about going to gigs.

Sorry I've been very absent from the blogging world, I'm hoping to change this.


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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

My June Playlist 2015
Twenty One Pilots photographed by Adam Elmakias

Last month was quite a crazy one for me.  It started off nice and quite but over the last few weeks things have got very busy for me.  There's going to be a lot of big changes going on in my life that may mean that over the next few weeks my blog may be a little neglected.  But I will try my best to post as often as I can.

 Throughout June I bought a few new albums that have had a big influence on the music that I've been listening too, I hope you enjoy my June playlist.

Tonight Alive - Safe & Sound

Twenty One Pilots - The Judge

Orla Gartland - Lonely People

Hey Violet - You Don't Love Me Like You Should

Tonight Alive - In The First Place

Paramore - Fast In My Car

Twenty One Pilots - Ride

You Me At Six - Loverboy

Tonight Alive - Sure As Hell

Orla Gartland - Roots

State Champs - Elevated

Twenty One Pilots - Goner

As It Is - Drowning Deep In Doubt

All Time Low - Guts

You may have seen from my instagram (cheeky little plug there) that I finally bought a copy of Tonight Alive's "What Are You So Scared Of?" album.  This album is so incredible.
I already knew a lot of the songs on the album but what I loved about getting this album was falling in love with the songs I hadn't heard before.
This album has a different sound to their "The Other Side" album which is their most recen release.  But there are underlying sounds there that show Tonight Alive have a firm grounding in what they are as a band and what their individual sound is.  This is something that I really love and is making me really excited for their new music.

At the same time as buying my Tonight Alive album I decided to get Twenty One Pilots new album "Blurryface" as well.
I had a vague idea what to expect with this album cause I recently bought their debut album "Vessel".  This album was what I expected it to be; diverse but connected.
Twenty One Pilots can't be put into a genre, they have a range of sounds that cover various genres.  They are a completely unique band in an industry full of copycats.  Their lyrics are raw and when I listened to the album for the first time I was excited for each new track because the only thing I knew to expect was something unique, and they didn't fail to deliver.
There are definitely songs that I prefer over others on Blurryface but I think that this album is incredible as a whole.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about some of the music that I enjoyed throughout June.  let me know in the comments what music you listened too during the last month, I'd love to hear from you.


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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

My Concert Tips & Advice
Photograph by Ashley Osborn
In August I will be attending my 5th concert.  I'll be seeing All Time Low and Neck Deep in Edinburgh for their Reading and Leeds warm up gig and I'm really excited.  Although I have only been to a handful of concerts, I thought I'd share with you some tips (some my own and some I've learnt from others) that could be handy for attending concerts, especially since it's currently the festival and warm up gig season.
1. Stay hydrated.
This is probably one of the most important things.  But unfortunately most venues don't let you take your own drinks into the venue, even if it's just a bottle of water.  Which means spending money on their overpriced drinks but, it's worth the money if it means you'll stay hydrated.
Venues can get hot very quickly and if you're standing (and if you've been queuing for a long time) then you need to keep yourself hydrated for health reasons.

If you know you're going to be queuing for a while before the gig then take a few bottles of water with you and bin them at the door of the venue.  Also, if someone asks for a sip of your drink in the queue then it's probably best to give them some, cause you might need their help later on in the evening when you're trying to get a pick from the guitarist.
If during the gig you need a drink but there isn't somewhere in the venue to get drinks or if you can't get access to this area, then alert the security that are there that you need a drink.  They'll hopefully be able to help you out somehow.

Photographs by Elliott Ingham

2. Go to the bathroom.
Like I said above, staying hydrated is important.  But consequently this means you'll need to go to the toilet. 
If you're queuing for quite a long time then try and go to the bathroom in local businesses, even if it's just the nearest Starbucks.  I know that in the UK if you go into a public building, I'm pretty it's the law that they have to let you use their bathrooms.  Sometimes they'll insist that you have to be a customer to use their bathroom so, sometimes you just have to suck this up and deal with it by buying a chocolate bar so you can pee (some people just don't seem to understand that it's a normal human function to empty our bladders and we don't have access to bathrooms when waiting to see our favourite musicians).

 If you're standing and you want to get to the barrier then as soon as you get to the venue you're going to be trying to get a good space.  And it's understandable, you've been queuing for what may have been a long time and you don't want to miss the opportunity to be in touching distance of your favourite musicians.  If this is the case then try and go to the toilet at a local business just before the doors open.
And if you need the toilet during the gig then sometimes you just have to go and that's that, the condition of your bladder is more important than the gig (yes I know this is difficult to come to terms with but seriously, look after yourself and go pee during the gig if you need to pee).
3. Photography/Filming
One of my biggest regrets is that I have watched the majority of all the concerts I've been too through either a camera or a phone screen. 
Although I love looking back at my photos, I hate that I didn't enjoy the concert and the fact that my favourite musicians were performing right in front of me.  Yes, it's nice to share you're photos on Facebook later but I've learnt from experience that it's a lot nicer to have incredible memories from the concert you've attended, through your eyes not a phone screen. 
It's more than likely that artists will have official photographers with them on tour and will post countless professional photos from your concert on their social media sites.  And there are a lot of other people at the concert that will be posting photos that you'll be able to find on social media.
But, it's still nice to have some photographic memories from our own perspective but enjoy the gig at the same time so, I'm giving myself the following rules for gigs in the future:
  • I can take photos during the first song and be as trigger happy as I like.
  • If there's an acoustic set then I can take photos during this.
  • I can take photos and short film clips during the final song.
  • I can film two songs during the set.
  • I can take as many photos as humanly possible if I'm ever lucky enough to meet any of the musicians at a gig.
I'm hoping that by sticking to this it means I'll be able to enjoy the concert but also have some photos and videos to look back on and remember the gig.
Photographs by Adam Elmakias

4. Mosh Pits.
If a mosh pit starts then don't feel you have to get involved.  If you want out of there, then get out.  Sometimes this is easier said than done because in those moments people are in the moment and moving to the music.  Try and get to the sides or the back of the venue.  Try and let someone know that you're maybe a bit shaken because these experiences can be scary.
It's more than likely that people will want to help you out, whether these are fellow concert attendees, the venue staff or the security at the gig.
If you're the kind of person who feels at their element when in the middle of the pit then you have a bit of responsibility in these situations. Yes, enjoy yourself and enjoy the music by moshing with people who feel the same way as you but, if you see someone in the pit who has been pushed/pulled in and clearly looks uncomfortable then do what you can to get them out.  If you don't feel comfortable in this situation or can't get to them to help them, then try and get the attention of someone who can.  Remember that the security are there for a reason, this being one of them.
5. Standing at gigs.
 Don't push people.  Try and keep your elbows in.  If someone falls over then help them up, this one's just common sense and manners. 
If you're feeling light headed, dizzy, dehydrated, overwhelmed, anxious or anything similar at any point of the evening then let someone know and try and get out of there.  Even if this means just standing in the toilets for 5 minutes to get a bit of head space.
If it's the kind of gig where there could be crowd surfers then be aware of this if you're near the front, you may get knocked in the head a few times.

When someone asks you to save their space while they go to the toilet or get a drink then try your best to save it, it means they'll help you if you need it during the gig as well.
If you think someone needs help because they're hurt/dehydrated/have fallen over/having a panic attack then try your best to get the security's attention.  Again, they are there to do a job and will help you out as much as they can. 

If you are standing but know you don't want to put up with being pushed around and squished up against the barrier, then as soon as you get to the venue position yourself at the back or the side venue.  This way you can enjoy the gig without worrying about being shoved around.
Photography by Thomas Falcone

6.  Sitting at gigs.
You're going to have a more relaxed time than the people standing and that's just a fact.  But that doesn't mean you can't have just as much fun. 
If you're on a balcony, then it's normal in most venues that people in the first two rows aren't allowed to stand for safety reasons.  So, if you're wanting to dance around then go for the third row or further back otherwise be prepared to have a good view in the front two rows but be restricted to staying on your chair the entire time.

If you're seating is unreserved then you'll probably want to be at the venue near enough to the door opening time so that you can get a good seat.  Also, make friends with the people you're next too, this means you can keep each others seats when someone needs the toilet/a drink/wants to buy something from the merchandise table.  And you might even make a new friend.
If seating is reserved then you don't need to be at the venue straight away, you could save yourself the annoyance of queuing in the cold and still be on time for the opening acts, even if you just go the venue for half an hour after the doors open.


7. Buying tickets.
When buying tickets go through a trusted site, such as the musicians own site, the venue itself or a site that the artist has advertised on their social media.  This way you'll know that you're ticket is genuine and that you're not being scammed.
There's nothing wrong with buying tickets second hand from people but, be extremely careful who you're buying it from and the price that they're selling it for.
Make sure that the price you're paying is one that you think is worth it, if you feel you're going to be ripped off to see an artist that you're only slightly a fan off, maybe it's best to wait till they're touring another time or saving the money for a concert you'd enjoy more.

Photograph by Thomas Falcone

8. The queue.
Be prepared for all weathers.  I was waiting in a queue to meet Lawson at their CD signing and my arm got horrendously burnt, it was bright red and resulted in Ryan from Lawson commenting on it at the signing and, it was extremely painful . 
Take sun cream with you if you know you're gonna need it and share it with others who need it.  Likewise, if it's going to be a bad forecast then take a cheapy rain coat with you.  This means you won't feel guilty about binning a £3 coat from Primark when you get in the venue and, you'll be dry when you get in the venue which is the most important thing.
Make friends.  You are surrounded by people who love the same music as you, this is a situation you could be taking advantage off.  If you feel you have the courage to start a conversation with someone then go for it, even if it's as simple as asking if they've seen the artist in concert before. You never know where a conversation can lead too, I've heard of people who met their boyfriend/girlfriend by talking to them at a concert.  It might not come of anything but, you've had a chat with someone with a similar interest and if you're queuing for a long time then you've killed some time.
Other bands and musicians will use concert queues as a place for promotion and I love this.  I love finding out about new music so if someone comes up to me with a leaflet about a new band, wants to promote their underground band by selling a CD or having a chat, then I'll be more than happy to have a chat about their music. 
But don't feel you have too, if you're not interested then politely tell the person this and they'll more than likely move onto the next person in the queue, they're not going to waste time on someone who isn't interested in the music they're promoting.

If you're planing to queue for quite a long time then take food and drink with you.  This is extremely important cause if you're not eating and drinking throughout the day then you're highly likely to feel ill when you're in the venue and that's the last thing you want during a concert.
Photograph by Ian Coulsen 
9. Clothing, makeup & hair.
I once saw a post on Facebook where someone said that "people shouldn't wear the musicians merch to said musicians concert".
I personally find this kind of silly.  When I've been at gigs almost everyone there is wearing merch for one of the musicians that's playing at the gig.
But, this doesn't mean you have to wear merch to a concert.  You can wear whatever you want to a concert, obviously within reason.  Make sure you're comfortable and happy in what you're wearing.
If the concert you're going too is the kind where there will be moshing and a lot of overexcited fans then it's probably best not to get dressed up.

As far as makeup goes a good primer is probably your best friend.  You want your makeup to last as long as possible but, it's best not to go overboard with your makeup.  The venue is going to be hot so you're going to get sweaty and, if you get emotional during songs you don't want eyeliner running down your face so you look like an extra in the Welcome To The Black Parade music video.

But I think the same for clothing as I do for makeup, wear what you want to wear and what makes you feel confident, comfortable and happy.

If you're going to be standing then it might be best to have some or all of your hair up, because it is more than likely going to get hot and a little sweaty, quite quickly.  If you're hair's up then it means it won't be hitting you or other people in the face or getting tangled.

10.  Merchandise

I love wearing band merch.  It's a way of identifying with people who like the same music as you.   
 But, buying merch at a concert is expensive and not all of us can afford to do this because we're poor students.  If you know that the merch they are selling is available somewhere cheaper such as Pulp, Hot Topic or on the artists online store, then wait and buy it from there and save yourself some money.
However, if you want to buy a shirt with tour dates then you'd be best buying it at the gig as it is highly unlikely it will be available to buy at any other time.  Although make sure you definitely want it as most of the time you can't return items that have tour dates on them so make sure you definitely want it and that it's the correct size.
If you're not wanting to spend lots of money on merch then you can always get a wristband, tour programme or other accessories instead of a t-shirt as they'll be cheaper.

A lot of the time support bands will be hanging around the merch table, if not running their own merch table.  Have a pen or a sharpie with you because it's an opportunity to have your ticket or merch signed by one of the musicians from the gig.

11. Attending a concert on your own.

Going to shows alone is quite scary and can be very daunting.  I've personally never been to a concert by myself but I know that I would find it very difficult.  If you read this post from Alternative Press you'll find a lot of great advice about attending a concert by yourself, especially if you're a girl.

If you see someone attending a concert alone then offer for them to stand with you if you feel okay talking to them.  They're probably just as nervous as you and will appreciate a friendly face and someone to stand with.  And it means you can bond while screaming "I see your name in lights" during Dear Maria, Count Me In.

12. Have fun!

You're seeing live music, most probably from a musician/band whose music you really like.  Appreciate it, have fun, sing from the top of your lungs, dance around like an idiot, and enjoy it as much as you can.

Photograph by Cydnee Australia Photography

I hope you all enjoyed reading this post and that there was some useful advice.  If you have any other tips or advice about attending concerts or festivals then let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you.



Saturday, 13 June 2015

A Spotlight On: I'm There by Hey Violet

At the beginning of last month I started listening to a band called Hey Violet after they came up on my 'recommended' videos on YouTube.  I decided to give them a listen (as there are too many times that I see bands on YouTube but don't bother giving them a listen and I regret it so much) and I'm really enjoying listening to their music.

At the end of last month they released the music video for their song I'm There, so I thought I'd share the song with all of you as part of my A Spotlight On series.
 The song opens with an instrumental introduction and this definitely helps to set up what the overall sound of the song is going to be; acoustic. 
Not only does this introduction set up the song nicely but, instrumentally, it also leads very well into the first verse.  Instrumentally, the first verse starts off with just the acoustic guitar but, partway through the other instruments join in and I feel this helps to give a strong rhythm to the first verse.  I feel as though the vocals in the first verse could come across as stronger but, the harmonies that are there are really strong and well selected.

Lyrically, I'm in love with the chorus.  I think that the lyrics in the chorus are really beautiful, especially in the second stanza;

"'Cause no-one wants to be alone
And feelings like this
They need a home
You just have to say the word
And I'm there"

 Again, the vocal harmonies here are really good, a high standard was set for this in the first verse and they've carried it on without fail.  The lead vocals become more stronger at this point and I think that this paired with the percussion becoming more prominent in the chorus was a really good decision, it helps to make the chorus stand out in the song which I feel is an important thing.

One of my favourite things about this band is that they're not shy in making their bass guitar part heard.  There are some bands that I listen too and I'm straining to hear the bass guitar which I hate but, with Hey Violet this is yet to be the case and this song is no exception.
In the second verse I feel that it becomes a little more prominent than it previously was in the song which I really like.
I really love how well this verse leads on from the chorus lyrically, there's a story being told and a lot of thought has clearly been put into what's been written.
In the third verse you can hear lead singer, Rena Lovelis, putting her all into the vocals which I love.  One of my favourite things about the third verse is how well the percussion works alongside the vocals, you can hear them feeding off each other which I think is brilliant.
I think that the layout that they've chosen for the vocals and lyrics in the third verse is amazing, it creates an expectant atmosphere and a really good set up for the final chorus.
The vocal ad libs in the final chorus sound amazing, you can both hear and feel the emotion in them which I love.
As an entirety you can hear the band putting their all into the song during the final chorus which I love, it makes the final chorus more powerful.  I particularly love the percussion during the final chorus, I think this is mainly because I used to play the drum kit and I'm finally finding the motivation to maybe get back into it.  So, I always love hearing a drummer giving it their all and you can definitely hear that at this point as it's being continued on from the third verse.
I think that having a separate verse as an outro for this song is a really unique twist to put on this song.  It helps to close the song in a way that isn't abrupt and without using a vocal fade. 
Instrumentally it's softer which fits in nicely with the vocals also being softer at this stage and makes them work really well together.

 I'm really excited to see this band grow and I'm looking forward to the release of their debut album, it's definitely one that I can't wait to hear.
Let me know in the comments what you think of this song, I'd love to hear from you.