Las Ramblas :(

Paul and I visited Las Ramblas in Barcelona in May; just as terrorist attacks were getting worse in Europe, and a lot of these vehicle related attacks were happening. Whilst walking, we were saying how easy it would be to drive a car and kill a bunch of people, seeing as it’s one of the busiest streets in Europe, and due to the fact that there was no bollards to protect us at both the ends of the street. The moral is that some of these deaths could be prevented, for example, the Manchester Attack had no security checks at the entrance of the train station, and was able to kill a big group of innocent people as they left Manchester Arena. I know all terrorist attacks can’t be prevented, but I do believe that doing a risk assessment at big cities main touristy areas is needed, as a simple thing such as putting a bollard up or doing extra security checks can save many lives…. I don’t feel like things get taken seriously until someone dies! RIP to all who have died </3 Breaks my heart!!

I SAW ARCADE FIRE!!

I’m writing this on my phone, thousands of feet in the air,  travelling to America, so apologies if this isn’t perfect. 4 hours left… 

I was meaning to write this blog sooner, but I have been so fucking tired and busy. So… I FINALLY SAW ARCADE FIRE FIRE xD I am just going to put this out there right now, that this band are the best band on the planet right now, and are one of the best of all time in my opinion.

I’ve watched countless live performances by them on YouTube, which my boyfriend and I agreed that this could possibly leave us disappointed, as we really had high expectations due to the quality of the videos we had watched. If anyone has read my previous blog then basically I got tickets to go see them at Isle of Wight festival originally, as we thought it would be the only time we would get to see them this year. Oh how naive we was! They ended up announcing a show in Manchester in July, and then a warm-up show to last weeks IOW festival. The warm-up show was at Scunthorpe, which is absolutely crazy. They played at Scunthorpe Baths, which is only a 1400 venue capacity. Arcade Fire can fill arenas, and have pretty much headlined every major festival I can think of, so obviously as massive fans, my other half and I was ecstatic to of been one of the few who actually got tickets.

Fast forward a few weeks from when we booked tickets, we arrived at Scunthorpe at around 6.00PM on Wednesday the 7th of June. We had a pint of beer in a lovely little pub across the road called The Royal. I would’ve gone back there after the gig for a drink if I wasn’t travelling to the Isle of Wight the next morning, so if the unlikely event of them returning, I’d definitely give that a go.

So we went a little after doors open, but I think the band were still soundchecking as they were 30 mins late letting us into the main room. Whilst we waited I went to the merch stand, and bought a really cool t-shirt that has the new Arcade Fire logo on. There wasn’t much to choose from, but once the album is released then I’m sure that they will have some more designs. I really want them to make them Everything Now jackets they’ve been wearing available to the fans.

For the smaller shows, the band have adapted to a 360° stage setup. I personally really liked this concept, but I had a lot of anxiety prior to the gig due to the fear of having Win and Regine facing with their backs to us. I made a plan, and that was to head towards Win Butler’s microphone (pretty obvious which one was his with him being 6’5). The security were ushering everyone towards the left, but I scoped out Win’s mic and went opposite to the crowd which meant I was at barrier, right infront of Win. Now, if anyone knows me, then you’ll know that I absolutely adore Win Butler. I love the rest of the band obviously, but for me Win is one of my idols, and I was starstruck when he was literally infront of my face.

I can’t remember every single song off the top of my head that was on the setlist, but it was sure as hell full of bangers. I recall Everything Now being the opening song, which was awesome as since it came out not so long ago, I’ve been playing it non-stop. I was very happy to see Tunnels returning, as I noticed that it had disappeared from their setlist for a few shows. I thought that Rebellion was just as awesome as I expected, and the crowd kept singing the “ohh, ohh, ohh, ohh, ohh” part for like a solid 5 minutes afterwards. They also did an unplugged version of Wake Up, which was stunning.

I would say that the highlight of my night was definitely Reflektor. Obviously due to my blog name, you’d expect it to be a highlight, but the real reason is so much more cooler….

THIS HAPPENED. 

Yes, that is yours truly with Win! As you can imagine, I was pretty fucking happy after this. Basically, Win was recording the song on an old school camcorder, and whilst he walked past I shouted for him to have a selfie with me. He let me get 3 or 4 photos, which I thought was really nice. Anyway, overall it was the best live performance that I have ever seen. I never in a million years thought that I would get to the front, never mind getting a selfie with Win Butler.

The next morning was difficult, we was so tired from the previous nights antics. Luckily we only had a couple of pints, so felt good in that sense, but I literally danced my ass off all night, so we just felt like we needed a days recovery to be honest.  We set off for the Isle of Wight festival early Thursday morning, a long five hour drive, and an hour’s ride on the ferry. We stayed in a lovely little hotel called The Wight, and Friday we had a brilliant day checking the island out. We visited the Needles and an Amazon rainforest themed zoo. They had Sloths! Who doesn’t love Sloths. Definitely my spirit animal. 😉     

On Saturday we went on a wild goosechase for some Wellington boots, as we didn’t plan very well and me and the boyfriend are complete festival n00bs. We didn’t even need them in the end which was kinda bittersweet due to the fact that they’re highly unfashionable, but at least we didn’t have any rain… 

So we only got a 1 day ticket as the rest of the line up didn’t appeal to us and was very poor if I’m honest. We stumbled upon  an excellent act that consisted of 2 lads and their acoustic guitars. They don’t sing or use any more instruments. They slap their guitars inbetween strumming them for the beat. They played loads of old skool dance floorfillers, and finished on a really epic cover of Bohemian Rapsody. They had the crowd going crazy, and we saw the tent literally go from empty to full within a few songs. They’re insanely talented people, if you want to check them out then their name is The Showhawk Duo. 

Catfish and The Bottlemen put in an amazing set too. I’ve liked them since they released their debut, and their last album ‘7’ is so good! I’d definitely go watch then headline their own show. 

Aaaand next up were Arcade Fire. I must say that I was just as excited as I was at Scunthorpe. I also had around 8 pints at the moment, so that elevated my giddiness a lot, lol. Anyway, somehow managed to get right near the front again, not quite barrier but to say that we wasn’t even trying to get close this time it was certainly a massive achievement. 😛

It was awesome to see them in a completely different setting. I’d say I prefer intimate venues, but the stage set up and lighting were amazing and on a much larger scale. I think Creature Comfort sounded so epic live, and I can tell it’s going to be a fan favourite for many years to come. I also heard some songs I hadn’t heard the last time, such as The Suburbs, which is one of my favourites. I’d say my favourite song of the night was Sprawl II. I just think Regine absolutely smashed it, she’s so cute!

I actually cannot wait to see them in Manchester in a couple of weeks. I know it sounds excessive, but their music means so much to me for various reasons. BEST. BAND. EVER! 

* I am now sat around the pool in Las Vegas. Life is gooooood.

Barcelona is amazing!

If you read my blog, then you would know that it was my Birthday last week, and my other half flew me out to Barcelona.

WE HAD THE BEST TIME EVER! We was there for a few days, but we did so much! It was genuinely one of the best times of my life 😀

It’s such a beautiful place, and the vibe is amazing.

We checked in at our hotel, The Hotel Praktik Vinoteca when we arrived. I would recommend the hotel to anyone as not only was it a good price, it was immaculate. It’s a wine themed hotel (as you can tell by the name) so you get a free glass of wine when you get there. Nice! We arrived in the afternoon, so we explored La Rambla and the Gothic Quarter, and took it easy. I went to La Rambla as a kid, so it was great to revisit it. I was very excited to see that they had an NBA Cafe down there. I loved Basketball when I was younger, especially the Houston Rockets. I really enjoyed my burger too, so even though it was a little expensive, it was great fun to eat there. Afterwards we went to Casa Batllo, a house designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí. I would highly reccomened this, as it is pretty surreal how much detail is in this house, but it is very expensive too, so if you’re on budget then the outside looks just as good as the inside!

On the second day we went to Park Güell, which was disappointing as we didn’t realise that you had to pay to get into the main bit, and there wasn’t a time slot for hours, so we went for a little walk before getting the bus and changing plan. We had a look on our trusty tourist map, and chose to go to Montjuic, and ride a cable car to Montjuic Castle, much to the horror of my fella, who doesn’t like heights 😛 When we got to the top we had a lovely view over Barcelona. We then went for a couple of pints down La Rambla, before going for some food.

On the third day we went to Camp Nou, which is FC Barcelona’s ground. I did this as a kid with my Mum and Dad, so I already had very fond memories of the place. I was so young when I went, under 10, so I didn’t remember most of it, and obviously it has been updated since then… I think going back as an adult has made me appreciate the sheer size of the place, it’s an absolute beast! Even if you don’t like football, I’d make sure you visit, because it really is a great place.

The forth and final day = the best day, and possibly even one of the best days of my life…We visited the Sagrada Família, a large Catholic church designed by the Catalan architect I previously mentioned, Antoni Gaudí. I didn’t know too much about Gaudí before I came, but after visiting a couple of his work whilst in Barcelona, I now consider him to be an absolute genius.  I have never seen a building like it,  and even after 135 years in the making, it’s still not complete! If you see the building you’d understand the immense level of detail that is in this building. When it finishes in around 10 years, I hope to visit again to see the finished project!

Afterwards, we went to Parc de la Ciutadella, which we wasn’t going to do, but we saw in our guidebook that it looked really pretty. Wow, this place is amazing I wish we had a place like this at home, I’d spend so much time there! I loved the fact that nobody really gave a fuck what people thought, people were tightroping between the trees, juggling, jamming out on their guitars with not a care in the world. The best part was the Cascada Monumental, a beautiful fountain.

After we explored some more bits of Barcelona we hadn’t seen, we headed the our hotel to relax after a lot of walking. About 8.30pm, we headed back to the Montjuic area to view the amazing Magic Fountain! I actually saw this as a kid and I was mesmerised, so I couldn’t wait to experience this with the man I love 🙂  They were just as spectacular as I remember, and played some awesome music in the background, for example Wonderwall by Oasis, which were one of my all time favourite bands, due to my Dad being a massive fan whilst I was growing up!

What a perfect ending to a perfect holiday 🙂

I would recommend Barcelona to anyone, I’d say it’s my favourite european city I’ve visited so far.

Milk & Honey Book Review

So I’ve heard a few people raving about a book called ‘milk and honey’, so I thought that I’d check it out. Admittedly, I’ve not read in a very long time, so when I read a few snippets of the book I was extremely keen to read it as it was a collection of short poems to ween myself back into the book game. 😛

The book was written by Rupi Kaur, and published on November 4, 2014.

Milk and Honey is divided into four chapters.

The hurting:

This book dives straight into some pretty hard subjects, I didn’t realise that it had references to sexual abuse, so that was a shock to the system. I cannot relate to this theme, but reading this is quite hard, and so I would like to say that if you’ve experienced anything like that, then be careful as I reckon it could trigger some very disturbing images for you. I think this was my least favourite part of the book, as I do like to be able relate to what I’m reading or listening to. For instance, if I’m listening to an album then the songs will instantly stand out to me if I can relate to the lyrics. I do admire the authors ability to speak out using so much emotion on such a difficult subject though.

The loving:

So this was my favourite chapter as I’m a bit of a soppy bugger. To be honest, it’s a breath of fresh air from the last chapter, as it’s placed just after the saddest chapter so it was a pleasant welcoming. I consider myself to be a romantic person, and I’m also in a happy relationship as we’ve just moved in with each other, so this made me smile countless times. “I am learning how to love him by loving myself” really stood out for me as I’ve had a long struggle with anxiety, and that’s been one thing that’s affected my relationship at times. I have got a lot better, and that’s because my partner has helped me be a stronger person, and I do believe that you need to love yourself before you can love others, so the fact that this was included is nice to me. For all you romantics out there, this is the chapter for you! ❤

 

The breaking: 

Right, back onto the sad stuff… Well this is a sad chapter, but also a positive one. It’s about heartbreak, but it’s got some poems that help you heal your wounds. I, like many have been though heartbreak. IT SUCKS! But time really is a healer, and this book does show that. It randomly includes a little ‘to do list’ for anyone going through a breakup. If only I followed  advice in this 16 step list such as ‘start a new project’, or simply ‘breathe’ instead of  my “PASS ME THE FUCKING VODKA” ethos, I probably would’ve spent less time feeling ill and saved a few quid.

 

The healing:

Following the trend of sad and then happy chapters, the forth is all about positive vibes that rounds up everything nicely, and proves that no matter what you’ve gone through you will be ok.  These collection of poems are obviously intended to uplift your mood, and it does a very good job. “You must want to spend the rest of your life with yourself first.” is a simple, yet affective piece of advice and it highlights the importance of self-acceptance.

Verdict:

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It didn’t take me a long time to read, as the poems were very short, albeit effective. I liked the simplicity of the illustrations, and they went extremely well with the poems. I thought that it was clever how it had two depressing chapters and two happy ones, I don’t think I’d of enjoyed it if it was all about difficult subjects. The only downside to me was that it was wasn’t always relatable to me, and as I said above, that’s an important thing to me. I haven’t been through a lot of things mention, and also I don’t share a lot of the views she has and I kinda get annoyed with  modern feminism, and how it’s less about the politics more about issues such as  body hair nowadays. Sorry if that offends you, but I just don’t find it interesting, and I would rather have smooth and hairless skin. I appreciate that the author fights for her views though, and good for her!

The positive chapters uplifted me so much that I looked up self-help books to read. I’m currently reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr Brene Brown, so I’ll have another book review up soon. I would just like to say that this was my first review of anything EVER, so it probably sucked, but I would be grateful of any feedback.

Thank you.

Amy xx

 

 

An Introduction To My Blog.

 

 

I don’t know if anyone’s ever going to read this, and I’m probably going to be rambling on to myself for hours on end, but I’m kinda hoping that some people give a shit about the things that I give a shit about, and find it helpful. I’ve never been a person to write loads, I actually get terribly frustrated writing, but I’ve discovered that when I actually enjoy what I’m writing about, I find it incredibly therapeutic, so here’s my first blog!

If you’re a grammar nazi, I suggest you leave right now 😉 I wasn’t a grade A student, and I don’t have an inner shakespeare, but nor do I write ‘lyk dis’ so hopefully people will be nice and see past the fact that I am a bit of a noob when it comes to this kinda thing. I know you can still read it though, and that’s what matters, right?

This blog is probably going to be random as hell, because I have so many interests, so expect ramblings on travel, beauty music, gaming and so on…

Still here…? :O

Since I haven’t bored you too much, here’s a little bit about me incase you were wondering (Highly unlikely) but here goes!

My name is Amy, and I’m 22 years old. I am currently working as a Playworker at an after school club whilst doing an NVQ. I’m not sure what I want to do career wise, but for now I’m pretty happy. I live with my partner in York. He’s awesome. My main passion in life is music. Music is literally EVERYTHING to me. A life without music is not a life worth living in my eyes!

Thank you for reading my introduction.

Amy x x