My favourite season..

My favourite time of year is fast approaching and I almost can’t control my excitement…and no I am not talking about exam season.

It’s nearly festival season!! (I know festival season has already kicked off in America but I will never be a Coachella girl, give me Reading’s stinky toilets and muddy fields any day.)

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Festivals have played a massive part in my life since 2011, the year I attended my first Reading Festival. I honestly look back at that year and wish I could back with my musically educated brain as that line up was incredible. But I am still glad my 13 year old self begged her parents to take her to see muse, as it started a tradition and I am now about to attend my 6th Reading Festival. Although the line up isn’t my favourite compared to previous years *cough* 2010 *cough* I still can’t picture spending august bank holiday any other way.

A lot has changed since 2011. The first thing I learnt at a festival was how to hide alcohol, as nobody would suspect a 13 year old sneaking it into the arena-thanks mum! But I now know a couple of tricks so I can’t really complain-I mean who would pick a £5 vodka and lemonade when you can just buy the lemonade? Another important lesson I have learnt is if there is nobody that I want to see I should head to a tent and check out some new music, because I always find a band I love-I mean thats how I discovered my favourite band.

Although it all started with Reading Festival which is known as the UK’s biggest ‘rock’ festival (I am tentatively using rock here because Fetty Wap..), I do love the small ones aka 2000 trees (a real ‘rock’ festival in my eyes). Obviously smaller festivals are nicer price wise, but they are also so much more chilled, Reading is filled with excited teenagers running around-me included- but 2000 trees is filled with music lovers and I adore that.

A festival is made by the people you share it with, I honestly love my “festival cru” and have so many lovely (drunk) memories (well what I can remember) with them all. But at the same time the people you meet at the festival can also make it a weekend to remember, I feel so privileged to have these memories. I mean I will never forget spending my birthday with a person that insisted he was a horse..

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As I am basically counting down the days for my festival season to start-only a month left!! I thought I would give my festival lowdown.. enjoy!

Reading Festival. Richfield Avenue, Reading. 

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Of course I had to start this with Reading festival, aka my second home. This festival introduced me to this way of life and I am eternally grateful. As I have said I could not imagine my August bank holiday spent another way, and I mean it I was considering not going to Reading this year and even the thought of going without caused me to buy a ticket.

Reading Festival, which is more commonly known as Reading and Leeds Festival, is held every year across August bank holiday weekend sharing a line up across both cities. Although the line up is the same Reading (in my opinion) is the better of the two. 1. Leeds rains more 2.Reading is the original 3. Reading always has the better closing headliner- and Reading had Green Day’s “secret set” back in 2012.

I personally always feel at home when I am back in those muddy fields, I have grown up attending this festival and I feel it has changed who I am. For starters without Reading I wouldn’t like half the music I do now, I would have never put my hair through the colours of the rainbow, I would have never gone in my first pit and most importantly I would have never attended a festival. I also wouldn’t have found out about The Blackout, which means that this photo wouldn’t exist.

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Unfortunately, Reading is getting loads of hate regarding its very mainstream line up in recent years. I do agree, I don’t like the line ups the way I used to, but at least now I can see the bands I love play tents which is always better than main stage. They festival is trying to please everyone and I don’t see a problem with that.

I think Reading and Leeds is the perfect way to end your summer. I mean Live music, a little sing along with a cider in your hand (just) sounds like heaven to me.

This years line up so far:

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Who I’m excited for:

Frank Carter and the Rattle Snakes, Good Charlotte, The Dillinger Escape Plan

2000 trees. Upcode farm,Cheltenham. 

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Although I have only attended 2000 trees once, it is my favourite festival. Its like they have looked and my iPod picked a few artists, then thought of a few I would love. Every year I look at the line and just think ‘wow”. As this festival is only 5,000 people (Reading has 80,000 just for comparison)  the bands I adore are usually headliners therefore always have amazing set times.

2000 trees also have the best silent discos I have ever attended. I know the idea of a silent disco sounds stupid, but when you connect with someone because you have both been listening to the same station for the past five songs when everyone else keeps changing, you get over it-and you also sing along to AFI together.

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My year attending 2000 trees gave me a whole new outlook about festivals, as it was so small all the bands were walking around the arena (some even camped!!) interacting with ‘fans’. I saw a band play their last show-which was gutting because I actually really liked them- and I experienced so many bands I would have never heard about without this festival. It has made me appreciate music a whole lot more and how important it is to check out and support smaller artists.

The one thing I did miss was everything that happened in the woods, which is something I am 100% going to check out this year!

This years line up so far:

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Who I am excited for this year:

While she sleeps, The Bronx, Twin Atlantic

Boardmasters. Newquay, Cornwall. 

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As I am from Newquay this festival is a must. I haven’t even purchased my ticket yet but I’m pretty sure I will be going since I can hear the festival from my bedroom-it would be silly not to. For me Boardmasters is great because I get to spend it with people from school, which makes a change from my beloved “festival cru”.

Boardmasters has two sites. One on the beach and one on the cliff. The beach site of the festival is free and is more focused on surfing and skateboarding with the odd beach session, this is the site I grew up attending as I never considered Boardmasters to (musically) be my thing. However, last year two of my favourite bands played so I figured a day ticket had to be done. Now I kind of understand why my whole school would attend..it is actually a good festival. I still don’t understand why people from Newquay would choose to camp as I have heard horror stories-and as I said I can hear the festival from my bedroom.

Most importantly Boardmasters is in Cornwall, therefore sell decent Cider which makes me-and most Cornish people- very happy!

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This years line up so far:

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Who I am excited for this year:

Kaiser Chiefs, Deadmau5

Radio One’s Big Weekend. Exeter. 

Every year Radio one hold a two day festival featuring big artists for free! However, there is one catch…you have to live in the surrounding area to secure a ticket (5% go to the rest of the UK which is nothing). Luckily Cornwall counts as the surrounding area of Exeter so I was able to secure a ticket-probably the first time I felt proud to be Cornish.

I can’t tell you my experience of this festival as I am yet to attend. But it is kicking off my festival season and I couldn’t be happier.

This years line up:

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Who I am excited to see:

Bring Me The Horizon, Twenty One Pilots

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 17.09.57.pngSo far these are the only festivals I am planning on going to, however if I had the money this list would be tripled in length. I best get saving for next year already..

I will 100% be posting more about festivals as the season get closer, as I am already struggling to control my excitement.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy your festival season!!

Sydney x

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*Apart from the line ups all images are my own*

 

LIVE REVIEW: MUSE!

Muse/O2 Arena, London/ 11.04.16

Who would have thought 3 boys from Teignmouth would end up headlining the O2 Arena in London. I’m sure muse didn’t when they first started out in 1994, but they did it. Ever since May last year at Radio One’s big weekend Muse have being touring their new album drones, and when tickets went on sale for their strip of UK shows the show was advertised as something special. This year we have seen Enter Shikari play with quadraphonic sound, while she sleeps go back to their routes and Muse play on a 360 stage.

The one downfall for this tour was the expense, don’t get me wrong I love spending money on bands, my favourite thing to is support artists I love but £80 for seated tickets seems a little pricey. Especially as I’ve seen posters of them playing some of my favourite venues for less then £10- can you imagine seeing muse for £10? Unfortunately that was 20 years ago so I just had to deal with the price, as they are continuing to grow as a band so it will probably just get more expensive. Honestly, I will alway prefer standing tickets, even during the show I just wanted be in the thick of it but if I was to see any band seated I think muse would be the one. And once I saw how amazing my seats actually were, especially compared to those that appeared to be in the heavens, I sat back and enjoyed the show.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 16.19.58.pngI have been a massive fan of muse for years, I actually thank them a lot for getting me back into the music I love now. If they weren’t my favourite band in 2010 then I wouldn’t have begged my parents to take me to reading festival to see them in 2011 and wouldn’t have found so many bands that I adore now-especially The Blackout. When I saw them back in 2011 I was considerably shorter than I am now, which being combined with my curse to always be stuck behind 6ft giants meant I was unable to see anything, and muse have been a band that people have always told me to stand back and watch so sitting allowed for me to witness the show.

And what a show it was!! They had so many things going on. The night started with drones flying down, and as I would describe it, they started synchronise ‘dancing’. Before the band even came on their was a massive show with these flying drones. Which I thought was pretty clever considering the name of this tour. However having this huge introduction set the bar pretty high for the rest of the evening.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 16.20.10.pngMuse kept reaching and raising this bar throughout the night. I went in thinking that they would just play some songs and have some fancy lights but no. They put an incredible amount of work into this show and I am still amazed. At the beginning of the show we were asked not to use flash photography, which at the time I considered to be strange but it soon became obvious why. They projected ‘films’ onto curtains during certain songs, which either added to the lighting or even showed a story. I have never seen something as creative as that, it allowed for those in seating to really enjoy the show  as the band looked so small running around on stage- I can imagine it got worse the further up you got, they must have looked like ants.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 16.20.41.pngI had seen the setlist before the show, and although it didn’t feature some of my favourite songs *cough* panic station *cough* it was still incredible. They obviously played all the hits, which brought different atmospheres to the night. It honestly felt like Madness and Plug in Baby were part of different shows, they were both incredible but created different vibes and with the added visual made it almost impossible to relate the two. So much happened it was actually hard to keep up. In some songs it was physically impossible to watch the band as they had so many things going on, and normally not being able to see the band would annoy me (the curse of being short) but I was so happy to sit back and watch the show!!

Okay thats a lie, I wasn’t happy to sit back at all. Although every time I stood up I felt so guilty because of the people behind me, it was almost impossible to sit back and watch muse. I did get over that guilt when some of my favourite songs came one and when the people in front of me stood up and I could no longer see. I know they were seated tickets but I’m pretty sure there is some unwritten rule that you don’t actually sit down?  Well in my head there is.

To all those people that were angry over the ticket price, and it not being worth it. You are wrong! In my eyes they were worth every penny, and even if it was too much you could have got ‘worse’ seats (you are still seeing muse so I wouldn’t exactly call it a bad ticket) for a cheaper price.

I really hope I get the chance to see them again, I even considered getting tickets for Sziget festival in Budapest. I was actually ready to buy the tickets and then realised it was a silly decision as my bank is already struggling to cope with the UK festivals I have planned.

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*All photos are my own*

Thanks for reading, Sydney x

Things I’ve learnt whilst growing up!!

Thought I would mix things up a little with this post, since I have been reflecting on the past recently- I know doing this is torture but it just has to be done. I know I am only 18 but I feel I have changed dramatically since I was 14 years old and during this change I have learnt a few things. Some of these things I was always told throughout growing up and refused to believe, but some of these things I wish I was told so I could make the change in my lifestyle sooner. I know I am only just (technically) an adult and I will gain so much life experience over the years to come, but now I’ve just started university thus moved out and gained so many new friendships. This change in my life has allowed me to reflect on my younger self, things I regret and things I have learnt from so I thought I would share a few.

Cut people out!!

I know this sounds horrible, but I am not referring to everyone, just the people that don’t deserve your time. I have learnt the harsh way that if a friendship appears to be one sided, then say goodbye. If you are putting more into the friendship than you are receiving then its not worth your time, obviously people go through things in life which means they can’t always put as much time into the friendship but if its an ongoing thing, whats the point?

This doesn’t just refer to the amount of time people put in, friends are supposed to support you, bring you joy and come on a journey with you. If you feel a friendship isn’t providing them things then why stay in it? If your friends are making you more unhappy then they are happy then are they really friends?

I have recently reflected on past friendships and realised they weren’t friendships at all. I have realised some friendships aren’t worth my time, some just caused more drama then they are worth. I think its down to the person to evaluate whether the friendship is worth their time, some friendships are built on different grounds. But I do think its worth thinking about because I cannot imagine my life and how unhappy I would be if i didn’t cut certain people out. Likewise, if a friendship is ending because you have both drifted, let it end. Don’t force a friendship, it’ll most likely make things worse and could end in a argument which isn’t needed.

Have aspirations!!

I’m not talking about new years resolutions, because nobody sticks to them. I’m talking about setting yourself goals, the typical ones for people in their teens are passing exams and getting into uni. However, they don’t have to be massive they can be as small as reading a book. The feeling of reaching these goals is one of the most satisfying feelings I have ever experienced.

However, if you do decide that you want to set yourself big goals then go for it! Opening UCAS and seeing I actually go into the university of my choice was surreal. I think setting yourself big life goals is an amazing thing to do as it gives you something to work for. I come from a town where people tend to get stuck in the same routines working the summer seasons and going out drinking. I knew I didn’t want that, my home town is great but I wanted to see the world, I wanted to live in a city, so I made it my goal to go to university.

Having aspirations has helped me achieve so many things, and most importantly happiness.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself! 

As you can probably tell from my previous posts, I’m into a more alternative music scene (I am not going to deny that I will happily rock out to a bit of Kanye though). I grew up listening to Rancid and when I entered secondary school all I wanted to do was fit in so I stopped myself from listening to what I wanted. I remember listening to the top 40 and my dad hating every minute of it-my house was a constant battle of the charts and Sick of it all, I now feel very sorry for the rest of my family. Then b.o.b released that wonderful album, which introduced Hayley Williams and Rivers Cuomo back into my life. I remember not feeling guilty for listening to them songs and showing Paramore to people as they liked Aeroplanes-I look back on this and just want to shout at myself, I can’t believe I thought denying myself of this music would make people like me. Luckily I never went back, I started listening to what I liked again and my dad was happy. Sure I had to deal with people calling me ’emo’ but I was comfortable in myself again, personally if someone can’t accept a certain side of you then are they worth your time?

Your mother is always right! 

Okay, maybe not always. But most of the time, my mum always pushed me to do things-like revise for exams. Now the idea of going against my mums back to do things seems pointless, for example when I was 16 I nearly went and got a few tattoos (illegally) despite my mum suggesting I don’t-I am so glad I didn’t as I 100% don’t want any of the tattoos I did back then. As I said my mum pushed me to revise when all I wanted to do was go out with my friends, I now realise her pushing me was the of the best things that has happened. I remember not believing in myself and going to apply for an easier university to get into, but my mum told me if I worked hard I could get in which I did. I have realised that if I talk to my mum about phonetics or a band like Blakfish she will have no idea, but when it comes to important life decisions my mum has a pretty good idea!

You will grow out of that phase- you know the one that makes you say “Its not a phase mum!!”

As I’ve been reflecting on my 14 year old self, I have been reminiscing through photos. Which brings me to my final tip of advice. Coloured hair is nice but don’t dye your hair permanently red. It will take forever to come out! Be prepared for bright orange hair. Also, if you manage to finally get the red out of your hair, avoid going every colour in the rainbow in under 2 months. Your hair will most likely fall out! (and you will want to destroy every photo of your teen years)

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(I am cringing so much at these photos-but I felt they had to be shared. I honestly can’t say I’ve fully grown out of my wild hair days, but I like to think my fashion sense has increased slightly)

Thanks for reading, Sydney x

 

LIVE REVIEW: Weezer!! 

Weezer/Brixton Academy, London/ 05.04.16

10 years of waiting, one massive promise and 4 albums later I finally got to see the almighty Weezer!

 Ever since I was a little girl I knew Weezer were a band I wanted to see, they became my favourite band accompanying me and my dad through our drives around Cornwall. I absolutely adored them, and to be honest I still do. I remember listening to the red album for the first time and thinking “this is one of best albums I have ever heard” and to this day it still is. From the moment I first heard dangerous I knew I needed to see them live, so I made my dad promise to take me.  Unfortunately, Weezer rarely come to the UK so I honestly thought I would never get the chance to see them-at least in the UK. But on the 15th of January they announced 2 shows in the UK, and I was lucky enough to get tickets for the London show (aka I woke up stupidly early and refreshed see tickets every 30 seconds).

As the show got closer I struggled to accept I was finally seeing them,  apart of me still can’t accept I have actually seen them! But I have!!

Before we arrived me and my dad made jokes all day about how the crowd would be full of “geeks” and how it would just be a massive singalong. Them jokes weren’t entirely wrong, throughout the night I saw countless people wearing shirts, glasses and even jumpers -I admire the jumper wearers I was melting in just a tshirt! The only thing we predicted that didn’t happen was the show being a singalong, everyone was screaming their hearts out-I could just tell that everyone surrounding me had waited years for this moment just like me.

 At first it didn’t feel real, I remember being overcome with emotions and then they played hash pipe and it finally sank in that I was actually seeing Weezer. I know how stupid that sounds but when you have been waiting for a moment for so long it is hard to believe it is happening.

The setlist was amazing, obviously ending with buddy holly but featuring a good range of old and new songs-luckily I had played the white album nonstop before the show so I was prepared for new material! Unfortunately the didn’t play teenage dirtbag…I’m joking, but some people I was standing next to actually said they wanted them to play it.

I would honestly say that it was one of the best nights of my life. I am so glad I made my dad promise me we would go all them years ago, and now I am mega excited for Reading and Leeds as Rivers left by saying they will back. The fact that I will (hopefully) see them twice in one year after I never thought I would amazes me.


Sorry this isn’t the best post but I really struggled to put into words how good this show was. I will always adore Weezer but I finally feel like my childhood is over, I guess it’s time to be an adult now!

Sydney X

LIVE REVIEW: While she sleeps!

Once again I am super sorry this is late, my life has been super busy that past few weeks I am actually surprised I have managed to fit this show in!

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 16.12.04.pngWhile she sleeps/The Junction, Plymouth/ 24.03.15

Being home for easter meant I was finally able to attend a South west show, something which I haven’t done since A day to remember in 2014 (I am not counting Boardmasters, that is not a south west crowd). Luckily my easter break happened to be the same time as the very intimate While she sleeps tour. I was so excited for this show, as I have missed the mental south west crowds (we barely get bands down here so when they do come down the show is generally brutal but I love it) and since the closure of the White Rabbit I was finally able to see one of its many replacements.

Safe to say when I arrived I wasn’t expecting the venue to be an old pub, and I was very shocked to why While she sleeps decided to choose this venue. No complaints though because the second I walked in I could tell this would be a brilliant, slightly painful, night… and I was right!!

Until the show ended I didn’t realise how much I needed to attend a small intimate show, as recently all the shows I have recently attended have been at the Motorpoint Arena, as much as they were all great I just needed the sweaty pits. The energy a small show gives is astounding, you can almost feel everyone destress and just let loose. Everyone is there to have a great time, some people get scared of such ‘violent’ crowds at these shows but I have been in worse at a fall out boy show.  At first I questioned why sleeps decided to do such a small tour but now I understand. Smaller shows are so much better, there is no barrier stopping them from getting involved in the pits, likewise no barrier stopping us from getting on stage. In that moment we are all the same, in that moment you almost couldn’t tell who was in the band and who was just a fan. I would honestly recommend a small venue over a larger one any day, I mean a light show is impressive but it can’t beat the singer singing directly to your face whilst you offer him some of your jäger.

I think it goes without saying that sleeps were amazing. They had a very good setlist and an amazing stage presence. Anyone who has seen them before would know that, thats why I decided to go because I knew how amazing they would be. I felt privaleged to be a part of this night, sleeps have been a band I continue to see with the same group of people and each time I see them my love grows stronger, as does my relationship with this group. It is a night I will never forget and knowing I will see them in a few months at 2000 trees makes me extremely excited as I cannot wait to make more memories with this amazing band.

Also can we acknowledge the fact that the band seemed to appreciate the night as much as we did! As bands don’t come down south much I love it when they realise that we aren’t all farmers and quite a few of us will rock out hard, hopefully they (and many more bands) will keep coming down south before we lose all of our music venues!

So much respect for While she sleeps!!

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 16.12.14.pngThanks for reading, Sydney x