The tattoo-taboo debate

In this day and age I can’t really tell if tattoos are still considered taboo? Your grandparents frown at them but almost everybody you know has one.

I’ve grown up knowing that I will never be able to get a job with tattoos yet 5 days after I turned 18 I rushed to the tattoo shop and let them ink me for life.

At 19 I have no idea what my future holds yet I have 3 tattoos and am planning to get many more- hopefully 4 by summer!!!

Tattoos on your hands considered job breakers but ones on your torso are perfectly okay?

Men can have sleeves filled with tribal ink, yet women who get anything more than flowers and butterflies get judged.

My question is: why do silly little doodles on your skin impact your future career?

Just a few months ago I found myself hiding one of my tattoos from my grandparents- a tattoo which I love SO much, a tattoo which holds so much familial meaning I would never dream of hiding it. Yet there I was, sat positioning my ankle in ways that were so uncomfortable but hid the thing I loved very much. Why you ask?? Because I knew they wouldn’t like it.

But why should that matter….I love it!!!

I (like everyone should) spend weeks and months thinking of tattoo ideas just to make sure I love them, therefore I feel I should be able to show them off without disapproving looks.  If I want to get a stick man on my foot then I will, and quite frankly it is nobody’s business.

So are tattoos taboo?? Only if you let them be. Express yourself in whichever way you want, and let others do it in whatever way they wish as well!! You do you, and I’ll do me!!

 

 

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Happy Record Store Day!!

Happy Record Store Day!!! I hope you all celebrate by supporting your local record stores or even just listening to some amazing music – I know I will be (You Are We came out yesterday and I can’t get enough). Unfortunately this year I am unable to attend, mainly because I don’t have a local record store- get me back to Cardiff- but I will definitely be getting my vinyls out and jamming out!

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Last years record store day purchases!!

I know some of you may be reading this and thinking “oh another wannabe hipster with her vinyl collection” and fair enough I would probably have thought the same. However the rise of vinyl’s is happening and I am loving every second of it- even if my bank account isn’t!!

Luckily I grew up in a household where my dad had a huge vinyl collection which he still regularly played- I mean, why wouldn’t you still listen to Queen’s discography on a record player if you have all the original releases. I have memories of spring cleaning whilst belting out every single word to “don’t stop me now” – whilst being told I am not allowed my dad’s precious vinyl collection.

I feel like my dad’s love for his vinyls is what inspired me to collect my own and have a ever expanding collection. At first it started with me only getting a few of my favourites – which then turned into me getting a few new releases. Slowly my collection grew bigger (its not the biggest but I now own 5/6 of my all time favourite albums, so to say I am happy with it is an understatement), and now every time one for my favourite artists brings out a new album I order the CD and Vinyl!

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Unfortunately these are the only The Black vinyls I was able to grab whilst they were still together- however being able to say I own The Best in Town on Vinyl is Am-a-zing!!

Although I don’t listen to my records as much as I would like, I absolutely love having a few hours to chill out and get some of my favourite records out, the time to just relax and listen to your favourite songs is irreplaceable.

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Once I found out about the collectable Computers singles, I had to get them all!! (and my family gifted me with Love Triangles Hate Square (tysm) – signed by the band and all!!!
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5/6 of my all time favourite albums- Origin of Symmetry I am coming you.

 

Hope everyone enjoys today, I know I will!

Thanks for reading, Sydney x

Frank Carter + The Rattlesnakes Modern Ruin tour!

Frank Carter (former Gallows + Pure Love singer) and the Rattlesnakes recently put out their second album ‘Modern Ruin’ – an album that I personally believe is possibly the best one of 2017 so far. If you have been keeping up with my recent blog posts (or my social media) you will be aware of my growing love for The Rattlesnakes.

Ever since The Blackouts ‘this is it, is it?’ tour in 2015 I have been desperate for a tour (a band) that I was willing to attend more than one show of. After TBO split I had been left with a huge gap in my life (a huge favourite band shaped hole if you will), and The Rattlesnakes have filled that gap. So after their Bristol show in November I knew their next tour was a tour I needed to attend more than one date on (especially after the adrenalin from the night).

As soon as they announced this tour, immediately I started planning ways I can attend more than one date. Luckily one of the shows happened to be down the road from my uni flat, and the other was in the South West- therefore both were very easy for me to attend!

The shows I attended were Cardiff, The Globe 26/03/2017 and Exeter, The Phoenix 27/03/2017. (Let me tell you if I could’ve done more I 100% would have.)

First up (in Cardiff) were Strange Bones- aggressive, lively and engaging. These boys were everything you’d expect at a Frank Carter show, full of energy both on stage (as well as when they were in the crowd, of course) and through the music. I highly suggest everyone checks these guys out, they have restored my faith in ‘new’ bands- yes I am afraid to say I fell into the trap of only listening to big bands. But not anymore!!

Personally I felt like Strange Bones were better at warming the crowd up, as within seconds of them coming on stage the entire room started bobbing their heads with huge smiles on their faces. (Luckily they were the second support at Exeter which resulted in the crowd raring to go- I seriously think these boys will go on to do amazing things!!)

However, Honaka were also amazing- in a very different way- although they didn’t warm the crowd up in the same way Strange Bones did they still are a band to watch! Female fronted and nothing like Paramore- ideal. Nowadays when I hear Female fronted rock band I automatically picture pop punk princess running around on stage. This was not the case. When the four-piece walked on the whole crowd was mesmerised by watch we were watching, whilst strange bones physically connected with the crowd (literally) Yonaka had us hooked!

Although both of these bands were amazing they were nothing in comparison to the almighty Frank Carter.

With a setlist of old and new, The Rattlesnakes gave fans everything they desired. Energy. Love. Passion and Crowdsurfing.

One of my favourite things from the two nights has to be my experience of modern ruin. If you read my last Frank Carter related blog post, you will know how much of a great time I had during that song. If you are unaware- Frank Carter has decided to make things for boys and girls equal. When going to shows he used to feel safe crowdsurfing and going in the pits, but since having a daughter he has realised it is a male dominated world- a world he wants to change.

Personally, this speaks out to me. My dad used to always take me to shows, he tried to show me that I could do anything that a boy could, that I could enter the pits and feel safe. However, as a girl it was simply not the case- it is hard to feel safe at a rock show when you are a girl. At 15 I entered my first circle pit- thank you Pulled Apart By Horses. At age 16 I entered my first pit- thank you While She Sleeps. At 19 I had my first (second, third and fourth) crowd surf- thank you The Rattlesnakes.

Although I can’t say I feel 100% safe partaking at all gigs, Frank Carter has made the dream a reality. He has created and environment where I feel safe to do everything I love. Thank you Frank Carter- you’re the best!!

I suggest everyone goes out and gets their copy of Modern Ruin and grab ticket to his December Tour – you you end up in Bristol I’ll see you there.

This isn’t something you’ll want to miss.

So much Rattlesnake love- this year really is the year of the snake.

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(Image: Jennifer Mccord @jrcmccord- Third person right of Frank, what a perfect end to a perfect night) 

Sydney x

(unless stated, all photos are my own)

 

 

What is our Music Industry?

Do you ever find yourself dreading when a band have an announcement?? Yeah, same.

This is something I never thought I would say, the possible announcement of a new tour or album used to leave me ecstatic. A thing I never thought I would ‘dread’ seeing, yet nowadays I can never tell if it’ll be a happy announcement or the “this is it” type of announcement (something that breaks my heart seeing every time).

I’ve found myself asking the questions “who will be the next to call it a day?” and “they’ve been off the radar for a little while, I wonder if they will call it quits soon?”  waaayyy too often. It seems nearly every band I listened to in my early teens no longer exist (RIP to all the beautiful memories and amazing talent.)

Today it is rare for a band in the ‘rock music industry’ to be able to live off the music they produce. It seems its rare for a band in this industry to make it past 10 years…thats right a single decade.

You see huge names like Taylor Swift turning down the opportunity to be involved with huge streaming platforms like Spotify, and people questioning her reasoning suggesting that she earns enough anyway so its completely unreasonable. Although Taylor may be earning millions, her attitude is one that we need in order to keep our music industry alive (for this reason she is possibly one of the only ‘mainstream’ artists I have respect for). Bands cannot possibly live off albums streams, with record sales decreasing the only source of income a band has is on the road and even then without these record sales they are struggling to fund their own tours.

I am not going to pretend that I don’t use Spotify, of course like most students (and teenagers) out there I pay for my premium and enjoy all the music the [Spotify] world has to offer. This is something I never said I would do, after the split of the favourite band I swore to myself that I would always buy my music and support the bands I love. But quite frankly on a student budget its easier to pay my monthly subscription, than purchasing every album that comes out- and this way I am still able to afford the concert tickets to all these bands tours. However, where possible I try to get the physical copies (I mean I did buy 5 copies of Modern Ruin….support your favourites lads 😉).

I know that the rock music industry is fragile and needs all the support it can get. I also know that the rock music industry has some of the most dedicated fans out there, its just sad to see so many amazing bands call it a day because people aren’t supporting their music.

With people carrying the mindset that “music is owed to them”, it is no surprise that every other week we are seeing the final tour dates of a band. So please go out and buy that album, support the music you love and I can tell you now you won’t regret it!!

Sorry that this post was a ‘rant’, but its a topic that has been bothering me for a long time now and just needed to get my view out there!

Sydney x

(ps. sorry this is my first post in ages…think its safe to say I failed my new years resolution, I am going to try an be a little bit more regular from now on, luckily I have found some new motivation for blog posts recently)

 

 

 

Modern Ruin/Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes.

As there are so many albums I am looking forward to this year I thought I would try something different. I am going to try ‘reviewing’ these albums, however not in your typical magazine way. Rather than reviewing the entire album as a whole, I am going to break it down by songs, giving personal opinion of each and the deductions I can make about the meaning behind the song. So here we go..

Bluebelle

Compared to ‘blossoms’ Bluebelle is a very calm approach to the beginning of Modern Ruin, probably making everyone scream “Is he going back to pure love again?”

Although it is nothing like Juggernaut, I think its the perfect ‘calm before the storm. It is quite clear (due to the duration and nature of the song) that Bluebelle is only an introduction to the album, however unlike most bands this intro song has substance. It is typical nowadays to hear a gradual build of loud noises (such as talking/chanting), however Bluebelle is extremely calm thoughout. Lyrically it also carries an extrememly moving message, about growing up- and almost realising that it is a good thing to grow.

Lullaby

As this song has been out a while I have grown to love it as much as blossoms. Frank has previously said Lullaby is about singing a lullaby to his daughter before she goes to sleep- which I think everyone can agree is absolutely adorable. When listening you can definitely see his message within the song, when listening I personally feel safe, protected and everything I did as a child when my parents would sing me songs before bed.

However I did find the placement of this track amongst the track list rather odd, I imagined it to be later in the album. But once listening to the album as a whole I have realised why it is the second track, it fits perfectly!

Snake Eyes

Again this song has been a fans favourite for a long time now, after releasing Snake Eyes back in Carter has teased fans for the new album. Snake Eyes also brought the band a wider fanbase as Radio stations loved this song (and so they should, it is amazing.)

My personal favourite part of this song has to be the bridge, the small “rattlesnake” detail accompanied by the “talking” Carter provides over the top, creates an harsh (yet awesome) contrast to the final choruses, something which I really appreciate in music.

Vampires

Is it just me that thinks that Vampires adds a little more ‘muse’ to the rattlesnakes? Admittedly this is only present at the bridge, but as the first time I heard this song was during the bridge my first impression was ‘Knights of Cydonia’ (No complaints here!)

Personally, I feel this song is about someone being trapped in a version of themselves they would no longer like to be in. “Breaking under the heaviest weight” to try and escape and become the person they wish to be.

Also can we please appreciate how Blossoms had ‘fangs’ and now we have vampires, although that probably wasn’t intentional I like to think the band did that for a reason.

Wild Flowers

For me this song tells a story, from the beginning lyric “Let me tell you a story about a girl I know” I immediately thought of this song as a story. In fact after a couple of listens I came to the conclusion that this song was in fact a love story. Rather than the typical boy meets girl happy ending story, Carter illustrates the story of boy meets girl, girl helps boy discover love.

Acid Veins

Okay, its here! The song I have been waiting for for years!! If I were to describe my music taste Acid Veins would be it. Whenever I listen to this song (which has been about 50+ times since the release) I feel like I am taken over. To me this song is indescribable. Possibly the best piece of music I have heard since I first heard since Weezer’s Red Album!

If I were to suggest one song for you to listen to from Modern Ruin it would have to be this one (however you should really go listen to the whole thing.)

God is My Friend

It took me a while to create an opinion for this song (I guess coming after the best song I have ever heard didn’t leave me with an open mind).  The more I listened, the more I loved it.

Again I feel that this song is another about finding yourself trapped. Trapped in a cycle of self hatred and doubt. A cycle which can destroy a person.  As the song progresses it brings more hope,  with the lyric “don’t be afraid, I won’t be long” Carter implies he is standing up against all of this self doubt, and in effect becoming a stronger person.

However, lets step away from this ‘deep’ moment, and appreciate how amazing this will be live!  Its full of energy, and I can imagine the crowd going absolutely cray every time this one is played (I am extremely excited!!)

Jackals

When I first heard Jackals it immediately reminded me of the hardcore scene; a fast, short and aggressive song.

Keeping in trend with the hardcore scene, Carter appears to be using his voice to identify the lack of voice his audience (society) have.

Thunder

If I were to compare Modern Ruin to Blossoms then Thunder would definitely need to be paired with Beautiful death. Both songs are absolutely beautiful, and both capture so much raw emotion.

For me Thunder highlights the horrors families are facing everyday and questioning why our country is choosing to neglect these situations rather than help.

I think songs like this are very important in todays society, music is a wonderful way for expressing yourself as well as spreading an important message.  It is really refreshing to see (hear) an artist using their platform to spread a message so important. (And its a bonus that its a beautiful song.)

Real Life

Like Wild Flowers, Real Life illustrates the idea of someone showing Carter love, rather than bringing him love.

The title ‘Real Life’ creates satire against the mainstream medias main portrayal of love today, Love isn’t a walk in the park, it isn’t as simple as “I love you” messages and flowers. Carter illustrates a more realistic view of how ‘love’ is, expressing his need for change, a need for lust, and the “colour” to come back.

Modern Ruin

For me (and possibly any girl that attended the last rattlesnakes tour) this song captures the feminist movement. I can’t listen to this song without remembering my first ever stage dive, and I am sure girls all over the UK feel the same!

Even listening to the song I feel empowered (and just want to party), it is the perfect stage dive song in general and the fact that he dedicated it to girls makes it even more special.

Neon Rust 

Such a beautiful end to such a beautiful album. To me this song highlights the deterioration of the society we live in. Using a constant environmental metaphor to express how ‘horrible’ the world around us becoming. Referring to the beautiful aspect of society as a “sweet golden rose”, contrasting it to the “wasteland” we are slowly finding ourselves enter.

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 17.54.20.pngThanks for reading. (Please remember these are all my own opinions, and please give this album a listen or two!)

Sydney x

 

Hello 2017!!

I guess this is where I am supposed to say “New year, New me” then list 1001 unrealistic goals that I have set for myself for the year ahead. Goals like “I will never eat chocolate again” (a goal which I have already failed- you just can’t say no to those christmas chocolates), or  “stop drinking for X amount of months” (I mean I have spent the day nursing my hangover, as they say starting the year as you mean to go on.)

However, I do have a few personal goals (more realistic) that I would like to achieve this year. I refuse to label these things as ‘resolutions’ because we all know that once you label something as a resolution all hope of you actually accomplishing these things are gone. But here are my goals for 2017:

  1. Continue to start motivated.

Since starting my degree I have struggled with keeping motivation, all throughout my GCSEs and A Levels I had the end goal of university to keep me motivated but once I got here I realised I had nothing to keep me motivated. Unlike most people I had no career goal, which in turn left me asking myself “why am I here?”

However, after months of questioning my personal career path I have finally decided, and once again have a goal to work towards. I hope this new motivation will help me plow though university, and consequently bring me closer to doing something I love.

2. Frequently upload on this blog. 

Alongside my motivation towards university I am hoping I will have better motivation when it comes to uploading on this blog. I really do enjoy sitting down and writing a blog post, but when I am trapped in university deadlines and revision writing a blog post is the last thing on my mind. I am going to aim for at least one upload every fortnight (every week if you’re lucky). I am really looking forward to having a hobby again, somewhere I can come to just destress.

3. Learn a new language. 

I know this one seems like an unrealistic goal, but it is one I have wanted to do for years. I am sick of putting things off and never actually doing the things I really want. This year I am not going to let my self doubt stop me, and hopefully end the year being able to communicate in another language (even if it is only asking for directions).

4.Be healthier. 

Like everyone I am entering the new year with the goal of eating healthy/ being healthier. However I REALLY want to achieve this, I want to cut out junk food and start looking after myself. Healthier fuel leads to a healthier mind, and I am so excited to explore a healthier lifestyle.

5.Tattoos

I really want to get a few more tattoos (and make better progress on my ‘leg sleeve’), I always said I wanted to have loads of tattoos and instead I am wasting my money on Ben and Jerry’s. So this year I want to save up and get a few tattoos (I mean I am 20 this year and only have 2?? I thought I would be covered by now!!)

So heres to 2017, I am so excited for what this year will bring. Lets hope it’ll be a good one.

Happy New Year!!!

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Sydney x

Time for a little catch up…Concerts?Musicals?The best night of my life??!!

Hello again,

I’m sorry its been so long since my last post, I have been sucked into a whirlwind of deadlines and procrastination.

Every day during this past month I have been telling myself to open this blog up and write a new post, but every single time I couldn’t think of any words to write. Truth is I felt like I had nothing to talk about, or at least worthy of talking about. Of course I could review the gigs I’ve been to, but every time I started a review, nothing. Absolutely nothing.

But now I feel like its the time to change that. First things first I feel I need to update you all on this past month.

TWIN ATLANTIC//PULLED APART BY HORSES. 

YPLAS,Cardiff. 

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Gig season has finally begun again and I am so excited, nothing beats a gig on a Sunday night- especially if its bands I adore.

I know I know I know, I have already seen both of these bands many times before but when Pulled apart by horses were announced as Twin’s support I knew I HAD to be there.

Unfortunately, I seemed to be the only Pulled apart by horses in the building. It wasn’t until the last song that crowd finally started to liven up a little, of course I can’t judge a band on the crowd but when you have seen the same band with a captivated audience a handful of times, it is really hard not to compare.  Another downside had to be the setlist. I do love every single Pulled apart by horses song, but the setlist was so focused on their new album (radio one friendly album) I felt like the band that stole my heart all those years ago wasn’t there. I understand that as a band they wanted to appeal to the wider audience at the show, but personally I feel like they would have had the crowd going if they didn’t just focus on their new album.

Headliners Twin Atlantic, stole the show (of course). Every time I see Twin the entire room is full of love and happiness. They know how to bring the happiness out in a crowd, giving their audience a chance to ‘escape’ from the stresses of real life. This is something I feel is important about live music, for years I have used concerts to escape from the real world. To forget about deadlines and exams, to cheer me up when life just seems to be throwing hurdles my way- for that I will always be eternally grateful for the bands I love and I will never stop going to shows. I can just tell that Twin provide the same feeling for every single person in that room, I have always had the best experiences at Twin shows and get just as stupidly excited about seeing them every time I get a ticket. The really made me feel ‘free’ (excuse the pun) and I know everyone around me felt the same- especially the two incredibly drunk guys dad dancing for a solid hour!!

GHOST THE MUSICAL 

The new theatre, Cardiff. 

One thing I haven’t really expressed my love of on this blog, is theatre. Plays, musicals, pantomimes- I love them all!

For years I have taken part in and enjoyed watching theatre, although I am less involved now I am at uni it will always hold a place in my heart. So when me and my flatmates saw that ghost the musical had seats left we HAD to go. We quickly bought the tickets and headed to the theatre the next day (I know it was SUPER spontaneous, but I have no regrets).

The show was phenomenal, despite Sarah Harding’s failed attempt at acting. Adding celebrities to musicals does not add anything to the story, if anything it distracts from the story itself. Going in I didn’t have high expectations (I mean, ghost without Swayze?? you must be crazy). Although Harding did disappoint the rest of the cast were incredible, they made me laugh, they made me cry (a LOT), but more than anything they entertained me. I know its their job, and the point of a show but the last thing you want is to be bored for a couple of hours thinking about the money you have wasted!

BRING ME THE HORIZON//ENTER SHIKARI

O2 Greenwich, London. Halloween show!!

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Yes thats right, I attended the gig of the year, the line up of dreams, and it was incredible.

For years I have been a fan of both Enter Shikari and Bring me the horizon- and when I say a fan I mean a BIG fan. I have seen them both grow into massive (arena) bands, and it has been an incredible journey!

When I first saw this line up I knew I had to go, I immediately opened my laptop on the hunt of tickets. Unfortunately, I was working when the tickets went on sale so I of course had resort to seated tickets (If you read my Muse review you will know the reason why I can’t stand seated tickets). During Shikari I had the same issues with seated tickets as I had with Muse earlier this year, people just don’t seem to have any fun!! Shikari put on an incredible show (Hoodwinker is insane live by the way) but I couldn’t get over the lack of crowd. Even during sorry you’re not a winner half the people in the arena clapped, when the norm is every single person clapping not hearing anyone near you clap is SO strange. Despite the crowd, I enjoyed every second of Shikari, them boys will never fail to amaze me!!!

The crowd finally woke up when BMTH came on, and quite frankly I would have been surprised if they didn’t. BMTH pulled out all the stops for this tour, with an incredible backdrop, an incredible setlist and each member gave it their all. I am sure you can imagine how pumped you are after seeing one of your favourite bands, then imagine having that feeling whilst watching another one of your favourites- I am very surprised I didn’t explode of joy/excitement. Every time I see BMTH they improve, and every time I think they will never be able to get better but they always do it. I am SO excited to see what the future has planned for them, whatever it is it will be MEGA!

FRANK CARTER AND THE RATTLESNAKES

The Fleece, Bristol. AKA THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE.

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 19.02.13.pngEver since the Blackout split in 2015, I have been on the hunt for a band the fill the hole in my heart. The Rattlesnakes filled that hole, and provided me with a new favourite band (Sorry The Blackout I will always love you). I just love the passion this man has for his music, the energy the band gives at a show and of course the incredible music they let out.

Earlier this year I went to go and see a band called Dagnasty with my dad, a show in the Fleece and as soon as I walked inside I saw the poster advertising this new Rattlesnakes show. I probably spent the next week talking about this show, getting excited for this show- I think the phrase I used most during this week was ” I am BUZZING.” Then tickets went on sale, possibly the most stressful experience as I knew it would sell out and I was at work- luckily my mum came to the rescue and secured them tickets.

Leading up to the show everything that possibly could go wrong went wrong: I had an essay deadline; it was raining; I missed my train; I even lost my ticket on the walk to the venue (cannot even describe how much I was panicking). By reading all of that you are probably thinking how this was the best night of my life,  I mean so far I have described it as a complete disaster.

But when playing their new song ‘modern ruin’ they dedicated it to all the girls, as Frank said “[he] grew up in a time where boys crowdsurfing was the norm, and [he] wants [his] daughter to grow up in a time where girls crowdsurfing is also the norm.” Immediately I was faced with out 10 men offering to help me up, which I replied nope! I had never crowd surfed before, my only experience is watching people fall face down into the crowd- something which really didn’t appeal to me. It took me the majority of the song to actually decide I was gonna do it, and I have gotta say it is amazing! Nothing like I thought. However, by the time I got onto the stage the song ended. So there I was stood on stage, with no song playing and absolutely no idea what to do- this moment should have been another disaster to my list of disasters that happened that day.

But no, Frank reached out took my hand and said “don’t worry you’ll get you’re stage dive” and then they burst into paradise.

Rewind a sec. He held my hand then dedicated a stage dive to me.

Held. My. Hand.

Perfect way to make my disaster of a day perfect! Not even Donald Trump winning the election brought down my mood the next day.

Incredible. I suggest all of you listen to Blossom (and Modern Ruin when it is released). and consider going to his next tour (tickets on sale tomorrow xo). It’ll be worth every penny I promise you!

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 19.02.24.pngSo yeah, aside from uni work this is what I failed to update you all on. I promise I will try not to leave it as long next time.  I am sorry its such a long post- it is literally as long as one of my essays, if only they were this easy to write! Thank you for reading.

Sydney x

*all pictures are my own*