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)

 

 

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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*

 

 

 

 

Hidden Cornish Treasures…

Over the past year I have realised how lucky I am to constantly be surrounded by beautiful scenery, especially whilst at home in Cornwall. I come form a town with 7 beaches meaning plenty of coastal paths, lots of harbours and the sea.

Since moving away from home I have realised how ungrateful I was to be surrounded by such lovely sites.  Now I don’t always have a sandy beach on my doorstep I have learnt to appreciate it more, meaning I now admire the little fishing villages rather than complain about the lack of things to do.

My mission this summer was to experience more of Cornwall, whether it be new places or places I have visited 1001 times, to surround myself with this beautiful scenery that I used to to advantage of. Unfortunately, due to work I haven’t been able to see as much of Cornwall as I had planned, but I always have many more years of visiting home to experience so much more.

Here is a list of my 4 favourite places in Cornwall, there is many more but most places in Cornwall that I love but they are all so similar and I thought I would show different aspects of Cornwall.

Port Isaac, North Cornwall

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A tiny fishing village situated on the North Coast, famous for being the home of the ITV show Doc Martin, Port Isaac is the perfect day out. Due to the attention from the TV show the village have tended to tourism with official merchandise as well as village tours -for the ultimate fan- however, they have not let this ruin their traditional Cornish village. The town is full with independent shops (something which I love the most about Cornwall), ice cream and pasty shops, and of course everything is based around the sea.

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Screen Shot 2016-09-14 at 10.53.29.pngLike most places in Cornwall, the town is surrounding a harbour which gives the town not only a beautiful view but the beautiful fresh air (sea water smells loads better than most of the fields around here).

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Lanhydrock, Bodmin

Lanhydrock is one of national trusts (and Cornwall’s) treasures, a beautiful mansion with around 900 acres of land. Obviously, with this amount of ground to explore you can imagine the adventures that can be had whilst at Lanhydrock.

The house itself is filled with traditional decorative interior, giving you a real insight to how the original owners of the property used to live their life. As I was always a child during my visits I never realised how amazing it was to walk around in the time capsule of the past. Even walking around places like Lanhydrock enable you to unintentionally take a quick history lesson, looking back on my visits here I now see where my fascination of Victorian times may have stemmed from. Likewise, the exterior of the building keeps the dream alive, converting an old barn into a coffee shop- keeping the beautiful exterior the same but adding another activity (for the more sophisticated)  to your day.

For me Lanhydrock housed so many of my adventures as a child, each time I visited I would discover and explore different aspect of the grounds. I loved and will forever love this place, it will always be one of my favourite places in Cornwall. I am so so so grateful for the National trust for preserving this building, as it helped enhance my childhood and I would like to think it can continues to do so for many generations to come.

Unfortunately I have no photographs of my own, but here is the National trust website : https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lanhydrock/features/discover-the-house-at-lanhydrock !!

Golitha Falls, Liskeard

Screen Shot 2016-10-09 at 17.15.57.pngIn Cornwall once you have a dog you seem to be accepted into a secret society, a society where you suddenly start talking to strangers in fields and it gives you the perfect excuse to explore Cornwall’s beautiful scenery.

One day my family and I decided to venture out and travel down to Liskeard to visit Golitha Falls, my mum had heard lovely things about the dog friendly woods so (to my sister’s disgust) we packed up the car and began our adventure. I think adventure perfectly describes our day out, unlike most people there we decided to not follow the footpath, thus ending up lost- of course my dog loved every second of this.

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However, before we got lost in the middle of the woods we decided to venture in and find a place to eat. Deciding on a spot in the heart of the woods, next to a river- which possibly wasn’t the best idea as my dog spent the entire time running in and out of the water covering us in the process. However, you can never beat a picnic in the heart of the woods, being amongst such wonderful scenery is so special- a massive reason I am grateful to live so close to places like this.

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After lunch we decided to venture further into the woods -following my dad, which was a big mistake. We ended up climbing through the trees, I am ashamed to say I struggled with this, converse are shoes that aren’t made for climbing up muddy hills. Luckily my 9 year old sister is a pro climber and helped me find the ‘easiest’ path to the top.

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I have to say though, once we made it to the top the view was incredible. You were able to see over the entire woods, you were able to see the tree tops, see the heads of people down below, hear the faint sound of the river running – it was SO peaceful.

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Although there isn’t loads of activities to do, its quite easy to spend a day loosing yourself amongst literature (both figuratively and literally). Another plus is the lack of phone signal, I know this would be most peoples worst nightmares but for me being able to detach myself form the outside world is so refreshing!!

Padstow, North Cornwall

Screen Shot 2016-10-09 at 18.40.31.pngMy final, and favourite, place on this list has to be Padstow. Like Port Isaac, Padstow is a small fishing village on the North Coast. However, I personally think Padstow is a lot prettier.

Screen Shot 2016-10-09 at 18.40.40.pngAlthough it only takes 5 minutes to walk around the whole village I feel you can spend hours there. Pottering in and out the shops, or enjoying some food from Rick Steins. Padstow is beautiful in the day and at night.

Recently I visited by getting a boat over from Rock, and the view was just incredible. There is something wonderful about being able to the sea wherever you turn. (Doing this also allows you to see two beautiful villages in one day)

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Thanks for reading, Sydney x

Reading Festival 2016!!

Two weeks later, one festival season done and I am still recovering from festival blues and festival flu- unfortunately. For those of you who aren’t familiar with these feelings, I envy you and also feel for you. These feelings are also the worst and best, of course you feel ill and are missing the festival life, coming back to reality after a festival is the worst!! But the festival it self is worth the comedown.

Unfortunately for me, I was thrown straight back into work- which is a massive reason behind the delay on this post. I guess its better late than never???

*WARNING: Moaning ahead (I’m sorry) *

As I have said previously, Reading Festival is a home away from home for me. This year marked my 6th reading festival- it is safe to say I have seen the festival change so much. Without moaning loads, I really do miss when Reading was predominantly a rock music festival. Back in 2011, we had to sacrifice 1 day of the beloved lock up stage for it become a dance stage, and it was brilliant.

Before you assume I am a music snob, I did actually go and watch some of the mainstream acts across the weekend- I left the chilli’s to see Stormzy. I really have nothing with the music, just the crowds they attract. The whole weekend was filled with 14-18 year olds gurning, which I found quite embarrassing. I am all for having a good time, but the state of these kids was disgusting. The worst part is I saw so many younger children, including my younger sister at the festival that would have witnessed these teenagers with uncontrollable jaws. I mean what actually was ASAP Rocky, possibly the most cringe worthy performance I have ever seen?  Yes. It is like someone gave a year 7 a microphone, constant pointless swearing, trying to play hard man? Lets not even talk about the ‘mosh pit’ he tried to create, I have seen better at a year 6 disco.

Now that I’ve got my moaning over lets talk about the brilliant aspects of Reading!!

Of course I have to mention Alan and Steve. Every festival goers favourite pair. If you are not familiar with these guys I do feel sorry for you. To me Alan and Steve perfectly symbolise the festival banter that goes down, which is probably 50% responsible for why I keep returning.

Before the festival even started I knew that Friday morning would be my highlight of the festival. Opening the main stage was Frank Turner followed by Frank Carter. For years I have been a massive Turner fan, so I knew starting my festival singing along in the sun to some of my favourite songs ever would be the perfect way to begin my festival. I think i possibly annoyed/entertained anyone with a hangover around me during his set, I sang my heart out and danced to my hearts content. Which is fine, aside from the fact that nobody around me seemed to be doing the same- which I changed when four simple word came on, I mean how can you not dance with everyone/thing you see when that song comes on??

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Now for my biggest highlight of the entire weekend: Mr Frank Carter. Over the past year, the rattlesnakes have slowly become one of my favourite bands- if not my favourite. So I knew that seeing them main stage would be amazing. And I was right. He really woke Reading Festival up!! Creating a massive circle pit, which circled the main tower in front of the stage, all within a matter of songs!! Throughout his whole set the crowd was full of energy, having an amazing time. Of course they ended with I hate you, which had an amazing reception. Despite the message behind the song, I think the main emotion in the air was love. The love of live music, the love of the festival and the love between fans.

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This photo was taken upon leaving the pit for Carter- sums it up really. 

Another highlight has to be of course the not so secret YMAS set. Recently I have gone off YMAS, just because my music taste has grown and they have started producing music that isn’t my cup of tea. However, I love their old tunes and always will. The tent of course was rammed, full of old a new fans. Luckily for old fans like myself they played a lot of old song, so I really got to have a massive sing along (which ended in me in a pit during bite my tongue of course!)

This the festival had a new jäger inspired stage, which held bands such as gnarwolves and the shikari sound system. The only downside to this stage was the queue to get in, the shikari sound system one must of been at least an hour and a half long so I had to give that show a miss. But I made sure I was there to see gnarwovles, and I was so glad I made the extra effort- you had to leave the arena so it did make this stage out of the way and more of an effort to attend. Of course, gnarwolves smashed it, when do they not? But this stage blew me away. It was sooo aesthetically appealing, with jäger being a constant theme. The stag was printed on the walls are you entered, then you were brought into a small barn with a stage which then continued into a beer garden. Its hard to believe that something so civilised would be at a festival, especially at Reading! I hope the jägerhaus becomes a regular thing at Reading, jäger and live music it has to be my ultimate happy place!!

A couple of stand out acts across the weekend have to be:

  • Asking Alexandria. When I was around 14 I was a fan of this band but never got the opportunity to see them, so I had to take up the opportunity. They were so entertaining, full of energy and the perfect end to my Friday night.
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan. Hearing that they are calling a day is such a shame, because they were so entertaining. Something really special, the lead singer spent the set sitting on a sofa, drinking tea and reading a newspaper, which is something that definitely doesn’t correspond with the music they were playing. Musically they are basically my ideal genre. I am gutted I only just heard about them as I am so ready to jump onto their musical journey, such a shame it is coming to an end.
  • Pulled Apart By Horses. Again another one of my favourite bands. Love, love, love this band. They are a band that I have been able to follow throughout the past couple of years and a band I will never get sick of seeing. They are bringing grunge back, and it makes me so so so excited!
  • Twenty one pilots. At the moment they are taking the world by storm, so of course the tent was packed. I did leave to catch pulled apart by horses but it was such a hard decision, twenty one pilots were so fun. Every single person was just dancing. Such an amazing band, and I feel so lucky to have seen them.

And my final highlight has to be watching Fall out boy with my younger sister. I forced her to listen to my music and FOB became her favourite band. It was really special to see her in her element watching her favourites. Reading introduced me to my favourites back in 2011 and allowed for her to see hers in 2016. So thank you Reading Festival, despite the toilets and drugged up kids you really are special. Love you Reading!!!

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Goodbye festival season, I will miss you. Until next year!!

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Also, shoutout to the employees that delivered weetabix milkshakes to everyones tent throughout the friday night. You are the real true hero of Reading 2016.