Tag Archives: life

Cold Blood, Ants and ‘The Other Woman’

16 Jun

I have been home alone for the majority of this week as Stevie was away with work, so I am feeling a little delicate. Bear with me, this may not be the hilarious tour de force it has been previously. Once upon a time we lived at opposite ends of the country for a few months and it was slighty reminiscent of that except much less romantic and much more boring and stressful. Ireland was kind to Stevie, our children were not to me. He ate carpaccio and duck, I ate tinned ravioli and left over fish finger, singular. He slept in a king sized bed, I slept in a mass of limbs and snoring toddlers. It wasn’t all bad, I have a wicked tan from being outside all week to avoid the inevitable cabin fever that comes from zero adult interaction- single parents, I doth my cap! Here I am driven by Pinot Grigio and After Eights (God I am such a cliche) ready for review number 3.

There are already rumblings of discontent because I have expressed certain views on this weeks songs, I wait with baited breath as to whether we will still be talking in an hour or so but if not, it won’t be that different to when he was away and I got a lot of shit tele watched over the last few days so… If watching ‘Jeremy Kyle’ on catch up TV is a crime, arrest me now because I am guilty as charged.

 

Alt J: In Cold Blood

7/10

I have heard this several times on the radio, sort of in the background when I’m driving about and it never grabbed me. I am always pleased when it comes on but never pay it much attention. It has a bit of a James Bond theme tune vibe which is probably down to the brass but that isn’t very fashionable. However, the big brassy sound is unexpected and gives it depth which is much needed as it is bloody repetitive. The music seems really considered, it is multi layered and complex which kind of highlights how lazy the lyrics are, it really reminds me of the robot song from ‘Flight of the Conchords’. A Parody of a good song. BUT and it is a big but, it is so cool and nonchalant and sexy. It makes me want to be an edgier and more exciting person (it wouldn’t be hard!) I want to run away to the indie circus and teach lions to play ‘Seven Nation Army’ on a yamaha keyboard. It has a great Fargo-esque video that is probably better than the song. The fact that I don’t really have anything funny or clever to say about it usually suggests that I am into it. Shit.

 

Starcrawler: Ants

9/10

Urgh, I fucking love this.

It reminds me of a time in my life where I loved Joan Jett and Brody Armstrong. Around 2004 I used to watch P-Rock on Sky and wear a shirt and tie, fish nets and tartan mini skirt. I was doing my A Levels at a girl’s school, stuck in rural Northamptonshire, looking at the beautiful countryside and seething internally because I was so bleeding punk and it was desperately sad that I had been born into the least punk life anyone has ever had. I had been condemned to a life of privilege with nothing to be angry about except the lack of things to be angry about. I can hear Stevie snorting derisively in my head as I type this but I imagine 75% of punks are from the same background. It is quite often the pursuit of people with quite a lot of spare time and not much to be cross about.

The song is hair metal meets punk in 2017 which is a difficult concept to visualise. It is also a song entirely about ants but it’s simple and sublime. No messing, androgynous front woman with a penchant for jumpsuits and mullets, deffo totally sensational live. Everything about it is really refreshing but comfortingly familiar.

 

 

Marika Hackman: Violet

6/10

Stevie is well into a new wave of 90’s grunge inspired female singers/bands. I had heard one of her other songs being played in our house so had an idea of what to expect. Let me start with a disclaimer: I didn’t like 90’s grunge the first time around and as much as I love love love the influx of women who don’t feel the need to be ‘sexy’ to be successful I find it far from groundbreaking, musically. I also get the feeling that I am in the minority with this opinion. General consensus of this tune by everyone but me: V. Cool. I struggle to be blown away by this song and I know that Stevie loves it so I am expecting a backlash.

I want it to be interesting and there is a string section that took me by surprise but it is all so VANILLA. Yes it mixes things up a bit and I am pretty sure Kurt Cobain had the same t shirt but it is so contrived. It is girls in boys clothes singing breathy, uninspiring songs about the weather (sorry Stevie!!) It is like someone saying that they ate bacon in a hot cross bun. It sounds weird and exciting initially but gradually you realise that people have been eating pork with fruit for hundreds of years and it is just a slight variation on a tried and tested formula. Good effort, pleasant enough but I am unlikely to hand the HP over any time soon.

R.I.P my marriage. We have weathered many a storm like the time I threw a tea bag and hit him in the eye, twice. We have survived my hatred of boxing and the fact that I will categorically never go to Las Vegas. We are still together even though I am a hypocrite by my own admission and he hates ‘The Real Housewives of Cheshire’. We did so well until ‘Marika Hackman gate’. If that isn’t irreconcilable differences then I don’t know what is.

Share this review. I need all the help I can get.

 

Blondie, Big Thief and Bad Reggae.

4 Jun

I am back, like a lingering smell the review has returned! Is it good. Is it bad? It’s hard to tell. Like a ripe Brie, some people love it and others are repulsed. Anyway, plenty of smell analogies there to be going on with so we will move on.

Last week and this week have all been music that Stevie has mixed opinions on which makes for an exciting (in the scheme of a stay at home mum, exciting) Mr and Mrs style competition. Will we like the same songs? Who will be offended first/the most? It is a risky Russian roulette of music reviews and marriage that could end in death or passive aggressive muttering and I am not sure which is worse. Next week is all music that he genuinely loves and as I have already stealthily acquired a chicken coop against his wishes, I may well find myself on the end of a particularly barbed comment about which way up I leave the spoons on the drying rack, if we don’t agree.

Hopefully this week I am safe and our family will remain intact…for now.

 

1. Blondie: Long Time

5/10

I LOVE Debbie Harry, she is and was so fit and cool. Those pins, that hair and the attitude! Sadly this is not reflected in the latest release (sorry to pull the rug). It starts with the promise of original, true to form Blondie. I was pretty excited and the video uses sunglasses as a clever way to disguise that anyone has aged since 1985, because God forbid celebrities should succumb to the ravages of time. Opening reminds me of that Christmas song ‘Christmas Rapping’ without the ‘clever’ pun. It is fun and lighthearted and then we trail off into a damp squib of a chorus- massive let down.

It’s not very edgy. It is mum-friendly, but not me mum-friendly, my mum mum-friendly. I saw a video of a load of middle aged women, dancing to a tribute band in their white cropped trousers and nice blouses the other day. They had been at a wine tasting and I thought how much they would love this song. They would be kicking off their mules and really letting loose to this one.

I was disappointed and maybe I expected too much as it is a good effort but ‘I can make everybody want to be your friend’ sounds like Debbie is singing to an over indulged toddler and I get enough of that in my day job.

 

2. Big Thief: Sharksmile

9/10

This is superb. It has so many delicious, guilty pleasure influences. It has hints of Journey and Dolly Parton with a splash of Lana Del Ray minus the excessive pouting and remains totally current and gloriously understated (deffo been watching too much Masterchef) Also reminds me a bit of early First Aid Kit which is a firm favourite in our house.

It is really hard to put your finger on why some songs speak to you in a way others don’t. At the risk of being cliche I can imagine listening to it on my way to a dive bar, with the roof down, late at night in America. It is all the angst and excitement that I imagine you get when you might meet you soul mate over a bottle of Corona (I am busking here). It is hard to picture anything more extravagant than that after several months of being in bed by 11 pm and driving an SUV crossover with the ‘Trolls’ soundtrack played on a loop for eternity but escapism is what makes any amazing song such a treat. We will be free again one day…right?

 

 

 

3. Wrongtom, The Ragga Twins: Woah.

4/10

Oh God, it is so not for me. I feel bad for even saying that because I get the feeling that in it’s field people probably really rate it. Unfortunately I don’t get it at all. It is repetitive and lacks any of the warmth or charm I associate with Reggae and Ska. It has a sexy, 80’s sax vibe going on in the background which jars with the pounding juggernaut that is the the melody. I sort of wonder when the appropriate time is to listen to this? Stevie likes to walk home to this which isn’t totally ridiculous.

Potentially it would be a really great tune to listen to when you have taken a load of speed and want to walk to Brighton to see a mate you knew 3 years ago. It would definitely keep you going for a while but even in that scenario, eventually you would begin to feel like you are being hit over the head and the crushing realisation that Brighton is 150 miles away and you never liked that lad anyway would set in. You’d be left just standing, listening to a really aggressive song that you don’t know any of the words to.

So, yeah, that.

 

 

 

 

If you like this then share it! I am beginning to find that I like writing the negative reviews a lot more than the positive ones which sort of sums me up as a person.

 

 

New Year, New Me? The truth, the whole truth and nothing but…

20 Jan

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So I have been neglecting my blog a little, well a lot since last year and I have missed it. I think sometimes you need to take a step back and have a look at the reality of life otherwise you will forget to live it. I have been living life like a lunatic, I got married in August and settled down to the suburban ideal. Weddings are not without their niggles and it is rarely the things that you stay awake worrying about that will cause problems on the day. It tends to be the unforeseen and unpredictable elements and people that rear their ugly heads on the day. In reality though you kind of have to just go with the flow, don’t expect too much of anything and you will never be disappointed. I have spent every single New Year that has been planned and anticipated for weeks with a sense of blah. The night will never be as electric and you will never look as enigmatic or the food will never be as good or the music as cool or the people as sexy as they were in your mind on December 29th or if that isn’t your bag then the porn you downloaded won’t be as hardcore as you anticipated or the popcorn you bought will be slightly stale…what I am getting at is that you will feel slightly let down and cheated by your over ambitious imagination. The same goes for your wedding day and life in general. I am not suggesting that you should remain cynical and uninvolved with the world ‘just in case’. The expectation of a fall is often followed by just that as we all know but you should be prepared to lose control, handover the reigns to the universe and think fuck it, what will be will be.

It has been a long and difficult process to get to this point of view, my battles with OCD and anxiety have been well documented in this blog and really I am a meticulous planner, I had lists and table plans and more lists and spent hours scouring the internet for florists and dresses and bridesmaid shoes (nearly killed me) I was a hideous bridezilla at the rehearsal ‘don’t speak to me, I just need you all to leave me alone or I will cry’ and the following dinner. But what I took from my wedding day was that if you believe that no matter what happens you will have an amazing time and it will be a truly magical day then it will be. You can breathe deep and just let go, it is a terrifying and liberating feeling. I promise. With an attitude like that you can spill so much wine over yourself that your fingers go pruney, chase Ukrainian tourists with video cameras from your wedding venue and forget to speak to at least half your guests without a care in the world (I also managed to break the strap of my dress during the first dance and bleed all over said dress pre photos)

My therapist told me that your truth is the truth. Obviously this is a very broad statement and if your truth involves deliberately hurting others or anything illegal then perhaps you should skip this section but widely speaking if you are happy and content with your lot then you have enough. That is what makes us all so unique and it leads to a wonderful place where nobody can really alter your reality. There are certain papers that I no longer read and certain people that I don’t associate with because their influence lead me to feel badly about my looks, finances, life choices etc. I have been led to think that I am not thin enough, rich enough or successful enough by outside elements but if you can believe that you have plenty then you do, if you believe you are good at your job then you are, if you believe that you are beautiful then it is true and if you believe that the world is going to the dogs then it is. It works both ways and the truth is a very powerful thing.

What I am trying to say is, that in this day and age when life is so stressful and expensive and our expectations of the future are either very high or very low it is important to remember that being happy, being content and being a dignified and decent person is enough. If you know these things to be true then the character of life; the excitement, the pain, the unexpected detours and the heartache, the wins and the losses are what makes it all so special…just like the drunken arguments, the ruined shoes and the tears of joy on your wedding day.

A train ride and a pat on the back.

19 Nov

I have been thinking and talking a lot about journeys this week. I come from a background that has been touched by agoraphobia. My great grandmother was terrified of the world for as long as I knew her and refused to leave the house. As a child I had the same issues. I found the unpredictable nature of the outside very scary and refused to go out without parents until quite a late age. This fits into the physical side of journeys. When I was first diagnosed with OCD and phobic anxiety last year I really struggled with even the shortest of journeys. One of the major things that set off crippling panic attacks that occasionally resulted in loss of conciousness was being to far away from home or being in an environment that was too open, too out of my control. After the first horrible panic attack (on a train from Manchester to Liverpool) I really struggled to leave the house for several months. Not ideal at 24 years old with a job that was at least an hours commute each way. Even recently I had a wobble on a ten minute train journey to a catwalk rehearsal. I don’t try to look to deeply into why this happens. I know the causes are a lot to do with my need to be in control of a situation and as we all know public transport can be a real pain in the arse when it comes to reliability, for some reason this rocks my psychological boat.

In my experience, journeys can be fairly traumatic. They can also be really wonderfully, positive. A journey in the literal sense is travelling from one place to another, I have moved from my home town to London then fours years later to Brighton and then all the way up to Liverpool, quite a trek, 300 miles or so I believe. I have also come along way personally. Yes I have had a pretty shitty time overs the last year or so but as things start to look up I can peek back and think wow I have come a really long way.

I think in life we spend our time looking to the future and planning our next step. It isn’t particularly sexy or cool to look back and think well done you, look what you have made for yourself. If life is a struggle at the moment and you have some how wound up in a bit of a mess think about the things you have achieved, no matter how small.

I spent my time beating myself up about not being able to do my lovely, exciting fashion industry job. I beat myself up about not being able to go for a drink and for ending up on the dole and skint. However, I have lost 5 stone since I was 16, become a model and kept it off over 9 years, I have moved 3 times in 7 years and every time I have made new friends and a new life for myself. I have managed to find the marbles that I lost last year and put myself back together. I have an amazing relationship, a fabulous Victorian period flat with super high ceilings, a group of friends that I actually like rather than a vacuous bunch of rich bitches (another story all together) and I did all this, by being myself I can look back over my journey and tip my hat to fate for the little bit of help I was given but most of all I can feel really proud that I have achieved this much so far and if you have managed to build yourself a little life however dull or insignificant it might seem, who knows what you might end up doing in the future!

It sounds ridiculous but even if I end up on the streets in the future nobody will be able to take away what I have already done. That is really bloody comforting.