30 day writing Challenge – Day 20: concerts you have attended

⁃ Tom Odell

⁃ Tom Grennan x3

⁃ The pretty reckless

⁃ Vance Joy

⁃ Eliza and the Bear x2

⁃ Taylor swift

⁃ T4 on the beach

⁃ T4 stars of 2009

⁃ Jingle Bell Ball

⁃ George Ezra

⁃ V festival

⁃ Fiery foods festival

⁃ Two door cinema club

⁃ The courteeners

⁃ The Lumineers

⁃ Zara Larson

⁃ The wanted x2

⁃ Amy Winehouse

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30 day writing Challenge – Day 6: name a musician that means a lot to you

My absolute hero and inspiration is Amy Winehouse. She was troubled and soulful and the most beautiful artist I ever had the privilege to hear perform live before she tragically died 3 days later. Her downtrodden life was beautifully revealed in her song writing and I am so sad that I am never going to be able to co-write a song with her (I’m sure it was a pipe dream anyway).

Everything’s coming up Grennan…

Last night marks the third time I have watched Tom Grennan perform live, and he just gets better and better with every gig. His vocals are pure, and raw, and his lyrics are epic. Altogether it’s a killer ensemble, especially with Howard Eastwood’s skilled fingers bursting out wicked melodies on the keys.

I have broken my rule. Usually I try not to see the same artist over and over (at least not until I’ve seen someone new) but when it comes to Tommy G I just can’t stay away. In cases like this, I have ended up buying tickets to more shows before I’ve even been to the first ones.

I have seen him perform at Bush Hall, KoKo and now The Waterfront. I actually travelled to Norwich for the weekend so that I could see him perform. And boy did he perform.

Tom Grennan has so much character that comes across in bounds while he plays. He’s funny, charming, and has a severe potty mouth – all that adds to his incredible stage presence. Every time I see him my mind is blown. It is an honour to be a St Mary’s alumni with you!

Tom truly is an inspiration too. He is 22 years old and comes from a little town in Bedford, discovered he enjoyed singing (and was good at it) while doing some karaoke and is now blowing up all over the world. He’s played some pretty major festivals and the line up for his career is only growing. His degree in drama shows through his charismatic stage presence and confidence in himself.

With the sold out UK tour happening now, make sure you catch him at O2 Brixton Academy on October 16th- it’s going to be one hell of a show!

Congratulations Tom- this couldn’t have happened to a better bloke!

Post concert blues 

I saw the Lumineers and they ruined my life..

Do you ever hear a song that means so much to do, and then find out how powerful and meaningful the lyrics actually are? That happened to me last night. 
I went to The Lumineers concert in Hammersmith (a belated birthday present from my favourite person) and they ruined my life. 
The band, made up of: Neyla, Wesley and Jeremiah, are a folk-rock band from Colorado. Their quirky sound and emotive songs create a dynamic and unique sound. 
The group performed their song ‘Charlie Boy’ which I originally heard be played in Reign, but before performing it they gave us a little insight about what it meant. The song stands against war and how the loss of a life can affect somebody. I was crying by the end.
Folk music is such an underrated genre. The only female in the band, Neyla, plays the cello. I find that so incredible, she has such a talent and it was euphoric to watch her perform.
The lead singer, Wesley, has so much charisma and stage presence, it was a miracle I didn’t run up on stage to dust with him. His voice is so raw, I was enticed.
At one moment, the band ditched their microphones, saying they ‘missed the intimacy of a small venue’ and the crowd watched in silence as they sang ‘where the skies are blue’ and I was in awe of how respectful the fans were. 
I had terrific seats, section 4 of the circle, right in the middle of the action. From the moment I sat down, I knew how different this gig would be to any that I was used to. I was surrounded by Americans, who clearly didn’t know the British etiquette: don’t show emotion, don’t stand up, and don’t get drunk. My friend and I thought it was funny.
I can’t express how important live music is. If you have a favourite singer/band, go and see them live. It is such a euphoric feeling. The intimacy and insight you get from watching your favourite artist is incredible, and you learn so much about their process and life. So incredible. And you find yourself lost in a crowd of people who feel exactly the same things as you. 

Writing Challenge: Day Sixteen

What are your opinions of mainstream music? 

While pop music isn’t my go to genre, and I am the worlds biggest music snob, I will hold my hands up and admit that some of the artists are great. For example, DNCE with Cake By The Ocean is such an amazing tune. And The Chainsmokers with Closer makes my heart do a backflip.

So while I would much rather listen to indie and alternative rock, pop music will always hold a special place in my heart, as I know that when I am out, in a club, smashed off my face, it will be pop music that I can get up and dance too, which is all I look for in a song really. 

The song gets bonus points if it’s ridiculously catchy. 

Writing Challenge: Day Eleven

Put your iPod on shuffle and name the first twenty songs that play. 

Since I don’t have an IPod, I just chose my most recently played playlist on Spotify, put it on shuffle and listed the first twenty songs to play. 

  1. Ariana Grande- side to side
  2. Childish Gambino- V.3005
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers- hump de bump
  4. Stereophonics- handbags and gladrags
  5. Fun.- we are young 
  6. The Temptations- my girl
  7. David Guetta- hey mama
  8. Bro Safari- bender
  9. Eliza and the Bear- it gets cold
  10. Tom Grennan- something in the water
  11. Gotye- somebody that I used to know 
  12. Suzerain- what happened
  13. Chase and Status ft Tom Grennan- all goes wrong
  14. Mumford & Sons- I will wait
  15. Maroon 5- harder to breathe
  16. Creedance Clearwater Revival- fortunate son
  17. SIA- cheap thrills 
  18. Toto- Africa 
  19. Childish Gambino- sober 
  20. Jamie T- rabbit hole

The cavern meets the Beatles?


Last night saw the return of The Beatles to The Cavern…

Okay well not quite. My uncles played an acoustic set at The Cavern in Raynes Park, and as per usual they absolutely smashed it! 

The first half of their act was dedicated to various acoustic numbers, crowd pleasers if you will, where they performed songs such as ‘I believe’, ‘You do something to me’ and ‘Lucky old son’ (which has an emotional connection to our family). Each time my uncles perform these songs, it takes my mind back to when I was little and they would grab their guitars during a family barbecue and sing. It was the most euphoric experience in my childhood, and I’ve had almost 22 years of beautiful music to listen to because of their brilliant talents.

In case you are wondering, the musical genius doesn’t reach me or my brother, although we have dabbled in musical instruments throughout our childhoods. My brother played the drums, and he was quite good until he gave it up. I played the keyboard, which I wasn’t that into towards the end, but I did learn how to play ‘wonderwall’ by oasis, so that’s pretty cool. I know 3 chords on the ukulele, and sometimes that’s all you need to know. (Not always, man it can get tricky). 

The second act of ‘The Beatles at the Cavern’ brought us a solid 45-minutes of Beatles songs. Usually when I hear tribute bands (although, The Loudshirts are no tribute act) they just play the classic, which is great, but I have a top 10 list of my favourite Beatles songs, and I rarely get to hear them be covered because they aren’t the most popular songs. But Misters Jeff and Gary Summers took me by surprise, and covered four of my favourite songs! I knew, of course that they would perform ‘Hey Jude’ because that is a Beatles classic, but I almost teared up when I heard the first notes from ‘and I love her’, ‘Norweigan wood’ and ‘in my life’. ‘In my life’ is another song that has an emotional connection to our family. 

As we had all gathered to celebrate my mum’s birthday, my uncles shouted her out, and everybody sang. Now that is MY idea of hell, but I know my mum loved every second of it. My uncles know how to make every member of their audience feel incredibly special, even with just a look or a thumbs up. I’m serious, the last few times I have gone to watch The Loudshirts play a gig, uncle Jeff has shouted me out just before playing ‘feeling good’ which is one of my favourite songs.

The Cavern, Raynes Park, is very quirky. Posters and images of musical legends completely cover the walls. Behind the stage where my uncles perform is a shrine to John Lennon. I live for it! This is a great life, a great family to be born into. 

I’ll always know music because I learned from the best. My uncles, my heroes. Thank you for my childhood. 

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