I went to see Crystal Fighters last night at the Shepherds Bush Empire, but I won’t be writing much of a review because I didn’t really feel very into it. The music was nice and the band were pleased with the packed out venue, but the crowd really annoyed me and I ended up moving right to the back where I couldn’t see anything. I ended up leaving before the end because I was just not enjoying myself. Luckily I saw them at both The Big Chill and Reading this year where I had a nice time, so it hasn’t tainted my live experience.

Plage was excellent though. I dare you not to smile when you listen to it.

In jewellery news I have booked a table at the Entertainment Media Show/Collectormania London on the 1st and 2nd of October. I wasn’t going to do it originally, but they have now announced David Tennant as a guest so I am there with bells on! I’ve booked photoshoots with the man himself, plus Arthur Darvill and Paul McGann so I’m very much looking forward to it. I may even find time to sell some jewellery! I’ve hopefully got some new designs coming soon so keep your eyes peeled for those.


Last night I got a pretty unique opportunity to see one of England’s biggest bands, Kasabian, playing a tiny venue. They were there to record for the Album Chart Show and I managed to bag some free tickets earlier in the week. They played 9 tracks to a rapturous audience, including a selection from their latest album. Tom seemed to be either hungover or ill, and was hiding his red eyes with some oversized sunglasses at first, but that didn’t stop him from putting his all into it and getting the crowd singing along. They closed the set with ‘Fire’ and the whole place went mental! I took a pretty bumpy video which I’ll try and upload. It was a nice teaser for the new album and I felt privileged to have seen them so up close, but I do wish they had played something from their first album. I’ll be going to see them at the O2 Arena in December anyway so I have high hopes for that gig.


Where Did All The Love Go?
Days Are Forgotten
Shoot The Runner
Vlad The Impaler
Switchblade Smiles

There’s a couple more at my Flickr page.

On Thursday I set off to Edinburgh for the first time for one reason, to see Arcade Fire. My love of them has really grown since The Suburbs came out last year, and after their amazing Hyde Park gig a trip to see them at Edinburgh Castle was too tempting to resist!

I arrived on Thursday afternoon, and after checking in to my hostel I decided to go and check out the Castle to see where they would be playing. As I got closer I could hear the band playing their soundcheck, and as I got closer still I realised that the esplanade was totally open due to tourists visiting the castle. I walked inside to see Arcade Fire performing their soundcheck to a small audience of fans and confused tourists! I was in my element! They ran through their set and included the track ‘Modern Man’, which was sadly absent from the set later that night, and then rather jokingly Win asked if anyone had any requests. Some fans in front of me yelled out their favourites, and as the rest of the band left the stage, Win and Regine stayed to play a lovely version of ‘Cars and Telephones’. I’m pretty certain I will never see them play that live again so it was a very special moment. When they had finished they came down to the side of stage and milled around for a bit, talking to people and having photos taken. It was totally surreal, and I’m so glad I decided on a whim to go up there early.

The gig itself was amazing as well, well worth the trip up to Scotland! I was on the barrier so I got some nice photos plus I had room to enjoy myself. I think they played the exact same tracks as Hyde Park but in a different order, with Power Out and Rebellion in the encore (as they should be!). I also bought myself a ‘Who the fuck is Arcade Fire?’ tshirt to add to my collection of band tshirts with fuck on them!


Ready To Start
Keep The Car Running
No Cars Go
Speaking In Tongues
Suburban War
Wake Up
Neighbourhood #2 (Laika)
The Suburbs
The Suburbs (Continued)
Month Of May
Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)
We Used To Wait
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)
Rebellion (Lies)

More on my Flickr page.

The next day I wandered around Edinburgh being a tourist, shopping and buying rubbish presents for people back home. All too soon it was time for me to go home, but I had a lovely time and I’d like to go back one year for the fringe festival.

More on my Flickr page.


So Reading Festival was amazing, just as I’d expected it to be! We had a bit of rubbish weather on the Thursday and Friday but it cleared up fairly quickly and we even had some rare sunny patches. Our camp was awesome and we had a great location, so it was smiles all round. We decided this year to go to White Car Park (Green Car Park has a 45 min walk before you even get to the camp site) and we camped at the back in Brown which meant we were all set up by midday, plus we didn’t have the hassle of being surround by 16 year old idiots.

As usual I saw too many bands to talk about them all, but I’ll list my favourites.

My Chemical Romance – They are at the top because they just blew me away. Absolutely incredible. I’ve never really been a fan of them, but I quite liked the new album so I figured I would go and see them, and I think now I’m a convert! They had the stage presence, the over the top outfits, a great show, and a perfect setlist. Then in the encore, when we thought it couldn’t get any better, they bring on Brian May for a cover of ‘We Will Rock You’ and to help out with ‘The Black Parade’. It was exactly what a headliner set should be and I hope they silenced all the people that were moaning about their booking.

Muse – A two hour set including the whole of Origin of Symmetry plus a selection of singles? I was always going to love this. The stage was a massive re-enactment of the album cover, the visuals were massive and the sound was perfect. The only thing that annoyed me was being surrounded by girls who were silent for the first hour, and then screamed along to Starlight.

Pulp – They came on, they played an hour of hits, Jarvis flirted with the audience and climbed the speakers, and their work was done. This was definitely one 90s band reunion that didn’t feel old or rehashed.

The Strokes – I don’t think a lot of people liked their set, due to a lot of album tracks and a weird order as they kept getting told they had to go off stage. I loved it, and I thought Julian was on fine form with his weird drunken ramblings and effortless rockstar cool. They even dragged Jarvis Cocker on stage to do a cover of a song no-one had heard of, but really enjoyed anyway. ‘New York City Cops’ and ‘Take It Or Leave It’ made up for the sad absence of ‘Heart In A Cage’.

Friendly Fires – It’s hard to watch Friendly Fires and not get an insatiable urge to dance, owing to the fantastic beats and Ed’s equally fantastic hip-shaking moves. I don’t think I danced so much during the whole of the rest of the festival. The Hawaiian dancers giving out leis to the audience were a nice touch.

The Kills – I took a friend to see these for the first time and warned her that Alison Mosshart was the most rock and roll person ever, and she came away agreeing wholeheartedly. It was a great performance, although they left out a lot of nice tracks from their earlier albums that seemed to leave a gap in the setlist.

Metronomy – They have slowly got better with each performance I have seen them do this year and this was no exception. The crowd were surprisingly into it (usually their crowd consists of a few fans and some people who know Heartbreaker) and I danced lots, although not as much as for Friendly Fires.

Simian Mobile Disco – Even if you don’t like the music or the dancing, it’s worth watching these guys just to see the bizarre central setup of computers, synths and twiddly knobs, with the two members circling the peripheral while they create their sounds. Luckily for me I enjoy the music and the dancing as well, and a set that included ‘Cruel Intentions’ and ‘Hustler’ made me very pleased.

The Offspring – Not the best I have ever seen them perform and the young audience were a bit lacklustre (they clearly didn’t grow up on Americana like myself and my friends!), but they played all the songs a fan would want to hear so our camp loved it for the nostalgia value.

Here is a selection of photos for your amusement. I think I need a lie down to recover before I set off on my Edinburgh adventure!

Having a relax after setting up the tent

Patrick Wolf

Animal hat friends

Our group for the whole of the Offspring

The Kills and their fantastic backdrop

My mum and my aunt on Pulp/Strokes day

Mr Jarvis Cocker himself

Tim Minchin

A very bad side view of Muse


It’s been a busy week already, what with packing for Reading Festival, planning schedules for Reading Festival, talking about Reading Festival… did I mention I’m excited for Reading Festival?! I’ve also managed to cram in a gig and a show, CSS at XOYO on Tuesday and Batman Live at the O2 Arena tonight. It was also a nice little test of my new camera’s abilities, so hopefully you should see a return of photos with my gig reviews from now on.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the CSS gig, as they had been away from the music scene for a while and their last album was not too well received, but the tickets were cheap and I decided it would be a fun night regardless. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised as their newer stuff seems to be a return to form and I’m definitely considering buying the new album, La Liberacion, after seeing bits of it live. There was also the usual selection of crowd pleasers and the audience were clearly having a blast dancing along. Lovefoxxx has ditched her trademark catsuits but she is still ever the eyecatching frontwoman and was frequently clambering into the front row and throwing playful banter at the crowd. It was a nice gig, better than the last time I saw them, and I hope I manage to catch them again soon.

Tonight I went with my brother to see Batman Live, which is billed as a kind of family show loosely telling the story of Batman with lots of lights, costumes and acrobatics. I was quite pleased to see that around half the O2 were without children, so clearly Batman has universal appeal! It was a very impressive show with the outfits and fight scenes being the particular highlights. The acting and script for Batman and Robin were pretty laughable, but it was all still very good fun, and the Joker and Harley Quinn’s scenes more than made up for it.

There are a few more pictures on my Flickr set.

Tomorrow we go to READING, so expect my writeup and photos in a week or so.