First matter of the day, as always, is gigs. I actually had a break from gigging last week when I went to see a musical instead! It was the national touring production of Spring Awakening at the Greenwich Theatre, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I missed out on the west end version a few years back as I had stupidly assumed it would be there for a while, so I’m glad I managed to catch this version. I took a friend who had never seen a musical before and it was pretty amusing to watch her reactions.

Even more must-see gig tickets have been released this week and last, and I’ve had to put a fair few on my to-buy list as I’m currently saving my spare change for Glastonbury. The list includes Amanda Palmer, Patrick Wolf, Yuck, Bombay Bicycle Club, Combichrist and possibly Arctic Monkeys at the O2 Arena.

Of course there was a gig last night as well; We Are Scientists at Koko. It was a sell-out show and by the time I arrived around 8pm, the floor was already packed with eager fans. I only caught the second support act, Tall Ships, but I was very impressed by them. They were a bit like Biffy Clyro crossed with Radiohead using loops to intricately layer their guitars, definitely one to watch in the future. We Are Scientists managed to pack a surprising number of hits into their hour and 15 min set, so much so that the teenagers around me barely stopping pogoing in excitement. It was a lovely mix of tracks, with each album getting a pretty equal representation. Their trademark stage banter added to the entertainment and I was particularly amused by their tales of how they claim to be a band from London now that drummer Andy Burrows has joined their ranks. I’m pretty sad that they aren’t at any of my festivals this year. I’ll be needing some form of Autumn gig to keep me going until the next album.

Nice Guys
Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt
I Don’t Bite
This Scene Is Dead
Rules Don’t Stop
Break It Up
Chick Lit
It’s A Hit
The Great Escape
Can’t Lose
Jack & Ginger
Foreign Kicks
After Hours

It’s all busy on the jewellery etc. front, as I have some exciting new ideas for designs and canvas bags. I may be selling at a Craft Market in Brick Lane in July too, so look out for more information on that.

Next week I will be MIA for a while as I’m off to Glastonbury Festival. I’m pretty excited as it’s my first time going, and not even the predictions of rain have put a dampener on my spirits. Although I’ve bought some new wellies as a precaution.. I’ve been working out my timetable of bands to see, although I’m still not sure how many of them I will get to. It’s easy at Reading as nothing is more than 5 minutes away, so you can watch half the set of one band and then sprint to another stage for half of another. At Glasto I’ve been told it can take up 30 mins between stages, and that’s in good weather! I think I’ll just have to take it easy and go with the flow, and as long as I see Queens of the Stone Age I don’t really care!


New Year

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a nice time over the holidays. My main present was the new camera lens so I didn’t get much else in the way of gifts, but I ate a lot of food, drank a lot of alcohol and sang some bad karaoke. New Year’s Eve was spent in a similar fashion and I’m feeling quite tired today.

2010 was a good year for me and I managed to reach a lot of goals that I had set for myself. One of them was to do more gig photography, and I ended up shooting Amanda Palmer, Placebo and a whole host of awesome bands at Offset Festival. Another was to revamp this website and get my jewellery business off the ground, which has gotten off to a good start thanks to all my wonderful customers. I also wanted to make good progress on my Open University degree, and my 94% pass on my first unit has certainly bolstered my confidence.

Other highlights of the year include going to New York on my own and meeting Zachary Quinto, a whole host of awesome festivals over the summer, and seeing some incredible bands for the first time like the Pixies, Chemical Brothers and Suede. Here’s to hoping 2011 is just as good.

To end, I have compiled a list of my top 10 albums of 2010.

It’s been a bit of a difficult year for this, as a lot of my favourite bands didn’t release anything this year, so I’ve had to rely on new bands or unexpected surprises. You may be able to guess my number one album, as I’ve blathered on about it nonstop since it was released.

10. Klaxons – Surfing The Void
This was a nice follow-up from Klaxons, although slightly predictable. It was more of the same Klaxons formula that we know and love, but I feel they could have tried to push the boat out a bit more. The title track was a favourite of mine though.

9. Blood Red Shoes – Fire Like This
Not quite as amazing as their first album, but still pretty damn good. Blood Red Shoes make effortless post-punk garage rock that is anthemic and so danceable. Light It Up and Heartsink were fantastic choices for singles.

8. We Are Scientists – Barbara
I wasn’t sure what to expect from We Are Scientists after their last album pretty much divided opinions. On it’s first listen, Barbara looked like it was going to be mostly forgettable, but after a week or so a lot of the songs stayed firmly rooted in my mind. It’s definitely a grower, and I Don’t Bite was one of my songs of the year.

7. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II
This was another album which turned out to be a grower. In the beginning only a few tracks really stood out (most notably Baptism) but as I listened I ended up liking it more and more. They moved away from their trademark bleepy screechy sounds to give some more melodic vocals a try, and it definitely worked. They released a version of Not In Love with Robert Smith on the lead vocals and I was bowled over. It made such a gigantic change to the whole dynamic of the track! Another one of my favourite songs of the year.

6. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
If according to the rumours that this is LCD Soundsystem’s last album, then at least they went out with a bang. I knew this was going to be a big album even before it was released and it didn’t disappoint. Absolutely packed full of tunes like Drunk Girls and Pow Pow, I love to put this album on and just get lost in it.

5. Foals – Total Life Forever
Foals did this year what The Horrors did last year: Ditch the direction of their mediocre debut album, and release a phenomenal second album. Who would have thought the band that brought us the mildly irritating strains of Cassius would go on to produce the beautiful Spanish Sahara? The songs are more strung out and quietly grandiose than on the first album and it generally feels like they have grown up as a band.

4. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
This album is a wonderfully eclectic mix of styles, from the electronic 80s pop of Stylo to the oriental-rap mashup of White Flag. They use guest vocalists to their full, with almost every track having a different singer, and it works incredibly well and somehow doesn’t make the album feel disjointed. Standout tracks for me are Empire Ants and Rhinestone eyes.

3. Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Blood And Fire
With a revolving lineup of guitarists and their last full length album released 6 years ago, I did not have high hopes for this album at all. But it was a stomping, screeching, growling return to form and I love every song on it. They even managed to squeeze in a rousing singalong ballad in the form of So Long Goodnight.

2. Chemical Brothers – Further
Seeing this album live in its entirety with beautiful fullscreen visuals has probably coloured my opinion, but it’s near perfect. I think to be appreciated most it needs to be listened to in full, but the tracks still do work on their own as well. I challenge anyone to listen to Escape Velocity and not want to dance!

1. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Of course this was my number one! I’ve listened to it a ridiculous amount since it came out, and I still love it. A lot of people were bitching and complaining when Arcade Fire were announced as Reading Festival headliners, but this album has cemented their headliner status. Their songs are made to be seen in a large crowd, with everyone around you singing and dancing like mad. The Suburbs, Rococo and Sprawl II are probably my favourites.


I say this every year, but I’ll say it again. This year was the best Reading Festival ever! There was a wonderful combination of great company, great bands and great weather. It only actually really rained on the Thursday when we arrived so the campsite was muddy, but the arena was nice and dry. I already have my ticket for next year! It’s been too long now to do a mini review on every band I saw (34 this year), but I will list my favourites instead.

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