Barn on The Farm (Main Stage)

This will (probably) be my last post about Barn on the Farm for this year. I think I’ve saved the best for last. The main stage at BOTF has always played host to incredibly talented artists, like Catfish and The Bottlemen, Jack Garratt and James Bay to name a few and as per usual, it was fantastic. This stage is, again, one of the newer ones. It’s obviously not a new concept, but as the festival grew, this stage also had to move in order to cope with the increased amount of people. As much as I love this stage, and the larger size has meant that BOTF can host bigger acts (e.g. Tom Odell), I did really love the old main stage which was located in a barn similar to, but larger than the Wooden Barn. However, my unnecessary nostalgia aside there’s no arguing that the artists on the stage this year were as amazing as ever.

19859126_280911852378073_624801937_oSundara Karma

I had been absolutely buzzing to see Sundara Karma ever since they were announced, and after missing out on their tour in February I was so happy to see they were going to be a part of this festival, and they did not disappoint. Following the release of “Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect” and a sold-out UK tour at the start of the year, I had high expectations and they surpassed them. They were so involved with the crowd, but in such a different way to many of the other acts. They were much more chilled out on stage, but lead singer, Oscar, was not afraid to basically get in the crowd several times, which was cool. Not only were they sick at performing, their clothes were also super cool, and a bold fashion choice always impresses me (Red flares? Yes please.). If there are any tickets remaining for the autumn tour definitely grab one, it won’t be a night you regret, because we all left feeling like they’d headlined the stage.

19814400_280911912378067_2036510446_oZak Abel

Seeing Zak Abel is always a Party. His brand of garage-esque-indie-pop makes dancing irresistible. His Stage presence makes it seem as if it’s just you and him in the room, and I think everyone in the crowd feels like that, which is a hard thing to achieve but he does it seemingly effortlessly. Seeing him perform always makes me feel so incredibly happy because the whole time he’s on stage he’s grinning from ear to ear, and it’s infectious, there’s no way you could be in that audience and not be having as good of a time as him. Not only is he a fantastically energetic entertainer, he also has such an incredible voice. His album “Only When We’re Naked” will shortly be released and I can’t wait to hear what it has in store as all of his tunes so far have been fab. I’d keep an eye out for him over the next few months, I think he’s someone that everyone is bound to fall in love with as soon as they hear him.

19814404_280911889044736_995424612_oAmber Run

Oh Amber Run, I have such a love for these guys. They’ve been at BOTF every year I have, and it’s been a delight to see them grow as a band and get bigger and stronger. Seeing them on stage is pure magic. Everyone knows the words to their songs and it’s so nice to see them really enjoying themselves. This year was extra good because they bought Lewis Watson on stage during I Found to sing with them and it was just as gorgeous as you’d expect that to be. It was amazing to see a real friendship like that on stage and to hear them sing together. Lead singer Joe has an incredible voice and all of their songs are truly beautiful. I feel like whenever they perform they give everything and, yet again, it felt like they could have been headlining because of the way the crowd ate up everything they did. I’m so grateful that they’re still a band and they’ve carried on making music even through a rough period they all had together, but I think they’ve come out the other side even stronger and ready to smash it. The only thing I can find wrong with their set is that it wasn’t longer!

19807516_280911885711403_62409230_oTom Odell

Now, I don’t know how coherent this will be because the whole time I felt speechless. Being in that crowd in front of that stage felt completely magical and electric. I’m going to be honest, I was sceptical. Rosie and I waited over an hour for him because she had been telling me for months how incredible he was live, but I just thought, how great can he be? Indescribably good is the answer. I’ve honestly never felt that way before. Clearly, from any of his albums, you can tell that he has an amazing voice, but that’s not all he brings to the stage. He’s truly magnetic, I actually couldn’t take my eyes off him the whole time he was performing, and when he came in to the crowd I couldn’t react I actually just kind of froze, which was not the reaction I expected from myself. He’s one of those people where you can tell that this is what he’s meant to be doing. He needs to be on a stage, he needs to be performing, he couldn’t be doing anything else, it just wouldn’t be right. He put on such a show, he was on top of the bloody piano at one point and all. I hadn’t paid much attention to the lyrics in his songs, which I now realise was a massive mistake. Those songs are all so beautiful and I actually cried during Grow Old With Me, which was a little bit unexpected. You could just feel the meaning and the passion behind all the words he was singing. I can say with absolute certainty that I will go and see him again as soon as possible. I would also like to just give a few words of appreciation to his band. Those guys were all seriously talented and were doing such an amazing job of supporting him and allowing him to be a real performer without completely fading into the background. To summarise, it was incredible and you can’t really describe it until you’ve seen it.19830358_280911879044737_1393664782_o

Well, that’s it for another year of that festival. Only 12 months of waiting left for the next one I guess. I hope the way I’ve written about it has come close to doing my love and gratitude for it justice.

Barn on The Farm (Outdoor Stage)

The outdoor stage is one of the two newer stages at the festival, and I think it’s the one which has allowed most for the expansion of the festival. The name outdoor stage would suggest it’s a risky stage for three of the whitest girls to spend their time at on two of the sunniest days of the year, but we persevered and layered up the factor 50 and boy, was it worth it. Last year the stage played host to people including Dan Croll, Rag n Bone Man and Zak Abel.

19723787_280451339090791_999678829_oTen Tonnes

There’s nothing like someone your own age playing songs they’ve written at a festival whilst you proceed to consume your own body weight in Pimms to make you feel inadequate. Having worked on his latest EP with Hugo from Bombay Bicycle Club, it’s clear he’s a massive talent and he has so much more ahead of him. I think he’s definitely one to keep an eye out for, and if you get the chance to see him, it’s so worth it.

19720318_280451379090787_508505041_oOutlya

Outlya were definitely a highlight for me on Saturday, I thought they were absolutely phenomenal. They had such a good relationship with the crowd, and they managed to perform in a way that meant that you felt like you knew them. At the end of their set, we were all left just wanting them to play more songs, which is quite a good feeling, if a little annoying because it means you enjoyed it.

19727082_280451342424124_1557652541_oLANY

I don’t think I’ve ever seen people this effortlessly cool in person before, these California guys absolutely smashed their set on Saturday night. Everyone was dancing, and looked like they were having a great time, which was super lovely to see. If they’re returning soon for a UK tour, I’d recommend seeing them, their laidback music can’t fail to chill you out and make you have fun.

19650419_280451349090790_1595229559_oKeir

Keir was just what we all needed on a sleepy, hungover Sunday morning. He was a welcome change of pace and his style of upbeat indie pop got people up and dancing and set the tone for the rest of the day. Dressed in what I’m gonna say was the coolest jacket of the weekend (and there were some contenders) he managed to get people up and moving who looked a little bit worse for wear, which is very impressive in itself.

Marsicans

Marsicans are a band that make me never want to stop dancing, I love their brand of feel-good indie and could listen to it all day. They really got the crowd ready for the evening and it was so nice to see Arms of Another live. If you’ve not checked these guys out, they’re definitely worth a listen when you need

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something to lift your spirits up and remind you that there is always fun around you. What made their set even better was that they looked like they were having as much fun as the crowd which always makes me so happy to see.

 

19807514_280451362424122_1271085084_oNathan Ball

I’m pretty sure Nathan Ball has been at this festival most times I’ve been there but, being extremely dopey, I’d never paid him much attention. I knew he had a good voice but I didn’t really know any of his songs. However, this year I made the effort to go and properly see him and not just walk past and listen to the odd song, and I’m so glad I did. All his songs were lovely to listen to and his voice is actually incredible. So, after several years I can finally say I saw him and loved it.

19814115_280451359090789_2014956141_oTom Grennan

As fab as everyone else on this stage was, Tom Grennan really stole the show for me. I knew he was going to be great, but I was worried I’d bigged him up to my friends too much. He in no way disappointed. Tom Grennan is definitely one to watch in the next year or so. His massive vocals accompanying his soulful songs make for some absolutely stunning songs. Hearing him perform them live actually left me speechless. What an entertainer, he built such a great relationship with the crowd and when he wasn’t singing he was making everyone laugh, which is just as important as the actual singing I think, to actually entertain people. He was completely captivating and we all thought he was incredible.

I’m sorry if the relentless positivity comes off as ingenuine, I honestly did love everyone I saw on this stage, and I’m much more of the opinion that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. Music is so subjective that not everyone will love everything, and if I don’t like something someone else is bound to. I’d rather just try and get word out about more artists that I think people would like.

Barn on The Farm (Wooden Barn Stage)

The Wooden Barn is the last remaining stage of the original three I can remember. They don’t piss about when it comes to names and as you may guess, this stage is in a wooden barn. I think this is possibly my favourite stage, even from past years, it’s just so cute and the fact that it’s kind of a set size and it’s closed off makes it feel more intimate in my opinion (though this never stops a crowd forming around the doors to the barn).

Over the past few years, I’ve seen some really talented artists on this stage like Mike Dignam and Model Aeroplanes, but a highlight has to be seeing a proposal during Chasing Grace’s set a few years ago which was just beautiful. As with previous years, this year this stage was not lacking any talent.

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Plested

Talking of Chasing Grace brings us nicely to the first act I saw on Saturday afternoon, Plested. Having been the lead singer of Chasing Grace for several years, he is now a solo singer/songwriter. I think he has such a sick voice (Can I pull off saying that? Well, I’ve done it now. Too late to change it) and I really like the songs I’ve heard of his. He’s pretty much overflowing with talent having written Little Mix’s “Touch” which reached number 4 in the charts. He played us his own version of it, which was obviously gorg. I think there’s definitely more to come from him and

 

 

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I look forward to seeing where his career takes him.

Etham

Plested was followed by Etham who, despite being of the same genre has quite a different sound to him, with an equally lovely voice. One of my friends was especially taken with him, and we are hoping to see some more stuff from him soon, as we all agreed that we would gladly see him again.

Jordan Mackampa

As expected it was a delight to see the lovely, lovely Jordan Mackampa again. Without going on and on yet again about how lovely his voice is, I would just like to say that he is incredibly talented, not just at singing but the lyrics to his songs are bloody stunning too. After seeing him at The Cookie and saying that was the right venue to hear 19756245_279886999147225_1480283392_nhim in, I would like to take that back and say that, actually, seeing him in a little barn on a sleepy Sunday morning couldn’t have been more perfect. My friends both left saying how sweet and humble he seems, which just shows how well he comes across.

Dan Owen

If you want to see someone perform and be left open mouthed at how the hell he’s doing so much all at once, this is your guy. He was such an immense talent, and having played this stage several times over the past few years, he’s really come into his own and seems so comfortable on stage here. He’s a real performer, if you’ve seen him live you’ll know what I mean and If you haven’t I’d recommend you do.19758393_279886975813894_293189837_n

I didn’t spend as much time at this stage as I would have liked, but we were well busy all weekend basically running between stages, so I’ll let it slide. It’s a truly wonderful place to see music and I hope it isn’t changed any time soon.

 

Barn On The Farm

I’ve thought a lot about how to write about Barn on The farm to do it justice and not bore people with repetition of my love of it (and the word amazing) and I think I’m going to have to split it up into a few posts because otherwise, it’s going to be one long-ass piece of writing that no one will read. So, there’ll be a few more posts about Barn on the Farm, 19807741_279497229186202_187881431_obut I promise you they won’t be boring!

Barn on The Farm is a small, independent festival held on a farm in Gloucestershire. Established in 2010, it has only grown and got better and better every year as a whole. I first went with two of my friends the year after I got my GCSE results, and whilst I’m not close with the people I originally went with, there are people I’ve met there that are like genuine friends. For example, the first year we went we were sat in our tent when we had a spare few minutes and from the tent next to us we heard people singing (shouting) along to Beyoncé. Now, anyone that knows me knows that my love for that woman and anything she does is so real, so I had to go and introduce myself to these people that were on my wavelength. One of those people was my friend Jake, who is now not just a “festival friend” but is someone who I would consider a true pal that I can rely on.19532492_279498445852747_1865568728_o

That’s what I love about going to BOTF, there’s no judgement, or like bitchiness if you just go and talk to someone or whatever. There’s a welcoming and friendly atmosphere because everyone is so happy and they all love being there and they love the music as much as everyone else. Sometimes when you go to a gig there’ll be some unpleasantness or someone pushing (I know you can’t really help that) but you don’t get that here and it’s just so great (and I need to think of some new adjectives because I think great and amazing are probs getting a bit old now). There’s something about being in those barns and listening to the artists perform that is completely magical and I’m really struggling to get this across because until you’ve been there it’s not something that you can just tell people about.

19724000_279497075852884_142942550_oThis year I managed to persuade two of my mates from Uni to come with me, and before we came I think they thought I was just being dramatic (as I often am) about how good it is, but both of them left having had an amazing time and I’m so happy that they loved it as much as I did (I also feel lucky to have friends that allowed me to dictate what bands we went to see because they’re the best). They both said how nice it was that the bands seem to enjoy it as much as the crowd, and I think that just shows how lovely it is if they noticed it.

Of course, the atmosphere is important, but what you really go to a festival for is the music (obvs) and this is where BOTF really excels. They always manage to find people who are just about to break through and do amazing things, this leaves past lineups (and every line up to come) dripping with talent and it’s crazy to think that such big names came from such a small festival and it makes you proud to be a part of it. Past artists at BOTF include Jack Garratt, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Ed Sheeran, Rag n Bone man and George Ezra to name a few. However, I think my favourite Barn on the Farm success story is James Bay, who played for the first time on the smallest stage when it wasn’t even really a stage yet, it was basically a small café and then he ended up headlining a few years later and winning a bloody Brit, so that was quite impressive.

This year’s line-up was no less impressive, boasting names like LANY, Amber Run, Zak Abel and most notably Tom Odell. Seeing these artists in these small, intimate situations gives their songs a special meaning and memory. Seeing this festival grow and change into an even more beautiful thing is always a pleasure and I would like to say thank you to Josh and the other organisers for truly creating a family and giving me yet another stunning weekend.

 

Jordan Mackampa // The Cookie // 02.06.17

Providing a really stark contrast to the crappy weather and my general day, it was so lovely to see The Tin Pigeons and Jordon Mackampa. After what probably going to be my worst exam of the year, to be honest, I was just desperate to do something that would take my mind off the overall failure of the exam.18901459_263981090737816_1141487776_o

It was a super last-minute decision to go to this gig, I only bought my ticket the day before. I found out about it via The Tin Pigeon’s twitter and I thought it would be a nice distraction (which it was). I’d not been to Leicester – or The Cookie – before. This meant that I first had to work out where the hell I was going, something that should be relatively easy, but the moment I left the train station it started tipping it down so I couldn’t hold my phone in my hands for that long (and it ruined my hair, which was what I was most annoyed about).

The Tin Pigeons (who were on first) are a band that I’ve seen a few times at Barn on the Farm (I realise that I mention this festival in like everything I write but it’s just such a great one) and really enjoyed. Their music is undeniably happy and I put it in most of my revision playlists to stop myself from crying every time I open my notes that I do not understand. As per usual, the guys looked like they were having an amazing time on stage, which just radiates into the crowd at a gig this size, which is what makes them so engaging live. The lead singer – Fraser – has such a unique voice, that it makes a song unmistakably theirs when you hear it. You can’t help but smile when they’re playing, and their songs make me feel incredibly summery too.18901744_263981010737824_674888119_o

Jordan Mackampa has a truly amazing voice. It’s impressive on his Eps and singles, but even more so in person. What really struck me was that you could physically feel his passion for what he was doing and that he truly meant what he was singing. He explained the meaning behind every song before singing it, which made it feel even more special. For me, a highlight was hearing Yours to Keep live, because it’s fully just such a gorgeous song and hearing it live felt so special. I’ll be making sure that me and my pals see him at Barn on the Farm this year for sure.

To me, small gigs like this are how music like his should be heard. In a small crowd like this, it becomes apparent that everyone can feel every word and every note, and it makes you feel special. I love the feeling when all the people in a room are sharing the same feeling of awe at the artist performing. The whole night just felt good for my soul, I literally felt like all the crap from that day dissolving away and I was getting happier. So, if you’re in need of some healing, I thoroughly recommend seeing Jordan Mackampa.

Otherkin // Stealth // 23.05.17

We were promised “broken bones, bleeding noses and nudity” but I feel like Irish lads Otherkin gave us so so much more than I could have expected. They’ve not played many shows in the UK, but that didn’t affect their confidence or stage presence that made it such a sick night.18698573_259327661203159_612791964_o

I’m not gonna lie, the night wasn’t off to a brilliant start when I got to the train station and realised I had forgotten my ticket (because I’m a full-on idiot), so I had to frantically search the internet to check if there were any tickets left on the door, luckily there was. I’d managed to drag my gal Rosie along to this, so it was nice to have company to this gig.

18642054_259327687869823_1004208100_oSupport came from Bad Nerves, who I hadn’t heard much of before the night. Which is something I really enjoy about going to smaller gigs like this, you get to see bands that you wouldn’t necessarily think to buy tickets to see. I’d describe their sound as kind of heavy indie rock, along the same vein as bands like VANT and Spring King.

Now, this was one of the most intimate (I hate using that word to describe gigs, it just doesn’t feel right like) gigs I’ve been to. There was probably around 20 of us in the crowd, but I think that this is a credit to Otherkin, that they made a crowd that size feel huge, well that’s how I felt anyway. That could just be because they have such a huge sound. Which was so cool because they were playing a relatively small club, and I do love going to gigs like this because it lets you kind of follow a band’s career as they start playing bigger and bigger shows, which I have no doubt that these guys will do.18720764_259327581203167_165314384_o

The whole show felt dead personal and lead singer Luke even got into the crowd several times – with his guitar- which only made the show even cooler. It really made us feel a part of the night. I’d compare them to bands like the Vaccines, but I feel that would be doing them a disservice, they very much have their own sound already and to compare them to other bands doesn’t do it justice. They’ve also very effectively found their feet on stage, making sure that everyone in the crowd had a great night. The had such a huge presence, even on a relatively small stage at this Nottingham nightclub. It seemed like they were having just as good of a time as us, and that’s my favourite things, seeing people doing something you can tell that they are completely passionate about.18641716_259327597869832_402226357_o

Overall the crowd could have been a bit more lively, but I get that it can be hard for some people to just let go and have a good time in a smaller audience. They worked with the crowd like true professionals continuously asking how we were doing and encouraging more people to dance. Their inspirations from people like Iggy Pop really shone though, but I mean, that could have just been the nudity in that the lead singer took his top off after like the second song.

This show comes just days before they support Guns ‘N’ Roses at Slane Castle. I think these guys have such an amazing future ahead of them, it’s insane. We both had such a great night and agree that we’d recommend seeing these guys to anyone. So, definitely give them a listen, and if you get the chance definitely 100% go and see these guys, you won’t regret it.

Joseph Knight // The Bodega // 20.05.17

If you’re18596919_258406781295247_1601872066_o easily annoyed by the overuse of the same/similar adjectives (e.g. beautiful, amazing, unreal) you may as well quit while you’re ahead because there’s a slim chance you’ll enjoy this. I bought tickets to see Joseph Knight after looking through upcoming gigs in Nottingham and then listening to a few of his songs and deciding that they were (ready for the cringe) my vibe.

My train got in at 6:15, meaning I was super early so I had to wander around Nottingham looking for somewhere that I could use a toilet, which was ultimately unsuccessful. When I arrived at the venue, it was such a different atmosphere to anything I’m used to at a gig. It was so laid back and family orientated. The families and friends of all the support acts were there as well so it was a really supportive and welcoming atmosphere (if a little bit intimidating for someone who knew no one there).

There were three support acts before Joe (I’m assuming it’s okay to call him that) took the stage. The first support was from Chloe Rodgers, who was lovely and chatty and had a beautiful voice, that was sweet and her original songs were so cool. The second came courtesy of Matt Humphries, who was energetic, tuneful and happy. What amazed me the most about his performance was that he did a medley of like 20 (maybe even more?) pop songs. It was amazing seeing someone who clearly is so passionate about his music and put everything into it. The Final support from Elana also impressed me when she did a cover of “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease, which was so cool. Elana has such a unique voice that was also absolutely huge and filled the room.

The crowd was obviously full of friends and family of the support acts and it was so nice to see different people moving to the front to support their friend on stage. It was an extremely accommodating atmosphere and I hope it made the artists feel more at ease because it certainly felt welcoming to me.18596919_258406781295247_1601872066_o

Everyone was ready for Joseph Knight to take the stage and he really didn’t disappoint. Having just released a new EP the previous day, what pleased me the most about him was despite his talent, he was extremely humble. He explained that he hadn’t played a few of his older songs for a while, and had recently fallen back in love with them, and the crowd certainly did too. His voice was just and angelic and mesmerising live as it is on any of his recorded EPs. It honestly completely hypnotised me and I still can’t believe just how gorgeous his voice was.

Whilst I hadn’t listened to a huge amount of his stuff before, I can gladly say that he well and truly won me over. His songs were all stunning and he seemed to be having a great time on stage. When you’re watching, someone do what they love, it’s infectious and you can’t help but feel their happiness radiate into the audience.

If the opportunity arises, I 100% recommend going to see these guys. I had an amazing night, and it was lovely just seeing stripped back acoustic performances. It reminds you that behind every song there is a lot of emotions and I personally feel that these feeling come through much stronger when songs are played acoustically.

A Note on Guilty Pleasures

Recently, I’ve found myself apologising for everything I like and everything I do. I like a lot of typical, obvious things. I like to watch Made in Chelsea and drink iced coffee, I like to dance around my friend’s kitchen singing one Direction songs, hell, I like to eat ice cream and complain about everything.

Why does everything have to make us feel guilty? Eat two slices of chocolate cake? Guilty. Listen to One Direction? Guilty. Enjoy watching Jeremy Kyle? Guilty as hell. Why do we have to feel guilty about enjoying something just because it isn’t super highbrow or hard hitting? Why should I feel bad because I know all the words (and instrumental sounds) to no scrubs?

Sometimes I just want to switch off and watch an hour of incredibly rich, posh people arguing about NOTHING because goddamn I deserve to relax and enjoy what I’m doing. I don’t want to have to force myself to enjoy something, there’s no point, life’s too short. I want to go out of this world thinking that what I did was worthwhile, and I had a great time doing it.

If you’re someone who looks down on other people for liking something, find something better to do with your time (unless of course, that is what you like doing, then that has put me into quite the predicament). There are so many things that you could be doing, why you gotta be so negative. You do you boo, but why pretend not to like something just because it’s “cheesy” or “uncool” FREE YOURSELVES, YOU BORING PRUNES.

So, this is me, being unapologetic for everything I do (maybe not everything, I haven’t washed my bedsheets in two weeks and that’s pretty gross. I’m sorry) and not caring what anyone thinks about it.

My Favourite Albums

Hiya, Hope you’re doing alright. I thought I’d tell you all what my favourite albums are, at the moment at least. Just a quick disclaimer that my favourite music isn’t particularly ground-breaking or exciting (wow what a super engaging first sentence), but these 10 albums are my favourites and they’re what gets me through the days. My love for music is always changing and my music taste is pretty varied, but the music I come back to tends to all be along the same vein I guess. Also, there’s no way that I can do these in any order at all, it’d take too much time and I’d never finish, and it constantly changes so this is in no way an exhaustive post.

The Kooks – Inside In Inside Out

This is an album that I can listen to over and over and The Kooksover again from start to finish and never even think about getting bored. There’s always a different song that stands out to me, or I notice something new in one of the songs. If I have a bad day, I put this album on and sing to it at the top of my lungs. Doesn’t matter how I sound (my flatmates may argue this point, as they’re subjected to it far too often) It never fails to make me happy. There’s no way that I can play this album and not dance around the room. Every song, from the soft beauty of Seaside to the euphoric fun of Jackie Big Tits, has a special meaning to me and I don’t think that’ll ever go away. I just have a whole lotta love for this.

Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

Amy WinehouseAmy Winehouse was an actual angel and I will personally fight anyone who tries to argue with that. She was so talented and this album absolutely proves it. Yes, it’s the most iconic, popular album, but there’s definitely a reason. For me, this is where she really came into her own and you can tell how much this whole album meant to her and how she poured her soul into every word. 100% a thing of beauty this bad boy.

Catfish and The Bottlemen- The Balcony

CatfishThe first time I heard Catfish I was at Barn on The Farm in 2014 and it was literally love at first listen. Whilst I still love their second album, it’s this one that holds a special place in my heart, I don’t know if it’s because their sound is slightly less produced and more raw them, like how it sounds live. Anyway, what I love about this record is that I think it’s just them to a T, it flows completely from the start all the way from Homesick to Tyrants. Speaking of Tyrants, I heard Van McCann wrote it when he was 15, which just makes it all the more impressive I think.

The Wombats – Proudly present… A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation

The WombatsWhat an album. This is another one of those kinds of upbeat-indie-dance-worthy albums. There’s no escaping songs like Let’s Dance to Joy Division and Kill the Director” that you can’t help but dance to. My favourite song on this album has to be Patricia the Stripper because I remember listening to this with my friends, and there’s not much more satisfying than singing (read: screeching) along to a song with the word stripper, I don’t know what it is but there’s something about it like.

 

The Vaccines- What Did You Expect From The Vaccines

The VaccinesGoddamn yeah I love this album. I remember saving up money from something and paying my mum so that I was allowed to buy this album on iTunes. I don’t know what it was about this record that captured my interest, but ever since I heard the first song, I was completely obsessed. There’s just such a cool, chilled out sound to this album, but interspersed with songs like Norgaard that make it more upbeat and change it up a bit.

Amber Run – For a Moment I Was Lost

Amber RunNow, I got a lotta love for Amber Run, yet another band that I was introduced to me by Barn on The Farm. I’ve seen them several (three?) times at the festival, and only thought to go and see them on their own at the start of this year. Now, I love their first album, but it has a slightly different sound (and meaning) than For a Moment I was Lost. I know that they had a very dark period of time between the first nd second album, to the point that they didn’t even know if there’d be a second album. However, they took these feelings and wrote some of the most incredible and meaningful songs I’ve ever heard. From the line “I know you’ll fall in love again, when you do, I hope you’ll find somebody who you can love like I love you” in Wastelands to the song Dark Bloom that is about going through a hard time, and coming out the other side.

Nirvana – Nevermind

NirvanaAnother obvious one maybe? Now, neither my parents, nor my older brother were ever that into Nirvana, so I’m not really sure what drew me to this. Obviously, I always knew Smells Like Teen Spirit, but I remember listening to the whole album whilst doing something (probably whilst revising or doing work for something), and being struck by how cool their whole sound was. I think it gained a special place in my heart after watching Montage of Heck and learning more about Kurt Cobain’s life. Anyway, it’s a truly Iconic album and for good reason and I think it always appealed to my slightly grungy side (or the fact that I wanted to be grungy, but it’s so not me).

Paolo Nutini – These Streets

Now, this is an album that I purely love for the memories it holds for me. I remember my mum Paolo Nutinidriving me to and from swimming listening to this and she would sing along (I use the term loosely because my mum has always been useless with song lyrics, but what she lacks in lyrics she makes up for in enthusiasm). Then when my friends started driving, one of my friends had this – amongst other cds – in his car and whenever we’d drive anywhere where, everyone would fight over what music we would play but we’d eventually settle on Paolo because everybody loves it and who doesn’t want to sing along to New Shoes? So my love of this record may have just been born out of convenience, but it’s definitely here to stay.

Oasis – Don’t believe the truth

OasisNow an honourable mention has to go to (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, because She’s Electric is on that album and that is one of my favourite songs of all time. However, Don’t Believe The Truth is definitely my favourite Oasis Album, and I know a lot of people don’t agree (and I know a lot who do) but there’s something about this album as a whole that just grabs me. I know Oasis’s sound always stayed pretty stable, but this is just slightly more me. Lyla and Mucky Fingers have been in pretty much every playlist I’ve made in my life because I can’t imagine a mood I’d be in where I wouldn’t want to listen to them.

Beyoncé – Lemonade

BeyonceNow, choosing a Beyoncé album that is my favourite was tricky. She’s so iconic and she has so many completely amazing songs, but it’s her most recent album that I think is my favourite. I remember finding out that she released a new song (Formation) and she did it overnight and it was so hard to find, but I was on my phone at a swimming competition and I used up all my data watching the video over and over again, so it was pretty much love at first listen. No-one can whip up a frenzy like good old Queen Bey. It’s not just the songs (which are meaningful, fun, different, sexy) but it was the film they made to go with it, the poetry and the meaning behind the whole album. If you haven’t (because it’s hard to without shelling out of the album) definitely give it a listen from start to finish.

 

The Kooks // 01.05.17 // Rock City, Nottingham

“The Kooks??? Do they still do anything? I haven’t heard of them for years” is the response I got when I told some people I was going to see The Kooks. You bet your ass the kooks are still making music, and it’s as good now as it’s always been. Admittedly their last album was in 2014, but that’s not even that long ago, I don’t think anyway. And now they’re just about to release “The Best of… So Far”, an album containing all of the best songs from The Kooks (… so far anyway). Despite people’s slightly cool reaction,  I’m certain that everyone knows (and loves) at least a few songs the Kooks have released.

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After a mild drama involving me losing the ticket (which I had bought through “Get Me In”, so it was pretty pricey but it does what it says on the tin like and I was a bit last minute, because they sold out) and subsequently crawling along a train floor (crying) looking for it, I was reunited with my purse (yeah, I lost my whole purse but all I cared about was the ticket – everything else is replaceable!),  I made my way to “Rock City” in Nottingham, which,  along with “The Bodega”, is becoming one of my favourite venues, of course this could just be due to how easy it is for me to get to from Uni, but I do think it has a really nice (forgive me for using the  most over used word of the last few years) vibe. I sacked off revision early deciding to make sure I got a good view since I paid so much for my ticket, meaning I can’t buy food for a few weeks and will have to survive off this gig to sustain me. However, this meant I had loads of time to kill which I spent in a 18289799_251295675339691_2062372182_ocafé, chain drinking coffee. So, super alert, I walked over to the venue.

Support came courtesy of Fickle Friends, and they did not disappoint ,not that they ever have previously. I’ve seen them a few times at “Barn on the Farm”, and I’ve always thought that they’re really talented and they just make fun music. I would (and have) recommend seeing them to anyone.

 

The Kooks have been one of my favourite (if not my favourite) bands for such a long time. I’m pretty sure “Inside In Inside Out” was the first thing I ever bought on Itunes. My brother used to listen to them, and I always wanted to be as cool as him, so when I got my first Ipod I remember buying the album as soon as I could. It can’t have been long after the album’s release, which was 11 years ago now and that’s scary to think. It’s one of the few albums that I can listen to start to finish and I’ve never wanted to skip any of the songs, definitely one of my top albums of all time.

Considering I’ve been a fan of The Kooks for so long, I’m surprised this is the first time I’ve seen them live, but I’m kind of glad because I got to see a lot of my favourite songs live ( I do feel like I missed out on “I want you Back” and “Mr Maker”, I’m gutted they weren’t part of the set list). Sometimes, when you see a band live, their sound can be so different from how they sound recorded (not, necessarily a bad thing at all, just an observation) but that was so not the Kooks.

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Luke’s (first name basis, obvs. I am of course referring to Luke Pritchard, frontman) voice live is just as cool as it is on every album. The whole performance was not only amazing from the perspective of the songs, but also it was visually amazing, and interesting to watch. It wasn’t just them playing songs, it kind of seemed like there was a story, like some kind of structure to the night. The best part of the show was “Sweet Emotion”. It started being played from a boom box and then the band came in a playing at different intervals. However that was a difficult decision to make when every song has its own meaning, and story. It was also insane to see “Shine On” live, just because it’s a song I’ve always loved and I think it’s genuinely really sweet. They played a reworked version of “Rosie”, which again was super cute. I’d say the most eagerly anticipated song of the night was “Jackie Big Tits” though, because from the start people were shouting for them to play it, it’s got to be such a fan favourite because it’s so fun, and just makes you want to dance (that, and people like saying tits).

Luke had so much energy on stage that I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole time, my face actually hurt when I left (of course that could be due to getting elbowed in the face, who knows like). I have never been as sweaty (tasty) or close to so many people in my life, but that’s what was so great, the fact that it’s a shared experience between so many people.

It was completely surreal to me to see some of these songs live, because they all have little memories attached to them for me. Like, “Seaside” reminds me of road trips with my friends where we’d all be singing along at the top of our lungs, laughing at the fact none of us can actually sing at all. “Sofa song” always makes me think of my friend Alice, who is someone I always had a lot in common with in terms of music taste. We used to listen to The Kooks together, at lunchtimes and when we went on school trips and I’m pretty sure it’s her th18297245_251295645339694_647989729_oat introduced me to The Wombats and The Cribs too. I’m sure there are more memories for a band that have been with me pretty much throughout my whole life, or at least the part of my life that I’ve been into music. To be honest, this is probably their album that made me so interested in music, made me expand my music taste, and look around for different bands and artists that have a similar sound.

 

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that it was a fucking amazing night for me, and it meant so much to me. I would go and see them again in a flash, and I’m pretty sure I will since they’re having a winter tour too. If you get the chance, and they’re doing a show near you, I would 100% recommend seeing The Kooks, even if you only know a few of their songs, which everyone does so there’s no excuse – fingers at the ready and book that ticket for a trip down memory lane and an amazing night out .