A Further Update

Hey again,

I’ve noticed lately that my one point of view on this blog isn’t necessarily a positive and I’ve been looking at bringing in a few new people to get written content and photos out on the page to create a more comprehensive depth and breadth of reviews and feature articles. This has led to a need for more writers and more photographers and I’m thrilled to announce that Georgia will be joining the team as a photographer and Leah will be joining as a content producer and co-editor!

Having these two on board should give us a far wider stretch of coverage and some stunning photos if Gee’s other ones are anything to go by.

Watch this space…

J

An Update on This Blog Thing

An Update on This Blog Thing

Hey all,

As the observant ones of you may have noticed, I’ve been really into this blogging thing lately so I’ve decided to change my URL to make me easier to find and also to make posting a regular thing rather than the sporadic, irregular uploads that seem to be characteristic of my site.

In light of this, I’ll be publishing a feature article/story every Wednesday at 6pm GMT/BST dependant on the time of year so get checking back at those times! Plus in holidays I’ll be keeping Wednesday and I’ll stock up on pieces but I’ll publish more if I get more then 2 ideas written in a week!

In addition to these posts, I’ll be reviewing lives (check out my Neck Deep and All Time Low reviews, as well as Tonight Alive and Sleeping With Sirens coming as soon as I’ve seen them!) and albums when I attend/hear them so they’ll be less regular.

Thank you for reading as usual and bigger thanks for not ditching me after reading,

J

I’m Poor… Again

Well guess what. I’m once again poor. “Why?” I hear you screaming frantically at your screens, “James, why are you poor again?!?!” The simplest and most straightforward answer I can give you is that I spent my money…

I spent most of this hard earned capital on gig tickets as well as travel expenses for myself (and a few others) and when Slam Dunk tickets are £50 each, one’s bank sums decrease fairly rapidly. 4 gigs in 4 weeks does definitely take its toll too though; I think I spent somewhere in the region of £230 and I’m still owed around £40 of that back (yes, if you are reading this Gaby and Megan, that’s you).

As well as gigs, I’ve spent quite a fair bit on merch and records this year already. Not even 40 days into 2016 and my bills from Grindstore have amounted to over £50, not to mention the £35 I spent on a preorder bundle for the new Asking Alexandria album The Black

In addition to all that, I have my favourite acquisition of recent weeks; on Saturday at Neck Deep’s World Tour Show, Creeper played (full review coming up soon) and they had a merch stall. Now for a long time I’ve been looking for one of these and finally I found one: a Callous Heart patch. The guys all wear them on stage and it’s the one real way to cement yourself into the Creeper Cult and I’ve finally been able to do that. Now just to see it onto the jacket…
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But I guess what I can say is that I frankly regret none of it and it’s just the life I enjoy living at the moment. As a great man once said, “what’s money if it isn’t spent?”

Asking and I

Asking and I

(Full live review/diary coming up later)

So as some of you may be aware, I was at Alexandra Palace for Vans Warped UK yesterday, which was to be headlined by Asking Alexandria and Black Veil Brides.
Asking are one of the first bands I listened to back in 2009 just after their first album came out, and they have been in my top 3 since then, at times my top one. Then yesterday, I was given the incredible opportunity to go and see them live, which I was super excited about and at 5pm they were doing a signing, but they had cut off the queue while we were watching FVK so I was pretty gutted, but a friend of mine was standing near the front of the queue so I walked towards her as they opened the gates and we managed to get in, and I spoke to my favourite band. I actually //SPOKE// to ASKING GODDAMN ALEXANDRIA.

First I spoke to Cam, who was quite quiet but he always has been one of the overlooked members, but he thanked me for my support and signed the card and book (UPSIDE DOWN).

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“Go on dude, get photos with us all” – CL

James also instructed me to get a photo so I followed orders as he signed:

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“Your hair covers half the picture, love it!” – JC

Sadly, I didn’t say much to Sam other than “photo?” but he gave me a grin nonetheless:

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“If you like this, wait til you see the set later…” – SB

I moved on to see Ben and I looked him straight in the eye and told him that his band has got me through so many bad days with a smile on my face, and thanked him for everything they have done for me over the last 6 years, and made a joke about them releasing singles then announcing that they were the whole album and he chuckled slightly as he shook my hand and thanked me for sticking with them through their bad days, to which I just freaked out really.

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“Shall I do horns for the photo? Ah screw it, generic rock s**t it is” – BB

Then I spoke to Denis, who was really cool and I told him that the new tracks are like a breath of fresh air into a band that was becoming more and more lifeless with the toxic influence of Danny, and he grinned and thanked me for being a part of something huge.

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“Oh is that a photo? Oops…” – DS


I now have a new Asking shirt, a signed card and a signed page in my book, and I genuinely couldn’t be any more grateful to the amazing guys that make up one incredible band that I have loved for so many years.
Then they went on stage and oh my goodness was it a sight. Denis was absolutely savage as he forced the crowd clean in two repeatedly, he has such an insane voice, the other guys were all on great form and I loved every second of it, best day of my life so far!

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“Is that really all you’ve f***ing got, London? Push it back. Push it back. I knew you could do it… GO” – DS

My Recommendation Faux Pas

This, my dear friends, is the story of how I accidentally told a 12 year old to listen to deathcore today…

So it all started on a routine bus journey home, and this boy who I’ve known for about a year now started talking to me, and being the polite and (mostly) good-natured human I am, I accepted his friendliness and started a conversation with him.

We must have been speaking for about half an hour over about 12 miles when he went to pull out his headphones and listen to music when he found, to his dismay, they were not in his pocket like they usually were, but at home, which prompted the question “James, what music do you like?”

Of course, I used the answer that I always use for young children that shouldn’t really be listening to hardcore variants very much at all, “scary stuff”, but for this one child, that answer isn’t enough, he had to keep pressing.

He asked me first what my favourite song at the moment is, and I replied honestly by telling him it is Chelsea Smile by BMTH, but still this information wasn’t enough for him. He asked me who the last band I had listened to were, so I went onto the “last played” playlist on my music library and to my horror, I remembered: I had listened to Thy Art Is Murder.

Unsurprisingly, this child was looking over my shoulder and read the name of the band, telling me that he would look them up when he got home.

My jaw hit the floor. My mind was racing with “oh god, I’ll get blamed for a small child crying” and “this is going to ruin his life forever” so I proceeded to more or less beg him not to listen to them and of course, he made a note of the name in his notebook and that was that.

And there we have it, me accidentally ruining the innocence of a pre-teenage boy from my school, who I expect fully to be crying heavily when I see him on the bus in about 8 hours’ time (watch this space for updates).

EDIT: He wasn’t on the bus today…

The FVK Interview

So as a few of you may know, I applied to be one of the few fans to participate in the In The Firing Line feature of the October 2015 edition of Rock Sound magazine, and I was lucky enough to be chosen, and I thought I’d just make a little diary-type post about it to let you know how it went! If you don’t know who the band are, check them out here and here!

I boarded the train at my local station, my copy of Unbreakable Hearts and a sharpie pen with my excitement levels high as ever, ready to make the dull journey to Euston. As I got onto the platform, I figured I was about 2 hours earlier than I could have been so I decided to sit around in the station and play “spot the emo”, and I managed to spot 17 definites and 3 probables in half an hour…

I had to figure out my way to Archway station from there, which seemed more difficult than it was, because I arrived about an hour early, so I searched online for the pub and walked in that direction. I had told Victoria that I’d meet her beforehand, so I thought wasting time with a coffee in Costa over the road from her station was a good plan, and some evil-looking builder bloke came in and gave me a death stare, then Victoria walked in and straight past me before the realisation that it was no coincidence there was a random emo kid sitting in the same place I had said I’d meet her (good job, dude…). While we were just sitting and making a little bit of awkward conversation, the evil builder decided it would be fun to throw a coffee all over the floor so the poor women behind the counter had to some and sort it out, before he got another one and left…

Pretty soon, we decided we were bored of the dull shop and its boring customers, so we set off round the corner to the pub, and we found it surprisingly quickly, as it was the same place we expected it to be, and the others were all standing there and (not to be judgemental, of course) but they all looked like the type of people we were looking for. We all stood around awkwardly until Ben Gibson (photographer extroadinaire) and Gav Lloyd (one of the main writers and editors of the magazine) arrived, spoke to us briefly and we headed inside.

We must have been sitting there for about fifteen minutes before the band turned up. Well, I say “the band”, I mean four fifths of the band, because as per usual, Laurence had misread his texts. Keir proceeded to call him and tell him he was a “… idiot” and to “get in a cab, now” and got a round of drinks in for the lot of us.

Finally, Laurence turned up and we could get on with the interview. We all piled in on two small(ish) sofas and started asking some of the most awkward questions of all time, such as “Which Disney princess would you be?”, credits for that go to Olivia’s nan (which was met with a fair amount of laughter when she had told us earlier), and the guys gave better answers than we could ever have wished for. After we were done with that (and of course the brief pit stop), we posed for various photos for Ben, then shameless selfies were had (see below) and we were free to chat.

As it happens, I ended up speaking mainly to Laurence and Shane (singer/guitarist and lead) and when the former of the pair left a couple of hours later, I had a really inspiring talk with Shane about everything possible really: guitar kit, studio kit, musical influences, careers, school, touring, the music scene in general, “New Grave” scene (which none of the band understand really) and most importantly, confidence. In quite a lot of ways, I see many similar attributes in us both; he is the one of the band that is least involved in the social aspect and admits he often needs coaxing in from the likes of Jake Pitts (of Black Veil Brides) when they are having conversations band to band, and he is a hugely passionate musician that works incredibly hard to achieve the sound he dreams of, despite recording a lot in a bedroom with an old condenser mic and a duvet to dampen it.

The day was one of the most important of my life so far, if for no reason other than the words given to me by Shane: “always have faith in yourself, you need to be the first to believe you can do it and even if you don’t, at least you will have known you tried”, which I really have taken to heart as my music has improved drastically in the last month, and I have had the confidence to talk about it a lot more and to start spreading my thoughts to the world via my rambling speeches like this online, and I genuinely couldn’t be more grateful.

Thanks to all involved, hope to see you all again soon and can’t wait to see the finished product in a couple of weeks!

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