You Me At Six

After waiting a year for You Me At Six to rise from the dead, fans have finally got a new album to look forward to but until January 13th arrives they have a warm-up tour to enjoy. You Me At Six have always proclaimed Leeds as their second home and as the minutes tick by as stage time nears the crowd is buzzing and determined to fulfil their expectations.

Supporting act Vant, an upcoming rock band from London, were determined to spread their message of peace and got political with some of their songs topics revolving around global warming and immigration as a way to remind us that we’re all the same without being too “in-your-face”. They have a strong guitar sound and are worth checking out.

When the time came for You Me At Six to perform, all that can really be said is that they put on a world-class show. Opening with slow song ‘When We Were Younger’ and then going straight into the loud ‘Bite My Tongue’, they played a selection out of their catalogue of hits along with fan favourite tracks. As this was a warm-up for their upcoming album ‘Night People’ they treated the crowd to new songs; ‘Plus One’, ‘Swear’ and, to end the show with, the title track itself. It was also that day in which they achieved their 14th single to be featured on Radio 1’s A-list playlist so Josh Franscechi took the time to thank their loyal fanbase and reminded that the reason why their “shit” keeps being played “is because you want it”.

It can be real risk for a band to almost completely disappear for a year but for Josh, Max, Dan, Matt and Chris, it was obvious that they were missed and won’t be fully vanishing for a while. With a sneak preview of the material of the new album seen so far teamed up with Franceschi’s unmistakable vocals it’s obvious that ‘Night People’ is going to be a classic in years to come.

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Leeds Festival 2016

Now that we’re all just about (hardly) recovered from the Leeds and Reading festival weekend it’s about time that I did a review on my experience there. This year stood out for me a number of reasons, mainly the rain and mud (So. Much. Mud.) that resulted in a mini river being created in the campsite, god help those who bravely decided to pitch their tents at the bottom of the hill.

This was my second year in attending Leeds Festival and one major comparison in what I did this year and one previous was that I did not go to the Relentless stage or any of the dance tents at any point during the weekend. Yes I’m disappointed in me as well, I’m only twenty years old, I have no excuse!

But this year also marked the first time that I attended a signing (more on that later) and that I spent most of my time in The Pit/Lock Up Stage as opposed to the main stage or NME tent.

So before I end up giving the whole details of my weekend away in the introduction here are my ratings of the bands I saw;

On the Friday morning I woke up early from excitement, and probably due to the lack of comfort from sleeping in a tent, because today was the day that my sister and I would see Waterparks again and we were both determined to get front row. Obviously due to how they weren’t on until 2:30 we would have to watch three bands before they came onstage, but for me a major part of going to a festival is having the opportunity to check out new bands so I was quite excited to see what these artists had to offer.

First up was Fighting Caravans (6/10) a local alternative-rock band from Leeds who had only released their first EP, “Beasts of England”, last year, so it fills me with pride that a band from my area is having success and getting on the line-up for a major rock music festival. Their set was nice to listen to, however, I personally got bored during their set, I mean it might not have been for me but I just founded it slightly repetitive after a while. Following them was Strange Bones (7/10) a rock band from Blackpool. I had no idea what to expect from them but I loved every moment of their set, all I can say that it was fun, loud madness where lead singer, Bobby Bentham, constantly jumped into the crowd, kept encouraging circle pits and made sure not a single person in the tent was standing still. They were certainly a surprise favourite of the weekend.

On a more calmer note was Greywind (7/10) an upcoming band from Killarney, Ireland consisting of siblings Steph and Paul O’Sullivan. I was quite excited to check them out this weekend as I had previously read about them in the exposure section of Rocksound in May/June time based on how they were recommended to fans, and compared to, PVRIS, Paramore and Tonight Alive. While I wouldn’t say that they’re like Paramore and Tonight Alive, based on what I saw that day, I can definitely see the PVRIS comparison as Steph’s stage prescence and sophistication reminded me of Lynn Gunn. Their set was lovely to listen to and I think that Steph has a stunning voice, so I will look forward to their upcoming debut album, “Afterthoughts”, which will be released on October 21st.

It was then time for Waterparks (9/10) the main reason why my sister and I were here in the first place. For those of you who don’t know, Waterparks are a pop-punk trio (well duo today as Geoff Wigington had recently broken his hand, so they had ex-bassist of My Chemical Romance, Mikey Way, fill in) from Houston who recently were taken under the wing of the Madden brothers who helped to produce their third EP, “Cluster”, and who also had them as a support act for their tour in the US and the UK. Now lead singer, Awsten Knight, and my sister know each other and have a “beef” (long story) so before and during their set were funny moments where they constantly roasted each other. It all started with my sister giving him a Harry Styles doll (again long story) and him taping it the mic stand which then escalated to him telling the crowd to crush her and my sister heckling him (you had to be there it was so funny to watch). Anyway their set consisted of a 4/5 songs from “Cluster” including single “Crave” and songs from previous EPs like “Silver” and “I’m A Natural Blue”. There was not one dull moment during their set and I just know that they will blow up as soon as their debut album, “Double Dare”, drops on November 4th, mark my words.

After a quick food break I went off with my friend to see Tonight Alive (7/10). I will admit that I don’t know much about them so this will be a first impression type thing; there is no question that Jenna McDougall has an incredible voice and stage presence, she was determined to spread her strong message about self-empowerment and assurance by getting the crowd to chant, “My expectation, my reality”, non-stop. Their setlist were mainly songs from their recent album,”Limitless”, which I have been told by other fans is their weakest album, and previous singles such as “Lonely Girl” which got the crowd excited. We also briefly caught upcoming pop-punk band ROAM (8/10) from Eastbourne, UK, and despite only watching three songs (remember the signing I previously mentioned?) I enjoyed it immensely and I do plan to check them out properly.

Now what happened next was a surprise to us that morning; Good Charlotte, the band I grew up with, was doing a signing at Leeds Fest! There was no question that we had to go. I have no bad things to say about them, they are some of the most sweetest people I have ever met. Shout out to Benji for complimenting my Good Charlotte shirt! And also to Joel for one recognising my sister from Waterparks (he was watching from the side) and praising her for roasting Awsten because, and I quote, “he deserves it”. You’re a legend!

It was now the end of the day and time for the one of two headliners that night; Fall Out Boy (9/10). Pete Wentz had promised in a previous interview with Kerrang! that the setlist was going to be planned especially for the Leeds and Reading weekend and it certainly did live up to his promise. Filled with all of their greatest hits ranging from “Under The Cork Tree” to “American Beauty / American Psycho” there was not one moment where I wasn’t dancing and singing along loudly with my sister and friends (sorry to anyone who was next to me and had to endure that). There were points where I could barely see the stage but I just didn’t care, I was having the time of my life. With an also incredible stage show and presence from Patrick Stump and Pete, with Wentz’s constant reminders to the crowd to never let the “fire” inside of you be put out by others, there was no doubt that Fall Out Boy was one of the best acts of the weekend.

Now a bit of a change of scenery from the vastness of the main stage to being cramped in the Lock Up Stage, it was time for Good Charlotte (10/10). Like I’ve said they’re my childhood, I was lucky enough to have seen them back in February when they opened for All Time Low (I legitimately cried when I saw that they were opening) and based on what I saw back then I knew that during the next hour I would have the time of my life. And they certainly did not disappoint. Playing a range of songs from “The Young and The Hopeless” to their recent release “Youth Authority” there was not one dull moment as the crowd went absolutely insane as everyone moshed and sang along loudly to all of their hits, I was completely exhausted by the end but I just didn’t care. Having got back together last year after a nearly six year long hiatus I’m so happy that they’re back, they were most certainly missed!

After getting a somewhat decent night sleep it was time for day two of Leeds Fest. The first band of the day was Creeper (10/10) who in the past year have experienced a massive surge in popularity after supporting the likes of Neck Deep and Andy Black on tour, and will later on this year support Pierce The Veil on their Misadventures Tour, (I’ll look forward to seeing you guys then!) Their set was filled with hit songs such as “VCR”, “The Honeymoon Suite” and “Misery” which got everyone pumped with circles pits happening left right and centre (also thanks for pushing me to third row!). Frontman Will Gould has great charisma and is a strong lead vocalist, I’m genuinely excited to see what this band has to offer in the future, seriously watch out for them!

Heading to the main stage, up next was Lower Than Atlantis (8/10), this was the first time that I got to listen to their music properly so this will be another first impression review. Their setlist contained catchy, hit singles and they also played new song “Work For It” which had only been released the previous week. I’d like to give credit to Mike Duce for helping to create one of the funniest moments of the weekend when he forgot to encourage the audience to create a circle pit during “Work For It” and so asked them to create one during their next song which happened to be “Words Don’t Come So Easily” (for those of you who don’t know it’s a slow love song) and there’s nothing more funnier than watching a bunch of rock fans prancing around a circle pit to a slow song. They ended their set perfectly with major single “Here We Go” where there was not one single person who didn’t lose their mind.

Then things took a weird, but brilliant, turn with Die Antwoord (7/10). I was not told anything about them asides from them being a dance act so when I saw a DJ booth being set up I thought it would just be like a regular DJ/producer act…boy was I wrong. What I experienced was a rush of loud, colourful madness and craziness with images reminiscent of horror films and 90s raves. I saw a duo consisting of a buff guy covered in tattoos and a small girl looking something out of a sci-fi show running and jumping around the stage while shouting and rapping to get the crowd going bonkers. Never in my life have I experienced something like this, but I’m sure as hell glad that I witnessed it. Following them was grime collective Boy Better Know (5/10). I only stayed for about four songs and I will say that it’s not overly for me. I didn’t mind the music but I just found the crowd (at least in the area I was in) to be quite rough and aggressive which made me feel really uncomfortable and anxious. I just wanted to get out of there fast.

Heading to the NME tent I went to see The Neighbourhood (7/10) an indie-rock band from California who had previously supported The 1975 back in early 2014.  The best way to describe them to someone who has no idea what they sound like is that they’re quite chilled by mixing rock with a nice R’n’B sound. They were quite relaxing to listen to and I’m happy for my sister being able to see them live after several failed attempts in trying to go and see them whenever they came to the UK.

We decided to stay at this stage to wait for Twenty One Pilots to perform when I had the displeasure of having to experience Crystal Castles (2/10) who were easily the worst band of the weekend. An experimental electronic band, the music was alright but it was completely ruined by the lead singer, Edith Frances, who I recently found out to have been the replacement of previous lead singer, Alice Glass, so that might have been the problem but I’m not sure. I wouldn’t even call her efforts “singing” it was just non-understandable mumblings and failed screamings into a microphone (it turned off a few times, thank god). At first I thought it was just me not getting it as it’s not typically the genre of music that I would listen to but pretty much everyone else looked just as bored and confused as I was so I think it’s safe to say that they were just terrible.

Finally it was time for Twenty One Pilots (10/10)…I don’t have the words to describe them, they just completely blew my mind. But before they came on there was some tension in the air as everyone worried how the set might be affected after what had happened the previous night at Reading, and if it would happen again. In case you didn’t know Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun interact with the crowd a lot during their performances like kneeling on them, standing on them to play the drums etc, but the previous night saw disaster where the crowd had decided to be vile and pull Tyler into the crowd during “Car Radio” where they proceeded to rip his shirt and mask off and apparently throw piss at him whereupon they cut their set short. Thankfully the crowd was respectful and their set went by without incident. Opening with “heavydirtysoul” and then going straight into “Heathens” it was clear that the audience was immediately on their side where there was no one who wasn’t singing along. Their set was filled with a mixture of songs from their albums “Vessel” and “Blurryface” and even included a cover of House of Pain’s “Jump Around”. All of their crowd interactions went by without a hitch and I especially loved the moment during “Guns For Hands” when Tyler went over the crowd in a zorb ball and came quite close to where we were. Another highlight for me was when during “Car Radio” after Tyler came off the scaffolding in the centre of crowd and I got to high-five him (yes I’m still screaming on the inside). I just didn’t want their set to end, they lived up so highly to my expectations of them and I feel so privileged that I got to see them live.

At this stage it had started to rain quite heavily outside and I think it was safe to say that I was now in a low mood, originally I was planning to go and see Asking Alexandria but I just didn’t feel up to it so I went to go see headliner’s Disclosure (7/10).  It was a fun, upbeat set featuring their major hits like “White Noise” and “F For You” and also songs from their second album, “Caracal” like “Omen” and “Jaded”. We left their set early as it started to rain again and I believe that some people were warning us of a possible incoming thunderstorm. I’m upset that we missed Latch but to be honest I was exhausted at that stage and I just wanted to go to bed

The news that I woke up to the next day put me in an amazing mood; You Me At Six were doing a secret set in The Pit that day! So you can guess where we went to straight away. We were able to catch Big Spring‘s (7/10) set, an alternative-rock band from London who have recently been dubbed as the “best new band in Britain” by Daniel P Carter, host of Radio 1’s Rock Show. I found that I got quickly into their music so I do look forward to what else they have to offer. Next up was Dead! (8/10) who were at, but I sadly missed, at Slam Dunk so this time round I promised myself that I would not miss them again. A band from London who were inspired by 90s rock, they delivered an enjoyable set where Alex Mountford sealed himself as a confident frontman who helps to make them one of the most exciting new rock bands of this decade. Watch this space, you’ll be hearing from them soon. On a more darker note was Ghost Town (8/10) from Los Angeles. You may remember that I had seen them support Simple Plan back in March so I was excited to see them again. There’s no arguing how unique they sound in comparison to most upcoming rock bands of today, a blend of electronic rock and electronicore, you seriously need to check them out!

At this point more and more people were coming into the tent after the news of You Me At Six’s set started to get out, this is where I felt bad for Heck (6/10). A hard rock/heavy metal band from Nottingham who for me were a little too much in terms of their sound and the stuff they did with the audience. They went into the crowd to create several circle pits, crowd surfed, put their microphones leads around people to sing into their faces, you name it. It was entertaining to watch and I did feel a bit bad for them when they realised that the majority of people at the front were there for You Me At Six and kind of toned down the stuff they did, but it was all good fun.

Soon The Pit became packed, it was time for You Me At Six (10/10). You have no idea how excited I was, I have been waiting for them to rise from the dead for over a year now. As Josh Franceschi promised it was a set where they would play a lot of the songs that we already knew, they opened with with “Room To Breathe” going straight into “Loverboy” and playing fan favourites like “Underdog” and closing with “Bite My Tongue”, it was an unforgettable set which confirmed to them how much they had been missed over the year. They also played new single “Night People” and “Plus One”, also a new song off their upcoming album. It was everything I could ever hope for and I’m so excited that they are now back. I’ll see you guys in October in Leeds!

Heading over to the main stage in order to get a good spot for the Red Hot Chili Peppers later on I got to watch Manchester band The Courteeners (8/10) at my friends request. I already knew of them but I had no idea what to expect, but I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Playing a set of upbeat rock songs that seemed to put everyone in a good mood, and now knowing that a year ago they held a major hometown gig at Heaton Park which sold out in under an hour, I can definitely see why they’re so popular. However it was around this time that there were warning signs of what would happen later on; every so often there would be a random surge of people pushing forward that would get worse each time, I was struggling to breathe at some points.

But before things got too bad I was able to enjoy Imagine Dragons (9/10) I was able to see them last year in Leeds on their Smoke + Mirrors Tour, I loved them back then and they certainly didn’t let me down whatsoever this time around. All I can say is that they were absolutely amazing, everyone was just having the time of their lives and were singing along to every word, frontman Dan Reynolds just knew how to work the crowd and went so far as to claim that Leeds and Reading is the best festival in the world (yes man!). Their set was similar to their show in Leeds last year and they even played my favourite song “I’m So Sorry” which I was so happy about, in fact the only thing I can criticise about their show was how no one was bouncing around during “I Bet My Life”, oh, and the idiots at the back who kept pushing surges of people forward, like what are you doing?! Seriously.

Soon everyone was waiting for the final headliner of the weekend; Red Hot Chilli Peppers (7/10). However, like I just mentioned with the surge of people pushing forward, it got really bad, I could barely breathe, my friend and I were originally 4th/5th row but we had to leave due to how inconsiderate people in the crowd. So I’d like to thank the inconsiderate dicks who didn’t seem to care about other people’s welfare, I hope that you’re satisfied. But anyway, regardless of that I did enjoy their set. RHCP have been going on for three decades now, that night they proved they still had it in them and they are far away from throwing in the towel. Anthony Kledis proved to be the ever charismatic frontman and bassist, Flea, talked about his Yorkshire heritage (aye!). A setlist filled with classics such as “Bridge Under Water” and “By The Way” along with new songs from recent album, “The Getaway”, such as “Dark Necessities” it was an unforgettable night for all. I will admit that I’m not a major fan of RHCP so I didn’t know all of their songs but I’m grateful that I got to see them, I mean they’re such legends. They finished their set with an encore of “Goodbye Angels” and “Give It Away” leaving everyone on a high as the Leeds Fest weekend came to a close.

So that’s it for this year, only 359 days to go until next year! Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go and recover from post-festival flu. See you guys next time!

Busted

You have no idea how much this night meant to me, despite the claims that this would never happen I have been waiting years for this reunion. Busted were a massive part of my childhood and now I was finally living the childhood dream. It was such a friendly, buzzing atmosphere upon arrival as everyone looked forward to what would be a fun evening that would bring back the memories and emotions.

The opening acts for the night was Youtuber turned singer, Emma Blackery, and US rock band Wheatus. Now before this I had never known that Blackery was, or had plans to be, a singer. I had recognised her name from the suggestions section on my Youtube homepage where her channel has over a million subscribers, but I was pleasantly surprised. Her larger than life voice and short set of catchy, upbeat pop-rock songs had a old-school feel, something from the early noughties pop-punk/rock scene, like think of how Avril Lavigne used to sound like. Whilst not being the most groundbreaking new material I have ever heard, I do look forward to hear what else she has to offer. There was a further blast from the past when Wheatus hit the stage. Even if you don’t know the name you will have almost certainly have heard ‘Teenage Dirtbag’  at some point in your life. With a short set of classics like ‘A Little Respect’, ‘Lemonade’ and, of course, ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ everyone got excited for what would be a nostalgic filled evening.

Soon the wait began for Busted and the teasers started, which first included a large pig balloon floating around the arena and sudden pauses of the music playing with brief films of people wearing pig masks in random locations that helped to excite everyone with what they were about to see. A rather scary technique I might add. The films got longer and the official intro started that concluded with all three members of the band appearing on screen and the onstage pig sty was revealed where lucky fans were given to opportunity to watch and be a part of the show.

Busted opened with their new song ‘Coming Home’, an instant reminder to everyone that Busted was back and then going straight into ‘Air Hostess’ and, for me at least, the emotions and memories git me all at once. The set was filled with classics like ‘You Said No’, ‘Crashed The Wedding’, ‘Falling For You’ and ‘Sleeping With The Light On’, along with a section where they moved to a central stage and played slower songs ‘Meet You There’ and new song ‘Easy’. I think it was at this point that I realised how much I loved going to gigs when I saw everyone with their phone lights on and singing along during ‘Meet You There’.

There was never a dull moment. The evening ended perfectly with an encore of ‘3am’, which had previously been one of the last singles released before the band’s split in 2005 and their most famous anthem ‘Year 3000’ which during no seat was sat in.

In the days leading up to this I was worried if this would end up being a huge disappointment, but as I sat there with my friend at the end in shock in that we had just seen our childhood I knew that it had been worth the twelve year wait.

Simple Plan

This is the first gig that I have been to on my own and, whilst originally being nervous, a lot of things happened before and during the gig that put me at ease.

Now usually I hope to make friends with people while I’m queuing up and/or when I get into the venue but without someone being there with me I was convinced that I would end up being awkward and not speak to anyone. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was not as shy as I originally thought I would be and over the course of the day I chatted to about six people in the queue and had a cute goodbye from one of them at the end of the night.

Another thing that I was surprised by was that the band themselves were hanging out with fans during the day. Like they were just walking around talking to fans and at one point chose four of them to do a video with, and at times were just wondering back and forth between the venue and the tour bus with the fans queuing up not freaking out when they appeared. I just loved the respect that they had for the band members and vice versa. On top of that I got pictures with Chuck and Jeff. I’m just gonna leave these here…

Simple Plan had two opening acts; London based pop-punk band, The Bottom Line and rock band Ghost Town from Los Angeles. The Bottom Line had a 30 minute set filled with loud, pounding songs that got the crowd buzzing, which also sold me based on how lead singer, Callum, crowd surfed on an inflatable, a cover of Wheatus’ classic ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ and all three members doing shots onstage. More maturer Ghost Town played a mix of songs from their three studio albums including the single ‘Spark’ which I have seen being played on Kerrang, certainly a band who I would recommend checking out.

Soon Simple Plan were onstage and everyone was buzzing. Now, as you may know from my previous post, the last gig I went to, The 1975, I had a horrible experience with the crowd (pushing, inconsiderate people, etc) so I was nervous about having a repeat of events. But yet the audience were so chilled, there was no pushing whatsoever, I was so surprised! Simple Plan are officially the most relaxed gig that I have ever been to.

Now I need to say one thing; Pierre Bouvier is one of the most cutest human beings I have ever seen. Like you know when you watch someone and you can just see that they’re having the time of their life? Yeah, that’s what I saw with Bouvier.

The gig was filled with classics, such as ‘I’m Just A Kid’, ‘Welcome To My Life’, ‘Shut Up’, and ‘Your Love Is A Lie’, along with recent hits ‘Boom!’, ‘Can’t Keep My Hands Off You’ and ‘Opinion Overload’. There were moments of humour, such as with the band’s tour crew doing a dance routine during a mash-up of ‘Uptown Funk’ and ‘Can’t Feel My Face’, and banter between David and Pierre about each other’s family and longing to be raised British, along with moments of sweetness, such as with Pierre dedicating ‘The Rest Of Us’ to those who don’t feel like they fit in and telling everyone not to let anyone control your life when introducing ‘I Refuse’. While being quite cheesy at times, it was fun for everyone involved. Plus I held Bouvier’s hand during ‘Crazy’ (cue inner screaming).

They finished their set with ‘This Song Saved My Life’ a song written and dedicated to their fans and ‘Perfect’, a slow, sweet way to end the evening. And to make it better when I went to the merch stand I found that they were selling signed copies of recent album ‘Taking One For The Team’, AH!

The 1975

I have previously been to see The 1975 on two other occasions with the last time I had seen them was in Sheffield. At that gig the crowd was slightly inconsiderate of people around them in terms of pushing and let’s just say that this time round it was much worse. Now, I love The 1975, their music is interesting, covers a range of topics and there is an obvious growth in maturity and sound when you compare their two albums ‘The 1975’ and ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’. And having been treated to a small preview of the album on their last tour with ‘A Change Of Heart’ and ‘She’s American’ I was so looking forward to this show.

The opening act came in the form of The Japanese House, a, what has been described as, “alien-pop” project created by Buckinghamshire-born Amber Bain, who have previously been named the last of Zane Lowe’s hottest records before he had left Radio 1. I can only really describe them as being quite dreamy and trippy, like they were nice to listen to and were quite unique, but at the same time I wouldn’t say I was the sort of person that they would be aiming at. Yet I do recommend them if you enjoy mellowed out, dreamlike pop music.

Soon the wait began, at about 8:45 smoke started to slowly fill up the stage, a low humming was heard and the lights started to dim. Over the course of 15 minutes the humming began to get louder and louder until on the dot of 9 o’clock where it stopped altogether, the lights went off and the stage projections came on. Sure enough the screaming started and the opening notes of ‘I Like It When You Sleep…”s lead single ‘Love Me’ started to play.

But unfortunately this where things went downhill for me. The band themselves were amazing, the set was filled with a huge mix tracks from both albums, ranging from ‘Heart Out’, ‘Girls’ and ‘Robbers’ from their debut album, to newer tracks like ‘Ugh’, ‘Paris’ and ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Brain’, along with pretty visuals and Matty Healy’s stage presence.

However the same cannot be said for the crowd. Fans of The 1975 have a bit of a reputation for being quite inconsiderate at shows, and based from what I experience a few months ago at their Sheffield show I thought that would be the worst of it as it only lasted for about ten minutes or so and in fairness was more fun for the rest of the show. But for this gig it was a hell of a lot worse.

Of course there was pushing, which happens at most gigs to be fair so I can handle that. What I can’t handle is people pushing their arms against my face and head, being elbowed past and being pulled down. There was one point where I was stuck between two girls in front of me and two behind me who didn’t seem to care that I was there. Honestly it was like no one in that crowd knew how to behave at a gig, in fact I’m pretty sure that this was like the first concert for 90% of people around me.

This ruined the first half of the set for me but luckily I was pushed to the left hand side of the stage where it was a lot more relaxed and people were just as annoyed as me about how petty the crowd was. I had a better experience for the last half of the set in that area, so a quick tip for you, if you go and see The 1975 and you have standing, go to the left or right hand side of the stage as everyone in the centre will push and it is horrible.

For the encore The 1975 played ‘If I Believe You’, and three of their biggest tracks ‘Chocolate’, ‘The Sound’ and, to finish, ‘Sex’, which still remains one of my favourite songs to experience live.

I love The 1975 and will continue to see them live when I can but honestly to anyone here who is a fan of them and is going to/planning to see them live then please don’t be an idiot and be aware that there are others around you who want to have a good time. Don’t push and try and get to the front as it won’t work and you will come across as rude to everyone else. Just enjoy the fact that you’re there and don’t get hung up on not being front row.

Obama’s EU Opinions

During an interview last year in the UK, Barack Obama gave his opinion that the UK would be better off staying in the European Referendum.

The reasons being that he believed that the UK’s membership with the EU “gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union”, and it is believed that during his upcoming visit to the UK, which most likely be his last visit as President of the United States, he will pass further comment on the Referendum.

However, the Major of London, Boris Johnson, has criticised  the President’s opinion in his daily column and has claimed it to be “outrageous hypocrisy” for him to intervene the EU referendum debate.

He wrote; “We will be informed by our most important ally that it is in our interests to stay in the EU, no matter how flawed we may feel that organisation to be. Never mind the loss of sovereignty; never mind the expense and the bureaucracy and the uncontrolled immigration…(the Americans are) urging us down a course they would never dream of going themselves”.

10 Downing Street think the opposite of Johnson’s viewed and believe it to be worth listening the opinions of international leaders and allies.

A spokesperson said “”These are people who wish Britain well and they are worth listening to.” Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also commented that it was important the public knew how global powers such as the US and China felt.

I asked Olivia Sharp, from Leeds Trinity University Student Union, her opinions on Obama getting involved with the Referendum:

Sleeping With Sirens

So this will mark the first occasion that I have bought VIP for a gig, mainly due to other concerts I have attended were selling it for extortionate prices, it had sold out, or there there was no VIP to begin with. But with the upgrade being only an extra £30, along with my sister telling me that she bought hers in “panic”, I decided to for for it and buy it for me and my friend.

Arriving at the venue two and half hours early was a wise decision considering how packed it got in the half hour before people who had VIP were to go in, and the fact I got to be reunited and catch up with my internet friend was a bonus. The only downside of having to wait two and half hours before we went in was the fact that we had to wait outside in the heavy snow, soon turned rain, which was hell with the freezing cold temperatures and with how upon arrival me and my friend were covered in snow. Luckily though we were under a sheltered bit outside the building so it wasn’t too bad, and to be honest the experience we had upon entry made the whole situation worth it.

4 o’clock soon came and gradually everyone made their way inside and queued up by the photo-shoot set up in a atmosphere filled buzzing excitement. Whilst waiting about half an hour for Sleeping With Sirens to arrive my group and I made friends with a guy who had followed the whole of the band’s European tour by attending each show and buying VIP for every single one of them, which has resulted in them becoming friends and having the occasional jagerbomb together.

5 o’clock came and they arrived. There were only about ten people ahead of us in the queue and we watched in a mixture of excitement and nervousness fans meeting them as we mentally prepared ourselves for what we were going to say and do when it was our turn to meet them.

Now I know I may sound biased when I say this, but honestly Sleeping With Sirens are some of the most sweetest people I have ever met. I think it was slightly obvious that I was nervous to meet them but they made me feel very welcome and were nice and chatty when I talked to them, along the picture coming out as being really sweet. The VIP upgrade was completely worth it.

Now the gig itself. Typically I’m used to there being only one or two opening acts for artists I’ve been to see live, but this will be a rare occasion where I’ve experienced three support acts. So a summary of each of them. Beach Weather; a decent sounding band who had only just formed in the past couple of months. Whilst sounding good, they’re not the sort of band I’d have expected to have opened for Sleeping With Sirens, I’d have expected them to have opened for bands like The 1975 or Catfish and the Bottlemen. This Wild Life; a duo who consisted of a lead singer playing acoustic guitar and a guy who swapped between playing the bass and drums. Again, not the type of band I would have expected to have opened for Sleeping With Sirens, but yet I enjoyed them. They were really nice to listen to and I loved their slowed down cover of Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘Sleepwalking’. Go and check them out! As It Is; I was the only one in my group who hadn’t listened to them before, but by the end of their set I was just pleased to have witnessed them. Their 40 minute(!) set was filled with fast pop-punk tracks from their debut album and every member of the audience seemed to have the time of their lives. Only after the gig I found out that lead singer, Patty Walters, had done covers on YouTube and had done a few covers of Sleeping With Sirens’ songs, so I imagine that this tour must have been a dream come true for him. If any of you need to a new band to listen to, I seriously recommend As It Is.

Half an hour later and Sleeping With Sirens came onstage. Opening with ‘Don’t Say Anything’ their set was filled with classics like ‘Congratulations’ and ‘If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn’ along with newer songs from their recent album Madness including the fast paced lead single ‘Kick Me’, ‘Better Off Dead’ and ‘The Strays’ which Kellin Quinn dedicated to those who didn’t feel like they fitted in and added that there nothing sexier and cooler than guys and girls who have confidence in themselves. I need to say this now; Kellin Quinn is one of the most adorable people who I have seen live. Honestly, him running and bouncing around the stage made him come across as a small man-child who needs to be protected at all costs. By the way Kellin, I’m also sorry, but at the same not sorry, for laughing when you tripped over a wire. The only thing I would say though is that the sound system was rubbish that night, like I couldn’t hear Kellin at some points, which annoyed me so much. The night ended with a three song encore of ‘Do It Now, Remember It Later’, ‘Satellites’, and ‘If You Can’t Hang’. I don’t think there wasn’t anyone in the room who were screaming along to the lyrics. A great end to the day.

I’ve only become a fan of Sleeping With Sirens in the past few months and I’m so happy that I have had the opportunity to meet them and see them live. I’ll hopefully see you at Leeds Festival!

Do you want to see Adele live? That’ll be £24,000 please

Gigs

How much are you willing to pay to see your favourite artist live? Some would refuse to buy tickets if they were higher than face value but other people seem to be willing to spend more in desperation to see the artists that they adore.

Molly Russ, 19, a psychology and child development student at Leeds Trinity University admitted to once spending a small fortune on concert tickets but remains shocked at the price; “I got ripped off…I spent over £400 for One Direction when it should have been £100.”

The second-hand ticket industry has been going for many years with touts being infamously known for buying large quantities of tickets as soon as they go on sale with some sites having partnerships with official ticket websites, such as with Getmein and Ticketmaster, making it a nightmare for fans to buy tickets.

Emma Perry, 18, a psychology student from Leeds Trinity University said; “It’s wrong for ticket touts to sell things at inflated prices.” Tattooist Lewis Brown, 25, from Horsforth also agreed and said that he would avoid using second-hand websites as he fears of being ripped off.

This comes with the news of a ticket to see Adele live on Getmein had reached the price of £24,000. But even if you do decide to buy this ticket you risk the chance of being denied entry into the event. Her official website released this statement; “Resale of tickets through any channel other than Twickets will not be accepted; you risk having them cancelled and being denied entry to the show. This applies to all UK shows.”

But it’s not only fans of major artists having to spend a fortune on tickets. On the 22nd February indie rock band, Catfish and the Bottlemen, announced their UK tour with a pre-sale for their dedicated fanbase. However during the pre-sale and general sale fans of the band discover the shows to be instantly sold out but yet a large quantity of tickets were then immediately found to be on sale on second-hand websites like Viagogo with prices being as high as £328.90 when the original price had only been £27.

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Catfish and the Bottlemen

The band’s management commented in an article by The Guardian, “We watched the presale and the general sale for the Catfish and the Bottlemen April tour dates very closely. The demand for tickets was truly exceptional, however we were really disturbed to see a very large proportion of the total tickets available in the pre-sale appearing for sale within minutes on secondary ticket sites priced at up to five times their face value…Artists’ pre-sales are intended to reward a band’s most loyal fans with an early opportunity to buy tickets, not for professional touts to profit.”

At the same time there seems to be some hope for music fans as several ticket sites are now beginning to tackle the problem of ticket touts and automatic bots from buying large quantities of tickets by putting in place “fill in the blank” and “tick this box” questions, along with some artists creating systems that will make it difficult for touts to resell tickets. For example, Kate Bush created a name system where the person who bought the tickets had to put down their name, or the person who would be ‘leading’ the group, on the ticket and had to present ID on the day of the show in order to enter the venue.

But it still remains unknown as to whether over inflated ticket prices will soon come to an end, or if we still have some work to do.

 

 

 

EU Referendum

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So it’s official, the date for the UK to vote on whether we should stay or leave the European Union has been set. (23rd of June for those of you who don’t know.)

For many this has been a vote that they have been waiting for, but for others this is something that they feel to have little knowledge on for they remain unsure on as to whether it would be wiser to stay or leave the EU.

So why is the referendum happening? Originally there had previously been a vote to leave or stay in the European Union in 1975 shortly after the UK joined it 1973 with the result being to stay in. But, according to the BBC, there have been calls for another vote from both MPs and citizens after claims that the EU has changed over the years and is now controlling the aspects of daily lives as more countries join.

Why should we leave the EU? Some people are extremely critical in how the EU is run by a Brussels elite that runs on the idea of Europe running on the idea from a “blue print”. Those who wish to Brexit believe that the UK will be able to organise economic and social affairs spontaneously, not from a “deliberate design from the top down”, should be able to make its own decisions on immigration, are unhappy of the UK paying direct membership of £17.4 billion and believe membership to be undemocratic. In simple terms they believe that the UK is being held back by the EU.

Why should we stay in the EU? Some people believe that the UK is unable to work independently outside of the EU, in economic terms, and are concerned that the UK’s status in the world could be damaged and therefore it better to stay in the union. Being a part of the EU means that trade is easier, the flow of immigrants help to benefit the economy and helps to pay for public services.

Is it better to leave or to stay? That is up to your perspective, but regardless of the result of the referendum it is difficult to know of the official outcome of whether it will do bad or good for the UK. But the only thing I will say to those who will be voting; think and choose carefully.

 

Cold Temperatures despite the Sunshine in Horsforth, Leeds

Despite the on and off snow it seems that Spring is on its way.

In contrast with the frost on the ground and the leafless trees, there is blue skies and growing flowers.

But despite the sunny spells there is a chilly northwesterly wind with temperatures expected to go as low as -1 degrees in the night and more frost to be expected.

Not only that but there is expected to be more snow and rain over the next couple of days, with some weather warnings in the north of England.

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Blossom starts to grow

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Clear skies and leafless trees