Isle of Wight Festival – The Experience

Writing

Like a herd of African wildebeest, me and what seemed like the whole world and it’s dog made our steady way from our campsite to the main event. As the muffled sounds of electric guitars and pounding drums became clearer and clearer with very step closer, my excitement crescendoed to new climatic heights (ew).

Security checks were over in the blink of an eye (which was slightly worrying) and with that I was just a hop skip and a jump away from the crooning yodels of Rick Astley on the main stage. If his name’s not familiar with you then that’s because you still have your teeth and not a blue rinse. Yes he’s the trench coat loving singer who made dances in the late 80’s the place to be with his hit track – ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

Soon after he started yodelling the rain began pouring, coincidence? I think not! Just Kidding! He was quite good really:

*No photos of him sorry, although loads down below!

Even if there would’ve been hailstones the size of golfballs which skinned you like a butcher’s knife, I still feel the crowd would’ve sang their hearts out. The atmosphere was just electric the whole day. Rain or shine the crowd stayed energetic.

Speaking of energy the next artist to get my attention was the lovely Anne-Marie, the British beauty has such a sexy voice. Mixing her bubbly personality with upbeat poppy tracks made for an entertaining midday set. Some of her biggest tunes are: ‘Alarm’ and ‘2002’.

*She’s hot and I didn’t get a picture, I’m sorry. 😦
Bastille blew me away, I think I’m in love with their main singer. His raspy voice certainly pulled at my heart strings once or twice. It’s interesting because I asked my parents what they thought of the performances (they watched the festival  on TV) and they said he didn’t have a note in his head. Bearing in mind my mum makes the dog yelp when she tries to hold a note for more than 5 seconds, something tells me she’s not one to judge. Whether you can sing or not, if you jump into the crowd and keep the song banging more props to you. Bastille’s full set was fantastic although ofcourse the big hit ‘Pompeii’ was one of the highlights. They released their new album ‘Doom Days’ on 14th June.

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With each performance passing by, my group of friends and I managed to creep closer and closer to the front, yes I became one of ‘those’, I admit it. I’m sorry I wanted to make out some features on their face! Even while halfway in the crowd I felt like I needed a telescope to make out Astley’s eye colour so no wonder we tip toed ever closer to the front.

By the time George Ezra took to the stage to sit on a stool and serenade us, I can safely say I could make out each string on each his well polished guitar. As his smooth vocals caressed my ears I suddenly had the stark realisation that my bladder was about to explode. WTF! What do I do, just hold it or fight through the hundreds upon hundreds of people back to the minging portaloos? I had to make a decision. Quick! I tried to hold it in, initially that is, with each passing word of his song my mind drifted in and out of consciousness, my eyes crossed, beads of sweat dripped from my bow, by his 3rd song I couldn’t take it any longer!

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*Yes I know I should take up photography.

My knights in shining armour came in the form of 4 ladies, each linking arms, snaking their way through the crowd. This was my moment! Using them as a divider of the red sea of people, they saw me through the first three quarters of the crowd. But with a quarter remaining I found that I’d lost them! Somehow they’d vanished and I was by this stage about to pass out from the pain of my toxic urine filled-bladder. As I made my way towards the beacon of light shining over the portaloo on the horizon, I tripped over what seemed like every foldable seat, beercan and small child in the country. Arguably more challenging to move through than human bodies I found the struggle well and truly real at the final hurdle, prohibiting me momentarily from reaching my final destination of peeing the equivalent of the Niagara Falls in 10 seconds.

 

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64895393_2567011619995803_5399880205927972864_n.jpgAfter 15 minutes of limboing, sashaying and foxtrotting through the crowds, George Ezra was still mumbling some small song called ‘Budapest’ in the background. And finally the waterfall or shall I say Tsunamis was released.

Apologies for diverging from the actual music, and going off on a rant about my bladder almost bursting!

As Ezra finished his set the sun began to set too. And with darkness approaching came the appearance of strobe lighting, lazers and the pounding synths of the megastar DJ Fatboy Slim. From his psychedelic visuals to his heart racing beat drops, he closed the show sensationally:
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**The quality of these photos are something else, you almost feel like you’e there.

Would I go back to the IOW festival – Hell Yes! Even if it meant kipping in a sleeping bag which almost gave me pneumonia. Umm…if I must. 😦

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One lasting image of this one again to finish on ahahha so smart:

 

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Raves: Are They More About The Visuals Than The Music?

Writing

Step over the threshold of any sketchy dilapidated warehouse these days and you find yourself either having the time of your life, or fighting for it. If it’s not the epilepsy inducing strobe lighting making your childhood disco look like a piece of trash then it’s the pounding synths from the Deadmau5 wannabee on the decks giving you tinnitus before your 30th birthday. Welcome to the rave.

 

Do you believe raves are more about the visuals, the audio or an equal combination of both? If you’re answer is C please leave now for noone likes a fence-sitter. I believe it’s A and here’s why:

 

When’s the last time you’ve been to a club and not had to do the matrix under a passing fluorescent green lazer beam? Point proven. Adding further to this, do you think raves would be half as popular if they didn’t sport the latest lava lamps. fresnel lanterns or giant mechanic spiders (think Arcadia Spectaular)?

 

Would you really start throwing shapes down on a dancefloor lit with just your common old tungsten bulb? Ofcourse not! It’s the equivalent of sitting in your edgy friend’s bedroom as the two of you become entranced with their efforts to scratch the complete sh*t out of the mixer discs. Fun to watch but not exactly a ‘big night out’, right? Now, add a few disco balls and the odd fibre optic light and you’ve got yourself one hell of a club night no doubt.

 

Let me be clear, I’m not trying to take the credit away from the DJ in creating a great rave, pressing play on the laptop isn’t an easy feat to master (kidding :p). I’m just putting the question out there, would you feel like you had the same night out if clubs/ festivals didn’t put on quite as a magnificent  lighting display?

 

 

Truth is I’m just jealous I can’t be a DJ or lighting technician. Full props to both of these talented types of people. Clubs need both of you just as much, you are eachother’s  yin and yang and the reason why clubs/festivals are so popular as you both provide great entertainment!

The Worst Christmas Gifts You Could Ever Receive

Writing

Whoever said it’s the thought that counts and not the gift has obviously never received a multipack of wet wipes or a tin opener on Christmas morning. Get your head out the clouds sunshine and understand the hard cold facts that there are hard cold individuals out there who think that the below could actually be appreciated by the receiver:

 

  1. The ‘Set’

Hasn’t anyone heard the term ‘quality over quantity’? If I asked for a bottle of quality  perfume then why the hell would I want a Dove multipack of soaps, conditioners and body butters which are gonna leave me with rashes in all the wrong places if you get my drift.

  1. The Free Trial

Photoshop ain’t cheap but it seems some friends and family members amongst us are. A trial that runs for one month only is the equivalent to the longevity of my love and respect for them once they drop this disrespecting package of false hopes and dreams on me! Just as you put the finishing turquoise touches to your beach scenes in the Bahamas Adobe will certainly let you know – your time is up! Merry Christmas!

  1. Pregnancy

Yes, the gift of a child should never be unwelcomed but if mummy-to-be hadn’t planned it then , well, yes it may just be an ‘inconvenience’ as family members ask why you’re looking as stuffed as the turkey before Christmas dinner has even started.

  1. The WRONG Colour

Perhaps sounding like a spoilt brat here but let’s face it when you asked for mauve and got magnolia instead you’re going to lose your absolute sh*t too. Do you know how difficult it is to match magnolia crocs to anything?!!!!

  1. The Bargain Piece

I know my mum and dad aren’t self-made millionaires but would reaching that little bit deeper into their pockets for me once a year really make them bankrupt?! I sometimes get flashbacks to the traumatic time I asked for an ipod and basically got the equivalent of a cassette player. WTF! Not only was it a fraction of the price it only played tapes! Completely defeating the point of the ipod hahahaha I still love you ‘rents!

What’s the worst Christmas present you’ve ever received?

backlit dark light people Halloween 2018 Octoberfancy dress costumes

Why Do We Dress Up Like Kn*bs On Halloween?

Writing

If you read my earlier post, the title above may have sprung to mind. It is a weird concept if we remove ourselves from the festivities for just a second, and instead have a momentary out of body experience.

Envision yourself looking at your badly sewn together costume, your lop-sided devil horns and staining-for-weeks pasty make-up. Who the devil are you suppose to be? You’re certainly not getting into Hell now. Why is it that we make special efforts on this October night in particular to look extra garish?

Well, let me tell you:

Blame the grandparent’s grandparent’s grandparents

That’s right, the geriatrics are the reason pestering brats come knocking on your door demanding your diabetes inducing sweeties. As it turns out that the ancient Indo-European group, who lived 2,000 years ago, called ‘The Celts‘ celebrated the end of their calendar year on 31st October. It marks the end of harvest season and the beginning of Winter. The festival of celebration is named ‘Samhain‘, pronounced ‘sow-in’. It is believed that the festival has Celtic pagan origins.

So how does this relate to your dad dressing up as Batman?

Costumes during Samhain were worn and fires were lit to ward off any ghosts of the dead, which were believed to rise on the 31st October.  In addition to encouraging the foretelling of prophecies by priests and Druids and sacrificial practices to the Celtic deities.

Over time, for example with the invasion of the Romans and influence of Christianity led to a blending of cultural practices on this final October day. Roman’s influenced the ‘bobbing for apples’ by honouring the goddess of fruit and trees – Pomona. Christianity brought ‘All Saints Day’ known as ‘All Hallows day’ a church sanctioned holiday at the time (1000 AD). This took place on November 1st and so 31st October became known as ‘All Hallows Eve’ and eventually ‘Halloween‘.

Why The Term ‘Trick Or Treat?’

At least as far back as the 15th century, among Christians, there had been a custom of sharing soul-cakes at Halloween. People would visit houses and take soul-cakes, either as representatives of the dead, or in return for praying for their souls.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as “going a-souling” was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighbourhood and be given ale, food and money.

 

So there you have it, thank the ancestors for all of these spooky shenanigans.

Happy Halloween!

Check out my Celtic visit to Newgrange

Japan Matsuri 30th September 2018 held in Trafalgar square London. Celebrating UK-Japan relations.

Japan Matsuri – 2018

Writing

‘Matsuri’ means ‘festival’ in Japanese, and on 30th Septmeber in London’s Trafalgar Square the festivities were well and truly underway. Multiple elements of Japanese culture were highlighted at the event, some of which I will share with you below:

Origami – This visually stunning art form was on display for all to enjoy. The word ‘origami’ comes from the Japanese terms ‘ori’ = ‘folding’ and ‘kami’ = ‘paper’ (Kami was changed to gami due to rendaku). One of the most classic origami models in the culture is of the ‘paper crane/ orizuru ‘. In particular the ‘red-crowned crane’ holds special significance, it is believed that its wings carried souls up to paradise. Other recognisable  figures include the  Kawasaki rose, the cat and the dragonfly.

Japanese Matsuri 2018 - Origami workshop and contest in London Trafalgar Square

As you can see in the picture, a mini origami contest was held, F*ck sake Fuka you’re an origami wizkid – taking just 39 seconds to make……….ur….something!!

Matsuri Art Wall – The 9 metre long canvas stood parallel to The National Art Gallery and in true style was open to  festival-goers to let their creative juices flow. Sketching their own fantastic creations in front of one of the nation’s best art galleries.

Matsuri wall at Matsuri Japan festival celebrating Japan-UK relations. Held in Trafalgar Square - London

FOOOOOOOOD!

Japanese food sellers at the Matsuri event in London

Apologies, there’s no actual photo of real food! Although some names that definiely gae me fod for thought:

a)Takoyaki

b) Kara-age

c) Amazake

d) Okonomiyaki

Do you know what the above are?

a) mini savoury wheat flour balls , usually filled with savoury ingredients: diced octopus, onions, pickled ginger.

b) A Japanese frying style, a popular type is fried chicken

c) Fermented rice drink

d) Japanese savoury pancake a common filling of which is shredded cabbage.

Japanese Calligraphy and Manga Art Workshop

Japanese calligraphy at Matsuri 2018 London

Japanese manga portrait at Japan Matsuri, London

Demonstrations and a change to give it a go yourself – beautiful Kanji  characters were on display during the Japanese calligraphy workshop.

Manga – ‘comics/cartooning’ – the art of drawing Manga was celebrated through personalised portraits.

Japanese Tableware

Some of the most quaint and beautiful tableware has to come from Japan, whether it’s minimalist and clean or exquisitely decorative, all is simply quite stunning.

Japanese Tableware at Japan Matsuri, London 2018

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Sweeeeets!

Japanese sweets pocky matcha, chocolate, watermelon

Lemonade popular in Japan - Ramune

Pocky + Ramune = Japanese treat

Pocky – chocolate coated biscuit sticks originally sold in 1966 in Japan. Since then, flavours have certainly became alot more experimental, you can now get: cookies and cream, green tea and coconut to name but a few. Definitely give them a try.

Ramune – meaning ‘lemonade’ a fun drink which involves the owner self-carbonating the liquid. In other words making bubbles magically appear. To open the bottle, a device to push the marble inward is provided. The marble is pushed inside the neck of the bottle where it rattles around while drinking.

The event is annual, I would hihgly recommend going if you’re in London late September next year (or the year after, or the year after or the…….).