Tuesday 30 July 2013

Mogwai performing live to Zidane at the Barbican 26/07/2013

The tweet I wrote after this gig pretty much sums up this whole experience and I call it an experience because it was like no other gig I've ever been to.

"Holy f ing moly @mogwaiband were incredible. Like absolutely bloody amazing! One of my best gigs in recent times. Wow!"

Now before I launch into the review let me provide you with a little background info. Mogwai are a post rock band from Glasgow and are famous for their dramatic guitar music and ear splitting loud gigs. If you follow me on twitter you are probably well aware of my obsession with Glaswegian bands, that city just keeps breeding amazing musicians (by musicians I really mean singers with sexy accents) but that's really by-the-bye. Mogwai have been on my radar since my first year of uni but I never really gave them much notice as I was more interested in songs with lyrics... Now I'm kicking myself for not giving them the time of day and missing out on what would have been many a special gig, but honestly there is no point dwelling over 8 years worth of missed opportunities because that's just silly.

In 2006 Mogwai wrote the musical score for the film 'Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait' and about a month ago I discovered that they would be performing the soundtrack live to the film at the Barbican. I managed to buy the last two tickets for me and my boyfriend (he's a huge Mogwai fan) and going into the gig on Friday night I remember him saying to me, 'Mogwai and a film about football, this is going to be totally out of your comfort zone!' Oh how wrong he was!

I'd not been to a seated gig in a very long time or one where a film is projected onto the back of the stage for that matter but as the band performed for two hours I was completely and utterly mesmerized. It's actually quite hard for me to describe the gig, watching an entirely instrumental set is something I'm not used to and even though I don't enjoy football all that much the music worked so well with the film that I loved it. The film is basically a football match focused on Zidane showcasing his incredible skill using 17 different camera angels. I didn't even know that Zidane was such a big deal but even a football novice like me could tell he had mad skills. One of the highlights of the gig was during half time in the match where footage from around the world at the same time was shown. As the volume of the music increased to almost deafening levels I was transfixed, I knew this gig was going to be loud but I wasn't prepared for just how much, it was amazing! A band like Mogwai deserve a venue with exceptional sound quality and the Barbican did not dissapoint, even with our terrible seats the band sounded incredible. At times I wasn't even paying attention to the film because I was so infatuated with the noise.

After the film finished the band did a 3 song encore including the extremely loud 'Helicon pt 1' as the finisher. I came away thinking I need to see a proper Mogwai gig as soon as possible but unfortunately they aren't really touring properly at the moment. I am so glad I bought these tickets on a bit of a whim because it really was one of the best shows I've seen in a long time. I like loud music, I like music so loud that my ears want to bleed and Mogwai proved beyond doubt that they can deliver magnificent melodies at stupidly high volumes!

If you've never really listened to Mogwai before I really recommend this Guardian Music playlist x

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Monday 29 July 2013

Gigging wish list

What to wear to a gig

ASOS skater dress, £24 / Lulu and Co. owl t shirt / Oasis stretch skinny jeans, £28 / ASOS satchel purse, £31 / Converse ALL STAR OX Rojo, £63
I've been talking about gigs a lot recently so thought it would be fun to put a little wishlist together of things I like to wear when I see bands. I like to keep it fairly simple with a comfortable pair of shoes and you can't really go wrong with Converse. Depending on the weather I'll either go for jeans and a tshirt or an easy to wear dress, both of these work well with the red trainers and of course you want your hands free for dancing so a satchel is the perfect bag.

What do you wear for gigging x

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Sunday 28 July 2013

The Thermals at the Garage 23/07/2013

I've been to four gigs this week and considering how much I love live music I thought it's about time I started doing gig reviews on here. Not sure I'll be any good at it but hey ho I'll give it a bash nevertheless. First up this week was the Thermals at the Garage in Islington. The Thermals are an indie band from Portaland, Oregon (a city I would LOVE to visit) and a friend of mine describes them as a cross between Brian Molko (from Placebo) and the Cribs which is pretty accurate I'd say. This was the first time I'd ever seen them having only become a fan recently but I knew their energetically charged albums would transition into a loud and rowdy gig, I was not disappointed.

The Garage is a great venue, it's small and has good sound BUT the air con is seriously lacking. Now, I know going to a jumpy around gig on the hottest day of the year isn't the most sensible thing to do and the amount of sweat that was dripping from me afterwards is a testament to that statement but seriously how is it not possible to blow a bit of cold air into a 300 person capacity room? Air issues aside the gig was fantastic, I spent the majority of it jumping around with the boys as they played a selection of songs from across their six albums. 'Personal Life' is my favourite album of theirs so I was happy they busted out hits like 'I Don't Believe You'. Full of gusto, their live performance was very reminiscent of the punk bands I used to watch during my younger, grungier days. For me this is the sort of music I love and whilst my musical taste is quite eclectic I love jumping around like a loon!

Now, let's take a minute to talk about Kathy Foster, the band's bass player. First of all she has the most incredible asymmetric, blonde and black afro. Secondly, she is so effortlessly cool I want to learn how to play bass right this second so I can be just like her. I'm not going to harp on about how great it is to see an amazing female musician because frankly there are plenty of superb girl bands these days but inevitably a lot of the bands I do go to see live are all male so it's nice to see a women rocking out on stage.

The really cool thing about this gig is that it was a Songkick Detour initiative i.e. fans of the bands pledge money for the band to play a gig via the Songkick website. Once enough people have pledged, Songkick find promoters to put on the show and voila gig done! Because I'm nerdy I have my Songkick account linked to my Spotify and Last.fm accounts so I always know when my favourite bands are playing in London.

Have you been to any gigs recently x

Disclaimer: Songkick gifted me with 2 tickets for this gig but I was under no obligation to write about it.

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Monday 22 July 2013

Summer Wishlist

Weekly Wishlist 1

The hot weather is making me covet pretty dresses with bold prints. I love anything with an animal print so the cat dress and giraffe are high on my wish list. The green metallic dress whilst not completely practical for this weather is stunning. Shoes and lots of them feature prominently on any summer wishlist of mine too. I can get enough of pretty sandals and even those these Dr Martens are pretty chunky the cute floral print is too cute to resist, plus they're in the sale. Also, big round sunglasses are always a staple, every season!

What on your summer wish list x

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Tuesday 16 July 2013

#100London - June Update

Oh dear another terrible month for me, I'm not doing well at this challenge at all. I only managed to visit one place in June and that was Proud Camden to check out the Withnail and I photography exhibition. The exhibition was small but I really enjoyed all the black and white photography. Withnail and I is a film I haven't watched for years so it was nice to rediscover some of the images. I think I'll watch it again soon.

July is already looking to be lots better so at the end of this month I will have a decent update but for now I'm on a total 27 which is really really bad, oops!

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Wednesday 10 July 2013

What's In My Festival Bag 2013

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Ever wandered what I carry around with my at a festival, probably not to be honest but here's a little insight nevertheless. I was at Glasto the other week and 5 days of festival going means you need to pack smart. I don't like to carry around too much with me (more space for cider) so it's essentials only. All the basics are in there, purse with only the necessary cards, phone, camera, sunglasses and festival guide. Suncream is really important for me as I burn easily so the higher the SPF the better. Tissues and a mirror are pretty important too! You can never go wrong with glow sticks either and I think it's always a good idea to carry some sweets around to keep your blood sugar high between meals. I really like the new festival flavour tic tacs and because they are so small they're perfect for shoving in your pocket when you're on the go.

What do you carry around at festivals x

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