Please Register To Vote Today!

20 April 2015

Oh hey guys. I am doing that thing again where I don't blog for like three weeks and then I suddenly pop up with an absolute essay. Really sorry about that.

Life has been super hectic, and I'm currently looking into rearranging my schedule to make more time for blogging because there is SO much I want to share with you guys!

But for now I just wanted to write a few words on why you should register to vote today, because you only have until midnight to do so if you haven't already, and well, it's kiiiiiinda important.

I've spent what feels like a vast percentage of my weekend talking politics with my friends down the pub, and it's weird, because that always used to be sometthing I actively avoided doing. I never liked people knowing my opinions, because they might disagree with me, and if you know me, you'll know that I avoid confrontation at any cost because I'm pretty chill and I just don't like having to deal with that kinda thing. 

Over the past few years I've realised that it's good to discuss how you feel about the world around you, because other people's viewpoints are interesting, and hey, you might learn something you hadn't thought of before, or you may even help somebody see things differently. Varied opinions are the spice of life, and all that.

I wasn't always interested in politics, as I'm sure is true for most people, but as soon as I was old enough to vote, I started looking into what the different parties were all about, who stood for what, and gradually I've learned quite a lot. A lot of us will have grown up hearing about our parents political beliefs, or heard our friends opinions, and we all have the internet - there are so many ways to learn about what is what - and you might not realise that who you vote for really can affect the things you care about until you dig a little deeper. 

As we grow up we are affected more and more by 'boring adult stuff' and all of a sudden over the past few years I started to really care. Things like jobs, tax, housing, the NHS - these things all affect me on a daily basis. I care about the environment, and our relationship to the rest of Europe, and I have opinions on how these things should all be handled. I'm sure you do too, although I understand it can be a little daunting to trawl through policy after policy - I've actually read one or two parties' policies start to finish and it was a chore - but there are plenty of quizes out there and blogs and facebook pages and twitter accounts and SO MANY ways we can learn without being overwhelmed these days.

A really quick way to see which parties you are most aligned with, is to take the Verto Quiz, which really only takes 5 - 10 minutes

So let's just say you don't feel like you agree with any of the parties, you can't pick one, or you just think that they are all just as full of false promises as each other? You should still register to vote. Spoil your ballot. Show that you are unimpressed. If you aren't happy with the way things are, either vote for somebody you believe can change things positively, or spoil your ballot, but if you do nothing then your voice isn't counted at all. If you're one of those people who complains about the state of this that or the other, but you don't vote - then you are the problem. You're your own worst enemy. 

According to google analytics, my readership are the demographic least likely to vote, and while I completely understand that it's all a bit daunting, there are people in the world who aren't allowed to vote at all and are begging for that choice to change the country they live in. There are people who died for your right to vote. Who we vote for now will have a huge impact on the environment our children grow up in. The country we retire in. It sadly takes several terms for any real change to take place, so it really is important to get the ball rolling in the right direction now and take charge of your own future.

The youth vote is so underused, and yet I really strongly believe that my generation - for the most part - have their heads screwed on and have way more power than they realise. In 2010 the non voters vastly outnumbered the supporters of every political party standing. 15.9 million people didn't vote. By contrast, the Tories got 10.7m votes, and Labour got 8.6m. Imagine the power those 15.9 people would have if they voted for who they believed in? Or even the message it would send if they all spoiled their ballots. 


And it's also good for your credit rating to be on the electoral register, so there's that too.



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Muse & Marmozets - Manchester Academy - 22/03/2015

2 April 2015

Matt Bellamy Muse Manchester Academy 22nd March 2015
Chris Wolstenholme Dom Howard Muse Manchester Academy 22nd March 2015
Muse, Manchester Academy - 22nd March 2015

Marmozets Manchester Academy 22nd March 2015
Marmozets, Manchester Academy - 22nd March 2015

So the other week I happened to be checking my email at the split second an email from Muse dropped into my inbox announcing that they were going to be playing a string of six intimate shows... the following week.

I have been a Muse fan since the beginning of time, and when I was younger I was definitely a 'superfan'. It was all a bit embarrassing, but I thought that I had been over that for a good few years now, and just liked the band a regular amount. I was wrong. As soon as I saw the email, the mission to secure myself a ticket was on. I was so elated when I had my confirmation email that I was no good to anybody for a good hour or two.

Then I saw Marmozets tweet that they would be supporting, which I was super happy about because I have been a fan since I heard "Move Shake Hide" probably some time mid 2013, and had been hoping to see the two sets of siblings tear it up live at some point anyway.

Then came Psycho, the title track of this tour, and the first song we would get to hear from Muse's upcoming album "Drones". Psycho uses a riff that Muse have been playing at live shows for the past 16 years or so, and it is SUCH a catchy track. I, along with every other Muse fan listened to it on repeat for at least several days, learned all the words and eagerly awaited getting to see it performed.

I had a ticket for Manchester, but had friends who were going to every show, and I kept a close eye on the sets performed at each - thrilled to see plenty of old material and rarer tracks and B sides being performed.


On the night I was a little bit late arriving at Manchester Academy, so I was gutted to miss the first few songs of Marmozets' set, but I caught the majority and was blown away. They did a fantastic job of kicking off the night, and if you haven't seem them perform yet you really should make sure you do. They play with real energy, and Becca's vocals impress me even more in the flesh. I wish that I had been able to get closer, because the crowd where I was stood was fairly static, with me just moshing away and singing along by myself, but I could see a pretty good reaction a few rows in front, where there were obviously plenty of people who already knew the band. Hopefully a lot of the people there who were being introduced to them for the first time that night are now on board, I imagine they probably have quite a number of new fans after this tour!


Then it was Muse's turn to make me feel things. I was right in the pit for this. If you're a Muse superfan, the place to be is right down the front with all the other superfans. Who needs ribs when you have a crowd jumping and singing in unison??

They opened with Psycho, and everybody loved it. It's a great opener, and we were all singing the riff along with them, as well as all the words, because everybody knew it pretty well by that point.

Psycho was followed by 'The Groove' which is a favourite B Side of mine, and I was verrrrry happy. It was the first time they'd performed it since 2004. Bit of a big deal.

Next we got Bliss, which is such a beautiful track, and even better - there were Hullabaloons! If you don't know what a Hullabaloon is, they are massive black or white balloons filled with confetti which get thrown around the crowd. If you haven't watched the Hullabaloo DVD from back in the day you really need to.

A great moment was when I shouted 'play Dead Star' and Matt appeared to look amused, and then they launched into Dead Star. I would love to say they just went "hey great idea, let's do that" but I was cheating. I'd seen the setlist.

And what a setlist it was! We got Fury, Dead Star and The Groove as out B Side treats, which was pretty wonderful, as well as plenty of favourite tracks from Origin of Symmetry, which they said they weren't going to play again after that Reading & Leeds that time.  I am so happy they lied. Although we didn't actually get anything from Showbiz, other dates in the tour did, which I was pretty jealous of, although still very happy with the Manchester set.

We also got to hear Reapers, another one of their new tracks from the Drones album. Plenty of people around me had watched the live videos from previous dates and sung along every word, so it definitely went down well! It was also funny how quite a few people didn't seem to know Fury, as I guess it is a slightly rare track, and there was some excited mutterings of "is this off the new album?!". Nope.

I am however getting very excited for the release of Drones now. So far we have heard Psycho, Reapers, and now Dead Inside, all of which I have really liked.

I wish I could relive this show, and I really really hope that this isn't the last time I get to go to a more 'intimate' Muse gig. There were only 2000 people there, and above all, you could tell that the band were really enjoying themselves. I imagine it's refreshing to go back to a different environment after putting on incredibly impressive and elaborate stadium stage shows for years! I think the fact they also released the first wave of tickets as a fan pre-sale, and combated touts by having paperless tickets (so you just swiped the card you paid with to get in) was a ridiculously good idea, and ensured a fantastic atmosphere! Top marks, Muse, you well and truly reignited my embarrassingly deep love for you guys!


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Simple Gold Spring Makeup Look

21 March 2015

 

The other day I was absolutely full of a cold (still am actually, how long will this plague drag on for?!), and I didn't quite dare wear my trusty winged eyeliner, because I knew I would probably end up with eyes so watery that it all came off in a panda-esque mess throughout the evening. So I thought I would try something fairly simple, and I went for this gold spring makeup look.

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