Where to buy a band t-shirt and how to style it

Band t-shirts are a slightly controversial fashion statement. Genuine fans wear them to express their love for an act but they’ve always been a popular choice among fashionistas also.

This old reliable is making waves right now so here’s a look at some of the best band t-shirts available at the moment.

Boohoo.com have a great selection this year from Nirvana to Guns N’ Roses to The Doors.

This black Nirvana t-shirt is quite baggy, ideal for a casual look.

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Black nirvana tshirt. Pic: Boohoo.com

Band tees don’t have to be just short sleeved round-necks, Boohoo also have cut-out shoulder and long sleeve styles.

This Guns N’ Roses style is perfect for a night out, while the long sleeved Rolling Stone one is great for layering coming into winter.

For a vintage or upcycled band t-shirt, check out Etsy and Asos Marketplace.

ShopKashmir on Etsy have the coolest oversize band-tshirts with lace up inserts. These are a great one of a kind look.

 

Fresh in Temple Bar is a great place to pick up customised clothing and I love their lace-up t-shirt dresses. They’re €30.

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If you prefer your band t-shirt a bit more distressed, BleachdClothing on Etsy sell cool customised ones. Bear in mind, unique customised band t-shirts don’t come cheap, all of the Etsy ones I saw were €40+.

These band tees have been given a modern spin with a cut-out neckline and bleaching. This is pretty easy to do at home if you enjoy customising.

RoadkillVintage have some slightly cheaper styles such as this Kiss t-shirt with slashed sides for €25 on Etsy.

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Kiss T-shirt. Pic: RoadkillVintage, Etsy.com

This Van Halen tour t-shirt from Shein.com is also a great choice, looks like a real vintage t-shirt complete with list of tour dates but is cheap as chips at €9.09.

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Van Halen tee. Pic: Shein.com

Shein also sell some great crop tops, like this grey Guns N’ Roses one.

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Guns ‘n’ Roses Grey crop top. Pic: Shein.com

Naturally Nasty Gal have the coolest rock t-shirts known to man.

If you’re a true rock fan sick of wearing oversize men’s shirts, now is a great time to finally  get your favourite band tee in your own size.

If you just love the look, band t-shirts are perfect with black leather jacket, jeans and boots. Attitude optional.

I’ve styled my Missguided Guns n’Roses one with a vintage leather skirt and holographic heels for going out but it’s just a good under a denim shirt or with shorts for daytime.

I really like that it has a list of tour dates on the back, making it look more authentic. I bought this in a medium for a looser fit.

And you can also layer them under a bomber in colder weather.

While on holidays in San Sebastian, I picked up this Iron Maiden one which I think looks great with blue jeans or shorts and a bandana.

Do you like band-tshirts? Or do you think they should be only for gigs? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks as always for reading my blog and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

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Angel Haze live at the Academy in Dublin

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It was by chance I discovered one of my favourite artists Angel Haze was playing the Academy in Dublin.

There was very little publicity about the tour (and later I found out why) and I only realised when it popped up on Spotify.

I was so keen to go that I used my emergency credit card (well this was an emergency!)

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Angel Haze burst onto the hip-hop scene with the debut album Dirty Gold.

The rapper, who identifies as agender and uses the pronoun they/them, has since split from her label and released her new mixtape Back to the Woods.

I only began listening to this a few days before the gig as I knew these songs would be featuring. I loved Dirty Gold which is a deeply personal album. At the time I was listening to it I was having some personal problems.

I can honestly say this album really helped me, music is the best form of therapy. When I was feeling bad I would either go for a run listening to it or listen to it at night when I couldn’t sleep.

Back to the Woods is quite different but very easy to listen to. Even though I’d only listened to it a couple of times I knew most of the songs before the gig.

Following the acrimonious split from Island Records, Haze said they “hate” some of the Dirty Gold songs so I guessed they wouldn’t be featuring in the show!

(Plus they favourited my tweet saying I was listening to Back to the Woods..almost died!)

The intimate surrounds of the Academy’s Green room played host to Haze and her support acts Californian rapper Devmo and Cork indie act Talos.

Devmo was the ideal warm-up act and it was great to see a female rap artist as support.

Her cheeky personality really comes across well on stage. I particularly enjoyed her rendition of “Take me to Church.”

Talos seemed very subdued compared to Devmo’s energy yet singer Eoin French’s falsetto vocal is incredible.

 

Tk Kayembe who produced Back to the Woods took to the stage as DJ and hypeman around 9pm as Angel Haze almost sneaked on stage, all dressed in black.

“The more energy you give to me, the more I’ll give to you!” she announced to the crowd.  As I’d speculated, the set was dominated by Back to the Woods songs.

“Moonrise Kingdom” is one of my favourite songs from BTTW.

For “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Detox” Haze selected two girls from the crowd to dance and flirt with on stage and also hopped down into the crowd at one point.

“The Woods” was a visceral powerful performance which details Haze’s was abused by a brother and how their mother turned a blind eye to it.

This song shows off both Haze’s singing ability and rapping. “Impossible” and “The Eulogy” were also impressive performances.

Haze’s most famous song “Battlecry” was the only “Dirty Gold” tune that they performed to the rapturous crowd.

“Would I be a dick if I didn’t play Battlecry?!” Haze asked the audience. The answer was a resounding yes!

“Werkin Girls” also produced by Kayembe had the entire crowd rapping along.

Haze then thanked the crowd saying a lot of people doubted their ability to undertake the tour and told the fans they were here because of them.

Haze is playing 40 cities across Europe without the support of a label hence the lack of publicity.

In fact, when I read the Academy’s listings in the paper, the gig didn’t even appear which is a travesty!

Haze signed CDs after the gig but I was too broke to buy one! From what I saw on social media, lots of lucky people got take a photo with them. Haze seems really appreciative and very gracious.

The gig was really reasonably priced with tickets only €20 including booking fee. Money well spent in my opinion. 🙂

Hope you all enjoyed this post, let me know if you were at the gig or if you’re an Angel Haze fan.

I have lots of exciting posts coming up, my next one will be one the sneaker trend.

Thanks for reading as always, if you’re having any difficulty leaving a comment, just click the grey speech bubble in the bottom right-hand corner.

Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longitude 2015

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I’d agonised for days over what day to go to Longitude. Friday with Hozier or Sunday with Tove Lo? In the end I decided to go on Sunday and it was a great choice, the weather gods were on my side for once! It was a beautiful day in Marlay Park, surrounded by the woods and decorative flags dotting the edges of the grounds.

We arrived early and it was really laid-back and chilled out. Amnesty International were offering free face-painting whilst encouraging festival-goers to sign their petitions. I got silver glitter and face jewels also.

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I wore my trusty cowboy boots, John Lennon t-shirt, denim dungarees and a suede jacket. Sunglasses and feather earrings also made an appearance. I attempted to make French braid pigtails but they were a disaster… Let’s face it, I just can’t do girly things!

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The first act we saw was Swedish/Argetinian crooner Jose Gonzalez. Many of you may remember his Heartbeats single from a few years ago. It was lovely to hear him again after all these years. His music really suited the relaxed mellow vibe early in the day. He played his two hit songs “Crosses” and “Heartbeats” as well as an acoustic cover of “Teardrop”.

We took a wander around to the other stages, walking through the woods. Close to the Heineken stage was a fun area with a DJ, ping-pong tables and karaoke.

The day passed by really quickly and before I knew it, it was almost time for the act I was dying to see, the incredible Tove Lo. There was just enough time to enjoy a dinner of delicious home fries before we headed to the Heineken tent.

The tent was packed to capacity with eager Tove Lo fans. Many people were sitting on shoulders and one guy even managed to climb up part of the stage rigging (so safe!)

In my opinion Tove Lo would’ve been a better act for the main stage as it was really crowded in the tent and hard to see her until I squeezed further up. This was her first Irish show and it was high-octane from the beginning.

She opened the show with “That’s My Gun”.

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She followed with a string of hits “Not on Drugs” “Talking Body” and of course “Habits”. Recent hit “Talking Body” got the best response from the crowd but all of her songs were well received. I was thrilled to see her first Irish show and loved every minute! I had thought there weren’t that many Tove Lo fans but I was proved wrong! I’d been asking people prior to the gig “Do ya know Tove Lo?” and they nearly all said “Who?!” However the gig proved I’m not the only Tove Lo fangirl in Ireland. 😛 She has a great fan base here and I hope she will be back.

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After Tove Lo, we headed to the main stage to see James Blake. I have to confess, I really wasn’t familiar with his music but enjoyed nevertheless! However his act didn’t really command the main stage.

After James Blake, headliners The Chemical Brothers came on. It’s been a long time since I’d heard any Chemical Brothers songs but judging from the atmosphere when “Superstar DJs” came on, they are still very popular! Also people were still singing it on my bus home, thanks for that Chemical Bros. 😛

It was an amazing gig, everyone was dancing and jumping around enjoying the energy.  At one point I persuaded a guy to put me on his shoulders and seeing the crowd from the air at night was unreal. The atmosphere had completely changed from chill and subdued earlier to party central. Lights, laser beams and visuals accompanied the beats to make an incredible sensory experience.

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I’d ran out of storage towards the end of the gig hence the lack  of James Blake/Chemical Bros. pictures! However The Last Mixed Tape have great pictures of all the acts from all three days.

With a combination of the sunny weather, great acts and atmosphere, I’d say Longitude’s the best festival I’ve been to yet. Here’s to 2016 ! 😉

If you were at Longitude on Sunday, I’d love to hear your opinions. Leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading as always.

AMY- The movie

Ironically the first time I heard of Amy Winehouse was not through the medium of music. I saw her in a magazine wearing retro clothing and I thought “wow what a cool and beautiful girl, is she a singer or something? ” Even before the tattoos and beehive, Amy had a very distinct image.

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Pic: Pinterest
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Most people will not remember Amy pre the Back To Black era. After all the image of Amy that resonates in our minds is the thin drug-addled alcoholic. This is where director Asif Kapadia’s “Amy” comes in.  The movie begins looking back at Amy’s teenage years when she was vivacious, healthy and happy. “Amy” is a documentary shot using personal home footage, live recordings, narratives from friends and acquaintances and Amy’s own lyrics.  Amy is portrayed as a cheeky fun-loving girl who loves her jazz music, a game of pool and a drink and a joint!

I won’t claim to have known Amy’s music through her first album. However when “Rehab” and the subsequent “Back to Black” album were released, I became a devotee. Amy’s lyrics and raw honesty meant you couldn’t help but love her.

The movie slowly depicts how Amy’s rise to fame and addictions culminated in her untimely death. One thing I didn’t know was that Amy suffered from bulimia and this affected her health greatly. It’s clear that her gaunt physique was not solely caused by drug abuse.

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Amy looked much healthier and happier at the beginning of her career. Pic: Pinterest

One part of the movie which was quite disturbing was how it showed her family seemed aware of her bulimia and her addictions and yet did not urge her strongly enough to seek help/rehabilitation. Amy’s father Mitch has since objected to the film’s portrayal of Amy.

Having also read Mitch’s book Amy, My Daughter, I’m not sure what to think. The movie does seem to show a balanced view of Amy in my opinion, neither condemning nor condoning her lifestyle. Kapadia mentions in interviews that he was not overly familiar  with Amy or a fan prior to making the movie. Amy is such a controversial figure that if you are a fan you will defend her to the death and if you dislike her, you will hate her. Kapadia is able to take a neutral stance.

Throughout the movie, Amy’s friends are adamant that there were opportunities where she could have been saved or at least given adequate treatment. Amy did enter rehab more than once, including one brief stint with Blake Fielder-Civil her then husband. Footage from the stay shows Blake trying to persuade Amy to sing “Rehab” while in rehab, almost goading her. Amy keeps refusing and then says quietly “But I kind of like it here.”

For me the most poignant scene was when Amy is performing via video-link at The Grammys. Having been banned from entering the US due to her reputation, Amy is forced to remain in the UK. She is watching an award being presented by jazz legend Tony Bennett. When the announcer describes Bennett as one of the greatest jazz singers, Amy declares “That’s right!” in her strong Cockney twang. In disbelief she repeats into the microphone “Dad! Dad! It’s Tony Bennett!” Seconds later, Amy is announced as the winner. The look on her face is incredible. Amy won five Grammys that night out of six nominations. It should have been a celebratory night however Amy’s life-long friend Juliet tells another story. According to her, backstage Amy sighed “This is so boring without drugs…”

Equally endearing is the footage of Amy getting nervous while recording with Tony Bennett in studio. It’s obvious how much Amy wanted to perfect the song while performing with Bennett.

Amy’s lyrics feature on-screen throughout the movie as do live performances and recordings. We also get a taster of some of her final lyrics towards the end of the movie. It left me with the longing to dust down the CDs and listen to her again.

The movie is very powerful however I did feel slightly disconnected and as though part of the story was missing in order to make the documentary work. I expected to find the movie very emotional towards the end however it’s the happiest scenes that made me feel emotional.We are left with the sense that you will never know the full story. In some ways Amy’s music is the most powerful narrator, it’s not hard to know how she was feeling when listening to her songs. In the movie Amy mentions that she didn’t want to write or sing a song unless its something she’s personally experienced. On listening to her songs, you realise Amy had heartbreak and sadness but also a reckless self-destructive streak. It is really sad knowing she will never make music again or that there will never be another Amy Winehouse. However the saddest part is the loss suffered by her friends and family, not the fans or the music industry’s loss. It is obvious Amy’s loved ones still mourn her and the film is a testament to their personal relationships and friendships also.

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Pic: Pinterest

I saw this premiere screening in the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield which is a lovely cinema. It was a special screening which included a Q & A session with the director, producer and Amy’s friend and former manager Nick Shymansky who filmed much of the home footage.

Have you seen the film? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. As always thank you for reading and you can like my blog on Facebook here.

R.I.P Amy 14th September 1983- 23rd July 2011.

Foxes live at the Academy

Foxes kicked off her “Glorious” UK and Ireland tour last week at the Academy. With tickets only €22.50 it would’ve been a crime not to go.

Considering the fact that she is a comparatively new artist, I didn’t know what to expect. However I was completely blown away!

Pic: Foxes Youtube

Electro-pop outfit Ariana and the Rose were the support act first on stage. I’d never heard of the New York singer-songwriter but she had a great stage presence and got the crowd warmed up. She also had an awesome outfit including light-up runners!

Even though I hadn’t heard her music before she is probably one of the best opening acts I’ve seen at a gig. At most gigs people are looking at their watches and phones during the support act and grumbling but she interacted well with the crowd and made it easy to want to watch her.

I really enjoyed “In Your Bed” which you can listen to here.

Foxes didn’t take the stage until 9.30. My phone battery conveniently died before she even appeared so I don’t have any pictures of her! She pirouetted on dressed in a baseball jacket, black sports bra, pink sequin joggers with rhinestone details and white 90’s runners with white socks. Foxes stylist I salute you! Foxes or Louisa Rose Allen (her real name) looks very young in person and in this sporty 90’s outfit and pigtails could almost pass for a teenager.

At first I thought she might be over doing the dancing and mincing around but I soon realised it’s part of the act.

Foxes sings with a live band and no backing singers. I was seriously impressed by the quality of her voice live. While I really admire her as a singer/songwriter I also love her aesthetic. Her videos for Youth and Let Go For Tonight are amazing and she has great fashion sense.

The highlights of the show for me were “Glorious”, “Holding onto Heaven” and especially a medley cover combining Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” and The Artful Dodger’s “Movin’ Too Fast.”

I absolutely LOVED the Foxes rendition, it was gorgeous. She performed it sitting on the side of the stage with her guitarists, it was lovely to hear an acoustic song like this in contrast to the high energy numbers.

I think she may have changed the lyrics of “Movin’ Too Fast” but that’s artistic licence. 😛

During my time in a former job I always heard a dance song called “Clarity” being played.

The song itself irritated me BUT I loved the vocalist and have only recently discovered Foxes sings on it! When I heard it sung live, I immediately liked it a lot more.

Likewise I never realised Foxes featured on Rudimental’s “Right Here” which she also performed. Her vocals on these dance tracks are what made her well-known but her own music is equally worthy of recognition.

This track really seemed energise the crowd, everyone was dancing and singing along to it. Her voice sounds most authentic on plaintive tracks such as “Right Here” and “Youth” and the audience seemed to connect with this.

She also performed a mashup of Pharrell’s “Happy” and Massive Attack’s Teardrop. This is a slow arrangement completely different to the Pharrell version, you can hear it on Youtube below.

She appeared to get a little emotional during “Teardrop”.  She continued in this vein on “Youth” telling the crowd “This is the first song I wrote, on the train to London. I wanted to be a singer and I never thought I could be a singer.”

 I was really looking forward to “Let Go for Tonight” which I knew would be the encore. (Also I could read the set list from where I stood. )

This was the only song she sang over a backing track and as the crowd were so loud, it was hard to hear. However it was still a triumphant finale. I think she was especially excited as it was the first gig of her tour and it was an enthusiastic performance.

I kept my gig outfit casual, denim shirt, patterned leggings and a gold necklace.

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For more music, fashion and fun stuff, check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Edel

 

Daytripper Festival Waterford 2014

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So I went to the gig of the year a few weeks back..no not the Garth Brooks tribute… instead I went to a car park in Waterford. Now when I heard about the Daytripper festival in Waterford I imagined it took place in some large outdoor space…Then I saw the venue online “Bolton Street Car park”…sure it’s the whole street I thought or a really massive car park. But when we got there it was just a regular sized car park. The festival took place over 3 days with Kaiser Chiefs, David Gray and Paloma Faith headlining. Considering the size of the venue, I think they got pretty good acts. We decided just to go Saturday and Sunday so we didn’t see the Kaiser Chiefs.

Saturday evening arrived and we were taking in some of the local warm-up acts and who do I see beside me? Only Jerry Fish! He was looking very suave and enjoying the local act Susan O’Neill and The Low Standards. I also really enjoyed them, they were having a good time despite the small crowd early on.

Jerry Fish is legitimately Ireland’s coolest person

The venue had two stages, the Waterford Credit Union stage which hosted local acts and the main stage. The first act on the main stage was The Booka Brass Band. Now my appreciation of brass is limited to the guy who plays sax in Grafton Lounge on Saturday nights..but the guys were good as far as I can tell! And easy on the eye 😉 Check out the guys playing Crazy in Love below. Brass is alive and well! 🙂

I really enjoyed their set from their instrumental version of “Talk Dirty ” by Jason Derulo, a guest vocalist in the form of Jerry Fish and “Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound gang cover (complete with rapping!) It was really energetic, fun and not at all what I expected.

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Next up on the main stage were Paul Abbott and Jacqui Heaton of The Beautiful South plus band. By then a large crowd had gathered on the wall across from the park, some people even setting deckchairs up on the wall to take in the show. Paul Abbott ribbed these people saying “I bet you paid a good price for those tickets!”

Then the wait for David Gray began. Despite his huge chart success here I wasn’t aware he was still recording until this summer! We didn’t have too wait too long for him, he’s no diva.

David Gray came on with band, backing singers and very little fanfare. He didn’t look  half as old as I expected..considering the slightly older fan base that surrounded us. He began with a few of his new songs but I was waiting for the oldies! It was a really beautiful evening and bizarrely enough some kind of drone camera was flying over the crowd taking pictures….

This will give you an idea as to the size of the venue

David Gray has always enjoyed success in Ireland and the venue was packed. “Sail Away” and “Babylon” both got huge responses from the crowd but my favourite David Gray song is “This Years Love.”  It was amazing to hear it live and really gave me shivers down my spine! I remember hearing David Gray on the radio as a kid around the release of White Ladder and he sounds as good as he did then. I can’t say that about many other songs I listened to back then!

A camera malfunction meant I couldn’t take pictures but you can see all the photos in high definition from the weekend here. If you look hard enough you’ll definitely spot me in full fangirl mode on Day 2. 😉

The next night we went down to see an artist I  have admired for a long time-Paloma Faith. Paloma Faith has a very unique sound, style and character and I was very excited to see her!

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We stayed around the main stage awaiting the warm-up acts Cathy Davey and James. Cathy Davey had a really rousing set and seemed very chill on stage. I think Cathy is hugely underrated and really enjoyed her songs especially “Rueben” and “Sing for your supper.” Cathy’s whole band and back-up singer seemed really talented and the crowd loved their performance.

After a lot of fanfare Paloma eventually came on and I was dying to see what she looked like. She changes her hair a lot but she was blonde in Waterford.  She had on a skintight metallic dress, silver shoes and her trademark headpiece.

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 Paloma’s dress is by a designer called Hasan Hejazi. I thought she looked gorgeous although her dance moves in the dress threatened to reveal too much at times! She is certainly a born performer as she danced, jiggled, gestured and flirted her way through her set.  She twerked, crawled on top of the piano and lay on the ground at various points! Paloma has a dance and drama background its not surprising she puts such an emphasis on production.

She was very witty in her interactions with the crowd and self-deprecating saying “My record label wanted me to break America but now I’m playing in a car park in Ireland!” She also proclaimed  “I’m glad to see socialism is alive in Ireland ‘cos I’m a socialist and I’d be on the wall with you!” when she saw the onlookers on the wall.

Paloma performed a string of hits old and new. I wasn’t sure if I liked her new material but hearing the new songs live gave me a greater appreciation of them. Highlights included Only love can hurt like this which Diane Warren wrote.

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For someone who seems so fun loving  it’s hard to believe Paloma has so many sad heartbreak songs. As well as her theatrical antics, Paloma’s vulnerability in her songwriting is a large part of her appeal. Picking up the Pieces was another song I wasn’t as familiar with but once I heard it live I was hooked! (I couldn’t find a video from Daytripper so here she is performing it in the UK).

The one disappointment was that Paloma didn’t perform an encore and I was really hoping she would perform “New York” . 😦 I would’ve loved to hear New York live as its a personal favourite.

While I was down in Waterford and Wexford I did a little sightseeing. On the way down I saw Johnstown Castle and gardens in Wexford which was so gorgeous and only €5 entry.

The beautiful Johnstown Castle

The docks in Waterford and the Waterford Crystal shop are Waterford’s main attractions. The prices of items in the Waterford Crystal shop will make you hold your breath just walking around in case you break something! The crystal was slightly out of my price range but I did pick up a cute daisy necklace in River Island. 😉

All in all I had a great weekend down South! I hope this festival can get bigger and better as this is only it’s second year running. If anyone went on Friday I’d love to hear how The Kaiser Chiefs were-leave me a comment.

Thanks for dropping by!

Edel

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Eminem at Slane 2013

August 17th 2013. After a cancelled gig 8 years ago (it was meant to be my first big concert…there were tears!)  I finally got to see Eminem play Slane.

My friend and I bought our tickets back in January with our Christmas wages, thinking he was going to sell out fast..which it didn’t!

I’m a huge Eminem fan and have been since he was singing with Dido and wielding a chainsaw. I remember asking my older brother to buy me the Eminem show CD as it had a parental advisory sticker!

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This album was my first real Eminem experience and my God I loved it! The Eminem show is quite a dark album but I loved it. However Eminem is a lot older now and his style of music has changed so I wondered what he’d be like onstage.

I decided on a colourful hippyish outfit for the day. I wore a vintage black and white crochet top I found at home (it had a black lining inside but I cut away the lining and wore it over a white vest), a long denim shirt which I barely wore because we were sweltering in the crowd, denim cut-offs that I borrowed from my housemate, pink and black pattern tights, brown boots, a denim rucksack, turquoise and gold jewellery and a flower in my hair!

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My boots, shirt, necklace and flower hair clip are all from Stradivarius, my rucksack and white vest top is from Penneys, my crochet top is vintage and my bracelets and cross earrings are from Forever 21.

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Some of my jewellery

After an interesting bus ride to Slane (some people asleep, people jumping off for bathroom breaks along the motorway etc.) we had quite a walk up to the site and had three searches which was a bit unnecessary in my opinion.

The organisers seemed to be of the opinion that it was going to be a “rough crowd” and that a lot of security was needed. There seems to be a consensus that if you like rap music you must be thick/rough/a tasteless chav.

Eminem is one of the more intelligent acts around and although he’s an acquired taste, I love his music.

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We hadn’t left early and with our walk we got inside just in time for support act Earlwolf. All the support acts (with the exception of Plan B)  Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf and Earlwolf are signed to Shady Records.

At first I was disappointed with the lineup as I expected bigger names but I enjoyed the Earlwolf performance. I am glad we didn’t go earlier however because we wouldn’t have been able to hold the place we had in the crowd for that long. Apparently the earlier support acts struggled to get the crowd going which can’t have been fun for them.

When we got in the sheer size of the crowd was breathtaking. We had heard that the concert was not sold out but I believe it sold out in the last few days as the crowd was estimated to be around 84,000.

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Before Earlwolf came on, we gradually moved down close to the stage until we couldn’t move any further. We were just outside the pit and could see pretty well, however we were packed like sardines!

We hadn’t expected to get as close as we did get, we could see the stage easily. It did mean we couldn’t go anywhere for the next two hours, not back, not forward, not sideways! At some points I couldn’t even put my hands in pockets and I cursed having a rucksack as people around me moved my rucksack got pulled with them!

It was also incredibly hot with all those people and I’m glad I wore shorts and a light top and had a raincoat and a few layers with me!

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Earlwolf  consist of Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler the Creator, Jasper and Taco. I don’t know if Jasper and Taco have more illustrious surnames. They were funny and high-spirited and it put the crowd in a good mood.

After Earl and co. it was time for Plan B! I was extremely excited for Plan B, ever since I heard Lost my way, he’s been one of my favourite artists. Plan B was awesome but he did get booed at the end by impatient fans which he really didn’t deserve. Ill Manors, Prayin’ and Lost my way were all amazing.

He’s genuinely multi-talented as a songwriter, rapper and singer. I think he got a little frustrated as he started taunting the crowd saying ” Ireland you’re the tamest crowd ever!” and insulting the crowd’s reaction. He later explained his tirade in an interview with NME saying he was irritated by the lack of reaction from a tired crowd.

Lost My Way used to be my favourite Plan B song but I think Ill Manors was the highlight of his Slane performance.

After Plan B left the stage there was a LOT of jostling and shoving as people tried to get into the best viewing position possible. It got quite scary but I was determined to see Eminem as close as possible! It literally felt like ages waiting for him to come and the crowd were getting antsy.

Finally he made his entrance from behind a white curtain and the whole place erupted! It was really crazy and hard to see the stage so I watched most of it on the screens. It was a bit lacklustre at first as Eminem’s hype man  was doing all the talking to the crowd and the opening tracks were newer material so not everyone knew the lyrics.

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He opened the show with new track “Survival” and followed with “Won’t Back Down”, “3 a.m”, “Square Dance” and “Business”. He then launched into “Kill You” and the crowd began to respond more vigorously at this point.

As Eminem introduced some of his older songs “White America” and “Mosh”, the crowd became more excited. For me, hearing songs from The Eminem Show was really nostalgic, as I’m sure it was for many of the mid-twenties age group who have been Eminem fans for ten years or more.

Eminem has made several collaborations in the past few years and it was inevitable they would crop up on the set list. The first of these was “No Love” which was recorded with Lil Wayne for the 2010 “Recovery” album. The less said about Lil Wayne, his squawky voice, ill-judged tattoos and general overexposure…the better!

But I do love Eminem’s rap on this track as he has been more restrained in recent years but  he sounds angry and raw in this song. He followed with “Just don’t give a Fuck” and “Criminal” and then the anthemic “Cleaning out my Closet”. Again “Cleaning out my Closet” is more emotional than his newer work and elicits more a of a response. “The Way I am” was another song I hadn’t heard for a long time and I really enjoyed the rebellious chorus being chanted all over Slane.

Then after “Fast Lane”, he relaunched into the collaborations again with “Lighters” and “Airplanes pt. 2”. I like both of these songs and they demonstrate how much Eminem has evolved and changed as an artist. However I enjoyed “Stan”, “Sing for the Moment” and “Like Toy Soldiers” more.

He only sang parts of some tracks which was irritating at times and felt like the show was being rushed. His rapping sounded very good (almost too good because questions were raised over whether he was lip-syncing at certain points) but I believe he is talented enough to rap live and I could hear slight nuances in his voice at times.

He continued with “Forever”, “Till I Collapse” and “Cinderella Man” which sounded amazing live. He finally decided to interact with the crowd when introducing “Love the Way you Lie” saying “I haven’t talked to the ladies all night”….then asked “How many women in this crowd have ever been in a relationship like this?” and launched into “Love the Way you Lie”. *puts hand up*

It was the perfect track to dedicate to his female fans (unlike some of his songs which are somewhat misogynistic) and this video captures the moment.

The best part of the whole show was undoubtedly the last few songs. Eminem announced “Now I don’t take drugs anymore but can I take you back to the days of my drug-taking?” as a prelude to “My Name is” and “The Real Slim Shady”. These two songs electrified the entire crowd as they caught a glimpse of the  homicidal wacky alter ego Slim Shady gleefully chanting “And Dr Dre said..Nothing you idiots Dr. Dre’s dead! He’s locked in my basement!”

“Without Me” and “Not Afraid” were also fantastic performances and more than made up for the slow start to the show. Then after disappearing for a quick outfit change, Eminem came back with his hood down and we could finally see his face properly. His hair is now dark and very short, it’s a far cry from the bleach blonde Slim Shady but he still looks good! Then the famous piano intro for “Lose Yourself” began and he closed the show in style. “Lose Yourself” is another of my favourites and the perfect choice for an encore.

I’m thrilled I finally got to see Eminem live and yes it was worth €80! It’s a lot of money but Eminem is head and shoulders above most contemporary rap artists. He has definitely changed and matured but it’s obvious the fans still love him. I’m looking forward to hearing his new album and seeing where he goes from here. If any of you were at Slane this year or have seen Eminem play, leave me a comment!

Thanks for reading.

Edel

Lana Del Rey Concert in Dublin

I was really lucky to be given a ticket for Lana Del Rey for my birthday in February. I thought the day would never come but I finally got to see the gorgeous Lana with my friend Janet in Vicar St.

Lana has received criticism for her live performances and harsh comments on her appearance but I was very impressed by her.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as her music can be quite mellow and subdued but she was awesome.

It was her first Irish performance and both of her shows were a sell-out. I’ve always loved her glamorous image and find her music reminiscent and moving. In fact, the first time I heard Video Games it made me cry!

Pic: Lanadelreyfansblog.cz

I picked a rock chick outfit for the gig, frayed denim shorts, a tiger print black top, black blazer and leopard print brogues.

We also got ourselves Lana-esque floral headbands from Penneys.

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Palm trees, candelabras with creepy crows perched on them and stone lions set the scene for the gig. It invoked the paradise theme of her album and old-school glamour of her music.

First up were support act Kassidy who are a Scottish folk rock band.

Lana’s boyfriend Barrie-James O’ Neill plays guitar and sings. The band consists of Barrie(vocals), Hamish Fingland (vocals, guitar), Chris Potter(vocals, guitar) and Lewis Andrew (vocals, guitar, accordion, keyboard).

The boys were onstage when we came in at 8pm.

We managed to get close to the stage (about three rows back) after a bit of shuffling around and could enjoy their performance.

Kassidy

Lana and her band came on stage just after 9pm to much screaming and frenzy from the fans. She acknowledged the madness saying “I’m so excited to be here!”

She wore a 60′s style lacy white dress and her huge Jackie O style hair is a masterpiece! She kept touching it all night but it stayed perfect.

In the past, Lana has said she’s not a natural performer in the past and sometimes has to kneel down to stop trembling or reaches out to the fans for reassurance.

She did both several times but seemed confident in her delivery.

Pic: DublinConcerts.ie

Everyone went crazy when she came on and one fan even threw underwear up to the stage which Lana caught and twirled around!
Then she and her band launched into “Cola” which I hadn’t heard before but I loved the song immediately. Even though she’s known for what I call Ameri-melancholia, she was really upbeat and energetic from the start.
Her band and backing singers were fantastic also. It sounds mellow recorded but when sang live the chorus was really powerful with everyone singing along.
However, her voice sounds quite strained at times. Lana came down to the front afterwards and must have been blinded by all the cameras!
After that we were treated to Body Electric, Blue Jeans, Born to Die and Summertime Sadness which sounded amazing live especially the bridge.
Carmen, the narrative of a tragic heroine, “a street-walker by night, a star by day” was also a crowd-pleaser.
I was delighted when she started singing  Knocking on Heaven’s door as it’s one of my favourite songs and I loved hearing her wistful interpretation.
It’s an incredibly sad heartfelt song and although her vocal was slightly weak, this is a subdued song so it didn’t really matter.
It was a perfect conclusion to the equally sad “Without You”.
The chorus sounds so haunting with the crowd singing along. She implores us to “tell me life is beautiful/They all think I have it all/I am nothing without you.”
She introduced “Young and Beautiful” from the Great Gatsby soundtrack saying she hadn’t written many new songs recently apart from this.
As the Great Gatsby was just released a week ago here, it got a great reception from the audience.
“Ride” was introduced with her official video monologue playing in the background.
For someone who’s supposedly living on the road in a motorcycle gang as the official video suggests, she’s still ridiculously glamorous… 😛
Lana then took time to speak to the fans again, saying she really appreciated her friends and fans and received so much applause she started crying!
When you see a famous person close and sense their emotional state it reminds you that they are human and not some untouchable being.
 Lana then announced there was time for two more songs. I thought she would finish the show with “Video Games” but she sang it second last and then closed the show with a dramatic version of “National Anthem” which was amazing. She went offstage with a wave when the song finished.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her live and thought her interaction with the fans was really sweet.
My favourite performances were “Cola”, “Summertime Sadness” and “National Anthem”. Two of my other favourite songs are “Radio” and “Diet Mountain Dew” which she didn’t sing but you can find them on  Youtube.
I’d love to hear your opinions on the gig, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.
Click the grey speech bubble on the right below to leave a comment.
Keep an eye out for my next post– it’s all about jewellery and bling! Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page. 

Edel

Interview with The Depravations for MRU Magazine

I’ve been going to a lot of gigs since I moved to Dublin and one of my first nights out here was at the Hard Working Class Heroes festival where I first saw  The Depravations play. I ended up going to several of their gigs and enjoy their music, its very mellow or maybe that was the alcohol….

Anyway I just did my first interview with them for Music Review Unsigned magazine. This site reviews unsigned artists and has even had it’s own awards show! Here is the interview as it appears on the site or you can read it below also. Check out their upcoming appearances on their Facebook and their music.

The Depravations are an indie folk group which formed in Galway in 2006. They have since built up a significant following and have enjoyed touring all over Ireland playing gigs and festivals such as Hardworking Class Heroes and Turning Pirate  Mixtape New Year’s Eve gig in Vicar Street. They recently recorded and released their first album “Onwards Westwards” and are celebrating this with an album launch on May 2nd. I asked lead singer David Boland to tell me all about themselves, their first album Onwards Westwards, the issues facing unsigned artists and their magnificent plans for the future!

Hi David! So firstly can you tell a little about how the band was formed?

It started in Galway, in 2006, when I met a young lad called Otis Liddy. He was a first year in college, only seventeen and green as the grass. I, being a good four years older than him, took it upon myself to teach him the ways of extreme booze drinking, illicit bad boy drug taking and drug drunken womanising.

It took me quite a while to break down the walls that his strict and unfaltering upbringing had instilled in him and, in the meantime, we played guitar. I used music as a way of gaining his trust and our relationship blossomed. It was later to crash and burn. We rarely speak now, though he remains a committed member of The Depravations. In those early years we were joined by a lovely female singer called Emma Craig and a very lazy young man called Eoghan McGinley on guitar. We made soft folky songs and released a demo and played some gigs. After a year or so we went our separate ways.

When I returned to Galway in 2009, Otis and I went about writing new songs. Eoghan came back to Galway and then I met bassist Hob Junker. We all recorded an EP to entice a drummer called Mosey Byrne into the band. He joined and the rest, as they say, happened after that.

Who or what influences your music?

As a band I don’t think we have any collective influence. Personally, I love simple repetitive melodies like what David Kitt does and I think we’ve tried to get a sound similar to what Richard Hawley, Grizzly Bear and Beach House get. Not quite sure if that’s worked or not. In some ways it has I think, probably more so live than on the album.

What kind of challenges do you face as an unsigned act?

It can be difficult to get booked to festivals and the bigger gigs that you might like to do. Also, it’s hard to get played on radio I suppose. Basically you have to do everything yourself and, if you’re not good at the business side of things or don’t know the right people, it all looks a bit impossible.

How do you juggle going to gigs all over the country with your day to day lives?

It is a juggling act alright. Not for me, I’ve nothing else to do, but it’s hard to sort practicing and gigging around people’s schedules. We recently did a national tour which was stressful to book. We’ve taken to doing some three piece acoustic gigs now which is easier to manage. This will be influential in writing the next album which will be a primarily folky affair.

What do you think of how the music industry is changing i.e. the death of record stores and more people downloading music?

I don’t know much about it all but I reckon, in an optimistic way, that everything is a bit freer now, less rigid. We can do what we want. It has led to a lot of innovation and a sort of rebirth of the old DIY ethic that was prevalent in the eighties punk scene. Also, I think record stores will survive. Vinyl is the new Compact Disc.

You’ve released your first album Onwards Westwards, how did you find the
process of making and releasing it? 

It was ruddy horrible. I spent the good part of a year in a small studio writing, recording, getting depressingly drunk, getting euphorically drunk (sometimes) and just being incredibly hungry. I forgot to eat quite a lot. I think I went a bit mad to be perfectly honest. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get that bit of my brain back. It is what it is. I wouldn’t do it again but I’m happy enough with how the album turned out. As for the others, I’m pretty sure they hated it as much as me. We try not to talk about it.

We released it online for free in January and then went on a bit of a tour. We tried to play interesting places with a bit of character and with people who also had a bit of character to them. We recommend O’Connors Hotel in Swinford and anything The G-Man does down in Cork.

The big night will be on Thursday May 2nd when we do the Galway launch in Arus na nGael. We haven’t played as a full band in Galway since the release and so we’re looking forward to it a lot. We’ll be joined by some of our favourite bands around (Oh Boland, My Fellow Sponges, The Followers Of Otis, Fellow Strangers, Rural Savage, Rivers & Crows).

What’s been the high point of being in the band so far? If you have a collective one?

I think we’d all agree that our high point as a band was playing the Turning Pirate Mixtape New Years Eve Party last year in Vicar Street. We were on the same bill as people like Neil Hannon, Cathy Davey, Lisa Hannigan, Richie Egan and loads of other people in that successful famous scene. Just for a moment it felt like we had arrived. Ah well. Still, got to meet Neil Hannon which was nice. He’s a perfectly formed owl-like genius.

Any mad plans for the future?

Yes we do. Onwards, Westwards is set to be the first of a trilogy of albums we release this year. The next one is planned as a folk album we release over the summer and then we’ll be doing a tight indie dance album in the winter. It’s pretty outrageous and I don’t think anyone else in the band is keen on it but we’re going to give it a go. There’s your goddamn exclusive!

https://www.facebook.com/thedepravations

 

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 the author: Edel Hughes

 

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