Productive People Watching

People watching is fun, very fun. Mostly, when someone says they ‘people watch’ it basically means that they look at the person and judge what they’re wearing; what they look like; and typically, they will guess their name. But when you really focus on the art of ‘people watching’ you begin to think about some deeper aspects of their character; where are they going? Who are they meeting? Are they an alien life form come to mingle with he humans? (no? just me?).

You begin to try and put together the entire life of this person, and that’s the fun of it all. Because usually, for me anyway, this is the beginnings of a story. I tend to watch people; listen to conversations, things like that and then get home and begin to construct a fictional character from this and put that person in to whatever story I might be writing at that particular time.

‘People Watching’ is very common and lots of people do it without even realising. However, for me at least, as a writer, this can sometimes be the most productive part of my day. I like writing, it’s what I do and if I could do it for a living then i’d be set. So when I go somewhere I believe to be particularly interesting I love to carry a notebook with me so I can jot down all the things I see, and then gather it all up at the end of the day in to something read-worthy.

This all stems from a project I did at University about four or so years ago. My lecturer told me that one of the best ways you will find inspiration for stories is by taking a notebook and writing down what you see and hear around you. This kind of just stuck with me and I’ve been doing it ever since. Trying to work out where the story of someone is going to go simply by jotting down a single conversation-of which you will often only hear half because the person will be on the phone- is so exciting; and it also means that you’re not trying to magically conjour up a story from thin air. See, that’s today’s top tip. Eavesdrop, it’s handy.

I guess it has become a habit of mine. But fortunately it’s not an annoying one, like when I bite my nails too much or when people have a habit of talking FAR too much, even through my favourite songs, at which point I have a ‘habit’ of telling them to “shut the hell up!” This is a nice habit which allows me to be far more productive than I would usually be. It allows me to make notes for blogs, stories, poems while I don’t really even realise it. I can chill out and simultaneously be doing work at the same time.

What I think i’m trying to say here is that people watching can be far more productive than you might first think.

Channel your nosey lifestyle in to something you can be proud of. Try it, trust me, it’s fun.

 

Until next time…

BYE!

 

 

 

 

 

You Me At Six and All Time Low

Walking up to the O2 stadium on the 14th February 2015 was one of the most exciting things I have ever done! I wasn’t interested in looking at the O2 or visiting one of its million or so bars and restaurants; I was pumped and ready for one of the most anticipated shows in the rock calendar. The You Me At Six and All Time Low joint headline UK arena tour. Yeah, you read that right!

I’d seen ‘You Me At Six’ perform twice before and ‘All Time Low’ once before. Each time I’ve seen these two incredibly talented bands play, the crowd has doubled and the ticket prices have doubled with it. But that’s OK, because I love them and frankly, I’d sell my soul to see that show again; it was incredible. Easily the best show I had ever seen. In fact, let me give you a little example of how much I enjoyed it; it has now been about a week since the show and my throat is just beginning to relax.

I’d first seen You Me At Six play in 2010 at the Hammersmith Apollo and from that night on, well to say I was hooked is the understatement of the century. They are- in my overly bias opinion- the single greatest band in the country, nay, THE WORLD (bit much?) at the moment. Closely followed of course by All Time Low. Obviously.

Oh, how rude of me; I almost forgot to introduce everyone!

So, people, this is You Me At Six…

ymas

So we have:

  • Centre : Josh Franceschi – lead vocals (since 2004)
  • Far Left : Max Helyer – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (since 2004)
  • Second Left : Chris Miller – lead guitar (since 2004)
  • Far Right : Matt Barnes – bass guitar (since 2004)
  • Second Right : Dan Flint – drums, percussion (since 2007)

And here is All Time Low:

ATL

  • Centre Left : Alex Gaskarth – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
  • Centre Right : Jack Barakat – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Right : Zack Merrick – bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Left : Rian Dawson – drums, percussion

 

I know when I go to see these two perform, that it’s going to be an awesome event. You see, these days we’re bombarded with bands that have been put together very quickly, pushed on stage and then told to sing a song that has been written for them by someone else. And surprise surprise, it’s these bands that get all the immediate worldwide attention. It completely tarnishes the music industry and undermines the hard work, pure graft and years upon years of dedication to the game that bands like You Me At Six and All Time Low have put in. But these bands don’t have a true and loyal fan-base; they have 12-15 year old girls who will inevitably grow up and won’t give two flying hoots about them in five years’ time.

You Me At Six, All Time Low and many bands like them have some of the strongest fan-bases on the planet. They’ve grown up WITH them and respect and love them for everything that they have helped them achieve. It’s these people who will stand the test of time and continue to produce music to millions of fans across the globe until they’re 60.

I don’t know, maybe i’m just being sentimental. But I really do believe that these two bands have already and are going to achieve mighty great things in their respected careers. So good luck to them.

They’re my favourites. Who are yours?  Let me know with a comment!

 

Until Next time

Bye!

 

Sometimes Fashion Baffles Me…

confused

It’s quite easy to write about fashion; talking about things that you’ve recently seen or bought; talking about someone who was wearing something noteworthy. But the thing that I really don’t get is runway fashion. Sometimes I look at the people who walk down the runway and think “who the hell dressed you?”. I mean, I understand that the the runway is for new designs and first glimpses of the new season’s look, but this? really?

scary run If you can tell me what THIS is supposed to signify or be the beginnings of then i’ll give you a shiny star shaped sticker. This is one of thousands of images that I could have pulled off the internet that just emphasises my confusion of runway fashion; if indeed you can actually call this fashion.

My point is, if you’re going to go to one of these fashion shows then why wouldn’t you showcase your actual stuff? This might just simply be me being a bit ignorant about the industry, but seriously what is the point in showcasing pieces that you’re not even going to sell. Someone please, comment and let me know!

I love fashion; I love finding new things and my recent ‘thing’ is collarless shirts. Apparently they’re an old breed that have- like many things – come full circle and are now right back in. But if I was a leading retail store or major high-class brand, and I had the idea of bringing these shirts back, I’d showcase them and maybe some other new things that i’d be selling that year instead of something like, oh I don’t know… this…

weird

Funny, I don’t recall finding this on the shelves of my local Topman.

The above photo is one of those which absolutely baffles me. Who sat down in this meeting and decided that what they were going to put on the runway was a jacket that looks like a pair of sleeves with a sleeveless concrete T-Shirt over the top and a pair of accordion trousers? And then who’s the person who sits in front of said atrocity and thinks “Hmmm, I might like to get something that looks like that”.

Even as i’m writing this post my mind is boggled by the idea. So i’m going to stop.

Don’t forget to comment, like this post if you did, and follow my blog so you know when I upload.

Until next time…

 

Bye!!

 

 

 

I Want a Hat…

Well Hello there. Short post today!

I want a hat, but there aren’t many styles of hats that actually suit me. When I graduated from University the mortarboard looked absolutely ridiculous on me; baseball caps look beyond pathetic and you can absolutely forget about flat caps because I neither want to look like a seventy year old man or a beer bellied farmer. The only hats that i’ve found actually suit me are beanies, Russian style hats and now, thankfully, the five panel cap.

I think the first time I saw the five panel cap and realised that i’d quite like one was when I saw Harley from Rizzle Kicks wearing one. The only problem was that back then I had a complete mop style hair cut; and caps were just not built to handle that level of mop…ness. But since i’ve trimmed the barnet and style it properly, I think i’d quite like to try one again, and because it’s summer, it’s the perfect time to get one, I think.

If you don’t know what the five panel cap looks like, here you go. I think it’s no surprise by now that i’m quite a big fan of floral patterns at the moment…

five panel 3 five panel 4 five panel five panel 2

 

Leave a comment letting me know what you think of this style; and maybe suggest which one I should go for.

 

Until next time…

 

Bye!

You Me At Six

This is a shorter post to explain to you all why You Me At Six are my favourite band. I first heard of them in around 2009 and since then they’ve been a staple ingredient in my iPod. When I heard their album ‘Take Off Your Colours’ I was amazed at how good they were, then Hold Me Down came out and that’s when I truly became a ‘Sixer’.

But it’s their last two albums that really sets them apart from everyone else; ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ was a risky album in my opinion, it was edgy and different to their other two more lighter albums. It was Sinners Never Sleep that made them the band that could potentially go forever. That’s not to say the other albums were not good, they were; but this album is what, in my opinion really shot them to new heights.

The most recent album ‘Cavalier Youth’ was to be another big deal; in fact it was to be the biggest deal in YM@6’s career. This was the album that would get the band their first No.1 Album in the charts. You Me At Six were a very well established band already by this time, but this was something different. Somehow they were now part of ‘popular music’ which could have been dangerous; if they were any other band. You see, this was the moment when You Me At Six needed to show the world that they were here to stay, and thankfully Cavalier Youth managed just that. In fact, I believe this album has cemented You Me At Six in the rock history books for good.

Now unlike a lot of bands, It really is hard for me to pick any song that I like best by YM@6. They all have a brilliance about them which you really can’t say for many bands, or any artist in fact. I think my favourite album is Sinners Never Sleep, but I love ‘Hold Me Down’ and Cavalier Youth is growing on me very very quickly. Maybe they’re just all on par with each other. Josh Franceschi (lead singer) would tell you that he doesn’t like Take Off Your Colours because it’s childish and old; but I think it’s really good; yes the other albums show their maturity but that was their debut album and they should be proud of where it got them. They were always going to improve. It’s a good album, they all are; just listen to a few of their songs and you’ll be hooked yourself.

One of the things I love about the band is their relationship with their fans. They have their own YouTube channel, like other artists but they actually upload videos that aren’t just music videos. I love to watch their Tour Diaries and other little things that they like to upload. Matt Barnes (bass) and Max Helyer (Guitar) even do ‘Matt and Max Munchies’ when on tour, in which they visit local restaurants and try out the food. It’s good fun,

So go check You Me At Six out on YouTube and everywhere else.

Bye! 

My Bucket List!

my-bucket-list

I’ve always loved the idea of having a bucket list; it means that you have ambition and dreams for your life. I think if I thought about it hard enough, my bucket list would just go on and on and on. I’d find it very difficult to cap what I want to be doing. From swimming with dolphins and seeing the northern lights, to sky-diving and simply holidaying in Australia.

OK, so this post is going to be a list of 20 things in my bucket list,each with a brief reason why I want to do that particular thing. I’ll agree, most of them, if not all of them are fairly generic, but I might try and add a couple that might get a few of you thinking “Hmmm, I might add that to my list.”

So in no particular order, here we go!…

1. Go on Safari in Africa – This is a big one for me. My favourite animal in the entire world is the Giraffe, I love them; they’re just adorable. So to see one in the wild, I think i’d faint due to pure excitement.

2. Scuba Dive in the Great Barrier Reef – I’m sure this is on most peoples list. Just the feeling of being there, seeing something that amazing. The worlds largest coral reef system, which can be seen from SPACE! Plus i’d quite like to see Nemo and Dori just chilling.

3. Play Golf at Augusta National Golf Club – Only golfers will understand. But the feeling of playing the worlds most prestigious course would be incredible.

4. Publish a Book – I’m not sure whether it would be a novel or something like a poetry book; but i’d love to see my work published on the shelves of a major bookseller. It would give me tingles.

5. Go to an NBA game to see the Lakers in action – This one ranks high in my list. To actually go and see the Lakers play, with court-side seats would be out of this world.

6. Route 66 – My sister did this and she had the most amazing time. I love the idea of driving down a mega long road with nothing either side of you but baron land, wow!

7. Go to the Masters – If I can’t play the course, i’d at the very least like to go to watch the Masters live one day. Just to see all of my favourite golfers at their very best, in the most important major of the golfing year.

8. Make a living doing what I love – If I could one day forge a career out of writing, blogging, YouTubing or anything like those things, I’ll be a happy man.

9. Hold an original copy of anything by William Shakespeare – Strange one, I know, but what can I say I love the man, I even did my university dissertation on him! Someone, anyone, make this happen for me!

10. Visit the 7 wonders of the world – It’s a classic. No explanation needed.

11. Fly First Class – I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that. Actually, maybe people who don’t like flying. But I like flying, so…

12. Send a message in a bottle – I love this one. I love the idea that in 20 years or so, someone will find my message in my bottle and read it, then tell me they found it. Would be amazing.

13. Meet my favourite Musicians – Now who would I meet? You Me At Six, All Time Low, Professor Green, Rizzle Kicks, Coldplay. And i’m sure there are possibly a few more I could think of.

14. Own my own house – This might seem a bit boring to some people, but I reckon one of the best things you could do in your life is get on the property ladder.

15. Own a Dog – I had a dog when I was really little but he was a nuisance and we just couldn’t tame him so we had to give him away. I’d love to own a husky and call him Zeus.

16. Participate in a conservation project – I’d love to work with animals in Africa one day, even if it was for just a few weeks.

17. Meet the Royal Family – Now I’ve seen The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at the horse racing, but to actually meet a member of the Royal family would simply be the most amazing experience.

18. Be in the audience for TopGear – I’d actually love to be a guest on TopGear, but since that will never happen I’d settle for watching it live in the studio.

19.  Visit the Kremlin in Russia –  It has always been on my list and will always stay there but to be honest, given the current unstable nature of the world, especially Russia at the moment, it probably might not happen any time soon.

20. Sky-Dive – Another classic. Most people want to do this; my dad did do it and loved it so I want to do it too, simple.

So there you have it, a select few of some of the things on my Bucket List. There are i’m sure, dozens more but this is all you’re going to get at the moment.

What I want to know is, what’s on YOUR Bucket List and WHY.