21 March 2011

Festivals - The Summer is Coming!!


So in my first blog post I spoke about one of my favourite bands - A Day To Remember, in this post I am going to continue the music theme and talk about festivals. I have attended Reading Music Festival the past two years and with tickets going on sale tomorrow it seems like a good idea to talk about festivals in general. 

For any US viewers out there im sorry to say that this blog will be 100% focussed on UK festivals, so you can either exit now or come along for the ride. Firstly I want to state that I love festivals and already have my tickets for this years Reading Festival so that I dont have to go through the mad scramble of trying to get one online like last year. Yes they are bloody expensive nowadays but I challenge anybody to have a better time with a group of friends than at a festival. 

To keep it structured im not going to rant on about the price of festivals, or even my experiences from them. Instead im just going to give some simple tips to those planning on heading to a festival this summer, possibly for the first time. 

Tip 1 - Buy A Good Tent
Although this sounds obvious, it isnt. Last year at Reading some of my friends had cheap tents from Tesco etc, and as some of you may be aware for the first 2 days (Wednesday + Thursday) that we were there it rained non stop. Now your tent is your home, it is the only place you can get away from everything. To come back and find that it has leaked and all your stuff is wet is the worst case sceanario. If you are staying with 1 other mate then a 4 man tent is ideal. If there are 3 of you then look for a 5/6 etc. Always look for a tent double the size to keep your stuff in and give yourself lots of room. Argos normally do good deals around the summer period. We picked up a good quality 4 man tent for £34.99 last year. 

Tip 2 - Dont Take Lots of Food 
Seriously, some people take so much food to festivals that it is insane. Yes the food at festivals is expensive but all you need is one big meal a day. Spending £5-7 on a big meal a day is fine. Take cereal bars, and fruit with you for breakfast and then any other "snack" food that can give you lots of energy. Anything else try and buy there, either from a supermarket located off camp or find something on the camp. 

Tip 3 - Essential Items - Below is a short list of essential items to take with you.
  • Torch with spare batteries 
  • Paracetamol 
  • First Aid Kit 
  • Bin Bags 
  • Empty Water Bottles 
  • Dry Hair Shampoo 
  • Toilet Roll 
  • Face Wipes 
  • Sun Tan Lotion 
Tip 4 - Use Your Sleeping Bag Holder As a Pillow 
Exactly what the title says, dont bother taking a pillow with you, instead when you have emptied your sleeping bag out fill it with spare clothes. Not only does this protect your clothes if your tent does leak a little bit but it makes the whole night sleeping a lot more comfortable.

Tip 5 - Wellies
Even if the weather forecast is 30C for the whole weekend, bring wellies. The slightest shower can turn some campsites into bogs with that amount of people and you do not want to be walking around without a pair of wellies on. 

Tip 6 - Be Safe, Drink Safely, Know your Limits. 
In all seriousnes, have an amazing time no matter where you go. Reading weekend is very often the highlight of my year. But know your limits, dont drink so much that you dont enjoy the festival itself. Lookout for all your mates, especially those which have never done it before and might get carried away. The worst thing that can happen is for someone to get seriously hurt. 

If you have never been to a festival then go. The sun, Music, Food, Alcohol. There is not a much better experience possible. Whether you are at the front row of a stage getting crushed to death, or sat on a hill just relaxing there is always something to do. Always something to enjoy. Tomorrow at 7pm I will be eagerly listening to Radio 1 to find out who is playing Reading & Leeds 2011. Tomorrow I will either be jumping up and down or thinking - at least I have the festival experience to look forward to!!!

20 March 2011

A Day To Remember

A Day To Remember

Over the past few years my obsession with A Day To Remember (ADTR) has grown greatly. The first album I picked up was their 3rd album titled "Homesick" and from there I have been unable to put them down. Recently ADTR released their 4th studio album "What Seperates Me From You" which charted at number 11 on the US billboard, and #1 on the US "Indie" chart. Although the album came under some criticism from "hardcore" ADTR fans I think the album is fantastic. Mixing their more hardcore roots with songs such as "2nd Sucks," to their more catchy rhythms on songs such as "All I Want."

During February 2011 the band went on a sellout UK tour which I was lucky enough to attend with my mate. The gig was the best show that I have ever attended. A Day To Remember are simply one of those bands which you HAVE to see live before you can even make any sort of judgement about them. Their February tour was the second time that I had this priveledge to do this and I will 110% be purchasing a ticket to their next UK headline tour, whilst also hoping a lot that they are announced in the Reading Festival lineup tomorrow night.

Over the past 4 months ADTR have racked up over 4500 plays on my Last FM and I can easily see that becoming 10,000 in the next 4 months. Their songs are so catchy that you can listen to them all day long without every becoming bored. Sure Jeremey McKinnon (lead singer) may quite possibly be one of the most arrogant lead singers you will ever meet, but then he quite possibly might have a slight reason to be so. In 2003 ADTR was a tiny band from Ocala, Florida, playing to around 200 kids. Now they are selling out academies with thousands of kids all across the UK let alone the USA. Appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel show can do nothing but increase Jeremeys ego. 

Where ADTR head from here is going to be very interesting. They will no doubt enjoy a long summer playing sold out festivals all across the world this summer to their adoring screaming fans. If they are lucky enough then they will carry out a 2nd sold out tour in the UK this winter before going back to the studio to work on their 5th album. If you have not heard of ADTR, have no idea what this fuss is about then I suggest you give them a listen to.If you find them too heavy then check out their softer songs, maybe even a Kelly Clarkson cover will be your thing? However if you find them not heavy enough then there is nothing that abit of "Downfall of us All" will not fix. 

I cannot rate ADTR highly enough, and I hope that by reading this it will give you a slight bit of interest into going and checking them out.