On Having a Diverse Music Taste

Have you ever wanted to listen to a playlist that skips from heavy metal to broadway musicals and back to grime? Well, you’ve come to the right place…

music taste

Hello lovely people!

I’ve been struggling to decide what to write about when it comes to music, because I consider it one of the most important parts of my personality. Seriously, I think it’s up there with being Northern (which is apparently a defining trait when your uni friends are all from Eastern Europe or the South) and a linguist (literally what I do day in day out). I’ve been going to gigs since I was 13, can only give directions across Newcastle using venues, and can almost always be seen walking across Durham engrossed in whatever’s coming through my headphones that day.

Perhaps the best way to start is to introduce you to my taste. 8 years of band shirts will tell you I’m into the alternative side of things, but there’s a lot more to what I listen to nowadays than My Chemical Romance (perhaps one day I’ll talk about my emo phase… and my rap phase… and my metal phase…I’m very phasey). I try and keep up with what’s new across all genres, and as a result have 8 different genre playlists on Spotify, because I am definitely that gal that organises her music library in every way possible.

“remember when I had a rap phase?”

A couple of years ago I went through a massive Kanye West phase, and I’m still ashamed of myself. Thankfully, I have learned that rap is not only concentrated around problematic Trump supporters, but is also filled with some gems. I mainly love rap for it’s social commentary, something which is growing in the UK especially with the rise of grime.

My Top 3: Childish Gambino, Stormzy, Kendrick Lamar

“the heaviest of metal”

I take my role as someone who doesn’t look like a metalhead but listens to lots of heavy bands very seriously. Whilst I now have a few tattoos, blue hair and some ripped jeans, I’d still fit in more at a Courteeners gig than in the middle of an Avenged Sevenfold pit. Metal is such a diverse genre though; I love every single part of it. And for the record; metalheads are the nicest people on the planet, true fact.

My Top 5: A Day to Remember, Enter Shikari, Marmozets, Metallica, Tremonti

“gay shit”

Many people find it very entertaining when they find that I listen to Broadway musicals. When you think about it though, it makes sense. I’m bi, very political and love a good singalong.

My Top 3: Rent, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon

“pop???? I don’t know her”

In the last year or so pop music has wormed it’s way into my library, as I become less of a dick about only listening to songs with guitars in. A lot of it is Latino, true, but I’ve also got some English bops in there. Also, I love badass feminist pop anthems more than anything in the world.

My Top 5: Lorde, Stromae, Everything Everything, George Ezra, Melendi

“GUITARSSSSSS (rock)”

Obviously, general rock takes a very large slice of the pie. I could go on for days about countless bands, but I want to focus on how genuinely diverse rock music is. Sure, you can narrow it down, but if you think about it the spectrum goes right from Southern American rock focusing on biblical imagery to political punks. I’ve been listening to rock since I listened to Evanescence & Foo Fighters on my Dad’s playlists as a kid, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

My Top 3: Alter Bridge, Twin Atlantic, Halestorm

“pop punk isn’t dead mom”

I’m 19 years old and still unashamedly pop-punk. I recently started listening to the bands I used to love again, and I was taken right back to being 14. I mean, I have an All Time Low tattoo for christ’s sake. All joking aside, this is the genre that’s been the most important throughout my teenage years, and I’ll always love it for that.

My Top 5: All Time Low, Moose Blood, Dead! (RIP), Neck Deep, Tonight Alive

“indie trash”

Finally, indie. This is something else that’s fairly new to me by all accounts, as a result of the combination of listening to too much Radio X and being introduced to friends’ music at uni. Indie is feel good, bright, and happy; I love it.

My Top 5: Courteeners, Nothing But Thieves, Peace, We Are Scientists, The Wombats

 

I feel like we’re a little more acquainted musically now. In summary, I’ll listen to just about anything once, and probably enjoy it too. What are your guilty pleasure genres?

 

-Megan, listening to classic pop punk

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My Experience At Truck Festival 2018

Hello lovely people!

Around a month ago I made a 350 mile journey down to Poole (yes, I drove 700 miles on my own, yes I am mad) to visit some of my travelling team, aka the legends who visited Berlin, Prague and Budapest with me. After a few days of beaches, pub grub and a Spoons night, we made the trip to Hill Farm in Oxfordshire for a little festival called Truck. Here’s the lowdown on a weekend of bands, beer and brilliant times.

Pixieskies _

Thursday

After arriving at the campsite, complaining a lot about how difficult it is to carry 22 cans across a field in 25 degree heat and fighting over putting the tent up, we were set for the weekend. Our first band was Jaws. I was surprised at how little I actually knew of their music, but they were awesome nonetheless. They have the perfect balance between chilled songs and more upbeat stuff, meaning they were an ideal setup for Peace, who were the main reason I pushed for Thursday entry. As you’ll know if you’ve read my post on 2018 releases, their new album is a favourite for me, so I was excited to see them play a lot of tracks from that. The set was made for dancing, and weirdly, even moshing! I was surprised that some of the best pits of the weekend came from an indie band, yet the feel-good energy carried those of us used to heavier stuff.

 

Friday

Friday was a chilled start. I wandered around the festival site a little, and caught a couple of awesome smaller bands called Mint and Magique, because everyone needs a break from drinking every now and again. The music really started with Little Comets who I really need to listen to a bit more, considering they hail from Newcastle. After a nice little set we waited around for what I really wanted to see on Friday – Circa Waves.

I’ve loved Circa Waves since I saw them at Leeds in 2015; they are the ultimate feel-good summer band. Perhaps what I loved more though was their heavier stuff from the second album; they’re starting to find a new identity and you can tell it fits so well with their stage presence. I found myself in another moshpit (what can you do?) and loved every second of how high-energy it was. We stuck around at the main stage for Coasts, another band whose music is made for dancing.

By the time Moose Blood’s set rolled around it was absolutely pouring down. I was drenched, but I couldn’t have cared less. MB are a very important band for me, as they’re the music I’ve turned to when life has gone sour for the last few years. There was no better feeling than being truly and genuinely happy listening to them with some of my favourite people in the world; I’m pretty sure I was beaming the whole set. I even converted another friend to the lovely world of pop punk moshpits, which were as always filled with energy.

We finished the night with Friendly Fires, Friday’s headliner. I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of their music, so I left early in favour of avoiding the rain. We ventured back out to a disco tent after a lot of few beers later on, which was surprisingly enjoyable!

 

Saturday

I woke up feeling a little worse for wear on the Saturday, which caused the start of many morning naps for the rest of the weekend, oops! After sleeping off the hangover we ventured out to The Nest to watch Lady Bird; a Slaves-esque up-and-coming Kent punk duo. These guys get the award for most energy of the weekend, as considering it was only 2pm in the afternoon they were fully riled up and powering through a big set. Afterwards I popped into The Barn to see The RPMs, a tiny band I saw supporting We Are Scientists last year. This might sound a bit patronising, but it’s so nice to see them finding their feet within music. Last time I saw them they seemed very young and played mostly acoustic stuff, whereas now they have a definite confident stage presence.

Most of Saturday however was spent at the main stage. My smaller artist highlight of the day was definitely Tom Walker. Armed with a guitar and small backing band he really captivated the crowd, with one of my favourite new voices of 2018. I’d even argue he performed better than the much bigger Jake Bugg, who I’m decidedly not a huge fan of. I find Jake Bugg very overrated, as his performance had no real charisma or power to it for me.

Everything Everything were the most confusing set of the weekend. I didn’t really know them at the time, and upon listening to their very odd lyrics I was nothing but baffled. I also had to stand through an hour of watching 15 year olds try and pit to music that just isn’t designed for pits, and after 5 minutes of circles collapsing in on themselves being amusing it just got plain annoying. I will admit however that now I love this band; I just didn’t give them a chance at Truck.

George Ezra closed the night, and I was pleasantly surprised. I shouldn’t like him at all, as he’s textbook pandering pop artist trying to look like the boy-next-door. The difference is that with George Ezra it feels completely genuine. He has an amazing voice and has written some total bangers. I also enjoyed how he interspersed the songs with stories about how and why and where he’d wrote them, which was a lovely personal touch. The crowd was very family-oriented too, which is always lovely to see.

 

Sunday

Sunday began by popping out at midday to watch the Oxford Symphony Orchestra, who played everything from your usual classical to Meatloaf and Abba. Classical music is my guilty pleasure, and so despite the absurdness of an orchestra on the same stage as the Courteeners, this was a great start to the day.

It was a quiet day, which meant by the time The Amazons rolled around I was actually quite drunk as a result of the combination of being able to finish off my weekend alcohol and having nothing else to do. From my slightly hazy memory The Amazons really proved themselves with this set, as even though they haven’t been around too long songs like “Junk Food Forever” had a great reception.

I was supposed to go and see The Magic Gang next, but decided instead to drink more eat dinner. I then headed out to see We Are Scientists, who did not disappoint. I think my favourite thing about this band live is how they interact with the crowd; there’s always time for a bit of banter in between songs. They played a good mix of old hits and a few from the new album, and due to my slight drunkenness I was properly belting out every word on the second row. Sadly I had to leave the set early, but not without good reason. I ran back to the main stage to meet my friends for Courteeners, who were quite frankly, fucking awesome. I spent the entire set dancing and doing a lot of shouting in a very Northern accent, aka my two favourite things in life. GOD BLESS THE BAND.

As Courteeners played “What Took You So Long?” (tune), fireworks were lit behind the main stage, and here lies my one of my favourite realisations of the weekend. I had driven hundreds of miles to stay with people I’ve only known for a year, and had been genuinely and completely happy the whole time. I never thought I’d be here this time last year. My phone was off, social media was far away, the music was insane and the company even better. Some of the stories are definitely not blog-friendly, but it’s safe to say Truck this year was a life highlight.

 

And afterwards I got even drunker and went to watch Kurupt FM, a parody grime act. I do not remember most of this set, but do remember being sat down in a camping chair by my friends afterwards to sober up. I’m a classy gal, what can I say?

 

If you take anything from this post, take that Truck Festival is a genuinely lovely little festival. Their lineups are shockingly good for a fairly cheap price, the vibe is amazing and you always feel safe onsite. I would definitely return, and may even do so next summer.

 

-Megan, definitely not listening to the Truck playlist and definitely not being extremely nostalgic

Shuffle Songs Tag

Hello lovely people!

I was tagged in the “Shuffle Songs Tag” by Katie & Harry over at Nerds, Numbers, Natterings. I’ve seen this doing the rounds for a few weeks, and I won’t lie I’ve been waiting for someone to tag me ever since (attention seeking? me? never…), because it is right up my street. Essentially, you have to put your playlist on shuffle and write about the first ten songs to come up.

Now, I have a lot of playlists. I’m talking like a good 30. Thankfully I have one entitled “ensemble”, which consists of pretty much everything I’ve ever listened to. Let’s dive in!

Pixieskies (1)

1. Brianstorm – Arctic Monkeys

Back in the good old days of Arctic Monkeys, before Alex Turner turned into a beardy vegan wanker (yes I still love that joke). I remember this being absolutely mental when I saw them live, and I still love it 5 years later.

2. Fear of The Dark (Live at Donnington 1982) – Iron Maiden

I was raised on bands like Maiden, Sabbath and Whitesnake, so this is no surprise. I rarely listen to Iron Maiden’s studio albums; it’s just something about the nostalgic energy of their live albums that I love. This comes from Download Festival way before it was ever called Download, and there’s every chance that my Dad was there in the crowd that year. Fear of the Dark will always be a classic.

3. Suzanne – Creeper

Why don’t Creeper have more albums? This is the song I actually discovered them through, and it’s such a great single. Fast, catchy, and a big built-up chorus; Creeper are bringing goth punk back and I’m here for it.

4. Sockets – Slaves

This takes me right back to a sweaty Cumbrian venue in late 2016. From memory Slaves opened with this song, starting 45 minutes of total adrenaline and insane moshpits. I don’t listen to much pure punk, but this is an exception.

5. Any Port – Dead!

I’m still completely gutted that these guys split up a few months back, because their debut album is one of my favourites of the year. I managed to see them live back in March, and almost didn’t go as I was so sick with a flu that felt more like the plague than anything else, but I’m so glad I did now. Any Port is a tune, even though they’re gone you should still give the music a listen.

6. Kathleen – Catfish and the Bottlemen

Kathleen reminds me of summer 2016, mostly spent with an old group of friends going on our first adventures with our own cars. It’s feel-good, summery, and just outright lovely.

7. House on a Hill – The Pretty Reckless

I love this song almost entirely for it’s spoken introduction – “They have created a repressed society and we are their unwitting accomplices. Their intention to rule rests with the annihilation of consciousness”. It’s all about how powerless we are as people against those who control us, and I think it’s crazy that this song was written in a pre-Trump world.

8. Something From Nothing – Foo Fighters

This is actually one of my least favourite Foos tracks, but I think that’s because I don’t have the same emotional connection with their newer music than with the songs that have been around my whole life. I do really love the groovy pre-chorus riff though.

9. Poison in Your Veins (Live) – Alter Bridge

I’m glad these guys came up, because it gives me an opportunity to shout out an extremely underrated band. This song is live from the O2 Arena, and shows off the beautiful combination of Mark Tremonti’s lead guitar skills and Myles Kennedy’s extremely unique voice. Seriously, if you love rock even a little bit, give them a listen.

10. No Roots – Alice Merton

Honestly I just like this because it’s catchy af and Radio X played it so many times when it came out that I learned all the words in about two days. No shame.

ensemble

So, that’s it! I could keep blabbering on about my favourite songs for days on end, but that’s for another post. Let me know what’s top of your playlist in the comments.

-Megan, shuffling through my main playlist (wow no shit Megs)