A Séjour in Strasbourg

I’m folded into the passenger seat of our family’s car. My dad is in the driver’s seat and the sun is shining down on us and making me wish I didn’t choose to wear my blackest jeans and winteriest boots today. We are sitting in a companionable quiet, lost in thoughts or in my case, a blog post.

20kg of my life is packed into a suitcase and sitting in the boot, daring me to take a look inside and realise I’ve forgotten something crucial.

Passport? Check. Health insurance card? Check. Raincoat? Check. Gym kit? Check. Slightly too big to fit stuffed animal of Toothless the dragon from that Dreamworks film ‘How To Train Your Dragon’? Check.

These are the more mobile of my possessions, the ones that would fit in a suitcase. Bigger things have been left behind.

Today, I move to Strasbourg, in the north east corner of France. Apparently it’s called the capital of Europe; the European Court of Human Rights is there, along with the European Parliament. And there’s an enormous cathedral too. One could want for nothing more!

I’m going to the university there. For a year. In France. On my own. For a year, did I mention?

I’m terrified, I’m frightened, I’m a ball of anxiety and worry ready to ping and explode at any point like a watermelon with too many elastic bands wrapped around it. All these weeks of burying my head in the sand and ignoring that I had to go away have been for nothing. My plan was foiled again! You know in the Harry Potter series when Dumboedore and everyone else it seems all KNEW that Voldemort was going to come back but did hardly anything to prevent it other than ignore it and have a cracking feast every now and again and play a spot of Quiddich? That’s what I’ve done all summer. And now I have to go and meet Voldemort anyway…ugh! All burying my head did was leave me with a lot of paperwork to sort out last minute! Silly Lizzie, eh?

Underneath the all consuming terror of moving abroad, there’s a glimmer of something golden. If I get out my internal microscope and inspect it further it sparkles and shows me visions of friends yet to be made, smiling faces, improving my language skills and the many people over the last few days who have given me pep talks saying ‘hey Lizzie, you know what? You’re going to do great! This is an adventure, embrace it.’ I am grateful for this small glimmer of hope, it’s the only reason I didn’t leap out of the car this morning and curl up and hide under my duvet for a couple more weeks.

Yes, it’s terrifying and I’ll stumble over all my French verb conjugations and basic vocabulary for several weeks but isn’t that what I’m going over for? To improve and be around those who speak the language much better than I do?

So people, today, on the day I leave for France, I am dreading it slightly less than I have been…which is something at least! I’m being brave and starting my next adventure. Now in the next half an hour I just need to get over my absolute dislike of flying! That’s nothing, I’m about to live in France with all the French people and their berets and baguettes, I can do anything!

Now playing: Don Broco – Tough On You

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The what-I-call Music News (volume 1)

Golly, what a busy couple of weeks!

It was what-I-call rather hectic! Cheeky Miranda reference there. Honestly, the amount of times I’ve been told how like Miranda Hart I am is quite worrying – should I consider that a complement or not? I’m unsure.

But now the essays are done and the presentations presented I can get down to the business I wanted to cover the other week…

THE MUSICAL NEWS!

Some pretty big things have happened lately and you may or not be aware of them. Allow me to enlighten you.

First matter of business, your Honour:

The split of Kids In Glass Houses <sobs uncontrollably in the corner>

KIGH_web

It’s always a really sad day when a band you have a massive amount of respect for decide to move on. When I initially saw this on the Kerrang! website it genuinely made me sad and totally killed my morning. Say what you want about KIGH, but they’ve been a massive influence on their genre and have helped to pave the way for other emerging bands now – Mallory Knox, for example.

From what I can gather, it’s purely come down to not being able to make ends meet. The latest album ‘Peace’ had some hype around it and a bit of radio play…and then they disappeared again. I read an interview with Aled Phillips, the vocalist, here and he echoed these sentiments. He also mentions about the third album ‘In Gold Blood’ and how, perhaps it wasn’t a clever business move for them.

I’d like to put it out there, however, that I loved this album.

I liked that it was different from ‘Smart Casual’ and ‘Dirt’ (the band’s first two albums). I liked that it had a certain maturity about it; it was darker and heavier, but still with their trademark vocal hooks and melodies. It was a braver move and I, along with the reviewers, seemed to think it was a step in the right direction. But I don’t think it went down as well with many other fans and the band found themselves trying to recover fans from it and recruit new ones.

I saw them live supporting You Me At Six in Yeovil in 2012 and my god, THE ENERGY! They were phenomenal, far too good to be a supporting act. Phillips mentions how he hopes they “are remembered as a live band more than anything” and for me certainly, they will be.

I urge EVERYONE, to go and support them on their farewell tour in October this year and help share the KIGH love for the final time. Dates and venues are at the link above and on their facebook page…DO IT.

Ok, next on the agenda, New Found Glory.

This morning the reason why New Found Glory decided to part ways with Steve Klein back in December last year due to ‘personal differences’ was revealed……turns out that sex offences which could amount to 27 years in prison comes under that category. :(

I’m not going to go off on a spiel and compare him to Ian Watkins because that would not be fair  Klein as he has yet to be convicted and Watkins was clearly guilty and off his face on meth the entire time.

The whole story has kicked off a bit since this morning (13th March) as New Found Glory released a statement on their Facebook page here, and Klein’s lawyer has released a statement to Alt Press in which she states how she believes he is innocent of any blame. Read up on these things before you go making big statements about him and comparing him to Watkins…please, on behalf of all people who laugh at those who try and bullshit about something they know nothing about!

I don’t know much about law and don’t want to go and say anything as to whether or not he’s guilty until something clearer emerges, but rest assured, when I know, you’ll know too!

Let’s move on to something nicer now!

There’s been some cracking festival announcements in the last couple of weeks haven’t there! Slam Dunk being the one which springs immediately to mind.

slam dunk 2014

How good is that!! And there’s still more to be announced!

At the start of the month, We Are The In Crowd, Less Than Jake, Motion City Soundtrack, Hit The Lights, State Champs, A Loss For Words, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Marmozets and Blitz Kids were added to the already cracking line up to make it a proper mix of genres – the pop punk of We Are The In Crowd (who, by the way are VERY good live), to a band like Bury Tomorrow, who certainly can NOT be considered pop punk!

It runs on the Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday of May (the 24th, 25th and 26th) in Leeds, Hertfordshire and Wolverhampton respectively. Get to it, look at that line-up! You’d be mad not to!

Another exciting festival/tour announcement is that of the Carnivores Tour.

If you haven’t heard about this, it’s 30 Seconds to Mars…and Linkin Park…and AFI! WHUUUUUUUTT!

I’m not going to deny the fact that I got super duper excited about this…and then my heart broke when I realised that it was only a US tour. I nearly died of disappointment.

It really gets to me when a band decides to promote an amazing tour then you start to get really excited…..buuuuuut, it’s only in North America! The Spring Fever Tour in spring 2013 with All Time Low, Pierce The Veil, You Me At Six and Mayday Parade and the House Party Tour (A Day To Remember, All Time Low and Pierce The Veil) would be other good examples of this. Imagine seeing that!

Never mind though.

If you fancy going to America for a bit, y’know, see the sights, go to the Carnivores Tour (and hey, you may as well catch a couple of dates of Warped Tour before it starts while you’re at it) then it runs from the start of August through to September.

And finally, some fun news!

Taylor Hawkins, who you should know from Foo Fighters – if you don’t know who the Foo Fighters are…just get out now, I’m very disappointed in you, you don’t even know who the Foo Fighters are and you’re reading a music blog…my god! – has started a new side project called the Birds of Satan. Bit of an odd name, I know, but I can forgive him!

They’ve released a song too called ‘Thanks for The Line’ which can be found here, along with more info about them.

Those of us who are familiar with Hawkins and Foo Fighters know that he lends his vocals on the song ‘Cold Day In The Sun’ and that he has got actually a really lovely voice, which tends to be uncommon for drummers.

The song sounds very promising, with a good mix of Hawkins’ strong drums and gravelly vocals and then the small piano bridge, followed rapidly by a blistering guitar solo. You’re never left wondering what the song is called either as it is repeated lots and lots and lots of times which I always like! It wouldn’t be out of place on a Foo Fighters album but it’s exciting and catchy and I personally can’t wait for them to release another song.

And the fact that Hawkins has said that this new side-project will not interfere with the Foos new material makes it all the more attractive!

And so concludes the music news – just a few things that I reckon you need to know and now you do! You’re in the loop, you’re not the kid who doesn’t know what’s going on! Hurrah!

Until we meet again friends :D

Now playing: Nine Inch Nails – Copy Of A