Lauren’s Way Fake Tan at the SHABA Bloggers Event

I am beyond being late to the party with this one, so late that the cleaners have been and gone.  In fact, another party is already pouring the cocktails and tottering in their stilettos. That is how late I am, justifiably late due to working full-time but none-the-less late. 

A couple of weeks ago I went along to the Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards Blogger’s event at the beautiful Private Members Club Number 29. The event was tan by INAA (I Need An Appointment) –

“The UK’s first online hair and beauty booking portal dedicated to making the booking of salon appointments simple and fast – 24/7.

 

For Consumers we offer a free to use, appointment booking service providing access to an ever increasing range of Salons in your local area that accept online bookings. The portal will show you the full range of special promotions available at those Salons, as well as details about the Salon and what services and products they offer”.
 


Lauren formerly star of the TV show The Only Way is Essex also made an appearance to promote her new beauty range, mainly focusing around her fake-tan line.  Not going to lie I was excited to see her in person, and adored the play-suit she was wearing. She looked gorgeous. 

However, although fashionably late the post is still relevant –this week it is sunny in Scotland (which for any foreign readers is as rare as the UK doing well in the Eurovision). Ouch! Painfully true though.  Us Scots don’t see much of the sun, but we do love a tan. Well, some of us do. We would love for it to a natural tan but that is never going to happen on this side of the Atlantic.  So we get our tan from a bottle. 

Again I’ll say some of us do, I don’t.  I’m the super pale goth girl. The token goth in a circle of friends some might say. I’ve also been referred to as Morticia on occasion. My vampire complexion and pasty legs are a fright for most people.  In your typical night club in Scotland I stick out like a sore thumb, like the living dead amongst bronze goddesses. 


Even next to naturally pale people (like Susan on the right) I am pale by comparison. When I was younger I did experiment with fake-tan, but after getting a spray tan for my 5th year prom I never used fake-tan again. It was horrible: I was orange, my dress was green, and my face was not impressed. I don’t even have any photo’s on facebook it was that bad. I’ve just had a  look for evidence since I thought I could give you all a laugh.  It would appear it is too tragic though. 

However when I was asked at the Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards Blogger Event if I would like to try some of Lauren’s way fake-tan I was like ‘Ok then, convince me’. I felt my pale arm would work as a good canvas to show if the product really is any good.  

 
I opted to try the Instant Wash Off Glow, and I was actually really impressed.  I expected to hate it, but the tan actually looked quite natural.  Well, natural when you didn’t look at the corpse like arm next to it. But the best part is that it doesn’t smell like fake tan, not one hint of digestive biscuit. 

 

For an instant fix of beautiful tan – Essex style – try our Instant Wash Off Glow. 
This is a hydrating tinted lotion that provides a natural looking tan on the go, perfect for last minute parties! As a no fuss, no commitment product our Instant Wash Off Glow is so easy to remove – simply wash off with soap and water.
 
If I were to get back into the habit of wearing fake tan on a regular basic I would definitely use Lauren’s Way tanning products. 
 
 
I had a fantastic evening at the bloggers event and was happy to network with lots of bloggers who I have previously spoken to online but never met in person.  I am really looking forward to the next bloggers event.  Good luck to all the salons competing in the awards ceremony.
 
 
 
 
 
Advertisements

Why you should invest in luxury sunglasses & a wish list.

I have never been someone who lusted over sunglasses, I’m much more of a handbags and shoes kind of girl.  Many friends of mine would cut off a hand for a pair of Ray-bans, but I’ve always been more drawn towards a £2.00 pair from Primark, that can then be thrown to the bottom of my handbag. Or used to keep my hair off my face whilst I apply my factor 50.

£2.00 Primark Numbers

However recently I started a new job working for Luxottica the company that own Ray-Ban and Oakley.  I am situated in John lewis (Glasgow) as a concession, which has caused much confusion so far – trying to explain to customers, without sounding rude, that I don’t work for John Lewis. If you’re from Glasgow you should pop in, we don’t have all stock out at the moment due to issues with the glass display cabinet we were sent – it has no shelves…yeah.  But, if you ask nicely I’ll get the Prada and Tom Ford out the drawer. It is also cool that you laugh at my irony of having to sell sunglasses whilst it is snowing outside. My fingers are crossed for sunny weather soon, or at least no snow.

One of the first questions I asked when starting the job was ‘What is the difference between cheap and expensive sunglasses?’.  I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to convince someone to spend £80> on a pair of sunglasses when I myself was not convinced that there was any difference.

On close inspection though you can tell the difference.  The first difference is the weight of the glasses, expensive sunglasses are made from a hard plastic called acetate, which is very durable.  People always say ‘I’d end up breaking them’, expensive sunglasses are much harder to break than cheap ones. Sunglasses in some ways are similar to umbrella’s – we all know how rubbish cheap umbrella’s are and how a more expensive one will get you through the winter…it is still a grudge though.

I’ve also heard a lot of people saying ‘I’d end up sitting on them‘.  However, usually when we buy a luxury product whether it be jewellery or make-up we look after it more than we would a less expensive item.  You aren’t likely to sit on your sunglasses if you put them back in their case – which you are likely to do.

The glass in the lenses is also offers a higher level of protection for your eyes. Although less expensive glasses do meet the criteria needed, they often just pass the required level of protection.  An expensive pair (more so Ray-ban and Oakley) will protect your eyes from rays, polarised glasses are especially good for driving as they reduce glare.   I have a fantastic app on the work I-pad that demonstrates this.  I also have a fabulous Ray-ban app that takes your photo – so if you fancy doing a sunglasses post give me a shout.

The lenses are also highly scratch resistant, this is the aspect that has surprised me the most. Most of the glasses are merchandised on self-selecting spinners and they do have a tendency to occasionally fall off, but no scratches.  This in itself has convinced me that making an investment in a luxury pair of sunglasses is the way forward. Now, someone needs to make a phone screen that is as scratch resistant.

In the last couple of weeks I have tried on most of the glasses, as have my work mates.  We all have a favourite pair.  My favourite pair happen to be one of the most expensive at £220..trust me to pick the  expensive ones. We are due to get a lot more stock in, and more brands such as Michael Kors and Tiffany’s, I am rather excited.  But, I will leave you will some of my current favourites to ‘ohh’ over.

Gucci – GG3548/Havana Sunglasses – £220.

These are the pair that suit me the most, different types of sunglasses suit different face shapes. I suit big frames that cover my eyebrows.  I wish aviators and wayfarer suited me, but alas they don’t. It doesn’t stop me trying them on though.

Ralph – RA5031 – £108.

I love the turquoise on the inside of this pair, they do not suit me in the slightest but they are still one of my favourite pairs.  So far they have been very popular with customers and staff. 

Prada – PR080S – £215


A pair of classic glamour shades.  I would have never went for brown frames before I started this job. I find that black frames can be a little harsh against my pale complexion. The tortoiseshell frame actually suits most complexions  especially blondes. 

Prada – PR04PS – £320

We sadly do not have these beauties in store yet but we have the brown and orange version, which have attracted a lot of attention. I think every member of the beauty department has had a shot of them, very Dame Edna, but fabulous at the same time. 

Ray-ban – RB3025 55 Aviator – £125.00


The photo of these does not do them justice. They are part of Ray-bans celebration collection of the aviator, the frames and lenses come in a range of colours, but most notably green, pink and blue lenses. The green is actually a Ray-ban trademark but in person the green is a lot more noticeable.

All glasses can be found at: http://www.sunglasshut.com and http://www.sunglasshut.com/uk

or you can come visit me at John Lewis, Glasgow.


All She Knows – ABC 2 – Glasgow – Live Review

It has been a while since I have seen my favourite local band due to most of this year being filled with writing a dissertation which was followed by the anti-climax of being unemployed. Therefore not having very much money but my souls yearns for live music; so it was really therapy to show support for the guys on their UK tour with That Sunday Feeling by going to the Glasgow show.

The band have grew a lot in the last year and have seen some changes to the line-up but this has not held them back in the slightly. The band have powered on and their sound has definitely improved over the last year (not that they were ever bad) but there has been a growth in confidence and for rising bands this can make all the difference. If a band doesn’t think they are good then neither will the people watching them.  All She Knows are certainly on the rise though.  The band have put a lot of time and effort into touring this year which they cruise through with tireless energy.

It was great to see the band again and from the reaction of the enthusiastic crowd as did they.  The band played their own material along side some covers to get the crowd going such as the hit song ‘titanium’.  A song that I personally cannot stand but really enjoyed when All She Knows but their own spin on it. Great music and great stage presence – the two qualities a band needs in order to be successful.

The band have just finished rerecording their EP with the new singer Seb and I assuming that will be getting released shortly – you can find out more about the band at their facebook page: ALL SHE KNOWS.  If you like what you hear them click like to keep up to date with the band.

The Maddigans – Way To Start This Review

Being a British girl writing for an American music website, I do not usually know the bands before reviewing them.  This is not to say that I do not grow to love them, but to finally review a band that is up incoming in the UK music scene is wonderful.
The Maddigans have been on the music scene for a couple of years now, but I think things are really going to explode this year for this little band from Canada. The band is actually coming to my home town this month and I am anxious to check them out live — especially after loving their first album, Way to Start This.  They are also being supported by a fantastic local band, Picnic Basket Nosedive, so this just adds another reason for me to go see them.
EP, Way to Start This, is a great pop-rock record but these attitude packed songs also give it an element of pop-punk. The album appeals to the angst ridden teenager inside all of us and fills listeners with a new release of energy.  The fact that the band is relatively young also contributes to the oodles of energy their music brings.
“Diamond Rings and Pretty Things” is my favorite song off the album. Its poetic verses will easily get stuck in your head. I have been humming the tune all day despite being at another band’s gig tonight – it’s that catchy! It is bound to be a sure hit with their fans both old and new.
All the tracks have a vigorous beat that commands your attention and the movement of your feet.  On the track “Let’s Keep a Secret,” the bass and drums bring a great intensity to the song. The softer notes towards the end are a reminder of the emotional topic of relationships that the song revolves around.  But do not be fooled into thinking this is a depressing song — it’s not.
This EP is far from being a bore and is actually great to stick on whilst at the gym or doing something mundane like cleaning the house – I tried this out the other day and it certainly made the task a lot more exciting than usual. If an album can make house cleaning fun, it’s good in my book!
The band’s recently released second EP is called Love vs. Passion, and judging from what I have heard from it so far – mainly the new single “Talk This Way” – it seems to be as good as Way To Start This.
The band’s first UK tour starts in a couple of days, and I am excited to see what the British music scene thinks of the Canadian band as well as what the band thinks of things over here.
The British music scene is known for being passionate about their music, so I am sure that the band will have a wonderful experience over here and will leave with a number of new and enthusiastic fans.

The Dark Knight Rises – Review – No Spoliers

As much as I would love to chat endlessly about what happens in The Dark Knight Rises I am not going to be that person that ruins the film for someone but if you do want to chat about it add me on twitter: @glampire_x.  My excitement for this film cannot even be expressed.  I booked tickets for the Imax a month in advance and I was standing outside the building for 9.30 on the Friday morning.  The Imax did not open until 10 and the film was not until 12 but I got one of the best seats in the house – back row almost centred.  Have any of you been to the Imax? This was my first time in the Glasgow one and I was amazed at the size of the screen.  I would highly recommend making the effort to go – especially if it is a film you have been excited about.  The Hobbit is the next big film to be shown at the Imax and my boyfriend is wanting to book tickets already.

As I expected the film would be it was exceptional.  Actually it exceeded my expectations and set my heart beating rapidly throughout the film.  The atmosphere created by Nolan throughout the film is outstanding.  It is by no means a chilled out film.  For a film near on three hours long you would think it would be challenge to keep the audience captivated but I could have sat and watched it again.  The guys I was in the queue with had booked tickets for the showing after also – they had the right idea.

I have heard people say ‘they knew was going to happen’ but I doubt they saw everything coming.  It keeps you on your toes to say the least and managed to have me happy, anxious and sad – by the end of the film I was emotionally exhausted.  The cast played a big part in this though without the right casting the film would not have been what it was.

Christian Bale really exceeded himself as Batman and brought a whole new vulnerability to the character.  At the end of The Dark Knight he starts to shed his ego but I had no idea that the human quality of batman would be brought to the level that it was in The Dark Knight Rises. If you loved Batman before this film you will leave the film with more love and respect for him than you have ever had.

A lot of people had doubts about Anne Hathaway as Catwoman but I always felt that after seeing her in Tim Burtons Alice in Wonderland that she would be good at the part.  She can play the frosty woman with issues perfectly but there is still a softness to her character.  I was also a fan of the Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman but I feel this catwoman was easier to understand especially to the modern woman.  You can understand why she did what she did and you respected her for managing to keep herself together. The previous film versions of Catwoman have not managed to keep themselves as together and have been rather flippant.

Catwoman was the character I was most excited about but there is no doubt that Tom Hardy as Bane and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Detective John Blake stole the show.  There has been a growing interest in Hardy’s career over the last couple of years but he is not an actor I have paid that much attention to simply because his typical genre of film are not in my immediate interests. If people did not take an interest before now though they certainly will after seeing the film.  I have heard people comparing Tom Hardy’s Bane to the Heath Ledger Joker but I think it is unfair to do that as the characters are very different in personality and how they were portrayed.  Although the Joker had his bad qualities I never felt him as much of a threat to Batman nor did he scare me but Bane does both of these things. Bane is in short a monster.

Although Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character is not one of the top three main characters he shines throughout the film and I hope that his performance is noted when it comes to awards time.

Of course the original Dark Knight characters of Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox were amazing as always and all contribute greatly to the plot and emotional feel of the movie in their own separate ways.

All in all the movie is fantastic and is a must see for anyone who en need joys film but if you’re a batman fan I don’t need to tell you that for you will have already seen it.

What did you think of it?

Glampire.

xx

Slutwalk – Edinburgh – 07/07/2012 – Yes Means Yes and No Means No

Yesterday morning I caught the 11.15 train to Edinburgh, despite the fact that there were flood warnings in various parts of Edinburgh, for Slutwalk that my beautiful hearted friend Nicolle McSaveney had organised – mainly on her own I might add. The walk has faced much criticism and jokes as the name of the walk is misleading but you need to appreciate the irony in it. At its most basic the walk is to aid the prevention of sexual assault and to support those that have survived sexual assault across all sexes and races.  I agree with the critics in the sense that I believe that women do need to take responsibility for themselves and be careful in today’s society but to say that a woman deserved to be raped and that it is their fault because of their clothing – well that is wrong.  Sexual assault on women has been happening since time began and it happens simply because there are bad people out there. The same reason that other bad things happen.  There has been in the past and there will remain to be (to put it politely) bad people out there.

Yesterday received a good turn out considering this is only the second year the walk has happened and I know that next years will be bigger.  We marched from Parliament Square down the Royal Mile and rounded things off at Parliament.  The response on the way down was very positive with people stopping to pay attention, displaying encouragement and even people joining in.  There were no bad responses on the day and the Police done an excellent job in making sure we safely made it down the mile. Thanks are due to the police of Edinburgh.


When we arrived at Parliament I think emotion involved in the march hit us all.  We didn’t have to worry about numbers or if the walk would be successful. It was over and we all took a moment to remember why we did it in the first place.  Some told their stories and others remembered why this cause is so important. The atmosphere was very oxymoronic – one of happiness but at the same time emotions of sadness ran high.  

When I was still at school a woman came into speak to us.  A woman that had been raped in Glasgow town centre – just down from Walkabout to be precise – I feel that the fact that it was in a location most people know brings a certain realness to the story.  This woman wasn’t just a woman selling her story to a magazine.  This woman was an arms length away from me and her story took place somewhere I knew well.

I have never forgot that woman or her story.  What happened to her changed her entire life.  She could no longer communicate with her husband or bond with her baby girl.  What happened changed her.  Unlike the majority of victims of sexual assault she reported her crime and the attacker was found guilty but then let out on bail – where he raped a young girl. He obviously then got re-imprisoned but not for as long as I personally think someone who has a record of being a serial rapist should have be.

At the time the woman was talking to us her attacker was getting let out the following year and she was leaving for Australia.  This woman had to leave the country that she was born in because the justice system had failed her and she could not live in constant fear for both herself and her young daughter. 

I occasionally think of this woman and I hope that she now lives a happier life but I find her story very nerve-hitting mainly because that could have been me or one of my friends. 


Yesterday we marched for people world over that have came under the attack of sexual assault and have been made feel like a victim. Made feel like they could not report it because ‘there would be no point’ or made feel like they could not talk to friends and family about it because they would find a way to tell them it was their fault.  In some way they were to blame rather than facing the fact that rapists rape. 

In all languages yes means yes and no means no.  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if people actually learned that. 

The march might have ended at Parliament yesterday but Slutwalk Edinburgh is not over.  There is a lot of work to be one in the upcoming months. Work will be done to help raise awareness and hopefully in the end some kind of support system will be set up for the victims.  This movement is set to become more than just a once a year march. If you are interested in getting involved you can at:  the Slutwalk Edinburgh Facebook Page and if there is any messages you would like me to pass on to Nicolle (in the photo above) you can leave them here. I am extremely proud of her.

Newton Faulkner – Interview – Oran Mor – 24/05/12

I enter the room through an old wooden door directly opposite me as the lift doors open – this is strange in itself but on entering the room I find Newton Faulkner messing about with a grammar phone.  It was not what I expected but it was delightful.  He then spent a good ten minutes telling me enthusiastically about this digital grammar phone he had purchased in Dundee and playing mixes of his new track which was actually really impressive.  Both the grammar phone and the track.

Musicians often have reputation of being pretentious and a bit egotistic – which is obviously due to the behaviour of some musicians out there – but Faulkner did not come across like this at all.  If anything he came across as warm and genuine in everything he said.   When he spoke of his new E.P and upcoming album is was more with a tone of passion and excitement than of trying to plug it.

He was happy to talk of other artists,his life in general and even gave me some advice for other writers out there.

All in all Faulkner is a musician right at his core and the genuineness shines through both in his music and personality.

How has the tour been so far for you?

NF: It has probably been by far the hardest tour I have done at all like previously the tour has been enough like I’ve had gigs every night and all I have had to do is focus on that.  I have basically been finishing the album whilst touring so it has been insane.  So I have been coming off stage and listening to mixes. 
The worst night I think I sent my last e-mail at 3.30 and I had played two hours that night. I was knackered. It has been mental but it has been incredibly productive.  The album I think is probably going to be finished today.  I should get the final master through any minute.   I’ll need to listen to that through the grammar phone – eh, that’s amazing. 
How have the fans been reacting to your new material?

NF: The thing with the gigs it has been pleasantly surprising the amount of new stuff people have been allowing me to play cause I wrote my kind of dream set-list and it had most of the album on it and I kind of thought that I would use that as a starting point and I would chisel it down to find peoples new kind of song threshold. Um, and I haven’t changed it.
The new stuff is going down as well if not better in some places, it’s amazing.

I assume that is an amazing feeling?

NF: Most definitively – it’s wicked.

Tell me about your latest E.P Sketches.

NF: It has had no press, like nothing at all and it was taking on the other stuff around it. 

What was the inspiration behind releasing Sketches before the new album?

NF: I guess it was just scratchy demos and ideas that I just chucked together and put out just to get people used to a few new songs.  Another vehicle for getting other tracks out that are not on the album – which I am doing more and more.  
I wrote so much stuff for this album and we kind of chiselled away at it until it was at its most robust.  It is so solid in the form and there are no weak spots it doesn’t dip at any point.  It is really intense like a power album.  I’m really pleased.  There are no holes in it. 
I’ve done very long albums in the past as well.  The second one was two long for me.

VM:  I noticed that Rebuilt by Humans was a particularly long album.

NF:  It’s not far off being an hour long – that’s ridiculous. You shouldn’t really do that.   That was naughty of me.

VM:  At least they were all good songs though.

NF:  But yeah I am really proud of what is on this one.

The album title is Write It on Your Skin – what was your idea behind that.

NF: It came out of the lyrics.  I had the verse for ages.  I wrote the verse and I wrote the whole thing in kinda one…I sang the whole verse, I didn’t think about it.  I wasn’t trying to play anything or write anything.  I just sat down and went *sing’s chorus*.  I kind of rattled off the whole verse and went ‘that was quite good.  I should write that down’.  
I had the verse for so long but I could not find a chorus that would work with it. Em, but the whole thought process came from a conversation I had the night before about going back to being a child but with the knowledge now and how you deal with people – knowing the kind of power you have as a child.  How it would be if you knew how the system worked.
It was kind of based, or loosely based on, starting again with all the knowledge that you have got now and how you approach things differently.

Linking in nicely do you think your song-writing and music has changed since you became a father?

NF: Yeah, I’m sure it has.  It changes part of your brain…hugely. It just gets rid of it kind of seems to, I’m a relatively new father so this phase, but it kind of seems to get rid of selfishness.  It’s not about you anymore.
You’ve got something like that big (shows how big his son is) that relies on you for everything. Any thought of self goes out the window a bit because he is going to want to go to college but it’s weird it kind of I thought it might make me more kind of lenient in terms of stuff that I know would work but doesn’t feel quite right.  It’s done the complete opposite.  I have taken no shit on this album.  I’ve been so brutal with everything and everyone because this is kind of part of my thought process, and I know how irrational this is, but I think that if I let something go on this album that isn’t as good as it could be then someone is going to play it to him in the playground and say -‘this is your Dad – it’s shit.  I’m going to beat you up’ and that is kind of where my head goes.
I guess before if I did something that was close but not quite right the only person it really impacted on was me – like no one else had to live with it or deal with it but now suddenly everything I do and everything that I have done is passed on to this completely helpless tiny thing. So if I do bad things he’ll have to live with. So, I’ve been really brutal.  I’ve caused all sorts of trouble with this album.  It’s been fun.

Was there ever a point when you felt your music career was not going to work out?

NF: It kicked off quite surprisingly and I was just kind of gigging, getting on with it, but I didn’t think the first thing I did would go to number one.  That’s ridiculous. Yeah, I don’t think so. As soon as I got into it I knew I was going to be doing it in some form for a very long time.
Like whatever happens radio is such a tricky target but that you kind of aim at it and hope for the best and if you don’t get it you don’t and if you do then brilliant but the live thing has been so consistent and so good to me that I think I have reached the point now that I could probably tour in variant forms for the rest of my career even if I never released anything.  That’s a really useful nugget of knowledge *Sigh of relief*.  But you can keep pushing yourself and obviously I am pushing myself to write better songs and do other covers and strange pieces of dance music.

Any advice for young writers in regards to writing and writers block?

NF: I had quite a rough time since I first signed the publishing deal – I didn’t write anything for about six months.  Luckily I held back enough material to be able to snake my way through playing stuff that was really old but telling them I had just wrote it.  The hardest bit for me was switching from being completely fun to being a job – it’s such a massive mental leap. 
Sings – ‘This is what I do for fun when no one is about’ and then suddenly you are being paid and you have to do it right now. It just killed it for me. It took me a while to get my head round that one.  So I am being paid to do what I do for fun but now I can’t do it because I am being paid. It was very hard – very annoying.
Advice wise I think just as things get bigger the decisions get trickier and there are all sorts of weird things with people trying to make you do stuff that you don’t want to do.

VM: What Kind of things?
NF: Even down to songs and kind of stuff that you know isn’t the best you can do but has something that makes it really current and someone is like ‘that should be the first thing you release’.

VM:  Is there a lot of pressure like that?
NF: It’s huge, there is loads of stuff. I think it is probably different when you are in a band because the whole band can be like ‘were not doing that’ but it’s just me going ‘I don’t think I want to do that. That’s weird. No to that’. A lone entity (does sad face).

Do you ever wish you did have a band?

NF:  Sometimes I wish I had a band live because literally I would have to do a quarter of the work – playing a drum with one foot, bass with the other foot well doing percussion and playing as much as I possibly can on guitar but it would be seriously easy.
I did try I had a bass player and drummer, it was really fun, and it added a lot of sonic stuff but it took away a couple of things.  I think part of it was the communication thing. When I am completely on my own though I am so free I can stop in the middle of songs and mess around to just do whatever I want but if you have a band then you tend to stick to it a bit more.
But the way things are at the moment the set has been fluctuating from an hour an forty to two hours depending on how random things get. It’s really weird I tend to do the opposite of most people – most people when they get really tired will do a slightly shorter set so they can save themselves for the rest of the tour – when I was at my most tired I did over two hours and I think it was because all my filters had gone. 
Whatever I thought just happened – ‘Oh you shouldn’t really be doing that.  You’ve played nine extra songs’.

Somehow we managed to get on to talking about the band System of a Down.

NF: They’re so good and I feel they are kind of underrated for some reason. I thought they brought a lot to the table and in to a genre that kind of fluctuates from terms of crazy.  It does occasionally dry up a bit and you’re like ‘is that all metals got’. Occasionally something sneaks through and you’re like ‘woah ok that is a new level’ I kind of think that they did that but this was years ago. I always like it when stuff that is a bit weird and a bit left breaks through – it was getting radio play – they were like *sings* “Wake up. Wake up”.

Are there any songs you feel about that way at the moment?

NF: Well that Gotye track that has knocked through that’s quite left.  It’s quite Peter Gabriele and for that to do what it’s done and it kind of wows when something like that happens *sigh* people actually like different things.  They just aren’t being given the option most of the time. 

NF: Pauses to show off his grammar phone enthusiastically to the people working at Oran Mor.

Your music is quite regularly associated with summer would you say this is a fair association and do you enjoy playing your music in an outside environment?

NF: Yeah, I love it.  I probably underestimated how linked I had become with summer.  Actually one thing that really highlighted it for me was when I moved into a new house and I had been there for months but the sun hadn’t shined it had been raining the whole time. I had been walking past the same people in the corridor and as soon as the sun came out someone went ‘Are you Newton Faulkner?’ –  it was like it couldn’t be me if it was raining. 
I think that was part of the trouble we had with the second album because it got pushed back because of my wrist and ended up being released just after summer. I don’t think anyone knows who I am in the winter.
I think the new stuff is still really summery. It’s driving – driving in the summer. Especially this new one even more so that the first. The first one was kind of sitting the background and barbecuing.  This one is slightly more arm out the window.  Which is weird because the first one is kind of a surf album and this one is kind of a driving album.  I can’t do either of those. I should probably write about something I know about like a walking album  or a sitting down album. 

Skindred – Jagermeister Music Tour – 11/04/12 – Glasgow o2 Academy

When I attend gigs I score them on a number of things but I think the thing that matters the most is the energy of the band and the atmosphere of the crowd -the music aside.  If you go see and a band and it is blatantly obvious that they cannot be bothered being there well in my opinion they would be as well just not being there even if the sound is good.

Reggae metal band Skindred however score very high on all fronts mentioned though – especially energy and adoration.   Front man Benji Webbe appeared on stage looking like a more kitch version of Will.I.Am – dressed nearly all in white and wearing a top hat.   Apparently the man loves to dress up.  The look totally worked for him though and us metal heads know that he is cooler than Will.I.Am.

This was my first time seeing the band and I attended the Jagermeister Music Tour in Glasgow based solely on Skindred headlining and the ticket was only £5.  You can’t even go to the cinema these days for that price never mind see four bands.  The band played besides Black Spiders, Therapyand Yashin.

The band mixed things up a bit by including parts of other people’s songs in their songs and between starting a new song.  Back in Black by AC/DC was the perfect song to use and got the crowd going but Beyonce’s Single Ladies was the most entertaining.  The whole gig was very entertaining watching Benji dancing along to single ladies and cracking the odd joke.  It was fun but delivering a good performance is obviously something the band does take seriously.

Every song sounded amazing live and Benji’s vocals actually surprised me.  I was wondering if his vocals would sound as strong live – they did.  He managed to balance the slick vocals and the heavier metal growls.
The band were also flawless in their performance but at times I feel they were out shadowed by Benji’s massive personality but then again a lot of successful bands are.
I wish I could have gone out after the gig as the music really put me in the mood to party.  Well, that and to go bask in the sun somewhere.   Especially after the Doom Riff with its big carnival drum beats.
Sadly I had to leave the gig early due to having to travel home and missed three of my favourite Skindredsongs but what I witnessed before leaving was nothing short of amazing.  I can’t wait to see them play Download Festival this summer and if you have not seen the band before you should make a point of going see them when you can.

Seether – Live Review – Glasgow Garage – 10/03/12

Grunge music has been on the go for a long time now and it seems to be a genre that has died out a little with other genres like dubstep emerging on to the music scene but post-grunge band Seether are helping keep grunge music alive.

The band arrived on to the music scene in 1999 – a couple of years after the alleged ‘death’ of grunge in 1994. Whether you believe grunge died in 1994 wholly depends on how big a Nirvana fan you are. The band are originally from South Africa but relocated to American to build the bands success.

With five albums under their belt they show no sign of slowing down.   Despite Seether being on the scene a steady length of time I had never had the pleasure of seeing them live until recently.

The show at the Garage, Glasgow sold out which I was somewhat surprised about.  I had underestimated the popularity of the band due to not many of my friends being fans.

A lot of the band’s songs are what some would call ‘depressing’ but I would argue that the songs are more true to reality than a lot of other songs out there.  Lyrically I have always found Seether nerve touching.   The song that introduced me to Seether was Remedy – a now classic Seether song and the first song of theirs to reach no.1which I stumbled across on Yahoo Music way before YouTube took over the internet.   The crowd particularly enjoyed rocking out to this one.

The song most will be familiar with is Broken the highly emotive song featuring Amy Lee of Evanescence.  I however had completely forgotten about the songs existence and when they started playing it the emotion could have crumbled me like a digestive biscuit.  The atmosphere amongst the crowd felt tense during this song.  I knew I was not the only one to be struck by this song.  Keep in mind a large part of the crowd were your stereotypical bearded metal heads.

Shuan Morgan has vocals that are very suited to the grunge genre but his vocals are also very beautiful on the more melodic tracks like Broken and Tonight.  His live vocals are as pleasing as they are on the recorded material.

The only compliant I have about the gig is that the band were not on for as long as I would have liked them to be but the live quality was high both musically and vocally the band were top notch.  There was not much crowd participation but this fits in line with the laid back style of the band.
(Shaun Morgan. Photo by: Victoria McEwan)

When they tour again I would like to see them play a bigger venue as although The Garage creates an intimate setting I also find it slightly claustrophobic and there is not enough room to ‘rock out’ without smacking the person next to you.