The Brit Awards – 2015

Tonight is The Brits, one of the biggest nights in British Music celebrating the best in British music.  Growing up The Brits and the Smash Hit Poll Winners Party were my favourite shows, TV that wasn’t to be missed.  Long before MTV, Youtube, iTunes and even the internet (yes, I’m that old) this was how you found out about the best albums or new international acts to listen too. For the past few years I’ve gone off the Brits a bit, I remember a couple of years ago as they announced nominations and winners I would be like “Who is this?” Lets hope tonight is a good one!

Tonight the show kicked off with Taylor Swift, an act who a few years ago was seen as a country act and who appealed to a much younger fan base.  Just goes to show how far she has come that she can open a show like this… I mean, I of course, love her but its good to see that everyone else loves her too… During her performance I was texted by my sister and a friend about how great Taylor is!

First Award: Male Artist, goes to Ed Sheeran!! Another fave of mine, his latest album X is fantastic and as a live performer he is on another level! He has sold out 3 dates at Wembley Stadium later in the year and I am gutted I’m not going.  His recent session on Radio 1 live lounge is great too. Also his birthday is my birthday too, so that makes him even greater!

Second Award: British Group, goes to Royal Blood – Ok this is a “WHO?” moment… I’m not going to pretend I know any of their songs… What about 1D or Coldplay.

The second performance is Sam Smith, who recently won 4 Grammys, I have to confess I’m a little behind on the Sam Smith bandwagon, I haven’t listened to the album and I kind of feel like I should now, as this performance of Lay Me Down is beautiful.

Third Award: International Female Solo Artist goes to, Taylor Swift!! Her first Brit Award!! That seems crazy, I was torn between her and Beyonce, but the rest of the nominees I was like “Er Who?” How good a move was going pop for Taylor! WE LOVE YOU TAYLOR!

Ok, Royal Blood are performing and have to say not loving it…. next please! And also ITV, these ad breaks are getting a bit much!

Fourth Award: British Female Solo Artist, Paloma Faith.  Another “who?” category really, but glad that Paloma won over the others, especially as she was very emotional! Everyone loves a rambling award winner, except for the guy trying to keep the show on time!

Next up, Ed Sheeran performs Bloodstream, this is what he does best, him, a guitar and a loop pedal.  Recording the chords and harmonies before he starts to sing.  He is a truly talented performer, singer and songwriter.

Its another ad break! The way they keep going on about Madonna performing for the first time in 14 years, you just know its going to be rubbish!

Fifth Award: Global Success Award, going to the artist who’s new releases have sold the most outside of the UK, this year it’s Sam Smith! What a shame though that more attention is being given to Kim Kardashian not Sam Smith!

So performing now, unsurprisingly is Kayne West, I have no idea what he’s singing about and he’s obviously swearing as the sound keeps getting muted.  Waste of stage time if you ask me! This is worst than the ad breaks!!

So back to the awards, Sixth Award is: International Male Solo Artist ok, this is another “Who?” category for me…. so Pharrell wins and he’s not there… Can we not just have Ed sing again, or even Taylor and Ed – no, ok I guess we’ll go to another ad break.

Now we have Take That performing, seems something is missing to me, I just liked them as a four piece.  However Howard is doing a good job keeping that drum going, but Mark looks like a little old man with his guitar. It’s Take That so there is no doubt it’ll be a hit.. its just no Greatest Day or Never Forget.

Seventh Award: British Single, its gotta be Ed or Sam hasn’t it? NO, its Uptown Funk, I totally blame The X Factor for this. So we go straight into the next award, seems they’ve realised its time to move things along a bit.

Eighth Award: International group, firstly presented by John Bishop who looks lovely with a beard and the winner is… Foo Fighters. Now performing its George Ezra singing Budapest, which will be stuck in my head all night.

Ninth Award: British Breakthrough, Sam Smith was last years Critic’s Choice winner, this year Breakthrough… next year best Male?! What a year Sam Smith has had. Ok I’ll get the album, seems he’s not too bad.

Paloma Faith is performing with rain… that is all! But seriously I do love her voice

Tenth Award: British Video of the Year, I voted for 1D!! And they win!! But where are they… 5 Awards in total for 1D over the last few years.

So now I’m guessing all that’s left is the final award British Album and Madonna but not before a final ad break!

Eleventh and final award: British Album, ED SHEERAN!!! Fourth Brit award in total, 6 times platinum with X. Keep making music Ed!

I think they put Madonna on at the end, so if the show overran, they could cut out her performance and it’s just the same performance as the Grammys except she fell over, so it was worth watching just for that!

So that’s the Brits over for another year.  There was some good performances and worthy winners, but I can’t say I loved all the winners.  I’ll always watch but its just not the same as it used to be. Tonight was all about Ed and Taylor for me.

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Elvis at The O2

Last Saturday my family and I visited the Elvis exhibition at the O2.  The exhibition showcases the life of Elvis and is the largest collection ever displayed in Europe. It features over 300 artefacts from the family’s personal treasures, some that have never been seen outside of Graceland.

Elvis Presley at The O2

It’s strange to see all the memorabilia for Elvis, a singer who died before I was born.  To try and imagine him alive and the life he lived.  I had forgotten that Elvis served time in the Military and was treated as a normal serviceman, there wasn’t any special treatment for him.

Elvis Presley at The O2

The exhibition is split into different sections, his early life and the start of his career, Graceland, Hollywood and ’68 Special. The ’68 Special shows Elvis at his best! His songs are, of course, played all through the exhibition and for me its was a nice reminder of all the songs of his I know, I even left with some new favourites.

Elvis Presley at The O2, The 68 Special

Before you leave the exhibition there is the chance to watch a collection of his performances, it was emotional for me to watch him performing and to wonder what would’ve been had he not died when he did. He was 42, far too young but his legacy lives on in his music and his fans. I don’t imagine any other music star will leave behind the legacy he did.

“If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true”

Song Lyric Sunday – Billy Fury, Elvis, Queen & My Dad!

Wednesday is my Dad’s birthday.  Dad likes music almost as much as mum and I but the only gigs he goes to is Jack Jones. When I was younger though Sunday’s were mostly based around the CD player.  There was no Itunes or Ipods, and there were only 4 TV channels and not much football on.

Sunday’s started with cooking the dinner and Billy Fury would always be played! So much so, that our neighbours thought my Dad’s name was Bill and I could sing the start of the next song on the CD before it even started playing.

Then after dinner Dad would normally put music on and listen through headphones, but it would be SO loud that we could all hear it too! Elvis and Queen would always be played and its thanks to Dad that I have a love for all these singers today.

Today’s post didn’t have a specific lyric to it, just a thank to my Dad for all he’s done and continues to do for me and the good music he’s taught me about, then I realised that these lyrics sums up me and my Dad perfectly…

When no-one else can understand me
When everything I do is wrong
You give me hope and consolation
You give me strength to carry on
And you’re always there to lend a hand
In everything I do
That’s the wonder of you

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Happy Birthday Dad – I Love You x

John & Jacob, The Barfly – Camden

So the first music gig of the year was upon us.  Last night Mum & I headed into London to see John & Jacob play The Barfly in Camden.

This was the fourth time we were seeing John & Jacob.  We discovered them when they supported The Band Perry, then we saw them support Kacey Musgraves and then last year when they played their first headline gig at The Borderline.

Mum & I were waiting at the venue from about 6pm, doors opened at 7.  Twitter checks (aka Twitter Stalking) showed us that the band had done sound checks and they’d posted a picture of them outside the venue…. so I knew what they were wearing…. I jokingly said to Mum what would we do if they walked pasted and not 10 mins later they did infact stroll past the venue – spotted because I knew John was wearing a pink hoodie… So of course, I ran out of the venue, down the street after them for a picture!!

John & Jacob IMG_4053

The support band was a British country group called Holloway Road, they were really good and are also playing one of the C2C pop up stages.  I’d really recommend going to see them.

The venue was small so we’d gotten ourselves a nice spot by the edge of the stage. There didn’t appear to be any side entrance to the stage, so when the time came John & Jacob walked through the crowd to get onto the stage.

The setlist included some favourites, Ride with Me, Coming back for you, Done which they wrote for The Band Perry and many more. There were also 4 new songs! We knew from Twitter checks (aka stalking) and seeing them arrive that The Shires were also at the gig, so we did wonder if they might make a sneaky appearance on stage.  Finally they were invited on stage to sing Breaking the Law (one of my favourite songs) with John and Jacob… It’s really great to see British country music getting the exposure it deserves.

As we drew to the end of the gig, they played  ‘I’d go back’, a really beautiful love song. The song starts so low and quiet with Jacob singing, and the crowd hushed to listen to the song, and they all started to sing along. By the chorus we are all singing as loud as we could and this carried on through the rest of the song, as it ends John says to Jacob that gave me chills and they talk about how even when they play gigs in America, though don’t get that reaction of the crowd singing along to every word.

The gig ends with ‘Be my girl’ the song made famous by the TV show Nashville and again, its massively popular as we all sing along. I’m really grateful that John & Jacob continue to visit the UK, I just can’t wait for the day they play Shepherds Bush or C2C.  They really deserve that success and they seem to have the fan base

It was exciting to hear new music too, so now we just need to know when the next album will be out and when they will return to the UK.

John & Jacob
Tuning up!

John & Jacob

John & Jacob

Maximise your life – Jillian Michaels

Not only is this gig/event my first of the year, it’s also the first seminar/motivational thing I’ve been too and my first time at the indigo at O2. It’s actually a really lovely venue, quite small and any seat would be a good one. I bought my obligatory gig merchandise, a t-shirt and signed book.

Jillian Michaels Book & T
Signed Book & Tshirt

This show is split into 3 sections

Science – What does calories mean

Sweat – How we burn some of those calories

Self – Why not you!

The first two sections are all about calories and working out and we all know it’s not rocket science.  Eat less, move more… and by less she doesn’t mean air souffle and a speck of dust. You are going to want treats and burgers so Jillian says just follow the 80/20 rule and 20% of the time allow yourself those foods you enjoy.

It’s not about being perfect but about progressing… Not being stuck…

There were millions of quotes of saying’s she came out with one of the best for me was

Destiny is a matter of choice. Not a matter of chance

Also who knew Jillian hates working out! But she does it because of what she gains from it – being able to enjoy a cheese burger, wearing skinny jeans or a bikini and being able to run around and be a part of her kids lives, not a spectator.

The only rule she sets in the the Self section is ‘Don’t be a dick’, treat people nicely and be kind. She talks about living in your present, not your past and how if bad things have happen to you that’s in the past and you can’t change it, you can just change how you act in your present.

Trust your gut, Make new mistakes

What she explains is, it’s ok to fail to make mistakes because of the person you’ll be afterwards…

And who knew Jillian was so hilarious, she had the audience in stitches and it was so enjoyable to be a part of it…

So what did I take away from last night, well…

I won’t be eating air soufflé or a speck of dust for dinner.

I won’t use the thigh spreader at the gym – no one wants to see that

2 hours with Jillian Michaels did me more good than 10 months of antidepressants.

Today I’m gonna be fucking awesome…

First gig of the year – Maximise your life, Jillian Michaels

Well I don’t know if it counts as a gig, but tomorrow I will see Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame as part of her Maximise Your Life Tour. I don’t know what to expect, but I imagine there won’t be any singing!

I am a huge Jillian fan, from Biggest Loser to her fitness DVDs I find her inspiring and am known to spout ‘unless you faint, puke or die, Keep Running!’ to anyone who joins me on a run! Once I saw she was coming to the UK I booked tickets immediately, I really believe that when American stars find their way across the pond to us that we should show our support and then hopefully they’ll come over more often

Its true I’ve fallen off the weight loss, healthy eating wagon of late and have a decent amount of weight to lose to feel healthy again.  Not thin or even slim, just healthy. Thing is I know what I need to do, eat less, move more! This diet malarky isn’t that hard, its just not always that fun!

I hope to leave inspired and energised to start this next chapter of healthy living