Weekly Digs: The Wombats

I’ve followed the career of The Wombats since the beginning. Their synth-pop-indie-rock sound delivers catchy riffs and hooks by the bucket-load.

Their latest and third album Glitterbug came out earlier in the year and from the sounds of it, they are continuing the deliver the goods.

Be Your Shadow is their latest offering and it’s a catchy one!

 

Enjoy!

N

The Heat is Here!

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The UK and most of Europe is currently experiencing a heat wave, and I am so happy about it.

People love to talk about the different ‘types’ of heat… Some people can’t fathom that 30 degrees could be considered a nice day in Perth, when 30 degrees in London feels like you’re melting out of your skin. The reason is our cities are designed with specific weather in mind, for instance, buildings in London are designed to keep the heat in, they’re getting better but most places don’t have air conditioning and the tube is even more of a cess-pool of filth than normal – if it’s even running because apparently the train tracks over here melt in anything above 35 degrees!

But for me, this weather is bringing back some amazing, happy memories. Yesterday I was literally sitting at the desk at work when I caught a waft of warm air from outside. I was instantly reminded of home, of summer holidays, BBQ’s with my family and friends, Christmas and all the excitement that comes with it, and of course the beach.

I love and miss the fact that you can walk outside and the wind is warm. Yesterday after work my flat mate and I went down to our local park with some ciders and a bag of chips and watched some guys playing cricket, and just chilled out on the grass.. it was so delightful and relaxing. I love that something so simple can make me so happy.

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There is one summer memory that will stick in my mind forever.. when I was little and we were around my Nonna & Nonno’s house for dinner, afterwards, once the sun had gone down and the temperature was still in the 30’s, my Nonno would be sitting out the front on the porch or out the back overlooking his vegetable garden and I would ask; ‘Why are you sitting out in this heat?! Come inside in the cool!’ and he would answer ‘I’m drying my bones out’. He had a fantastic sense of humour, I miss him dearly.

Isn’t it amazing that I can get all of that from one wisp of warm air?

N

 

Weekly Digs: Billy Joel

I’m going through a bit of a Billy Joel phase at the moment… I grew up listening to him as my Dad is a big fan. I have just about every greatest hits album he has released, and I always find myself coming back to this track.

It’s one of my instant good mood tunes, short and sweet and super catchy. I thought I would share it with you all today… here is a live version of it

 

Enjoy!

N

I’m Happy and You’re Going to Hear About It!!

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I am in a joyous mood today. It may have something to do with the sun finally gracing us with it’s presence. It also might be due to the fact that I am suddenly very aware of all the great things I have coming up.

Firstly, I am living in London and having the time of my life… the days are nice and long (it’s not dark until 10pm) the weather is finally getting better, I live with amazing people, there is always someone to catch up with, a play to see or a concert to go listen to.

Next week I am reunited with one of my favourite people on the planet, in Paris of all places! Then I am off to Ireland to catch up with more friends I haven’t seen in too long. I will be saying farewell to one cousin, and welcoming another.

Basically I am just really happy where I am in life right now, and I want to absolutely make the most of it, and soak it all in and not for one second take for granted what I am so lucky to have and be surrounded with. I feel like shouting it from the rooftops today… but instead I will just share it with you!

No matter what is going on in your day to day life, I think it’s so important to just stop and be mindful and remember that it could always be worse!

N

A Fleetwood Mac Attack!

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Last night I had the privilege of seeing Fleetwood Mac live at the O2. Two words summed up the experience for me; Mind. Blown.

I cannot believe these five musicians are still alive, let alone still being able to play music incredibly well.. it’s as if they have never aged. Like they have been held in a time capsule for the last 20 years at least because their performance was even better than the last time I saw them 6 years ago.

The O2 is a ginormous shed-esq venue. (For those in Perth it reminds me a bit of Burswood Dome… but bigger!) I was super lucky with my ticket, being that I went alone I was able to nab a seat directly in the centre of the stage, one level up. Deeeelightful! I could see the soundboard and the cameras, but none of it was in my way!

They began their set as they always do with The Chain.. I thought I was going to cry it was so good. They were note perfect and Lindsey Buckingham’s guitar solo sounded better than ever! It set the bar high for the rest of the set, I was left with goosebumps.

Much of the focus was on returning member Christine McVie who re-joined the band on this tour after nearly 20 years in recluse retirement. The addition of her songs to the set and her vocals to each song really propelled their performance. Her big songs like Everywhere and You Make Loving Fun had the crowd dancing in the isles. Speaking of dancing, as soon as the lights hit the stage the front rows of the audience turned into a bonafide mosh pit.. such a strange sight to see men and women in their 50’s and 60’s jumping up and down like kids, but it was great. The entire stadium had an electric energy, as did the band. They kept saying how thrilled they were to be back in London and back on tour, this being their 94th show on their current tour. I don’t know how they do it, it’s exhausting just thinking about it.. but they clearly love what they do. After each song you could see them basking in the afterglow, and Buckingham saluted the audience with his guitar several times, and jumped around on the spot like a kid on a sugar high. This could be their secret.. music is keeping them young.

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Stevie Nicks was her usual mystical self, dancing around the stage and hypnotising the audience. Highlights included her mega-hit Rhiannon and Gold Dust Woman. The latter involved a five minute dance routine that succeeded in putting the crowd in a trance like state. With the aid of background visuals and reverb on her vocals, they succeeded in transporting the audience to an entirely different place.

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I have to say, Lindsey Buckingham may be one of the best guitarists in the world. His rendition of Big Love is spellbinding. Those of your familiar with the 1997 concert The Dance, will know the current format of the 1980’s hit. It is just Buckingham and his guitar, and he makes enough noise for 3 guitars put together. He backed this up with an 8 minute guitar solo in I’m So Afraid… It was tiring just watching..

By the time they got to Go Your Own Way the ENTIRE stadium was on their feet, and stayed that way for the remainder of the concert. They radiated so much good energy that the whole place felt like one giant happy place. It gave me one of those ‘moments’ when I caught myself thinking ‘God, I am so lucky to be here right now.. seeing one of my favourite bands, in London.. amazing’

For all my friends and family in Perth, if you haven’t got tickets yet GO AND SEE THEM. I have no doubt that the acoustics in Perth Arena would be better than the O2.. I daresay it will be the last time they all tour together so make sure you don’t miss it!

Here is their mammoth set list;

The Chain
You Make Loving Fun
Dreams
Second Hand News
Rhiannon
Everywhere
I Know I’m Not Wrong
Tusk
Sister of the Moon
Say You Love Me
Big Love
Landslide
Never Going Back Again
Over My Head
Gypsy
Little Lies
Gold Dust Woman
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way

Encore;
World Turning
Mick Fleetwood Drum Solo
Don’t Stop

Second Encore;
Silverspring
Songbird

This was definitely one of my favourite gigs of all time. Well worth every penny spent, I am so happy I decided to see them at the last minute.. It didn’t even matter that I went solo, because I knew all the words to all the songs, which in itself makes you feel like you’re among friends.

N

Tay Tay is Taking Over the World!

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Now, I never thought I would be writing a blog post about Taylor Swift… but I can’t help it, I just have to, I think I have a girl-crush. This woman has impressed me a lot. She is one of the few women in today’s music industry that is still a really great role model for young women. She is honest, hilarious and has her head screwed on! She writes her own songs, plays guitar and is also a very savvy business woman… This morning the world awoke to the news she has taken on the giant company Apple over their new streaming site Apple Music. She has managed to reverse their decision to not pay the artists royalties during the initial three-month trial. Because of her efforts, artists will now be paid (they haven’t said how much) for each time their song is streamed on the service. There is no doubt that Swift’s bank account potentially wouldn’t notice the increase in funds, but it could be the livelihood of hundreds of struggling artists and bands who are trying to make it.

‘This is about the new artist or band that has just released their first single and will not be paid for its success.  

‘This is about the young songwriter who just got his or her first cut and thought that the royalties from that would get them out of debt. 

‘This is about the producer who works tirelessly to innovate and create, just like the innovators and creators at Apple are pioneering in their field…but will not get paid for a quarter of a year’s worth of plays on his or her songs.’

Adding to all of this, her latest song Bad Blood is catching as hell. It’s the type of song I really don’t want to like, but I can’t help it. It gets stuck in your head.. also she’s made this epic film clip for it with an endless list of guest appearances, but the whole theme is women. Women being tough and taking ownership.

I personally don’t listen to commercial radio (or any radio at the moment for that matter) so I am lucky that I am not being submitted to listening to the same pop songs 10 times a day. For those that are, I can understand how a person could come to hate people like Swift. For now, I am in a position where when I hear her music, I can appreciate it for what it is. Catchy pop music that lets me Shake It Off. HA!

But seriously, I wish there were more artists out there like Swift, instead of the auto-tuned singers who prance around with no clothes on, singing about subjects that no 10 year old should be singing along to.. Perhaps the next generation would be more inclined to appreciate their education, have more self confidence and stop worrying so much about what other people think!!

Everyone should take a leaf out of Taylor’s book… stand up for what you believe in, be the best friend you can be and laugh at yourself, daily!

N

A Day in Oxford

IMG_5160Yesterday I decided to go on a day trip out to Oxford. It’s a mere hour away on the train from London, making it a very do-able trip!

It’s a quaint little village dominated by the university. All the buildings resemble the Oxford with honey coloured limestone walls, surrounded by the most vibrant green and well manicured lawns I have encountered.

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It’s very easily accessible on foot and boy did we walk! We managed to join two walking tours.. the first allowed us free access into one of the Oxford halls, which was to be the inspiration behind Hogwarts Great Hall (Harry Potter movies). However, this guide lacked the skills for interesting story-telling and lost us after about an hour so we decided to join a different 2 hour walking tour a little bit later on. It was miles better, and I am now full-bottle on the history of Oxford University, how the town was founded, who was executed there and which pubs to drink in!

Speaking of pubs, the pub we decided on for dinner was none other than the Turf Club, famous for it’s previous patrons. It is where former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke downed a yard of beer in 11 seconds – a Guinness World Record to this day! And it is where Bill Clinton ‘didn’t inhale’ that joint he was holding for his friend.. in his mouth!

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There are clearly two types of people in Oxford. Tourists and students. If you’re not dodging another walking tour (there are tonnes) you are jumping out of the way of another cyclist. I think Oxford could give Amsterdam a run for it’s money with the amount of bicycles locked up around the city… it’s clearly a favoured form of transport in these parts.

All up it was a fantastic day, and has given me the inspiration to go out and explore more on weekends. The UK has such a fantastic rail network, it would be a shame not to make the most of it and see a bit more of this great country.

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N