Relax don't…. Wait what's your arm doing?
Firstly, thank you for your patience with my absence. Secondly, blogging for me is about being honest. Sharing with you how things like music make me feel, experience and my general thoughts/opinions. Therefore this post is me being as honest as I can about why I’ve been distant from blogging and reviewing for so long. And to explain what’s been going on since December 2017.
So in December 2017 I plucked up the courage to go to the doctors, to try and get them to understand what I was dealing with. At 22 years old I had been living every day for the last 9 years with chronic pain in my knees. A chronic pain which had spread to my left shoulder, hips, wrists and fingers, ankles and toes, elbows and lower back. I am suffering with joint movement, where often my knee cap wouldn’t be in the right place, and could be visibly seen. My left arm would be much longer in appearance as my shoulder would partially dislocate. My hips would move around often resulting in serve pain. And finally they listened and referred me to a Rheumatologist!!
Along came the appointment in January 2018, where I was asked questions that if it wasn’t a doctor I would usually lie about. Had to do things like touch my toes, stretch my arms out and show how close my thumb can get to my wrist. Then the Rheumatologist confirmed I had scored 8/9 on the Beighton Score, I had severe Hypermobility and would need an Echocardiogram, MRI of my lower spine and pelvis, blood test and would be referred to a specialist Physiotherapist.
In February the results of my blood test where back. Low vitamin D levels and Coeliac Disease. That was the biggest shock, as I didn’t know it was being tested as I only knew about my Thyroid being tested. This meant a Gastroscopy was now needed and I must live a Gluten Free life. But the best news from that was no sign of any arthritis kicking in yet (as I am prone to getting it at an early age). Buzzing! Then I had my MRI & Echocardiogram done.
MRI results weren’t the best as they showed problems with discs in my spine, meaning I have things to look out for which could mean an A&E trip. But on the flip side my pelvis was okay, which was great news!
So April lead to another doctor’s trip as now my right foot was turning in. With anticipation I explained what was going on, and after an examination was referred again to another specialist who then referred me to Podiatry.
Roll on to May and I’ve had the Gastroscopy test (sedation is a very strange experience I must admit), and the results are back confirming I must live a Gluten Free diet due to having Coeliac Disease – 100% confirmed. It is great to have confirmation that I am doing the right thing by eating Gluten Free, but even better results came back for my Echocardiogram! The results showed no problems with my heart, so at least my heart is behaving!
Physiotherapy sessions are going well with each one so far focusing on different areas of my body. There are talks of moving from exercises to physical activities to try and feel more active and like my old gym going self before the pain and dislocations got too much.
Podiatry have told me no more Converse (but I can’t part ways yet so still wear them but not as much) and high backed supportive shoes are a must! I’m still looking for a pair that I like and can wear at work as I work full time in an office and I need the support as I can often be on my feet for long periods due to being a trainer. More so I need the high back and support because I have to wear an insole in my right shoe, which makes me look wonkier than normal which is a little bit funny lmao.
With all this I have had to come to terms with a lot of things the last few months however I am now in a good place. With all these tests now nicely finished, and only regular trips to physiotherapy and podiatry, I am getting back into my routine. I am doing yoga, and looking to start cycling again (as advised by my physiotherapist) and getting back into writing. Which has all contributed to me being ready to get back to what I love; blogging, reviewing and sharing my thoughts/opinions with you all. I’m looking at music and adventure posts like before, but now looking at food and hypermobility posts too! I have found my silver lining…
So… I am 23 years old living life with Chronic Pain, Severe Hypermobility Syndrome and Coeliac Disease. I am learning to be open about things, to be realistic and to let go of feeling ashamed that I will not be able to do everything without help – when I said learning I definitely mean it with that bit as I am so stubborn aha. As well as learning to listen to my body and trying very hard to not see my conditions as massive negatives.
My advice to anyone regardless of age or how you feel about what you’re going through, make the doctors listen! Listen to what your body is telling you. It knows you better than you know you!
If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch in the usual means!
Thank you all again for your kindness during this time of disappearance xo
We’re No Heroes – Youth – Single Review
"But he'll never stay, they never do"
On its own the music would make a great instrumental piece, as it features so many aspects. There is character too, in terms of it has feeling to it, it has depth and it makes you move. What emphases this feeling within the song is the vocals themselves. Halsey has a beautiful voice that is both soft and powerful. She has the ability to utilise her vocal capacity by messing with different pitches, notes and the use of different projections throughout. This piece all in all musically is phenomenal; there is nothing about it that just doesn’t work. The construction and foundation of it all is immaculate.
The song starts with the simplest verse about knowing the game, and how to play the game. It then breaks into the powerful, emotion driven chorus which lets you in on the true effect of the torment. The second verse however, really breaks it down for you. Featuring lines like ‘would’ve gave it all for you’ and ‘so tell me where I went wrong’, you are enlighten to the heartbreak and confusion that is still so raw. But then hidden away backing vocals sing ‘my lover, my liar’ which will make you as the listener, feel the pain that this song holds and ask the biggest question ever.
The question right there for you is, why are you asking what you did wrong, when you know they lied? This unfortunately is something that many will be asked during their life when in this kind of situation, where your mind has been messed with. This verse maybe chunkier than the first, but it is still short and sweet and flows straight into that chorus again. After this second introduction to the chorus we are greeted by the most powerful, two-lined verse ever! This verse literally is filled with heart-breaking truth, but also pure raw emotion. And it is this verse I think is what connects to so many people out there.
it’s nothing new, it’s nothing new”
Album Review #4
- Told You So – The third track on the album, this song is packed with great vocals, quirky tunes and sassy lyrics. It’s that type of song you can’t help but sway along to, and you can’t help but sing along too either. I think many can agree when someone says to you “I told you so” you just feel bitter, maybe even flick a glare their way (I know you know), and this song captures that perfectly with the lyrics. What I really love about this song though is the use of the bass and guitar throughout. They are very clearly heard and actually hold more of the beat than you think. The drums throughout are great, but they appear to incorporate more of an additional structure to the tune that’s within the track rather than being the heartbeat of the song.
- Fake Happy – This song is just unreal! It’s the fifth track on the album, and starts off so mellow and low, with soft lyrics and acoustic guitar strumming slowly building the song up which then, just stops. Out of nowhere, the funkiness builds! This song has a great contrast, as the tune is quite upbeat and happy, but the lyrics are deep and very meaningful. For me this is a clever touch on mental health. It may not be, but that’s the connection I’ve put with this song. There are people out there that will feel this way at some point for whatever reason, and this form of recognition is great. It gets it out there and helps to break down the stigma. I love it. But it being a banger of a song helps too. As I said it may not be about mental health, but if I can make the connection (and I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed) then many others may too. Which is how this stigma removal could benefit from this song. With lyrics like “I bet that everybody here is just as insincere” and “Oh please, I bet that everybody here is fake happy too”, helps to provide proof that you aren’t alone in this world, adding a support mechanism.
- Idle Worship – The slightly more heavier sounding track with hints of a very young Paramore filtered within, ‘Idle Worship’ is the tenth track on the album and I completely love it! This song is oozing with sass, its oozing with a powerful vibe, and brimming with some great music. The vocals in this song are amazing, with different pitches and projection, Hayley’s vocals definitely shows how talented she is within this song. The drums are equally as versatile within this song as they are either loud, yet tame beats or fast intricate ones. The guitar is just bang on! And exactly what I wanted to hear in this one, as it incorporates the new sound with hints of Paramore’s slightly older sound from back when they were throwing bangers like ‘Decoy’ out. I would like to point out that although this song isn’t as rock sounding as ‘Decoy’, it has a hint of that vibe which has been very cleverly mellowed out and incorporated into this new 80’s vibe. ‘Idle Worship’ is that song that I just blast out of my car speakers, and sing my heart out to! To the point where if you are unfortunate enough to be sat next to me at the traffic lights, I am probably going to be throwing some sassy (at least I think so) dance moves at the red light, followed with some pretty horrific singing. That’s how great a song this is.
- Rose-Coloured Boy – The second track on the album ‘Rose-Coloured Boy’ is another great song showcasing this new 80’s inspo sound, that Paramore are playing with at the moment. With a quirky backing vocal that sounds chanty, the sound has some serious 80’s elements within it including some synth. I can’t help but feel this is a song about someone who is very into believing on showing that they have no problems, that there are no problems out there, that there is no excuse for being sad. And I feel this song just hits that feeling you get from that, right on the head. With lyrics like ‘we can’t all be like you, I wish we were all rose-coloured too’ and ‘boy you ain’t ever seen my mind’, you can feel the emotion and the slight annoyance being portrayed perfectly. Again I could be completed wrong, but I just feel it is so cleverly done and it just fits so well.
- Hard Times – And last but not least, the first track on the album and the first release/introduction to the new sound ‘Hard Times’ is definitely within my top, top 3 favs off this album. From the video, to the music, to the lyrics, to the new vibe, I just love it! This is another one that I feel is touching on mental health/dealing with crappy times, yet in a very grown up way. The lyrics seem to come from both aspects of that feeling. With the chorus sounding like that thing that’s ruining your mood/day/month yet, the verses seem to be more centralised round the affected person and how they are feeling. Again a beautiful contrast with the funky, upbeat sound of the music and vocals, mixed together with the emotional filled lyrics. This track has great use of that 80’s inspo with synth and a killer techno sounding tune that sticks in your head for days. My favourite thing about this song is the guitar, its funky, its filled with upbeat happy chords yet isn’t overloaded. Both lead and rhythm riffs sound great within this piece, and the techniques used just add to the quirky beat yet showcase what Taylor can do with his guitar. Hard Times is a smashing first release and first track of the album.
Seconds Apart – The Asylum Venue – April 21st 2017
Friday, April 21st I took a trip down to The Asylum Venue in Birmingham, a venue that has been a mini home for me over the years, to watch the boys; Marx, Led by Lanterns, The Real Cool and Seconds Apart. And boy was it something! I entered the venue only knowing who Led by Lanterns were and with the tiniest bit of research in regards to the other bands. Now this is my favourite thing to do with gigs at intimate venues. I love going into the unknown and experiencing the whole thing from discovering who a band is to watching them live to getting to know them. And it’s from this experience that, before we get to the nitty gritty, I just want to say all of these lads are absolutely the sweetest people you will ever meet! I haven’t been to a gig in a long time where all bands and all members of the bands, were as humble, appreciative and well sweet as all of these boys!
Now the nitty gritty…
… First onto the stage at this intimate venue was Marx. Marx is a rap artist who has also, in the past, dabbled into metal. Standing solo Marx worked the stage with utter confidence, interacting with the crowd and exclaiming his appreciation for being there and to all the other bands (especially the headline act). That alone was lovely to see, but Marx overall was ticking lots of boxes. Now as I said Marx is a rap artist, and that brought a massive twist to the night as the main genre was alternative. And besides his banter on stage, Marx performance was filled with some serious hard work! With well timed and placed beats, song transitions, and some serious lyrical work, Marx filled the venue with a refreshing set. Marx showcased fast lyrical production as well as some more slower paced lyrical build up adding depth to his songs. But he also showed some great music build up too with great use of strings into some of his songs, bringing a classical aspect within his hip-hop sound. As I mentioned at the begin Marx has previously worked within Metal and Pop Punk bands, so with that background you can appreciate that this guy has some serious potential, as he is versatile and talented. With that being said I can honestly say I can’t wait to see more of him and that he is doing a great job.
Second onto the stage were Led by Lanterns, a four piece midland based band who are smashing it! Led by Lanterns consists of Welsh and Brummy lads who are not only great musicians but musicians who are also fronting a great cause, which I will explain towards the end. With their pop punk vibe, the lads fit well into the overall Alternative scene of the night.
Third to the stage were The Real Cool, a three piece band from Birmingham who brought the second twist of the night to life, by bringing a well balanced mix of synth and 80’s pop influence to their dream pop/indie vibes. Now that may not be the best description of this band, to which I can only apologise, however once you hear them and you start to sway to their dancey yet mellow beats you will get the vibe I am referring to.
Finally the Yorkshire boys were on the stage getting ready to show Birmingham what they’ve got. And boy was I not prepared for what was to come!
I will take this time now to say thank you to Marx, Led by Lanterns, The Real Cool and Seconds Apart for such a wonderful show, and for being so welcoming. Thank you for taking the time to speak to me inbetween interacting with each other and the audience. Thank you for being humble, gracious to one another and for showing what music is about.
If you haven’t already go check out these guys and their Facebook pages, they’re all incredible and you won’t be disappointed.
‘Save A Life Surrender Your Knife’ Campaign
Hello. It’s me… The creator of Music and What Not
I am a massive fan of Tim Burton (as I just mentioned, told you its a massive obsession), Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Big Bang Theory and crime programmes. Literally any crime programme I will watch. Oh and period dramas, I am a sucker for period dramas such as Little Woman and Pride and Prejudice. Oh and I am also in love with Halloween!
Now Cancer research is a massive thing to me because that’s what I was studying into. I wanted to help people throughout their treatment of Radiotherapy. Now I’m no longer pursuing that, my aim is to continue to give money to the charities, who are helping with the funding of the research to help find a cure, as I always have done. This has always been something I’ve been passionate about however, its also a hard reality I’ve had to face many times over the years that I’ve been alive. I have lost many loved ones to this disease, one more recently than I would have liked, so my desire to help fund that cause is amplified more and more as each day goes by. So much so I am looking into entering a few fund raisers myself, so watch this space!
Album Review #3
FU – This song has an old school vibe to it but is mixed with some electronic features as well as sassy lyrics. Its title itself explains the exact extent of sass it holds, however the lyrics themselves are quite funny. Lets not lie here, woman are tarnished with the psycho brush and this song just plays on that perfectly with lyrics such as “take my key to your benz”. Now why I like this song so much is because it reaches out to the part of a relationship where you both really hate each other and are driving each other mental, but you just cant stay away from each other. Its that toxic relationship that many of us have or will encounter in our lives. But its discussed in such a soft musical way that its not a power ballard and its not a dissing match song either. And with how the song sounds old school but has lyrics that include modern day terminology, just appeal to me! Its different and its refreshing, but its also real.
Down & Dirty – This song just oozes dance hit! It also pushes the boundary of the label they’ve been given due to having a large younger fan base. This song its age appropriate yet brushes over the fact they are woman and not teenagers. Its clever as it never mentions the things its referring to. Im also not going to lie, but the GoT reference is also a killer move! Who doesn’t love GoT right?! This is a song I can see being blasted loud during the summer period and maybe even be a killer club song! Its repetitive beat will definitely get stuck in your head and make those feet move!
Touch (Acoustic) – Now I love the original version of this however, the acoustic one has made it in my top three purely for the vocal talent. The song itself in both versions is a great song, with beautiful lyrics that you cant help but sing along to. The original is also a floor number! I cant sit/stand still when its on, I just feel like dancing. However, acoustically you will fall in love with the voices of Little Mix. The acoustic version has been slowed right down, has soft piano keys and very strong powerful lyrics. You hear each individual woman sing their section so beautifully and then when they come together it is just simply mesmerising. High harmonies to perfectly pair the strong bearing solo voice during the chorus. Its just such a beautiful piece of music and I could honestly listen to it over and over. Goosebumps.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
"I try to make the worst seem better…"
Get me to the gig!
Official page of the band/artist
GetToTheFront.com – i’ve used this site
Official social media sites of the band/artist (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter) – i’m not going to lie, I am a serial follower of bands/artist both unsigned and signed.
Being signed up to marketing with ticket providers i.e. Ticketmaster – I get emails from Ticketmaster constantly about shows, yes I’ll admit at times it’s annoying but I’d never unsubscribe
Being a member of O2 Priority
Who do I want to see? – Drake, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters or even Little Mix?
Where do I want to see them? – My home town or do I want to travel?
Do I want to sit or stand? – Do I want to dance? Could I really last in a moshpit?
How much is my overall limit? – Can I afford to see them and travel? How much are my bills this month?
Can I make it that day? – Have I got holiday allowance left at work? Do I have an exam the next day? Is it a school night?
Ticketmaster – I use this website nearly every time I purchase online
Ticket Factory – I have used
Links direct from the official pages of the band/artist – I have also used this opinion as lets face it the band/artist isn’t going to promote dodgy tickets, they want their fans there.
Direct link from the venue – O2 Academy/ O2 institute will often have a direct link to the ticket sales provider from their website. You click ‘Buy’ and it takes you there. This is also another way I have personally bought tickets.
Extremely high prices
Ticket sale starts hours after all other sites
The site hasn’t been published on the venue’s site
You haven’t heard of that ticket sales provider before
Do research on them- if you find chats/reviews and they state dodgy activity or bad past experience, I really recommend you don’t use them.
If an individual seller, and they refuse to communicate with you
Check the news – The Guardian newspaper reports on this, Coldplay and YouMeAtSix are highly involved with bettering the experience for fans in regards to purchasing tickets. They have wrote open letters to the government and even set up petitions. All of which you can find and even sign the petition (I have).
Research the law – Metropolitan police have released a document that is available online for the public to read.
Check social medias, read blogs, speak to friends and family – I’m pretty sure you will know or at least follow someone who is interested in this, and if you just bring it up in conversation you could be updated a lot around it. You may even discover you know someone (either directly or of them through common friends) who has been subject to a dodgy ticket sale and they can advise which site to not use.
But seriously check the news, simply Googling “illegitimate ticket sales” will bring up news report after news report. Google search “Josh You Me At Six” and that brings up tonnes more, I mean he has even personally sold tickets in a shoe retailer in London he is that passionate about it.