July 10, 2014
 

It’s a beautiful world we live in,
a sweet, romantic place.
Beautiful people everywhere;
the way they show they care,
makes me want to say…

It’s a beautiful world,
oh, a beautiful world…
For you.

It’s a wonderful time to be here,
it’s nice to be alive.
Wonderful people everywhere;
the way they comb their hair,
makes me want to say…

It’s a wonderful place,
oh, what a wonderful place…
For you.
For you.
For you.
For you.
For you.
For you…
Not me.

Rage Against The Machine - Beautiful World
June 15, 2014
 

Let’s get fucked up and die,
I’m speaking figuratively, of course;
like the last time that I committed suicide,
social suicide.

Yeah, so I’m already dead…
on the inside, but I can still pretend.
With my memories and photographs,
I have learned to love the lie.

I wanna know what it’s like to be awkward and innocent,
not belligerent.
I wanna know how it feels to be useful and pertinent,
and have common sense, yeah.

Let me in, let me in to the club,
‘cause I wanna belong and I need to get strong,
and if memory serves I’m addicted to words and they’re useless…
in this department.

Let’s get fucked up and die.
I’m riding hard on the last lines of every lie,
and the BMX bike of my life is about to explode,
I’m about to explode.

I’m a mess, I’m a wreck.
I am perfect and I have learned to accept,
all my problems and short comings ‘cause I am so visceral,
yet deeply inept

I want to thank you for being a part of my Forget-Me-Nots,
and Marigolds,
and all the things that don’t get old.
Is it legal to do this? I surely don’t know.

It’s the only way I have learned to express myself,
through other peoples descriptions of life.
I’m afraid, I’m alone and entirely useless…
in this department.

Let’s get fucked up and die.
For the last time with feeling, we’ll try not to smile,
as we cover our heads and drink heavily into the night;
that’s no shock and surprise.

I believe that I can,
overcome this and beat everything in the end,
but I choose to abuse for the time being.
Maybe I’ll win, but for now I’ve decided to die.

Sister Soldier, you’ve been such a positive influence,
on my mental frame.
If I could ever repay you I would, but I’m hard up for cash,
and my memory lacks initiative.

Goddamn, the liquor store’s closed.
We were so close to scoring,
it hurts, it destroys ‘til it kills.
I am tired and hungry and totally useless…

In this department.

Motion City Soundtrack - Let’s Get Fucked Up And Die
May 25, 2014

Slam Dunk Festival North 2014

I spent most of the day yesterday at one of my favourite music festivals the UK has to offer… Slam Dunk!

It’s been a few years since I last went, but I’ve always loved the mix of music it offers that centres around my particular tastes pretty well. The festival is held at Leeds University (as well as another venue down south, and more recently one in the midlands) and includes bands from genres such as Indie Rock, Pop Punk, Ska, Hardcore and Metal as well as having a DJ Room and Acoustic Stage.

I’ve gotta say a massive thanks to my friend Becky for coming along to this one (and many others) with me, she’s a solid gig buddy who’s always up for seeing bands… old or new! The rain was pouring (and I’ve also heard reports that the old man was snoring) when we got to Leeds, but luckily the queue moved pretty quickly and we soon got inside to dry off and grab some lunch.

After that, we hit the Merch Stands where the usual mix of t-shirts and hoodies etc. were on offer, but I was a little disappointed that not many people seemed to be selling CDs. There was then time for a brief walk around the venue to find where all the 7 different stages were before the bands started to play:

The Macbeth Footwear Stage is where we decided to begin, watching a Ska band called Fandange who were a great, lively start to the day. From there we switched between stages catching bands like Light You Up (Heavy Pop Punk), Blitz Kids (Pop Rock), The First (Metal), Canterbury (Heavy Rock) and Save Your Breath (Hardcore), the latter even featured a guest appearance of Aled from Kids In Glass Houses which was pretty cool.

An outdoor BBQ provided a tasty dinner now that the sun was out, and then we headed over to the Kerrang! Signing Tent to meet We Are The In Crowd before heading back inside for Motion City Soundtrack. It had been a good few years since I saw them live and I hadn’t listened to them in a little while either, but I was really pleasantly surprised to see them play a healthy dose of old classics!

We stuck around on the Main Stage to see We Are The In Crowd (one of Becky’s favourites) and although I didn’t know any of their songs they played an amazing, energetic set and the lead singer looked absolutely stunning and like she was loving every second of it. I’ll definitely be giving their albums a go soon.

Another quick walk around checking out a couple of songs from other bands (including The Ataris, now I really feel old…) and then we headed back to the Main Stage for Mallory Knox. I’d seen these guys support Finch on their What It Is To Burn 10th Anniversary Tour and been impressed enough to check out their album, and they didn’t disappoint this time either… the singer’s voice is absolutely epic and they put on a great show, well recommended!

We ducked out of Mallory Knox’s set early to go and see a band that played a huge part in my teenage music collection, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Within the last few years I’d gotten back into them thanks to their newest album, but they didn’t play much from that in their set. They did play a lot of old classics, and played well for the most part… but the singer made a bit too much a fuss of the songs, changing up the times and melodies so it became a chore to sing along and know exactly where they were at, and the less said about when he brought his girlfriend on to sing Guardian Angel with them, the better. Still, it was nice to finally see them live and it did bring back a lot of memories.

The last couple of hours of the festival were a bit hectic as all the main bands were crammed into a small time frame, but we settled on The All-American Rejects to finish off the night with, and boy am I glad we did! I’d seen them once before and they played amazingly, and although they weren’t as good this time, they were still 50 times better than most other bands live! Their whole set was a concoction of sing-along classics with a section of the Pixies’ Where Is My Mind? and plenty of energy and hijinx thrown in for good measure. They really are true musicians and know how to put on a great gig, just go see them… you won’t regret it!

All in all, Slam Dunk was a great day, but I really wish the bands were mixed up a little without all the heavy hitters being on at the same time as each other. As for if I’ll be going next year… we’ll just have to see who’s playing!

April 26, 2014
 

I’m at a payphone trying to call home,
all of my change I’ve spent on you.
Where have the times gone?
Baby it’s all wrong, where are the plans we made for two?

Yeah, I,
I know it’s hard to remember,
the people we used to be.
It’s even harder to picture,
that you’re not here next to me.
You say it’s too late to make it,
but is it too late to try?
And in that time that you wasted,
all of our bridges burned down…

I’ve wasted my nights,
you turned out the lights,
now I’m paralyzed;
still stuck in that time when we called it love,
but even the sun sets in paradise.

I’m at a payphone trying to call home,
all of my change I’ve spent on you.
Where have the times gone?
Baby it’s all wrong, where are the plans we made for two?

If ‘happy ever after’ did exist,
I would still be holding you like this…
All those fairytales are full of shit,
one more fuckin’ love song, I’ll be sick.

Oh…
You turned your back on tomorrow,
‘cause you forgot yesterday.
I gave you my love to borrow,
but you just gave it away.
You can’t expect me to be fine,
I don’t expect you to care.
I know I’ve said it before,
but all of our bridges burned down.

I’ve wasted my nights,
you turned out the lights,
now I’m paralyzed;
still stuck in that time when we called it love,
but even the sun sets in paradise.

I’m at a payphone trying to call home,
all of my change I’ve spent on you.
Where have the times gone?
Baby it’s all wrong, where are the plans we made for two?

If ‘happy ever after’ did exist,
I would still be holding you like this…
And all those fairytales are full of shit,
one more fuckin’ love song, I’ll be sick.

Now I’m at a payphone…

Man, fuck that shit!
I’ll be out spendin’ all this money while you sittin’ round,
wonderin’ why it wasn’t you who came up from nothin’.
Made it from the bottom,
now when you see me I’m stunnin’,
and all of my cars start with the push of a button.
Tellin’ me the chances I blew up, or whatever you call it,
switched the number to my phone,
so you never could call it.
Don’t need my name on my show,
you can tell it, I’m ballin’.
Swish, what a shame, could have got picked,
had a really good game but you missed your last shot.
So you talk about who you see at the top,
or what you could’ve saw,
but sad to say, it’s over for…
Phantom pulled up, valet open doors,
Wiz like go away, got what you was looking for.
Now ask me who they want,
so you can go and take that little piece of shit with you…

I’m at a payphone trying to call home,
all of my change I’ve spent on you.
Where have the times gone?
Baby it’s all wrong, where are the plans we made for two?

If happy ever after did exist,
I would still be holding you like this…
And all these fairytales are full of shit,
yeah, one more fuckin’ love song, I’ll be sick.

Now I’m at a payphone…

Maroon 5 - Payphone [featuring Wiz Khalifa]
April 23, 2014

Dear Friends and Family…

I’m sorry to inform you all that, due to circumstances out of my control, I have recently been required to purchase a train ticket and as such, will now be filing for bankruptcy.

I am aware that this news will come as a shock to many of you, particularly those who witnessed me taking £20 to the pub last night and leaving with £17.80 in change… But I’m afraid this simply was not enough to cover such luxuries as travelling to work by train when my car has broken down.

I must admit that I only have myself to blame for this dramatic turn of events, all the signs were there that rail travel was simply too far out of my price bracket; the 7-strong team of men in orange jackets employed to simply wander around the station pointing at things, the tracksuit wearing chap I can only assume to be the Earl of Westminster who saw fit to drop-kick cumbersome 2 pence pieces found in his pockets, the stylised ‘distressed look’ plush seats on the train complete with artisticly placed stains… I should have known.

Alas, with one of the fastest, most timely and well maintained rail networks in the world, as a nation we must be prepared to pay the associated costs and accept that employment is simply a means of affording expensive hobbies such as getting to work.

(Not so) Sincerely,
Mathew

April 19, 2014
April 18, 2014

Going Solo: Alone with the River

For many years, I considered those who ventured out to rivers on their own to be reckless individuals with no regard for their own safety or well-being; however, I was recently offered a fresh perspective on solo boating during a 4* Training day with Dave Kohn-Hollins (I won’t try and reproduce his words here, as I’ll most likely misquote him and lose some of the sentiment; instead, I’ll simply recommend you book yourself onto a course with River Flair).

The message I took from my conversation with Dave and the thoughts it provoked in my mind, were that in any leading situation you tailor the venue to suit the group and the conditions on the day, and there’s absolutely no reason why that approach can’t also be applied to a group size of one.

Of course, in order to pick a river that is suitable for a solo run you’ll need enough modesty to take an objective and impartial view on your paddling abilities; for this reason, I’d encourage you to really get to know yourself and your limits not only in kayaking, but in life in general.

Having pondered over the pros and cons for a while, I decided to take the plunge and head to the Tryweryn on my own (I do paddle other rivers too, I swear!) I chose this particular river as I know it well and felt comfortable that my abilities were at a level to cope with its grade and sort myself out should I get into any difficulties. At the Tryweryn, I also knew there would be other people around if I desperately did need help at any point.

I stopped at a couple of my favourite haunts on the way over to Wales, namely Starbucks and Go Kayaking North West, both of which served up an awesome cup of coffee! I spent a short while chatting to the guys at GKNW, but by the time I’d reached the mighty T and got changed into my paddling gear I was glad of the late start, as the first 5 minutes on the water with no one around were absolutely terrifying!

Not being part of a group on the river felt completely unnatural, and although I knew I was more than capable of looking after myself, it took me a good while to properly settle in and start pushing myself to make more technical moves… Even the ones I make routinely on each trip over that way.

However, as much as I love leading groups and helping others progress, when the nerves did eventually subside I realised the time I’d usually spend managing a group could now be spent on developing my personal paddling; throughout the day I was able to run and rerun sections, aiming for cleaner moves and harder eddies each time.

The knowledge of having to be self-reliant was a big contributor towards the sense of thrill (and fear during the first couple of minutes, it’s a fine line) whilst on the river, but it was definitely a confidence building experience. By the end of the day I was absolutely exhausted, but I’d gotten a lot more practice than I usually would have on a group trip, become comfortable in a boat again and made a bunch of new eddies… and friends!

A key point to bear in mind when considering your own solo mission is that ultimately, the only person that will get hurt by any poor judgement (or any other mishap) will be yourself; something far more reckless that happens all too often in boating these days is arrogant paddlers throwing themselves down rivers they don’t have the skills or experience to cope with safely and obliging others to put themselves at risk to save them when something inevitably goes wrong.

If you do choose to give it a go, definitely make sure someone knows where you’re going and when to expect you back, and have your phone, a whistle and all other necessary gear on you. I’d also recommend making sure you’ve got plenty of experience under your belt first (maybe even one or two safety and rescue courses, like WWSR) and that you only go it alone on rivers you know well.

As for me, I’m now looking towards my next solo mission to another of my favourites, the Kent

April 10, 2014

eBay Sellers Beware:

I’ve been selling quite a lot of items on eBay recently, and it’s been going quite well. Unfortunately, just after I posted out a recent batch of orders I received a message off another eBay user warning me to be wary of one of the buyers. This helpful user gave me a list of around 20 other sellers that person had scammed, and sure enough, the scammer eventually messaged me pretending the item hadn’t arrived. After I put her off with a few deliberately awkward questions about the delivery, she opened a case… so I sent her this message;

"Hi Harriet,

I know you’ve received the item and that you’ve used this approach to get things for free off many other sellers, and I just wanted you to know that I think you’re a terrible person.

I’m a young man who works very hard for long hours just to earn enough to get by, and the reason I’m selling many of my personal belongings on eBay is so that I can afford to move out of my parent’s house and fix my car which at the moment probably isn’t safe to be on the road in, nevermind travel to and from work for 2 hours of every day on the motorway.

I considered giving this coat to a friend, but decided as I needed the money I would sell it on eBay; now, thanks to you, I not only no longer have the coat but I’ve had to pay for postage, eBay fees and PayPal fees just for you to steal it… and make no mistake, that is what you are doing, stealing.

One day this will catch up with you.

Sincerely,
Mathew”

If you sell on eBay too and want to avoid getting stung, I suggest you block these user IDs: busterbuster999, plasticbag8844

March 31, 2014
 

Do you remember when we didn’t care?
We were just two kids that took the moment when it was there.
Do you remember you at all?
Another heart calls.
Yeah, I remember when we stole the night,
we’d lie awake but dream until the sun would wash the sky.

Just as soon as I see you,
I didn’t lie, but didn’t I tell you?
As deep as I need you,
you wanna leave it all…

What can I do?
Say it’s true, or everything that matters breaks in two.
Say it’s true;
I’ll never ask for anyone but you.

Talk to me,
I’m throwing myself in front of you.
This could be the last mistake that I would ever wanna do.
Yeah, all I ever do is give,
It’s time you see my point of view.

Just as soon as I see you,
I didn’t lie, but didn’t I tell you?
As deep as I need you,
you wanna leave it all…

What can I do?
Say it’s true, or everything that matters breaks in two.
Say it’s true;
I’ll never ask for anyone but you,
…but I know what you want is to figure it out, and God knows I do too.
What can I do?
Say it’s true,
I’ll never ask for anyone but you.

Oh oh oh oh.
Oh oh oh oh.
Na na na na na.

Oh oh oh oh.
Oh oh oh oh.
Na na na na na.

I’m sorry.
So what?
…but you don’t think I’ve said enough.

I’m sorry.
I don’t care.
(You don’t care.)
You were never there.

Just as soon as I see you,
I didn’t lie, but didn’t I tell you?
As deep as I need you,
you wanna leave it all…

What can I do?
Say it’s true, or everything that matters breaks in two.
Say it’s true;
I’ll never ask for anyone but you.
…but I know what you want is to figure it out, and God knows I do too.
Yeah, what can I do?
Say it’s true;
I’ll never ask for anyone but you.

Oh oh oh oh
(Oh oh oh oh)
(Na na na na na)
I’ll never ask for anyone but you.

Oh oh oh oh
(Oh oh oh oh)
(Na na na na na)
I’ll never ask for anyone but you.

Oh oh oh oh
(Oh oh oh oh)
(Na na na na na)
I’ll never ask for anyone but you.

Oh oh oh oh
(Oh oh oh oh)
(Na na na na na)
I’ll never ask for anyone but you.

Oh oh oh oh
(Oh oh oh oh)
(Na na na na na)
I’ll never ask for anyone but you…

The All-American Rejects - Another Heart Calls [featuring The Pierces]
March 29, 2014

Wow, that’s a lot of gigs (and I haven’t finished yet…)

TASTE OF CHAOS 2005
The Used
Story Of The Year
Killswitch Engage
Rise Against
Funeral for a Friend
Reggie And The Full Effect
Bleed The Dream

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE
Every Time I Die
Drive By

ARMOR FOR SLEEP
Chiodos
Failsafe

FIGHTSTAR
Reuben
Brigade

PANIC! AT THE DISCO
Men, Women & Children
Forgive Durden

GIVE IT A NAME 2006
Lostprophets
Taking Back Sunday
Angels & Airwaves
Goldfinger
We Are Scientists
Aiden
Silverstein
Hundred Reasons
Say Anything
Classic Case
Bayside
Gym Class Heroes
The Blackout

TAKING BACK SUNDAY
Hellogoodbye
Eisley

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
Fightstar
???

LOSTPROPHETS
The Blackout
Kids In Glass Houses

RISE AGAINST
A Wilhelm Scream
Berri Txarrak

MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK
The Matches
Ok Go

DOPAMINE vs. THE BLACKOUT
???

FIGHTSTAR
The Receiving End Of Sirens
Oceansize

PARAMORE
Madina Lake
The Riverclub

AFI
The Explosion
Dispute

TASTE OF CHAOS 2006
Taking Back Sunday
Anti-Flag
Underoath
Alexisonfire
Senses Fail
Saosin
Templeton Pek
LostAlone
Penknifelovelife

NEW FOUND GLORY
The Early November
Hit The Lights

KERRANG TOUR 2007
I Am Ghost
The Audition
The Bronx
Biffy Clyro

HIT THE LIGHTS (postponed ciwwaf support show)
Dave Melillo

CUTE IS WHAT WE AIM FOR
Beat Union
Consort With Romeo

BRAND NEW
Mewithoutyou

+44
The Sounds
The Maple State
The Tommys

BRING ME THE HORIZON
I Killed The Prom Queen

THE BLACKOUT
Kids In Glass Houses
Flood Of Red

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
Ruarri Joseph

LOSTPROPHETS
Taking Back Sunday
Aiden

GIVE IT A NAME INTRODUCES
Hit The Lights
Kill Hannah
Kids In Glass Houses
Beat Union

SAOSIN
Lights.Action!

MC LARS
Wheatus
Punchline
Army Of Freshmen

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
The Receiving End Of Sirens
The Haunts

KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES
Between The Trees
The Honeymoon Machine

COLLISION COURSE 2007
InMe
Elliot Minor
Kids In Glass Houses
You Me At Six
Flood Of Red
The Ghost Of A Thousand
The Zico Chain
Attack! Attack!

PARAMORE
This Providence
LostAlone

MADINA LAKE
Halifax
My American Heart
Envy On The Coast

THE BLACKOUT
Pierce The Veil
Flood Of Red

FIGHTSTAR
The Sleeping
Emanuel
You Me At Six

BOWLING FOR SOUP
The Bloodhound Gang
Zebrahead
Army Of Freshmen

SILVERSTEIN
Blessthefall
The Vincent Black Shadow

TASTE OF CHAOS 2007
The Used
Rise Against
Aiden
Gallows
The Blackout

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
Kids In Glass Houses
City Sleeps

30 SECONDS TO MARS
In Case Of Fire

THE SECRET HANDSHAKE (postponed trs support show)
Between The Trees

THE BLACKOUT
My American Heart
Ortega

JIMMY EAT WORLD
Sparkadia

THE AUDITION
Just Surrender
You Me At Six

SIMPLE PLAN
Cage The Elephant

GIVE IT A NAME 2008
Paramore
Plain White T’s
Alkaline Trio
Finch
Set Your Goals
Mayday Parade
All Time Low
Cobra Starship
Chiodos
30 Seconds To Mars
Billy Talent
Glassjaw
Silverstein
The Blackout
Strike Anywhere
Envy On The Coast
The Audition
My American Heart
MC Lars (w/ Failsafe)
Meg & Dia
Broadway Calls
Anti-Flag
Armor For Sleep
You Me At Six
State Radio
The Color Fred
Four Year Strong
Mexicolas

CUTE IS WHAT WE AIM FOR & BOYS LIKE GIRLS
We The Kings

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
In Case Of Fire
New Device

THE ROCKET SUMMER
Mêlée
The Outline

YOU ME AT SIX
Houston Calls
Farewell

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
Cancer Bats
Attack! Attack!

BRING ME THE HORIZON
The Secret Handshake
Deez Nuts
Dead Swans

NEW FOUND GLORY
Set Your Goals
Four Year Strong
Crime In Stereo

MY AMERICAN HEART
Just Surrender
We Are The Ocean

BAYSIDE & HIT THE LIGHTS
Oh No Not Stereo

FOREVER THE SICKEST KIDS
Danger Radio
Furthest Drive Home

A DAY TO REMEMBER
For The Fallen Dreams
Azriel

FALL OUT BOY
Kids In Glass Houses
Hey Monday

YOU ME AT SIX
The Spill Canvas
Emarosa

JACK’S MANNEQUIN

JACK’S MANNEQUIN
The Gay Blades

THE USED
We Are The Ocean
Hexes

ALL TIME LOW
The Audition
The Friday Night Boys

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
Save Your Breath
Telegraphs

THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS
American Steel
The Upwelling

BILLY TALENT
Cancer Bats
Canterbury

RISE AGAINST
Thursday
Poison The Well

SET YOUR GOALS
Broadway Calls
Fireworks

KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES

KENAI
We Sunk Atlantis
In Gratitude
Call it a Day

THERE FOR TOMORROW
The Friday Night Boys
They Sink Ships

BLESSED BY A BROKEN HEART
LoveHateHero
The First
The Morning After

THE ROCKET SUMMER
Save Your Breath
Matthew P

THE WONDER YEARS
All Or Nothing
Make Me King
Call it a Day

SLAM DUNK 2010
New Found Glory
Alkaline Trio
Four Year Strong
Against Me!
Set Your Goals
We Are The Ocean
Hit The Lights
Rolo Tomassi
Out Of Sight
Young Guns
Save Your Breath
Moneen
Fireworks
Capdown
The Rocket Summer
Skindred
Every Avenue
RX Bandits
Breathe Carolina
Sonic Boom Six
Crime In Stereo
Me Vs Hero
The Wonder Years
The Skints
Random Hand
All Or Nothing
This Time Next Year
My Passion
Devil Sold His Soul
Your Demise
Blackhole
FACT
Flood Of Red
Azriel
L’Amour La Morgue
Millionaires
Henry Homesweet
Lags
Synthetic Season
Sean Smith
Futures
Deaf Havana
Not Advised
Straight Lines
Kill Casino
Francesqa

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
The Automatic
Young Guns

MAYDAY PARADE & THE MAINE

KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES
Boys Like Girls
You And What Army

ANBERLIN
Hawthorne Heights
Pegasus Bridge

KERRANG TOUR 2011
Good Charlotte
Four Year Strong
Framing Hanley
The Wonder Years

DESTROY REBUILD UNTIL GOD SHOWS
Blitz Kids
Decade

ALL TIME LOW
Yellowcard
Young Guns

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
Rise To Remain
Tiger Please

SUGARCULT
Templeton Pek
4q

THE WONDER YEARS
Valencia
Such Gold

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
Escape The Fate
Amity Affliction
The Bunny The Bear

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
Such Gold
Major League
I Divide

FINCH
Mallory Knox

ANDREW MCMAHON
Fort Hope

FLEETWOOD MAC

KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES
Cartel
Propellers

FUNERAL for a FRIEND
Polar
Gnarwolves
Moose Blood

YELLOWCARD (Acoustic)
Like Torches

THE DARKNESS
LostAlone
Rivers 68