“We hide out in the back,like shadows in a stranger’s dream.”

I have no direction in life. I know what I want, but the realist (or cynic) in me knows I’ll never get there. If I do, I’ll welcome the surprise and probably buy a bottle of Ribena to celebrate. If I expect nothing; I’m not left disappointed. They say this makes for a lonely existence. Maybe for them it does, but not for me. You can be alone even when surrounded by people who apparently like you. It’s hard to like people isn’t it. I used to think “oh everyone is lovely la la la.” It’s not the case. You grow up and you see what people are capable of. I’m not perfect. I’ve probably done more harm than good. But I’m not going to beg for forgiveness and waste my life doing things people approve of. I don’t understand people who need to seek the approval of others in order to be whole. I don’t get why you’d want to dumb yourself down to fit in. I don’t get a lot, it seems. Thing is, self-doubt carries me through. I spent an afternoon the other day at the beach, on my own. These thoughts came into my mind and poured out into the songs I was listening to. We all have bad days, we all have good days. My bad day was enough to make me think, “Is this rock bottom?” It wasn’t. I’ve not hit there in a long time. I put up a fight with myself to make sure I never feel so shit again. I can write this so freely and not care for it. I’ll write this and never look at it again. I never look back on what I have written. Whether it be the nonsense I put here, my songs or my poems. I never look back at them. I don’t know why. Maybe I just think as soon as it leaves me, I don’t need to bother with it. Maybe one day I’ll look back and be proud. As I stood looking at the sea last week, I felt at peace. I also felt like shit. But the wave of peace that came over me was something I’ve not really felt before. I stared blasting Coming Down by Dum Dum Girls in my ears. I felt a connection to that song I had never felt before.

Very early Friday morning..Dee Dee Penny from the band had emailed me her over of Just Like Honey by The Jesus And Mary Chain that she recorded just for me. Quite frankly, it is the best thing I had been given. The tears of the day before were quickly taken over with happy tears. I’m not someone who cries a lot. I’m too sensitive, but I can stop myself. You shouldn’t be afraid to feel. You shouldn’t be scared of the bad days. You shouldn’t throw away the good days. We seem to be afraid to feel. To feel like shit, to love and to feel hurt. It all ties in, but you cannot ignore one side. You just can’t.

The more you hide from something; the worse it’ll be when it comes back around. Luckily, no one I am really close to will read this so I can just let all this out. Like I said earlier, self-doubt isn’t a bad thing. If I ever thought I was good at something; I wouldn’t try. If I thought I was even a decent writer, I’d stop. I’d rather be told “you write really well” rather than “you’ve got a good face.” I don’t believe any of these things, not because I want attention. If I wanted attention I’d get drunk and shout something from my bedroom window. Keep me in the background, part of the furniture. Let someone else shine. Let them over-take. I’m okay with moving slow and doing what I want rather than doing everything rushed and missing out the details. I’ll never be the love of someone’s life. I’ll never be able to play the drums. But I will do a Bob Dylan impression after a few glasses of whiskey if I feel it needs to be done. I found life lessons in the songs I played. I’ve never felt at home anywhere, maybe I’m one of those people who never is at home anywhere. I don’t like routine or structure. I don’t like plans. Everything around you can be beautiful, find an escape route. Or be the escape route. Maybe fate is something that doesn’t exist. The lack of control we have isn’t always a bad thing. I don’t get why you’d always want to be in control of everything. If it is unknown, keep it that way.

I live in a very judgmental place and I cannot wait to leave again. To leave for good. I left one place I hated for good. I’ll never go back. Leaving is easy when you let no one tell you what to do. Advice is alright, but you shouldn’t always do what is right for you. Put your OWN happiness first. Put yourself first. Don’t let anyone sway your heart. Go the beach, and listen to the songs that give you courage.

Here’s mine:

Florence + The Machine, The Horrors and the death of my soul..last night.

I’m not going to review this amazing night in your typical fashion. If you’re going to any of the dates, you will be having the time of your life. If you have been already, you know how amazing it was. Jesus…”amazing” isn’t even the word. There are no words.

Alpines need a mention. They were STUNNING. I’ve always had a thing for duos that make a shitload of noise, and have an amazing stage presence. Also, Romy from The xx was stood in front of us watching them. Pretty damn cool.

I’ll get to the point- seeing The Horrors last night has completed a part of me that really needed it. You see, for the past 6 years I have been a HUGE fan of The Horrors. When I first heard Sheena Is A Parasite, I think it was like having some kind of strange experience that hasn’t happened before. This happened with every single record. Strange House, Primary Colours and more recently, Skying have all played a huge part in my life. As much as I love Florence, most of my excitement was firmly directed towards seeing Tom, Faris, Rhys, Joe and Josh. How a kid feels at Christmas was exactly how I felt last night. This intense and euphoric build-up was happening inside of me. They walked onto the stage and opened with Mirror’s Image. That song means far too much to me, it is on a par with She Is The New Thing- reminding me foolishly of anyone I may like at that specific time. However, thankfully I wasn’t reminded of anyone tonight. I didn’t think of anything but those 5 amazing musicians on stage that were singing the songs that mean so much to me. The stage presence they all have is just astounding. Josh kills the guitar. I do not trust anyone who cannot see how he is one of the best guitarists around. Tom plays the synths in such an eloquent manner- he indeed is a “frail gentleman.” Joe is one underrated drummer. The way he just plays makes me wish I could play the drums. Rhys sways like he is in some magical trance. As I was watching them, I could see myself starting to move like Rhys and singing every word as if they were written for me. Faris has a presence that causes you to be unable to tear your away from him. He grabs the mic stand and pulls at it in a fury that makes you want to do the same to the person in front of you. Does that make any sense? No? It’s okay, just go see them then you will understand. Oh, and Flo joined them on stage for Still Life. I cannot put it into words. I just can’t because when I think about it I get a bit emotional.

So, I should mention FATM now.

When I first saw her live, it was in a tiny room. About 200 people and she danced next to us during the support act. Now she is selling out arenas in a matter of minutes. One thing I’ve learnt from watching her become this amazing superstar is that, if you want something- you work your fucking arse off to get it. You just do not stop. Every single time I have seen her live, it has always felt like some kind of religious experience. When you see her once, you have to keep on seeing her. Once just isn’t enough. I hate writing gig reviews because I have no idea how to do it, all I can do is just sum up how the gig made me feel. The last 4 times I have seen her, it has always been close to something shit happening or me feeling a bit like poop. This time, not the case. Well, aside from having the worst cold ever and a now sexy cough to match- that’s all. Of course certain songs just caused me to have a bit of a cry. That note in No Light, No Light. The keyboard solo in Rabbit Heart. The bit where it really kicks in during What The Water Gave Me. The sheer beauty of Never Let Me Go. All of this and more just makes it feel like you are being cleansed. Your body, mind and soul is being rid of all the bad feelings you have and that horrific feeling of self-doubt just slips away from you as you watch FATM. You feel part of something, you feel as if she is singing the songs to save you. Heartlines keeps you going when nothing or no one else can. It is like a crutch. It is a crutch.

I could write so much more about this, but what good does it do? None at all. I’m just some rambling fool that saw three amazing bands last night and is probably in some kind of weird trance still.

I’ve re-read all I have written about this, and I feel I have so much more I  could say. I want to tell you how horrific it is to you find your way to and from Ally Pally. I want to explain to you how at a FATM gig you get people from all walks of life there. There is no certain type of person there. We are all there for one reason, and one reason only- we love the music. However, I did get annoyed at the drunken idiot stood behind me who only knew the words to Shake It Out but still managed to balls it up! I didn’t care that the drinks were over-priced, what do you expect anyway?! When we walked into the venue it looked like a mini festival. A guy was playing drums on a bike, food stalls, a photobooth in the style of a black cab- yes, we used it. Best £5 I’ve ever spent!

It was so much more than just a gig. It was some kind of community thing going on. Truly beautiful. Like I said earlier, when I go see FATM it is always ALWAYS like some kind of religious experience. I feel like I am feeling the best feeling in the world. Some of it is still a blur. I just cannot believe after waiting 6 years, I have finally seen The Horrors live.

“You can keep it pure on the inside. And you know what you believe to be right.”

Have you ever been made to feel so small and worthless due to a comment someone made? Maybe they called you “fat.” Or maybe they called you “stupid.” Or they insulted you because of the colour of your skin or religion. You feel ashamed of who you are don’t you? You want to fight back, but that bit of fight you have in you just goes. It fails you because you have no idea what just happened.

Yesterday afternoon, I was waiting in line with my mum. In front of us were two young lads. Probably a few years younger than me, I’m 25 so they weren’t that young I suppose. Anyway, they weren’t exactly using the most eloquent language. I think they were probably part of that disgusting generation who think it is okay to use the word “gay” to describe something awful. So they were talking, and one of them looked at me. He then turned to his friend and said, “I fucking hate gay people. They’re all disgusting.” I didn’t say a word. I just felt any ounce of pride I had of being gay just die. It totally died. My mum’s face was filled with rage. I had to stop her from saying something, because if she started- she wouldn’t stop. Sometimes, I think she is more proud of me being gay than I am. I guess right now that isn’t hard. Thing is, I have walked around cities in England with friends (that are gay) and never once have any of us had shit said to us. Cities tend to be more open minded. Nobody really pays any attention to you. I currently (and hatefully) live on the Isle of Man- if anyone wants to take me away from here, please do. I’ll be forever in debt to you- I’ll pay you back with hugs, cups of tea and my friendship for as long as you want. I’ve been back here since the end of November. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable walking down the street- day or night. Headphones in, look at the ground as I walk. I’m 25 years old- I shouldn’t have to go back to hating who I am again.

So, what has this got to do with music? Well, I’m going to give you some songs that since yesterday have made me feel less shit about this. It hurts, of course it does. I wish I could shrug it off, like I usually do. You see, I can handle being called ugly or whatever- I won’t ever argue with that. But to call someone disgusting just because they happen to like people of the same sex in a romantic way? FUCK YOU. Seriously. What’s disgusting is your small minded minds. What’s disgusting is how you judge people. Never ever judge a person, ever. You do not know what they are going through. If that person is a “twat” maybe they have a reason for being like that. But seriously, to hate someone based on colour, religion, sexuality- ANYTHING. It is just vile.

I once thought Society was moving forward, but it is apparent that it is going backwards. It is going backwards quicker than anyone of us could imagine. There is no sense of unity and help anymore. More and more young people are taking their lives because they cannot deal with being gay or they bullied for being gay. I didn’t come out whilst at school because I know my life at school would’ve been worse than it was with bullying. I would’ve ended up being another statistic. We need to protect and provide comfort for those that are struggling. Being gay is NOT a bad thing. Do NOT disown your kids for being gay, do NOT taunt a kid because they are gay, and STOP making it okay to use the word gay to describe things that are bad. There are other words that you could use, by using the word gay- it just shows how uneducated and small minded you are. It has to end.

Living day to day is a challenge for most of us, we don’t need to be made to feel so worthless and ashamed for who we are by people who are evidently projecting. You cannot catch homosexuality. Stop being afraid. People are people. Be kind, and be gentle. We all go on about accepting ourselves and one another- but how can we when in the same breath, others are being out down by being true to who they are?

My mum told me, after I came out to her : “Always be true to yourself, and always be happy. Do not live a lie, because if you do that- then you’re not living.”

I don’t care if you are gay,straight, black,purple, orange, yellow, green, Muslism, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Atheist, Sikh, Hindu- whatever. I do not care. If you’re a good person and true to yourself- then that is all that matters.

So, these are songs by artists that just mean a lot. Especially right now.

Finally, to quote Shirley Manson :

“I would say I’m pretty well at ease with my sexuality, but I’m an individual before I am a female.”

“The World’s a beast of a burden….”

Everyone has a song or two (or if you’re like me, about 50) that when they listen to it, there’s always a specific part in the song that just hits them. It wraps itself around your soul, makes your heart beat double and you just lose your mind. This part of the song is the reason why you’re glad to be alive. This part of the song makes you feel alive and untouchable. You play this song, and nothing can get to you. No negative vibes stick to you. You feel like a Superhero or something. This song makes you feel like you can take on the world. That specific breakdown, that one lyric- it hits you right in the gut. I’ve narrowed mine down to 10 songs that, at the moment make me feel like this. However, as soon as I’ve posted this, I will probably want to change my mind. I’ll try stick to it this time, and I’m not sorry for how much I’ll rant. You don’t have to read this. As you were….

Florence + The Machine- What The Water Gave Me. With this song, I’ve got more than one part that sends me into some kind of frenzy. An outer body experience. You know how religous people go on about having some kind of religious experience? That’s what I get from Florence. Especially with the second record. Ceremonials feels like some kind of ritualistic cleansing of the soul. After you listen to it, you feel pure and free again. It just enlightens you in so many ways. If you’ve ever felt trapped and frustrated-play this record. It will blow all of those taunting feelings away from you. At around 2.14 in this song, that’s when it first hits me in the gut. I cannot put it into words, but the build up from there on just sets my soul on fire and throws me into an outer body experience. The chorus at just 3 minutes when it is pretty much acapella and the music kicks in again at around 3.28, when Rob’s guitar just throttles you and makes you want to shake every limb, and move in ways that look like you are having a fit- THAT is the best part of the song. This overwhelming sense of euphoria Florence creates is SO good. It’s a rare thing to find, so when you find it- hold onto it with all you have. I could quite happily write thousands and thousands of words about this song, but just listen to it and let yourself feel free- and be overcome with a wonderful euphoric feeling. I know most of Florence’s songs make you feel this way, but What The Water Gave Me is on a different level completely.

Patti Smith-Frederick. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really a fan of lovesongs. However, I do believe that this is the greatest ode to love, devotion and admiration I have ever heard. And will ever hear. The way she sings, “Frederick, name of care” at around 26 seconds in, you can just sense how much she loves him. I can safely say that this is my favourite Patti song. Don’t get me wrong, I adore her politically charged songs; but this one is everything a lovesong should be. It just oozes dedication and pure love. It takes time to find a love like this, Patti was one of the lucky ones to experience this feeling. That feeling that makes you feel this way. The feeling that is blanket of care and a beacon of hope. That’s what love should be, yet most of us take it for granted. Or most of us just haven’t felt it yet. You’ll know when you feel it though, because you will feel exactly how Patti feels in this song. It’s a feeling that cannot be rushed, but to feel it like this-well it is utterly sacred. Cherish it my loves, because some may try to take it from you. But don’t worry if you haven’t found it yet. Don’t let society force you to fall for just anyone. You’ll meet your very own Frederick or Patti one day, for sure.

Foals-Spanish Sahara. This was probably one of my favourite songs from 2010. The stunning build up in this song just made you feel like you were stood right in front of Yannis as he poured his heart out into this song. You felt each fragment of fury and every haunting aspect of the horrors that can consume you- when you are least expecting it. You felt comforted by this song, because you felt like you could leave your horrors and nightmares behind and just carry on. I’ve never seen Foals live, but to see this song live, I’d imagine it’d be one of those life changing moments that cause something in your brain to click. It just makes you think, “Fuck it. I can do this.” A song like this is one that most spend their career trying to write. Driving themselves insane just to touch on something even slightly as moving as this. This song, I’ve used many times to just make sense of everything. You know what it’s like. You have a shit day and feel like there is really no point. Music is my only constant. It’s the first thing I go to when it all gets too much, and Spanish Sahara is one of the songs that gives me, strength I suppose. Their song, After Glow also does the same.

Dum Dum Girls-Coming Down. I remember falling in love with Dum Dum Girls a long time ago. Their first album had this sound that I adore. A surfer pop/lo-fi feel mixed with a Wall Of Sound vibe. A lot of bands I listen to have this sound. I personally thing it is stunning. Mixing a garage rock sound with what Phil Spector created just shows how timeless certain genres immediatley became decades and decades ago. I didn’t think I could love their second record as much as I loved their first. So, I sat down and listened to it. I listened to it with no distractions. I was in awe of everything I was hearing. Dee Dee Penny is evidently one of the best front-women around right now. There’s a part in Coming Down that anyone who’s listened to it, will know EXACTLY which part I am going to mention. The song is quite sad and my lord, it really tugs at your heartstrings. The song lasts 6 and a half minutes, and is 6 and a half minutes of utter beauty and brilliance. However, at 3 and a half minutes- Dee Dee hits this note that just makes you freeze. You shut your eyes and nod in agreement. She’s letting it all out for you. You cannot let it out yourself, she is doing it for you on this song. Everything you feel that’s been building up for so long just comes out in this song. That note she clings onto and lets out- you cling onto it with her. It’s like your safety net. I’m not ashamed to admit that this song is my safety net, my crutch. When I listen to it, every sense is heightend and things do not seem that bad anymore. I’ve cried to this song, and I’ve been wonderfully joyful whilst listening to this song. It’s just everything to me, and honestly- it made 2011 a lot easier to drag myself through.

The Horrors-Sea Within A Sea. I would’ve picked She Is The New Thing, but you really cannot deny that this song is a stroke of genius. A masterpiece- much like the whole album if I’m honest. I know exactly where I was when I first heard Sea Within A Sea. If memory serves me correctly, the video to this was launched on The Horrors website at 8pm one evening in 2009. I remember sitting in front of my computer hitting refresh on their site waiting for this to appear. There was a countdown to something. Most of us knew it would be something to do with new material. 8pm came, and the shadows of The Horrors was there. You knew what was about to happen. The song is just under 8 minutes long, and just reinforces my belief that songs that last over 5 minutes are the best. Easily. The euphoric part comes in just after 3.40. The synths really really kick in, and Faris’ voice captivates you more than it ever has done before. The build up as he sings, “So you may think the path we share, is one of danger and of fear….” is so amazing, it creates this wonderful tension between you and the song. You wonder what will happen next. Will there be another build up? Will it smack you in the face? YES. Yes to all of it. If you’re one of those who are only just getting into The Horrors (you’re late. You’ve really missed out, seriously. Go listen to Strange House. PLEASE) then hopefully you will see just how amazing The Horrors have always been. They’re a band that no one can predict their next sound. That is why I adore them, with all I have. The Horrors have captured every sound I love, and created their own- but changing on very record.

Warpaint-Lissie’s Heart Murmur. Every song by Warpaint makes me feel content and glad to be alive, so picking just one song was enough to cause a slight headache…and having to listen to Exquisite Corpse and The Fool a few times before I picked a song to stick with. Sure I could’ve chosen Stars, Billie Holiday or Warpaint. But, I had to go with Lissie’s Heart Murmur because let’s face it, it’s my favourite Warpaint song. For me, listening to Warpaint is a sacred experience. The intro to this song, the piano sounds like tears falling free from your face. At the end of crying, that feeling you get when you realise it’s all going to be okay- that’s what this song feels like to me. It feels like the aftermath of crying your heart out. I can’t pick out a set euphoric moment in this song, the whole song is just a beautiful experience. It is so perfect, to the very core. I could quite happily play this song, and never listen to anything else. Emily’s voice is so haunting and mesmirising on this song, more than on any other song. So many times I have just laid on my bed and played this song over and over through headphones. It’s one of those songs where you have to listen to, on your own- with no interruptions. I don’t think I’m doing this song any justice, so I’ll just link you to it. Hopefully you’ll understand why I love it so much.

The Cure- A Forest. Like my view on the song above, I can’t possibly pick a moment in this song that makes me feel so happy. I love The Cure, and Seventeen Seconds is my favourite album by the band. I remember hearing it and feeling like I was in some kind of trance. I felt like I was in a permenant dreaming state, I didn’t want to wake from it. I still feel like that when I listen to the album now. They created  a sound on that record that has evidently influenced so many, Warpaint being one of them. Personally, Jenny’s bass playing always reminds me of The Cure. That wonderful, floating feeling you get. You feel like you are drifting off into someone so pure and perfect. A Forest is probably my favourite song by The Cure. I love the slight distortion on Robert Smith’s voice in this song, you really have to listen hard to hear what he is saying as the music creeps in and takes over. It is a chilling and eerie song, much like the whole album really. Some say this song and album define The Cure. But let’s be honest not, you can’t ever define a band like The Cure. I feel that, no matter what I say about this song it really won’t show it in the light I want it to. But any genuine fan of The Cure (as in someone who doesn’t just like Friday I’m In Love) can see just how inspirational they ae. Not to mention ahead of their time with all their records. They were the blueprint of this sound. Utter perfection.

The Kills-Superstition. Attempting to pick one song by favourite duo EVER was a chore. I couldn’t do it. I left it for ages, wrote down some idead. Scribbled them out, wrote new ones. A mini riot occured inside trying to figure out which song I could use. I wanted to use The Last Goodbye, then Pots And Pans. Then I wanted No Wow. Then I wanted Cat Claw. I settled finally with Superstition. When Alison lets out that scream in Superstition, it is just so electrifying. You feel like she is right there, in your face letting out this gnarly growl that actually, sounds so heavenly. I could pick any song by The Kills. With all their b-sides and four records, it was difficult. I could’ve gone with their cover of Pale Blue Eyes; but that song is too precious for me to even touch on. Their version of it gets at your heart, well and truly gets at you. Superstition shows The Kills at their rawest and most brutal. Jamie absolutley slays the guitar here, and Alison’s voice..well, what can one say. They both have a chemistry that sucks you in, and once you’ve been captivated by it-nothing else seems relevant. You’ll base all relationships and friendships on their connection. If you don’t feel how they do about each other towards a person; then it isn’t meant to be. The Kills are rage, passion, angst, fury, frustration and raw. All brutal things done in such a beautiful way. They’re more than just a band to me, they’re life.

Scott McKenzie-San Francisco. For sentimental value, I’ve chosen to put this song here. It’s a pretty short song I guess, and the whole song just makes me close my eyes- thinking I’m wandering around San Francisco, taking everything in. Are the people still gentle there? Do they have flowers in their hair? Let’s hope they do. This song reminds me of my childhood, it just makes me happy. It makes me want to live in San Francisco. Then again, it doesn’t take much for me to want to leave where I currently live! This song makes me think of summer, even if it is like hurricane season outside. I know I could’ve picked other songs instead of this one. But, a song doesn’t have to have a grand build up in order for it to give you a sense of euphoria. That comes from within, what you take from the song is a bonus.

Morrissey-Speedway. My final choice is of course, Morrissey. Is this my favourite Moz song? Oh of course. It just defines my life and how certain people are. You know, the ones who are petty towards you and what you do- but they’re just projecting. It’s best to ignore such fuckbags isn’t it. Oh, and ignore I do. The lyrics are so beautiful. What I’ve always loved about Moz is that he has NEVER had to use grand words in order to make you connect with him. He doesn’t have to polish his words in order for you to relate to him. When he sings the word “Forever” at around 2.48, the song pauses, then a few seconds kater kicks back in. The build up is incredible. You will only appreciate this if Moz is your saviour. Seeing this live last year just completed me. It came at a time when it was much needed. You know the deal. Shit happens, people act like wankers, you don’t know what to do- you then find yourself in a song. This song has always played an important role in my life, but moreso last year. However, that is in the past. This is just Moz at his finest, I adore the line, “In my own strange way, I’ve always been true to you.” I guess we all know of a few who we can attach that lyric to. But, they don’t deserve to have such a song related to them now do they.

“Round my heart, and runnin’ round my brain.”

I cannot stand songs that go on and on about being in love or how wonderful the world seems. I can’t relate to it, so I don’t really care for it. I love songs and artists that drag out the ugly, and dark feelings we are conditioned to ignore. The feelings we are told to never speak of. I love it when an artist has the guts to sing the songs that reach for your soul and just crush you. It crushes you in a way that leaves you crippled with so many painful feelings; you just don’t know what to do with them. I don’t mean songs about having your heart broken by someone. That isn’t the only bad feeling in the world. There is more to life than being in love and losing love. However, again; we are conditioned to seek love from another so we can justify our existence. Personally, it’s utter bollocks. You validate your existence in your own way. It doesn’t have to mean you have to be in love to do so.

Although I love songs that rake out the harsh and brutal feelings we are meant to push aside, this doesn’t mean I walk around hating life and everyone. I’m an average human being; nothing special. I hate no one, I hate nothing. I don’t have it in me to have that feeling at all. There’s good and bad in everything, and in everyone. I’m not someone who is against being in love; I’m sure it’s a delightful thing when it goes right. I just find the darker side, the things we are told to not go near much more interesting.

There is something romantic and comforting about hearing a song that just oozes pain and despair. Heroin by Velvet Underground is one of the most gut-wrenching and heart breaking songs ever written. It isn’t about a lover. It is fairly obvious what it is about. Every single time I listen to it, it just delves into a part of me; I cannot imagine a cheery song doing this to me. Don’t get me wrong, I do listen to a lot of music that someone could pass as “happy.” However, bands such as Velvet Underground make me happy because of what they mean to me. It doesn’t matter what song I play by them, it just  goes to a part of me that, although the lyrics can be quite sad- it still makes me happy. It makes me happy that I have a band like that in my life, that mean so much to me. The same can be applied to The Jesus And Mary Chain, Spiritualized and Townes Van Zandt.

One of the first songs I remember hearing by Spiritualized was Broken Heart. If anyone was to ever list the songs that could break a person in so many ways- this should be at the top. Jason Pierce has this way of projecting such frailness and vulnerability into his lyrics that make you connect so deeply with what he is saying. He takes you right down to rock bottom with him. Thing is, you don’t want to get back up from it. He was one of the first artists I really remember feeling this way about. Just instantly connecting with every word. Clinging onto it with all I had. Much like The Cure and of course, The Smiths. A band can really make you feel less alone when you think you’ve hit the lowest point. I guess sometimes, you can always go lower. If you’re scared of hitting it- you’ll probably get there quicker than you planned to. If you’re not scared, it’s up to you how you deal with it. Some things you can fight off and avoid. Some things just happened. You cannot plan a thing.

Townes Van Zandt (aside from Morrissey) is my favourite male solo artist of all time. What I loved (and still do) about his music was the honesty and how you could easily feel every single word he sung. You knew he meant every single word when he mentioned feeling so low. Songs such as Waiting Around To Die, Cocaine Blues just really made you feel for him. I will always stand by Waiting Around To Die as being one of my favourite songs of all time. I could listen to it over and over, and not get bored of hearing his breaking, powerful, trembling voice. He was well and truly the most underrated singer/song-writers of all time. If you want pain and aching lyrics- Townes Van Zandt is the one.

All these reasons I’ve mentioned (and more) are probably why I love The Drums so much. I love how they have such sadness surrounding their songs but it is disguised through the electrifying guitars and upbeat drums. Songs such as Book Of Stories, Best Friend, What You Were, I Felt Stupid are so heartbreaking- but so utterly perfect. You know, I don’t think I could look at someone who didn’t enjoy at least one song by The Drums. I remember first hearing them in early 2009 and, I felt how someone must have felt when they first heard The Beach Boys, The Ronnettes, The Smiths- it was so exciting, and so needed at the time. I do believe that if they ever called it quits- I would cry. Just like I did when The Long Blondes split up. When you feel such a strong connection to a band, they become your life. They say everything you cannot say. I love Marina And The Diamonds because she can write songs that make you feel less alone about having bad days and disliking yourself. She makes you feel okay about not being as strong as you think you should be. I love Florence + The Machine because Florence can express such dark feelings in a way that just blows me away and can make you feel less troubled about carrying around certain feelings that probably bug you a Hell of a lot.

You see dear reader, it is quite easy to tell a person something so positive and charming. Yet when you have to attempt to say something quite dark and hurtful about what is whirling on in your head- it can be quite daunting. There’s a song for every occasion. There’s a lyric to describe everything you feel- whether it is joyful or horrendous- someone has already said it for you. Someone has already felt that way and made it more eloquent than you could even try to do. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s bad enough feeling like shit, so when someone else can sum it up in a song for you- it takes the added pressure of expressing yourself off.

Just remember- it is okay to feel like shit. It is okay to be happy. Never feel bad for how you feel, whether it is good or bad. You cannot switch yourself off, but you can always, always-restart.

“Stripped of the right to be a human in control. Its warmer in Hell, so down we go.”

In my head, I’m convinced I’ll one day be a Superhero. Maybe when I die I will come back as one. It all stems from my childhood obsession with Spiderman (it is still there in adulthood, and I know it will never go.) I’m also glad my nephew has a mutual love for Spiderman too. My obsession with Spiderman is part admiration, part relating to him more than anything else. It’s a mixture, a jumble I suppose. This links in with what I want to write about, somehow.

Ever since I can remember I have used music as a sheild or a cloak. Possibly a cape. When I listen tocertain songs it makes me feel like nothing and no one in the world can get to me- no traces of negativity or bad words can reach me because the music that is echoing in my ears is protecting me. It is making me stronger than I could possibly allow myself. You see, sometimes we don’t realise how strong we are. Sometimes we have to go to Hell and back to see just exactly how strong we- how much we can take. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve wanted to give up many many times. I know exactly when this happened, but more importantly- I know what brought me back from feeling so utterly low. Everyone goes through it. You cannot go through life expecting to avoid anything bad. You cannot wander through life and not get hurt. It will happen. There’s no right or wrong way with dealing with it at all. If you want to block it out and ignore it-so be it. If you want to talk about it with someone over cups of tea-so be it. You are human. You can fight some battles on your own. You may need a sidekick sometimes to get through it all. You cannot pick your battles, but you can sure as hell choose your protective gear. When someone tells you to “man up” kindly tell them to “fuck off.”

I don’t think I’ve successfully made my point here. Sometimes when I feel a lot about a subject matter I lose my ability to form sentences that make sense. Too much passion for things is always going to be a burden for me, I know. I know.

What I’m trying to say is, music is a wonderful thing to drag you through anything you face. For instance, today I was on the bus listening to Ceremonials and the sheer beauty of it just made me want to cry. I got a bit teary eyed. Thankfully no one saw. Imagine explaining that to a stranger. “Yeah, I’m fine. I just get really into the music and a bit emotional during certain parts of songs.” I’m a sadcase, I know this. You don’t ever need to tell me. Music can be that sheild, that protective gear you place around you when you want to feel invincible. Music can be the thing that makes you feel like you are a Superhero. Fuck it. Be a legend in your own lunchtime dear reader. Do it.

So, with that I am going to link you to some songs that make me feel like nothing or no one in the universe can touch me. Some of these songs I used whilst I was in Secondary School and was being bullied every single day. I don’t talk about it because it was over 10 years ago, and I’m better than those shitstains of society. These are the songs that gave me strength in the past, these are the songs that currently make me feel like I can do anything. They are my sheild, my protective cape. They all provide a cloak of strength and determination.


“I wish that I was born a thousand years ago,I wish that I’d sail the darkened seas.”

My days are currently spent working, reading X-Men and listening to more music than my ears can handle. Reading X-Men and Ted Hughes poetry makes me create my own little world. It’s always been this way, it always will be this way. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest- I’m content with being boring. Yesterday I found a market that sells records. Records are my weakness (as are other things but you don’t need to know.) I spent quite a bit, but the woman knocked off some money because I picked up a lot. I found two of my favourite songs of all time on vinyl: Black-It’s A Wonderful Life and The Jesus And Mary Chain-Some Candy. I had to be dragged away by my friend because I found a comics section too. I’ll return soon enough and spend more money that I don’t really have.

I should’ve done this last Wednesday but I was busy. By busy, I mean I was tired after work. So I’m doing it now. This mixtape is going to focus on some dark, heavy songs I have heard that mean the world to me. I love songs that make it painful for you to listen to because they go right through you with how dark, brutal and honest they are. Songs that make you feel less alone, but probably make someone else feel uncomfortable. That’s what music should do. It should challenge your feelings and scare you shitless. Enough ranting, have some songs:


Partially generic post about Florence + The Machine….

My bus journey home from work consists of darkness, flickering street lights and a stupid amount of traffic lights. Stopping and starting. Foolish drivers who make their own rules. I block this all out by listening to music. Of course there’s always one I play more often than others. Obviously it is Florence + The Machine. Due to listening to her in moments like this, it causes my mind to wander off and weird things to happen in my brain. The headphones I have cause everything to be blocked out, I notice different layers of the songs and I feel like I am in my own little world. This happens a lot. It isn’t me escaping; it’s just how I am; and how I will always be. The day I stop feeling like this, then I probably won’t have any reason to breathe anymore. It isn’t dramatic, music is my lifeline. I’ve got nothing else.

I know I have written about her so many times; it is only because she is one of the most important musicians to me. Every now and then, something hits me metaphorically in the gut that makes me fall in love with her music even more. It’s like when you’re with someone, and you catch them doing something or they say something and it makes you remember all the reasons as to why you are in love with that person. I don’t think anything I write is going to make sense due to me being really tired, and I’ve got too much to say so I’ll just make no sense at all.

When I first heard her music I was just going into my second year of Uni. So that was around 2007. I just heard this voice appear out of nowhere in a video with Dev Hynes (Lightspeed Champion/Blood Orange) and I was instantly hooked. I loved how powerful her voice was. It was effortlessly dominating. There was such strength in this voice, I was blown away. Her debut album was my crutch for a hell of a long time. I don’t care if it makes me sound like a dickhead, I honestly do not know what I would’ve done without that record. It got out everything I felt and was possibly petrified to say. I don’t feel the same as I do about Ceremonials. This isn’t a bad thing. See, two years have passed since Lungs came out and I’m quite possibly the happiest I’ve been in a long time. Lungs was a huge part of that. The record immediately fixed me that day in 2009 when it arrived at my house; signed by Florence. I played it over and over. And over….and over. I’ve got about 5 copies of it- the only one that works properly now is the vinyl I have. I rarely play it.

Whilst on the bus home this evening, I played Ceremonials. I didn’t feel the same as I did with Lungs- mainly because I’m happy. The record still has that euphoric feeling and makes you feel so graciously weightless. It has something about it that Lungs doesn’t- but again, this isn’t a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all. What I love about Ceremonials is that it makes you feel like you are lying so calmly on a bed of water. Just floating on and on- towards something, towards nothing. Wherever you wish your body to go to, I suppose. Ceremonials has this sort of church vibe to it. Everything on the record is so grand and echoes so perfectly in your ears. Every word just mesmerises you. You can’t listen to this record and go about your daily business. You have to shut everything and everyone off as you listen to it. Ceremonials transports you to a different world- one different from Lungs. There is more certainty in this record but still the same amount of vulnerability of dark subjects that many are so fucking petrified to touch on. I will never understand how a person can ignore the darker side of things; they are the things that make you human. They are the things that cause your heart to carry on beating.

I love the devilish tones that come through in a lot of Florence’s songs. I love that she can project all the deep and ugly feelings so many of us try to disguise and/or ignore. Just listen to songs such as Breaking Down. It is heartbreaking. Then you have songs such as No Light, No Light- it is such a frail song. It makes you think about the things to try to push away from yourself so you don’t have to face them. It’s true what she says in the song. It really is easier to say things to a crowd of people than it is to say what you want/need to say to just one person- the person who needs to hear it more than the crowd does. The sheer honesty in that song and others is so haunting. One of my favourite things ever in life is Isa’s keyboard solo during Rabbit Heart at FATM gigs. It is so bloody uplifting and euphoric. It makes every limb move, it makes you smile on the inside and outside. It is just a sheer wave of joy that takes over and rules your heart. It is one of the best things to witness live.

I listen to Remain Nameless, and I can’t help but think; “Was this written about me?” I don’t know, maybe it’s because I am partial to carrying around a bit of self doubt around and thinking I’m not always good enough. However, it makes me work harder and is like a constant kick up the arse. Lord knows I need it sometimes. “ I know everybody lets you down, and I’ll do the same.” It’s too easy to relate to this, and I should probably hate myself for it. But, I can’t hate myself no more. All the bad has been done- I’m unsure what to do with the good in me most of the time.

The things I have learnt from Florence’s music have earned a firm place in my heart and mind. They just make me feel less crap about how I feel towards things and people.

If her music was around when I was in secondary school, it would’ve saved me from a lot. But, you live and you learn. Everything you go through, everything you see and hear plays a part in the adult you become. I like to think that Florence’s music has helped me become a stable and decent 25 year old. It’s okay to have doubts. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to have ugly feelings. It’s okay to carry a bit of self doubt- but when it passes, you are greeted with this euphoric feeling that feels like a weight has been lifted. My realisation of this kicks in sometimes. Usually when I should be doing something else. It happened today on the bus at around 6:10pm whilst listening to What The Water Gave Me. When the last chorus kicks in- that’s when my realisation happened. There’s no doubt I’ll bawl like a baby when I see her for the fifth time in March next year.

A band or singer doesn’t have to have existed 20+ years or so for you to fully connect with them. When you can connect straight away, that’s when you know that the band or singer will be your life. The euphoric feeling their music gives you creates a huge tidal wave of realising the art of letting go, throwing yourself into the unknown and becoming the person you want to be. The person you owe yourself to be. Stop living for others, stop doing things to make others happy- you will resent them for it eventually- trust me, I know this far too well. But you’ve got to let go and do things for you; because nobody else will. Keep a firm grip on reality, but don’t let go of your dreams. Embrace the darker side of things- it will keep you in check.

Florence’s music puts a smile on my face, heart and soul. It eases my mind. It just makes everything in my life much better. It creates a focal point that other bands I love haven’t done so. Maybe it’s because her music was there at my lowest and is there at my best. I can listen to her music, and certain songs make me want to have my heart torn out so I feel the song even more than I already do. However, she has this wonderful gift of making YOU feel it- even if you haven’t gone through whatever the song evokes. The imagery she carves into your mind with her words is so ghastly and dark at times- she goes where others tend to shy away from. I love that her music can bring everyone together. You can be into Hip Hop or fucking awful generic manufactured Pop music- but part of you has such love for Florence + The Machine. Things like that are untouchable. If only people used music to bring people together rather than harming each other causing more of a gap between us all.

It’s not like anyone will have read this, but if you have- I apologise for boring you to death with my words. This has been flipping over and over in my head for the past few days, and it has come out in some kind of car crash fashion. One day, I will be eloquent with my words. I probably should’ve napped before I wrote this. There is so much more I could say, that I want to say- but it is probably for the best that I just keep it to myself.

Glastonbury 2010.

Bless the BBC for showing some amazing sets over the weekend. A few songs in particular made me cry. Not even sorry or ashamed about it. So, I’ve found some of the best ones that have been put up so far :

Ellie Goulding-Starry Eyed. If Salt Skin had been put up, I’d put that on. But seeing about 7,000 people sing every word back to Ellie looked pretty damn beautiful. What’s even better is that Fin aka Starsmith is on the side watching it. Just amazing.

The xx & Florence Welch- You’ve Got The Love. Stunning. Totally stunning.

La Roux- Quicksand and Temptation. A very special guest joins the band on stage!

Florence + The Machine- Heavy In Your Arms and The Chain. Covering Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain was mindblowing. So gorgeous. I know they said they were only doing it once…but they need to do it again. Mark KILLED the bass solo. It’s the best bass solo in the history of music and he nailed it. The whole band nailed that song. It’s perfect.

Marina & The Diamonds-Guilty. My favourite Marina song off the album. I just adore it.