Music that means something to me, day 1 – Shiver by Coldplay

I’ve been nominated on Facebook to post a piece of music or a song that means something to me for seven consecutive days.  I’m also supposed to suggest someone else each day to do the same but hate doing things like that for fear of REJECTION, so if you’re reading this and fancy giving it a whirl, consider yourself nominated.

First up are Coldplay.  This will probably be met with much derision, but I really couldn’t care less.  I remember watching their Glastonbury set on the telly in 2000; I must have been 14 at the time and was blown away.  It was just before Parachutes was released and was the first time I’d properly taken notice of Glasto and I remember thinking to myself “this is something that I must attend one day!”  When Parachutes came out, I was obsessed with it and listened to it multiple times a day for months.  My best mates, Jenny and Jane, loved them too and Jane used to send me interviews with the band as we didnt have proper Internet that I read via the jarg email scenario that we had on the telly (did anyone else have that?!) Sidenote – I was and still am technologically inept, and thought that Jane spent hours painstakingly typing out each interview word for word for me.  I wasn’t aware of the copy and paste function at this stage.  Bless.

I finally got to see Coldplay live in the Manchester Apollo in 2001 – to this day, one of my favourite venues, with so many fond memories – after counting down the days for weeks in our homework diaries.  The next time I saw them was their Glastonbury warm-up gig in Mountford Hall – utterly glorious – and the time after that was their headline slot at Glastonbury.  I’d probably never have gone to Glasto that year if they hadn’t headlined – I was a bit shy and thought I wasn’t cool enough to go to such a place – but I’m so glad I did. I’m still not cool, and my love for the band may have faded slightly over the years but Coldplay, that first trip to Worthy Farm and this song in particular will always have a special place in my heart.

Happy birthday to my little bro

Less than a week after our Helen’s 21st, today is my little brother Paul’s fifteenth birthday, in a spectacular example of bad planning by Mother Goose and Mad Tam. Like Helen’s arrival, I vividly remember the day he was born, although I wish I didn’t, because I was exceptionally ugly and therefore ruin all photographs from this otherwise happy time.  See below for evidence.

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See? Hideous.

Anyway, he finally arrived on a Monday morning, two days after Mum’s waters broke outside a church where we were for a wedding. Highly convenient for all concerned. He looked slightly like an alien when he was born but thankfully quickly grew out of this and became this absolute cutie.

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How adorable please?!

Unlike Helen, who I have no memory of until she was thirteen, Paul made his presence known immediately. He was born with dislocated hips, gawd bless ‘im, so spent the first few months of his life wearing a bizarre brace to manipulate the bone back into the socket. It didn’t affect him at all in later years, as he became quite the mover. This was largely due to his obsession with the film Billy Elliott, which perhaps inappropriately the parentals allowed him to watch over and over again. Paul took to pirouetting all over the place, more often than not whilst wearing a Teletubbies nightie, but the Billy Elliott viewings had to be nipped in the bud when he started peppering his sentences with somewhat unsavoury language. Whoops!

One of the most notable things about Paul is his love of music and his talent for drumming. His hobby drives me insane when I am trying to have a nap and he’s giving it beans on the drums downstairs but I can admit that he is absolutely brilliant at it. He said the other week he had me to thank for his passion for music, so my work here is done. (He also said in the same conversation that, out of his three sisters, Maria was the coolest, but we’ll gloss over that.) Indeed, from an early age, I tried to mould him into a really excellent person – I took it upon myself when I used to pick him up from school to drum into him liberal-minded and feminist ideals. Sorry Paul, I am aware that I am a pain. This too seems to have worked though, as he’s one of the soundest people I know!

Another noticeable thing about him is his penchant for fashion. Never have I known a lad to be so obsessed with his clothes and hair! He spends more time sorting his barnet out than I do. To be fair to the lad, he is always immaculately turned out, to the point where I am slightly resentful of the fact that he appears to have escaped the awkward stage that most teens go through.

Most people say that Helen looks like me, but Mother Goose is adamant that Paul is “so like you, Cath, that it’s scary!” Scary indeed – I feel sorry for the lad. He is doomed to a lifetime of tardiness, rage and appalling hangovers. Sorry again Paul.

He’s had a great day so far – a successful trip to Goodison, loads of presents, and a buffet chez Crilly which should be ready any second now! He’s also got a trip to Leeds festival to look forward to – one of his presents was money for a ticket for whichever day Arctic Monkeys play on. And I’m accompanying him! I’m looking forward to it – spending the day with one of my best mates watching great bands isn’t too shabby, is it? Happy birthday lad – you’re a legend!

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…and top 5 low points

There are no highs without the lows. Here are five of my darkest moments from 2013.

1. Arcade Fire’s new album.

I can’t say that I hate it. I can’t even say that it’s a bad album. But I have never felt such a keen sense of disappointment in a band in my entire life. It genuinely makes me feel a bit teary just thinking about it. Yes, I need to get a life.

2. X Factor – the whole thing

I can’t even defend it any more. It’s been absolutely atrocious from start to finish.

3. My continuing battle with Arriva

They exist solely to irritate me. (And to bus people around the city, obviously. But they even struggle with that sometimes.) It is a mutual hatred. I ring them at least once a week to complain about something. And they still haven’t whacked the heating on on the 61.

4. Glastonbury

Or rather, the fact that I did not attend Glastonbury this year. ‘Twas no-one’s fault but my own and I am still fuming at myself for being so financially woeful that I didn’t get to go. Next year though! Next year, I’ll make up for it, and then some.

5. My hair

It was dyed for the first time in my life in May and I haven’t had it done since and now the highlights are white and mismatched and I haven’t got a clue what to do with it. SEND HELP.

Please note that my list of low points is half the length of my list of highlights. This surely means that, against all odds, and considering that my life is an ongoing farce, 2013 must have been alright.

Record of Rage – Glastonbury Special

I’ve just read this article after @GlastoWatch tweeted the link to it and I am FUMING:

http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Glastonbury-fans-harder-ticket/story-19817518-detail/story.html

Firstly, I’m angry because they have misspelt the word “festival” in the headline, which is frankly shoddy.

However, the main reason for my rage is the fact that I can absolutely guarantee that the majority of the freshly registered contingent are scallies, plain and simple.

I did notice this when I last went to Glastonbury in 2010. The amount of chavs had increased tenfold and the reason for this is that festivals are now “cool” and places to be “seen” at. Urrgh. Now, when festival season arrives, all I see on Facebook and Twitter is check-ins from scallies that I went to school with – scallies who laughably called us goths for going to Glasto when we were still at school, may I add! (Sidenote – the memory of us being called goths never fails to make me laugh. The comedy. Although, to be fair, I did wear a lot of black.) Said scallies think that “the one with Sex on Fire on” was Kings of Leon’s first album and get on the coach to festivals with rollers in.

I’m aware that this all sounds a bit snobby. And perhaps it is. But in 2010 I noticed a change (for the worse) in atmosphere that coincided with the change in clientele. Glastonbury is special. They can overrun V, and desecrate Reading and Leeds, but I wish they’d leave Glastonbury alone.

Granted, when I first went in 2002, I’d imagine that stalwarts who’d been attending year in, year out since 1970 took one look at us, fresh from sitting our GCSEs, wearing appalling hats and double denim and eager, innocent expressions, and thought “what THE HELL are these children doing here?” But to be fair to us we got into the swing of things – we didn’t cause any trouble and, forgive me for saying this and sounding like the most pretentious person of all time, but we went for the music, not to show off our Hunter wellies.

I blame the Kaiser Chiefs for this entirely. There is a direct correlation between “I Predict A Riot” making indie mainstream and festivals becoming so popular that they sold out within minutes. Franz Ferdinand could be implicated here as well, I suppose, but I like them, so I am laying the blame solely at Ricky Wilson and co’s door. By the time Kings of Leon’s demise was completed by releasing Sex On Fire (oh, how I long for the days when this band were brilliant), we were all pretty much doomed.

Naturally, if my friends and I all manage to get our sweaty paws on tickets, then this rant will be rendered null and void. But if not, there will be hell to pay.

I went to see Rebecca Ferguson today

As anyone who was my Facebook friend when Rebecca Ferguson was on X Factor will remember, this admission will seem a bit bizarre, as I didn’t exactly come across as her biggest fan at the time. Indeed, I once tweeted about the fact that I found her ever so slightly boring and was gently trolled within seconds. “You’re just jealous!” her fans fumed, halfheartedly. Oh, the lolz.

There are a couple of reasons why I ended up watching the lovely Becky today. Firstly, I reckon Mother Goose genuinely feared that her firstborn was going to be glued to Netflix for the rest of her days. Secondly, I wanted to see if the Liverpool International Music festival in Sefton Park was any good.

Inexplicably, as soon as we arrived, Mad Tam charged practically to the very front of the sizeable crowd. Mother Goose, our Paul and myself were flummoxed by this move, not least because not one of us had shown the slightest interest in watching her. Thus Mad Tam had outed himself as a closet Rebecca Ferguson fan.

The crowd was made up of middle-aged Smooth FM listeners in double denim, the type of women who would refer to themselves as yummy mummies along with their catalogue kids and fellas, and a smattering of absolutely brilliant Creamfields casualties, who were completely wired and completely confused by their surroundings.

Rebecca may have been the answer to finally sending the Creamfields crew off to sleep, though. She took to the stage with a “Youse having a good day?!” and then proceeded to bore me into a slight daze. Her on-stage banter centred around the fact that she was a bit warm, due to the weather. I am sure she is a very lovely person, and indeed she is very smiley, and inoffensive, and her dress was a nice colour. But her voice is weak – she sounds like she is running out of breath halfway through every line of a song – and I was way more impressed by her backing vocalists, who managed to hold my attention far more successfully than Rebecca did. My problem is that I am not interested in her, at all. I don’t love her or hate her. I am just not bothered. And this is not good. Pop stars should be exciting. They should not make music to be indifferent towards.

Still, the crowd seemed to love it, so what do I know?

SIGH.

With regards to the actual festival itself, it was around a thousand times classier than the Mathew Street festival ever was (which admittedly would not be hard.) I’m sure the good weather helped, but there was a pleasant atmosphere and far fewer complete messes on display. I’m a bit sad I missed the action on the previous three days. However, there’s always next year. Next year, I won’t have Breaking Bad taking over my life. Next year, I’ll attend every single day.

Next year, knowing my luck, it’ll probably rain.

So I survived Glastonbury weekend

It wasn’t as traumatic as I thought it was going to be. This time last Wednesday I was in the worst mood of all time but I managed to get over it and watch the coverage without wanting to kill myself.

Speaking of which, the coverage wasn’t too great. Mainly because Jo Whiley was one of the presenters, and she is a charisma-free zone. Chic were my highlight  though – it was like the greatest wedding disco of ALL TIME. Solange also deserves a mention, for being cooler than Beyoncé and wearing questionable trousers, which we all know I’m a fan of.

Thankfully Bowie and Daft Punk didn’t turn up – this post would be embittered by rage if they had done – as there were clearly saving themselves for next year when I will be in attendance. Thanks guys. You’re too kind.

In addition to those two, I’d like to see Madonna, Prince, Laura Marling, Janelle Monáe and Beck on the bill. In my dreams, non? Please make this happen, Michael Eavis!

The Glastonbury dream is definitely over

After a day and a half of making vaguely hysterical plans to head down to Glastonbury, I have decided against driving down with my friend Michelle and trying to get in.  This is because a.)  I am a wimp and not rebellious in the slightest and b.)  I wouldn’t be able to eat for the rest of the month.  And I like eating. 

I feel slightly less depressed about my non-attendance today though; I’m now looking forward to the coverage starting today and am already planning next year’s trip. Slightly panicked that Daft Punk are going to make a guest appearance with Chic ce soir but other than that I THINK I WILL PULL THROUGH. One thing is for sure though – I know that  I will NEVER make the same mistake of giving up my ticket, ever ever again.  I now plan on going every year until I DIE. 

I’m going to get home from work and watch the coverage avidly all weekend, while wearing my wellies, with a sunburnt nose, and drinking potent cider.

Sounds like a plan, non?