Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Bloc Party Gig: Part II

A week has passed since one of the greatest nights of my young life, and I think that I have only just recovered to tell the tale.

Last Wednesday I saw Bloc Party in a tiny little bar called Birthdays in Dalston, London which has a capacity of just 250 hearty souls.

They announced this free gig just the day before due to the fact that they found out their latest album, Four, had reached number one in the midweek album chart.

After seeing this announced on their Facebook page, I text two of my friends to ask them whether they wanted to join me for a day of queueing in the not-so-pleasant area of Dalston in the hope of getting a wristband to see the band that night.

They responded with mixed enthusiasm but the next morning we boarded the train ready to queue. Seeing as we are terribly British, queueing is almost second nature to us so the idea of seven hours sitting down didn't phase us.

I panicked that it would be sold out as I had suffered heart-ache at a previous experience like this. My friend, David, warned me that we would be one of the first people there, that there wouldn't be 250 people there by 10am.

I didn't quite agree and I ensured that we were there early to secure our place in the top 250.

By 10am we had reached the queue. There were just 20 hardcore Bloc Party fans there and it made me wonder how early they themselves had got there. My friends looked pretty annoyed at being dragged out of bed so early, but I simply exclaimed "It's better to be early than not!"

I will admit that the queue was boring, so boring that I managed to drain the battery on my phone from 100% to 5% in just a few hours. Even though I love my iPhone, I will say that its battery life is criminally awful.

David cured his boredom by drinking an entire 3 litre bottle of Frosty Jacks. If you don't know of this drink then I will warn you now to never drink it. It tastes vile and is around 7.5% alcohol.

After finishing his Frosty Jacks, we went to a very dodgy Irish pub. It wasn't an O'Neill's but it seemed like a poor imitation. I wouldn't be surprised if it was called O'Leary's or something clinically Irish like that.

We eventually headed back to the venue, made our way to the front and I was in awe at the miniature nature of this venue. I have seen Bloc Party play in venues like Alexandra Palace and Olympia, so this was something quite unique.

The band came on after a lengthy wait and I could literally touch them. That sounds really weird, doesn't it?

They started with 3x3, which has fast become my favourite song by them. It was at this point that I noticed there was no barrier. That really shows how small this venue was. It was literally as big as a matchbox. Well, not quite...

The crowd were moving and knocked Kele's microphone over. At this point, us hardy soldiers at the front of the crowd began having to push back to ensure the microphone stayed intact.

They raced through their set and I began to think I was dying. It was so bloody hot. The venue was a basement, it was small and 250 people going mental all conduced to a hot and humid environment.

By the time they reached their last song, I was dead on my feet. I made my way to the back to cool off and sung along wearing to Flux.

Bloc Party departed, I wallowed and went in the search of water and then we made our way home.

Despite the heat and the sheer pain, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. It was priceless.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Haircut

I have never had my hair cut in a hairdressers.

Shocking, eh?

Now, I don't have long, hippy hair and neither have I been growing it since my birth in 1991. You see my Mum one day decided that she thought it'd be useful to buy a clipping set from Argos and cut mine and my Dad's hair. I don't know why she decided so, but it certainly saved money.

However, I felt it was time for a change. I have pretty dull hair so I decided that I wanted to go and get my hair cut properly by a professional. At the very best, I'd have great hair. At the very worst, I'd know once and for all that I have the world's worst hair.
After going to the gym this morning I popped into Supercuts. "This is a classy establishment, it's usually quiet and it's cheap," I rationed.

I gave the girl on the reception my name and sat down on those tiny, plastic chairs that you find in these type of places which involve a fair bit of waiting.

After a few minutes, a lady came over to me and ushered me over to the chair. I sat down, nervous and anxious awaiting to see my new hair come to fruition.

I told the lady what I wanted, "short back and sides", and she then spoke at me really fast.

"So I'm going to shave the sides and then round the back, then I will wash your hair and then trim the rest and make it look all neat and give you that fresh, 'I've just had a haircut' look"

Well, I'm pretty sure that's what she said.

I let her cut away and then came the hair washing. I reluctantly agreed with this as she knew best. She began washing, water ran down my face and then she put the shampoo in.

It was at this point that she started massaging my head.

I thought, "Is this normal? Is she meant to be doing this? Oh, wait she is now massaging my ears..."

I'm, honest to God, not kidding. She started massaging my ears. This was definitely not right, but hey she is the hairdresser.

It looked worse the more she proceeded to cut off and I felt like it would be best if I just stopped her there and then, but then I realised that my hair would really look stupid.

She finished the job and then I paid at the desk. I drove home and had a shower and put in my own hair gel.

Let's just say she is lucky that I actually really like my new haircut. Otherwise, I would be suing Supercuts for inappropriate ear touching.

Follow me on Twitter @Alex_Harris1991

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Week In Lewes

It's been a pretty great week for myself.

It all started off last Saturday where I carried on in my volunteering capacity at a local football club where I got to write a match report. Luckily, it was a surprisingly entertaining match so I had a lot to write about and I've just seen that my report has been published.

On Sunday, I went down to Lewes for the the week. I went there for two reasons, for work experience at a regional newspaper and to visit one of my best friends.

It was a fantastic week and I am now a published writer in print.

If I learnt one thing from the week though, it was that my friend and I are useless at golf. On one hole itself, we pretty much lost all our golf balls. It wasn't even a very difficult hole which makes it all the embarrassing.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The First Year Anniversary

Who would have thought it? This blog is officially one year old today. Happy birthday to my humble, little blog.

Seeing as this blog was created for me to express my doubts about me becoming an adult, do I think I have grown-up and matured over the past year?

I would say that I have. I feel more confident and out-going, which is always a good thing. My last year at university was great, I lived with great people and I left with a 2:1 degree which was my aim. I would also say that having gone through the university experience, I do feel more grown up. I still don't see myself as being 21, but I definitely feel confident in stating that I feel more of an adult than I did a year ago.

This blog has also given me an arena to be creative. I have fallen in love with writing and being creative over the past year, and I largely have this blog to thank for that. It has solidified in me, my ambition to become a writer and a journalist which I have begun to take steps towards. I will also start a YouTube channel soon, largely because I need to make use of my new video camera.

I will be doing a Masters course in September, I've had work experience at a national magazine, I've started writing for a couple of websites and I will be undertaking more work experience at a newspaper next week.

I am excited for the year ahead, and I hope that you stay with me and join me for the fun that will be had.