Category Archives: Music

Penny Lane inspired look

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If you have never seen Almost Famous then stop right now, find a copy, watch it, then return to this post. I must say it is one of my favourite films at the moment, mainly because it is set in the 70s. It has an amazing soundtrack, fantastic characters that are based on legendary people and the clothes they wear are to die for.

One of the main characters is Penny Lane… and I have been heavily inspired by her wardrobe. She is a free spirited, yet tortured groupie (or should I say ‘Band-Aid’) who is completely in love with the music scene and is going on tour with a band named Stillwater. Her character is portrayed by Kate Hudson and it has been said the part was written around the socialite and famous groupie Pamela Des Barres’ memoirs.

If you have seen the film you will understand how you instantly fall in love with her. She is extremely groovy, has great fashion and reflects the 70s how everyone seems to perceive it (I hope it was as good as it seemed!)

After studying the film and watching it countless times for one of my assignments, I think I have the Penny Lane requirements down to a T.

  1. You need curly messy hair.
  2. You must have circular sunglasses – preferably with a purple tinge.
  3. You most certainly need an afghan style coat.
  4. Your make up has to be minimalistic, but still there.
  5. A bra is not required and you cannot forget your suede skirt.

If you consider all five of these points, then you are well on your way to pulling off this look.

Here are a couple of photos of myself trying out the 1970s, Penny Lane look. (Do forgive the photo quality – I’m now back at university and the lighting in my room is terrible!)

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Let me know what you make of the film in the comments section below, and whether or not you think I did a good job.

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✮ A Tribute to the Starman in the Sky | David Bowie ✮

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I don’t normally do blog posts like this, but David Bowie has been such a huge part of my life that I had to write something – though no words can describe how much I love and will miss this legend.

I think I took him for granted. Thought that Bowie was immortal and would never die, and I guess in many ways he wont. Today, Bowie fan or not, the world woke up to tragic news… Something that we hoped we wouldn’t see for a long time. He has been such a huge inspiration to many generations that the loss of this immensely talented man has completely saddened the world. I have never been this upset about a celebrity’s death before, but something about today has hit me harder than I ever thought it would. I guess it’s like losing an old friend, someone who was always there for you in your time of need. As Louder Than War put it… “You never felt alone when you had Bowie,” and this is so true.

Even the smallest of things like accompanying me on the bus to college in the rain, Bowie’s music has been there to brighten up the day. He inspired me to take up piano for a while, educated me in soul music and even made my transition to university that little bit more easy. He is an instant pick-me-up and I am eternally grateful for this.

Sometimes I’ve felt as though he has been speaking directly to me through song, especially at the moment with the quote: “Don’t stay in a sad place, where they don’t care how you are.” It’s amazing how powerful and touching his work has been and how someone you’ve never met can make such a big impact in your life. I have learned so much from listening to Bowie.

But it wasn’t just his music that was influential – he was an innovator. He dared to be different and made oddity acceptable. He challenged cultural taboos, views of sexuality and completely reshaped the world of fashion. He really was like an alien that had come down to save the world, and I believe he succeeded.

I’d heard rumours that he was ill, and it was his new album Blackstar which made me think something was really not right. But I didn’t realise he was going to be torn away from us so suddenly.

I really hope he is no longer in pain and has gone to a better place, whether that be somewhere spiritual, heaven or another planet with his own kind. Wherever he is now, he deserves to be at peace.

His death has created a void that no other person will be able to fill and I am so honored to be born in a time that Bowie also lived in.

A new star will shine brighter than ever tonight.

Thank you Bowie for breaking boundaries and being brave enough to be yourself – I hope you knew how much you shaped this world.

You were one of a kind and I will adore you always.

✮ David Bowie – 1947 until the last Blackstar fades away ✮

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Blogmas: Day sixteen | The Sound of Music

I haven’t done an actual update in a while and I thought today was the perfect chance to.

It has been my last official day of university before breaking up for Christmas and what a lovely day it has been. It started off with a really laid back lecture (which feels ages ago now) where we were told how to construct our essay. All boring stuff, but very important! Then me and some friends went to Pret for lunch as a breaking up treat. I’ve only ever been there once before and it is soooo yummy! I got a tuna and cucumber sandwich and a hot chocolate and felt super Christmasy. We chilled there for a while then caught the bus back to where I PACKED FOR GOING HOME!

Yeeees, I am going home for Christmas tomorrow and I cannot wait! Only one more sleep now until I am reunited with the Gillibrands and I can feel all cosy and snug and festive and can relax for a short amount of time.

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But to finish 2015 at uni, me and my friend Issy went to see a performance of The Sound of Music at the Lowry in Salford. The show was amazing and the evening led to many funny and surreal moments.

First thing, the show started, the music began playing, the crowd fell silent and a woman behind me shouted out, “Are we seeing Mary Poppins”. Well that was it… I couldn’t look at Issy, we were both in stitches. The man to the other side to me replied: “You’ve come to see the wrong show, love!” – It’s probably a have to be there moment, but take my word for it… It was hilarious.

We had press passes for the show as Issy was reviewing it and were invited to the VIP section in the interval. Being curious we wandered around the Lowry until we found it and were greeted with free wine. FREE WINE… yes as students we could not say no, I mean… would you? We walked into the room and it was full of important looking people. I felt like a duck out of water, and completely in the wrong place, but also quite prestigious. Kieth Chegwin was stood next to us, it was really quite surreal. Sipping our wine, we tried to look professional, however this impression was completely destroyed when we were ushered back to our seats. In a midst of panic, and on a pretty empty stomach, me and Issy downed the glass of wine – of course, it would be rude to leave any – then we hurried on back to our seats.

The rest of the performance was really special and I may have shed a little tear at the end.

The Sound of Music has always been a Christmasy type film for me, as it was always what they would used to play in my High School music lessons on the run up to Christmas. So watching it tonight got me feeling as though I was back at that age of 13 counting down the days til I broke up.

It has been a really lovely day, and as much as I will miss my friends at uni over Christmas, I cannot wait to see and hug my mum and dad tomorrow.

Goodnight friends! Sweet dreams x

(I think I made this post just before the midnight mark!)

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Blogmas: Day eight | My top ten Christmas tunes

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Hello everyone!

Today I thought I would throw together my top ten Christmas tunes for you to listen too. I must admit I have been setting my alarm clock to Smooth Christmas so I wake up to Christmas tunes every morning. I don’t know if this was the best or the worst decision, but it has made me ultra excited for Christmas!

10. Feliz Navidad

It’s not that Christmasy, but I couldn’t leave it off my list!

9. Fairytale of New York

I feel like it isn’t Christmas until you’ve heard this song.

8. Stop the Cavalry

Quite a nostalgic song for me I guess.

7. Merry Christmas Everyone

The ultimate Christmas Anthem.

6. All I want for Christmas is you

My dad’s favourite Christmas track (or favourite Christmas Video)… Christmas wouldn’t be the same in the Gillibrand household without it!

5. Wonderful Christmas time

For me this is Christmas.

4. Jingle Bells

It wouldn’t be Christmas without Buble now, would it?

3. Wish it could be Christmas Everyday

Another Christmas anthem.

2. Christmas Wrapping

The most annoying but amazing Christmas song of all time. Major ear worm.

1. Christmas time

My dad, his friend Dave and my uncle performed this song to us all one year. My dad sung (wearing a ginger wig), my uncle played guitar and Dave played air guitar. Nothing beats that memory.

So there you have it, my top ten Christmas tunes! I hope you enjoyed them and they got you feeling all festive! Comment below with your favourite Christmas songs, I’d love to know and listen to them x

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Blogmas: Day three | Early Christmas present to myself

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Lights is coming to Manchester next year and guess who is going to see her?! I absolutely cannot wait.

She has been one of my inspirations for such a long time now, when she came to the UK last year I couldn’t make her shows and was absolutely devastated. But I purchased some tickets yesterday morning and no matter what, I will definitely be seeing her.

I have no idea what it is about Lights, I wouldn’t even say that I am into that kind of music. But there is something so captivating about her that I cannot stop listening to her. I think it might be the fact that I have a lot of respect for her. She’s not one of these musicians that are only good on their CD, she can actually sing live, and on top of that, is an amazing musician.

Everything about her seems real and I think it’s that reality which makes you feel as though you’ve known her forever.

I got the chance to interview her earlier this year. I was absolutely bricking it, but when we got talking it was literally just like a conversation you would have with your friend. She was so humble and kind – as though she doesn’t actually realise how good of a singer/songwriter she is. (Read the interview here.)

She has a tonne of love and time for her fans too which is something rare with the industry now.

She is such a beautiful human… You have no idea how excited I am to see her next year!

Also, yesterday I got the train home to see my family. We’re going to put the Christmas tree up this weekend. There are too many exciting things going on!

Lights and home in one day – Christmas really has come early!

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Blogmas: Day two | Mika Memories

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I couldn’t not involve Mika in my Blogmas posts. He kind of comes out at this time of the year for me. I think it was around Christmas 2008 or possibly even earlier, my sister bought his DVD. On it was a documentary  of him and all of his songs and I think a live show of his – though I could be wrong there.

I think we must have played this DVD over and over and over again. Literally my mum and dad must have been going mad.

I’m really going to have to dig it out over Christmas sometime and watch it again – it has been too long.

But yes, he is like the Christmas songs of November for me. He is someone who allows me to get in the festive spirit without the bad luck curse. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to put him away throughout the rest December. Oh no… This year Mika is gonna stay a little bit longer than one month.

I think I’m a closet Mika fan and have been for quite some time… One year we got the chance to see him live in Manchester and he really doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He is such an amazing musician with a hell of a lot of energy. Not only this, he supports the underdog, and sings from his heart about a lot of experiences I can relate to.

I really want to see him come back and tour the UK in 2016 – one can only hope!

I’m just going to have to admit it now… I think I’m a little bit in love with Mika.

But shh don’t tell anyone. He’s still just my November soundtrack.

Take a listen to him now… He is great, and very handsome. Teehee (An early Christmas present to you).

P.s – I would like to dedicate this post to my sister, if it wasn’t for her that Christmas, I would not be dancing around my room to Mika right now x

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Celebrating! – John Robb Style

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You have no idea how long I have wanted some real creepers for. I could have ordered some online a while ago, but I never know what size foot I am – it’s either a 7 or an 8 – but my feet like to be awkward and so getting some online is always a risk that I don’t like to take.

My sister came to visit me in Manchester the other day and I decided to take her around the Northern Quarter and look at all of the cute vintage shops. She bought some gorgeous scarfs and shirts and I found an adorable jumper and also snatched up some posters for my new room.

I’ve recently got my first piece published in the new music magazine Louder Than War, and so we took it upon ourselves to hunt down an issue. We must have gone into every single news agents in the center of Manchester and every single WH Smiths and couldn’t find one anywhere! We had literally given up and had headed back to the Northern Quarter. On the way back there we spotted a convenience store that we hadn’t yet been in and so decided to venture inside – expecting disappointment. However there was four copies staring right at you as soon as you went in! I practically ran over and thumbed my way through the pages to sniff out my article, and there it was!

The excitement was unreal – I wanted to cry, my first piece in an actual music magazine.

I had to celebrate, and what’s a better way than celebrating John Robb style, and purchasing some beautiful, vintage leather creepers?

I found them in Afflecks, size 8 – it was like fate had put them there! They fit perfectly and I must admit are probably one of my comfiest pairs of shoes. The night I bought them I went out dancing in them and then the next day I did a two hour trek to the Salford Lads Club – No blisters. I’m really impressed with how comfy they are, they might just be my new favourite shoes.

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