Blast from the past

I recently found myself reliving my musical past.  It seems that some bands will never die or stop touring, even if all of the original members have left the band, except for the charismatic front man.  Last month, Mark saw Guns n Roses in Las Vegas and was pretty sure that, besides Axl Rose, he didn’t recognise any of the other band members from his youth.

The first gig I went to was part of The Living End‘s Retrospective tour, where they play each of their albums in full over consecutive nights.  The band is one of my all time favourites, and I think I’ve probably seen them over 30 times at their gigs and at festivals.

My favourite album of theirs is their first self-titled one, and it was so much fun recalling the memories of my life as they took place back in 1998 and 1999, which mostly entailed drinking at the university bar and driving in my little hatchback around Sydney.

The Living End at the Hi Fi Sydney

Then, in the same week, I saw another of my favourite bands of all time, Reel Big Fish.  I love their music because it always makes me want to get up and dance, even if I’m driving!  They were supported by the very fun Goldfinger.  My feet were definitely sore from the dancing!

Reel Big Fish at UNSW Roundhouse

Goldfinger at UNSW Roundhouse

Hello summer – we missed you!

This weekend finally felt like the start of summer, with glorious blue skies and temperatures rising above 30C.  After a few weeks of chilly nights and the occasional rain, it actually felt as though summer had finally arrived.

Of course, it wouldn’t be summer without music festivals, and my first of the season kicked off in pumping style yesterday at Stereosonic.

And it wouldn’t be a dance festival without the requisite hard-bodied, topless men covered in tattoos, who have no doubt been spending the last few months priming their shoulders and guns for this occasion.

With a headline like Tiesto, and other amazing acts such as Calvin Harris, Martin Solvieg and Avicii, we all had a great time and ended up quite sore from all the dancing!

Today’s sunny weather called for the beach visit, and even when we left at 6pm there was still a big crowd at North Bondi.  Summer is finally here!

The sounds of 2011

One of the best things about being back in Australia has been rediscovering Australian music.  Especially now that I have a car and am regularly listening to Australia’s youth radio station and all round promoter of Aussie music, I’ve been a lot more exposed to the country’s best hip hop, alternative rock, electronic, and indie artists.  I’m sure many fellow drivers have been amused when they’ve looked into my car windows and seen me in my protective car cocoon impersonating a rock star!

So when it came to picking my Hottest 100 songs of 2011, Australian artists definitely dominated.  Here were my top songs of the year (in no particular order):

What were your favourite songs of 2011?

When’s the next trip?

Has it really been almost 5 months since my travels ceased and I was plunged back into routine London life??  Back to the familiarity of the local language, being able to throw toilet paper into the toilet, and more dining variety than beans and rice.  However, it was also back to paying a day’s travel budget for a bottle of beer, customer service without a smile, and being packed onto the London Underground like sardines.

What has happened since I’ve been back?

  • Managed to snag a job back at Expedia for a few months
  • Saw Muse rock out Wembley Stadium (quite possibly the best concert ever!) and Pendulum at the Wembley Arena
  • Bathing was forgone for a few days while I indulged my inner hippie at Glastonbury festival

  • Drove a Lamborghini Gallardo and a Ferrari 360 Spider around a race track, which was quite a scary and unnerving experience

  • Met Merv Hughes outside Moet & Chandon champagne house in Epernay – he is big bloke

  • Met Heston Blumenthal after an extravagant lunch at the Fat Duck

  • Didn’t see much from the top of Mt Snowdon in Wales through the rain and fog
  • Saw some great comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe
  • Enjoyed the music and colours of the Notting Hill Carnival.

I am currently a lady of leisure while I look for a new job, the lifestyle of which involves sleeping in, sightseeing around the free sights of London, and baking cupcakes!

A seaside rendezvous

I have been dying to see Muse for years now, but every time they came to Australia I happened to be overseas.  Talk about bad timing!

When Muse announced a series of shows at the O2 Arena in November, I vowed to get myself tickets.  However, by the time I remembered to log on to the ticket website at 9:16am – only 16 minutes after the tickets went on sale – all the tickets for both London shows had sold out!  Sheer disappointment didn’t even begin to explain how I was feeling.

So I was filled with excitement a couple of weeks ago when I suddenly received an email one morning at 7am that announced two Muse shows in Teignmouth, Devon – their homecoming shows.  Despite the prospect of an 8-hour round trip on a bus just to see the show, I thought that it was still too good an opportunity to pass up.

Well, I went to Teignmouth in Devon on Saturday for the show and Muse were just absolutely amazing!  Their songs are just anthemic, beautiful and grand rock tracks.  They also played a few tracks from their upcoming new album Resistance, which certainly evoked some comparisons to Queen, another one of my favourite bands.



The show finished at 11pm and we piled back on the coach, exhausted but deliriously happy, and arrived back in London at the ungodly hour of 3am.

But hey, now that I’ve seen Muse I feel like I can die happy now!

Teignmouth show reviews and photos (