The 1975: Glasgow Barrowlands

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Emulating the mysterious and alternative styles of the 80’s Manchester alt-pop band, The 1975 walked onto the Glasgow Barrowlands stage after several minutes of taunting with dry-ice and synth music to a crowd of eager fans; most of them barely pushing 18.

Singer Matt Healy cemented the idea that The 1975 are trying a bit too hard to be unique wearing a fur jacket cradling a bottle of red wine, he ended up just looking a little pretentious. Opening the night with crowd pleaser The City, deafening cheers and chants gave hope that a memorable show was about to be put on.

However apart from releasing catchy songs, the edgy haircuts and all black wardrobes alongside their ‘cool-guy’ personas The 1975 are really no different to most acts that have come and gone in the past 20-years; their mix of singles focusing on sex, angst and drugs are good live performance tracks but for an hour long set The 1975 still have a lot to learn.

Since rocketing into the charts with their self-titled debut album last year, The 1975 have not yet put out new material and they have yet to change up their live shows. Taking a break from slower album tracks, allowing a break from Healy smoking and drinking on stage to Me acting like a rejected romantic character, a saxophone player emerged from the smoke to play a killer solo during Heart Out, that allowed a moment of appreciation for something interesting to watch and listen to.

The night truly came to life with the encore featuring the favourites Chocolate and rockier sounding Sex. It’s a great tactic to place your two liveliest songs at the end of the setlist because it fools people into thinking the entire show was lively and interactive; the younger generation seemed to love it anyway.

In all honesty watching a re-run of Loose Women would have been more entertaining.

Welcome to the Vinyl Revival

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Who doesn’t love a faded memory jumping straight back into the spotlight questioning why you ever forgot it? This particular memory is the humble vinyl that is currently having a more successful reincarnation than Gary Barlow’s return to the spotlight.

A statement collectors piece for all music lovers, vinyl was overshadowed by the ever popular digital download making it a mere memory or relic hidden away in the dusty corners of record stores. Increasing interest in digital music saw the closure of multiple independent record shops in the UK with 540 store closures in five years and little to no interest in the once popular vinyl. What a turnaround it has had in the past couple of years with record sales more than doubling in 2013 and the release of David Bowie and Daft Punk’s LPs generating such a buzz vinyl sales reached a ten-year high.

Since it’s introduction by Columbia Records in 1948 vinyl has had a great following thanks to the alternative sounds and character an LP has to offer. Vinyl lover and collector, Robert Nelson said the rise in record sales is due to both the artwork and sound quality that has revived the vinyl appeal, he said: “to own a vinyl record really means something, from the artwork on the sleeve, to the lyrics printed on the booklet, the vinyl record is special, it is a relationship.”

Dan Lurinsky, manager of music store Rubadub agreed and stated: “I wouldn’t want to just sit in the house with a big hard drive and have nothing to look at. I like having something to look at and flicking through things and finding things by accident.”

There is no denying that the annual Record Store Day events, held in April, have helped to propel vinyl sales and raise awareness introducing people to the wonder of physical music; music that you can see, touch and smell whilst admiring the craft that goes into pressing a record that can be cared for, making it a loyal purchase. Record Store Day has helped music lovers to appreciate not only vinyl but their local music stores as Robert said: “it encourages people to go into their local music stores and look at what is available. In most cases, these small independent stores are a treasure trove of old vinyl that will appeal to the collector.”

Similar to all good things, Record Store Day can be seen as a bit of a hindrance. What we have to remember is that independent stores, like Rubadub, are pressing records all year round and have deadlines to meet but with Record Store Day it makes it hard to meet deadlines due to a backlog at pressing plants with companies re-releasing products, as Dan explained: “it’s a lot of big weighty companies trying to cash in on it.”

Held annually I wondered if making Record Store Day more than a once a year event would encourage more people to discover records but like all good things, less is more. Having one day to value a time tested musical relic in a fun filled day of music is better than having multiple events where people can lose interest because it’s the same thing happening over and over again. Record Store Day is arguably a great event, minus some inconveniences to independent stores, for music lovers to come together to talk to like-minded people having a good time. Dan stated: “every day is Record Store Day for us, but the actual day and the build to it is one of the best days of the year. It’s just an absolute laugh, all the staff really enjoy it, all the customers who come in all year round love it, we have DJs playing all day and we get the beers out –  it’s just a good day.”

Rubadub experienced one of the busiest Record Store Day’s this year thanks to the increasing interest in vinyl and the growing appreciation of spending time in independent stores browsing through LPs and finding treasures. With the store packed when the doors opened it’s great to see more people getting involved in a fun event highlighting a statement object for every music fan, Dan said: “I think it’s the most fun we’ve had on Record Store Day, in here anyway, it was a bit of a drunken weekend after that.” That’s how you celebrate one of the greatest methods of listening to music. Long live the vinyl revival.

 

Published on Scotcampus.

Winter Must: The Biker Jacket

Published on Bright Young Scribes 

The biker jacket is the ultimate wardrobe must have to make any outfit effortlessly cool. From the short bomber to the more modern boyfriend style leather paneled numbers, the biker jacket is making an even bigger comeback in AW13.

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Actors Marlon Brando and James Dean are just two handsome biker jacket wearers of the past making it a symbol of rebellion and the epitome of badass. The Ramones made the biker jacket the statement piece for any punk wardrobe in the 70’s and Blondie superstar, Debbie Harry made sure to show everyone women can be just as chic and cool in her sleeveless number. First sold in 1928 to Harley Davidson by designer Irving Schott, who else was better to make the jacket more popular for bikers than Davidson?

A 1981 portrait of The Ramones

Having always been a statement piece for any outfit, making the feminine have a rockier feel and the rocker look how they feel, it is no wonder that designer and high street stores are filling their shelves with an array of different biker jackets. Frida Giannini, Gucci creative director is the one to thank for the complete rebirth of the jacket after she donated archive outfits to the fast paced Formula 1 biopic, Rush depicting the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 70’s.

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With the darker nights coming in it is the perfect wardrobe piece: an undisputed cool item of clothing, the variety of styles available means it is a guaranteed investment as it’s one of those items that will never go out of fashion, no matter who you are or what you wear the biker jacket will lend a hand in making your outfit ooze street cred with a touch of classic rebellion. There are unlimited styles of biker jackets available on the high street at the moment with New Look, Topshop and River Island, to name a few, offering affordable and stylish jackets; there really is a biker jacket to suit everyone.

The uglier side to fame

Published on Bright Young Scribes

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Celebrity is a title that we can all admit to dreaming of having. Thousands of likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter, people queuing for days to get a quick look at you, magazines discussing who you’re dating and what you’re wearing but along with the power and status you have a responsibility to those who look up to you; the responsibility to be a good role model and give back to those less fortunate.

This week former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to 13 sexual offences, including two of attempting to rape a baby and having sexual interactions with two underage fans and has fallen into the category of a celebrity who has misused his fame. Similar allegations have been made about celebrity photographer, Terry Richardson who directed Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” video and her controversial NSFW photo shoot highlighting yet another, possible, celebrity who has used their status to exploit those too naïve to know better or assault individuals who respect said celebrity and feel it is their duty to respond.

It should be an unspoken rule that when people have taken an interest in the work you do and respect you for the causes you stand for, allowing you to live the A-list lifestyle you have the obligation to treat your admirers with respect and pass a positive message through your fame. Artists, actors, models, and socialites that are prominent figures in the media are idolized by millions of people every day and know that they become role models for young impressionable people or figures of aspiration for others and having a negative image in the press, wither glamorizing drug use or committing sexual offences on fans, will affect those followers as they misuse their notoriety.

There are two sides to every story however, and luckily most celebrities use their fame to help others and spread a message of good to highlight certain causes they believe in. Actors and couple Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield were pictured in September of last year holding up signs bringing attention to charities they support after discovering there was paparazzi waiting for them. Even simple acts such as this highlight the work that some celebrities do for others and the good they can bring to the community through their status. Other celebrities even draw attention to personal issues that can affect everyone of us such as Angelina Jolie who announced last May she was a BRCA carrier and had a double mastectomy (removal of both breasts) to prevent breast cancer. Acts such as this made public in an urge to inform the general public is a reason the celebrity status can be helpful and gain more coverage for charities straight to health issues affecting everyone.

Celebrities consume our daily lives from the ones we love to the ones we love to hate and we all look up to certain individuals who we believe we can relate to or just admire. There are certain individuals in this world who will unfortunately use their celebrity to misuse and abuse those who respected and admired them and those are the people in fame who have become a daily name for the wrong reason; those who use their status for good and helping others deserve more recognition whilst those such as Ian Watkins deserve no more time in the press than to highlight the negativity they have spread before being forgotten and allowing more positivity to be spread through celebrities using their power for good.