The Albums that Shaped Me.

1. Blink-182 “Enema of the State” is not my favourite album of Blink-182. In fact, my favourite enema-of-the-statewould be “Take Off your Pants and Jacket,” and has been since I discovered it.
This album features songs such as “Going Away to College”, “Rock Show” and “Adam’s Song” which are some of the major hits Blink 182 have to this day. Whilst I’m a hardcore Blink fan now, 1999’s “Enema of the State” was what introduced me to the band that would follow me through life. A band that wouldn’t leave my side and who will forever have my support. I would have been about four or five years old for the release of this album, but when I actually started to explore my own music tastes, this was the band that showed me the pop-punk genre. I know it seems a little clichéd but this album felt like the start of my own individuality – and Blink-182 would become the band that I relied heavily on when I was unsure of myself. They would become the pick me up I would rely on when school got too annoying, when I wanted to drown out the sounds of people around me and whenever I wanted to be just plain silly. Blink-182 is also the reason I’ve become so close to some of the most important people in my life, and the reason why I have so many memories of running back into clubs with my friends to shout the words of “Always” on my knees as if I’m proposing to them. It’s hard not to love Blink-182.

2. Pink Floyd “The Wall” is what my mother would probably say her favourite band is. Or at least one of them. Literally from the moment I started creating any memories I can the-wallremember this band, just as much as I can remember The Beatles “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.” Nowadays, I don’t listen to them all that much. I think the last time I actually listened to a full album was when my boyfriend and I properly set up the vinyl player in
our room and I decided to see what an old Pink Floyd album would sound like. But the band has now turned into a comfort blanket. They’re a band that will be featured in playlists that I listen to when I’m feeling down, because it’s like remembering my family together playing “name the song games” and certain songs just reminds me of the stories my mam would tell me, even when I’ve heard them a thousand times before. It reminds me of the times my mother would quote the words “if you don’t eat your meat you cant have any pudding, how can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?!” Most of all, it’s special to me because it’s special to her. It’s hard to explain, but this album will be featured in every music collection I own, just for the sheer comfort and memories of it all.

3. My Chemical Romance “I brought you my bullets, you brought me your love” is the first album I purchased with my own money. Granted, I only knew the name when I found this in store because all I had heard before this was a seli_brought_you_my_bullets_you_brought_me_your_love_coverect few songs from the “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” album. Which, is of course, an album that should be in the hearts of every pop-punk fan. In all honesty, I hated this album when I first listened to it on the stereo I had gotten for Christmas. I didn’t know it, I couldn’t get into it and, at the time, it just sounded gross on full blast. I think after a couple of weeks I actually traded it with my brothers Fightstar’s “Grand Unification,” album because at least I could sing along to it. It took me a few years to actually listen to Bullets again, but this time, it was amazing. Years upon years was now spent listening to sometimes overproduced tracks that would sound entirely different live. But the pure rawness, the brilliance and the emotion of this album stuck out to me on the second listen. Before this, I was only into the pop-punk scene of sing alongs and catchy guitar riffs, but after this, I started listening to everything. I started listening to music instead of just catchy chorus’s. (Sorry Blink, you’re still my favourite band, but you don’t take much brains!) Only ever really hearing the sounds of metal emitting from my brothers cave, Bullets made me want to explore into heavier music. It brought me to bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, From First To Last and (with help from my brother) The Used. “The Black Parade” album did give MCR a bad reputation for awhile, with the movement and the cult attire, but there’s been many of people I have borrowed Bullets to that’s decided they’re not such a bad band after all.

4.Pink “Mizzunderstood.” In an industry dominated mostly by male vocalists, Pink has never failed to show off her talents and her personality. She’s an influence to many, many female artists in the industry today. Most of all, an influence of mine. This album was a fairly early Christmas present, and whilst I say Blink’s “Enema of the State” started out my music expinkploration, Pink’s album was the reason I would sing at the top of my lungs. “Mizzunderstood” became the first album, along with my first stereo, that I was blast whenever I needed to vent. Whenever I needed five minutes of loud music to destress eight or nine year old me. Plus, the song “Just Like a Pill” gave me reason to say “bitch” as much as I wanted to without getting my butt smacked. My mam’s the one who bought it, so she couldn’t be angry at me. Of course, that would be the only time I was allowed to swear, so I’d make sure this album would come with me on car rides. In 2006, I went to see Pink live on her “I’m Not Dead” tour with my cousins girlfriend – now wife – and it was probably the most character shaping experience I’ve had. Pink’s fans ranged from a lot more than just angsty teenagers with issues at home and school. It was 2006’s version of the LGBT community. If I speak honestly, the love, the acceptance and the care I have from people comes from what Pink has spoken and sung about. Pink has forever made me want to be a better person, if not her…

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Cardiff girl and big adventures

I’ve always wanted to travel. It’s been a massive want since my independence. I’ve stared at images of foreign countries and their nature for years and dreamed of the day I would be seeing them with my own eyes. But I never really traveled my own country much either, so even when I’d so desperately want to get on a plane and head to wherever it would take me, it was daunting knowing I wouldn’t even know my way around Wales, let alone a foreign country.

Last year changed that. And music was the biggest reason for it. My first adventure started with Slam Dunk Midlands, and I traveled with friends a lot more confident than myself. So whilst I was nervous of getting lost in a place that seemed so far away from home, my nerves were put at ease knowing that the people around me could probably get us out of any sticky situations. It was an adventure in itself – getting to Birmingham, finding the venue, going around all the stages, thinking we could last the night at the afterparty and ultimately wandering the streets until our early morning bus. Practically falling asleep in McDonalds whilst getting stared out by old women was my lowest point, but nevertheless, it felt amazing that I was able to do that. I got to meet The King Blues frontman, Itch, too. It was the most surreal experience ever – I actually got to meet a hero of mine.

Then, not even a week later, I traveled to Germany for the Rock AM Ring festival. It was insane. Not only did I fly over, but I caught a bus and hoped for the best. Sure, I had people with me, but still. No one spoke a word of English, so we had to rely on trust. From Frankfurt airport and onto a random, completely desolate bus at 1a.m. we finally arrived in Koblenz, where the plan was to get a train. Obviously, after spending however long on the bus, (I was in and out of sleep,) trains were no longer running. So, into a taxi we went and just hoped he knew where we were meant to be going. We weren’t allowed to actually drive into the campsite so we needed to get out on the road and walk the rest of the way. So backpacks hoisted onto our shoulders, we made our descent in the pitch black. It was such a wonderful, nerve-wracking experience that it brought my love for adventures out even more.

This year, I get to indulge in my love for music and adventure even more. Starting with next week, actually. I’ll be seeing my teenage anthems played live by Taking Back Sunday in Manchester with Frank Iero and the Celebration as support. Then, in April, I’ll be once again heading to Bristol to see Real Friends, a band that has recently pulled on my heart strings. A few smaller gigs in between, such as tribute bands Green Haze, The Offspin and Paramore (or less) around Cardiff and then I’ll be heading to Austria for Nova Rock 2017.

Now, I’m not entirely sure if I’ve ever been vocal about my love for pop punk and metal on this blog before. But I’ll be seeing Green Day, System of a Down, Linkin Park, Rancid, Slayer, Good Charlotte, Pendulum and so so much more. The best part of it? Blink 182 are headlining. Blink one-eight-two. A band that’s been my favourite since I started getting listening and exploring my own musical tastes. A bonus is, a month later, they’ll be playing in Cardiff, where in the comfort of my own hometown, I can confidently be an emotional wreck and go mental to Feeling This live.

Side note, and a little soppy: none of this would be possible without my best friend and soul mate. A man that’s made all my dreams come true and makes my future far brighter than I thought it could be. (He gets up before the tickets go on sale while I’m busy snoozin’,) but with him and the friends that have previously adventured with me, I wouldn’t have this confidence and motivation to leave my comfort zone. I thank you all greatly!

With all these upcoming adventures and concerts I’ll be attending, I’ll be trying to keep this blog up-to-date with reviews, experiences and just all the good times I can possibly gather into one gallery. I hope you’ll share in these adventures with me~

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