Lifestyle · Manchester · Music

Finishing First Year of University 2.0

Okay so I might not have exactly passed yet – I received 34% on an exam I took before summer so that’s getting sorted in a couple months – but my first year of university is almost (not officially) over!

It has been a weird old year in Manchester and spellbindingly diverse in comparison to last year.  Innocent me taking on the world in the heart of Manchester with some acquaintances that would come to me when they fancied a night out (and vice versa) or wanted to lend some money (not so vice versa). Surprisingly, none of these people cast a shadow over my life anymore.

I also believed I was embarking on an odyssey where student life was concerned – safe to say I dropped out of my Music Journalism degree at the British and Irish Institute of Modern Music as soon as I realised this was a no-go area.  Best decision of my life to change courses to attend The University of Salford? I reckon so.

The 2016/17 academic year has firstly made me question the girl I was becoming.  I realised at The Warehouse Project in October 2016 that I needed to quit the life I had led for the past year.  Did I really want to go stand in a sweaty room of eighteen-year-olds, bouncing around to the ridiculously horrendous David Rodigan, pretending I was having a good time?  Did I really want to be downing double vodka oranges every other night in G-A-Y and stumbling home at 6 am? It just wasn’t me anymore and that was a really scary realisation.  I was the party girl and all of a sudden POOF.  Vanished. Weird, huh?

This idea that I was evolving was totally cemented in when I visited my best friend Kate Shepherd at York St. John’s University, and we attended at University of York student night at Fibbers… Never, ever again am I stepping foot in Fibbers. Give me a chilled night in Manchester’s Jimmy’s or Cane and Grain any day of the week. EVEN Soup Kitchen on a Saturday night!

I have sadly come to terms that I just do not like the partying student lifestyle anymore.  That might make me beige by your book but for me, it is probably my greatest epiphany of this academic year.

So once I stopped wishing DJ EZ was at South Nightclub every weekend I did not really replace this musical desire with anything.  The Libertines said “If  you’ve lost your faith in love and music oh the end won’t be long”.  And honestly music was lost on me.  I did not care.  I did not see a live band from November-May and I genuinely just was not interested.  I had given up hopes of writing about music and I was seriously at a loss.  What changed?  I decided I needed a hobby other than the gym, knew I was good at writing so started again.  Seriously as simple as that… I just did not want to run on a treadmill anymore.

In December I started writing for Gigslutz.co.uk again after taking a year hiatus to experiment with other things.  IE. Not do anything and was wasting away in my bedroom.  I gained the position of News Assistant and was then sent to Liverpool Sound City and Isle Of Wight Festival to become a roving festival reporter for the weekend.  As soon as I stepped through the gates of Sound City I knew this was what I was missing.  The hunger for live music, to discover the next-big-thing, to interview none other than Metronomy frontman, Joseph Mount – this is the gal I was.  I just lost her for a couple years.  Shout out to the Gigslutz team for allowing me back into your world so kindly – Mari Lane, Steve Aston, Becky Rogers and Melissa Svenson (who does a pretty cool podcast which can be listened to here https://soundcloud.com/modernstrife), you absolute angels.

So I rediscovered my passion in life, I ditched the nights out blah blah that is all well and dandy Ella but what did you achieve this year? Power over my own life.  I learnt to say “no” when I did not want a beer (I went to Funkademia at Mint Lounge and was buying rounds of lemonade and water for me and one of my favourite chefs at work AND was home by 2 am, sober.  It was a proud moment.)  I learnt to say “fuck it” when an opportunity I was desperate for popped up.   I learnt that my life was mine and the people that filled it was the people of my choice.  I learnt that I am twenty years old – I have plenty of time in my life to mess up one night and spend the next day lying in bed eating cold pizza from the night before, but right now, at twenty, all I want to do is make an impact in the music industry.

This year at university has taught me to be determined and I will get there, eventually.  I now know not to give up. Cliche? Cheesy?  Embarrassed?  All three, yes probably.

I have also managed to take my blog a hell of a lot more seriously this year.  I am not posting as much as I would like (hello life, nice to see you throwing things at me as always) but it has taken a serious turn in the upward direction. We celebrated our third Cigarette Sounds birthday in April of this year and we are definitely preparing for the milestone of the fourth.  There is no slowing down with this baby, we are speeding up in every single way possible.  Hopefully, soon I shall be able to settle down into a nice lil’ routine of blogging a few times a week, rather than a couple times a month… Here is to hoping. I do need  graphic designer to make Cigarette Sounds a bit more personal so if you are free, give me a holler.

Speaking of blogs, one of my gal pals from work, who also happens to be a sick manager too (Em definitely paid me to say that) Emily Brooks, started a blog this year after she was toying with the idea for so long.  It is a good little start-up, you should check it out at small-thoughts.com

Kate’s sister, Laura Shepherd, also started a blog earlier this year called My Northern Rose Blog which I heavily enjoy reading. It is extremely aesthetically pleasing and very satisfying, I lav it a lot, check it out here – www.mynorthernroseblog.com.

 

I do of course realise that I haven’t ACTUALLY talked about university throughout this entire piece and this is because honestly, this year is first year this year is the year you make mistakes and learn basics and NEXT year is the academic year which counts.  So eyes peeled for when I start to take education seriously… 

Shout out to all the girls in the industry who are killing it.  This time next year, I hope to be as close to my goals as you are.

ES X

Music

Repetitive Rhythms: Songs of the Week (19-25 June 2017)

Blackwaters – Down

The Luka State – 30 Minute Break
* This song is actually from 2014 (late to The Luka State-party) but since I discovered them at Isle Of Wight Festival 2017 this track has been on R E P E A T

The Horrors – Machine

Taylor Swift – Better Than Revenge

*Taylor Swift putting her entire discography back on Spotify is probably my worst/best nightmare, ever.  Now, go in the corner and think about what you did to me, Spotify.

Liam Gallagher – Wall of Glass

Touts – Political People

*Since I went to Liverpool Sound City I have been o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d with these three lads.  Phil Taggert’s one-to-watch, Touts have got it seriously going on.  If you’re Manchester-based, they’re performing at Gorilla with Proletariat on July 7. Get on this tickets now.

BETSY – Little White Lies

*A concoction of Clare Maguire and Cher hurt nobody, did it?  BETSY still remains one of my favourite rising females in the pop world, and ‘Little White Lies’ seriously does not disappoint.

The Pale White – Turn It Around
* Any band with a decent setup, raucous tunes AND from my hometown of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne gets a green tick against them where I’m concerned. I am utterly in awe of these lads, and you should be too.

Wolf Alice – Yuk Foo

RAY BLK – Doing Me
*Girl making me feel good for eating bagels in lounge pants and binge-watching past Smiths concerts instead of going out in the world and specialising in making friends… That is what I tell myself anyways

Manchester · Music

Live: Liam Gallagher @ The O2 Ritz, Manchester 2017

“This is another new one, sorry about that” Liam Gallagher, Ex-Beady Eye frontman and Ex-Oasis star sniggers to the crowd of the O2 Ritz in Manchester.  He shrugs his shoulders in his Pretty Green mac, wipes the sweat from his forehead and launches into a solo song of his.  The crowd do not appreciate Gallagher’s new music as much as the old, but if you bought a ticket to hear ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Champagne Supernova’ then you should’ve done yourself a favour and quit while you were ahead.  He isn’t resurrecting Oasis; he’s paving the way on his own.

Gallagher’s first solo-outing showcased his voice in its prime.  Gone is the wheezing, the rasping and general flat tone.  Replacing poor is flawless.  Chugging water on stage, you can see the concentration spread across Gallagher’s face and hear the rejuvenated voice echoing from his lungs.  Heavy, rich and blossoming – this is the second coming, as The Stone Roses said.

Opening with Oasis classics ‘Rock N Roll Star’ followed by ‘Morning Glory’, Gallagher gently slides into his comfort zone, before blasting out his first ever solo single – ‘Wall Of Glass’. “I don’t mean to be unkind/but I’ll see what’s in your mind” Gallagher sings perfectly in tune.  With no fault, LG looks at ease on stage as he peers out into the crowd.

Whoops, and hollers followed by nodding heads and raised arms greet ‘Wall Of Glass’.  Ties are cut from both of Gallagher’s former bands as the song nears its death-defying end and we begin to doubt ourselves and our idea of Oasis.  Because really, hasn’t Liam Gallagher always been a solo artist in his own right?  He’s always been the star of the show; we just haven’t needed to notice until now.

His new songs pack punches and show that he’s working with a top production and songwriting teams.  It doesn’t matter that LG might not be writing the tunes, his direction, his voice and his stage presence is what matter.

Ending on a high, Gallagher brings out Bonehead from the guestlist balcony area to play the guitar for him like the old days.  The lights go dim and the crowd hound for more.  Gallagher knows how to play the crowd, feed them what they want and then leave them hanging on for more.  He swaggers back on stage with pure courage and commitment before launching into an acoustic version of ‘Live Forever’.  Acoustic because, apart from a shaker, the only sound resonating from the stage is Gallagher’s voice.  It is simply breathtaking: a moving spectacle.

Although a girl shouts “play ‘Wonderwall’”, but honestly, we don’t want him to.  As a collective crowd, we’ve realised that Liam Gallagher will always be Oasis and will always play Oasis – but he’s Liam Gallagher, solo artist.  Tonight has cemented the future.

Ella Scott
@ellalascott

Music

Liverpool Sound City 2017

In brutal honesty, before now, there has not been anything about a festival that isn’t set in a field that would appeal to me.  Why would I want to sit and eat cheesy chips and gravy on hard gravel?  Why would I want to be able to walk from a centre of town to a festival in ten minutes flat? Isn’t that the point of a live music celebration – emerging yourself into the unknown whirlwind and trap yourself in a bubble of euphoria, nowhere near civilisation? Think again, Liverpool Sound City is going to rejuvenate and regenerate your festival ideas.

What I’ve learnt from my time at Sound City is that you don’t need the grass, you don’t need the ‘traditional festival atmosphere’ (IE. The mud dripping from your face or the guy next to your tent having a wee on your said tent… Fun, right?) and you especially don’t need something as dull as a mainstream chart-topper headlining the main stage (Indie 2012 will do instead).  Give me culture. Give me something that is going to go down in the history of my mind.  Sound City, you’re seriously my saving grace.

Here are my Top 5 attributes from this year’s edition of the fest:

 

5.  T H E   T O I L E T S   H A D   T O I L E T   R O L L 

This one isn’t a joke and yeah, you did read it right – every time I had to nip to the loo (this was quite often as I was downing pints of Peroni as if it were apple juice) every toilet would be immaculate and topped up with three toilet rolls. THREE. I’m used to the portable toilets of T in The Park and seriously if you know, then you know.  In my book, it’s all part and parcel of the festival experience, but it was lush for once to not worry about getting poo smeared up my leg. Yummy.

 

4.  W A L K   T H I S   W A Y

Sounds weird doesn’t it, that being able to walk from one side of a festival in under 3 minutes has made it on my best attributes of Sound City.  But, there’s nothing worse than having to speedily hurry through a swarm of bodies, pelting themselves at you, while you attempt to fish out your favourite band in the smallest tent on site.  Inevitably, by travelling you’ve essentially missed the crucial song you wanted to hear: ultimate fail.  Give up now.

This year’s Sound City site was so compact however, that you could casually stroll from Tim Peaks’ Diner over to the main stage and loop around to the Pirate Stage in essentially five minutes flat.  There are of course serious cons to a small site though, The Golden Age TV’s set on The Cavern Club stage was totally washed out due to Generation taking over The Baltic tent, but it also has some serious time-saving-band-seeing perks, too.

3.  S T U D E N T S   T A K E   O V E R   T H E   C A V E R N   C L U B   S T A G E

Sound City (for the most part) celebrates new and diverse music coming from Liverpool and surrounding areas.  The Cavern Club stage at this year’s event had some of the freshest / youngest bands and artists who are studying towards a degree at Edge Hill University, Leeds College of Music and the British Institution of Modern Music (BIMM).  The latter, BIMM is where I studied towards a Music Journalism degree, last year.  My time at BIMM will always hold sickly sweet memories for me and I will always champion anybody who has risen from the ashes and nabbed their place in the limelight.

One of the BIMM bands I managed to catch this weekend were Crimsons.  Almost Nick Cave-esq where their dark sound is concerned and a look that was rivalled by no other – Crimsons are simply sublime and it’s refreshing that something so poignant has come from BIMM.

This should’ve just been a point dedicated to Crimsons really… Next time.

2.  P E R S E V E R A N C E   O F   S O U N D   C I T I Z E N S

Let’s not lie; on the Saturday of Liverpool Sound City 2017, the weather was atrocious.   The sky was spitting during The Kills, eventually escalating into torrential rain throughout the entirety of Metronomy’s headline set.  Fickle Friends’ performance was shrouded by a cloak of swarming gravel/sand and you couldn’t squeeze any more people into Peaches’ tent due of the brewing stormy night ahead… Also, Peaches is Peaches, so it was never going to be empty, was it?

However, it’s seriously refreshing that even at an inner-city festival, where you can hop on a free shuttle bus to take you back to your cosy hotel room, that the punters of Sound City persevered and would not let a lil’ bit of chilly rain ruin their night.  Granted, Metronomy’s crowd was partly sparse but those hundreds of people who danced in the moonlight – good on ya’, you did us all proud!

1.  M U S I C   M A K E S   T H E   P E O P L E   C O M E   T O G E T H E R

Sound City is a music festival.  There isn’t much alternative, like at Isle Of Wight of Latitude festivals, where you can wander down to a river and see a ballet, or hop into a world of queer comedy.  Sound City is purely for the music and the people of the North West who love music.  This is what makes the festival so good.  Across the weekend, some breathtaking bands played: both archaic and fresh-faced artists took to the stage to produce phenomenal performances.

Below, I’ve compiled some of the top bands I have seen personally over the weekend so you can dive into some golden oldies and maybe discover your new favourite band like I have during the span of Sound City.

 

So, that was my roundup of the 2017 edition of Liverpool Sound City.  Did you go yourself?  If so, what did you think of it?  And if you didn’t, you better be getting a ticket for next year’s events!

Ella Scott
@ellalascott

 

Music

Liverpool Sound City 2017: First Wave of Acts Preview

sound-city-2
Artists headlining and performing at the tenth anniversary of Liverpool Sound City have been announced, including big names such as: Slaves, Peaches, White Lies and The Human League.

Taking place from Thursday 25 – Sunday 28 May at Liverpool Waters, Clarence Dock, the tenth Sound City birthday party is expected to be bigger, better and sell-out quicker than ever before. Headliners of the 2017 event include: The Human League (Thursday), John Cale Presents The Velvet Underground & Nico (Friday), Metronomy (Saturday) and The Kooks (Sunday).

sound-city-1

Famous for boasting breakthrough acts and big names, the inner-city festival – where the likes of: Catfish & The Bottlemen, Belle & Sebastian and the Flaming Lips have played –  is only twenty minutes from Liverpool centre, making it both easy to get to and affordable to attend, with Weekend tickets coming in at £65.

Acts announced for Liverpool Sound City 2017 so far:

 

Thursday 25 May:

The Sound City anniversary celebrations kick off on Thursday 25 May, with a special show from iconic Sheffield electronic new wave band, The Human League.  The legends will bring all their hits to Liverpool Waters, Clarence Dock, alongside some other famous faces including: Manchester’s A Certain Ratio and avant-garde pop-group Art Of Noise performing a reboot of their second LP In Visible Silence.

Tickets for The Human League with Special guests are currently available from £49.50 with a V.I.P Upgrade available. Click here for tickets.

 

 

Friday 26 May:

Proudly entertaining the only European performance of John Cale & Guests Present: The Velvet Underground & Nico, Sound City have scored a juicy headliner for their Friday night.  May 26 is set to be phenomenal and unforgettable, a serious treat for Sound City goers.  Additional tickets have just been released for the event due to massive demand however these have also sold out.  Keep your eyes peeled on Dice to see whether any available tickets suddenly spring up!

Tickets for John Cale & Guests Present: The Velvet Underground & Nico are currently not available for purchase.

 

 

 Saturday 27 May:

The first day of the main event, Sound City 2017, will be headlined by non-other than indie-electronic darlings, Metronomy.  Bringing their Summer 08’ album to the live stage, expect the unexpected as they headline the Saturday night in Liverpool.  Think colour, think excitement and think of the bazaar: It’s gonna feel so gooooood.

Alongside this gigantic driving force, are the likes of: The 1975’s tour partner, The Japanese House, the two-piece who need no introduction, Slaves, The Hunna and Peaches, who is already poised and prepared to ‘Fuck the pain away’. With doors from 12pm and the headline set curfew being at 11pm, you have a whole eleven hours of blaring music to immerse yourself in.

Tickets for the Saturday of Sound City are currently available from £35.   Click here for tickets.

 

 

Sunday 28 May

They are not saying it was your fault, although Sound City you seriously could not have done more: headlining the final night of celebrations is none other than the mighty Kooks.  With a cult-like following, and a discography spanning eleven years, the Brighton-born band is sure to close Sound City 2017 with a performance bubbling with wonder and nostalgia.  Is there a better way to spend your Sunday evening?  In bed with a hot water bottle, chocolates and The Office (US)?  Close: but definitely not close enough.

Elsewhere on the Sunday bill, you can find yourself grooving down on Clarence Dock to political heavyweights Cabbage, She Drew The Gun, the band with the bangers !!! (Chk, Chk, Chk), Miburn and post-punk revival three-piece, White Lies.

Tickets for the Sunday of Sound City are currently available for £35Click here for tickets.

 

 

Acts announced for Liverpool Sound City:

Thurday 25 May

A Certain Ratio | Art Of Noise’s In Visible Silence | Dudley, Jeczalik, Langan| The Human League

Friday 26 May

John Cale & Guests present: The Velvet Underground and Nico

Saturday 26 May

Be Charlotte | Carl Barat & the Jackals | Fickle Friends | The Hunna | The Japanese House | Judas | The Kills | The Magic Gang | Metronomy | Pale Waves | Peaches | Pumarosa | Slaves | Touts

Sunday 27 May

April | Cabbage |The Kooks |  Local Natives | Milburn | Paris Youth Foundation | She Drew The Gun | The Sherlocks | The Shimmer Band | White Lies | Zuzu | !!! (Chk, Chk, Chk)

Ella Scott

 

Manchester · Music

When In Manchester Festival 2017: First and Second Act Announcement

The festival we all knew the North West needed, When In Manchester (WIM), is returning in April 2017 for another groundbreaking all-dayer.  Set to showcase some of the best breakthrough bands and artists across a massive four venues, including The Tuts and The Strawberries, the 2017 edition of WIM is set to be the juiciest yet.

 

when-in-manchester-1
(Copyright When In Manchester Festival)

 

WIM’s first outing in 2016 took place at Northern Quarter gig venues, Gullivers and The Castle, while their second venture (dubbed the When In Manchester Festival Christmas Extravaganza) took over The Ruby Lounge in the December, and seen the likes of The Amazons and INHEAVEN gracing its stage.

This year’s WIM – taking place on April 15 2017 – however, is bigger and better than ever – adding two massive venues to the roster: the legendary Night & Day Café (Oldham Street) and the swankiest bar and gig venue on Newton Street, Jimmy’s  (ran by One Night Only frontman, George Craig) as well as already having some scorching acts already lined up for domination.

Announced in the first wave were: Yorkshire’s Rood, the recently-formed SAPHO and The Strawberries, a four-piece with a North England cult gripping at their heels.

Following these names, and the pronouncement that ‘Keen Bee’ tickets for WIM 2017 had completely sold out, the likes of Seprona, Gathering Of Strangers and the mighty, massive Tuts were also added to the line-up, with the announcement coming earlier this week.

Already boasting a spectacular bill (with many more artists expected to be announced) in four, colossal venues across Manchester’s Northern Quarter, there is seriously nowhere else for WIM to go but up.  Could these festivals go down in North West history?  And could we see the fest being as celebrated as Liverpool Sound City in the coming years?  Hold on to your hats, we’re set for a ride.

Limited tickets for When In Manchester Festival 2017 are available here for £12.

Ella Scott

Music · Manchester · Lifestyle

A Love Letter to Sankeys MCR

Dismay; disappointment; alarm; confusion; panic; apprehension;
Sadness; unease; distress; startle; scare; agitation; anxiety; fear;
Nightmare; trepidation; worry; astonishment; hurt.

sankeys

 

To Sankeys,

At eighteen I had, had consumed too much liquid substance and fell down your tremendously steep stairs, falling almost to my doom, into the arms of a florescent statue.  The guard grunted and made sure I was still alive and breathing, before I jumped back into the groove with the two boys who were my friends/guardian angels/carers for the evening.  I wouldn’t let one my lads let go of my hand, as walking through your venue felt like a trick of mirrors – but it felt like home.  These two males are no longer in my life, and, as of today Sankeys, neither are you.

Walking in, for the first time, was something made of dreams.  The iconic Ancoats venue, I’d researched and fell in love with online – upon moving to Manchester and gaining actual, real-life friends – was real.  The taxi fare from Chapel Street to you was extortionate, and I was met with cheers of “I’ll buy you a drink inside, Ella” as the Uber money rolled out of my account, but I didn’t care.  I didn’t mind that five vodka lemonades were never thrust into my hands.  I just wanted to be there.

Do you remember that time one of my best gal pals was refused entry because she was adamant her birthday was in 1975?  And do you remember when I had drank far too many Cosmopolitans on my twentieth birthday, and was refused a glass of water from the bar tender and, instead was given ice?  We instantly died in the smoking area, on a Covert event night, due to the unruly mass of bodies, and we couldn’t wait to leave…

I remember, on a Redlight night, when I went to the toilet, and I sat on the floor of the cubical with my best friend and I told her how important she was, and how special our friendship is to me.  We laughed to the high heavens about a list that had secretly been compiled, and we planned to come back the next night.  Two Sankeys club nights in a row? Banging.

The same night, I was grabbed by the same girl and thrust in the arms of a boy who I was completely infatuated with at the time.  This lust, brought about through a flat party, lasted for months in my head and came to an end when I was warned off by another, in Islington Mill.  But at Sankeys, on the dense, merky dancefloor, covered in glitter and bopping the night away with a Red Stripe, this meeting really, really mattered and will forever stick in my mind as an act of fate.

Sankeys, you blew my little eighteen-year-old mind of what the feeling of music could achieve inside my body, and enlightened me to the ideology that a night out could take me to the best place my mind has ever rested in.  You were the best thing to excite messy me; my worst habit but my best escape.

We’d had a long break between our penultimate and final stints and our last meeting was our worst.  My heart is bleeding and Manchester has lost another star-studded club to another flat development.  The Hacienda part 2… Where is part 3?  Islington Mill is on its last legs, Antwerp Mansion is never safe, and a string of bad publicity has reached Victoria Warehouse, but how can we compete with the drug-fuelled rage of Warehouse Project?  When does the ride stop?

Dear Sankeys, you were my beginning but you do not signal the end: you represent the fight for freedom and the idea that nothing is impossible. I’ll see you in Birmingham or Ibiza, soon. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Ella Scott x