Frank Turner: UEA LCR, Norwich

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by clarkykestrel

Firstly, for the friends of mine that follow this blog and my twitter, this is not a proper blog post. Consider it an extended blog post to save you reading through numerous twitter posts.

Secondly, if you are one of those “unknown people” that have found your way here, I am not not a gig reviewer, nor do I passes the knowledge or lingo to be able to write one effectively.

This is a short rambling post, written whilst slightly inebriated, about the amazing Frank Turner gig I have just been to see down on my university campus.

“Beacause there is no such thing as rock stars,
there are just people that play music.
and some of them are just like us,
and some of them are dicks”
– lyrics of Try This At Home by Frank Turner

Frank Turner is definitely not one of these dicks…

For a bit of order, I’ll try and start off with the support acts (both of which have been commented on, more thoroughly then I will here on my Twitter), they were both extremely good. Crazy Arm, who were unheard of to me before to night, started off great and went from strength to strength. Chuck Ragan, the second support, was someone I had heard a lot about, yet had not heard his actual music, was incredible also, yet a see Crazy Arm as more in my genre of appeal then him.

Now this rambling post comes to the crescendo, Frank Turner. Simply amazing, I mean really I can’t find intellectual words to describe his time on stage. Just WOW. Despite the UEA LCR being a mid-sized venue, and the fact I was pretty far back, it seemed such an intimate gig, and that Frank Turner was playing to each individual crowd member on a face-to-face level. This was especially noticeable during “Dan’s Song”, where a random member of the audience was asked to come up on stage and perform the harmonica solo, which I must say, went down both well with the audience and Frank himself.

Unfortunately for me, I spent much of the gig either by myself or with people that did not know Frank Turner’s songs beyond his big hitters, yet the way  he drew everyone in was exhilarating, to the extent that even a Frank turner sceptic I ran into was sold by the end of the gig, There  was such a power, and almost hive-mind feeling, of the crowd that made this phenomenal.

The amazing quality I find in Frank Turner, is the lyrical quality of his songs. A proportion of which are about his views on being a musician that does not want to be idolised, which all though I can’t reciprocate with I immensely respect, his views on the world and politics, which fortunately I seem to have a lot of common ground with him on, and songs about his friends, theses are the songs that made me feel great at this gig. Sure, a lot of the bands I am into in a big way are politically based and this is why are appreciate his politically-minded songs a lot, but the best memories of this gig come from the songs that Frank Turner sings about his friends. Sure, they aren’t my friends he is singing so passionately about, but each one of them makes me think of times with people I know,  or knew, and this gives me a sense of warmth that other favourite musicians of mine could not.

Well I won’t ramble on through this slightly drunken, poorly constructed blog post, which has been my first in over 6 months I believe, so I’ll draw it to a close with simply that I had an amazing time. Well worth the 2 day, solitary wait and having no-one to go with.

Half tempted to head up to the Roundhouse, Camden in 2 days to try and see him again. Hell of a way to bring my 2nd semester to an end.

Reading Festival 2009

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2009 by clarkykestrel

Only just realized that I still haven’t put this post up, it’s not good that I am actually able to think of posts to write I keep forgetting to actually put them up. Anyway…

When the weekend began there was a much more placid atmosphere then the year before, without as many random encounters and socialization with complete strangers. Although this didn’t really change the weekend certainly picked up and became a lot more entertaining. The weekend wasn’t without its dramas either but I’m not going to go into that here.

Now for the life source of Reading Festival, the music. There wasn’t a hard-hitting Main Stage like that of 2008, which featured Rage Against The Machine, Metallica, Queens of the Stone Age and The Killers (if they’re your thing), in fact it was a weedy disappointment in comparison with the 3 headliners being Kings Of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead. My reaction, along with many others when these headliners were announced was where is the heavy Sunday that Reading is renowned for? Fortunately the smaller stages redeemed Reading this year. Bands such as Alexisonfire, Billy Talent, Atreyu, Rise Against, AFI, Gallows and Lostprophets exerted a much greater draw on me than any of the main stage headliners and these were bolstered by mid-lineup appearances by Funeral For A Friend and Enter Shikari.

I wasn’t really sure how Enter Shikari would fair on the Main Stage of Reading when up to now I have only seen them in small, dark venues but I am pleased to say that their main stage appearance had all the energy of their more secluded shows, as did their new material (this being the first time I have seen them live since the release of Common Dreads). The BBC’s coverage of Enter Shikari, along with Rou Reynolds beaming throughout, can be seen here. Funeral For A Friend are always amazing when I see them live and this time was no exception. It was a show like had never experienced before, being in a mosh pit to Juneau whilst it pours down with torrential rain is an amazing experience. Even when the rain caused a complete power failure on stage the amazement didn’t stop, with the crowd partaking in chants of “You’re no singing anymore” and a rendition of We Will Rock You lead by the drummer of FFAF. This performance being incredible despite technical difficulties, made this Kings Of Leon outburst along with there complaints about the sound quality all the more pathetic.

Very glad I went this year and bring on Reading Festival 2010!

The culmination of 3 years of college and a long summer of waiting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 22, 2009 by clarkykestrel

Thought I put this post up on Thursday but I realize that is not correct, so use your imaginations and treat this as if you were reading it on the 20th of August:

First of all I would like to start off by saying that my last post was an angry rant that was written on the spare of the moment when I was in a particularly bad mood and since calming down I have considered deleting it numerous times. But over the last couple of days a few people have mentioned it so I decided to keep it and just write a follow up post that is written under completely opposing emotions.

So the day that I have been waiting for all summer is finally here; A level results day. Woke up this morning just before 7 to look to see my exam results on the Strode’s website, expecting that this would get updated before the UCAS website but found nothing but a blank page when I got there. So while I’m waiting for the Strode’s website to get updated I thought I would log onto UCAS just to check where I am greeted by the following message:

Picture 1
Pure joy occurred following this, despite my mum being incredibly patronizing, and I had a wide smile over my face. At this point I was really wondering what grades I must have got in my exams, after all UEA wanted an A in Computing and a B in Environmental Science to let me on the course. So there I was waiting for the Strode’s website to get updated so I could see the grades which I thought must have exceeded my expectations.

Well I was wrong, I did worse then I had predicted. My grade breakdown is as follows:

Computing A2 – B
Environmental Science A2 – D
Government & Politics AS– C
Java – Pass

This is combined with the A levels I already have from previous years:

Graphics with Material Technology A2 – C
Business Studies A2 – D
2D Art AS – E

So it seems despite falling short of my target grades by more then the odd grade, I have still been allotted a place at my first choice University. For a few minutes, (mostly thanks to my mum’s input) I panicked and thought that UCAS must have got it all wrong and that I hadn’t actually got into UEA but it has actually happened.

So now I have a month until I start at UEA which will most likely fly by, partly due to the fact that I’m going to be wishing Bon Voyage to a few of my good friends over the next couple of weeks, and also that I am going to be at Reading Festival next week. If there was enough goings on there (which I’m sure there will be) and that it doesn’t take me to many days to recover, I’ll do a blog post about it.

The stress of University and my Mother

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 9, 2009 by clarkykestrel

Been struggling for things to write for a while, I even wrote out a couple of posts just to delete them, as they were utter rubbish. But now I’m hoping to call upon the power of my misery that the beginnings of this blog were based upon.

Well so far this summer has been rather dull with not much to speak off occurring, just been waiting for the 20th of August; this date is the day that the A level results are released. To say I’m anxious about them would be an understatement. I‘m hoping for an A in Computing and a B in Environmental Science to get into my desired university, University of East Anglia, or UEA for short. A year ago to get an A and a B seemed impossible but after a third year stranded at Strode’s College without many friends around for company I have really pulled my finger out and it might just be obtainable, MIGHT.

I really want to get in to UEA, although I suppose that isn’t much of a shock as everyone wants to get into there first choice university, but from the first time I visited UEA I fell in love with it and realized this was where I wanted to study. My desire to get into UEA is only strengthened by the voice in my head telling me I have made a terrible mistake in picking my second choice university, Staffordshire. I picked it for the fact that it was the only course to offer me a lower offer to get in but the closer it gets till the start of the term the more I find out about it that turns me off going there.

UEA on the other hand just grows in appeal to me with its interesting and strangely beautiful campus, its amazing social & music scene and its perfect course, Computer Science with Imaging and Multi-media, which is computer science mixed with aspects of video editing.

So it’s with this longing to get in to UEA so badly that the fear of not getting in has come along, and I know there is no point in worrying about it atm as there is nothing I can do but the 20th of August is taking so long to get here I can’t help but have it bother me.

I’ve been longing to go to university for so long now in no small part for the fact that it would allow me to move out and away from my mother. For years she treated me like shit putting the few boyfriends she’s managed to get before me, shutting me in my room when they came over up until I was 15, last time she actually had a boyfriend, made me lie to my granddad shortly before his death which I still feel guilt for, bullied my Nan before she went senile and when ever I defended my Nan I just ended up getting the wrath of my Mum. As my now only living family member you think we would have some special bond but alas. She seems to think she’s entitled to talk to me as rudely and condescending as she likes but if I even raise my voice talking to her I’m made to feel like an awful son.

This is all coming off the back of an argument with her that started in the most stupid way: I’m in my room with the radio on. She says something through the door to me, which later turned out to be “Have you closed the window downstairs yet?”. I couldn’t hear her so I turned off the radio and opened the door where this exchange takes place:

Mum: (in my face) “I didn’t say come to the door, just answer the question.”
Me: “I didn’t hear the question.”
Mum: “Did. You. Close. The. Window? I didn’t say you needed to come to the door.”
Me: (Admittedly in an annoyed tone) “Yes and I couldn’t hear you.”

Then from this some how it descends into an argument where she tells me I don’t spend enough time with her, despite the fact I came back from a stay in Birmingham with her just a few hours ago. Then as she often does in arguments goes on to tell me why I’m a bad son and how her friends children are so much better than me, at least she hasn’t gone on about how my friends are better children to their parents than I in a while.

So after this bizarre and pointless argument and much slamming of doors by her I decided to vent my rage through my blog like the good ol’ days. But I have been sitting here thinking that although I’m going to love uni so much for allowing me to move out to live my life, I’m still going to have to end up back here betweens terms when she will probably be as bad as ever, if not worse due to me being a “bad son” at university and not spending time with her. </rant>

Fallout 3: Point Lookout DLC – Review

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 23, 2009 by clarkykestrel

image

Fallout 3 is unrivalled in the quantity and depth of DLC its put out thus far, putting out new content every couple of months since launch. Sure Oblivion had a lot of DLC but most of these added just an extra building or even the shameful horse armour, all of Fallout 3’s DLC has offered large new environments and compelling stories and quests.

The latest batch of Fallout 3 DLC came out today under the name Point Lookout. It is set in a small stereotypical southern town in America just down the coast from Washington DC where the main game take place and is accessed by the player through travelling on a steamboat, and unlike with previous DLC the player can come and go from this area as they please. The area that awaits you a short ferry ride away appears much more dark and sinister the Capital Wastelands you may be accustomed to, with the environment swapped from dusty plains and scrap piles to sprawling swamps and grand mansions. In the previous DLC unique creatures for the Vault Dweller to be pitted against have been added and Point Lookout is no different having gone more your hillbilly-mutations, of which one can be seen in the picture below.

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Speaking of the enemies, one of the first things I noticed upon playing the DLC was that there appears to have been a steep incline in the difficulty of your characters foes, I often found myself having to reload numerous times to take down each individual enemy.

The quest arrangement of this DLC is different to that of the previous instalments and returns to the form of the original game with there being multiple quests that can run simultaneously as opposed to a central story quest. This allows the player more choice of what they do in the game then having waypoint after waypoint thrown at you.

The world of Point Lookout is of similar size to the previous DLC (read: small) but there is by far many more locations to find and loot. I have both positive and negative views of these locations. On the positive side the locations are incredibly atmospheric, and the constant fog and many voodoo totems scattered around make you feel like you are playing through a horror film rather than Fallout 3. However on the downer, a fair few of the locations are cave complexes that look like they are ripped straight out of Oblivion; can this really be a bad thing though? Oblivion was hugely successful after all.

New weapons and items can be added to the Vault Dweller’s arsenal as seen in previous DLC with at least 3 new core weapons added including the double-barrelled shotgun, the lever-arch rifle and for those that favour getting up close and personnel the axe and it’s rare to look in a container now and not find a Confederate hat. In addition to these, the so-called “legendary” weapon equivalents of these weapons have been added with me having found one already.

During my time playing this earlier there was a period where everything seemed to glitch up at once with a NPC becoming stuck within the body of a fallen enemy, doors opened but did not allow the character to pass through and also unable to open many containers, unfortunately this resulted in me having to load a previous save. Hopefully this will not be another glitch ridden DLC for Bethesda and just a one time occurrence.

If you have downloaded the previous Fallout 3 add-ons and enjoyed them you will not be disappointed with Point Lookout, if you have not previously downloaded any of the extra content for Fallout 3 don’t expect to get anything that will come close to rivalling the main game but if you have played the main quests to death and are looking to extend your time in the Fallout universe the DLC is a good way to do that although I would have to recommend that you go for the Broken Steel DLC which raises the level cap as well as adding fresh content to the game.

My name in URL

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 19, 2009 by clarkykestrel

Once again it’s been a while since I posted anything on here, I wouldn’t blame a lot of you for dropping me from your feed readers by now. I’m still not really sure what I’m going to write about on this blog, for that matter I’m not sure what I am going to write about in this post, let’s find out…

Right, well, I’m currently doing my exams at college, had 2 today in fact, just the 1 more left than I am free for the summer. I always used to find it stupid when people said they were free at the end of exams, it’s not really trapping you anyway, but now I have changed my opinion. Over the last few weeks I have felt I haven’t been able to undertake any personnel projects as I have to be preparing for my exams and this year with the ending of the examination period it will signal the end of my third and final year at Strodes which has had an oppressing and depressing affect over me.

The astute among you will notice from the URL that I am now have my own domain. This is thanks to Josh who bought me it for my birthday. Well, when I say bought me it for my birthday, he intended to, it actually worked out that he kept a tally in his head of the amount of money for drinks and cinema tickets he has subbed me until the amount was enough to make me do it myself. We reached that magic figure earlier this week. So many thanks to Josh for the domain, the help setting it up and no doubt the future help he will give me.

The writing of this post has flowed quite well considering I had no idea what I was going to talk about when I started it. On a slightly off-topic note – actually there is no topic so I guess it isn’t off-topic – I had forgotten how much I like the band Say Anything, I haven’t really listened to them in a long time because they were a band I associated with an ex-girlfriend, (vagueness prevents tag cloud growth) but I now realise this was retarded I like this band way more then I ever liked her. I realise they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but they are an amazing live band (rank among the best I have seen) and I less-than-3-them. They make a nice, more mellow, change from the majority of the music I listen.

Right well I better depart now as I’m heading down the George shortly and haven’t started getting ready. I’d like to say I will post again soon but I have said that a few times without making good on my word so I’ll just leave it with farewell. 🙂

P.S. I know that title is a load of wank but I couldn’t think of one and it’s the only thing I could think of with any relevance to the post content.

Twitter troubles

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 16, 2009 by clarkykestrel

Wow, 2 posts in as many days! Not really sure why I am doing another post, I just have the blogging bug atm. You could never tell I am meant to be doing coursework could you. Procrastination FTW! Which reminds me of a quote I heard once;

“Procrastination is like masturbation, feels great when you are doing it but in the end you have just fucked yourself.” – Unknown

Sods law has struck again, after blogging about the fact I have Twitter yesterday I have no been troubled with issues today on it. It’s deleting my posts and now my picture is not displaying. I have filed an error report with Twitter support and am yet to hear back, however I thought the Twitter support page had an interesting concept, which seemed vaguely blog worthy with my blogging urge atm.

Twitter Support

After stating your problem you are asked to fill out a text box titled “I feel:”. I think this is quite a nice feature and makes Twitter seem more like they care about your experience using their service.

This got me wondering though if your problem gets preferential treatment based upon what you put in this box. If you put “Extremely annoyed” are you more likely to have your problem fixed sooner then someone who puts “confused” and can you use kiss arse techniques to get to the top of the pile by saying things such as “Respectful of the work Twitter support are doing on my behalf” or maybe the folks at Twitter support are more like me and appreciate some humour; I feel “like a rabbit on crack, wielding a mechanised whisk, riding a cat into the battle scene out of 300, the one with the elephants, probably with a battle cry something along the lines of “ARAHRAH I HAS TEH WHISK!”” – Thanks Chris.

So anyway I’ll go back to doing my CPT6 project and waiting for my Twitter to be fixed. There’s still 1 whole day left until the project deadline so you may get another post out of me yet, we’ll see.