Ten Non-K-Pop Artists I Love

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I pretty much only talk about my love for K-Pop on this blog so I wanted to talk about groups or soloists that I love that aren’t K-Pop. So here are some groups I love in no particular order.

My Chemical Romance

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I’ll start with My Chemical Romance because it’s no secret that I was a massive fan as a teenager. I think I’d still be a big fan now but you know they selfishly went and split up so it’s kind of difficult to continue being an active MCR fan. But they were definitely my favourite band for pretty much all of Secondary School; I was a loyal hoe to My Chemical Romance. I was lucky enough to be able to see them live twice – once in Manchester and then again in Birmingham.

I’ve already talked about all the MCR related stuff I did as a teenager so I won’t harp on about it again in this post because you can read about it in my ‘Fandoms That Low-Key Saved My Life’ post here but yeah, I still have a good jam to My Chemical Romance every so often because I still love them and if they ever did come back one day I would be at their next concert within minutes.

Favourite Song: I Never Told You What I Do For a Living

Anastacia

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Anyone I talk to about Anastacia is always like ‘oh yeah I loved her as a kid’ but honestly I still love her. I haven’t really listened to much of her recent stuff but I still blast her oldies from when I was younger and I just think she’s an amazing singer. I’m really sad that I haven’t seen her live, pretty much everyone from work recently went to a Lionel Richie concert in Shrewsbury and Anastacia was the supporting act and I was gutted to not have gone because everyone said she was amazing.

I would definitely love to see Anastacia live one day, my Mom’s seen her a couple of times and I’m infinitely jealous. I really want to see her!

Favourite Song: Paid My Dues

All Time Low

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All Time Low are the band I’ve seen live the most amount of times as I’m pretty sure I’ve now seen them seven times. Let me try and recall each time:

– Birmingham, O2 Academy
– Slam Dunk Festival, Wolverhampton
– London, O2 Arena
– London, O2 Academy Brixton
– Birmingham, O2 Academy (again)
– Birmingham, Genting Arena (with You Me At Six)
– Birmingham, Genting Arena (meant to be with Pierce the Veil but they couldn’t come)

To be honest there may be more times but I can’t remember. I’ve also managed to meet them twice – the first time was at a signing in Birmingham that lasted about ten seconds and I barely said one word to them because I was so nervous and it went so quickly. The second time was in London because Penina was a member of the Hustler’s club and I got to go in as her carer. This was better because we all got a selfie with each member – my photos didn’t turn out as good as I could’ve hoped… I also dropped my phone when handing it to Jack Barakat and he went “Don’t tell anyone I screamed like a girl” and I was like “… What?” like a complete moron.

All Time Low are one of those bands that I always buy a ticket for and say ‘this will be me last All Time Low concert’ whilst knowing that it won’t be. I know for a fact the next time they come to Birmingham I will be there in a heartbeat and have an amazing time. They’re such a fun band to see live, the first time I saw them was probably one of my favourite concerts ever. I even got given the day off school by my head teacher so I could go and queue all day. So yeah, I love All Time Low.

Favourite Song: Remembering Sunday

BabyMetal

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I have talked about BabyMetal on this blog because I wrote a post of my top ten favourite songs and I mentioned their concert was one of my favourites I’ve been to. As mentioned before this group were recommended to me a couple of times by my friend Cheyenne but I always insisted I wasn’t going to listen to a group called BabyMetal but then Kerrang posted one of their songs, I gave it a listen and suddenly really liked them. Sorry Cheyenne!

I’m really happy I got to see BabyMetal too. It was such a fun concert and BabyMetal are so energetic and are generally amazing performers. Definitely one of my favourite concerts I’ve been to. They’re coming back again in July I believe but performing on a Tuesday which is a bit of a shit day to perform. I’m also not sure it would be the same since Yui’s left the group and they’re being a bit vague about this whole ‘seven new members’ thing so maybe it’s just as well.

Favourite Song: The One

The Used

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I’ve seen The Used twice, the first time was when they supported Evanescence which really seemed an odd support act for Evanescence but there you go. Then I got to see them again at their own show in the O2 Academy. That was amazing because Bert kept calling out my friend Jess for not knowing the lyrics to certain songs – she knew some but was more of a casual fan who came because I really wanted to go.

I’ve loved The Used for a few years and I recently went through all their songs on spotify and just fell in love with them again.

My favourite album is definitely ‘Lies for the Liars’ there isn’t a single song on there that I don’t love and it’s just such a perfect album. If you listen to any of their albums I definitely recommend that one.

Favourite Song: Empty With You

The Pretty Reckless

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I’ve only seen The Pretty Reckless twice but they were good both times! The first time was when they supported Fall Out Boy and the second time was their own show on the ‘Going to Hell’ tour, it was perfection. Except for the ninety year drum solo during ‘It’s a Fucked up World’ like honestly I thought it would never end. But other than that it was a banging concert, one of the few I’ve been to where I knew all the songs that were played. Also, have you seen Taylor Momsen? The woman is absolute goals. Also their ‘Going to Hell’ album is another one that’s just absolute perfection, every song is amazing and honestly they’re just such a good band. I’d love to see them live again soon.

Favourite Song: Sweet Things

Lindsey Stirling

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I can’t remember when or how I discovered Lindsey Stirling but I love her. Lindsey’s a violin player but not in a classical sense, I’m not really sure how to describe her. I had a ticket to her show a while ago but unfortunately couldn’t go because I didn’t have enough holiday at work or enough money so I had to sell my ticket. I’d have loved to have seen her when she toured with Evanescence but they didn’t come to Birmingham and I couldn’t afford to go to London.

Either way, I love Lindsey Stirling’s music and I could listen to it for hours. She’s so talented and I wish I could be like her to be honest.

Favourite Song: Roundtable Rival

Evanescence

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I think Amy Lee is one of the prettiest people I’ve ever laid eyes on and she is an absolutely amazing vocalist. I love Evanescence and their latest album ‘Synthesis’ is perfection. As mentioned I’d have loved to have seen them at their latest tour but as they didn’t come to Birmingham I couldn’t. I did see them with my friend Sam a few years ago though and they were brilliant. I think they’re a band I’ll never get sick of because they have such amazing songs and honestly they’re just great.

Favourite Song: The Change

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

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Kyary’s another one I’ve talked about because I’ve written a list of my favourite songs by her and I wrote a post about going to London to attend her concert so it’s no secret that I’m a big Kyary fan. I was a fan of Kyary before I became a fan of K-Pop, I just loved her songs so much. Kyary is one of those people that I will always make an effort to go and see if she comes to the UK ‘cos her shows are a ton of fun and Kyary’s outfits are always amazing. I was gutted there was no seating at her last concert as I want to be able to appreciate her aesthetics instead of having to crane my head over thousands of tall people to get a glimpse of her.

I’m not sure if I like the direction Kyary’s heading with her music, it just seems very different to her early stuff but I think if she announced she was coming back to the UK I’d definitely go and see her again.

Favourite Song: Candy Candy

Tonight Alive

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I started listening to Tonight Alive because they were supporting All Time Low at one of their shows and I wanted to know at least a couple of the songs before I went. In the end the queue to get into the fucking concert was so long that I missed half of Tonight Alive’s set but a few months later they came back to do a solo show in Birmingham and by this point I was hooked so I had to get a ticket.

Since then I’ve seen them twice more and both times have been fab. They’re such an amazing band to see live and most of their songs have a special place in my heart because they’re so meaningful. Especially ‘Hell and Back’ like oh my god, what a song. I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of Tonight Alive.

Favourite Song: Lonely Girl

So there you have it, ten of my favourite non K-Pop artists. If you have any recommendations then feel free to hit me up!

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BTS at Wembley 2019: Review

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You have no idea the relief I felt when BTS announced they were coming back to Europe and I saw I’d actually be around for their London show. Even better, they were coming on a Saturday (1st June 2019). I wouldn’t need to book any time off work and travelling to London would be much better than travelling back to Paris yet again – I’d seen BTS twice and both times had had no choice but to travel to Paris if I wanted to see them. I wrote a review of their Paris show at their last tour here if you want to read that.

I’d thought buying tickets for the Paris was a nightmare, which it was, but this took it to a whole new level. I was more prepared this time and told work I’d be in two hours late instead of one and sat at my computer ready to battle it out for tickets. Ticketmaster had other plans though and kept being a dick and kicking me, Becca and a ton of other fans on Twitter out of the virtual queue. Fans on Twitter were advising people to use the app so I downloaded it and gave it a go – it showed me some tickets and I swear I clicked straightaway only for it to be like ‘lol, sorry no’. We tried for ages until eventually the website wasn’t even trying anymore and was just telling me it was now sold out.

This was a first for me – no matter how difficult it’s been I’ve always managed to get tickets to a concert I’ve been desperate to go to. As they were only doing one night me and Becca decided we’d try and get some resale tickets. This also turned out to be a nightmare as a couple of times I went through the whole process on getmein only for it to tell me at the last second it was sold out. Luckily eventually Becca secured us two tickets and we both went to work. Our tickets were worth about £70 each and we’d spent £180 each on them. We spent more to sit towards the back than we would’ve had to if we’d sat at the front.

Now I HATE scalpers, I hate the whole principal and a lot of fans on Twitter were like ‘don’t buy them as it just feeds the fire’ and whilst I agree I was just so desperate to go that I had to pay it. My cut off for ticket prices had been £200 each so this was technically still in my budget. To be truthful though I wasn’t like thrilled we were going, just relieved and annoyed that I’d had to spend so much more ‘cos of some asshole trying to make some extra cash.

A few hours later ticketmaster started tweeting some teasing stuff to BTS fans and I just knew they were gonna announce another date and I was fed up by this point. Me and Becca discussed it and because we’re such trash bags we decided if they did announce another date we’d try again for tickets. If we got official ones then great but if not we wouldn’t buy off scalpers this time. And of course the very next morning they announced there was gonna be a Sunday (2nd June 2019) concert too.

I didn’t dare go into work and ask to come in late yet again so I had to try and buy them whilst AT work which proved to be yet another nightmare of ticketmaster not working. After about an hour I decided to try on the app again and it loaded for ages before finally showing me two tickets. I clicked, thinking what would happen before would happen again, but I started entering my info. I was shaking so much and my heart was beating fast but soon I’d hit check out and the tickets were ours! They were better seats than our Saturday ones and they’d cost a little bit less, about £140 each. That was settled, we were going for both nights.

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It came around a lot quicker than I thought it would and before I knew it we were on the train on our way to London. The journey went quite quickly and we went straight to check into our hotel at Kings Cross. Not the best hotel we’ve ever stayed in but we didn’t intend on spending much time in the hotel anyway. Unfortunately it was super hot that weekend in London and our room didn’t have any air con or even a window we could open (just a door leading outside which was stressful) but as mentioned, we weren’t planning on spending much time in the hotel anyway. We dumped our heavy bag in the room before heading to Kings Cross to get some lunch.

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We had a quick lunch at Giraffe, withdrew some cash and then started off on the 30 minute underground journey to Wembley Stadium. It was still quite early at this point but we wanted enough time to arrive, have a look around, find the right entrance, wait in line, get a drink etc. before finding our seat. I’d moaned in the Paris review about having to stand at the back and that I prayed we’d get seated tickets next time so I was relieved when they announced every ticket was seated. It’s honestly just so much easier and more enjoyable.

To be fair if you hadn’t been able to get a ticket online it might be worth just turning up and hoping for the best as a few people were selling tickets right outside the tube station when we arrived. The walk to Wembley Stadium was packed full of people walking and taking photos as there were lots of banners up with the members faces on them. Me and Becca took a couple as well but with so many people around it was hard to get decent ones.

We’d both agreed beforehand that we wanted a light stick each. Neither of us were sure how much they cost but we took out £50 each and hoped that would be enough. The queue for light sticks was long but not too long as luckily there were several different stands to buy light sticks so we joined this straightaway. It was hot out and we were both dying but the queue moved quite quickly. When we got to the front I had no idea what the guy was saying but luckily Becca understood and it turned out to be £94 for two light sticks so about £47 each including batteries. Quite expensive but apparently when Becca looked on Amazon there were some going for about £60 each so in the grand scheme of things not too bad.

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We both sat down to figure them out which is when my phone decided to be an asshole and just wouldn’t connect to any internet so I couldn’t download the bloody app to sync up the light stick even though Becca managed to download it in like twenty seconds. We went off to find the queue whilst I stressed about my phone not connecting for no reason whatsoever. I was probably doing Becca’s head in but I hadn’t just spent £47 for it not to sync up. There were pairing booths dotted around the arena so if worst came to worst I’d have to use one of those.

Finding our entrance was a NIGHTMARE, we were entrance A and the first person we asked told us to go right so we walked up but the signs were telling us to go left so we did, then we got directed downstairs, then we got directed to the back of a long queue which we joined only when we got to the front the guy told us we’d been in the wrong queue all along. We were getting a bit annoyed by this point so Becca was like “but we just waited all that time?” and the guy was like “well yeah but it was the wrong one, you should’ve checked” and she was like “We did? Four times?” After what felt like forever though we finally managed to go through our actual entrance.

By this point my phone had finally gained some signal and I’d been able to download the app. We both grabbed a drink then headed to our seats which weren’t actually as bad as I’d been anticipating. We were quite far up but over to the left instead of right at the back of the arena. Our view was clear and to be honest I appreciate that at K-Pop concerts so you can see the amazing choreography.

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We decided to sync up our light sticks and I dunno what the fuck is wrong with my phone but no matter how hard I try (I’ve even tried at home) it just won’t pick up my light stick. Becca’s connected almost instantly and I didn’t really know what to do until the light stick instructions played on the screen (this happened regularly before the show started) and luckily advised that you can sync up more than one light stick to one phone so Becca kindly synced mine up on her phone so they were both ready. For anyone not sure what I mean by syncing it up – you put in your ticket information and then throughout the concert the light sticks change colours to match the songs and they can change by sections and stuff, like for example during ‘Anpanman’ the whole place was rainbow themed and it looks amazing as someone controls all the light sticks. It does look incredible.

There was a long wait until the start of the show but at least we were sat down so it wasn’t too bad. They played BTS music videos whilst we were waiting, and me and Becca tried to learn the name fan chant. Well we know their names but we wanted to get the order right. We kept fucking it up and it was pretty useless as although we eventually learnt the chant we weren’t sure when they came in. Whenever the crowd started chanting I never picked it up until they got to Kim Taehyung anyway. The one time I did manage to get it on Jung Hoseok and nearly knocked Becca out with my light stick ‘cos I was so excited about it.

After about an hour and forty five minutes I’d guess a video started playing on screen and there had been some cloths on stage which were pulled back so that’s how we knew the concert was starting – they couldn’t dim the lights as it was an open arena so it was quite bright for most of it. We all stood up and the concert began!

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They opened with ‘Dionysus’ which was lit as hell. To be honest I hadn’t been overly keen on ‘Boy with Love’ when I first heard it so I’d sort of put off listening to the album but had listened to it a few days before going to the concert. That’s probably my favourite song off the album as its so much fun and seeing it live was awesome. Then they moved onto ‘Not Today’ which is one of the most motivational songs ever – I listen to it at the gym and it always keeps me moving. They didn’t perform ‘Not Today’ when we saw them in Paris so it was amazing to finally see it live. The next song was ‘Outro: Wings’ before they all went backstage and the first solo stage started.

My favourite solo song off their album is definitely J-Hope’s ‘Just Dance’ as it’s just such a fun song! It was nice to actually be able to see it this time instead of having to look over hundreds of people’s heads in Paris. In the middle of the song we all started up a chant of “J-HOPE! J-HOPE! J-HOPE!” and you could just see how much fun he was having with it. I love that song so much that I was sad when it finished but at least I knew I’d be seeing it again the following night.

Next up was Jungkook with ‘Euphoria’. To be honest ‘Euphoria’ is probably my least favourite solo song but the performance was still good. Before we’d gone Becca had been telling me about clips she’d seen of the tour on Twitter and had told me “Oh yeah and Jungkook swings round the stage, you know like that girl that pretends to be dead? Just like that” then after a pause said “Well you know, not exactly like that”. I’d pissed myself imagining Jungkook pretending to be dead as he swung around the arena singing ‘Euphoria’. He did glide over the crowd but it was much more graceful than Becca had originally described!

The boys came back on stage and performed ‘Best of Me’. I hadn’t listened to that song much before the concert but it was good and as usual the boys were full of energy that it was just impossible to have a bad time. I was really glad me and Becca had the light sticks as to be honest sometimes at concerts I’m not really sure what to do with my arms so at least I had this to wave around.

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It was time for another couple of solo stages and next up were Jimin and RM. Jimin entered the stage from below inside of a bubble and I couldn’t resist quipping to Becca “HE CAME UP IN A BUBBLE DAWG” (if you saw that Wicked Witch of the East meme you’ll know what I was referencing). I wasn’t sure about this song upon first listening to it but it quickly climbed the list and became one of my favourite songs. It’s one of those I listen to when I’m pissed off about something and it calms me down. I love the song so much that if I wasn’t such a J-Hope stan I think Jimin would be my bias. The performance was incredible as usual, Jimin is so talented.

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Next up was RM with ‘Trivia: Love’ which is another song I love. This one was good because towards the end of the song they were adding special effects to the screen to make it look like RM was drawing hearts and stuff like that. It just looked really incredible!

The boys came back out and there was a group performance of ‘Boy with Luv’ which is their new title track. To be honest I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked it when I first heard it – I love the music video, the aesthetic and the choreography but I wasn’t sure about the song itself. Whilst it’s still not of my favourites it has definitely grown on me and it was a fun performance. Next up was a medley of ‘Dope’, ‘Bapsae’ and ‘Fire’. ‘Dope’ and ‘Fire’ are two of my favourite songs and while I wish they’d performed both songs in a full version I appreciate that with all the solo songs there are only so many full songs they can sing. At least they were included although I do wish they’d add ‘Fun Boys’ back to the set list.

Next up was ‘Idol’ which to be honest is probably one of the list lit songs of theirs to see live. They’d opened with it at the Paris show and although I’d appreciated it there was something much more fun about it at the London shows. As I had more energy I was dancing and screaming the lyrics at the top of my lungs, it was just so much fun!

Another solo song next and this time it was V with ‘Singularity’ which again, hadn’t loved originally but had grown on me. I just like the hazy feeling to it, it reminds me of feeling drunk and I love the performance with the masks and everything. In this one V appears on the stage in a bed with his eyes closed then opens them just as he begins to sing. It was an amazing performance before the rest of the boys joined him to perform ‘Fake Love’. ‘Fake Love’ is another song that’s more fun when it’s live, I love doing the ‘FAKE LOVE’ chant during the chorus and I love the choreography for this one too.

It was time for the last solo stages which of course were Suga and Jin’s. Suga was up first with ‘Seesaw’ which has grown on me more since the concert but all I can hear in the chorus is “alright, I want the cheesecake” – I know those aren’t genuinely the lyrics but that’s all my stupid brain can hear. Luckily that’s what Becca hears as well so the two of us just sang that without a care in the world. That’s the one annoying thing about K-Pop concerts, you wanna sing along but you know you’re pronouncing every word incorrectly.

Next up was Jin’s ‘Epiphany’ which is a BEAUTIFUL song. To be honest I didn’t like it at the Paris show. I was exhausted and I’ve never really loved slow songs anyway so although I appreciated the lights in the venue I wasn’t having a good time. Now I LOVE that song, that song makes me feel so many things. It’s such a lovely song and I can’t believe there are people who say Jin can’t sing. Becca turned to me at the end and went “MAN’S GOT PIPES!” She ain’t wrong.

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‘The Truth Untold’ was next which is the vocal line Jin, Jungkook, V and Jimin. Another song I hadn’t appreciated at the Paris show because I was so tired that any slow song sort of sent me drifting off. I was quite sad because it quickly became one of my favourite songs and I hadn’t appreciated it enough so I was glad to see it again. It was a beautiful performance but it did look like Jimin was crying which was proper stressing me out. I think he was sick because he kept holding his throat and did cough a few times the next day but he sounded absolutely amazing so you’d have never guessed.

It was time for the rap lines song next which is ‘Outro: Tear’ performed by J-Hope, Suga and RM. This is another song that I liked at the time but now love more that I’ve left the concert. On the screens they put a black and white filter which gave it an edgy vibe and the three of them were just so energetic. I wish I’d gotten a video of it but I was just enjoying the moment.

Back to group performances it was time for ‘Mic Drop’ which they claimed was their last song of the night but we all knew it wasn’t. We’d been given banners as we’d entered Wembley and were told to get them out when ‘Army Time’ appeared on the screen and it hadn’t appeared yet. They played the remix version of ‘Mic Drop’ and it was LIT, I got a video of me and Becca singing to it and it was another one of those songs that was so much fun to see live.

They went offstage but the lights stayed down so we all knew they were gonna come back for an encore. It was a bit of a wait but it didn’t matter as it gave us all a chance to sit down. There was a lot of chanting and then we all started doing Mexican waves around the arena for some reason. After about maybe ten minutes I wanna say, maybe less, BTS came back out and performed ‘Anpanman’ which was fun as they blew up some inflatable’s in the middle part of the arena including a bouncy slide so the members sang whilst playing around on them which was random but a lot of fun! I feel like there was a lot more going on visually at this concert compared to the Paris one last year but maybe that’s just ‘cos I could actually see this year!

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I can’t remember at what points specifically but the boys did stop to interact with the crowd occasionally. RM drove Becca absolutely up the wall by only speaking in a British accent for some reason. All the members attempted to speak completely in English except for Suga when a translator got involved. I was glad we were at the London show as the translations were made to English but to be honest it didn’t 100% sound like the translator knew what he was doing – a bit like the one at Block B previously, a member would say something really long, there’d be a pause and the translator would be like “He is having a good time”.

I can’t remember everything every member said but I know Jin talked about how he was amazed to be playing at Wembley and talked about the film ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ before the doing the whole ‘AY-O’ bit that Freddie Mercury had done. RM also brought up other groups that he looked up to that had played at Wembley and mentioned ‘Coldplay’ which Becca was outraged by. The boys also got us all doing yet another Mexican wave with our light sticks. They kept thanking us and talking about their disbelief in playing at Wembley and it was really touching, you could tell just how grateful they were for their fans. The only moment that had me shook was when V was making his speech and at the end he said, in the most sincere voice I’ve ever heard, “fuck you” – Becca’s convinced he meant to say ‘thank you’ but I can’t tell. If he’d like shouted it or something then I could maybe think okay but it was said in the sweetest voice! [Disclaimer: I just watched a video and he’s actually saying ‘thank you’ in a British accent – oh dear hun, it definitely sounded like ‘fuck you’!]

Up next was ‘So What’ which like is a good song but personally I’d have preferred ‘I’m Fine’ but never mind, ‘So What’ is still good. Except for the video Becca took where you can hear us both singing along and we sound like overexcited sea lions. This was followed by ‘Make It Right’ before finally ‘Army Time’ appeared on the screen, we took out our banners and the boys performed ‘Mikrokosmos’. And just like that Wembley day one was over!

Getting onto the tube with thousands of other fans who had been at Wembley was a nightmare to be honest but luckily the train was mostly empty so we managed to get on. We were right at the front so we could’ve got a seat but unfortunately I hesitated and we missed out, something Becca was very keen to keep reminding me of on the journey back to our hotel as the train was packed full. Luckily we weren’t that many stops away from the venue so we came off the tube; grabbed some snacks and we were soon back at our hotel.

Last time we’d been to London we’d had a late night and an early morning making us both hate our lives but luckily this time we didn’t need to get up early for anything so we were both looking forward to a lie-in. The lie-in wasn’t as long as I’d been hoping for as neither of us slept well – the beds weren’t very comfy, the slightest noise was so loud and it was boiling hot. Irritatingly there wasn’t a window, just a door that leads to the outside which kept me paranoid all night long.

We’d originally intended to make a plan for the day but as usual neither of us had planned anything. However we’d seen everyone walking around with BT21 headbands at the concert the day before so we decided we’d quite like one. We had a quick breakfast at Pret then for some reason decided to visit the Harry Potter shop in Kings Cross. I had more money than I’d had last time so I bought a couple of necklaces whilst Becca was sensible and didn’t buy anything. After that we headed to Camden to visit the BT21 pop up shop.

Jesus Christ. We joined the queue and after a few minutes were told most things had sold out and we were now about an hour away from the front. I asked if they had any headbands left and they said no which was disappointing but we decided to wait anyway as we’d seen other people coming out with pillows and they looked quite cute. It was absolutely boiling in that queue, neither of us had a drink and we were stuck there for legit almost two hours. It was Hell but eventually it was our turn and we went upstairs into the shop. To be honest I feel like it was difficult to appreciate ‘cos I was hot and tired by this point, and fed up of being surrounded by other people. Me and Becca took a couple of photos, grabbed a pillow each (I got Chimmy and Becca got Koya), grabbed a post card and just checked out. Our next stop was a drink, just something hastily grabbed from Superdrug because I couldn’t be arsed to shop around.

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We went to Primark but neither of us bought anything, had lunch in McDonalds and then we desperately needed some more AAA batteries. Becca had checked the battery on her light stick that morning via the app and it was on low so we’d both need to replace them. Neither of us knew where to get batteries from and after a lot of debate Becca rang WHSmith who said they did sell them. On the way back to the hotel we picked some up, had a ten minute rest in the hotel before heading back to Wembley for night two.

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We’d been considering getting some merch but it was mostly just t-shirts so we decided to give it a miss and headed into the venue. Our entrance was a lot easier to find this time and we quickly found our seats. We were much closer than we’d been the day before, the only issue was that the chairs weren’t the comfiest and were a lot smaller than the ones in the stands are so it was a bit more uncomfortable waiting for the concert to start but it didn’t matter too much as we’d be stood up for most of the concert anyway.

The set list was the same as the day before but there were a couple of differences when they stopped to interact with us. The first was that they added a ‘Harry Potter’ section. Jin used stupefy on Jungkook, I can’t remember all the other spells, someone said ‘lumos’ then all our light sticks lit up. V came forward and said ‘purple’ and all our light sticks turned purple. Becca, being the massive nerd she is, was like “That’s not even a spell!” J-Hope cast a ‘fire spell’ which made fire appear from the stage. I’m glad they did that instead of making the typical fish and chips jokes that many groups make when they come to England.

Also when they left after ‘Mic Drop’ just before their encore a message appeared on the screen advising fans of a secret event we were going to do for BTS. When the words ‘Army Sing’ appeared on the screen we were all going to sing the final chorus of ‘Forever Young’. This was really exciting as I’d never done anything like this at a concert before and I turned to Becca and went “I really hope they cry!” Sounds harsh but like I wanted it to be emotional!

After they’d all made their final speeches they prepared to sing ‘Mikrokosmos’ again but the music for ‘Forever Young’ started. It was quite sweet as they didn’t really know what was happening then turned around and saw the lyrics on the screen and realised. I’m so glad they put up the lyrics as I don’t actually know ‘Forever Young’ all that well (they’d played the music video for that about fifty times in the venue so they were clearly preparing us). I know Jimin, Jungkook and J-Hope definitely cried and the others looked close to it if they weren’t actually crying.

BTS Wembley 13

It was actually really emotional, I didn’t cry but I was extremely close to it. Until of course Becca leaned over and went “Yo Taehyung’s highlighter is popping, I need some of that!” to which I responded “Becca, I’m trying to cry.” After that they each made a speech, Suga said he thought they’d messed up with the music when it started playing. I’m glad we went for both nights in the end as I would’ve hated to have missed that moment.

Before we knew it that was it. No more BTS concerts to look forward to. The comedown was hard when I went back to work I’m not gonna lie. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll come back to Europe again, do two more nights in London and I can get tickets to both again. Going to both nights was definitely better than just the one. It was nice to finally see them at their own concert and have a bit of energy instead of feeling half dead like I did in Paris.

This was quite long, sorry about that! I hope you enjoyed it anyway. If you were at either of the shows let me know your favourite part!

Favourite Sights in San Francisco

San Francisco 2

I recently got back from a weeklong trip to San Francisco with my Mom. To be truthful San Francisco has never really crossed my mind when considering places to visit but my Mom had been talking about it for a while and was really keen to go. She mentioned it to my step-dad who didn’t want to so I offered to go with her. Booking the trip was a nightmare because my Mom’s so fussy but in the end we chose a week, Mom found some flights she was actually happy with and before we knew it we were jetting off!

There was a lot about San Francisco to love so I thought I’d write a quick blog post about some of my favourite sights!

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Probably the most obvious and iconic landmark in San Francisco. Most people hire bikes and cycle there from the city centre and then cycle across the bridge, either by themselves or in a group tour. This is sensible as although the bridge looks relatively close it is quite far. Nevertheless me and my Mom decided to walk towards it from Fisherman’s Wharf  – we did mention the bikes but I’m not sure I’d remember how to ride one. I know they reckon you never forget but I have serious doubts about that.

The walk wasn’t horrendous compared to central San Francisco as after the first hill it was pretty much all flat until you’re almost right at the bridge and then there is a bit of an uphill climb. It’s just quite long and on the day we walked although the sun was shining the wind was horrendous.

Golden Gate Bridge 2

By the time we reached the bridge we were quite tired so we only walked halfway across it. I think we’d have only done that anyway as the bridge was so windy that my Mom was holding onto the poles as she was worried about ‘getting blown off the bridge’.

I’m normally the type of person to be like “it’s just a bridge, big deal” but there was something about it that just made it seem special and I’m glad we decided to walk there.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Another obvious ‘must see’ whilst in San Francisco. My Mom was stressing me out by telling me how quickly they sell out and that we needed to book it in advance but she didn’t seem to do anything about it until luckily one day she forwarded me a confirmation email to say she’d booked it. Make sure you buy from the official website though, there are a lot of rip-offs and we even heard one Australian family on the boat coming back talking about how they’d been scammed on one of these sites.

There are a few buildings on the island but the most interesting one is obviously the Cell House. Upon arriving you’re given an audio tour guide which I normally avoid like the plague as they just irritate me but I was keen to learn more about the prison so I accepted it and I’m glad I did. It was really interesting and kept you moving from one place to the next. At first it was a bit annoying as everyone was clumped around the one section of where the tour was meant to be but it thinned out as the tour went on making it less frustrating.

What I liked was that it wasn’t just ‘the building was built in this year, it served this purpose’ – there were stories about the prisoners and life there. My favourites were about the attempted escapes. There was one where supposedly in the canteen the prisoners began to riot because they were served spaghetti again or something? Either way, the audio tour was really interesting.

Alcatraz 2

Also I never knew that the prison officers lived on the island too with their families. They’d bring their wife and kids with them and they’d just live on the island – they never had any contact with the prisoners but it’s bizarre! The kids would catch a boat to the mainland when they went to school and I believe there were a few boats a day so families could go over to San Francisco, do what they fancied and then return back home at the end of the day.

Anyway, Alcatraz is a must see when in San Francisco but make sure you book it in advance. There were still some available tours when we went but my manager at work told me she’d visited and unfortunately it had been sold out when she was there. Don’t risk it as Alcatraz is not somewhere you’d wanna miss visiting!

San Francisco Play House

San Francisco Playhouse

My Mom knows I’m a massive theatre fan so before we left she researched some theatres in San Francisco and some shows that were on. One of the shows she suggested was one called ‘Significant Other’ – we weren’t sure but decided we’d make our minds up when we arrived.

In a weird coincidence it turned out that the show was actually playing inside our hotel! On the second floor of our hotel was the ‘San Francisco Play House’ and any hotel guests got a discount on their tickets. On our second night we decided to get tickets as we couldn’t miss out on seeing a play right inside our hotel.

More people turned up than I’d been expecting and it was an interesting show. I wouldn’t say it was ‘ground-breaking’ or anything but I’m glad we saw it. The basic plot is about a gay guy who watches his three best friends get engaged, married and essentially move on with their lives whilst he worries he’s getting left behind. It was quite a simple show but I was impressed at how they all remembered their lines – I know that’s their job but there was one scene with just two actors where they both had long lines of speech at a time and it was just pretty impressive.

My favourite part was probably that once the play was over instead of having a long walk back to our hotel we literally just jumped in the lift and we were back in our room within minutes. How convenient!

Pier 39

Pier 39

I think this place was somewhere I would’ve spent more time with my friends. It’s full of gift shops, arcades and places to get food. Me and Mum did spend some time here more than once and it was strange because it didn’t feel like America, I could’ve just as easily been at Blackpool. It was a lot of fun though.

There was a carousel at the end of the pier and I’m normally a sucker for carousels but to ride this one cost like five dollars so me and Mum gave it a miss. Behind the carousel was a stage – I’m not sure if they have different shows every so often but while we were there it was one guy called Bob who put on a show. I’m pretty sure he had different ones but the one we saw he rode a unicycle and stood on some cylinders – it’s difficult to explain but it was pretty impressive.

Pier 39 2

My favourite shop on Pier 39 had to be the Christmas shop. Whenever I go away my Mom always asks me to bring back a Christmas decoration themed like the country I’ve been to which is usually the most difficult thing ever to find so to find a whole Christmas themed shop in San Francisco was awesome. There was literally a decoration for almost everything in there. We’d actually already bought a Cable Car themed decoration from one of the gift shops in China Town but the shop was still amazing, a must see for any Christmas fan.

Beach Blanket Babylon

Beach Blanket Babylon

I didn’t really know much about this show but Mum was adamant it was ‘the’ thing to see whilst in San Francisco. Apparently the show began in 1974 and is the world’s longest-running musical revue. Mum was even keener to see it when we found out the show was actually ending later this year – it would be our only chance to see it.

Unfortunately we waited until the night we wanted to see it to go to the box office to enquire about tickets (fun fact, the Americans kept calling it ‘wilcol’). We were told tickets were sold out until the following Wednesday (when we’d be back in England) but if we wanted we could wait outside the theatre as sometimes people came along to sell their tickets. The show didn’t start until 8 and it was 6:30 by this point so I wasn’t keen as I highly doubted we’d get two tickets but Mum was determined, especially after one woman told her she had just one ticket. We only needed to find one more and then we could both go.

It got very complicated, the woman with the original ticket went outside and then we found another woman selling one ticket but we weren’t sure they were in the same part of the club (I said it wouldn’t matter but Mum wasn’t sure) so she went in then very kindly came out to tell us she had been seated in the part the woman with the original ticket had also been seated. It was getting close to show time so I paid the money for this woman’s ticket, my Mum went in with that ticket, bought the ticket off the other lady we’d originally seen, came back out to get me and soon we were both inside. I was originally seated away from Mum anyway but it turned out the seat next to her was free so I moved. I had a worse view next to her but it didn’t matter.

The show was bizarre to say the least. It was basically a musical following Snow White was looking for love and all the characters wore bizarre costumes with oversized hats or wigs. There were a lot of pop culture references and I was surprised at the scene where they took the piss out of Donald Trump and his family as all the Americans thought that was hilarious – which to be fair, it was. I’m so glad I got to see it and it was definitely worth the wait outside the theatre.

Sea Lions at Pier 39

Pier 39 Sea Lions

Probably my favourite part of Pier 39 was that off to the left of the pier there was a large gathering of Sea Lions. They’re below the pier and unless you jumped into the water or had a boat you can’t get near enough to teach or harass them so they’re pretty much left alone. There are a few signs up asking people not to feed or bother them and people stuck to that rule. There’s usually a crowd of people on the pier watching and taking photos of them but the sea lions are still pretty much left alone.

As there were so many of them I wondered if they were there of their own freewill and it turns out that yes, they are. There was a sign up nearby that said the sea lions had shown up a few years ago to the annoyance of people who had boat slots in that particular area. There was a debate apparently but it was decided the sea lions could stay and a lot of boats had their slots moved to a different part of the pier.

The area didn’t smell brilliant and the sea lions made a lot of noise but it was interesting and nice to be able to see the sea lions without feeling guilty the way you do when you visit a zoo or aquarium. I’d definitely recommend giving them a visit when in San Francisco.

Cable Cars

Cable Car

Everyone at work kept telling me I’d need to ride the cable car and I assumed they meant the ones you get that take you over the city, you know the ones I meant? It turned out they were cute old fashioned trams and there was a stop at the end of the road where our hotel was. On our first day we walked pretty much everywhere and I had not realised when people said San Francisco was full of hills they MEANT it. So when we next needed to get to Fisherman’s Wharf from Union Square we paid the seven dollars each to catch the cable car.

We rode it twice and both times managed to get the best seats – there are two compartments to the cable car, one indoors section and an outdoor one where you can either sit or stand and hold onto the pole. It did look cool to stand and hold on but my legs were already aching and we had two seats in the front of the outdoor section so they were good seats!

The ride on the cable car was amazing and a bit scary at times – whenever it went downhill I’d be struck with the worry that the cable car would just start rolling down at full speed but of course it didn’t, they were driven very well. It was an absolute must in San Francisco and I’m glad we got to ride it twice.

So there we have it, those are my favourite sights from San Francisco! If you’ve visited feel free to leave me your favourites or let me know which ones you’d love to see one day.

Advice for First Time Solo Travellers

Dublin 4

On my most recent trip abroad to Dublin I realised how much I’ve improved since my first solo trip abroad to Poland last year. I’ve recognised the parts of solo travel abroad that stress me out, that I love, the things I need to do to make myself feel better. Because of this I decided to write a post with some advice for anyone going abroad by themselves for the first time!

Don’t Judge the Trip by Day One

Dublin 5

When I landed in Poland last February I remember thinking ‘why have I done this? What do I do now?’ and for most of the day I felt quite overwhelmed. I didn’t understand the language, I struggled to know which travel card to buy, I nearly burst into tears as I tried to find my hostel (Google Maps kept telling me I was there but I couldn’t see it and my phone was on like 11% at this point), I was too nervous to order food and I didn’t really know what I was doing.

That night I had dinner at a McDonalds in a shopping centre (the only place I wasn’t too nervous to order food as I knew what I was asking for), went to see a 4DX movie at the cinema then went back to my hostel for a good night’s sleep. And by the next morning I felt a lot better. I set off to do some sightseeing feeling a lot more confident and ended up having an amazing trip.

If you feel completely overwhelmed on day one then don’t stress, I promise the entire trip won’t be like that it’s just you’re somewhere new by yourself and you need time to adjust. It was easier in Dublin as at least everyone spoke English but I’ve realised that I know what I need to do to help myself adjust to a new country more easily and I managed to apply this logic when I visited Romania in January too. And it really helped!

Getting to my accommodation from the airport is always the worst part for me as I worry I won’t find it but of course I always do so I just tell myself to relax and then I calmly follow Google Maps until I find my accommodation. After checking in I go and have my first meal in the country, even if it does end up being at McDonalds. I have a chill first day and then after having my first sleep in the new country I feel a lot better by the next morning and I’m ready to start some proper sight-seeing.

When I travel with my friends we have a running joke that our friend Hirst always decides she hates whatever country we’re staying in on day one due to something small. We landed in Lithuania quite late and on our way to our accommodation we bumped into a couple of weird people and she was like “I’m not a fan of this country!” By the end of our trip she’s usually changed her mind and actually quite likes it.

If you land in a new country and start getting stressed or overwhelmed just keep calm and trust me that after your first night you will feel a lot better. Don’t let the first day stresses define the rest of the trip!

Pick Accommodation That Suits You

Abbey Court Hostel

A lot of people I see that write about solo travel are like ‘get a hostel, you meet new people, it’s the only way to solo travel’ etc. etc. If you like meeting new people and staying in hostels then great, you do you until the cows come home. However I’ve quickly realised that I much prefer hotels.

I’m an introvert and my trips are a great way to recharge my social batteries. My interactions with people selling tickets to attractions or food etc. are enough to keep me going, I don’t feel the need to go out and find a new best friend. And at the end of a day of sight-seeing I like to come back to my room and have some downtime to myself.

In Poland I stayed in a hostel to keep costs low and ended up sharing a room with a talkative girl who was lovely but didn’t understand that once my headphones are on that means I don’t want to talk. Although she was lovely and I was glad to share with her because it was better than sharing with someone who’s miserable it did get a bit irritating when I just wanted some down time whereas she wanted to chat. In Dublin my downtime seemed to come easier as I watched stuff on my Amazon Fire Tablet and everyone pretty much left me alone – they were still nice, we’d smile at each other but none of us were keen to initiate a conversation. I much preferred this.

Find the accommodation that best suits you or your needs. It may be an Airbnb, a hostel, a hotel, whatever takes your fancy but don’t listen to anybody who thinks you should be doing it a certain way.

Public Transport is Good

Bruges

I’ve never understood people who touch down in a foreign country and immediately head outside to find a taxi. How do people afford that? It’s expensive enough getting a taxi from home to our local airport which is why I always catch the train if I can and I’d only get a taxi if I was desperate.

Although I hate the moments between getting from the airport to my accommodation due to the stress and anxiety, I also love it as hopping on the bus to get the city centre is your first glimpse of a new country! I suppose you get that in a taxi but the bus takes detours, allowing you to see things you might not have seen had you gone straight to your accommodation.

Personally I’ve always found public transport gives you a better feel for the country. My favourite form is trams as although we have some in parts of the UK I don’t really use them in this country. There’s nothing I love more than a country with a tram system – Amsterdam’s is probably my favourite so far.

Also public transport is a hell of a lot cheaper. In most countries you can get a card that gives you unlimited transport for a set amount of days in most forms, for example bus, tram and underground. Most of the time they’re not expensive and they’re cheaper than getting taxis everywhere. Equally walking is even better as that’s free but it depends on how big the town is. I probably could’ve walked everywhere in Dublin, and did on the first day, but on the second day when my legs were aching I decided to start making the most of public transport.

Not only is public transport cheaper it’s also a lot better for the environment. We’ll have already contributed enough pollution to the earth by catching a plane (unless you got abroad using a different method in which case good on you!) so why contribute more by getting cars everywhere?

Obviously in some places the choices are limited. In Crete we rented a car because they just didn’t seem to have a public transport system. But in most capital cities they have a perfectly good transport system already in place. Give it a go!

Take Appropriate Safety Precautions

Romania 6

Whenever I go abroad anywhere my Mom always makes me send her the name, address and telephone number of the accommodation I’m staying in. Not to be precious but just so she has someone to call to check up on me if I’m not responding to her texts or an address she can send the police or an ambulance too.

I would personally recommend you allocate someone to send this information to and keep in regular contact with someone. Usually people know I’m okay because I update my Instagram story throughout the day, send out tweets and respond to people relatively quickly if they message me. If you’re in a country where you can’t get data for whatever reason then just be sure to send that person a message when you go out in the morning and when you get back in the evening – assuming where you stay has Wi-Fi.

When booking your accommodation check the reviews. If most of the reviews are positive and the only bad things the negative ones are saying were ‘oh the bathroom was too small’ then go for it. If there are negative reviews of people saying they didn’t feel safe for whatever reason then it’s probably best to avoid this particular place. When booking Poland I panic booked the first hostel I found but once I checked the reviews people were saying all sorts of dodgy things had happened. I immediately cancelled the room, lost my money and booked a new hostel with better reviews. Safety always comes first!

In Romania my room had a safe where I could enter my own code and nobody else could get in so I kept my passport in there whilst I was out and about but if that’s not an option I always keep my passport on me. Make sure you either have a paper copy stored somewhere or an electronic version on your phone, in the unlikely event that you lose it – it’ll make life much easier.

Just basically use a bit of common sense while you’re away, it’s not too difficult to know which security measures to take.

Let your trip be YOUR trip

Bucharest 2

When me and my friends go away we tend to get up early and cram in as much as possible. And that’s fine, for some places where you want to experience everything that’s pretty much the only way you can do it. But sometimes by myself I like to have a lie-in and take the day a bit more easily. A great example of this was in Dublin. Being in a hostel I didn’t sleep great at night and also, Dublin’s not that far away from where I live so anything I didn’t tick off I was bound to go back and do eventually. So I slept in a bit, got ready slowly and made my way out.

Don’t get caught up in how other people have done their solo trips and think that you need to perfectly model theirs. For another example, I knew that after Dublin I was going to have a busy few days and there was a movie I wanted to see but I was worried it would go out of cinemas before I had the chance. In the end I realised I could just watch it in Dublin – I was worried as it felt like a waste to watch a movie abroad but at the end of the day I don’t do much in the evenings anyway, I wanted to see the movie and also weirdly I find doing ‘normal’ things in other countries fascinating. I like to see what their cinemas look like, their supermarkets, their theatres, all the normal stuff!

Plan your itinerary around YOU and what YOU’RE interested in doing, not the things you’ve seen everybody else doing. Even if everyone has recommend the Museum of Typewriting until they’re blue in the face, if you’re not interested in type writing then just don’t go! It’s YOUR trip, nobody else’s.

I hate those ridiculous posts that are likely ‘avoid all the big tourist spots, they’re traps!’ If you’re not a big fan of the big tourist spots then fine but I think you need to experience them at least once. Going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower would be bizarre. Tourist spots are popular for a reason but if they’re not for you then feel free to give them a miss.

That’s pretty much all of my advice other than have an amazing time. Also, double check the weather before you go. I never bother and always end up massively failing.

Top 10 My Chemical Romance Songs

My Chemical Romance Blog Post

I’m long over my ‘My Chemical Romance’ phase which is just as well considering they broke up but when I was thirteen I was My Chemical Romance’s bitch. If MCR were to reunite tomorrow and announce a World Tour I would probably still buy a ticket to at least two of their shows and go and have the best time ever. I decided to have a quick throwback today to my favourite MCR songs so here goes nothing!

10. Planetary (Go!)

MCR Planetary Go gif.gif

This song is so much fun and an absolute bop. I was gutted when I found out the music video had been filmed in London because I was like ‘oh my God I could’ve been in their video’ but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. I absolutely loved the whole Danger Days concept like honestly it was one of my favourite albums from them, I had my own Killjoy costume and I walked up town the day the album came out and bought the deluxe edition that came with the bandana (I think I got Party Poison’s). In fact I’m pretty sure shortly after the album was released I actually did a Killjoy roleplay with some online friends because I was just such a big fan. So yeah, this was one of my favourite songs off the album because it’s just a lot of fun!

9. Our Lady of Sorrows

MCR Our Lady of Sorrows gif.gif

This used to be my favourite by them but I listened to it one too many times. My favourite MCR lyric ever used to be ‘oh how wrong we were to think that immortality meant never dying’ like oh my god, thirteen year old me was shook. I think ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’ was probably my least favourite MCR album but to be fair it was their first and there were still some good songs on there. It’s still a good album just not their best.


8. Vampire Money

MCR Vampire Money gif.gif

Another song from Danger Days that I absolutely love. Apparently this song was written because Gerard was offered the part of Edward in Twilight but I don’t know how true that is. The song is definitely in some way about Twilight because I know MCR weren’t into that ‘scene’ or whatever. Anyway, I loved this song and I was really glad to have the opportunity to see it live even though fourteen year old me was foolish and got standing tickets at the Birmingham Genting Arena and stood in the middle of the floor and honestly I nearly died several times.

7. The Only Hope for Me is You

MCR The Only Hope For Me is You gif.gif

Another Danger Days song, apparently it’s one that Gerard wrote for his daughter Bandit and honestly I love this song. If I was feeling down back when I was a teenager I would whack this song on and just have a bit of a weep before feeling better. Even now I just honestly love it, what a song.

6. Dead!

MCR Dead gif

The first album I ever listened to by My Chemical Romance was ‘The Black Parade’ and I remember this song kicking in after ‘The End’ and I was rocking out because even though I’d never listened to it before I already knew I was going to love it. This is another good one for if I’m annoyed or something like I can just whack it on full volume and scream the lyrics.

5. Mama

MCR Mama gif.gif

I remember my friend thinking I was an idiot because at the start of the song there’s a sound effect of bombs going off or something and one night I told my friend I’d always assumed it was Big Foot in the snow. You know like when you keep singing an incorrect song lyric that makes absolutely no sense but you sing it anyway because you’re so certain that that’s what it is? It was like that. I was only like thirteen in my defence and a bit of an idiot. The song is still good though and one of my favourites off the Black Parade album.

4. Famous Last Words

MCR Famous Last Words gif.gif

There was a time when everyone accused My Chemical Romance of having depressing lyrics and I always used this song as a defence. Lyrics like ‘I am not afraid to keep on living, I am not afraid to walk this world alone’ really meant something to me and helped me through dark times. Even now this song means a lot to me and I still whack it on if I’m upset about something. This is a song I’ll never stop loving.

3. Na Na Na

MCR Na Na Na gif.gif

One night I got a message off one of my internet friends, Lauzz, who told me to get online immediately because something was happening on MCR’s website. I borrowed my sister’s laptop and sat up until 4 in the morning talking to my online MCR friends and watching the website like a hawk even though nothing changed for a few days. Eventually a teaser was released for the Danger Days album and eventually the music video was dropped. I didn’t have a laptop at the time and the computer at my Mom’s didn’t have sound but luckily Kerrang or MTV had put in a slot for MCR’s new video so I watched it on the TV and I was blown away. I loved the entire thing and loved the song from first listen. Definitely the best song from the Danger Days album, it’s amazing.

2. Welcome to the Black Parade

MCR Welcome to the Black Parade gif.gif

Everyone knows this song even if they don’t know this song if you know what I mean. I remember Jasmine asking our RE teacher to put it on and at the time I wasn’t a fan of MCR but I realised that actually I did know and love this song. Since then I couldn’t even guess how many times I’ve listened to it, I remember singing it with my friends on the way home from school more than once. It’s one of those that you can just sing your heart out too. This is the best song from the Black Parade album even if it is the most obvious one.

1. I Never Told You What I Do For A Living

MCR gif.gif

I have no idea why this is my favourite song, I just know that it is. I don’t really have any special memories associated with this song and it’s actually a bit dark. There’s just something raw about it that I really love and it’s usually the first MCR song I put on when I’m in that kind of mood. ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’ has always been my favourite album because it feels the most real. I don’t know, I probably sound lame but I loved it and this song is definitely my favourite.

Let me know your favourite MCR songs in the comments, how you felt when they disbanded, if you think they’ll ever come back – feel free to leave any kind of comment!

Three Favourite Memories from Dublin

Dublin 3

I finally went away over bank holiday weekend and as flights were cheap I decided to go to Dublin. I quickly realised this wasn’t the best weekend to go as it was full of stag and hen dos, and every tourist attraction was pretty busy. Accommodation prices were also through the roof meaning I had to stay in a hostel. To be fair the hostel was nice and had a great location but due to the great location there was a lot of street noise. That combined with the girl sleeping beneath me who kept snoring meant I didn’t get the best few nights sleep whilst I was away but I still had an amazing time. Here are my three favourite memories from Dublin!

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle

Ever since me and my friends visited Ghent Castle I’ve realised that I actually love going to castles. Luckily Becca’s also a fan of palaces so I imagine in our future group trips there will be a lot of castle and palace sight-seeing. On my first full day in Dublin I decided to tick off Dublin Castle straightaway so it was the first place I headed to.

You could either have a guided tour or go self-guided. I went for self-guided which was cheaper and also what I prefer. I don’t mind some guided tours but it can be nice to do things at your own pace. A lot of time I’m not even overly interested in the history as it’s usually all political stuff and I just want to have a good look around.

Dublin Castle 2

The castle had been furnished to show what it may have looked like years ago which I liked. I’d love Ghent Castle but the rooms were all relatively bare, Dublin Castle was like walking around a stately home. My only issue was that it wasn’t a bit bigger as I felt like I saw the whole thing way too quickly but I did enjoy having a look. It’s probably one of my favourite castles I’ve visited and I would definitely recommend going if you’re in Dublin.

War Horse

Dublin War Horse

Whilst looking for things to do on any holiday I tend to have a look to see if there are any shows on or anything. I don’t think I’ve seen a show abroad yet as most of them tend to be in a foreign language which of course puts me off and I’ve just never found anything to my taste yet. When I looked in Dublin though they were showing ‘War Horse’ at a theatre about a twenty minute walk away from my hostel. It wasn’t really a show I’d ever wanted to see badly but I knew Becca had seen it as a teenager and regularly told me how much she’d loved it.

I booked my ticket and when I arrived realised I’d actually been upgraded. I’d originally been in the Upper Circle right at the top of the theatre but I’d been moved down to the Stalls into Row R. I was nervous when I saw this as my experience with London theatres is that if you’re in Row R you’re probably not going to see much. However the theatre was quite modern and the seats were tiered well. I was right in the centre and the view was fantastic.

For the first twenty or so minutes I wasn’t particularly sure but before I knew it I’d been sucked into the story. I’d never seen the film or anything before so I hadn’t known what to expect but I ended up loving it. It did have me on edge with the gun shots and everything ‘cos they made me jump every time but it was a spectacular show. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone that hasn’t seen it.

National Leprechaun Museum

National Leprechaun Museum

Whilst having a look for stuff to do in Dublin I came across the ‘National Leprechaun Museum’ and knew that I had to go. I believe they only accept pre-bookings so about a month before I went I booked myself a place for the night tour. There are two different types, the day tours where they tell all the innocent stories of Irish folklore or the night version with the more dark and twisted versions. The rating was 18+ so I booked on to that one. I quite like anything horror related plus it meant there wouldn’t be any annoying kids there to ruin the visit.

The first thing you do on the tour is go through some ‘tunnels’ into a room with really large furniture. You’re encouraged to climb onto the furniture for pictures and just for generally playing about. I didn’t go on anything as I wouldn’t have been able to pull myself onto the giant chairs and didn’t want to embarrass myself. I could’ve maybe managed the giant sofa but a group of Americans plonked themselves onto it and when someone suggested they get down so other people could take pictures one of them replied “no, I’m comfy” – typical.

We moved from room to room and I was on edge in case they pulled any jump scares or anything but they didn’t, it was just a case of listening to stories in each room and it was really interesting. My favourites probably included the story about the woman who danced with the leprechauns for what seemed like hours but turned out to be years and years, or the woman who was accidentally killed by her husband as he believed she was a fairy imposter and his real wife had been taken. Our tour guide was really enthusiastic and a great story teller which made it even better.

I considered booking a place for the day time tour but didn’t in the end, I may do if I ever return to Dublin though as it was one of my favourite memories from the trip. The evening tour was fun though as our tour guide swore and didn’t hold back from any gory details which obviously I doubt would happen in the day tour.

BONUS: National Wax Museum

National Wax Museum

I had to include this one as I just really enjoyed it. I had time to kill before my Leprechaun Museum booking and as this was literally a two minute walk away from my hostel and I’d wanted to visit I decided to go in.

The only slight thing that ruined it for me was that I went in and caught up to a large family who had quite possibly some of the most annoying kids ever. There was a moving wax dinosaur in one of the rooms and one of the little kids grabbed it’s tongue and tried to pull it out whilst her parents just watched. I tried to go ahead but they caught up so I lagged behind so they could go ahead and then they started going really slowly. Very irritating.

When you go in you’re immediately greeted by Star Wars characters which doesn’t mean an awful lot to me but I took some photos anyway. As I was about to head up the stairs a group of girls came in and one of them screamed when they saw me which was quite funny. When you got up the stairs there was like a science section I want to say. You go through a mirror maze into the next room where there are pop stars. They have wax figures of Jedward so I snapped a picture to send to my friend Jess who’d told me to keep an eye out for them.

National Wax Museum Jedward

My favourite section though was the horror section. The family brushed past this part and I kept looking down wondering whether to go through. It was in the theme of a hotel and at the end of the corridor was a wax figure jerking around manically, it was quite creepy. I kept taking a look and in the end a group of girls went down so I followed them. However they couldn’t decide who should go first so they asked if I wanted to go first so I said I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down. They ran off ahead and I ended up with a Spanish family who I practically stuck to like glue throughout the rest of it. They kept looking at me and pointing at stuff and telling me what it was before I saw it, bless them.

My only complaint was that I’d been hoping it would be bigger and I felt like it was over too quickly. I might’ve killed more time if I’d been there with my friends as we would’ve spent time taking photos of each other with everything but as it was just me I didn’t really do that.

So there we go, there’s my three (four) favourite memories from Dublin! I hope you enjoyed this post, if you visited Dublin let me know which tourist attractions you liked the most!

Asia Haul (Japan and South Korea)

Japan Takeshita

I debated whether to make this most because I got so much stuff from Asia, including little tiny stuff, that it would be impossible for me to remember everything I bought but I thought I’d give it a go and list as much stuff as I can remember. There’s no way I’ll be able to do it in order so this post is going to be a bit of a mess!

1. Gacha Machine Prizes

Gacha Machine Prizes

Although we have gacha machines in the UK I don’t use them because they’re usually full of childish tat. The ones in Japan were a bit cuter and there’s so many to choose from that you just sort of go along with it. I went on quite a few both in Japan and South Korea but mostly in Japan. In South Korea there was a ‘mystery gacha machine’ which I did with great excitement and got a tacky Moana necklace so I don’t recommend the mystery ones but all the others were cute! I also got a squishy bunny, an orange cat pin, a squirrel/raccoon figure, a little white dog, two BTS keyrings and probably a ton of other stuff.

2. Sleeping Snorlax figure

Snorlax

I used to be a massive Pokémon fan as a kid but unfortunately sort of grew out of it so although I watched the show and movies religiously as a tiny kid I don’t remember an awful lot about them. But you have to take a trip to the Pokémon centre whilst in Tokyo don’t you really? I came across this little Snorlax figure and immediately related to him on a personal level so I just had to buy him!

3. Squirtle Plushie

Squirtle Plushie

Everyone raves about the sheer amount of Pokémon you can get at the centre but being the basic bitch that I am Squirtle is my favourite Pokémon. You could get different types of plushies like sleeping ones or furry ones but in the end I went for the basic type because I was worried about money. He’s really cute and I’m glad I got him!

4. Pikachu Plushie

Pikachu Plushie

I didn’t actually get Pikachu at the Pokémon centre; I won him in an arcade at Lotte World in South Korea. Becca and Jess were on the dance machine and my legs were getting sore at this point so to distract myself I had a couple of goes on the Pikachu crane machine and was successful! I probably should’ve toned it down with the crane machines but I did not.

5. Boo and Unicorn Plushie

Boo and Unicorn

I’ve put these two together because I won them on the same night along with a massive tube of Pringles. The tube of Pringles never made it home because I gave them to Becca who, as a vegetarian, hadn’t had tons to eat over the past couple of weeks so they disappeared quite quickly. I mentioned in a previous post that Becca won a Giant Winnie the Pooh bear and so my competitive streak was on then and by the end of the night I’d managed to win the Boo and Unicorn plushie. I’m proud of the Boo, I didn’t really want the Unicorn but I have it now. Luckily I managed to squash them both into my suitcase, Becca had to carry her Pooh bear through the airport with her to South Korea and then back to England again.

6. Winnie the Pooh plushie

Pooh Plushie

My favourite day in Tokyo was undoubtedly the day we went to Disneyland Tokyo and the ride I was desperate to go on was ‘Pooh’s Honey Hunt’ – I did get to go on it and thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded me how much I love Winnie the Pooh so I couldn’t resist buying this fluffy Winnie the Pooh plushie. It’s so cute, I’m so glad I spent the extra for the fluffy one! I would’ve bought more at Disneyland but unfortunately by the time we got to the stores they were overflowing with people and we were all tired and hot so we couldn’t browse for as long as we would’ve liked to.

7. Mt Fuji Plushie

Mt Fuji Plushie

This post is making me realise just how many plushies I bought. Me and my friends were buying souvenirs at Mt Fuji’s fifth station and I must’ve panicked because I picked up a random box of biscuits that I didn’t particularly want and this Mt Fuji plushie. I gave the box of biscuits to my Dad for Christmas but I do quite like the plushie even though it’s a bit random and doesn’t actually say anything about Mt Fuji on it.

8. Lucky Mt Fuji Bell

Mt Fuji Bell

As part of our Mt Fuji day trip we were given a little bell for free that was apparently taken to the top of Mt Fuji and blessed so they should bring you luck. They probably never saw the summit of Mt Fuji but they did at least see the fifth station which is good enough for me. It’s a really cute souvenir either way!

9. Maidreamin Polaroid Photo

Maidreamin

(I dunno why the photo flipped but whatever)

I wrote a long post about the themed cafes we visited in Japan but Maidreamin had to be one of the most awkward café experiences we had but honestly I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Me and Jess bought the set menu which got you a dessert, a photo with the maid and a ‘gift’. For your photo you could either take it on your camera or have a Polaroid taken. Jess opted for a camera version whilst I got a Polaroid which is absolutely adorable because the maid writes on it for you. Becca was invited to also be in the photo but was having such a terrible time that she opted out.

10. Maidreamin Key ring

Maidreamin Keyring

This was the ‘gift’ I mentioned previously, I believe there was a choice between a key ring, animal ears or a file holder. Animal ears were unlikely to get worn by me and didn’t really have anything about Maidreamin on them. I was also unlikely to use a file holder so I went for the key ring. It’s cute and I’ve got it on my key chain at the moment so it can remind me of my trip to Japan!

11. Universal Studios Key Ring

Universal Studios Key Ring

Another key ring that reminds me of my trip is my ‘Universal Studios Osaka’ one. It’s got a little Cookie Monster on it and it’s just really cute. At Disneyland Tokyo I’d tried to find merch that specified I’d got it from Disneyland TOKYO or JAPAN but hadn’t had much success so I was glad this one specified where I was. It’s so cute!

12. Jurassic Park Ride Professional Photo

Jurassic Park Ride

In my Universal Studios post I wrote about how I was tricked onto the Jurassic Park ride by the deceitful Jess. As I’d been stupid enough to go on the ride I thought I might as well get some photo evidence and to be fair the photo is hilarious, and reminds me of the amazing time we had that day.

13. Nara Deer Figure

Nara Deer Figure

I mentioned our day at Nara Deer Park in my ‘Asia Travel Fails’ blog post – although it was an amazing morning and I’d recommend it to anyone it was a bit of a frightening experience considering I got bitten the moment I entered the park and Becca got butted more times than I can count. But I still couldn’t resist buying a cute little deer figurine from the gift shops nearby. It reminds me of the hilarious morning we had!

14. Seoul Tower Snow Globe

Seoul Tower Snowglobe

When I started really getting into travelling I started collecting snow globes from all the different places I went. Unfortunately there weren’t really any tacky gift shops I could find in Japan and I didn’t buy one from there so I’ve ended up ordering one online when I came back – it’s massive compared to the others in my collection but I’ll just say it’s ‘cos I went to three parts of Japan so it needed to be bigger. The only one I’m missing is one from Amsterdam but I have no doubt I’ll go back one day.

Anyway, when we were up Seoul Tower we decided to buy some souvenirs and I spotted this snow globe. We were reaching the end of the trip so I decided I’d best buy it and I’m glad I did as I don’t think I found another snow globe whilst exploring Seoul. It’s cute and reminds me of an amazing trip.

15. Kyoto Tower Professional Photo

Kyoto Tower Photo

I love professional photos and the Kyoto tower one was cute so I decided to buy it. When we reached Kyoto we waited so long to be picked up to be taken to our apartment that we didn’t have much time to do anything in the evening so we only went up Kyoto Tower but it was a good start to our short stay in Kyoto. The views were amazing and they had telescopes that were free to look through that were amazing, you had close-ups of people walking around on the ground.

16. Seoul Tower Professional Photo

Seoul Tower Photo

(This one flipped too for some bloody reason)

Seoul Tower was extremely popular the night we went up, our ticket slot said we could join the queue 50 minutes after our arrival and when we did join the queue it took an awful long time to get up. First we queued for the photo, then we had to queue to get into the elevator, and then when we decided we were done it was another long queue to get back down to ground level. The photo was cool and I love professional photos so decided to keep it ‘cos why not?

17. Totoro plushie

Totoro Plushie

When planning our trip to Japan the Studio Ghibli Museum was always top of my list, as I knew it was Jess’. Becca hadn’t seen any Studio Ghibli movies (although did sit down and watch Spirited Away before we left which she wasn’t a fan of) but was happy to come along too. Buying the tickets was a pain because it was confusing and they went on sale at 2AM in the UK so we all had to set alarms to get up and get them. But it was worth it and I couldn’t leave without a souvenir. Totoro has always been my favourite so I couldn’t resist this cute plushie!

18. Japanese Fan

Fan

Whilst in Akihabara we’d visited most of the main shops and arcades but were still killing time until our Lock-up booking so we ended up going down the backstreets and came across a store that sold a variety of random items. We came across a display of Japanese fans and the three of us couldn’t resist so we each bought a different one. I haven’t found anywhere to display it properly yet but it’s cute and I love it!

19. Oh My Girl Banhana – Banana Allergy Monkey Album

Banana Allergy Monkey Album

It’s no secret that me and my friends are massive K-Pop fans so whilst in Seoul we wanted to stock up on K-Pop merch. In the underground station nearest our hotel that we used regularly there was a small underground shopping area which had a few K-Pop shops including one which was full from ceiling to floor of K-Pop albums. I debated a lot but bought two albums (I’ll mention the other in a second) but one was Oh My Girl’s subunit album, ‘Banana Allergy Monkey’. I loved the look of the album as it’s designed to look like a retro video game and it’s just super cute. I couldn’t resist!

20. G-Friend – Time For The Moon Night Album

Time For The Moon Night

I’m a massive G-Friend fan and although ‘Time for the Moon Night’ isn’t my favourite song the album just looked so pretty that I couldn’t resist. I got SinB and Eunha’s photo cards – I was hoping for either Umji or Yuju but I love SinB and Eunha as well so it’s okay. It’s such a cute album and I’m glad I got it.

21. TWICE bag tag

TWICE bag tag

I wasn’t sure what K-Pop merch to buy, in the UK we normally just get a t-shirt or a mug or something but in Asia there was all sorts of different merch. By the end of the trip me and Jess had both started putting little things on our bags to hang down ‘cos it looked cute so we both bought a K-Pop themed bag tag. Mine was TWICE and she chose a Black Pink one. I wish I’d bought more ‘cos I can’t find them on the internet and I think they look so cute. If I ever go back to Seoul I know what I’m buying.

22. MOMOLAND file holder

On my birthday in Tokyo we went to a K-Pop area and I knew I had to buy something. I came across what I thought was a small MOMOLAND poster. When Jess saw I was interested she bought it for me as a birthday present. It was only when I arrived back in the UK and took it out the cellophane I realised it was a file holder. I don’t really use them at home but I did have a plain file holder at work that I used regularly so I decided to replace it and use the MOMOLAND one at work. This quickly turned embarrassing when a colleague was covering my work and I told her the referrals she needed were in ‘the MOMOLAND file holder in my drawers’. Never mind, it’s still a cute file holder. I couldn’t get a photo as it’s currently still at work but trust me, it is cute!

23. Lucky Cat Figure

Lucky Cat Figure

At Osaka airport we all decided to snap up some last minute souvenirs. I came across this cat and figured ‘sure why not’. It wasn’t until I got home that it also had a little fortune inside. I can’t remember where I put it but I’m pretty sure it was positive. It’s a cute figurine, I’m thinking of taking it to work to display on my desk but we’ll see.

24. Squirtle Head Band

Squirtle Head Band

At Lotte World me and Jess both decided that we needed something to wear – I’m not sure why, it was quite late in the day at this point but she chose an Eevee one and I chose a Squirtle one. They looked cute and I kept saying we needed a picture together but unfortunately time ran away from us and we didn’t get one but the headband was still cute. I don’t really have anywhere to wear it in the UK but I am considering wearing it in Hong Kong when I visit Ocean Park. We’ll have to see!

25. Pokémon Ball

Pokemon Ball

I’m not sure how to describe this but at Lotte World there were boxes where you could get a surprise figurine inside if that makes sense? So I picked a Pokémon themed one where a figure would come inside a ball but it was up in the air which one it would be. I got this one and although it’s cute it’s pretty much impossible to get Pikachu to stay stood up. I did manage to get him up at one point but when I dusted the shelf he fell over and I never got him back up. Never mind, the ball still looks cute!

26. Girls’ Generation Photo

Girls Generation Photo

When visiting SM Town I was ready to stock up on tons of merch from my favourite artists but unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of much of the merchandise. They had K-Pop albums that I would’ve happily bought but none of them had the price on and I wasn’t willing to take one up to the till only for it to be about £100 – the one I wanted was Girls’ Generation’s debut album which I’m pretty sure I hadn’t been able to find online for a reasonable price so I let it go. However on the top floor there was a photo booth where you could pick your favourite K-Pop artists and get a picture with them. As a massive Girls’ Generation fan I chose them but you could only have two members in the picture and they were already in pairs. As Sunny’s my bias I chose her, and Tiffany was also in the picture which is cool ‘cos I love Tiffany too.

On the other floors they had more areas where you could take a photo with the whole group which was fun as they’d designed it so two members saunter onto the screen and act like they’re preparing to take a photo with you and then the other members just appear on the screen as photos. You could also purchase a video version of it and I begged Becca to get her Super Junior photo because it was ‘Mamacita’ themed and she’d made me laugh so much with the two fake guns but she didn’t. None of us got our photos from the other rooms ‘cos we already had ours from the top floor but it was still a lot of fun doing the different rooms – upon reflection Jess may have got another one but I can’t remember. Either way the photo booths were a lot of fun and definitely the best part of SM Town!

27. Chocolate Frog

Chocolate Frog

When we visited Universal Studios our first stop was Harry Potter World – the three of us are massive Harry Potter fans and we’d heard that area just gets busier and busier as the day goes on so we decided to go there first. When we visited Honey Dukes one of us had the idea that we should each get a chocolate frog and see whose card we get – we got one to bring back to the UK for Hirst as well. Hirst got Rowena Ravenclaw which was awesome as that’s which house she’s in, Jess got ‘Bertie Bott’ and Becca got ‘Godric Gryffindor’. When I opened mine I’d got ‘Albus Dumbledore’ which is pretty sick, that’s the one Harry gets when he has his first chocolate frog. The chocolate frog itself was massive and well worth the money, I love chocolate but even I didn’t finish it in one sitting.

That’s pretty much all I can remember at the moment although I’m sure there was a lot of little extra stuff that I bought and this doesn’t even include the presents I bought for other people. Basically, Asia was an amazing trip and I got some sick souvenirs!