Wednesday, 6 February 2019

The Candle Thieves - The Sunflower Lounge - 6/2/2019

The Candle Thieves - The Sunflower Lounge - 6/2/2019.

The candle thieves tonight. Wow. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror of the toilets and my face was a picture. I can’t begin to tell you the sheer joy that this band gives me, but it was written all over my face. 

Seeing them setting up, and Scott setting up all their fiddly bits like glow sticks and a confetti cannon and stuff. I was transported back to that Darren Hayes tour when that cannon just would not pop. Was it Glasgow? Hilarious. Anyhoo...

Tonight was a celebration of 10 years of the candle thieves. I was a little late to the party. It was July 2010 when I ordered sunshine and other misfortunes from The rest is history. 

(1.) Before the war
The first thing I noticed was Scott’s confidence. It was wonderful to see. I’ve really missed this band. They are looking great and sounding great. 

(2.) Moths
OMG! This was one of the best moments. Balloons was an album that was a game changer for me, and this song I’ve never heard live before (because they’ve never played it live until last night). Scott quipped he co-wrote it with Kate moth. LOL.

(3.) Sunshine song
This song. Has it really been almost 9 years I’ve been listening to it? I still love it. I can’t wipe that smile off my face. 
“Y’know we can't stay young forever but we can stay young for the rest of our days” and that lyric always stuck with me and it’s so much fun live. And words to live by. 

(4.) Sugarcandy mountain 
This was a welcome curveball tonight. I was not expecting that. Not sure I’ve ever heard this one live? Maybe. Maybe at the All’s Well That End’s Well farewell show? (Chorlton Arts festival at Wilbraham St Ninian’s Church, 2013). It sounded so good. I’ve loved this song since the Weatherman EP. 

(5.) We’re All Gonna die (Have Fun). 
Scott:” This song is for anyone struggling”. And then BAM! OMG! The most amazing stripped back version of this song I’ve ever heard. This song will always be special to me. It came into my life at a time I really needed it. And that tiny of bit of Try again mixed in (one of my ultimate faves). Wow. Scott’s voice. Damn. 

(6.) The Little Engine That Could. 
This is one of my ultimate favourites. My fifth most played candle thieves song (the others are: Not The Only One, Try Again, I’m Gone, This House is For Sale, in that order, most played first). This was completely acoustic, unplugged. The band in the middle of the room, you could have heard a pin dropped as Scott sang us a velvet lullaby backed by his playing of the ukulele, and Glock’s glockenspiel. It was special. 

(7.) Into forever
I’ve got a new love for this song tonight. 
The details EP is something I play quite a lot. I loved this live version tonight. Sang my little heart out (well I did for the entire gig but y’know). “You can’t buy a heart of gold”. 

(8.) We won’t ever be rich
Man this song. I still love it. It’s still fun. It still reminds me of good times with my friends on Darren Hayes Tour. And it still reminds me of that pledge music Album launch gig for balloons. I was broke and was staying a Travelodge down the road from the venue, The Betsey Trotwood, a Victorian pub in London with a cellar room for gigs, but I was so so happy that night. 

Tonight was so good. I’ve missed this band. It’s been 431 days since I last seen them to be precise. 

I can’t wait for tomorrow. London Town. Old St Pancras church. I venue I’ve never been too and missed many of my favourites play. I. Can. Not. Wait. 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Depression Through My Eyes.

I want to inspire people.
I want them to understand.

I took a picture last week of my horribly depressed ugly crying face at 4am because I wanted to record the moment as one where I can look back and say I SURVIVED this day.

This picture was just 7 days before:

I've been built up and knocked back down again lately but one thing is certain, I won't let this beat me. Then I extended my arms out to 2 of my friends that were really suffering, despite how much I myself was hurting. Because God knows, I get it. And it's a vile demon.

On the bad days I draw on everything I knew as my strength, Darren Hayes music. On the good days, hell I still listen to his incredible voice. It makes me smile.

I want to talk about "high functioning depression". To the outside world I don't 'look' depressed. People have said to me that I they always thought I was happy. They had no clue I suffered... The older I get the more vocal I get. I used to be ashamed and refuse to let anyone close to me so they wouldn't know the real me. 

This is my story.
I remember the day the word depression was first used by my high school health official speaker type person that came in and gave us the sex ed talk and then this quiz to see if you were depressed. And I flagged many markers on that scale, yet not one person, a teacher, that speaker woman, picked up on it. I was about 14. I was terrified. I remember the exact place I was sat in that drama class room. And apart from the fact I was a loner that was always bullied, I was high functioning. I won awards for attendance and excellence, I shared the trophy with a class mate for best pupil of the year.. I played tin whistle grade 3, flute grade 5, was in the choir and the hockey team... And I got 4 A's, 4 B's and C at GCSE. What drove me was a desire to prove everyone else wrong. All those bullies that said I would never amount to shit. The demon in my head that agreed with them.. I threw myself into studying as it was all I knew how to be good at. It wasn't until I was 18 and came to uni that I realised that depression was what I suffered from. I thought I was just down and homesick.... And today I still wear the scars of my entire teenage and adult life fighting depression. 

I'm still high functioning.. Always working hard at my job, always away on trips or gigs, always socialising, but hardly anyone understands how hard that is, that anxiety. It terrifies me to get on a train somewhere I haven't been, but my desire to escape and feel euphoria at a gig is stronger that my anxiety to not go. My heart still beats out my chest when I walk into a bar alone to meet friends. Friends I've known years. I struggle to meet people and talk to people I don't know.

My depression still has bad days when it cripples me. But I know the demon now, and I know how to look after me better. How to be a little kinder to Hayley. I just want people to understand that mental illness isn't the person rocking in the corner, or crying all the time, or looking 'sad'. It's so much more than that but I can put up a good fight against the beast.  

I thank my lucky stars for the people in my life who show me compassion, kindness and understanding. Those who lend me an ear to listen, and who spend their time making sure I'm ok. You are worth your weight in gold and I'm forever grateful.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Script - Thetford Forest - 2 July 2015

I can't really find the words to describe just how perfect The Script was in Thetford Forest last night. One of the best gigs I've ever seen the band do, and a connection almost second to none (Aberdeen 2013, still up there).

Brandon and Thetford forest are beautiful and peaceful, and music brings me back to what life is all about. It's nice being in the middle of nowhere, but there are too many bugs and it would be better if there was a little 3G or at least WIFI that wasn't a snatched moment in the Hotel bar. Gah.

The queue was bullshit but it was nice to hear the sound check through the fence. I appreciate the lady trying wristband us in number order but some fans the stewards didn't care about respecting who was first in line. I thought we were The Script FAMILY. One steward did make me laugh though. "Don't run because if you fall I ain't helping you up" "that's fine" and I carried on running LOL. Our plan worked well. I was the legs, Anna was the eyes, and Kelly caught us up. Running flat out in nearly 25°C heat was not fun though, I didn't feel well for a while. But we got right where we wanted, in front of my love, Mark.

I ADORED Colton Avery's set. Colton asked 'don't you guys have air-con and someone shouted we didn't need it and he said 'maybe just on the off chance the one day of the year you do?. he's getting it over in the UK LOL. He's mega talented. I ADORE 'The One'. "We're just people, trying to find our equal, hoping someday we will, we will find the one". And as I sang my heart out, Colton spotted me and smiled. That meant the world. Two people, fan and artist, bringing it back to what it's all about, a connection to the music. I LOVE 'rewind'. It's another relate song. I need this album like yesterday. I walked away last night singing weatherman. I love it so much. It's a move your feet and sing-a-long song, but it has meaning.


Then it was The Script time. Thanks to whomever handed the green balloons out for 'Paint the Town Green'. That was a lot of fun. Even if Anna did try and kill us (and the stewards) when hers went pop haha.

'Hail Rain or Sunshine' was fun and I'm sure Danny saw us dancing, going for it. Mark came over to the front of the stage and mouthed Hello. All I could think to do was wave like an excited child waving goodbye to their parents whilst off on a school trip. UGH. LOL.

I will FOREVER adore 'Breakeven'. One of my favourite ever songs. Danny's voice sounded so very beautiful in the forest last night.

Danny joked: "I've been praying for no rain, but then there was a fucking heatwave, so I stopped praying" giggles. Love him.

'Before the Worst' was great. I was having fun, enjoy it, singing... And then I died of shame. Because I had no pockets in my dress I was the classy bird who stuffed my phone in my bra, at the exact moment Mark looked my way. *dies*

Superheroes was a moment. Connecting to Danny and Mark like that. It's a powerful song that means a lot. I adore Danny's strength and Mark's wisdom.

The 'twitpic' is always a great moment. Glen took the Glen cut out some girls on the front row had on a stick and held it up and joked "if you ever wanted an ego boost"... Danny joked "they sell them near the hotdog stand, they come in vanilla or chocolate, near the toilets.." Then Glen joked it was for the toilet as a toilet stick, and Mark just laughed and said 'OH MY GOD, we're meant to be working'. That's what I love about these 3 guys, they love what they do so much it isn't work to them and their passion and personality shines through.

'We Cry' was fun. The sing off war is alway good fun. I always love Danny's sweary language trying to rile the both sides up.

'If You Could See Me Now' was emotional. It's not often you get close enough in the right spot to really make a connection with Danny, but last night, during that song, Danny and I for a brief second held a connection and it meant the world.

'Man on a Wire'. God I love this song Sooooo much. It's all about the Mark and his speech.
"Our view is definitely better than your view, I know you have to look at us fucking ugly bastards.. It's crazy because life is like a tightrope, you can fall off, the wind can blow you anyway it wants, it can take you down, but you know everyday you gotta take one step in front of the other, every single day".  Danny got the lyrics wrong and Mark covered it over for him. I love the bond the lads have.

'Good Ol' Days'. Aww I love this song. I was going mental, jumping up and down from the very beginning, and Danny came over and just looked at me and smiled. I'm glad when Danny jumped down to make people sing he didn't come our length to make us sing though Lol.

'The Man Who Can't Be Moved'. Danny thanked us for coming out and supporting the forest and supporting them for the past 8 years. It's always so very beautiful and humbling to see the guys play this song.

'You Won't Feel a Thing'. I literally couldn't believe it when Danny asked the middle of the crowd 'to part the seas' and he walked from the barrier to the other end of the crowd. 9,750 people all with respect for the man. Amazing.

'Six Degrees of Separation'. I love this song. I love my little connection with Mark I've had since the very first time I saw the guys perform this song at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in September 2012. "No no there ain't no help, it's every man for himself". Danny got the lyrics wrong and we giggled and Mark saw us and just shock his head as if to say I give up on him and just laughed with us. Love it.

'It's Not Right for You' was great. It was nice to have enough space to actually get your arms above your head and clap along. It's got a powerful message. I loved how the crowd kept the singing going until the lads were almost back on stage for the encore.

'The Energy Never Dies' is great. Mark stood on a speaker at the front of the stage because their full stage wouldn't fit. I loved seeing Mark so into it.

'For the First Time'. Aww this song means a lot to me. I remember when I bought the science and faith album and this song stood out and I would run around the house singing it and drive my sister crazy. Now kelly, Anna and I, stand, arms around each other and sing and dance for our lives.
"Oh these times are hard,
Yeah, they're making us crazy
Don't give up on me baby".

I love you girls, this life is hard sometimes but to know you girls always have my back means more than I could express.

'No Good in Goodbye' looked incredible in the forest. When there was nothing like an arena's walls limiting the range of the lasers they looked beautiful across the crowd. So stunning and humbling. And Danny lost his words again LOL. So funny.

Danny's speech before 'Hall of Fame' was amazing. Reasons I adore this man X 1000.
".. Different colours, different religions, different nationalities, different sexes, there is only one thing that can bring these people together, so many like-minded people together, you know inside we are all 100% the same, and that's music, music is here for everybody and music is the one true religion, it's there for you in your darkest hours and it's there when you need the power, music for me means moments, I wanna create a moment right now, one that we will remember for the rest of our lives"
And that you certainly did Danny. This song is just amazing. So powerful. Such a real belter. Sing for your life. Own it. And don't forget about the confetti cannon. Danny ran down the barrier and back. I've managed a few times to run my fingers past his as he run by, but last night he grabbed hold of my hand. Just for a split second his hand fit inside mine. And it just seemed like a great end to a great show. Symbolic of what Danny and the band mean to me. That connection. That bond. That strength.

Mark came to the edge of the stage and was throwing plectrums. I wondered earlier why the plectrums he was throwing our way kept taking a curve ball and then I realised it was the fan at his feet. I managed to get 2 from the stewards off the ground in front of the barrier and coupled with the one Mark threw that I felt hit my foot, all 3 of us girlies got Irish flag plectrums. Finally. It was bittersweet.


My 30th script gig. The moon shone so brightly above the stage and we walked away last night and I ate my cheesy chip. So happy. So content. This band and these girls are my world. Don't ever for a second discount the power of true friendship and music. I love you girlies. I love you The Script.