Tuesday, 27 December 2011

My End of year list of amazing things 2011


Darren Hayes – Secret Codes and Battleships


Released in October it very quickly became my album of the year by miles. It’s about love and life and how it’s a delicate balance between happiness and demons. One lyric screamed at me on first listen:

“A hundred demons clambering
They chase away my harmony and make love afraid to call
….And I've seen a hint of it
This happiness
This bliss
Just knowing it exists I know that I must try”


The Wombats – The Modern Glitch.


Songs that could have been written for or about me. Songs of despair. Songs of fun. Songs of good times. I adore this album.

Techno fan:

“Shut up and move with me, move with me or, or get out of my face
I didn't queue for an hour to leave straight away
Shut up and stay with me, stay with me or, or let go of my hand
The lasers fill our minds with empty plans”


Thomas Leach. A genuinely nice guy. A great friend to me. It’s not all been plane sailing though. He embraces the inner child with both arms just like me. I hope sometime we can hang out again like we use to and just goof around again.



The exact same as last year: the conservatives. FULL STOP.
Sick of them fucking our country and the Lib Dems doing Sweet F*** All to stop them. They care only for themselves.



The chance to see The Feeling at their Xmas shows (and it had VIP!). Sometimes things just don’t work out, you still got to believe in what is meant to be.



The Feeling – Together We Were Made


A band I’ve loved since they began. Their third album and it has some genius songs. Say No makes my soul feel so alive. I love it so much. It’s an incredible song.

“If I took a line from your favourite song,
Wrote it in the sky with the stars that shone,
I could never get you to sing along,
All you'd ever do is say no”.


Simon Curtis. DAMN that man is HAWT. And he has an amazing talent. One of my favourite new discoveries of 2011. R∆ is an amazing album, how to start a war is one of my favourite songs. I had the chance to see Simon perform live and meet him this year. It was amazing. This man is gonna go far.



Darren Hayes – Bloodstained Heart (lyrics video)

When I listened to this song the first time my reaction was: “Heart wrenching. LOVE it”.

The lyrics video floored me. I was stunned. Lost for words. In tears. It was just simple, beautiful, genius.

I drew many connections: the feeling of losing the battle, the feeling of hope – it inspires me, and the knight in shining armour that will pick up the pieces.

“There's no one left to lay you down. Or say it's okay”
‘We’ll go out punching”.
‘Even when you fall apart, I’ll pick up your bloodstained heart”

This song is an example of my connection to Darren and why I hold that so close my heart.



Peter Andre. I love watching his programme. He’s not the best singer but he’s got a good heart and he loves his kids so much. I love seeing his show. And he aint half bad looking either.


It’s still gotta be Sid from Ice age .


Sometimes characters are invented that are just genius. Sid is exactly that. The voice, the character, everything about him is careful constructed to make Sid amazing.


Caleb Followill.


Not exactly the coolest after his behaviour this year on stage towards fans but I hope he wins his battles as I do adore his voice. I hope kings of leon are back to their best soon. Definitely the sexiest rock star.


The occupy Nottingham protest camp – ‘Lost my job, found an occupation’.




The fact that in 80 of the 196 countries it’s illegal to be gay, being a lesbian is outlawed in 45 and in 6 countries it’s punishable with death. I long for a day when sexuality doesn’t matter anymore.


Darren Hayes.

Photobucket Photobucket

The revealing of Secret codes and battleships planned down to every inch and revealed slowly for months before release. The secret code was GENIUS. Some would take me more than an hour to work out. Winning one of those precious canvases for translating the code for ‘black out the sun’ is one of my best moments of 2011.

The costumes on stage, the stage design, all genius and carefully planned.

15. BEST GIG of 2011.

Darren Hayes – The Secret Tour – Liverpool. Just total sensory overload. The performer Darren Hayes was born to be. So good to have Darren back on stage doing his thang.

(Picture is from Glasgow the following night)


I took this picture of flower in my landlord’s garden in the last of the autumn sun in October this year. It was beautiful:


This is another flower picture I took in spring that I love:

This is a picture of a guy sitting looking up at the Nottingham Eye. I love this one:


The Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
The assassination of Osama bin laden.
The UK riots.
Steve Jobs death. He was a truly intelligent man and visionary. The world is missing a genius now.


So many...
Falling in love (I won’t mention losing it again).
One of my best friends wedding.
Seeing The Feeling in the Kasbah club.
Seeing The Killers playing The Scala one night and Hyde Park the next.
Listening to Darren Hayes new album at the listening party in London with friends new and old.
Seeing Darren Hayes play to 600 people in Birmingham and 10,000 at Wembley arena and a few more dates in between ;)


Rihanna – We Found Love.
TUNNNNNE. It’s just PURE feel good dance. That is all.


Total toss up between bridesmaids and friends with benefits. Bridesmaids because it was the funniest film this year and friends with benefits because Justin timberlake is totally naked. I will have to go with friends with benefits ;)


Keeping my blog going even if I didn’t find time to blog half as much as I would have liked.
Finding love. Keeping it for a little while.
Buying a digital SLR. Just need to work out how to use it.
Overcoming anxiety to discover new places.


Ben Montague. Support for the lighthouse family. He’s got this song called Haunted that haunts me.

“And I'm haunted
Still a part of me that's haunted
By the only one I've ever wanted
Everyone has their ghost”


Darren Hayes Next Tour.
The Killers Next Album and Tour.
Seeing more of my friends and having epic times.
I wanna go paris. It has to happen.

That is all.

Sunday, 4 December 2011


Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

sometimes i wish I didn't feel so sad, so worthless, so pointless.

sometimes I go through my phonebook and still have no one to txt when I feel so alone.

sometimes I wish that peace and happiness could be bestowed upon my heart.

sometimes i wish that my life wasn't always a battle I wasn't winning.

sometimes i wish there was someone to hold me....

...and then another year has past... oh well. there is always next year :-(

"If the going got worse
And the worse got rough
The days became endless
And harder than tough
I’d be good enough
Better than best
Would be simply to be good enough" - Darren Hayes

Friday, 25 November 2011

Wave 105 live Review – A beach we had yet to leave our footprints on

Getting to Bournemouth.

My trip to Bournemouth for Darren Hayes at Wave 105 Live started on Saturday afternoon after work. There were vast engineering works in the south west this weekend and Hilary and I decided to go down the night before so it wasn’t a mad rush on Sunday morning.

Then sun was shining when I left Nottingham and then I watched the most beautiful sunset from the train for the second time this week.




I met Hils at St Pancras and off we headed to waterloo. I think we both thought of the sweetest lullaby when we thought of waterloo. We got on the train to Basingstoke, then the train to Southampton airport, then a replacement bus service that was actually a non stop express coach (I was pleasantly surprised). The Driver was called Darren and he was hilarious. ‘Anyone for Southampton central shout loudly now (no one did), good because we weren’t stopping there’ LOL. We were nice and comfy on that bus, sitting chatting I almost didn’t want to arrive. I love a road trip.

We got off the bus, found a supermarket, got some rosé wine and headed off to our hotel for xfactor. Darren was in the chat for a bit so we paid for some wi-fi access and headed off to the bar for another glass of rosé. Good times.

We got up Sunday morning, pissed about for a few hours, admired the view from our hotel, then decided to get ready.


We found a rather interesting pub five minutes before then stopped serving breakfast and had a nice Full English. I was a little bit excited that they played Pete Lawrie’s ‘all that we keep’. Best known for being The feeling’s support act in Feb 2011, he is amazing, such a unique voice.


Anyhoo… We headed to the pavilion to collect our tickets and then went down to the beach. We walked along a stretch of the beach, went into the amusements and had fun with our £1 of 2p’s.





We then went to the BIC to check running times.




We decided to head back to our hotel bar for a while and who did we see on the opposite side of the road? none other than Matt Cardle. Ranting and swearing with his posse we didn’t bother saying hi to him. The look he gave us suggested he wanted us to stop him. Act the big man with his band when on another occasion I went to meet him he refused point blank. He just wants the circus, certainly doesn’t know how to treat his fans.

Wave 105 Live.

After a drink in the hotel bar that didn’t happen as it wasn’t open we headed to the pub next door to the venue for a quick drink. Sorry Reason 4 but we aren’t sitting through you! We headed to the venue and found Anna and Barry upstairs. After a quick picture for the Wave 105 Live website we headed inside. Sadly Hilary and I were opposite sides of the venue but we still had a great time.


The Feeling was up next, another love of mine, I’ve loved The Feeling since they began in 2006 and have seen them many times live. Another great set from them. Dan is just hilarious.

Up next was Mister Darren Hayes. SQUEE.

Set List:
1. black out the sun
2 to the moon and back
3 insatiable
4 bloodstained heart
5. Truly Madly Deeply
6. Siren's call

1. black out the sun
I loved hearing this song fill the Hall. Such a big, bold song to open the set. I love Darren’s energy, seeing him bouncing around the stage.

Apologies for the poor focus at the start, I had to zoom in and out again. Also apologises for the 20 seconds at the 1 minute mark where D disappears, some late comers decided they wanted past. *rolls eyes*.

2 to the moon and back
Darren said that they had just drove in and he couldn’t believe the beach was in their backyard and he was jealous. He said there was much worse places to come and work.

“I’m gonna play a song from the beginning of my career when I was in a band called savage garden”.

Darren was working the stage, dragging the mic stand around, amazing vocal. He added a few words into the middle of it ‘you gotta hold on, you better hold on’,

Darren sprung around on the spot and then went over to steve and was singing back to back with him then put his arm around him. He spun around to show the back of his jacket and then held his hands up in the heart shape. At one point Darren jumped backwards and it looked like his head didn’t miss the microphone by much.

3 insatiable
Once again sang beautifully. I loved hearing Darren’s voice echo in the hall when he shouted ‘woo’.

4 bloodstained heart
Darren said he had a new album out and that the next song would be a single next year and it was called bloodstained heart. (peeps screamed, that was exciting, that was his fans) Darren said the album is called secret codes and battleships and then joked that was his ‘contractual obligation to promote himself’ LOL.

As Darren launched into bloodstained heart it wasn’t long before silence fell on the hall and the only sound was Darren’s beautiful voice. So much love for this song. It’s just beautiful. I love how passionate Darren is about this song, you can see it when you watch him perform, especially today.

5. Truly Madly Deeply
Darren said his band had just come off tour and were completely jet lagged but thrilled to be there. “This next song changed my life forever and it is always gonna belong to you, its called truly madly deeply”. Loved the cheer it got.

It’s still a beautiful song after all these years. It changed my life forever too. loved it.

‘and when the sun is shining brightly in the Bournemouth skies, and then make you want to cry’. I remember sunset that night. We were sat in the pub so we couldn’t see sunset directly but I could see its reflection on the glass of the building opposite and it looked beautiful.

Darren said he wanted to thank his band. “this is Mr Steve Young, I haven’t got time to introduce everybody else, but this is everybody else’. LOL.

6. Siren's call
I had noticed that affirmation was missing from the set but I just assumed it would be the last song. I love affirmation live, I missed it in the set but sirens’ call is just WOW. this song. My gawd. My Heartbeat raced. It’s so strange being aware of your own heartbeat, I could feel my heart leaping out of my chest. I LOVE this song so much. Powerful, emotional, hopeful. It’s the conviction with which Darren belts his voice. Just wonderful. I love seeing Darren so happy.

I love how expressionate Darren is with this song. He rubbed his fingers together for the line ‘golden honey dripping from the finger tips of god’. He held his finger up for ‘just one moment’ and then blew a kiss for the line ‘just one kiss’.

I’ve taken a few still frames from the video:






After Darren’s Set.

Straight after the set, I ran around the whole of the venue to try and find Anna and Barry, I then found them in the car park and we headed round the back. We went ahead and let Barry follow his own pace and Darren was stood outside the venue chatting to a lovely German fan. I however couldn’t breathe LOL.

Darren brought us just inside the door so we didn’t get cold; he was still in his costume straight from the stage.

Anna gave him her collectors edition to sign and Darren joked he better not mess it up, and doubled checked how you spell Anna’s name and then wrote over the corners of it. So nice to see him writing all over it for her :). Barry had caught us up and all was good :)

Darren was signing some things for the German fan. Darren introduced the German fan to myself as Dominic and myself to him as ‘this is hails, keeper of all things’. Awwww.

Darren said to us ‘promise me you will all get inside and get warm’ and my reply was ‘I’m roasting’. I think I might have mentioned I ran around the venue. I really shouldn’t be allowed to open my mouth LOL. *dies of embarrassment*

Tasha had her moment with Darren. He recognised her face straight away but couldn’t remember her name. He never forgets a fan that has been adorable to him; he thanked her for the starbucks outside radio 2 and chatted for a little bit.

Tracey asked me ‘weren’t you at Wembley on Tuesday? I said yes, and she said, you had work on Wednesday morning didn’t you? I said ‘yes, I had 3 hours sleep then worked split shift, I was knackered’. Darren was signing something for someone but interrupted, ‘I love your accent, *tried to mimic my accent* - knackered, say that again’ I said thanks and just laughed. I didn’t think Darren was listening to me rambling on the Tracey. Whoops. He’s such a sweetheart though. You know in all the times I’ve spoken to Darren he’s never mentioned the accent, I guess that’s because I never say much, say too much, or certain words highlight the accent. I’ve gotta say knackered is a work I use A LOT. LOL. Especially lately ;)

I asked Darren to sign my ticket but then said ‘I’m a bad fan I’ve only got my ticket’ *another example of why I shouldn’t be allowed to open my mouth*. Darren said he couldn’t believe he didn’t know I was coming today and then he said ‘we played at the Windsor hails’ and I laughed and he carried on signing it. It was only when I got it back and read it, Darren had changed the word Hall to Hails with the pen. Adorable. I think what Darren has written on my ticket is ‘for the lovely hails, love D x’ not sure. Suggestions welcome LOL.


Someone gave him a calendar to sign and he held it up to his face and joked, ‘look, thinner, airbrushed me’ LOL.

Darren tuned into matt’s voice coming from the stage and asked ‘is that matt?’. I would have liked to see Matt I was a fan of his since the beginning but he’s behaved like an idiot off-stage and I couldn’t pass of the possible chance to see Darren leave. I made the right choice.

Then we asked for a few quick pictures.

Darren said he had promised Dominic first and Darren gave his camera to me and said ‘hails is good photographer, no pressure’ I said ‘awww thanks’ and then proceeded to take the picture. Darren decided the camera needed to be held higher and said ‘oh higher, PLEASE’. I took a second pic and then the other peeps got pics with Darren.

Just as everyone was leaving I asked Darren for a picture and he said ‘we almost forgot about hails’ and he gave my camera to Tracey. Darren joked she was an excellent PA but he wasn’t sure as a photographer. I agreed with him that Tracey was amazing and we took the pic. I knew straight away I had blinked the second the flash went off. The pic isn’t too bad, it was never gonna look amazing after siren’s call had practically floored me and then I’d ran around the venue. Darren however looked amazing, how does he do it?


Thank you so much Darren. You are a sweetheart. Wonderful set, you sounded INCREDIBLE. Thank you working so hard and still giving us your time afterwards, it was amazing day.

Anna, Barry and myself, were chatting to the German fan afterwards and he said Darren must have got confused as he was writing Dominic on his stuff for a friend and his name was actually Tobi. We added him on facebook but apparently it’s the wrong Tobi, so Tobi if you see this, please get in touch, it was lovely to meet you. Perhaps see you at NYE? You HAVE TO come ;).

Then it was back home for a burger in the hotel bar, PJ’s, Xfactor, I’m a celebrity get me out of here and then bed. Only problem was that I was way too excited too sleep and way too exhausted to be that excited.


The day after.

I woke up on Monday and for a split second forgot that Hils had already gone home, I was gutted when I realised. Thank you Hils for an amazing time. Loved this weekend so much. Thank you for convincing me that Bournemouth was an excellent idea.

I went the oceanarium, to the amusements (I won a toy meerkat but a kid beat me by about three 2p’s for a lolly on the slots), I had a walk along the pier and then along the beach for ages. I can’t describe the affinity I have for the ocean. It was much to foggy to see any of sunset which was a shame but it was a beautiful day, I headed to the german xmas market, had a sausage and a crepe and then it was home time. It was an emotional day, my dad lived in Bournemouth as a kid and very clearly sees it as home and would love to go back and visit. So damn grateful for the friends I have and the chances I have to go away for a few days. Such a wonderful weekend.