Labyrinth is one of my all time favourite movies, and you know I love a reason to dress up, so how could I resist The Goblin King’s Masquerade Ball?

goblin ball

Image from http://www.goblin-king.co.uk/

Held at The Coronet Theatre in Elephant and Castle to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Jim Henson’s cult film, and in tribute to the passing of its star and legend David Bowie, the 2016 ball was entitled ‘The Fall of The King’.

IMG_9822

A lot of people ask me about the more unusual events I go to, or ask advice for dress codes etc, so I thought I’d start telling you all a bit more about the stuff I do. With an emphasis on what I wear.

The Ball

The Goblin King’s Masquerade Ball is an immersive dark fantasy costume event, loosely themed around Labyrinth. The blurb from the site explains it better than I can;

”This evening sees the World Turn’d Upside Down; Where Fools become Princes for one night. Where Nymphs, Bad Faeries, Goblins and other Creatures of the Night, beyond the realm of human vision, are free to dance, tempt, seduce, carry out acts of foolishness and wanton merrymaking. Dearest revellers cast aside thoughts of the next day and abandon yourselves to excesses and skullduggery, the time is upon us to witness of The Fall of The King.”

This was my first time attending the ball, but I know a few people who have been before, and from looking at the site as well, you can tell that the events follow a kind of story;

”Confusion is afoot in The Goblin Realm; tensions are at breaking point between The Goblin King’s Royal Army and a faction calling themselves The Tusk Rebels. Foul play is believed to be at hand, with many calling for an investigation into the Chancellor’s immediate clench of control. All ye who mortals who dare, choose your comrades wisely as you step forth towards the Goblin Kingdom.”

That’s a snippet, but if you’re interested you can read more here.

The detail put into the venue was great. Little details like the Bowie masks scattered in places, and small creatures from the movie.

IMG_9823

These two guys even put in an appearance…

IMG_9941

Photo by Kash R Photography

The Entertainment

Providing the entertainment at the event were a variety of underground circus, music and cabaret performers.

IMG_9647

I really enjoyed some of the acts at the Rebels Cabaret. Look at these beautiful pictures of Syban…

Untitled

Photos by Rob Voodoo

And this slightly more gruesome one…

IMG_9950

Photo by Rob Voodoo

Another performer I loved was Bambi Blue. Not only was she entertaining but just drop dead gorgeous. And so nice!

IMG_9942

Photo by Kash R Photography

There was life drawing arranged by Art Macabre – the two life drawing models captivated me. I actually bumped into one of them at another event recently, Dana Fox, and we linked up on Facebook. He has some really cool projects – including an event I really want to go to, Coven at The Resistance Gallery. I’m really pleased with the photo I took of them from the night.

IMG_9629

The Costumes

I go to a fair few things where costumes are recommended or which have a strict dress code, but I’ve never been to an event before where everyone I’ve seen has made a real effort.

IMG_9946

Photo by Rob Voodoo

The dress code was varied around the dark fantasy theme;

”Goblins, Bad Faeries, Terrible Trolls, Mischievous Nymphs, Unpleasant Pixies, Drunk Ogres, Denizens of The Goblin Citadel, Enchanted Creatures, David Bowie’s Many Incarnations, Neo Victorian, Venetian Masks, Ball Gowns, Dark Elves, Fawns, Satyrs, Wicked Giants, Jinn, Queen Mab, Sprites, Horrid Harlequins, Misbehaving Imps, Bogeys, Gelflings, Hags, Sylphs, Sinister Skeksis, Green Men, May Queens, Spirits of Chaos and Disorder, Pan, etc!”

I really liked this dress code, it was really open to interpretation. I actually really like dress codes in general, they’re much more fun than just wear whatever.

What I Wore

I based my outfit around my headdress, which I purchased from MieMoeShop on Etsy, and ended up with a Maleficent like dark fairy type feel.

IMG_9711

I would 100% recommend MieMoeShop for anything like this. The quality of the piece was fantastic and it was absolutely beautiful. There was a mixture of black flowers and feathers on a black headband, with (faux) horns and a bird skull painted silver, and a crystal hanging onto my forehead.

12986952_10154115119166057_1399497323738132036_n

My dress was the black taffeta Ophelie dress from Burleska. I almost bought the dress when I first saw it in costume shop So High Soho but I’m so glad I didn’t – they were selling it for a ridiculously overpriced £130, when you can buy it from Burleska’s own site for £84.95, or their shop in Camden for £70! I seriously cannot get over the mark up So High Soho put on it. It’s a really lovely dress, corseted (not steel boned unfortunately) with a lace and mesh high low skirt.

Sadly I don’t have a full length picture from the evening (my camera shyness is an issue when I’m writing outfit posts…), but here’s one of my trying on the full outfit in my favourite costume shop Mad World in Charing Cross when I was wig shopping.

IMG_9558

In the end I went for a wig from Lush Wigs, called Berry Cooler. I wanted comfortable footwear so I stuck with my trusty plum studded flats from Topshop, which went nicely with the hair. And my everyday bag, the black frilly snake bag from Vivienne Westwood Anglomania went with the outfit well. On my wrists I had latex lace effect cuffs tied with ribbon from Elissa Poppy which I bought at Le Boutique Bazaar.

Oh and for when it was a little chilly I threw on my favourite pink studded biker jacket from Killstar.

Now I cannot do my own make up to save my life, so I popped in to MAC Cosmetics in Spitalfields and got them to do it for me. I was so happy with the result! My make up artist was Ibi Molnar, she was lovely and so talented!

IMG_9622

What My Friends Wore

My friends and I ended up with very different outfits, all of which I felt were really indicative of our personalities. I was predictably dark and gothy.

IMG_9821

Photo by Rob Voodoo

Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat was a sparkly unicorn, which is her in a nutshell.  Her horn was another Etsy headwear purchase, from seller PrincessLAB.

IMG_9708

Luisa’s dress is from ASOS and was on sale recently – if it’s still there in your size get it, it’s stunning. She wore it with an Ann Summers sheer black kimono, little frilly socks and her comfy black block heels, which I think she got from Vagabond.

The other member of our little friendship trip, Georgia, was an adorable kawaii cyber bunny. Her outfit evolved so much through the planning stages, and ended up completely different from her original idea.

IMG_9825

Photo by Rob Voodoo

It was based around a UV mask and cuffs she had custom made from Maskadelic, whose masks we saw at London Alternative Market and Le Boutique Bazaar recently. You can also find them on Etsy. Look at it glow…!

IMG_9642

For the base of her outfit she wore a plain white crop with a mint pastel PVC skater skirt from Black Milk Clothing, with a lace skirt from eBay on top, which gave it a bit more of a ball like vibe. Her shoes were the Jeffrey Campbell Coltranes in white which she wears all the time. They’re really cute though, and I’ve just purchased a pair myself.

Her outfit had some great details. Georgia is really into Shibari (Japanese rope tying) and it’s something I find really interesting and will be writing more about in future! She tied herself a harness of rope and hung little pocket watches from it. The white leather collar is by Carapace London – if you like harnesses and leather wear check them out!

IMG_9677

I have to show you my friend Sarah’s amazing head dress which SHE MADE HERSELF. Look at it, it’s majestic.

IMG_9945

Photo by Kash R Photography

Sarah’s friend Rhi also had a fantastic headpiece!

rhi

So, if you’re still with me, thanks for reading all that! It was such a fun event and I’ll be keeping an eye on what else Guerrilla Zoo come up with!

I have a few more events I’ll be writing about soon, next up is Psycho Ward

L xx

All photos my own unless otherwise stated. Thank you Rob Voodoo and Kash R Photography for the permission to use your photos!

After a quiet few weeks (I’ve recently started an awesome new job and been recovering from a chest infection), things are starting to pick up again, and I’ve actually done some pretty cool stuff this week!

Le Boutique Bazaar

Le Boutique Bazaar is something I want to tell you about in more detail at some point soon, so for now I’m just going to say what it is and what I bought. Held at McQueen in Shoreditch, it’s an alternative fashion event, I believe run in conjunction with Torture Garden – think latex, corsets, bondagewear and accessories all with a festishy twist.

Usually things I want at Le Boutique Bazaar are out of my price range, but this time I picked up a couple of things.

Elissa Poppy does some gorgeous lace effect latex pieces, and I bought a really great value (£10!) wrist and ankle cuff set, which will be perfect for an event I’m going to in the next couple of weeks – The Goblin King’s Masquerade Ball.

elissapoppy

I also put down a deposit for a bespoke ring collar from Darkest Star. You can see it in the picture below with gold rings – mine will have silver.

darkeststar

Photo from www.darkeststar.com

At a discounted price of £112.50 it isn’t cheap. But it is really great quality and it’s so very me.

I also won a competition with Beautifully Undressed and got myself a lovely gift set from Tallulah Love with some lacy panties and an eye mask. I never win anything so I was over the moon!

Yelps Golden Ticket Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Event

You’ll have noticed by now that I do quite a lot with Yelp, and this event was one of my favourites so far – there were limited spaces and I was so lucky to get one!

hotelchoc

I’ll be telling you all about it in the next few days – we started with some chocolate making at Hotel Chocolat in Covent Garden and finished with the musical Charlie & The Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal Drury Lane (remember the ghost stories? You can read about them here).

Secret Cinema – 28 Days Later

Another thing I want to tell you about in more detail – Secret Cinema, the 28 Days Later experience. It was SO GOOD. For now, have me and my friends Kat and Georgia in our scrubs and masks…

28days

Ginder

You know I love gin, right? I mean I even did the blogging for Gin Festival recently (see my post about it here). Oh, and a review of the Gin Explorer subscription box is coming soon. Anyway, I digress.

On Friday I received an invitation (through Yelp) to the Ginder experience at World of Gin in Bethnal Green. Running for this weekend only, World of Gin were hosting half hour gin tasting sessions to match you with your ideal gin and tonic combination. It was fun. And boozy. Check out their upcoming events on their website – I believe they have Cardiff and Birmingham coming up.

Psst… it’s only on writing this that I’ve realised that Ginder is a play on Tinder, it’s all about finding your perfect match. Clever.

ginder

So, that’s about it for this week. But I have another fun filled week coming up, so watch this space!

L xx

All photos my own unless stated otherwise.

I know, I know, my ‘weekly’ round up posts aren’t really happening weekly, but life gets in the way sometimes! It’s been a busy couple of weeks – not only have I had loads on, but I managed to fracture my shoulder, wrist and break my thumb (which is why you’ll see some rather attractive wrist supports in my pics for a while!).

Sadly my injuries happened on the day I was meant to attend #BLOGGERSBELOWZERO at the Ice Bar, which I had been looking forward to for ages! Ice Bar have been very kind though and have invited me to my own little review visit so I will be posting about it soon! In the meantime you can see what Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat thought of it here.

So here’s what I got up to this fortnight…

People Footwear UK Launch

On Tuesday I went along to The Hoxton Gallery for the UK launch of Vegan leisure shoe line, People Footwear. You can read about it in detail here.

people footwear

Abhorrent Decimation at Scream Lounge

I left the People Footwear event a little early to get myself down to the tiny Scream Lounge in Croydon to see local death metal band Abhorrent Decimation. Loved them. Properly loved them.

Despite being exactly the kind of thing I usually love, Abhorrent Decimation had managed to pass me by up until now. But I was so impressed, and I left with a copy of their new album, Miasmic Mutation. If you like death metal with a modern edge give it a listen, it’s awesome.

abhorrent decimation

ABQ London

Wednesday evening was my second visit to the ABQ London Breaking Bad themed bar (after going the first time around in the Summer, which you can read about here). After such a successful run of their Hackney pop up RV, they returned to a new venue, and a new BYOB format, which I’ve posted about in detail here!

abq london

Grease at the Hard Rock Cafe POP Picturehouse

Hard Rock Cafe London have some really cool stuff coming up, starting with the immersive showing of Grease in collaboration with Pop Picturehouse.

pop picturehouse hard rock cafe

You can read about the event in detail here, and buy tickets for the next event, Spiceworld on 22nd February here.

Alice In Wonderland Exhibition at The British Library

Have I mentioned yet how much I love Alice In Wonderland? I actually don’t think I have, which is pretty strange as I have been OBSESSED with anything Alice since my childhood. So of course the Alice In Wonderland exhibition at the British Library was on my to do list. You can see a sneaky preview of the exhibition in this post.

alice in wonderland british library

Chicken Night with Yelp & Neighbourhood

I’ve really been getting into Yelp lately (you can check out my profile here if you’re interested, feel free to add me as a friend if you’re a fellow Yelper).  I’m actually pretty disappointed that I didn’t get involved sooner, since they have such a great community and hold some really awesome events!

Wednesday just gone I attended their Newbie and Chicken Night at Neighbourhood in Stratford. It was a great night, I met some cool new people and had a delicious family style dinner and as much beer as I could drink! Thanks Yelp!

chickennight

At Home With The Chef with Yelp & Eat With

Another night, another Yelp event! This was actually a pretty special one, there were only eight spaces available so Yelp ran a little competition – the eight Yelpers who recruited the most new members won a space. And I actually won overall, and got an extra little gift of a really nice cafetiere and coffee – I’m keeping it for my new desk when I start my new job in March.

Now, this event run with Eat With is worthy of a post all of its own, so you can read about it soon!

eat with

In the meantime you can find out a bit more about the chef who cooked for us, Dylan, on his blog, The Travelling Editor.

Fat Tuesday – London Mardi Gras 2016

You may have seen my post about Fat Tuesday in advance of the event? Regardless, I was invited down by Kansas Smittys and Shotgun Carousel to their London Mardi Gras event on Southbank. Despite the miserable weather, it was a great night!

london mardi gras

So, that was what’s been going on in my life lately – the next couple of weeks are going to be busy too! Stay tuned for more cool Yelp events, Slipknot, a new tattoo and plenty of (anti) Valentines stuff!

L xx

All photos my own.

Last night I popped along to The Hoxton Gallery for the UK launch event of People Footwear. Their Spring/Summer 2016 line will be their first collection available within the UK – the products are due to be rolled out online and across select retailers next month.

hoxton

As you may have gathered, this month I’m participating in Veganuary, so a launch event for a Vegan footwear line which promised Vegan food and beer was pretty perfect!

people footwear

The Shoes

Obviously I’ll start with the shoes. People Footwear originated in Vancouver with the intention to produce ‘the next generation of classic casual footwear’. Not only are their products Vegan and their manufacturing cruelty-free, but they have even been recognised by PETA!

people footwear

Let’s face it, it’s pretty obvious by now that I’m quite partial to a bit of leather in my wardrobe, and that extends to pretty much all my footwear. Even my favourite Vans are mock croc leather, although I do have some canvas Star Wars and Disney ones. So I was maybe a little unsure as to how I’d feel about a Vegan footwear line. I mean, when you say Vegan footwear, Crocs are what springs to mind, haha!

people footwear

But I was pleasantly surprised. The designs were, for the most part, pretty simple. But what makes People Footwear stand out from the numerous other companies offering similar silhouettes are the fabrics. These are clearly synthetic, innovative, high tech materials. Shiny canvas style finishes, printed polyester, super breathable polyester knits (trademarked as ‘DreamKnit’) and in a wide range of colours and prints. Very sports luxe.

people footwear

And I didn’t expect them to be so light! All People Footwear products have soles made using ‘SkyLite’, Peoples trademarked rubberized foam, which apparently ‘provides the optimal balance of support, cushion, and lightweight performance’.

People Footwear like their fancy trademarked words for their materials and manufacturing techniques, as you may already have noticed! As well as the previously mentioned DreamKnit and SkyLite, they use ‘Supercrush’ shock absorbing sock liners and ‘Ezy-Brzy’ construction which combines 3D printing with mesh fabric. Ever since I went to the Wonderluk 3D printed jewellery launch, I’ve been meaning to look more into 3D printing in fashion, so the Ezy-Brzy intrigued me.

people footwear

Take a look at the FAQ section of their website for more info on their materials and manufacturing.

With their futuristic fabrics and finishes, and lightweight construction, the shoes are very on trend, and I imagine they’d be a dream to wear in Summer! I quite fancy a pair of the block coloured pastel Stanley Knits for everyday wear.

people footwear

The Food

So this is awkward. The invitation promised food from Vegan Hippo, which I was quite excited about, as they were on my list of places to try for Veganuary. But Vegan Hippo apparantly didn’t show up, leaving People Footwear without catering. Not very impressive and puts me off visiting their restaurant if I’m honest.

I didn’t hang around too long, as I had a gig to go to as well that night, but I’m told by Luisa, who also attended and whose post about the event you can read here that People placed a massive Dominos Pizza order for everyone!

The Drinks

Drinks were kindly provided by Northern Monk Brew Co (and they were Vegan!). I tried the Eternal Session IPA, a strong, hoppy tasting blonde ale with a citrus tang. I think it may be an acquired taste, but I liked it. And if that wasn’t your thing, you could go for cans of gin instead, which is always a winner!

northernmonk

It was a great little event, very trendy, thanks for having me People!

L xx

All photos my own.

 

 

Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend deals are so tempting, right? As it goes, although I bought quite a lot, they’re all items that are perfect for me, or ones I’ve wanted for a while. Old Lissa was a bit of a shopaholic, and I have so many clothes that I bought for the sake of it and don’t wear. New Lissa only buys timeless things that will get a lot of wear, and at least I think I’ve stuck to that!

Ann Summers

I remember a couple of years ago I hated Ann Summers – it was all cheap, tacky and smutty. I don’t know exactly when things changed but for a while now it’s been my go to for reasonably priced lingerie I want to be seen in. And the Giles Deacon collaboration ranges are to die for.

Giles Deacon Dark Punk Longline Bra – Original price £48, Black Friday price £26.88

Giles Deacon Dark Punk Thong – Original Price £20, Black Friday price £11.20

aspunkbra

This set has been on my wishlist for ages, and I never got round to it. I’m pretty sure it’s my new favourite.

Hazmat Design

I buy a fair amount from Hazmat Design. They’re one of my favourite brands – and definitely my favourite independent one. Every single thing they make is perfectly my style. So of course, most of it is way outside my budget. But ever so often they have a blowout sale, like this one, and I take advantage!

 

Death Becomes Her Crochet bodysuit – Original price $60, Black Friday price $30

hazmatbody

Death Becomes Her Crochet Crop – Original price $45, Black Friday price $22.50

hazmatcrop

I couldn’t pick between the bodysuit and the crop, so I got them both. I love crochet but I don’t actually own any crochet (until now, obvs). I was always tempted by the beautiful Rat and Boa pieces everyone went crazy for last Summer. But black and skulls are so much more me.

Studded Bandeau – Original price $60, Black Friday price $30

hazmatbandeau

A basic bandeau made more interesting with studs. Can’t go wrong. And cheaper than I can make it for myself.

Titties N’ Beer N’ Metal t shirt – Original price $35, Black Friday price $17.50

hazmatt

I wish I’d named my blog this basically.

Poprageous

If you know me, you’ll know I have a soft spot for nylon brands, and Poprageous has been my favourite for a while now. Not only did they have 30% off orders over $150, they’re throwing in a mystery item too!

Pssst… If you haven’t ordered from them before you can get $20 off a $60 purchase here. This is a unique referral code for me so I’ll get something from referring you (I’m not entirely sure what though, haha!).

Ballerina Cashknit Charcoal Leggings – Original price $80, Black Friday price $54.60

cashknit

Not entirely sure how these leggings/legwarmer hybrids will turn out in real life, but I’m intrigued! I think they’ll be nice and snuggly for winter with a big jumper.

Black Ombre Lace Dream Capris – Original price $88, Black Friday price $61.60

Black Ombre Lace Jasmine Sports Bralette – Original price $49, Black Friday price $34.30

ombre

I only really wear leggings when they’re black, or a variation of black, and this lace ombre is so pretty. And that waistband looks so comfy… You’d think I got this set for the gym, right? Nope! Just for bumming around the house or on the plane.

Great Scott Skater Dress – Original price $68, Black Friday price $47.60

greatscott

How perfect will this be with a little white shirt and over knee socks?

Souvenir Jewelry

I first came across Souvenir Jewelry a few months back when I saw their (no longer available) Holy Cross necklace on Kat Von D, and now I want pretty much the entire range! The prices I think are reasonable anyway, but I thought I may as well wait for the sale.

You Wish Sweetheart Necklace – Original Price $80, Black Friday price $64

youwish

I’m really into layering necklaces with different chain styles and lengths, and this one is perfect to be the shortest. It’ll be perfect with equally sassy pieces I already have from Helter Skelter Metalheads.

Black Sabbath Ring in white bronze – Original Price $70, Black Friday price $56

blacksabbathring

Luisa (from Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat) said to me once that she wanted to be a person who wore rings. But not just any rings – unusual rings, or rings she got from places she visited. I agree with this, although our styles we’re looking for are very different! I want a hand full of rings, preferably silver and chunky, and I want to be picky with them – I have my eye on a couple from The Great Frog, and I already have some awesome ones from Helter Skelter Metalheads. I really love some of the Souvenir Jewelry rings, but I didn’t want to buy too many until I saw how the sizing ran (I have tiny fingers).

So that’s what I bought! I’m not going to add up what I spent, haha!

L xx

All photos either my own or from the online stores named and linked to.

Last week I started a little round up of my life post series, it seemed to go down pretty well so I’m going to keep it going, at least for a bit!

This week was a pretty good week, I had a couple of cool blogger events, met some awesome new people and caught up with good friends I hadn’t seen for a while.

An evening with Frank & Jack Daniels

You know by now that I like a bit of JD, right? So obviously I had a fantastic time at an event celebrating 100 years of Sinatra, featuring a showing of the original Oceans 11 movie, some Blackjack and free flowing Whisky Sours and Sinatra Century whisky. More about this on the blog soon.

frankjack

SuperDry party with Idris Elba

Well, this one was a bit of a let down – but at least I had some good company, including my blogger friend Lauren of Saharasplash.

If you aren’t aware, Idris launched a range of mens clothing with Superdry this week, and we went along to the launch party. Idris made a brief appearance with a bunch of male models on arrival, but afterward was nowhere to be seen. There were complimentary Asahi beers and terrible cocktails but the venue (the Superdry store on Regent Street) was overcrowded and it just wasn’t fun.

idriselba

Thanksgiving Dinner

We went straight from Superdry to Thanksgiving Dinner at The Breakfast Club, so Thursday evening got a lot better! Good food, great company, and worth of its own post so watch this space.

thanksgiving

The Independent Label Market

I was up way too early for a Saturday morning to be first in line at the Exit Records stand at the Independent Label Market at Old Spitalfields Market. My Californian friend Davis is a vinyl collector, so I was sent to haggle for rare test presses – I think I did pretty well, leaving with £173 worth of vinyl!

exit

Expressing my inner Barista with Nespresso & Currys PC World

Now I’m not the biggest coffee drinker, so I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out, but I had such a good time at this Joe Blogs organised event at The Fable in Farringdon. The Johnny Walker and Kraken cocktails were obviously the highlight! But I did also learn a little about coffee…

kraken

Bring Me The Horizon

Every time BMTH are playing in or around London I think it’s pretty safe to say I’ll be there, and this time I trekked all the way to Alexandra Palace in Muswell Hill to see my favourite band. As usual, they didn’t disappoint.

bmth3

So that’s my week in a few paragraphs! Anyone get up to anything good?

L xx

All photos my own.

People always ask me what I enjoy most about blogging – they usually expect ‘free stuff’ to be the answer. I’m not going to lie, you do get a fair few products thrown your way, but for me it’s the social side that I love. I’ve had so many opportunities to meet people and attend events and enjoy experiences that I wouldn’t otherwise have had.

roundhouse3

A recent last minute Thursday night out with Three Mobile was the perfect example. It was my first time working with the brand, and I really hope to again, as I had so much fun! Three had arranged a little tour of Camden Roundhouse for us with the Joe Strummer Foundation, followed by a private gig at The Monarch with Lyza Jane and Bless. Oh and some food and too many Desperados, haha! Sounds like my kind of event, right?

This is going to be a bit of a long post I’m afraid, as I have so much to say about the evening!

The Joe Strummer Foundation

Okay, first things first – if you aren’t sure who Joe Strummer is, he’s a British musician most well known for being the co-founder, rhythm guitarist, lyricist and lead vocalist of the Clash. Shortly after his death in 2002, the Joe Strummer Foundation (also known as Strummerville), a non-profit organisation, was established by his wife, Lucinda Garland, with the main purpose to reflect Joe’s contribution to music by supporting aspiring musicians and funding projects worldwide which create social mobility through music. You can read a little more about their objectives here.

Strummerville have so many interesting projects worldwide, and have some cool events – including a couple of gigs coming up in collaboration with Dr Martens (the London date is headlined by a band I love, Bury Tomorrow).

Roundhouse Studios

As you can imagine, I’ve been to the Roundhouse more times than I can remember (most recently to see One Direction and Little Mix at the Apple Music Festival which you can read about here).

1dfront

But I didn’t know that the Roundhouse isn’t just a music venue – it also comprises of the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios, a creative space for young people. You can read more about the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and their contribution to the venue here.

Now, I don’t think we could have a better guide for our tour of the Roundhouse Studios than Strummerville really, as their relationship with the venue goes back almost ten years, when the charity contributed funds to the redevelopment of the Roundhouse. Strummerville even have their own rehearsal room within the studios for their younger beneficiary bands to use. It’s a great little room, really inspiring, with original Joe Strummer lyrics and sketchings on the walls, as well as doodles by other bands.

strummerville roundhouse studios

strummerville roundhouse studios

Strummerville aren’t the only ones with their own rehearsal rooms, we also saw rooms sponsored by Nandos and Gibson, among others.

roundhouse studios nandos

roundhouse studios gibson

One room I particularly loved was a circular performance space, which you reach through slightly creepy tunnel like corridors.

tunnel

If you stand right in the centre of the room, it does some crazy things to the acoustics!

roundhouse studios

At the time of our visit, we almost interrupted a spoken word group rehearsal – did you know that the studios aren’t just used for music, but for theatre, circus, and spoken word as well? Oh and there’s even a TV recording studio sponsored by Bloomberg…

roundhouse studios bloomberg

We also found out a little bit about the venues history – I don’t know about you, but I love finding out stuff like this. Built in 1847 to be used as a railway repair shed, the Roundhouse was later used as a liquor warehouse for Gilbey’s Gin before becoming an arts centre in 1960. It actually closed in 1983, and sat derelict for a while before being bought by The Norman Trust in 1996 with the intention of giving it a new lease of life. Later, in 2000 Sir Torquil Norman CBE founded The Roundhouse Trust. You can read more about the history here.

It really was a fun, interesting tour, and it’s so nice to see so many organisations taking such an active role in helping inspire and give opportunities to the next generation, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds who would otherwise be unable to develop their skills. Having previously dated someone in a fledgling band, I know how awkward and expensive finding rehearsal and recording space can be, and I was therefore really impressed how reasonable the rates are for Roundhouse Studios, particularly given its location. If you’re under 25 in London, definitely check them out!

roundhouse studios

The Music

After our tour of Roundhouse Studios, we were taken down the road to The Monarch, for a private acoustic performance from two of Strummervilles up and coming talents – Lyza Jane and Bless.

lyza2

Watching Lyza Jane perform, a girl crush quickly developed! I mean, look at her – she’s just so effortlessly cool. I loved her outfit, which featured rings from The Great Frog and a tshirt from her own Etsy store, Pantsu & Pantsu (check it out, it’s a super cute range of embroidered cotton pieces, some with pom poms!). She was so lovely to chat to as well.

Anyway, her music! Lyza has a beautiful voice, you can take a look at her videos on her YouTube channel. Before branching out on her own, Lyza, was a backing singer for the band Alabama 3, and performed with them at Glastonbury. Lyza has written and produced her own music, predominantly electronica, and usually heavier than her performance for the evening which was very singer songwriter. Her most recent EP, Milk Teeth, is out now.

lyza

Next up were Bless – a group of London guys who formed after having previously been members of two seperate bands. Their sound was very retro rock’n’roll – again not my usual thing but enjoyable nonetheless. They were a great bunch of guys and stayed for a few drinks to talk politics, songwriting influences and veganism.

bless

Bless are releasing their debut EP, Music Comes First (which they kindly gave me a copy of) on 11th December – and on the same night they’ll be back performing at The Monarch. If you find yourself at a loose end near Camden that evening, give them a go, they’re great fun!

You can check Bless out on their YouTube channel.

The Phone

You’re possibly wondering what Three have to do with this? Well, they kindly made the evening happen – and kindly gave me a Samsung S6 Edge which I could take my photographs of the evening on.

phone

Photo by Becca Talbot

Have you noticed how much better my photos are than when taken with my usual (and in need of replacement!) iPhone? I’ve been a loyal iPhone user since they came out years and years ago, so getting used to an Android was a bit odd, but it was really user friendly, so I guess it’s time for a change! You can find out more about Samsung handsets here at the Three Samsung Hub.

Now, I’ve also been a loyal O2 user for years (mainly for O2 Priority tickets) so it was interesting to try out a new network. I’m always losing signal and 3G usually with my current network, and I can tell you that I usually do at the Roundhouse. But with Three I was able to upload to my Instagram super speedily, I was so impressed!

Three have recently enhanced their network with new technology they’ve named 4G Super-Voice to tackle indoor blackspots. Now I’m no tech expert but I believe at the moment you need a compatible handset to use 4G Super-Voice but they’re due to roll it out to more handsets soon. And did you know that they were voted most reliable UK network this year by YouGov?

Another reason I want to move over to Three is for my regular travelling abroad – they’re the only network with no roaming charge! You’ve got yourself a convert Three, I can’t wait for my current contract to expire so I can change to your network!

The Food

You’ll know by now how much I love my food by now right? So I have to give a little mention of the delicious steak and cheese sandwich I ate at The Monarch!

sandwich

Well, that’s it from me for now, so if you’ve reached the end of this post thank you for persevering! And thank you Three for a wonderful evening!

L xx

All photos my own unless otherwise stated.

Saturday was my first proper day at an American festival. Ok, yes, I’d been to Knotfest before, but that was kind of just a huge, glorified 3 day Slipknot gig. Aftershock is more of an all round type thing – if I had to compare it to a festival in the UK, I’d say maybe Download? Although it has more cool different stuff like you’d find at Reading and Leeds, but the line up is a little heavier.

aftershock

Anyway, Aftershock is hands down my favourite festival I’ve attended, and I actually wish we’d camped and stayed for the full duration. But nevermind. We actually ended up at Aftershock purely by chance in the first place – the original intention was to just go to Knotfest, but I’m not really into Judas Priest (who headlined day one of Knotfest) and heard Slipknot were playing Aftershock so thought, why not?

aftershock2

There is so much I need to cram into this post, that I don’t really know where to start. I’d normally do chronologically but it just won’t work here, so I guess I’ll go by topic.

The Music

Seems a good place to start, right? Since the music is why I was there and everything.

Aftershock had some great bands on the smaller stages. I say smaller stages, there was only one ‘small’ stage, the others were just three main stages in different places. Two of them were actually directly next to each other, so you didn’t really have to move for the last couple of bands (Shinedown and Slipknot) if you got a good spot kind of in the middle (which obviously I did).

stagesSo, the smaller bands… I was a little distracted by other stuff earlier in the day, so I didn’t see that many until later on, but I did catch a bit of Beartooth, Seether (I always forget I like Seether – although the radio station we listened to in the car for the rest of the trip, Octane, basically had them on repeat so they are now stuck in my head) and Breaking Benjamin (I’ve never really got into them).

The first band I really paid attention to were Clutch. Which, if you know me personally, may make you laugh a little as I have been so resistant to liking Clutch for like, forever. But when I saw them at Download this Summer, I had to admit they were pretty good. And they kind of blew me away at Aftershock. They played on the smallest stage, the Coors Light stage, which was in such a beautiful setting, it was kind of nestled amongst trees, on the other side of the arena to the other stages. So standing back a bit, watching Clutch, in the sun, with gorgeous scenery – well that was pretty perfect, and not an experience I’ll ever have back home.

clutch

Next up were Bring Me The Horizon. Have we established on the blog yet that Bring Me have been my favourite band for about ten years now? Admittedly I prefer the older, heavier stuff, but the new album still works for me – and it really helped get me through a heartbreaking Summer this year. As always, they were so, so good. It really surprised me how well received they are in America, and the amount of Bring Me shirts that I saw on people was great. As per their Reading performance this Summer, a lot of the crowd didn’t seem to know anything much pre Sempiternal. When they left some lyrics out during Chelsea Smile, just like they did at Reading, no one shouted them back – in fact I think most people actually didn’t know anything had been left out. It didn’t spoil it though, and I have to say I really respect Oli for not Americanising for a US audience, he still kept with his accent despite most of the crowd not having a clue what he was saying!

bmth

One of the good things about the VIP area was the big screen showing whichever band was playing – and, while I think of it, one of the good things about Aftershock was that there weren’t really any band clashes, at least not later in the day. So I watched Marilyn Manson on the screen. Not much to say about him really, but he was better than the last few times I’ve seen him.

I also watched a bit of Shinedown on the screen before heading back out into the crowd for Slipknot. Shinedown aren’t a band that have ever gripped me – some of their songs aren’t band, but they’re kind of background music for me, the kind of music I can get away with playing in the car when I’m driving my Nan around without her complaining.

aftershockvip

And then it was Slipknot. As I think is pretty obvious, I love, love, love Slipknot. But I have to admit, and it may be the sound at the venue, I’m not sure, they weren’t at their best at Aftershock, which was a shame. I still enjoyed it though – I’m one of those people who isn’t over fussed about sound quality at a gig/festival, it’s more about how much fun I’m having. And despite by this point being jet lagged and exhausted, I was still having fun so it was all good.

Sorry there are pretty much no music photos past Bring Me, I tend to get lost in the moment and not take photos. And the ones I do take are generally a bit rubbish anyway, so it isn’t much of a loss.

Jack Daniel’s Experience

I’m not sure exactly when I started drinking a lot of JD, it only became my drink very recently, but I think it’s become kind of obvious. So of course I went into the Jack Daniel’s Experience truck – a mobile museum with some interesting facts about Jack, a display showing whiskey dripping through charcoal (it mellows it apparently), how it’s aged and stuff like that.

jdcharcoal

I did learn that Jack was the same height as me and we have the same shoe size! And he died after getting an infection from breaking his toe when he kicked a safe in frustration.

jdaging

I had a nice chat with the guy in the museum, who liked the JD Meat & Whiskey hat I nabbed at the JD x Vice event a few weeks back (it is the best hat ever, so obviously he liked it!) and he told me that in some parts of America you can’t actually buy alcohol! Including in Lynchburg, Tennessee where JD is made.

jddrinks2

Outside the truck was a JD bar with generous servings. So Saturday was obviously a good day.

Crazy Dave’s Music Experience

This was an ‘interactive exhibit’ in a large tent where they held meet and greets – I missed Corey Taylor (he and Oli are the only people I’d bother seeing) because I was busy drinking JD, but you’ll see a future post that I didn’t end up being so sad about that.

crazydave1

Other than that it pretty much just sold instruments and accessories. Nothing too exciting.

guitars

Although I thought this skeleton hand guitar grip was pretty cool.

skeletongrip

Make Your Mark

Dividing the main arena from the outside part of the VIP area was a cool graffiti wall, with a load of spray cans so you could do your thing. I didn’t actually know at the time, but there was a famous graffiti artist there called Vyal from Risk Rock Studios. I didn’t know there was a thing of famous graffiti artists. Actually, would Banksy count? Is Banksy graffiti? Anyway, that’s totally not the point, just check out the pretty UV wall in the dark.

makeyourmark

Lawn Games

There was mini golf which I missed (I LOVE mini golf), but I was adopted by a bunch of guys who showed me a playground game called Cornhole in the Sacramento Kings area where you throw bean bags into a hole on a special board. Surprisingly I didn’t totally suck. They were convinced I was faking my British accent though… Actually, I get that a lot. Weird.

Vendors

As well as the usual alternative clothing stands you’d expect, Aftershock had a few more interesting vendors.

Hands down my favourite was Rock Out For Rescue – a collaboration between Take Me Home and A Dog’s Life Rescue in which they go on tour at rock festivals, selling ROFR merch and raffling off prizes. I’m a massive dog lover and advocate for rehoming, so this is a cause I really believe in.

rofr2

And the designs were awesome! I bought a hoodie (which is the softest thing ever!) with a French bulldog in Ozzy style round glasses and a studded collar graphic, and a Get Licked shirt which one of the lovely ladies at the stand cut up and weaved for me. I love it.

getlicked

At Aftershock they were raffling off some cool prizes, including a guitar (signed by Corey Taylor, Marilyn Manson, Jim Root, Gary Holt, Alex Skolnick, Lizzie Hale, Chris Wayne and Michael Wilton), special bottle of Angels Envy and signed drumheads.

rofr1

Another favourite was Mosh It Up Clothing. I actually saw their Adventure Time parody shirt on someone the night before at the Aftershock pre party and thought it was awesome.

adventuretime

Image from https://moshitup.myshopify.com/

They kindly gifted me one of the Back To The Moshpit shirts, which got me loads of compliments when I wore it later in the week. You’ll see it popping up in an outfit post soon!

moshitup

Another stand I loved, and one I couldn’t buy anything from because I would never have got it home in one piece, was a collaboration between three artists; Sean Dietrich, Kai Martin and Erik Arreaga.

They actually each produced a print for a triptych exclusively for Aftershock.

triptych

Here are a few prints I particularly liked…

lastsupper

hotvapes

oz

zombie

WWE NXT

This deserves a post all of its own so have a looky here.

nxt1

VIP Area

The VIP area, in association with Thunder Valley Casino Resort, was pretty handy. Nothing spectacular, but it did have shorter queues for the bar, bathrooms and food trucks.

Have a selfie of me in the VIP tent, because y’know, I’m always being told I don’t post enough pictures with me actually in them. It’s hard when you’re by yourself at things. Maybe I should get a selfie stick? Sorry, gone off topic again…

aftershockvip2

Anyway, the VIP area – It also had loads of tables and seats, and a screen showing whichever band was on at the time, with cute haybales in front of it to sit on. Which was quite nice when I wanted a break from the crowds.

vip

It also randomly had chandeliers. Which I quite liked.

Would it be worth paying extra for? Not really, but I wouldn’t turn it down. A VIP ticket is about the same cost as a standard UK festival ticket though, so maybe? Well, that was indecisive.

Food

I won’t post too much about the food, as I have done a whole post about the food I had here. But I will leave you another picture of the INCREDIBLE grilled cheese I had from Drewskis.

tricycle

I had such an amazing time at Aftershock, and would definitely consider going again!

L xx

All photos my own unless stated otherwise.