Its something we all need to gain in order to move forward in life. Whether it be the fundamental biological experience needed to physically grow or the experience needed to grow in terms of your career. Something I desire greatly is a flourishing career with lots opportunities waiting to be picked (are you picturing a garden now because I am).
Anyway the reason I am writing this is because for the past month or so I have been on the lookout to gain work experience and this is easier said than done. Raising unemployment has also meant rising competition for not just jobs but internships and even voluntary work. In turn you now need experience to get experience but you can’t get experience because you have no experience. Are you following me? No? Okay then put it like this, to build up your CV you would need some sort of work experience if you have any hope of getting a job but now you need to rethink. Start from the bottom. Work experience positions require you to have prior experience, even getting a voluntary role requires you to have had other experience.
You have to take time on your applications and never turn down an opportunity given to you. You have to be prepared to work hard and fight for your dream. Dreams don’t die, people just give up. I intend on not being one of those people that give up and take the easy way out. I am finding it a challenging trying to get work experience but I will not give up. Perseverance is key and I’ve used passed knock backs as motivation to try harder. Even in this seemingly impossible cycle I just need to remember nothing is really impossible. You just have to keep on doing what your doing in the hopes someone sees something in you that the others didn’t.
But I suppose the most frustrating thing is the fact I am not out there learning new things about the industry and doing what I love; which is exactly that. Anyway just a quick up date on what headspace I’m currently in right now and a small rant/pep talk.
Singer-song writer Lewis Watson finally released his long awaited debut album ‘The Morning’ this July. Following in the footsteps of Jake Bugg and Ed Sheeran this acoustic guitar-playing lad displays some real raw talent. Watson has been collecting himself fans from all over the world, thanks to the five EPs he has produced in the space of only just two years. The first track on the album ‘Stones Around The Sun’ takes a different approach to the usual strumming of chords with the use of a spacey synth opening which makes you question where exactly this album is going to take you. ‘Holding On’ is another delightful surprise on the album with a slight backing vocal and an overall more direct melody as sometimes acoustic guitar driven songs can seem like watered down versions of a good songs. The gravely rasp of Lewis’ voice brings some depth to the album along with fan favourites ‘into the wild’ and ‘sink or swim’ being included. However, lyrically, there are only so many ways to express melancholy; listening to a full album of wounded self-pitying can draining to say the least. 7/10
Calling all music lovers! Fancy a festival without the mud, the tents and the down right dubious portaloos? Well the Dot-To-Dot festival is just the thing for all you city slickers who don’t fancy slumming it in the mud but want just as much live music and fun as anyone else headed off this festival season. Dot-to-Dot festival has been voted the UK’s best metropolitan festival and hits Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham. And here on my blog we want to bring you up to date on all the top festivals around that country-because we’re nice like that. The Dot-To-Dot festival is set in the heart of these cities with acts dotted (see what they did there) around in various venues all within a reasonable walking distance of each other. So hey no willies required and no hideous bin bag rain mac to cramp your style, just a quick hop skip and a jump to any venue of your choice.
Cheap and Cheerful
Unlike most festivals this one doesn’t cost you the earth *phew*. At just £20! Yeah you heard right-£20! You get to enjoy amazing acts without burning a hole in your pocket. Meaning you can use the money you have spare to travel up to the festival and get a round in for you at your mates when you get there.
Finger on the pulse
Dot-to-Dot festival is known for picking the best future acts in indie, electro and alternative music. With the likes of: The 1975, Ed Sheeran and Ellie Goulding all performing at the unique event. If you wanna stay ahead of the game and impress your friends with your sparkling music knowledge of cool up and coming bands. Or if you just want to discover and try something new and different this is definitely a festival worth checking out. This year the headliner was the aptly named band Peace, their psychedelic rock sounds got the crowds going and is definitely a band you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the future. So to be first in line to see brand new and exciting acts Dot-To-Dot is the festival to head to.
The atmosphere throughout the music filled day is a generally relaxed, unless you suffer from a case of the clashes (no that’s not some band). There is always the risk of having one or maybe more of you favourite acts playing at the same time so its up to you to toss a coin, put it to a vote or what I tend to do, run between both sets like a headless chicken in a vain attempt to watch both. I would not recommend this behaviour though as most of the venues at the Dot-To-Dot festival have a limited capacity and fill up fast. You don’t want to be hanging around outside waiting for someone to leave so you can get in. Best to get to acts early and get a good spot.
So in conclusion what have we learnt here? Well, for a start, we now know that festivals don’t have to mean a soggy field in the middle of nowhere. Festivals can happen in a city slickers paradise, located inside all your favourite bars and clubs far out of reach from the unpredictable British weather. We have also learnt that you don’t have to fork out major cash to have fun-£20 will do nicely. And lastly have fun and lets go! Leave those willies at home my friends.
I have been staring at this blank page for days now, trying to put into words what has happened to me in the past 9 months. I feel I like have experienced everything and nothing at the same time. I feel wiser yet still so naive. So you see writing a logical and chronicle recount and analysis of this first year at university is proving to be difficult.
At the start of the year I was excited, nervous and driven. And at the end of the year I am driven. I have learnt new skills during the course of the year in journalism but not nearly enough as I expected, maybe because I’m only in the first year and they didn’t want to overwhelm us. I don’t feel challenged enough and I don’t feel guided enough. I feel like I’ve learnt basic practical skills I could have taught myself if I had the mind to and the equipment to. What I feel is mentally unfulfilled, I thought we would be learning writing skills and journalistic techniques; things that improved my work. But instead we were haphazardly thrown out onto the streets of Coventry and told to ‘find a story’ without any indication what kind or what even is considered news until the very last minute of putting the final product that what you have collected to be told ‘it is not news’ or ‘not what they are looking for exactly’. This was incredibly frustrating but defiantly drove me to better myself and use my own mind to find a story of interest and create something from it whether that be: audio, visual or written.
One tour of the TV studios doesn’t mean you are suddenly capable of using them. Nor does a class full of people crammed into a radio studio being drowned at by an expert make you an expert. I still have a lot to learn in the practical aspect but that comes with time that I simply haven’t had yet at first year.
What I enjoyed was the theoretical side of the course the essays we were given-mainly the research I did prior to the essays, really expanded my knowledge on specific aspects I only wish we were taught more in class and brought the theoretical into practice like we did with the law module. I did not receive much feedback throughout the year which if I had been given mid level grades would have been frustrating as I wouldn’t know how to improve but luckily I have been awarded firsts in most essays which has been feedback enough.
What the course has done for me outside of the classroom has boosted my self confidence to consider myself as an actual journalist. I secured my first journalistic job with studentcom writing and actually getting published and payed! (With concert tickets and festival tickets but thats fine by me). I secured my second job with venue Kasbah interviewing artists and reviewing events. Now I am currently working on securing an internship and expecting an interview with one of the companies very soon!
Overall the year as been a year of firsts and a realisation of just how capable I am.
The likes of Michelle Obama, David Cameron, Cara Delevingne, Anne Hathaway and so on have been showing their support for the return of over 200 African schoolgirls taken by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. What I find really interesting about this story is that there is less of a focus on the Islamism extremists that have taken theses girls, burt whole villages to the ground and kill dozens of people but the mainstream media initial reaction not to cover this story at all. I fear racism is still in the media is still rife and if this were over 200 white European schoolgirls the story would have gotten a lot more coverage or any coverage at all than the original story initially got. Only now when people of importance make a point of this tragedy such as Michelle Obama (seen above) do others also hop on the hashtag twitter facebook bandwagon to prove that they too are in touch with their politics.
Campaigns like this have pros and cons. Yes it is a wonderfully effective and fast way in order to increase awareness but awareness isnt exactly going to #BringBackOurGirls. We, the ordinary citizens of the world do not have the power to ensure the safety of theses kidnapped Nigerian girls, we use the hashtag because we do not have the power the leads of the world have and by making it an issue for us it ever becomes an issue for them. For example on BBC Breakfast David Cameron was approached to be part of the campaign live on TV were of course he accepted and then not only held us the hashtag like millions of powerless people did but took steps to find the girls by ringing the Nigerian President offering anything that would be helpful and agreed to send out a team that includes some counter-terrorism and intelligence experts to work alongside the bigger American teams which is a massive step in the right direction.
The problems however occur when as the message becomes viral it also becomes blurred and inaccurate of the original message almost like a game of Chinese whispers. One of the most tweeted and prominent posters for the hashtag campaign features a girl from Guinea Bissou, a country more than 1000 miles away from Nigeria with a photoshopped tear on her face. This girl was not kidnapped and the photo was taken years before the incident yet has been tweeted out by many famous faces such as Chris Brown and Kim Kardashian.
Though there are mistakes made in online campaigns the intentions are still good and still call for a united front to create a positive change. And I’m sure with time hashtag activism will become a powerful way in which to take a social and or political stand in society.
On the 2nd of May at the LG Arena Birmingham self titled super group McBusted performed to a sold out venue full of people from all walks of life. This was surely the most eclectic group of people I had seen at one gig in a long while, from little kids from as you as 7 to middle aged mums to you’re average barely teenager like myself seeking to relive a bit of their childhood. The extended band brought us all together for one last hurrah for Busted with a helping hand from Mcfly.
A weird combination? Think again actually both bands are weirdly intertwined Tom Flectcher lead vocalist from Mcfly was briefly the fourth member of Busted in 2001. But just two days later, the band made the decision to be a trio and gave Tom the boot. As we know not all was lost for Tom as he found his current Mcfly band mates; Dougie Poynter, Harry Judd and Danny Jones. The Mcfly boys also opened for Busted back in 2004 so really their bands have been intertwined long before Mcbusted became a reality. All the original members agreed to take part in the venture apart from Busted front man Charlie Simpson who is focusing on a solo career.
The show gets underway with a short video on screen showing a mock up on the two remaining Busted stars Matt Willis and James Bourn announcing Busted’s split and deciding to go back in time to stop that from happening in turn meaning Mcfly never exist and the four lads careers lose focus (are you still with me??). Long story short going back in time means you need a time machine in the form of the car from Year 3000 undoubtedly Busted’s biggest hit. Matt and James fly on the stage in said car and 2394506 smoke machines causing the crowd to go crazy followed by the Mcfly boys to popping up from the stage.
The show was lively and fee good with an interesting stage setup meaning some lucky fans were positioned literally in the middle of the act called my ‘OMG zone’ and honestly I would be screaming OMG too if Danny repeatedly spat water on me!
All the classic Busted and Mcfly songs were played including ‘Glad I Crashed The Wedding’ featuring Matt Willis in a very fetching wedding dress and Star Girl featuring a massive floating UFO they band performed on. The lads seemed like genuine friends, buddies just enjoying their job and mucking about in the process it was really lovely to see. The few touching moments came from James Bourn’s solo rendition of Sleeping With The Light on which had the whole audience doing the modern day version of putting a lighter in the air aka turning your iphone on torch mode and sway your arms.
The show ended with the song everyone had been waiting for Year 3000 and Im sure making childhood dreams were fufilled that night with laughs and even more laughs from the superest of groups McBusted!