The National, British Summer Time, Hyde Park, 12th July

Perfectionism is a difficult trait. As a self-confessed perfectionist it should be an idea that I struggle to affix to things knowing my own issues, yet The National always slip through that net. It’s their own fault honest, not the ridiculous amount of things that I emotionally attach to them, so tied to missed opportunities and well pretty much everything. But, what better way to let that shine than on stage at BST Hyde Park 9even if they were only supporting Neil Young). I mean just look how beautiful that stage is…

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A support set may have been a greatest hits set, but who could complain when listening to Matt Berninger’s emotional baritone and his somewhat unnerving screams on earlier songs  ‘Abel’ and ‘Mr November’ off “Alligator”, with the latter even including Matt’s customary foray into the crowd. Despite us being smack bang in front of him, he hurtfully went to the opposite side of the sizeable crowd gathered. I’m taking this as a personal affront (but one that shall be rectified come November at the O2!).

Tracks from the most recent album “Trouble Will Find Me” were similarly drenched in emotion, especially ‘I Should Live In Salt’. Even with the sun beating down on the crowd, there was still the sombre mood stereotypically attached to the band. Bringing out both ‘I Need My Girl’ and ‘This Is The Last Time’ was always going to be a winner in my eyes, because yes I do still affix them to that excellent Mindy Project appearance (I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that The National, well Matt, watches The Mindy Project!), but they retained that beautiful heart stealing quality that is so stunning on record. Yes I nearly fired, so what?!

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My own personal highlights included ‘Sea Of Love’, if just for the sheer amount that the song means to me in so many ways, and everything they played off “High Violet” because that album is perfect in my eyes. ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio won out over ‘England’ for the title of most beautiful moment of the set , even with the latter’s use of the screens in the background to create the rainy backdrop we so readily associate with this country! The twins dedicated ‘Bloodbuzz…’ to their father who had flown in to see them from said state, tearing at my heartstrings as the band only can, with a rendition that was so clean and perfect it made me want to fly over to visit the middle-of-no-where state (not my words, but those of my new plane friend Katie, who was amazed that a band came from Ohio!). I suppose it doesn’t help that this has pride of place on my running playlist at the minute either…

Ending on ‘Terrible Love’ was a masterstroke, an opportunity for yet more raw emotion from the entire band. Heart wrenching, gut wrenching and every other wrenching you could think of, my tear ducts almost betrayed me at this point and let the flood out, but that thankfully waited until I was safely on my way home, and I somehow managed to keep it together. The same probably cannot be said for seeing them at the O2 in November when they wheel out ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks’ but I really shouldn’t be held responsible for my actions when it comes to that song.

But enough of that. For my first time seeing The National (a crime yes, to say how much I love them) it was more perfect than I could imagine. My love for the band has increased exponentially and I do kind of just want a mini Matt Berninger or Bryan Devendorf just to carry around with me, it would make my days at work a lot better! And don’t even get me started on Mistaken For Strangers, I think that needs a whole other post!

The brilliant thing is though, that this perfect weekend has taught me a lot more that I could have ever imagined too. It took the band until they were almost 40 to really break through, so why am i spending my life currently attempting to get somewhere I might not even supposed to be? I’m 23, I don’t need my shit together yet. So now I’m concentrating on the stuff I love rather than falling back into the pattern of busting my gut at work for nothing. It’s someone else’s turn now. Get ready for me writing more, reading more, doing more and just generally adventuring. The world is my oyster, or so the cliche says…

 

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Movie Madness

Yes, I’m inwardly cringing at that title, but that’s what this is all about. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll be aware that soon I’ll be heading to London for a few weeks to do some work experience as part of my degree. I’ll be hanging round my favourite city for almost 3 weeks so I thought I’d better look for some stuff to do. Now, I already have stuff lined up by way of gigs (I can’t wait to see The Cribs at The Troxy on the 8th or Mystery Jets on the 18th) and I’m off to see a filming of Stand Up For The Week too, but then one of my favourite blogs happened to mention what’s going on at the Prince Charles Cinema, and I’m totally on board.

I love Ghostbusters so what could be better than a quote along? (note to self: brush up on quotes!). But seriously, I love cheesy events like this at cinemas, just look at the fact I went to the Cult All-nighter at the Tyneside and have been hanging about their Ryan Gosling season recently. Ghostbusters is such a classic though, its an almost so bad it’s good film. I’ll just clarify that it is actually goo though, in my eyes. I’m a sucker for all things retro and geeky, so me and the film are a match made in heaven. So yeah, if you want to come and join me geeking out over this, its the 12th May. And I’ve not even finished.

Sing-along Grease! 50’s America is a dream, and Grease is definitely the word. Throw in the fact that this is being held to day before my 21st and I’m there like a shot (21st May is my 21st by the way, in case you were wondering). I know Grease is on the telly every bank holiday, hell I watch it every bank holiday, but I bet you can’t beat being in a room full of other Grease aficionados, singing to your hearts content. But I’ll not wax on as everyone knows the story behind the film, and I’ll just wade in with my views on the best song (Sandra Dee) and character (Frenchie) and urge you all to join me on the 20th May. It’s only £15 , and you get a goody bag to play about with during the film. See you there!

And now finally, the event that enticed me in!. It’s sadly the same day as the wonderful Field Day so I doubt I’ll end up going, but it sounds like the best night ever. Another all-nighter, this is a pyjama party sounds like the best sleepover ever. Showing all the best teen films (Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, Mean Girls, Clueless, just look at the list above), they really are pushing the boat out. With a pyjama parade to determine the best pjs worn on the night (with prizes awarded), retro board games like Dream Phone, embarrassing stories from you the audience and so much more. They’ve even promised a fort building competition if enough people bring blankets, so what are you waiting for?! (I wish I could go, and I’m sure my arm could be twisted eventually, this sounds like so much fun!)

See all the other events the offer over on their website, there are some gems that I’ll be sad to miss, like Schwing-along Wayne’s World and Swear-along Team America (that’s tonight, rub it in if you go!) Oh and this is a scheduled post, as you read this it is more than likely that I’ll be in a Record Store Day queue, trying to attain some gems, full update on Monday!