Friday, 30 January 2015

Jessie J tour





The lovely Charlie and her sister, Billie, came to stay with me in Birmingham on Tuesday night, and we went to see Jessie J at the O2 academy, which was woooonderful. I hadn't been to a gig since the end of October and ohhh myyyy how I've missed the joys of live music (literally been going insane). For my first gig of the year, this was a pretty darn good one.

I've been listening to Jessie's latest album 'Sweet Talker' all month long, so I was very excited for the evening to finally come around. I actually put one of the songs on there as a song of the week towards the end of last year, which you can take a glance at here if you'd like to; she sang half of You Don't Really Know Me as well so I was really happy and left in complete awe.

The way she holds the stage is amazing, she just has this overwhelming presence and it's so great to watch. And her voice was sensational, as ever. The show was sold out so the place was completely packed, and I haven't seen it so full before. Loads of her songs are really upbeat so it was fun to bop along, even if I didn't recognise all of them.

Her band were amazing as well, and the guitarist in particular was so good; I spent a lot of time just watching what he was playing. But as a whole, Jessie and the band just had really great chemistry and it all worked wonderfully together. If you can get to a show she's doing any time soon I'd definitely recommend going.

Until next time.


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Twitter: @abbielour
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Monday, 26 January 2015

Song of the week #12


I think I first heard this song in the trailer for Big Hero 6 a while ago and have been obsessed with it ever since. Then after going to see Annie, I got even more hooked and I just really like this song. I actually even heard it in the waiting room at the doctors a few weeks ago and it made me feel so happy. 'You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile' has been majorly reworked from the original in the musical, Annie, but I cannot get enough of this version.

It makes me want to dance???? Like, a lot. And there's a really sweet music video for it, featuring the cast of Annie, which you can find here. There's literally nothing about this song that isn't happy. It's gotten to the point where I can't listen to it if I'm out and about walking around, because I look like some sort of insane-overly-smiley lady (at least maybe that'll scare kids away cool).

If you're ever feeling a little (or a lot) down then I would definitely recommend listening to this. I don't know, I just find it really uplifting and happy and wonderful.

Until next time.


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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Angelina Jolie


Angelina Jolie is incredible.

I honestly cannot think of a greater woman (besides my mum, but I'm kind of biased there I supposed). She's not just an actress, but a role model, a spokeswoman, a campaigner, an ambassador, and with the kindest of hearts. I admire her so much with all that she does for the world. On the surface, it's easy to see her as just another Hollywood actress, but she really is so much more.

Despite her somewhat rollercoaster-like childhood, Angelina has become one magnificent woman. She experimented with drugs and self-harmed in her youth, but she has overcome it all; and that's something very rare with any star that's faced troubles. More often not things take an extreme turn for the worse, but in Jolie's case, things seem to only have gotten better and better.


A woman of such grace and kindness, becomes only more wonderful when she uses her media involvement for the greater good. Jolie is involved with multiple organisations, such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, as well as having built a number of schools in Cambodia and many other places worldwide. And she does all of this, whilst balancing acting and her family as well. Jolie also holds a strong stance in feminism, which is something every woman should care greatly about.

I just don't think there's many people out there who are comparable; Angelina is undoubtedly a woman who cares about this planet and the people on it. She puts her money into projects all over the world to try and make it a better place. You can't fault her efforts in any way.

Until next time.


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Monday, 19 January 2015

Song of the week #11


I've basically been listening to The Used all week, so you could probably just call this a band of the week, but I think I've listened to All That I've Got the most out of their songs.

There's something about this song that feels really good, even thought it's kind of sad/downhearted too. Like, the tone is kind of blue, but the lyrics and ways that certain instruments are used are bright red. And I really like the way the two blur together to create some sort of really great rock song with thoughtful lyrics.

The song was released back in 2004, as the second single from the band's second album, In Love and Death, and you can find the music video for it here. The band started off in 2001, and have since released six albums, with their distinct alternative rock sound featuring on all of them.

'I'll be just fine, pretending I'm not, I'm far from lonely and it's all that I've got' is one of my favourite lines in this song, along with 'I guess I remember every glance you shot me.' I don't know, I like how the first one seems a lot like a contradiction, and seems like the opposite of what someone would say in this kind of tone. It's defensive. And the second one just sounds really nice.

Another song I really love by The Used is Blue and Yellow, so definitely check that one out too if you can.

Until next time.


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Friday, 16 January 2015

The Theory of Everything


A week or two ago, I went to see The Theory of Everything at the cinema with my friend, Charlie. I had heard good reviews of the film, but initially had no clue what it was about. So to arrive at the cinema and find out that it was all about the life of none other than Stephen Hawking, left me with a huge curiosity, but also notable angst.

As shown in the film, Hawking has Motor Neuron Disease. This was the reason for my angst. After watching the film, my dad told me that this was why my grandad was unsure of whether he wanted to watch the film or not, and equally I had felt the same (but it was a bit late to back out). My grandma also had MND, and so to watch Hawking slowly becoming paralysed in more and more places kind of broke my heart, because I'd seen it happen before.

Nonetheless, despite my own personal added emotions towards the film, I thought it was utterly incredible. I don't think you really, properly realise what any one person has been through until you have it laid out in front of you on a screen. Obviously to assume that the film portrays Stephen's whole live would be very naive, but still, a very vivid picture is painted. I always love learning about other people, especially those who are considered to be of significance, so for me it was ever so intriguing, and, as ever, it sparked me to go away and do some further research into the individual myself. For instance, I didn't actually know that Stephen was born in Oxford, and what with living their all my life, I was shocked I'd never known.

To see how Hawking overcame every hurdle he faced was my favourite thing. Of course, at times he was a little downhearted, but he never seemed to accept defeat; he still hasn't. And to think, when he was a graduate student he was thought to have only two years to live, and yet, he's still triumphing today.

It's undoubted that the man's clever far beyond I'll ever be, so just to be able to see into his life a little through The Theory of Everything was a wonderful experience. The battles he faced, along with his wife, were immense, and yet, everything has turned out well for them.

If you haven't seen The Theory of Everything then I would highly recommend you do. It's something of an emotional rollercoaster, but you'll be glad you've seen it.


Until next time.


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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Hour-by-hour day in photos #2

Here's another day in photos for youuuuu.

This is from Friday, last week, the day after I'd come back to Birmingham. It was before lectures/seminars etc restarted for semester 2, but I got up to a few different things, so here's a little insight into my day-to-day life in birms (kind of).

8.31am: started the day with a breakfast of banana and blueberries, with cranberry and raspberry juice.


9.14am: checked my emails and had a look on the blog.


10.43am: finishing an essay I'd started in late-December when I was still in Oxfordshire.



12.07pm: I went over and picked up my semester 2 timetable from the English office.


1.02pm: I got on a train and headed into central Birmingham to saunter around for an hour or so.


2.15pm: arrived back at the flat, having hit up Victoria's Secret in the Bullring for the first time since it opened (literally opened when I left for Christmas).


2.42pm: catching up on some of my favourite blogs; I love What Olivia Did.


3.59pm: cleaned the kitchen as it wasn't in the nicest state.


4.23pm: I then slumped down on the beanbags and listened to Taylor Swift's 1989.


5.21pm: and got into reading Inferno.


7.18pm: after having a quick dinner I took a shower with the most wonderful smelling shower gel in the history of ever, which my friend Alex got me for Christmas.


7.59pm: I then lathered myself in my favourite VS body cream (it's heaven).


8.43pm: went and made myself some hot chocolate in the cutest mug ever from Emma Bridgewater, which my lovely friend Katie bought me for Christmas.


9.15pm: I watched a few youtube videos, and quite a few of inthefrow's older ones. 


10.14pm: switched from youtube to Ja'mie, which I love ever so much, and my best pal Charlie got me the DVD for Christmas, what an angel.


10.23pm: pulled out some of the Christmas biscuits to munch as I watched.


11.19pm: I fell into this pile of blankets and listened to music until I drifted off to sleep.


Until next time.


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Monday, 12 January 2015

Song of the week #10



Okay, so I've decided to try and do a song of the week every week for as long as I can (let's see how long this lasts lolz).

Happy New Year by the way.

Sorry I've been quite quiet for a few weeks and have barely posted anything. You'd think the Christmas holidays would be a really convenient time for blogging, yet I've just been trying to catch up on sleep (sort of). I spent most of the period with close friends and family at home, and just sort of wanted to have that time away from this internet typing thing I do. But I'm back online, back in Birmingham, with a bunch of posts ready for this year, a pile of gigs to go to among various other activities, and there's a whole load of new music coming out that I'm really looking forward to hearing and writing about.

In contrast with the idea of new music, the song I've been listening to most over the past week has been The Anthem by Good Charlotte, which is an early noughties classic. I think it's a pretty good song to start the year with, with a great, motivational message: don't want to be like anyone else; want to be like you. And I think that's such an important thing, and I've been someone who's encouraged individuality my whole life, so it's the kind of song I like to hear most at any time of any year, as a reminder to just do your own thing and let others around you do theirs'.

So yeah, The Anthem was released in 2003 as the second single from Good Charlotte's second studio album, The Young and the Hopeless, which is one of my favourites, and I was actually kind of unsure of which song to talk about (was a toss up between this, Hold On, Say Anything and Emotionless, but this one felt right in the end).

I just really love the lyrics, and how the whole song encourages individuality and is so nonconformist; it just makes me really happy, and it's fun to sing at the top of your lungs lol. If you're ever feeling down and alone and boring and just bad about yourself, you should definitely try listening to this because it's a real pick me up for me.

Until next time.


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