Review: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair, March 29 2015

That’s right, it’s Vintage Fair time again!  Yesterday’s fair was by far the most productive of the lot for me in terms of the amount I spent.  Oh well, that’s what overdrafts are for, right?

Lou Lou's Vintage Fair
I couldn’t resist getting a photo of those gorgeous light fittings. They’re so cute!

If you saw my review of February’s Vintage fair, then you’ll remember that I was a little disappointed at the selection – or lack of selection – of stalls.  Thankfully, the selection of vendors at yesterday’s fair was much improved.  There was a good mixture of vendors I’ve seen at the past two fairs, and brand new vendors to mix things up a bit.  That’s definitely a good thing, as the fairs in October and February were very similar in terms of the items available.

Yesterday there were multiple stalls selling modern dresses in the 50s pin-up style, and I was extremely happy about this! I’ve been hoping to pick up a new dress at a vintage fair ever since I started going in October, so to finally buy the dress of my dreams was a great moment.

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Shirt: Mooch Vintage, £10
Necklace: £8
Dress: Clarence and Alabama, £34

As well as everything pictured above, I also picked up a birthday present for my little sister – never mind that her birthday isn’t until September, it was the perfect gift for her!

I can’t wait to find an excuse to wear this dress, as I absolutely love it!  It’s such high quality, and considering how difficult it is for me to find dresses that fit well, this one is perfect for me.

Have you been to one of Lou Lou’s Vintage Fairs recently?  What did you pick up? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: Ghost In The MirrorMallory Knox

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#OOTD: 26/03/15

Yesterday I wore an outfit I thought was an excellent transition outfit from my winter wardrobe to spring fashion, if I do say so myself.  At the moment here in Bournemouth, the bright sunshine can sometimes make the day seem warmer than it actually is.  As soon as I leave the warm toasty confines of my bedroom, it becomes apparent that we’re still closer to winter than summer.

This outfit turned out to be a good middle ground: I can stay cool in overheated lecture theaters, but I’ll still be protected from the chilly wind when I’m outside.

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Coat, boots: New Look
Jeans: Primark
Shirt: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair
Necklace: Become Antique

I wore this outfit to university, but if the jeans were replaced with a smart skirt or tailored trousers it could easily become office wear.

As Meryl Streep said in The Devil Wears Prada: “Florals?  For spring?  Groundbreaking.”  A patterned shirt like this one adds a bit of fun to an outfit without reverting back to a default floral shirt.

Plus, this coat will protect me from sudden showers and wind chill, but if the sun decides to show itself it can be worn open for a more casual feel.

What do you think of this outfit?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: CalifornicationRed Hot Chili Peppers

Review: Drop Dead’s Fangz Crop Shirt

As much as I love the brand Drop Dead, its clothes are usually out of my price range, and I’m sure many of my readers can relate to that!  Unfortunately as an unemployed student it’s extremely difficult for me to splash out on clothes from independent brands such as Drop Dead.  That’s why I always make the most of flash sales, such as the sale Drop Dead held the weekend before last.

I was super tempted to pick up a pair of their Peace Walker Boots, which I absolutely adore, but unfortunately there wasn’t quite enough knocked off the price for me to be able to consider them.  Instead, fuelled by my new love of crop tops, I picked up the Fangz Crop Shirt for the reasonable price of £24 (+ shipping).

I was surprised by how baggy the top was, actually; Drop Dead tends to run small, especially in women’s clothing, so I expected the size 12 Fangz top to fit a little more snugly.  It’s not too baggy to put me off wearing it, though!

altrocklife modelling the Fangz Crop Shirt
Apologies for the dirty mirror – I’ll get round to my spring cleaning eventually!

I really love this top: the detail of the embroidered fangs is a really nice feature.  The collar is reinforced, which means it won’t end up crumpled and misshapen in the wash.  I also like the sleeves being a little longer, almost elbow length – they help protect the world from seeing my flabby upper arms.

I wore this top out for my friend’s birthday on Friday night, and paired it with denim shorts and black heeled boots.  However, it could also easily be worn as part of a casual outfit.  If I was wearing the Fangz Crop Shirt to uni I’d pair it with high waisted jeans, a chunky cardigan and ankle boots.  It’s (gradually) starting to get warmer now, so when the sun does eventually decide to come out I can see myself wearing this shirt to the beach over a swimming costume with my favourite sunglasses.

Once again, Drop Dead hasn’t failed to impress me.  I’ll be keeping my eyes open for their next sale, and who knows, maybe some day I’ll be able to afford the Peace Walker Boots!

Currently listening to: Youngerletlive.

Happy birthday altrocklife!

It’s official: altrocklife turns one today!  Today marks the first anniversary of the first post I ever wrote for this blog, so I thought I’d go back in time and recap some of the best – and worst! – moments in music and fashion over the past year.

BEST MUSIC NEWS

Easily the best music news in the past 365 days was the news that the ex-Lostprophets lads were forming a new band, No Devotion.  Unfortunately interest in the band petered out, and evidently they were not meant to be.  Even so, the hype when No Devotion first entered the scene was pretty incredible!  Read more about it in my article here.

WORST MUSIC NEWS

On the other side of the coin, I was absolutely devastated when news of The Blackout’s split broke.  The band are about to head on their farewell tour, and I’m heartbroken that I’m unable to attend any of the dates.  altrocklife wishes the whole band good luck in their future endeavours, musical or otherwise!  You can read more about my reaction to the split and their final farewell here.

BEST ALBUM REVIEWED ON ALTROCKLIFE

I struggled immensely to narrow down the best albums released in the past year, so here are the top five albums that I’ve reviewed here and on Scene Better Days:

5: Oui Legionnaires: It’s Not What You Need, It’s What You’ve Got (so shut it.)
4: The Lion And The Wolf: Symptoms
3: Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways
2: Slipknot: 5: The Gray Chapter
1: Enter Shikari: The Mindsweep

BEST FASHION TREND

I’ve written about quite a few different fashion trends so far on altrocklife, so here’s a list of my three favourite tried-and-tested fashion finds.

3: Double denim
2: Statement jackets
1: Collar tips

WORST FASHION TREND

This trend is in fact the only trend I’ve ever openly slated on altrocklife.  To those of you who like this style, I’m sorry but I simply cannot stand it.  Of course I’m talking about the “90s suburban mom” look: you can read my angry ravings about that trend here.

BEST LIVE ACT

Since starting altrocklife I’ve attended Leeds Festival, as well as a number of both small venue and stadium gigs.  Here are the top 10 live acts I had the privilege to see this year.

10: Deaf Havana @ Lincoln Engine Shed
9: A Day To Remember @ Leeds Festival
8: Papa Roach @ Leeds Festival
7: Mallory Knox @ Leeds Festival
6: Pure Love @ Lincoln Engine Rooms
5: Royal Blood @ Leeds Festival
4: Of Mice & Men @ Leeds Festival
3: Band Of Skulls @ Leeds Festival
2: Enter Shikari @ Portsmouth Pyramids
1: Linkin Park @ O2 Arena

WORST LIVE ACT

Thankfully, my fantastic live experiences were not tarnished by some of the, ahem, not so excellent acts I’ve seen in the past year.  Here are the three live acts I wish I’d never bothered seeing.

3: Jake Bugg @ Leeds Festival
2: La Dispute @ Leeds Festival
1: FACT @ London KOKO, supporting Memphis May Fire

So there you have it!  What do you think of my best and worst moments?  Let me know in the comments or as always on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: Mz. HydeHalestorm

8 incredible new tracks you need in your life – March 2015

Anyone with ears will know how much incredible new music is out there at the moment, from established bands as well as up-and-coming acts.  Here’s my list of some of the best tracks released in the past couple of months.

8: The Vaccines – Handsome

Weird music videos seem to be on trend in 2015, don’t they?  I really like the combination of techno drum beats and crashing cymbals in the chorus.

7: Slaves – Feed The Mantaray

If you’re a fan of The Mighty Boosh, the video for this track might leave you reminiscing the cult BBC3 comedy.  This grungy track is great fun to listen to, especially if you love sea creatures as much as I do.

6: Mumford & Sons – Believe

As the only Reading And Leeds headline act I’m actually excited about this year, I was super excited when Mumford & Sons released this little number.  It’s a slow-burner, I’ll admit, but the track’s climax is well worth the wait.

5: Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best

Anyone who knows me will understand my love of female musicians in alternative rock.  Courtney Barnett is a great example of new female talent.  The lyrics of this track are really interesting, on top of some great riffs.

4: Peace – I’m A Girl

This song is a must-listen for fans of wailing guitars and feedback aplenty.  If you feel like challenging your brain a little, the interactive video above may give you something to do.

3: The Bohicas – To Die For

Yet another weird music video!  I can see The Bohicas making waves this year if they keep releasing great tracks like this.

2: The Wombats – Emoticons

The lil’ guitar solo during the introduction to this track is a great mood-setter, and the track’s lyrics are as self-depreciating and fun as The Wombats have always been.  I can’t wait for their next album, Glitterbug, to be released next month!

1: Muse – Psycho

Muse are officially back, and they’re back with a bang!  The guitar work in this track is absolutely incredible, and Matt Bellamy’s voice sounds excellent as always.  Drones promises to be a fantastic album if the rest of the track meet Psycho‘s standards.

#OOTD: 12/3/15

Tonight I’m hitting the town with my best friend and housemate to celebrate his 20th birthday.  The club we’re going to plays a whole host of rock, metal, alternative and punk/punk-pop music.  With that in mind, I decided to dress like an extra from a 90s pop-punk music video.

Outfit of the day
If you squint at the crowd scenes next time you watch a punk-pop music video, I guarantee you’ll see at least three different girls wearing this outfit.

Shirt: Select
Crop top: New Look
Shorts: ASOS
Choker: The Vintage Room

Now I know this outfit is a little ambitious considering it’s only March, so if you’re not willing to brave the cold with bare legs then the shorts can easily be substituted for skinny jeans.  Bonus points if they’re acid wash and have ripped knees.

I also know that there will be plenty of my readers that don’t like wearing crop tops.  They’re still a work in progress for me – it took about 20 attempts until I took a picture where I was happy with how my tummy looked.  If you can’t stand the thought of wearing one, substitute it for a band t-shirt or a monochrome tee.

Any colour of plaid shirt will work well here: I went for a vibrant blue this time, but to get the full 90s effect more muted, earthy colours will work wonders.

When I head out I’ll be wearing my favourite black ankle boots, as pictured in my Christmas haul, and my faithful old leather jacket.

What do you think about this outfit?  What are some of your favourite 90s wardrobe essentials?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook!

Currently listening to: A Little RespectWheatus

altrocklife says #ThanksZane

As I’m sure you’ll all be aware, Zane Lowe’s last ever Radio 1 show went out to air last Thursday.  The DJ has left the station to move to the US and take up a job at Apple.

Whilst altrocklife wishes Zane all the best, I can’t help but think that Radio 1 will find it extremely difficult to replace him.  As long as I can remember listening to Radio 1, the 7-9pm slot on Monday to Thursday evenings has always belonged to him.  Radio 1 will surely suffer without his distinct New Zealand voice on the airwaves.

Anyone on Twitter will have noticed the hashtag #ThanksZane trending on Thursday, encouraging fans and artists alike to sing Zane’s praises.  Here are some of my favourite tweets from the evening:

Zane’s show has been credited for making and breaking a number of artists – not only The Vaccines, as mentioned above, but a whole host of acts from every genre imaginable.

That was something I always liked about Zane – his taste in music is extremely broad, but he is still able to pick out the most talented from all of them.  If an act has the Zane Lowe stamp of approval, or a song is chosen as his “hottest record in the world right now”, then you know it’s gonna be big.

Plus, Zane’s show was always the place to be if you wanted to hear Reading and Leeds line-up announcements – he often broke the news before anyone else.

Since joining Radio 1 in 2003, Zane Lowe has been an influential voice in the UK music industry.  He’s conducted interviews which have coaxed exclusive information out of the toughest of interviewees.  NME have put together a list of Zane’s Top 10 interviews, so if you’re unfamiliar with his work, now is the perfect opportunity to get acquainted.

So, this is my own personal #ThanksZane message: Thank you for inspiring me to work towards becoming a music journalist.  Your show has been influential to my education and career path since the beginning, and I hope one day to have a legacy as well-known as yours.  And thanks for introducing me to some of my favourite artists.  I would never have listened to fantastic acts such as Of Mice & Men, Pierce The Veil, Royal Blood and Mallory Knox if you hadn’t supported them every step of the way.  Zane Lowe, you are a monster.

Currently listening to: Breaking The HabitLinkin Park

#OOTD: 05/03/15

Just a notice before I get started: altrocklife is now on Facebook!  Make sure you head over and give the page a like here.

Now then, back to business. This outfit of the day post is a little outdated, as I wore this outfit out to a friend’s birthday bash last Saturday.  Hopefully it’ll give you some inspiration if you’re planning on hitting the town this weekend!

I’d also like the make a disclaimer before we start.  Even though the majority of my outfit was purchased in New Look, this post is not sponsored by them in any way.  It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I realised just how New Look-centric this outfit is!

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Statement jacket, crop top, skort, boots, necklace: New Look
Bracelets: Primark
Ring: Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair

I think skorts are perfect for nights out.  They’re short enough to show off a bit of leg, but still keep you safe from sudden gusts of wind.  Whilst that image of Marilyn Monroe is pretty iconic, it’s not something I want to replicate in the queue for a nightclub.

The crop top adds a bit of fun to the outfit.  I think I deserve bonus points as that was the first time I’ve EVER worn a crop top!  Cue other fashion blogs clutching their chests and gasping in shock.  I’m a bit insecure about my tummy, so the statement jacket on top helped me feel more comfortable.  It also meant my midriff was a little less exposed.

The flash of colour in the statement jacket makes what could have been a simple monochrome outfit a bit more fun.  There’s nothing wrong with monochrome (I’m wearing all black today) but a little bit of colour can make a big difference.

So there you have it!  Do you like my outfit?  How would you wear some of the pieces differently? Write a comment and let me know.

Currently listening to: OceansTwin Atlantic

Review: The Bear And The Tiger

Take a look at my latest Scene Better Days post, a review of Bootscraper and Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man’s aggressively awesome split.

Scene Better Days

When I get sent split EPs, I assume that the bands will be pretty similar sounding. This expectation was ignored by The Bear And The Tiger, which features Revenge Of The Psychotronic Man and Bootscraper. The tracks are all reworked covers of the other band, which makes for an interesting audio experience.

It’s a shame that since recording The Bear And The Tiger, Bootscraper have called it quits. This band are like nothing I’ve ever listened to before. In all honesty I’m not sure how to review such a unique band, but I’ll try to do them justice!

Bootscraper‘s aggro-folk ROTPM covers all sound like sea shanties to me. They’ve created the kind of music you’d expect to hear on the Pirates Of The Caribbean soundtrack. The tracks are a little rough around the edges, but that just adds to their charm.

I love the combination of male…

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