Essential albums you need in your car

Hi altrocklifers! In massive life news, I officially got my first car this week, and I feel like I’m one step closer to becoming a responsible adult.  It’s a cute little navy blue Ford Ka, 11 years old, and named Lzzy after one of my favourite vocalists, Lzzy Hale (cringey, I know).

Katie sat in her new car on her driveway
Isn’t she cute??

Naturally, as a music lover the part I was most excited about when I got the car home was filling the glove box with CDs.  I haven’t driven it much, which isn’t surprising considering I haven’t passed my test yet, but here are the albums I’m looking forward to listening to on the road.

Slaves – Take Control

I love this record, and the aggressive riffs and lyrics means shouting along is a great way to channel any road rage without crashing the car or giving other drivers the middle finger.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Blossom

I always think it sounds badass when a car blasting punk music drives past you: that’s what I’m aiming for when I play this record.

We Are The Ocean – Ark

This record is great for long drives, especially at night: plenty of big choruses to keep you awake, and some more mellow numbers for stretches of empty road.

A Day To Remember – Bad Vibrations

This is, so far, my favourite album released this year, so of course I had to put it in my car to maximise the amount of time I spend listening to it.

Pure Love – Anthems

Frank Carter’s discarded project produced one of my favourite all-time records.  You can’t beat a car sing-a-long to tracks like Handsome Devils Club or Bury My Bones.

Bastille – Other People’s Heartache Part 3

If I fancy listening to electronic music, this EP by Bastille is always one of my top choices.  My favourite track on the EP is Remains, featuring the beautiful voices of both Rag N Bone Man and Skunk Anansie.

Foals – What Went Down

This album always manages to keep me occupied and entertained during boring, stop-start town driving.

What are some essential albums or tracks on your car playlist?  Let me know your on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

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Things you only know if you have alternative piercings

Since December 2014, I have officially been a person with alternative piercings.  I personally define ‘alternative piercings’ as any body piercing which isn’t located in the earlobe.  I consider myself to have three alternative piercings: my tragus and helix on my left ear, and my left nostril.  I also have each earlobe pierced twice, and I have further plans for more alternative piercings, such as a microdermal on my chest, my other nostril and septum, and potentially more cartilage piercings on my right ear.

Now, before I get into this post, I’d like to make the disclaimer that my experiences as a person with alternative piercings are fairly mild compared to some people with more body modifications.  However, I thought I’d write about my experiences navigating the world as a person with alternative piercings, and how I interact with people who don’t have them.

1 – The pain you feel when you snag your piercing on your hair/clothes/bed sheets/towel

I still snag my nose piercing all the time when I’m washing my face, or I catch my helix piercing when I pull a t-shirt over my head.  No matter how long you’ve had a piercing, and whether it’s fully healed or not, it will still take you by surprise and you’ll end up snagging it on something.  I’ve had my tragus pierced for nearly two years and I still catch it on my towel when I dry my hair.

2 – Is my piercing infected, or does it have hypertrophic scarring? Or a keloid?  Or an irritation bump?????

There are all sorts of things that could potentially go wrong with a piercing.  If you irritate it, as mentioned in the first point, you could end up with an irritation bump.  These are harmless and will reduce in size and eventually disappear when the irritation stops, for example I finally stop knocking my nose when I’m applying face scrub.  There are other possibilities, however: you could have a hypertrophic scar, which is essentially a build up of collagen.  These aren’t really harmful, but if they’re large enough and close to your piercing the size of it may push on your piercing and cause it to migrate.  Alternatively, you could have a keloid, another type of scar tissue, which is more of an issue.  If all of these have been ruled out it’s possible that you may have an infected piercing, which is a risk when trying to heal an open wound.  If you think that might be the case, speak to your piercer and ask for their advice, or if you think it looks serious book an appointment with your GP.

3 – How do you cope with all the risks that come with piercings, as mentioned in point two?

Sometimes, it feels like the effort of trying to heal your piercing isn’t worth the hassle. I’ve had what I believe is an irritation bump on the back of my helix piercing for months, and it’s become infected a couple of times. However, I love how my helix looks, and I reckon that I’ve already come this far, so I ought to keep up the hard work and eventually I’ll have a fully healed piercing that I can love for the rest of my life.  In my eyes, it’d be a waste of time if I just took my piercing out and gave up now.

4 – How much did it hurt? How much did it bleed?

I personally hate being asked how much my piercings hurt, because people seem to forget that every person has a different pain threshold.  I’m an absolute wimp, so I’m worried that I’d scare people from getting piercings that they really want because my pain rating out of ten seems high to them.  I’ve discussed pain levels with people who have the same piercings as me and we all have different perceptions of how much they hurt.

5 – How long did your piercing take to heal?  Is there any way I can speed up the process?

I’m not gonna beat around the bush here: some piercings are absolute buggers to heal.  And once again, the time it takes varies from person to person.  My immune system isn’t particularly fantastic, so my healing times are probably longer than most peoples’.  I’ve had my helix pierced for a year and a half and it still hasn’t fully healed.  On the other hand, my tragus was fully healed within a few months, when others suggest it can take 12 to 18 months.  You absolutely cannot predict how quickly your piercings will heal, as other influences, such as illness or poor nutrition, could slow down your immune system.  Plus, there is no way to rush the healing process.  You have to remember that your piercing jewellery is a foreign body that your immune system will want to fight and reject, so healing the piercing is a tricky process.

6 – You should twist your jewellery twice a day to speed up the healing process!

This is the old way that piercers recommended you heal your piercings, but nowadays this process is frowned upon.  This is because it’s been discovered that twisting your jewellery only damages and tears the cells in the fistula (the hole of the piercing), which actually delays the healing process.

7 – You should use contact lens solution to heal your piercings!

This is a common misconception, because most piercers recommend using saline solution (a.k.a. salt water) to heal your piercings, and contact lens solution is very close to being pure saline. However, if you read the ingredients contact lens solution often contains other elements which could irritate your piercing and prolong the healing process.

8 – You look better natural, without any piercings.

Too bad, I like them.

Do you have alternative piercings?  Are there any other points that I’ve missed off of this list? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Lifestyle: Where do you draw the line between cruelty free products and a vegetarian/vegan diet?

You may remember from last month that I wrote a post discussing my favourite Lush products, which is a brand well known for being 100% vegetarian and cruelty free. Following that post, I’ve been pondering my stance on consuming products where animals have been harmed in some way, whether through my dietary choices or cosmetics.  Honestly, I’m not 100% sure where I stand yet, so I thought I’d write down my thoughts and hopefully get a discussion going with you, my lovely readers.

First of all, I’ve reduced my consumption of animal products over the past 18 months or so.  In May 2015 I became pescetarian, which means I cut out all animal flesh from my diet except for fish and other forms of seafood.  This was for two reasons – I didn’t think I would commit to full vegetarianism straight away so I wanted to ease myself into it, and I also really love(d) calamari and teriyaki salmon.  However, my last taste of fish was some fancy salmon mousse on New Year’s Day, and since then no animal flesh has passed my lips (except for the time my Stepdad accidentally gave me some pasta with ham in).

My current rule is that I won’t eat an animal product if the animal has had to die for me to be able to consume it. This includes all flesh, gelatine (made from animal bones) and rennet (made from calf stomach lining), and means that I still consume milk, eggs, and other dairy products.

This rule also means that I won’t purchase products made of leather (excluding the leather bag my Mum bought me for my birthday last year), suede or other animal skins, but I will by products made of wool.  When I move away from diet and consider cosmetics, this is where the line between what I can and cannot purchase becomes to blur.

For me, my reasoning for becoming vegetarian (and eventually aiming to become vegan) consists of two main factors. The first is that I am against the unnecessary cruelty involved in the farming industry. The second is that I have found that I am capable of living a healthy life and meeting all of my dietary and nutritional requirements with a vegetarian diet, plus iron supplements.  However, like meat products, soap and conditioner are not life necessities for me: even though I wouldn’t have many friends if I didn’t wear deodorant, I wouldn’t die without it.  This video ( which includes some strong language, by the way) by Australian lifestyle and beauty YouTuber Nibbles Official explains that side of the argument quite well, whilst also going into why she herself doesn’t follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Most of the toiletries I buy are already cruelty free. A number of them aren’t vegan as they contain products such as honey, but because I am only vegetarian at the moment I’m happy to still use toiletries containing animal products.  The main area where I struggle to draw the line is make-up and other cosmetics.  According to the RSPCA, it is illegal to sell products in the EU which have been tested on animals or have ingredients which have been tested on animals, which means that all of the products on the shelves at Boots are cruelty free.  This is reassuring, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean that the brands themselves are totally cruelty free, because China legally requires cosmetic companies to test their products on animals before they can be sold in the country.  That means that companies that do sell their products in China do still test some of their products on animals.

This is why I struggle to draw the line: if the make-up brands I use sell their products in China and therefore test on animals, should I stop purchasing from those brands, even though I know the products on UK shelves haven’t been tested themselves?  Am I OK with supporting a brand who does test on animals under certain conditions, even though the products I buy are cruelty free?  Again, make-up isn’t a life essential (although you might think it is if you knew how long I spent on my eyebrows in the morning), so shouldn’t I work harder to ensure that my purchases do not enable or condone animal suffering?

I’d be very interested to hear from my followers, whether you use cruelty free products, are vegetarian or vegan, or just have a strong opinion on the subject. Let me know your thoughts on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Lifestyle: My favourite Lush products

Hi altrocklifers! Today I thought I’d do something a bit different, and discuss my recent foray into purchasing from ethical cosmetics giant, Lush.  The company, which had humble beginnings in Poole in 1995 (the year I was born!) has reached worldwide acclaim for their 100% vegetarian and cruelty free products.

Now, Lush always seemed like a niche shop to me, and I used to be quite nervous about going inside and asking questions.  Plus, a lot of their long term customers, AKA Lushies, can be a little bit fanatical about the brand.  I went pescatarian last May and fully vegetarian in January, so since then I’ve been making a more conscious effort to purchase toiletries from cruelty free and vegetarian brands.  I’m very glad I did, as the products are fantastic and I can use them guilt free!  Plus, all of the staff in my local branches (Bournemouth whilst at university and Lincoln whilst at home) are absolutely lovely and were brilliant at helping me find the best products for my skin and hair.

I’m going to go over the products I’m currently using and how I feel about them, as well as products I’ve tried in the past and didn’t continue to use and why.

HAIR

Soak And Float – solid shampoo bar

Lush's Soak And Float solid shampoo bar on a plastic grass design soap dish
The soap dish was £3 from Tiger, by the way. It’s a fab way of storing my shampoo bar!

I’ve always struggled finding suitable shampoo, as I have mild dandruff and medicated shampoo only ever managed to keep the worst of the flakes at bay. Thankfully, Soak And Float is absolutely fantastic at calming my scalp, and I’ve seen nary a flake since starting to use this solid shampoo about two months ago.  It’s fantastic value for money as well: Lush suggests that each bar lasts up to three months, but because I have very short hair I think mine will last even longer than that.  Scent wise, I can’t put my finger on what the dominant scent of this product is, but it’s quite gentle and a little sweet.

Price: £5.95 for 55g
Recommended for: People with sensitive scalps or dandruff
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★★★

American Cream – conditioner

250g bottle of Lush American Cream conditioner

American Cream has mixed reviews across the board: some hail it as a conditioner deity, others think it smells like curdled milk or baby sick.  Personally I lean much further towards the former.  Whilst I don’t think this conditioner smells like strawberry vanilla like it’s supposed to, it does have a sweet, pleasant creamy smell which reminds me of crème brûlée before you caramelise the top.  I have fairly thick hair, and this conditioner is thick enough to thoroughly condition whilst being light enough not to weigh down my natural curls.

Price: £9.95 for 250g
Recommended for: People with normal to thick hair
Status: Vegetarian
My rating: ★★★★☆

Hair Custard – hair dressing

A sample pot of Lush's Hair Custard
I always leave Lush with at least one free sample. It’s great!

Last time I went to Lush in Lincoln the person who served me suggested I give Hair Custard a go, and I’m glad they did.  It’s a light, creamy product with a strong vanilla fragrance which I use to fight the frizz which comes hand in hand with curly hair.  I also use it as a light styling product to keep my curls in place.  The product is ideally used in wet hair before blow-drying, but because I leave my hair to air-dry I don’t know how well it works in that way.  I’ll definitely be buying a full sized tub next time I go to Lush.

Price: £12.95 for 100g
Recommended for: People who want to tackle frizz or hydrate their hair
Status: Vegetarian
My rating: ★★★★☆

FACE

Cup O’ Coffee – face and body scrub

Cup O' Coffee Lush face and body mask

I absolutely love coffee, so I was drawn to Cup O’ Coffee straight away.  It has a very sweet, chocolatey smell, with crushed coffee beans which add the exfoliating touch.  I have combination skin – oily in some places and dry in others – so the crushed coffee beans help to exfoliate away dead skin, and the agave syrup and coriander oil soothes and moisturises.  You can use this product to exfoliate your body too, but at the moment I only use it on my face.

Price: £6.75 for 150g
Recommended for: People who get dry, flaky skin
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★★★

Popcorn – lip scrub

Lush's Popcorn lip scrub

This was part of a lovely birthday gift from my sister, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.  It’s lasted a very long time, and it does wonders for exfoliating my lips.  I get very chapped and dry lips, especially in the winter, so I like to exfoliate with Popcorn and apply a moisturising lip balm before bed.  It’s got a lovely sweet taste, and actually does smell like popcorn! Bonus.

Price: £5.50 for 25g (but it lasts a really long time!)
Recommended for: People who frequently get chapped lips
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★★☆

BODY

The Olive Branch – shower gel

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Remember to give The Olive Branch a good shake before using, because the olive oil separates and forms a separate layer at the top of the bottle.

At first I was a little nervous about using this product, as it contains olive oil and I was worried I would end up with more spots on my back and chest than before.  Thankfully, this wasn’t the case, and The Olive Branch helped my dry arms and legs become smooth and moisturised.  It has a lovely citrus scent thanks to the mandarin and bergamot oil.  It is very runny, which took me aback when I first used it, but once you get the hang of how much you need a bottle goes a long way.

Price: £9.95 for 250g
Recommended for: People with dry skin
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★★★

PRODUCTS I NO LONGER USE AND WHY

Veganese – conditioner

Veganese conditioner by Lush

I absolutely love the scent of Veganese – it has a very strong and refreshing lemon scent.  The product was recommended to me by one of the members of staff in the Lincoln store, because I was looking for a fairly light conditioner that wouldn’t weigh down my curls.  Unfortunately for me this conditioner was too light, and didn’t leave my hair feeling conditioned at all. I passed Veganese on to my Mum, who has straighter, thinner hair than I do.  She really likes it, so I can vouch for it being a good quality product, but it just wasn’t right for me.

Price: £9.95 for 250g
Recommended for: People with normal-to-thin, straight hair
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★☆☆☆

Angels On Bare Skin – face and body cleanser

Lush Angels On Bare Skin face and body cleanser tub

I actually used up two whole pots of this cleanser before moving to Cup O’ Coffee, and it really served me well whilst I was using it.  It has a very strong lavender scent, which I love, but others seem to find overpowering.  The ground almonds in this cleanser exfoliated my skin whilst the chamomile and lavender calmed and soothed.  Unfortunately I found that it didn’t exfoliate enough, and my face was left with patches of dry, flaky skin.  I also found the process of adding water to the product before mixing to a paste quite tedious.

Price: £7.25 for 100g
Recommended for: People with slightly dryer skin who don’t need too much exfoliation
Status: Vegan
My rating: ★★★☆☆

Are you a fan of Lush?  Have you tried any of the products above? Let me know on my Facebook or Twitter page, or in the comment section below this post.

Lifestyle: altrocklife’s thoughts on the EU referendum

Hi altrocklifers! Today I thought I’d do something a bit different, considering that tomorrow I’ll be casting my vote in one of the most important referendums in British history. Yes, tomorrow is judgement day, and we will be deciding whether Britain is going to Remain or Brexit the European Union.

I’m not writing this post today to tell you how to vote.  I’m not claiming to be a political expert with all of the answers, and I don’t particularly want to be drawn into an online debate about which box you should draw your X in.  However, I would like to talk about my observations of both campaigns, as well as the importance of voting.

To be honest, it appears to me that both sides of the argument have engaged in fear tactics and blatant lies in order to try and scare the general public into voting their way.  At the end of the day, the average Brit won’t have any sort of extensive economic, political or immigration-related expertise, so will have to rely on materials from both campaigns to make their decision.  The main sentiment I’ve seen recently is that, whatever way people vote, they’re voting that way because of independent research they’ve conducted and despite the official campaigns.

The campaigns have also been extremely emotional, drawing on peoples’ fears, their patriotism, and igniting anti-immigrant, xenophobic attitudes.  Emotions were running high especially after the murder of MP Jo Cox last Thursday, which is believed to have been politically motivated.  Plus, endorsements to both sides of the debate by celebrities, politicians and other big names has created a “names game”.  It almost feels like both campaigns are collecting endorsements like they’re Pokémon cards. (Sorry for the slightly outdated reference)

I also think that both sides of the debate have been stating their opinions and predictions as facts, which is deplorable to me considering nothing is guaranteed regardless of the result of this election.  Whilst the Remain campaign could argue that if we stay, we’ll just continue on as normal, after all the unrest and aggression towards the EU during these campaigns who’s to say that everything will go back to how things were? Plus on the Brexit side, no country has ever left the European Union after joining, so predictions from experts aside we really have no idea what will happen when we do eventually sever ties and leave.

Plus, voters – especially young voters – have had it drummed into their heads just how important this vote is, so I don’t want to add to the condescending tone and “remind” people how important this referendum is to the future of Britain.  However, I would like to reiterate that this vote will decide the future for those of us aged under 50.  Those voters over 50 won’t have to live with the long term consequences of either remaining or leaving the EU, whereas us young’uns will be dealing with whatever happens for much, much longer.  So, if you’re under 50, make sure you cast your vote, whichever way you decide is best, so your granny doesn’t end up deciding your future for you.

altrocklife’s favourite musicians on Twitter

Hi there altrocklifers! I’m a big fan of all things Twitter, and I can spend hours mindlessly scrolling down my timeline.  Here’s a round-up of my favourite Twitter accounts, in no particular order, run by the members of my favourite bands.

Sean Smith

Even though The Blackout are dead and gone (RIP), Sean is still pretty active on Twitter and regularly posts some hilarious tweets.

Gerard Way

If you’re into surreal humour, then Gerard’s Twitter account is the one for you.  Here’s an example of him asking the big questions.

Mark Hoppus

Mark regularly wins ‘Best Twitter’ awards, and just a quick glance at his profile will explain why.

Pete Wentz

Pete manages to balance tweeting about his children, Fall Out Boy’s tours and live performances and supporting fellow musicians with surprising ease, with a little bit of humour thrown in.

James Davies

What’s this, another ex-member of The Blackout?  James is one of my favourite Tweeters, and he never fails to bring a smile to my face. If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, his account will definitely be to your taste.

What do you think of my list of fantastic Tweeters?  Is there anyone I missed?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: O.G. LokoOf Mice & Men

6 incredible tracks you need in your life – June 2015

Since I last wrote a post like this in May, a whole host of new, incredible singles have been released.  Here’s my run down of the best of the bunch.

Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes – Juggernauts

After Pure Love went on indefinite hiatus, I had no idea what to do with myself knowing there would be no new music by Frank Carter in the world.  Thankfully, his latest band has set things straight.

Slipknot – Killpop

Killpop is Slipknot’s latest single from their fifth album, The Gray Chapter.  You can read my review of that incredible album here.  Killpop was one of my highlights of the album, so I’m glad they’ve released it as a single and produced another of their creepy videos to go with it.

Have Mercy – Two Years

Have Mercy’s latest track from their new album A Place Of Our Own is a great track which tugs at the heartstrings.  I really like the combination of quieter, almost mumbled verses with the raw, powerful choruses.

Refused – Dawkins Christ

Following on from Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes’ latest track, June is turning out to be a great month for lovers of heavier songs.  The introduction to this song has a great atmosphere.

Nothing But Thieves – Trip Switch

I absolutely loved Nothing But Thieves’ previous track, Itch, and Trip Switch is just as good.  I also have a weakness for videos made up of clips from vintage films, so this video was right up my street.

You’re A Germ – Wolf Alice

I also have a weakness for female vocalists in alternative/rock bands, so if you do to, Wolf Alice are a safe bet.  I like how this track starts off slow, then surprises you with screeching guitar and crashing cymbals.

What do you think of these tracks?  Are there any great singles that I missed?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: River, RiverLonely The Brave

So far in 2015: the year of musicians injuring themselves on stage

The music world hasn’t been having the best of luck so far in 2015, has it?  In February I wrote about the sheer number of musicians leaving bands, which really shook up the alternative music community.  Now, however, there’s a slightly more worrying trend: more and more musicians are injuring themselves on stage.  This isn’t just limited to rock, punk or alternative musicians, so let’s take a look back at some of the more memorable musician injuries of 2015 so far.

It all started with Madonna in February, who suffered whiplash on stage at the BRIT Awards.  The costume of her backing dancers caught on her cape which she was unable to untie, leading to her being pulled over backwards by her neck.  Ouch.

In April, at the legendary Coachella Festival, Florence Welch of Florence And The Machine jumped off stage a little too energetically, breaking her foot in the process.  She hopes that she’ll be recovered in time to perform at Glastonbury later this month.

In May, U2’s The Edge fell off stage while performing in Vancouver.  In this video shared by The Telegraph, it appears he simply mis-judged his step and walked right off stage.  It’s good to know that even big-shot musicians can make mistakes and be clumsy, right?

And now for the icing on the cake.  Last Friday, during a concert in Sweden, Foo Fighers frontman Dave Grohl fell off stage two songs into the set, resulting in a broken leg.  Ever a trooper, after being rushed off to hospital Grohl returned and the band were able to complete the set.

Following the injury Foo Fighters cancelled two further dates of their Sonic Highways Tour, however it is currently unknown whether they will cancel their Wembley Arena dates on the 19th and 20th of June, or their set at Glastonbury.  Now, I’m well aware I’m biased as I have a ticket to see the band perform on the 19th, but I really hope the concert isn’t cancelled!  Whatever happens, though, Grohl’s health comes first, and I’ll respect whatever decision the band makes.

That was the run-down of the most noticeable injured musicians so far in 2015.  Let’s hope this trend doesn’t continue!

Do you have tickets to see Foo Fighters on the rest of their tour, or any of the other injured musicians mentioned in this post?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

Currently listening to: KillpopSlipknot

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

Enter Shikari: the latest tour dates, album title and more

Much to my great joy, as I was scrolling down my Twitter feed in bed with a slice of toast this morning, as you do, I was reminded that today at midday, the tickets for Enter Shikari‘s Jan/Feb 2015 tour went on sale.

Unfortunately I had to rush off to a lecture so I was unable to get tickets at midday, but thankfully I was able to pick up a ticket (and a pre-order of their next album) for their date at Portsmouth Pyramids.  Excited is an understatement!

After seeing Enter Shikari at Leeds Festival earlier this year (you can check out my review of their performance here) and really enjoying their performance, I am so happy to be able to see them perform for a second time.

As well as that, the Essex lads revealed that their upcoming fourth album, The Mindsweep, will be released in the UK on January 19 of next year.

I, for one, cannot wait for their next album, especially after hearing a new song from the album, The Anaesthetistplayed live at Leeds Festival.

If you’re interested in picking up tickets for Enter Shikari’s The Mindsweep tour, the dates can be found here.  Also, if you’re interested in picking up their next album you can pre-order it, as well as other exclusive goodies, on their website.

Currently listening to: WarriorsImagine Dragons