Friday, 14 October 2016

You Me At Six // Rock City, Nottingham 13.10.16 // Review

Yesterday was the second time I've had the pleasure of attending a You Me At Six gig. Now I can say with confidence that their performances are always consistently excellent and never disappointing. They know exactly which songs their fans want to hear. On top of that, Josh is a brilliant vocalist - unlike those bands that sound completely different live, his vocals are always as if they've been taken straight from the track and there's noone singing live at all. In fact, the first time I saw YMAS with ATL at Birmingham, Josh had a (broken? or fractured?) ankle, and he still killed it, jumping around as much as he could. 

Rock City was full to the brim - they even opened the balconies up which is something I haven't seen them do that often. I'm not sure if this is so press can get the best photos from the top of the venue, or because in the past, at particularly heavy gigs I've been to such as Asking Alexandria, they closed the balcony off as they knew there might be a risk that fans could fall or jump at those sorts of gigs. Either way, on the main floor, you could barely move - even when Vant were still warming the crowd. I missed most of their performance as my friends & I arrived late, although I did hear one song I recognised. According to the set-list, Vant had an hour and a half performance - which is just as long as YMAS themselves.

It was an especially exciting gig as YMAS are, obviously and expectedly a HUGE DEAL in England. Therefore, during the interval, there were a few fans feeling a bit aggressive in terms of getting to the front. But I love it when a band comes on stage and that lairy atmosphere just subsides - you forget about everything that's annoyed you before and sink into the performance. Josh encouraged making friends at the concert, as most bands do nowadays, and suggested lifting a friend or a stranger up onto your shoulders at one point. Of course, not everyone is comfortable with that but it was nice to see some people give that a go. He looked at me while I was giving him a cheeky wave and I swear it made my life, we giggled like schoolgirls.

'Stay With Me' was an especially good performance, and one I'd been eager to hear live again for a while. 'Fresh Start Fever,' 'Underdog,' 'Loverboy,' 'Bite My Tongue,' 'Room To Breathe' and 'Lived A Lie' were also played, just to name a few favourites. It was awesome to hear 'Night People' live for the first time too. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't get to hear 'Cold Night' again but how can I complain when the night was that awesome. The only thing I will point out is that the gig did finish rather early - YMAS came on at 8.30pm and only stayed 'til 10pm. My friends were happy enough with that but I don't know I just would have liked them to have stayed for a bit longer. 

All in all if I had to rate the gig I'd give it a 4/5, and would definitely recommend You Me At Six to anyone who is longing to see a band that is just as good live as they are on their albums. (They also called out Donald Trump for being a d*ckhead - so what more can you want). Would definitely see them again, about 500 times.

Meaghan x

Thursday, 21 July 2016

July Music Recommendations // Alternative & Rock

As some of you may be aware, I was lucky enough to experience my first 2000Trees festival recently, and, as a result, my music taste has been undergoing a bit of an evolution (no Pokemon GO jokes today, I promise). Without further ado, these are the songs I have loved & discovered this month - I hope you find some you like!

Alternative/Rock/Punk Rock:

Chasing Lions // Natives
Honey // Moose Blood
Gums // Moose Blood
Hunny Please // Episodes
No Sleep // Twin Atlantic
Bury It // CHVRCHES & Hayley Williams
Misery // Creeper
Somebody Else // The 1975
San Diego // blink-182
Los Angeles // blink-182
She's Out Of Her Mind // blink-182
Sober // blink-182
Home Is Such A Lonely Place // blink-182
Makeshift Love // Good Charlotte
Leave A Trace // CHVRCHES

And here are a few little extras!

Perfect Strangers // Jonas Blue & JP Cooper
Work From Home // Fifth Harmony
Send My Love (To Your New Lover) // Adele
Alarm // Anne-Marie
Tilted // Christine & The Queens
She Sets The City On Fire // Gavin DeGraw

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Game of Thrones Theories // Predictions up to Season 8!

Hello, and welcome back to the stream of consciousness that I like to call my blog. I have been obsessed with Game of Thrones for a couple of years now - it's the only TV programme I could happily watch all day every day. Some days, I do, or I watch countless theory videos online. I wanted to share with you now some of my favourite theories, plus a few of my own.

Euron Greyjoy is responsible for burning Daenerys' ships in Mereen. I don't think that Tyrion was right about who really burnt Daenerys' ships. He assumed it was related to the Sons of the Harpy and this whole slavery business - but now that Euron Greyjoy back in the Iron Islands has filled us in on his plan to take his ships to Daenerys, it's got me thinking that maybe he burned her fleet to be certain that she would need his.

Bran will, for whatever reason, go back and visit Ned Stark's death via greensight. This theory came about when people were watching Season 1, and noticed a weird calmness come over Ned when he looks over to a certain area - an area where Arya was standing previously until she made the decision to move closer to Ned. Because of this, many people assume he was looking for Arya, but what if Ned was actually seeing Bran? We definitely felt a strong 'psychic' connection between those two in the Tower of Joy flashback.

Bran will be the one to tell Jon Snow his true parentage after accessing a memory in the weirwood tree, and maybe this is why Bran goes back to visit Ned Stark before he dies. Maybe Bran tells Ned that it's okay, that Jon knows who he is now, and that's the reason why that calmness comes over Ned. I also think that Bran will tell Jon this via warging, as I am not expecting those two characters to meet in person again, maybe not until the last episode when Bran is possibly the new Bloodraven.

Sansa and Jon will have to save Ramsay Bolton in the Snowbowl. If you listen carefully in S6 E5 'The Door', Sansa says to Jon, "A monster has taken over Winterfell and taken our brother. Let's go save them both." THEM BOTH. Many assume that Sansa was talking about saving Winterfell and Rickon, but maybe it was an insinuation that they will have to save Rickon and Ramsay, rather than Winterfell. Maybe the white walkers come down just as the Snowbowl is taking place, and the Starks will have to abandon their fight with Ramsay to face the larger threat. After all, we know that Jon Snow doesn't seem that hell-bent on killing Ramsay.

Ramsay Bolton is almost invincible. George R. R. Martin has been quoted as to say that his characters largely die as a result of something they love - "love destroys us every time". E.g: Jon Snow dies as a direct result of meeting Ygritte because his love for her teaches him sympathy for the Wildlings, which in turn makes him enemies within the Night's Watch. Ramsay Bolton, however, has destroyed his family, and barely flinched when his girlfriend Myranda died. What is left for him to love? Will the absence of it protect him from death a little longer?

The united Dothraki armies will drown attempting to cross the Narrow Sea to Westeros. This is a theory that came about because Daenerys closely resembles Genghis Khan as a leader (if Genghis Khan was a bad-ass female with dragons). No but seriously, if Daenerys is Genghis Khan then the Dothraki resemble the Mongols. If you are familiar with the history then you will know that a large amount of Mongols died in the sea when they were attempting to reach Japan. This would certainly be a great explanation of why the Dothraki are so superstitious about the water - it would make for great foreshadowing. Of course, Daenerys herself will not neccessarily die during this attempt, as she could cross with a dragon.

THE WALL WILL BE DESTROYED. Because you know, there is no way that great big thing isn't coming down. It's Game of Thrones.

Jorah will kill Daenerys. This derives from the Azor Ahai theory that he tempered his blade Lightbringer by sacrificing his strong, brave wife. Firstly, if Jorah manages to cure himself, Daenerys may actually marry him. She wants him "by her side". And who better to temper Lightbringer than the strongest woman in the Seven Kingdoms? Of course, Jorah might not be the Azor Ahai, but he may have to sacrifice her FOR the true Azor Ahai, Jon Snow. After all, Jon's sword Longclaw was originally JORAH'S.

Essos and Westeros are connected geographically. This way, Jon could be King in the North, or maybe King of Westeros, and Daenerys could be Queen in the East, where she has made most of an impact. (If she isn't killed first).

I am not going to claim to have any idea who is going to win the Game of Thrones. But whoever wins won't win for long. They'll probably have their split second of glory and then someone will kill them, starting the Game of Thrones all over again. Because isn't that what always happens?

Another personal opinion of mine is that somewhere, Benjen Stark still exists.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

My Race for Life // in Memory of Harry Jones

As 5SOS would say, 'heyyyy everybody'. I'm sorry it's been so long! It's been a while since I've written anything except pen pal letters, but here goes...

A few days ago, I was asked by my workmate Becca to join her and her mum in running a Race for Life in the name of Cancer Research UK. I have wanted to run the race for such a long time, so it was a complete pleasure when she asked me! In previous years, I haven't had the money to pay for the signing up fee and transport; but now that I'm working, the sign up fee was no problem and Becca is kindly providing transport. 

While Becca and her mum have their own reasons for joining the cause, I personally am running in memory of my Gt Grandad, Harry Jones, who passed away in 2013. When told he had cancer, his words were "I knew it would get me in the end" - having a mother and father who both died of the disease, and two brothers. My hope is that people will keep fundraising until cancer can't 'get' anybody anymore.

After signing up for the race on the 22nd May in Chesterfield, I was prompted to make a JustGiving page to help me raise money - the link to which can be found here: My target is £150, and I have about two months to reach it! Every penny goes to Cancer Research.

Please spare what you can by clicking the link to my JustGiving page, and help me do my Grandad proud! Let's beat cancer sooner.

If you are raising money for an important cause, please let me know in the comments and I will try my best to help you in return. Thank you so much.

Meaghan xxx

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit // Book Review

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit was one of the best books I have ever read. Now let me attempt to tell you why. The Great Gatsby by the great F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Bloody Chamber by the legendary Angela Carter are two of my favourite books to date - largely because of the impeccable writing style that flows through both. Anna and the Swallow Man was one such book. I feel like I'm giving compliments without explaining or justifying them like I normally do, and I probably am. But my God, the writing. I haven't read anything so beautiful in a long time.

I haven't read a wartime story since childhood, so this is not a book I would read if I hadn't won it - I used to read a lot of Michael Morpurgo and I distinctly remember How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, but in the recent past books like The Book Thief just haven't seemed up my street. I am glad I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, because it definitely was up my street. It broke my heart, but in a good way. I didn't understand the ending, and I didn't care. It was beautiful, extraordinary even, and I recommend it to anyone who likes fiction. Or non-fiction. So basically, everybody.

It follows Anna and 'the Swallow Man' as they walk. Just walk. Just a heads up - you don't know where they're walking and you don't know why, but that's not the point. The one mystery you may wonder about is who the Swallow Man is. He never reveals his name to Anna, but you get the impression that he is very important to the war. I for one, would love to know who he is based on, if anybody. Sadly, unless there is a sequel (please, God, let there be a sequel), I may never find out. Even then I may never find out! Gavriel Savit, why do you do this to me?!

I loved this book, a lot. Rating: 4.75 stars/5.

*Although this was sent to me in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, all opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.*

Are you an author or publisher looking for book bloggers to review your book(s)? Look no further! My book reviews page tells you everything you need to know.

Moving Into 2016 // Goals For The Year

Hey ladies and gents! Due to the nature of my job, I haven't been able to post as much as I would like over the Christmas/new year period (and then, of course, my free time is spent with my family and boyfriend, or on book reviews that I'm obligated to write) - and that's okay, because I'm straight back now that things have quieted down a little. In case you missed it, I did find time to write a short 2016 goals post over at, and thought I would do something of the same kind here on To Blog Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure.

  1. In 2015, I joined #TheGirlGang (post about that here), and so far it has had a big influence on me. I made time to take part in the Twitter chats, which are invaluable to me, and as a result of that I now have three pen pals in the forms of @beingleahbrogan, @whtlrblggdnxt and @whitnxy. My last first letter is going out today, ooh! My first goal is to write as regularly as possible to all three.
  2. My second goal is to meet up with some other #TheGirlGang members. I'm in luck there, because there is some talk of me going to a certain lunch with some other East Midlands bloggers in February!
  3. Big goal - I would like to finally succeed in finding myself an apprenticeship. I've been searching for over a year, so fingers crossed it happens for me soon. 
  4. I want to make regular posts on my blog. In the past I have posted as and when I felt like it, but although that approach is more relaxed, I want to start making more of an effort with my blog, advertising it a lot more and whatnot.
  5. Another big goal - I want to pass my driving test in the next few months. I am getting minimal driving lessons at the moment as my instructor is in such demand and there have been a few miscommunications, but it always helps to stay positive about big things like that.
  6. By the time I'm 20 (January 2017) I want to move out of my dad & his fiancee's new place. I'm happy they're happy, but it's really time I moved on. I'm not sure it will happen as soon as I want it to, but it can't hurt to give myself a time frame and work towards it - it'll only mean I'm more prepared when it finally does happen.
  7. I used to love learning Italian and I don't quite understand why I stopped using the Duolingo app. This is another thing I need to get back into, as I would like to know a substantial amount of Italian before I head over there.
  8. In 2015, I read 23 books, missing my goal by a total of 2. This year I want to really step it up and read 26 in 2016, whilst continuing to write reviews for authors and publishing houses. I'm going to aim for 10 reviews, but hopefully I will exceed that.
  9. For those of you who don't know, I used to make silly vlogs with my friend Paige, so I am no stranger to the likes of YouTube. Although I love to blog and write reviews on Goodreads and whatnot, I've always liked the idea of getting back in front of the camera and heading on over to booktube. (Watch this space!)
  10. Obviously, I want to spend more time with my friends, my mum and my boyfriend. As I don't live with any of these three groups of people, they are the ones I really need to make more time for.
  11. In 2015 I joined the Of Tomes Publishing street team (which means I show my followers cool extracts and new covers on their behalf - kind of like free advertising). I am happy to be associated with them as I respect and admire the founder - Benjamin - a great deal. I bought my first Of Tomes paperback this year and I hope to continue to support them as they grow!
  12. I aim never to have less than £100 in usable money. (i.e. Meaghan, don't spend everything in your current account!).
What are your 2016 goals?