Thoughts on Clean Bandit

On Wednesday evening I was able to visit the O2 Academy in Birmingham to see the brilliant Clean Bandit live.

The venue itself was surprisingly small, allowing for those on the ground level to see the band even from the back. We had little obstructions and could see well for the entire show.

The concert started with the support act, Years and Years. This band performed a good set, with the singer engaging a lot with the crowd. Then it wasn’t long before Clean Bandit were welcomed to the stage.

Throughout the performance Clean Bandit demonstrated what it is that makes them unique. They were accompanied on stage by orchestral music, and almost every song began with Neil and Grace showing the audience their talents with the violin and cello respectively.

Since Clean Bandit’s songs often feature collaborations, the band regularly bring in cover vocalists. On this occasion, Florence Rawlings and Elisabeth Troy do an excellent job of keeping the crowd entertained, as well as providing excellent versions of each song performed.

Another thing that makes the band unique, aside from their clever merge of classical and electronic music, is the fact that each song is different. The set ranged from the laid-back version of Dust Clears to club anthems such as Heart on Fire – which Elisabeth provides the vocals and does a great version of the song live.

The set came to a finish, but this was before the encore that they deserved. As they returned on stage, they delivered a clever cover of Show Me Love by Robin S. Of course this was then followed by their last song of the set, which had to be the number one single, Rather Be.

Overall, the set was pure brilliance, offering a whole new atmosphere and experience when it comes to seeing an act live – a must see! As well as that, I have since gone on to buy their debut album, which is good as well! The review will be up shortly…


Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo…

As the title suggests, I’m afraid that I will not be joining in for NaNoWriMo this year…

Don’t get me wrong, the idea is great, but there’s a lot of reasons why I think this year may not be a good one for me to participate in.

A primary reason is of course my education. I am in my final year before university so things are starting to get busy and so on. Therefore, it’s likely I’ll have a lot of work to do and at the end of the day, that comes first!

But as well as that, there are writing reasons that prevent me from participating, too. Although NaNo is supposed to bypass all feelings of doubt and uncertainty by forcing you to write regularly and carelessly, I find that when I did NaNo in previous years, the work feels rushed…

This is of course natural in the NaNo process – it is supposed to be a tough first draft that can be edited later. But unfortunately I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so rushing may not be so good for the ideas I have.

So I will be saving the idea I have at the moment for when I have that flicker of imagination. I find that moment to be better spontaneous, rather than forced. I’ll take it at my own pace, and then we’ll see.

Sorry to disappoint anyone, but this doesn’t mean that I won’t be cheering on anyone taking part! Good luck to those who are!


Weekly Update: A Persistent Book Idea

Regular followers of my blog will know that I often give up on book ideas. I have this annoying and saddening need to have an idea, develop it, evaluate it, and then abandon it in fear that it is “rubbish”. I’ve even tried it with my current idea, but this time, it’s different…

Basically, something is refusing me to give up on this book idea. I just can’t give it up this time, which is great!

The idea has evolved over time (see this post), to the point where I have an idea that will be both creative and credible.

I’ve been very busy this week, but a good busy. But I hope that this period of letting the idea develop by itself will give me a greater developed idea to work with later on…


Contemplating NaNoWriMo | The Friday Article

Liam, who blogs at The Life of a Thinker, has announced two pieces of news on his blog today.

His latest post, entitled Contemplating NaNoWriMo, sees the return of his journalistic posts – particularly that of The Friday Article, as well as a possible hint at another try at doing NaNoWriMo this year.

Liam said: “I’ve always liked the idea of NaNoWriMo. Getting an idea, holding on to it for a month and writing 50,000 words at the end of it!”

He then added: “But whether or not I do it this year is dependant on other commitments and whether I have an idea to use!”

The blogger has recently posted about his latest book idea on his blog, and it is believed that it is this idea that Liam will pursue should he do NaNoWriMo this year.


The Mystery of Dystopia

Television is full to the brim of brand new and exciting dramas at the moment. A drama exploring the prequel to Batman, entitled Gotham, had its pilot episode this week, which I quite enjoyed, and the new series of The Walking Dead started on Monday but I have yet to watch it.

However, in a sense, both bring me to the topic of today’s blog post. Can prequels (such as Gotham) or explaining the origin of the apocalypse in The Walking Dead, effect the strength of the plot, or one of the character?

It is common for most post-apocalyptic/dystopian stories to explore a “new world”, with little references to the “old world” and how the change came about. But what stops the writer from revealing the reasons for the change? Why can’t we find out the cause of the zombie outbreak in The Walking Dead, or what lead to the invention of The Hunger Games?

I suppose it is the sense of mystery more than anything. In the context of a long-running TV show like The Walking Dead, the writers can afford to slowly reveal details of the zombie outbreak to keep viewers interested. But for books – with their own constrictions – the writer may use the reveal as a plot twist or surprise moment in the plot. They are limited to a certain amount of pages to make the journey into the dystopian universe exciting.

I think the answer is dependant on where the story is based and the limitations of that. A book only requires a short amount of attention because of its length. But for a long-running show, we need tiny glimpses of an explanation along the way to add to the mystery and excitement for the viewer.

But what do you think? Why do writers of post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories hold back on the big explanation? Comment below!


Musical reDiscovery: Blame it on Me by George Ezra

I have already heard the song through it being in the charts at the moment, but now I have rediscovered George Ezra’s new track, Blame it on Me.

In the follow up to his debut single, Budapest, Blame it on Me sees a faster tempo with an off-beat riff on the guitar. This, combined with Ezra’s vocals, creates a catchy, soulful tune that is easily memorable.

What do you think of the song? Comment below!