Music is Love: One Love Manchester

Benefit concert ‘One Love Manchester’ proves that music brings people together in the wake of recent terror attacks in the UK.

Hey everyone,

I’ve been a little bit quiet lately, but if you follow me on my social media then you’ll know that I, like many others, tuned into BBC One’s coverage of the ‘One Love Manchester’ benefit concert on Sunday June 4th. Held at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, thousands of fans gathered at the charity event organised by pop singer Ariana Grande, to honour and raise funds for victims of the recent terror attack which took place after one of her shows in the city, killing 22 people and injuring hundreds more.

Being a music lover, I find solace and comfort in my favourite songs and will never be able to describe the feeling that can only come from truly connecting with a track, and being able to relate to someone else’s words on such a deep level. By extension, going to gigs is a way of celebrating and experiencing the joy and atmosphere that only a live show can bring. As I sat watching ‘One Love Manchester’ the poignancy of the whole event really hit me, even through my TV screen – and you’d only have to glance at Twitter to see that I wasn’t the only one.

I see concerts as a place of magic, of community, of belonging. There’s always the sense that, whatever you’re going through is left at the door and for those few hours, nothing else matters. Nothing but the music and the atmosphere that surrounds you. Coming together with total strangers but being united in the fact that you all believe in something, you all believe in this. ‘One Love Manchester’ really embodied that spirit, and showed that hate and fear will never overpower it.

Katy Perry’s words at One Love Manchester

There was a sense of strength and resilience at the core of the whole show; the artists playing tracks with powerful, inspirational vibes. From Robbie Williams’ moving renditions of ‘Strong’ and classic track ‘Angels’, to Katy Perry’s sassy performance of ‘Part of Me’, the message was clear: we will not be beaten. We will not be afraid.

Headliner Ariana Grande shared the stage with many of the other acts involved, including coming together with Miley Cyrus for a duet of Crowded House track ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, as well as joining forces with Coldplay to wow the audience with a heartfelt cover of popular Oasis number, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger.’

The 23 year old starlet also joined The Black Eyed Peas onstage for a performance of their 2003 number one single ‘Where Is The Love’. Upon its release the song topped the charts in 13 countries – including the UK where it occupied the number one spot for seven weeks – and is the epitome of the reason for the entire event. Lyrically, it addresses mindless acts of terrorism and asks, where is the love and compassion we should have for each other as human beings; making it as relevant now as it was back then.

Throughout every single act – including the likes of Little Mix, Niall Horan, Pharrell Williams, and Liam Gallagher – the 50,000 strong crowd sang, danced, and cried along to every single word. Many of the artists gave heartfelt speeches and were also overcome with emotion during their sets, none more so than Grande herself. As the night drew to a close, the young talent welcomed all the artists to the stage and thanked them for being involved, before launching into a heart-wrenching performance of her track ‘One Last Time’ – giving a goosebumps-inducing meaning to the song.

I have a huge amount of respect for Ariana Grande for organising the event and to all the artists who took part in some way, the entire concert overflowed with emotion and the love hung thick in the air – whether you were there or watching at home. Grande ended the night with a powerful version of ‘Over The Rainbow’, a beautiful moment that saw her become tearful. As she thanked and told the audience she loved them, it was evident that she herself is still deeply affected by what happened two weeks ago, but her spirit in organising the show and carrying on in spite of that is undisputedly endearing.

There is absolutely no denying the poignancy of the show as a whole, and of live music in general. To be so wrapped up in a song, to be able to scream the words at the top of your lungs because it means so much to you; and then to hear hundreds of other people doing the exact same thing, for the same reason is an amazingly moving feeling. The beautifully haunting sound of all the voices blending into one is truly something to be experienced and, in this particular incidence, knowing the reasons behind One Love Manchester: paying tribute to those who were lost or injured in the attack, you couldn’t not be moved by it.

Did you catch ‘One Love Manchester’ on BBC One last Sunday? What did you think of the show? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 🙂

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Summer Playlist 2015

Hola readers,

Thanks for stopping by. If you live in the UK, you may not know it at the moment, but we are in the throes of early summer (I just wish the weather would start playing ball!) The sun has been trying to sneak through the clouds over these past few weeks with some successful (like today), and not so successful, attempts. But being that I’m definitely more of a summer person, I’m getting pretty pumped for some sea, sunshine and hot weather, so I thought I’d share my summer playlist with you.

As a rule, in these ‘Tracks I’m Loving’ / playlist-type posts, I usually include the music video and offer a little review of why I’ve chosen to mention that particular song. However, I’m not going to do that today, simply because my ‘Tracks I’m Loving’ posts are usually a lot shorter and as this list is coming in at 21 picks, if I were to add explanations, this post would be in danger of going on a bit longer than people might prefer.

With that being said, I might offer a few sentences here and there, and if I’ve featured the track before I’ll be sure to link it so you can read my review if you’d like to. Just know that all the songs in this list scream summer to me whenever I hear them; whether that be just chilling on warm days, evenings out with friends or a BBQ or bonfire night on the beach. So, without any more rambling from me, let’s get into it:

 

#1 Robin Schulz ft. Jasmine Thompson – Sun Goes Down

This track is definitely my current favourite – the combination of the beat, voice and lyrics give it major summer night out vibes. I can’t stop listening to it at the moment.

 

#2 The Pierces – Kings

To see my review of this track, click here.

 

#3 Young Kato – Drink, Dance, Play

To see my review of this track, click here.

 

#4 Daft Punk – Get Lucky

The soundtrack to summer 2014 – I couldn’t not include this! To see my review of this track, click here.

 

#5 Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding – I Need Your Love

To see my review of this track, click here.

 

#6 Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne – Rather Be

To see my review of this track, click here.

 

#7 Charli XCX – Boom Clap

 

#8 Walk the Moon – Shut Up and Dance

I became aware of this song a few weeks back and, I don’t want to say too much about it because I plan to include it in my June ‘Tracks Of The Month’, but it’s a whirlwind of synths and major dancing vibes that is no doubt going to be huge on the festival circuit this year.

 

#9 Bruno Mars ft. Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk

I feel like this track fits with almost any occasion really, but the 80’s, Prince-esque sound makes it a perfect summer jam. To see my previous review, click here.

 

#10 Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks

The dreamy kind of quality at play here is just perfect for this time of year.

 

#11 Mike Posner – Cooler Than Me

 

#12 Cee Lo Green – Forget You

This song is just fun to belt out in the majority of situations, driving along singing this at the top of your lungs in the car with friends is always a sure-fire way to have some laughs.

 

#13 The Cab – Stand Up

 

#14 The Summer Set – Lightning In a Bottle

Ok so, it took me so damn long to narrow it down to just one offering from this pop/rock five-piece. You can’t go far wrong with this band (if their name didn’t already give it away) in terms of summer vibes. ‘Someone Like You’ would also work well, as would ‘Boomerang’, ‘Young’, ‘Chelsea’…I just gravitated more towards this one because, I feel that the picture painted in the lyrics could describe a summer evenings antics.

 

#15 Robbie Coles – Hey Summer

The title says it all really. To see my review of this track, click here.

 

#16 Room 94 – Chasing the Summer

Again: the title, the lyrics – great summer anthem. To see my previous review of this song, click here.

 

#17 Parachute – She (For Liz)

 

#18 Feeder – Buck Rogers

Major festival vibes.

 

#19 Blake Shelton ft. The Pistol Annies and Friends – Boys Round Here

The country lilt to this track makes it a great choice to blast in the sun.

 

#20 Andy Jordan – A Whole Lot of Water

Again, not going to say too much about this one right now as I have a ‘One To Watch’ on Andy Jordan planned for… the future. But there’s a real, almost, reggae-esque feel to this song. The acoustic instrumental also creates quite a chilled-out vibe which I think is perfect for a lazy day on the beach, and a great fit for the season.

 

#21 Pharrell Williams – Happy

Again, I feel like this song was the soundtrack to last summer. I think it’s amazing no matter what time of year it is, but everything about it just lends its self perfectly to this time of year (because sunshine just makes everyone that bit happier!) To see my previous review, click here.

If you got this far, thank you for reading and I hope I’ve got you a bit more psyched for summer. Now I put it to you, what do you think of my choices? Do you think there are any other songs I should’ve included? Let me know!

Journaling In January: Tracks I’m Loving (Part One)

Hi everyone, I hope you’re having a great week so far.

This ‘Journaling In January’ post is going to be a ‘Tracks I’m Loving’ but, as you may have guessed from the title, it’s going to be a little different as there’s more than one part to it. The reason for that is, I again have a few months to catch up on – and some of these are from even further back – so my list was coming in at eight tracks, which I thought may be a bit too long.

So I decided to break it up a bit, so as not to bombard you with my words, make it more manageable and do two lists of four rather than one long list of eight. So, this first four are my favourites from a while back, and tomorrow’s four will be the tracks from the end of 2014, so we can start a fresh list for the New Year.

Right, enough rambling from me, let’s get into it…

 

# 1 Clarity (cover) – Tanner Patrick

This stripped back cover of Grammy award-winning track Clarity – originally released by music producer/DJ, Zedd, and featuring vocals by Foxes – replaces the dance-beat and ‘club banger’ feel with an acoustic guitar, allowing the sentimentality of the lyrics to really shine.

Performed by pop/acoustic artist Tanner Patrick, hailing from Dallas Texas, the track doesn’t drown in a million effects or vocal licks; he doesn’t need it. Tanner’s smooth tone adds a whole new element to the song – it’s easy to see why his YouTube channel has over 613,000 subscribers.

 

#2 Ghost – Ella Henderson

I first heard this track when Henderson performed it on Britain’s Got Talent back in May, and it immediately struck me as being very reminiscent of an old school Kelly Clarkson, both vocally and musically. The song is jaunty, with a great beat and some darker undertones in the lyrics.

The former X Factor UK finalist has blossomed into a star in her own right, with Ghost and her debut album – the aptly named Chapter One – both topping the UK charts. When she left X Factor a myriad of celebrities came out in support of Henderson, and with a voice like hers it’s easy to see, or hear, why. I can only predict bigger things for her this year.

 

#3 Kings – The Pierces

I said in a blog post a while back that 2014 was the first time I’d been on holiday in four years (yes, four years!) and this song hugely reminds me of being in Spain. Every time I hear it, it takes me back to driving in the car with the window open, the warm air in my face and the sun shining.

The song, performed by New York based sisters Allison and Catherine Pierce, has a fantastical, dreamy feel to it. The lilting tone is very relaxing and full of summer vibes.

 

#4 Happy – Pharrell Williams

I had a look back through my previous ‘Tracks I’m Loving’ to make sure I didn’t repeat any entries, and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t mentioned this beforehand. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year you must’ve heard the song – taken from the Dispicable Me 2 soundtrack – it reached number one in the UK, US and 22 other countries. It has also been named one of the best-selling singles of all time, and scooped Song of the Year at 2014’s BBC Music Awards.

Written, produced and performed by Williams, the song showcases his brilliant falsetto and has an upbeat, soulful vibe to it – making it the perfect summer jam. You can’t help but smile when you hear it…c’mon everyone, ‘because I’m happyyyyyyyyyyy.’

 

Thanks for reading, feel free to let me know in the comments what you think of the songs; if you like them, or if you don’t. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the rest of the list from Nov – Dec.

#JournalingInJan