Green Day Summer Tour 2017

To say that I was looking forward to this tour, is a little bit of an understatement. In true fangirl fashion, Lauri and I done all of the UK Green Day dates with the exception of Sheffield. It’s always a lot of fun following them on tour, it’s taken me to parts of the UK that I otherwise wouldn’t visit. And on this tour, I finally got to meet my long term twitter pals Alex and Ciara! So by the time it rolled around, I was more than happy to be packing my bags to head back on tour!

Belfast

Our first stop of the tour was Belfast. Needless to say on the run up to the twelth, it was a bit of a culture shock seeing so many flags draped around the city. I obviously knew about the divisions in Ireland, but I always expected their dedication to the twelth to be some last minute bunting flung up the night before. That wasn’t the case, and we saw the city in all of its sectarian glory.

We stayed in the Botanic Queens Rest. It was a twenty minute walk from Ormeau park (where the gig was held) and it was a pretty good  choice for the night! The staff were lovely, and our room was pleasant and clean, with plenty of plug sockets for all of your 21st Century needs. Bathrooms are shared, but we had our own personal shower. I really didn’t have any problems with this, especially because it was a short stay.

Belfast was my favourite of the three shows. The crowd had a great atmosphere, even if Billie stopped the show because someone was being an arsehole in the pit. But it’s little things like that, that make the show special. We were surprised that we managed to get a spot at the end of the catwalk, and that became our spot for the rest of the tour! At the end of the show I met my friend Alex, we had known each other for years on Twitter, so that was a pretty special way to end the night!

Green Day Belfast Ireland Tour UK Tour

Dublin

The following morning we woke at the crack of dawn and headed to Dublin. I fell asleep on the bus journey, and woke up covered in confetti from the night before. We had two days to spend in the city, but the day we arrived was the day of the gig. So we quickly stopped at our hotel, and found another of my long-term Twitter friends, Ciara, and headed to the queue! The weather was absolutely awful and rained all day, but luckily finding an umberella near Kilmainham Park wasn’t too difficult.

We had a total drama after we returned from checking into our rooms, when the queue had disappeared and the security didn’t want us to return to our spots. We ended up just storming past the gates and reclaiming our spots. Somehow, I ended up one of the first people to make it through the security check point, and I ran straight towards the spot at the end of the barrier. It was Ciara’s first time on the barrier, so it was nice to get such a good spot. The downpour had us freezing, until the band came on. I ended up getting kicked in the face by a crowd surfer and I was left with a big dirty mark on my face! (hahah of course that would happen to me!) At the end of the night we all met up with Alex again. We had pretty much planned this since we were all 13/14, so it was amazing that it finally happpened!

Green Day Ireland Tour
The following morning we had a lay in, our flight was really late, as we didn’t want to rush out of  our only shelter for the day. We found a good breakfast, picked up the most amazing red velvet doughnuts from Rolling Doughnuts and argued with anti-abortion activists all before 1 o’clock. After the thrill of the morning we headed to the Leprechaun Museum. It was actually a really good storyteller activity, and a great way to learn about Irish folklore.  It’s definitely worth the visit. Afterwards we went a  walk around Temple Bar, exploring the shops before we ended up in a pub for a quick cider before finding the bus to the airport.

London

For this gig we decided to commute from Cambridge. Our taxi was late, and the train station was a shambles, so we ended up late for doors. But it worked out fine, we managed to get wristbands for the golden circle and we could wander from stage to stage. We ended up hunting down the last two Drunk Bunny teddies in all of Hyde Park! Afterwards we spent some time getting food, and having some drinks before we wormed our way to the front of the crowd before Green Day.

Hyde Park was a special show. London is always a special show, it always feels so nice to be surrounded by so many Green Day fans. I’ve only ever had good experiences seeing the band in London. Although, I did feel as if some of the atmosphere was lost because the stage was so big and there was a huge gap between the stage and the audience. There was even the painfully awkward point when Billie brought two girls on stage to play guitar, and forgot about one of them. Despite this, the show was still enjoyable, and it was nice to finally see them in the sun!

Glasgow

The day following the London show, we headed home so stock up on sleep before the Glasgow show. We really wanted that to be a good one because it was our home show. Lauri has never seen them play here before, and it would have been my tenth Green Day show, so it we were sure it was going to be special! But as many of you know (if you follow Green Day, or live in Scotland) things didn’t go to plan. You can read all about what happened that morning in Monday’s blog post, here.

After the gig got cancelled, we didn’t really know what to do with ourselves. Eventually we ended up at a pub, with a bunch of other fans, which then led to the decision to go to their hotel, and see what happens! I was a bit hesitant about it, I never wanted to be that fan. But I also thought fuck it, enough had turned sour for me since I left the London show, so I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to potentially meet my favourite band. We ended up there all day, it started out a small crowd of people, but before we knew it there were literally hundreds. It was nice, we all gathered and sang some songs, then Billie posted saying he could hear us. I think it was around 9 o’clock that Mike finally came out to address the crowd. He looked devastated and apologised, ultimately safety comes first. We all got a big group picture with him. Afterwards we continued to hang around to see the whole band leave. Tre was up the windows waving and being an idiot. And somehow I got a picture with Jason Freese? It all passed like a blur.

Michael Schofield Mike Dirnt Green Day Blysthwood Square Hotel fans

 

Once we knew the band were officially out of our city, we headed to Saint Judes – an old church converted into a gig venue – to see Green Date. I never thought I would see a Green Day tribute band in my life, but it ended up being a really good night. Entry was free; the venue was jam packed; and there was even mosh pits. The security in the place were really strict, and threw quite a lot of people out, but I imagine that was in part because it was a one in/one out policy and there was a queue of people wanting to get in! (Not that it actually justifies it). By the time the gig got cut out we were all still singing.

I had so much fun on this tour. There was a silver lining at the end of every mishap, so it’s hard to be bitter about anything that happened. If anything, it’s left me more excited than ever to have Green Day back in Glasgow… hopefully playing at a nice indoor show, not organised by PCL.

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Living out of your Hand Luggage

Packing is always a nightmare, never mind trying to live out of your hand luggage for any length of time. Nevertheless, I am about to do just that as I follow Green Day from Belfast to London, and home again over 5 days! We are going to be flying for the entire journey, and trying to be wise, we opted to only travel with cabin baggage. I guess we both like a challenge. You would think that my regular visits to Cambridge have me well versed in packing light, but as I usually travel by train, the fear of over packing this time is real.

For the following 5 days my life will be folded into my Ted Baker travel bag, a Skinny Dip backpack (which I can’t say is particularly big), and I will 100% be utilizing my trusted bumbag that I picked up at Boomtown, and the big ass pockets in my rain mac. Overall, I wouldn’t say I’ve got much space, but I will be able to make do with what I have. I just need to try my hardest to dwindle down my usual make-up collection!

So here is what I am taking with me..

T-shirts hand luggage Green Day Days n Daze Jack off Jill GLOSS packing travel

One spare pair of jeans
A top for each day
Underwear and socks for each day
A clean bra
Jammies

Travel Packing Toiletries E45 B.Pure Superdrug Simple

Deodorant
A toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash
Sun Cream
Make-up remover
Moisturiser

Packing travel makeup NARS Illamasqua Sara Hill Kat Von D Urban Decay Seventeen Elf Charlotte Tilbury

Primer
Foundation
Concealer
Eyeliner
Mascara
Lipstick

Packing travel straighteners bobbles kirbles batiste bandana doc marten

Straighteners
Bobbles
Kirbies
Bandana
Dry Shampoo
And that is it!

It’s so easy to pack things that you just don’t need. I usually trip up with my make-up bag by packing 3 different eye shadow palettes, 5 different lipsticks, a contour, a highlight and fifty different brushes… and the reality is, I just don’t wear that much make up. I end up weighing myself down. I’ve always found packing my clothes to be easier, because my everyday style has followed the same formula since I was kid – and that is band tee, skinny jeans, and Doc Martens. It really doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. You don’t need a fresh pair of trousers for every day of the week, if you are away for a few days, just take a back-up in case your originals rip. I always reckon if you have enough pairs of knickers, you’ll make it through your trip… even if it means a few unwashed clothes and outfit repeats!

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We got Married! 

Brad came back to visit me and he was determined to visit another castle. He hunted high and low, all over the internet to find the right castle to visit but ultimately, neither of us drive, so we were really limited in our choice. Luckily a couple of stops away on the train is Linlithgow Palace – birth place of Mary Queen of Scots, and neighbouring is Saint Michael’s Church which was first consecrated in 1242.

St Michaels Church Linlithgow Scotland

Linlithgow Palace predates the formation of the Union (only slightly) and naturally over time the Palace became out of use and was burned out in the 18th Century so much of what we see today are ruins. Since then an array of animals have moved in from birds who sit in the bare window spaces; and bats who chill out in what previously would have been the wine cellar. It is a really beautiful palace to visit, there is a clear grandiose to the building, and there are loads of small details that still exist in the stonework of the palace which hint to that. My favourite area of the castle is definitely the Chapel space. You can imagine the room with painted glass windows reflecting an erray of colours through the space and people viewing from the arched balcony above. There aren’t loads of features or artifacts to view in this palace so the visit was over much quicker than either of us had anticipated, so we decided to head through to Edinburgh afterwards!

After a quick train journey we hit the shops. We both picked up some goodies from Pie in the Sky. I got a belt and choker, while Brad got some new wooden ear jewellery. We also stopped at the Royal Mile Market because Brad decided he wanted to be a ‘ring guy.’ I even found one that I really liked, but I couldn’t justify spending £20 on a piece of jewellery I know I’d hardly wear.

After we got bored of shopping we continued up the mile to go to Camera Obscura. I had never been before, but Brad being the big tourist that he is, insisted we go because it’s really fun. He wasn’t wrong! We done everything from turn our faces into monkey’s and get lost in the mirror maze! Before we left we even got married! For £2, the pink Autowed machine wed us in unholy matrimony in a short ceremony totally not recognised by the law. Yet somehow, we managed to prank everyone on Facebook and got a number of congratulations after our humble little ceremony!

We accidently recreated this Queen Cover

As the night hit, we met up with my friend Bethany and went to Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburghs most haunted pub and naturally home to Edinburgh’s goths. I was completely taken away by their coffin shaped tables. The pub is connected by a series of underground tunnels with some chambers that shoot off with pool tables and jukeboxes. They even have an inhouse cinema and gig space. Pretty cool, right? I must admit that my personal highlight of the visit was being mistaken as a ghost by some tourists. That is a new one for me!

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Rubbish picture, but this gave me life!!

Overall, we had a really fun day visiting the palace in Linlithgow, and then spontaneously visiting Edinburgh and conducting our very own sham marrriage. The rest of Bradley’s visit was a bit more relaxed, seeing friends, eating vegan food and watching movies. We had a really lovely time together, and i’m so pleased to finally call him my husband. 😜

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My Summer to-do List

At long last, my exams are over, my essays are done and Summer has started! Like everyone else I want to have an amazing Summer filled with new experiences, but I also want to feel as if it has been a productive Summer as well. I have so many ideas that I have had for ages and never carried through with, so now is my time to complete them! In the hopes of getting me both excited and motivated for all the many amazing things I am going to do and want to do this Summer, I thought I’d share with you my to do list.

valfre summer to doValfre

  1. Follow my Favourite Band on Tour
    Once again I’ll be back on the tour wagon following Green Day from Ireland to London. We’ve got 3 stops before returning home and seeing them for a final time in Glasgow. We’ve just finalised our travel details, I’m so looking forward to this!
  2. Make a Patchwork Quilt
    Ok, so while we’re on the topic of Green Day, I should mention I have accumulated a lot of Green Day t-shirts over the years, and there are plenty of them that just never really get worn anymore. So to save some drawer space I want to create myself a patch work quilt in all the Green Day merch I just don’t wear!
  3. Berlin!
    Germany has been on my bucket list for a very long time and this year I am finally visiting Berlin for my birthday! Berlin is home to subculture so I really want to check out some punk shows while we are in the city. Hopefully some good bands will be playing!
  4. Fix my ripped up jeans
    Long story short, I am currently sat with a rather large hole in the crotch of my jeans right now. I want to patch up the hole and turn them into some shorts to rock during my holiday to Berlin.
  5. Explore!
    I want to do more than just what I have planned. I want to go on dog walks up the hills, I want to go to new cities, I want to wild swim and do things that are easily accessible to me. I want spontaneous fun!

Tell me your plans for this Summer?

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Things I Learned While Following my Favourite Band on tour

As February began I made the journey to Leeds to see my favourite band in three cities over the course of 4 days. This was a completely new experience, I hadn’t done anything like this before. So to say it was a learning curve isn’t a lie. I travel a lot as it is, but visiting a new city every day (almost) was quite different from my usual long haul train journey’s to and from Cambridge. But my god, was it worth it! I’ve wanted to follow Green Day on tour since I was about 13 years old and a good number of my online friends managed to pull it off. So to say I’ve finally done it is a big tick off my bucket list! Without further ado, here’s all the things you just have to expect if you are a big fangirl like me…

Don’t expect a smooth journey once you are in the queue

For all fangirls (boys/individuals) logic dictates that the sooner you arrive in the queue, the less you have to worry about your spot in the crowd. And while that is largely true, it isn’t strictly the case. Not all venues know how to deal with large capacity’s of people flooding their doors as they open. Leeds was an example of this. I couldn’t think of a worse way to start the tour as everyone pushed and shoved their way passed security. They had everyone wristbanded before we got into the venue, which seemed like a sign of organisation, but in reality, the venue were over organised. There wasn’t anything to slow the crowd down as we entered, and everyone just wanted their spot on the barrier. In the other venues at Manchester and London the only thing that held us back were out with our control.
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Luck is everything

We were pretty lucky in that we managed to get on the barrier every night of the tour, but it wasn’t necessarily amazing spots (With that said, if Green Day didn’t use a catwalk, there wouldn’t be a problem). Sometimes just the order that the doors open in make all the difference. Don’t get too hung up on it, because you will enjoy the show no matter where you are!

Be spontaneous!

Generally speaking, I am a well planned out person. I usually make sure I know what I’m doing long before I am doing it. But when we arrived in London we decided to head to Kingston to see The Interrupters play an acoustic set in Banquet Records. We headed straight from the train station with our bags on our back because we didn’t have enough time to check into our hotel before the show. In the end we met the band, which was a really nice and unexpected addition to our trip. Plus we got to see a part of London that neither of us would likely see otherwise.

You will probably get lost and that’s ok

We got lost in  every city we went to. We couldn’t find the hotel in Leeds; we went to the wrong train station in Manchester; and in London, we visited the O2 arena the night before the gig and ended up lost inside the venue! We some how found our way around to the VIP entrance, and where they keep the tour buses, then had to exit through the staff entrance where we got grilled by security about how we got there. What an experience! It’s all in the memory bank now.

Is there a band you would travel to see live?
Tell me who in the comments below!

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Dream Destinations

I am  travel deprived. There, I’ve said it. I miss long haul plane journey’s, and crappy flight food; the tiny pillows and thin blankets that don’t do much to keep you warm during the freezing cold night leg of your flight. Most of all, I miss the adventure – your first breath of foreign air and lack of direction. It’s not a game that can be played in your neighbouring city. It’s the sort of longing that can only be fufilled with your passport. And so, as every longing traveller with a lack of funds does, I have accumulated a list of the places that I would love to visit.

1. California, USA

All I have wanted to do since I was eight years old is watch some bands play at Gilman Street. It is literally my punk rock mecca. For some it is CBGB’s, and for others it is The 100 Club, but for me the entire fundamentals of my interest in punk were garnered in 924 Gilman Street. With that said, if I visited California, I would definitely want to take a little tour from San Francisco, to LA and San Diego

2. Berlin, Germany

In the grand scheme of places I would like to visit Germany is definitely the closest to home, and the only one that I have almost visited. Germany has a fascinating history and that has been a large part of the appeal of the country. Berlin seems to combine this vibrant youthful persona with all of the history of the city. It is everything that a 20 year old would want in a trip abroad.

3. Cambodia

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Angkor Wat. Enough said. Cambodia seems like a home to grandious architecture from their glorious Temples to their city buildings in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia is a feast for the eyes… and your instagram page. The country has had a turbulent history which completely contrasts it’s stark beauty. Besides, every time you spoke of your trip you’d be paying ode to Dead Kennedy’s, and that is enough to make it a worthwhile journey in my books.

4. Nicaragua

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Admittedly, this is another one influenced by yet another band (yep… Screeching Weasel). When i first heard the song I did’t have a clue what Nicaragua was, or where it was, but after a quick google search I was stunned by it’s beauty. Lakes, volcanos and lengths of beaches sweeping along the coast – everything you need for a relaxing outdoor holiday.

Tell me your dream travel destinations in the comments below!

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Travel Diary: Walking in London

It had been three whole months since Bradley and I last saw each other, so we kick started the year with an overnight stay in London. We go to London fairly often, but only ever for a couple of hours, and always to visit Camden. I have been asking Brad to take me to London to do the touristy bits for years now and finally it happened!

We stayed at the Park Plaza Riverside, which was actually a really good location near Westminster – the Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye were all on our doorstep. So we could “do” a lot of tourist things without actually doing them. We had saw all of these touristy bits just by walking to find our meal for the night. I was starving after my journey down, so we stopped at the first place we saw. It was an Italian called Colosseo. I wasn’t overly impressed. The bread was hard, the pasta was bland, however, the spinach bowl we got was tasty, and the service was great. Definitely not worth the hefty London price tag though. I’d happily stop for some street food in Camden over a bowl of pasta from there any day. Due to the tube strike and our decision to walk to our hotel, we didn’t fit much else into the night, we just picked up some overpriced dessert from Waitrose to accompany our overpriced dinner and headed back to the hotel.

The following morning we had an early start, and stopped at Caffe Italia in Lambeth. This place was super quirky with art adorning their vibrant green walls and seats that had been DIY’ed with magazine cut outs. The cafe accommodates a huge amount of diets including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. The food was super good and affordable. We both had a panini and a drink each, which came to £12 all together. I would definitely pay this place another visit if I was ever back in the area. This filled up our tums and set us up for the day. And off we headed to the Imperial War Museum.

I’ve wanted to visit the Imperial War Museum since I was about 8 or 9 years old (basically since the first time I watched Bullet in a Bible… yes, I am that much of a lame Green Day fan). Now while I enjoy going to museums, I mostly like going to look at things, and take pictures of things, but I’ve left the museum feeling like I had a truly educational experience. I started studying history for the first time two years ago when I started university, I had no prior knowledge in the field, but I was surprised by how much knowledge the museum actually reinforced – and of course there was loads that I didn’t know. My favourite part was Edmund Clarke’s “War on Terror” exhibition. The photography is astounding, and for me it excellently emphasised life as a controlled person in Britain. I also loved the Sectarian Armour. Despite never having experienced the Troubles, I believe it is something that anyone from Glasgow would be able to empathise with. After all, it only takes an Old Firm match to reinforce any Reformation age rivalries in our city. In total, we must have spent about three hours strolling around the museum, there is lots to see and we definitely left feeling enlightened.

Our next stop of the day was The Hunterian Museum to marvel at some medical oddities. The Hunterian seems to be a hot spot for my black-clad friends, and a place I have saw a thousand Instagram pictures of. So I had to experience it for myself. It is a surgical museum, so it is rammed head to toe with anatomical and pathological specimens. Expect foetal skeletons, deformed skulls, surgical videos, and all sorts of dissected animal species. Obviously, neither Brad or I are medical professionals, so this was very much a walk around and look at things sort of museum for us. I think that if you were interested in learning more about the specimens you would be best to organise a tour as there isn’t much in the way of informational reading around the museum. Nevertheless, it was fascinating just to look at the collection. I loved the small dental section which had some antique medical instruments and models of the mouth and teeth. We only spent around an hour here, before stopping for some food at a Cafe Nero, and then scouting out Lush on Oxford Street (Brad is a secret Lush junkie).

Before we knew it we were headed back to Cambridge, and creating a new list of things to do on our next London visit. We pulled off this trip really cheaply. All we had to pay for was our hotel, food, and travel to and from London. We went everywhere by foot which saved us a good bit of money, and both of the museums we went to were free! We probably could have saved ourselves a little bit more money if we had spent some time looking into food places before we went, but alas, our one splurge was on food that I didn’t particularly enjoy. We’ll know for next time.

Have you ever been to London?
Where are your favourite places?
Leave a comment below!

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