Kate Nash’s Made of Bricks tour – 10 years on from teenage fandom

Kate Nash’s debut album, Made of Bricks, was definitely one of the big albums of my formative years, having been released when I was the tender yet crucial age of 15.

Almost three years later, her second album, My Best Friend is You, was released just a few months after I passed my driving test and I remember driving round listening to Paris and Do-Wah-Doo in the sun.

But of course it’s Foundations, and the more twee Mouthwash and Birds, that captivated me first. We Get On was great teenage crush fodder, and every single song on that album had something to connect to.

So when Kate announced a 10th anniversary tour for Made of Bricks this summer, playing the whole album, I just had to go – even though I’d seen her during a more shouty phase in York in 2013 and hadn’t been quite so enamoured. (I still thought she was awesome and girl power-y though).

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Take That at the O2 Arena got me emotional – here’s why

Yes, it was about two weeks ago already, but I thought it would be nice to share this.

Take That always put on an incredible live show for a pop group and I saw that for myself during their recent run at the O2 Arena in London. So much thought had clearly gone into their Wonderland tour, way more than at most gigs I’ve ever been to.

And yet it was something really simple that meant the most to me.

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My London bucket list

I’ve lived in London for three years now and I love being near so many places of interest and activities.

In reality though I work in Surrey so it’s not as simple as it might be to get out and about in London. But weekends and evenings certainly still have a sense of possibility (and I do get to a lot of concerts and shows).

I’ve decided to create a bucket list of everything in London I’d love to do that I never have so I can start work on it this year.

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Ramin Karimloo brings Broadway and bluegrass to the London Palladium for one night only

ramin-palladiumAhead of his upcoming stint in Murder Ballad at London’s Arts Theatre, musical theatre star Ramin Karimloo performed one night only at the London Palladium as part of his unique ‘broadgrass’ experiment.

Mixing some of the musical theatre songs he became well known for with other styles, most notably bluegrass, Ramin and his band created something truly special and live on stage is certainly the best way to experience it.

Although the Palladium wasn’t sold out, the audience that was there roared with appreciation. As Ramin sung the opening words to ‘Til I Hear You Sing, written especially for him in Love Never Dies by Andrew Lloyd Webber, there was a collective gasp followed by an expectant hush.

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Kew the Music: Will Young and Billy Ocean

Will Young and Billy Ocean were the entertainment for one beautiful July evening in the even more beautiful surroundings of Kew Gardens.

First up was a pop group from San Francisco, Con Brio. I sadly missed them as I came after work and then had to grab a burger (from an amazing veggie burger stand, very impressed!) However my dad announced they were ‘very good’.

Billy Ocean came next, and with him a great deal of flamboyant middle-aged dancing.

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L’Etoile: a comic opera masterpiece

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With my dad at the Royal Opera House

Back in February I crazily won four box tickets at the Royal Opera House to see this production of Chabrier’s comic opera L’Etoile.

One of my group was a total opera novice and went away on such a high. She loved it, as did the rest of us. The story had all the best farcical tools of such a comic opera with lots of rather Monty Python-esque prop and staging elements (for example a huge finger which descended to point suggestively at something) which added to the joy.

Some reviews have slated the production for being preposterous and clumsy, but I honestly thought the craziness of it all and the unusual and daring staging made it more fun and interesting. And it was an easy one to get into for a non-regular at the opera.

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