Friday, 11 May 2012

Exams! - One down, two to go!

 Hey regular readers. Once again it has been ages since I last wrote anything on this beloved blog of mine. And the reason for that is, as you may have guessed, studying. Yes, I've been dreading my exam season for some time now, but now that I've entered it, I've accepted that this is the time to let all the knowledge I've gained during my final year of school come out and help me get a place in university and in life.
 Today, came my time for my Higher Modern Studies exam and overall, things went pretty well. When I opened up the paper, the first three questions, I simply had no answer for and shortly after learnt I didn't need to answer the questions. It was an exam of random bursts of instant relief. I'm not actually that bad on writing about political issues in the UK, USA and South Africa. Which I guess is good considering the whole wanting a career in journalism thing. Maybe one day I'll do a big political post. Probably not though.
So I've been a bit busy doing some revision without allowing much time for writing any reviews. It's a bit sad. I miss writing reviews. I know that when I'm finished these exams I'm going to write a monolithic amount of them. I don't really plan on sleeping or anything. Just listening to and writing about new albums. I'll even write about some albums that came out earlier this year that I've only discovered now, because while not having the time to write about new music, I have had the chance to listen. And I've also been finding out which bands that are gaining a massive hype and what ones are deserving of their massive buildup (DZ Deathrays) and which ones aren't. (Alabama Shakes)
 Some other stuff has happened during this time. While being stuck in wonderful Blairgowrie I've finally started using the gym at the local Recreation Centre for the first time. I should have started some time ago. Having spent the past few days making appearances, I've come to realise that it is the meeting place of the most brutal looking people I've ever seem. They lift dumbbells like they're big piles of air. Everyone is just scary. Even in the reception a six year old child growled at me.
 It's not all been working hard and working out though. I've also been to two gigs. Well, not really gigs of the standard of the Trivium, Kaiser Chiefs and Chimaira gigs but concerts filled with excellent guitar driven music nonetheless. Last Thursday I tagged along with my Dad and his friend Bob to The Caird Hall in Dundee for The Solid Silver 60s Show 2012. I was the only person in the room under the age of 50. And it was actually a pretty cool show. The show featured a graceful performance from pop rockers Vanity Fare throughout, who were joined onstage throughout the show by pop music icons of the 1960s including The Tremeloes' Brian Poole, Latino-American star Chris Montez best known for his 1962 mega hit Let's Dance, bubblegum pop originator Brian Hyland and the headlining performance from Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. Most people have come to associate me with my love of death metal. (Sighs)
 Seriously, the show was pretty decent. The performances were very pleasant. The performers were all aware that they were dealing with an audience of a certain age, so there was no kind of demand for major audience interaction. There were no screams of "Everyone clap your hands!" or "I want to see everyone on their feet!" or "Let's open up this fucking pit!" No, the musicians all set straight to doing their songs meaning the evening was all very much immersed in the music. The highlight was probably during the performance of Brian Hyland. It was almost a shame that the biggest reaction he received from the audience of aged Dundonians was during his 1960 novelty hit Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini because his more serious moments were incredibly gripping by sheer talent and sheer emotional impact. And when his set closed with his cover of All Along the Watchtower, it truly emphasized the stellar guitar work of him and Vanity Fare's Eddie Wheeler. So a pretty solid silver 60s evening for all.
 But my gig venturing didn't stop there. The next gig I went to was to see was one of the gigs for the annual Bon Fest, a festival that celebrates the life and legacy of late AC/DC legend Bon Scott in his birth place Kirriemuir in the town hall.
 I was invited to the event by someone who is already something of a musical legend within our school Lewis Davie, a young man who knows music and the playing of it inside out, someone who should hopefully make more appearances on ROARF in time to come. He makes up one half of acoustic rock duo Second Guessing along with Nicholas Leitch, who are currently gaining a fanbase with various little gigs in Dundee. If you are a regular reader of ROARF you should check them out. Here's some live footage of them filmed by my Moderate Geek friend Grant Carpenter at Henry's Coffee House in Dundee.

 This is there cover of Superman by The Clique (As made famous by R.E.M.)

And this is there cover of Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf.

 So, Mr. Davie is the gentleman closest to the camera strumming away while the various people I recognise sit around in the background and pay little attention. Shame on them!
 So it's with Lewis that I went to Bon Fest in Kirriemuir, a festival that is now in it's seventh year which always features two Scottish bands opening and is then headlined by a major Bon Scott era AC/DC tribute band. Things were happening throughout the weekend but for our time there, support came from female fronted shredders Saz, delivering some traditional heavy metal with some gothic attitude. Their guitarist genuinely looked like Kirk Hammett, which I guess is good for the whole shredding thing. Afterwards, Aberdonian hard rockers The Ruckus took centre stage who were genuinely incredible, playing raw rock and roll tunes with a pummeling force. Expect big things from them. We met their guitarist and talked a bit afterwards. Hopefully he still remembers us. I'll have to try and contact them.
 However, the highlight of the evening was the epic performance from German AC/DC tribute band simply named Bon. Their blistering performances of classics like It's a Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna Rock n' Roll), If You Want Blood (You've Got It), Jailbreak, Let There Be Rock and so many more show an absolute devotion to AC/DC and ability to channel the power of the band into the world of modern intimate gigs, where moshpits and violent headbanging are a rule.
 That's pretty much all that's been going on in my life. One of my major exams is now done and I still have English and History to look forward to. Wish me luck.
 Wait, also both sets of earphones that I own are both totally broken. That sucks - Maybe one day I will own a set of earphones that last more than a month. One set causes the songs to speed up, skip to other songs or randomly pause the song when put into my iPod, so they're not really worth using. The others basically just mute any bass. Listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers has never been so much of a waste of time...

Here's some photos from Bon Fest. They're not very good.

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