Escape To The Future… with Bastille!

Bastille are my favourite band and I finally got a chance to see them perform live in AO Arena in Manchester. Taking pictures at concerts is… not ideal, shall we say, but had a hunch about how their show would look like and had already planned to post about it here.

It turned out to be exactly what I expected.

Bastille released their latest album Give Me The Future in February, and this is also the title of their tour. The general theme of the album is, let’s escape to the future of our dreams, the good future. Very plug-yourself-into-virtual-reality type of thing. I was curious if they would incorporate that into their show–and they did.

Feeling like,

If this is life,

I’m choosing fiction

Distorted Light Beam

I think I scored myself quite a good seat for taking pics.

The band’s frontman, Dan Smith in the white hoodie.

In the middle of the night

I can dream away

Change what I like

And go back to the future again

Back To The Future

Close up on Dan. I tried to capture as many colours as possible.

I didn’t use zoom–in fact I never do with my smartphone, as the photos come out of low quality, instead I take the picture normally and then crop out the parts I don’t want, and that’s what I did throughout this concert. With the above image, I left in another fan’s phone screen in, I feel like it captures the whole vibe.

In my head, in my head,

I escape with you,

When my dreams run away,

Run away with you

Why would I stay awake?

Stay Awake

Hundreds of phone lights during the slower tempo Oblivion (from the album Bad Blood).

Creation of Adam: The Cyber Version, maybe?

Hollywood has painted us a fucked up fate

Say you’ll resurrect me as a young deep fake

Genius minds fix all our crimes

So we can have fun, yeah?

We’re living in a sci-fi fantasy

I’m sleeping with the robot next to me

Find planet B, that’s all we need

So we can have fun

Plug In…

Confetti for the masses. At the end, they invited the two supporting acts (singer/songwriter Jack Garratt and the band The Native) on the stage for the closing number, Shut Off The Lights.

Thank you and goodnight.

The worst thing about the concert was that it had to end.

My favourite song from the new album is Back To The Future. Here’s the lyric video–how many references can you recognise?

Bastille on Spotify.

Quoted lyrics were all written by Dan Smith.

500 Posts!

This is a blog post number 500.

I mark the occasion with a picture of my most used tag (aside from tags Canon DSLR, smartphone and Motorola)–trees.

Of course, it’s not strictly the 500th post as I have had a couple of reblogs, I think, but on the other hand I have deleted at least 20 posts, so it evens out pretty well, I’d say.

I’m now halfway to a thousand!

Security Signs

When I saw the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge was Security, I knew I had just the right stuff for it!

One of the things I like to take pictures of is signs. They often have to do with security–fire exits and similar. Here are some I picked for today’s post:

Don’t fall into the water!

This one is a standard. From the back of my local Tesco.

This one is in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre. That poor figure inside the triangles has been through everything.

This one is in Shibden Hall in Halifax, the door leads to the backyard.

This last one is the only one taken with a DSLR camera, not smartphone like the others, and you can find it in Abney Park in Cheadle, near Stockport.

Really, what have poor horses or motorcycles done to you?

The Bird Trilogy

Photographers of WordPress, do you ever print your pictures?

I did, towards the end of last year, so that I could decorate my living room walls. After all the works done on my flat, it was time for change. I bought a new string of lights with the little pegs to attach the pics. The string runs horizontally over my sofa, rounds a corner above the book shelf and ends vertically next to the book shelf. (I hope that makes sense enough for you to picture it). Here I share with you three pictures from the vertical section–you can spot the common theme:

The robin and the duck pictures have featured here before, the crow one hasn’t.

Some Photblog is not short of pictures of crows and ducks. It was the robin that was a true scoop–I was so lucky that day!

2021 Recap

The year has been… strange. World as we know it will never be the same. But there has been success with vaccines.

For Some Photoblog, however, 2021 was the most productive year ever–89 posts! The major theme was pictures of flowers taken by my smartphone on my walks, with an occasional bird thrown in.

starlings have been the stars

My DSLR camera, bless the poor thing’s mirrored heart, got some work done at last, after mostly idle 2020. The lens cap got stuck in the course of this long idleness, sending me into a state of panic (easily happens to me). I had to consult Google for a solution. Thankfully I managed to get the cap off. I even wrote a short flash fiction story about it! Which was actually inspired by a prompt at Online Writers Guild, but funny how that prompt, erm, mirrored, exactly what was going on in my life.

I didn’t get up to much this year, I only visited two places outside Manchester–Lyme Park and Halifax, but the visits were that much more enjoyable. I also took a walk to Castlefield one Saturday at the end of February to have a look at the sets of Peaky Blinders that was being filmed there, and I came home with some fantastic shots–not just of the sets, but of early spring too. I think there are altogether four posts made out of that one single walk.

crocuses always please

Autumn has also been good, we’ve been really lucky with the leaves this year.

On the pop culture side, I covered some of my favourite things: Agatha Christie (a reposted entry from 2019 with new photos taken this year), Game of Thrones, Star Trek, and most of all, actor Sam Claflin to whom I dedicated a 5200-words-long post. (I didn’t realise it was that long!) I pretty much carry a flag with his name on it–because someone has to.

hello handsome

In the world of movies, after a dry 2020, we’ve finally seen some delayed cinematic releases, and more. Marvel have treated us to four films in total, and they were all fantastic (Black Widow, Shang-Chi, Eternals and, most of all, Spider-Man No Way Home), plus five series on Disney+. While I’m not a big fan of James Bond, I did go to see No Time To Die, as it was Daniel Craig’s final outing, and because it was the first major picture to be delayed in the early months of the pandemic. I can say it’s my favourite now–it really was something else–and I loved the gorgeous cinematography. Cary Joji Fukunaga also directed the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre; if you’ve seen it, you know it has the right gothic feel. (I acknowledge that, as much as I’m fond of butchering that story.) Dune also finally made its appearance, a difficult book to translate to screen, but Denis Villeneuve pulled it off. The soundtrack was just *chef’s kiss*, Hans Zimmer outdid himself–and that’s saying a lot!

In the streaming world, everyone went mad for Squid Game, and I’m happy for a non-English language show to achieve such a huge success. Speaking of non-English shows, French series Lupin also enjoyed big popularity–I love me some heist. The last show I want to give a shout out to is The Irregulars, a Sherlock Holmes adjacent series featuring the group of street kids known as Baker Street Irregulars. Unusually for Sherlock Holmes-verse, it’s a paranormal mystery, with a diverse cast. I liked it so much more than that bloody Enola Holmes last year (this is an unpopular opinion and I stand by it), but unfortunately it has not been renewed by Netflix. In episode three, I spotted a familiar sight–The Cage at Lyme Park. Thus I became the Leonardo Di Caprio pointing at the screen meme.

Just like last year, I listened to a lot of Taylor Swift, who has been re-releasing her old music to get back her rights. Most memorable is probably the ten-minute version of All Too Well, to which she recorded a short film as a music video. My most streamed song this year, though, was Wellerman, a remixed sea shanty that went viral thanks to TikTok at the beginning of the year. Not surprising since I played it on loop!

Elsewhere on my writing blog, it’s also been a successful year. I particularly enjoyed myself by murdering an English classic (guess which one), dreaming about being seduced to the dark side by hot villains, and experimenting with a day in the life of a very fictional Home Secretary in a fictionalised version of Britain. But the most popular story turned out to be I Fall In Love With You Every Day. Same as previously mentioned The Camera Smiles, it, too, was a response to a prompt by Online Writers Guild.

I think I went on for long enough, so let me wrap this up with Pepper, my constant and only companion. In October I had some massive work done on my flat (landlord at last realised what terrible state it was in), so I now have a brand new kitchen and bathroom–a side note, you don’t realise how a thing like that can completely change your mindset–and one of the builders remarked that every time they brought something new in, such as tools or materials, the cat “must come and check everything”. Of course, as all cat owners know, this is a completely normal cat behaviour, but the builder clearly didn’t know it, and it still makes me laugh to this day.

Thank you for visiting my blog in 2021 and all the best for 2022!

Merry Christmas 2021!

So I managed to squeeze in one more Christmas post.

Very impromptu still life smartphone pics, brought to life by the Christmas bouquet I got at Tesco, instead of a Christmas tree. I quickly took the photos so that I could remove those red berries–I think they might be poisonous and I don’t want my cat to eat them.

Fun fact about me: I don’t drink alcohol. But I can’t resist me some Baileys during festive time. This one will last me till the end of the year.

And of course, the true Christmas classic:

The movie Die Hard. You can stream it on Disney+ if you’re a subscriber, though no doubt it will be shown in TV too.

Because it is not Christmas until Holly Gennaro McClane punches that douchebag reporter in the face!

Have a merry Christmas if you celebrate, peaceful Christmas if you don’t feel like celebrating, or just good chillout time if you don’t celebrate.

Christmas in the City 2021

I like a Christmas post every year, so here it is, and it’s all about Christmas in Manchester. Christmas markets are back after last year’s absence.

MCR is short for Manchester, and bee is a symbol of the city, in case you’re wondering.

Above and below shots are from inside Printworks.

Tree in my neighbourhood, outside a Methodist church.

Bonus – just for fun, I am forever amused about how the actor Adam Driver reigns over the stalls in Piccadilly Gardens. Not literally, it’s just a perfume advert!

This is probably my last post before Christmas, so if I don’t see you before then, have a happy holiday time, or peaceful holiday time, whichever one you prefer.