Bastille Live

Wherein Latimer and Ridley attend a gig with the cool Indie kids!

Ridley: We went to a gig last Thursday night, the doors opened at 7pm and it was over at half ten. I’ve since realised I’m turning into an old fogie; I was happy that it was over early. It meant that while I had fun, I was still able to go home, potter round in my pjs and not have to go to bed too late as I had work the next morning. As I returned home, my feet aching from new boots I hadn’t bothered to break in (I never learn my lesson), I wondered what happened to my devil-may-care self, where did she disappear to? The Ridley who didn’t give a fig if I rocked in at 2am even when I was due to be up for 7am?

Latimer: Big mistake!! Always break in new shoes!

Ridley: To be honest though, devil-may-care me never really existed, that scenario only occurred a handful of times (and I always regretted them!). I’ve always been a tad too sensible for my own good and I hate early mornings as it is, so if I haven’t gotten my full night sleep, I’m like a kicked bear (very cranky I’d imagine)!

Anyway, we went to see the band, Bastille. I hadn’t heard about them before this, our excellent friend Orbie told us they are up and coming.

Ridley: I like being ‘in the known’, it feels like I’ve been let in on a secret only a few people are aware of. In a year or two when Bastille are playing on every radio channel, I’ll be able to sit back with a smug smile and say, ‘I went to see them long before they were famous.’ I’ll annoy everyone! Haha.

The gig was held in the Academy, a place I haven’t been in since it was only a grimy nightclub named Spirit (and that was seven or eight years ago).

The inner chamber… nah, just a stairwell, nice posters though!
Where are we the underground of a rail system!?
Nope… just Academy Level 2!!

Unsurprisingly, they’ve done it up-kind of. For the event, we were in a the basement (Academy Two), the ceiling was low, dark, with thick black metal columns supporting it (they were actually those industrial supports used when building work is being done, a tad worrying.), the walls were dark brick and the wooden stage was tiny, you could reach out and touch the band. It had an appealing hippy dishevelled look, though I’m certain I wouldn’t have been all that impressed if all of the lights had been turned on, showing every crack and dust pile.

There were two supporting acts to get the crowd going (there couldn’t have been more than about hundred people there). I found myself a nice pillar to lean against (helped me deal with my pinching boots! Oh, how my toes hate me.) Having found a perfect spot to see the stage, I noticed quite a tall man, with very large hair, in front of us, blocking the view of the stage.

Latimer was eyeing him too and leaned over to whisper, “I hope he’s not going to stand there all night, we won’t be able to see the band.”

Little did we know, he definitely wasn’t going to stay there, especially since when he turned around to leave, we realised it was the lead singer of Bastille; Dan Smith (who was born on Bastille Day, hence the band name! Louie, Orbie’s friend, told us this!)! We burst out laughing. Imagine complaining we wouldn’t be able to see the band, because their lead singer was standing in our way!

Though that wasn’t the last ‘interaction’ we had with him, well, that Latimer had with him anyway. 😀

They went through a fantastic repertoire of songs that had the room hopping and their speakers were so loud, my throat vibrated with the sound from them. At one point I was convinced I wasn’t able to breath properly!

Latimer: I love the atmosphere at these gigs when the band can play live and interact so well with the crowd, it’s incredible.Bastille are so talented. I love the sound of Dan Smith’s voice and their music is so lively.

They did a brilliant cover of Rhythm of the Night; a great song anyway, but they made it there own.

Ridley: During the second last song of the night, Dan put on a hoodie and descended into the crowd (Latimer hypotheses this is because he didn’t want people to touch his hair! His gorgeous gravity defying hair!), he sung with the microphone lead hanging over people’s heads. He ran around the sides and into the middle. People went mad, we were all like mini-paparazzi flashing camera at him and other people were patting him on the head. I was delighted, having only been half an arms distance from him, little did I know he actually tripped into Latimer who was in front of me somewhere! One day, it’ll be a story she tells her future children…maybe! She should freeze and preserve whatever part of her touched him (how sore!!), it could become very valuable! Haha.

Wonder what that would fetch on ebay?

Latimer: He came towards me, crouched low and I started backing away my mind screaming; ‘gaaaah, don’t come near me!’. I stumbled back into two girls, then as he twisted to bop along with the crowd, he fell into me, and I touched his back in a ‘gaah, get away’ kind of manner. Haha, is that how I’d react to all possibly famous and famous people?

If Ricky Gervais fell on top of me would I push him off screaming? Part of me hopes this won’t happen… the other, that it does! I laughed to Ridley afterwards, and said Dan falling on top of me was like two stars colliding. She stared.

“Well, you’re deluded.”

Probably!

We might catch up with Bastille again in March when they return to Dublin… will they play a bigger venue? How will life change for them… it’ll be interesting to see 🙂

The Phantom of The Opera

Ridley: We’ve been to the musical, Phantom of the Opera. Both Latimer and I went to see this in the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin (now renamed the Bord Gais Theatre, though everyone refuses to call it that!)

Latimer: It’s a real shame that the theatre was renamed, because the ‘Grand Canal’ makes it sound very opulent and grand, but the Bord Gais (‘Gas board’ in Irish.. because the Irish Gas Board sponsor it now) makes it cringe-worthy. 

Ridley: It was really fantastic going though, name choice aside! I don’t often go to the theatre, but when I do go, I always wonder why I don’t do it more often, as I feel quite cultured! 🙂 The costumes were so vibrant, the set design was clever and the music just swept you along. If you ever get a chance to see this in theatres, go, you won’t be disappointed! Your eyes will just want to drink it all in!

Latimer: Myself and Ridley went to see Lord of the Rings, the soundtrack score in this theatre (‘Grand Canal’ at that point). I remember complaining that the seating was bad (we were about three rows from the front). And the layout felt very cramped.

But this time I was sitting on the upper circle and it was pretty fantastic. I recommend that seating area now! I went with my Mam and Aunt, and my Aunt has been to this theatre lots of times and she knows what seats to book now.

Ha. I suppose it’s trial and error.

And in introducing my Aunt, I introduce an old, old fact from the Grand Canal’s medieval past- a detour through time now if you will!

Outside the theatre, there are many red poles (as you see above).

Ridley, did you ponder, what these meant? I didn’t give them a second thought, only thinking; ‘oh, some arty poles’.

Ridley: I have asked before ‘what’s with the red sticks’ but no one ever knows! I’m sensing you do…

Latimer: Ah, my Aunt told me that they mean something…

There’s a street opposite the theatre called Forbes Street. And in medieval Dublin this was were the lepers were sectioned (it was known as ‘Misery Hill’).

The red poles are symbolic of the saying, ‘I would not touch them with a barge pole’ in reference to the lepers.

Very eerie now in that respect eh?

By night the poles are lit. The above picture is them after the show was finished!

Well now… back to the Phantom! I agree that the set-design was fantabulous! My god I couldn’t get over it. Ridley, please, explain the story if you will…

Ridley: Well, most people know the story of Phantom of the Opera. For those that don’t, it’s basically a tragic love story. The phantom is a deformed man, a ghost who lives in the depths of a theatre. He falls in the love with the young and beautiful Christine Daaé. He watches her from the shadows and teaches her to sing without revealing himself. She believes he is her Angel of Music, a being from heaven sent by her father to watch over her. It is the phantom that arranges for Christine to get her first big break in the theatre. He bullies and forces the owners to feature her as their star. While she is singing as the lead in the play, her childhood friend Raoul sees her and they reconnect. Thus begins the dangerous love triangle, where Christine must decide between her old friend and her Angel of Music.

The 2004 movie with Gerard Butler is the version that I know best. Not a bad version of the phantom to love, Gerard Butler, eh? Teehee. It’s a bit like Doctor Who, everyone has their favourite Doctor and everyone has their favourite phantom! Gerard is mine! (I also have the soundtrack from this version of the Phantom of the Opera and I play it often. It’s really beautiful.)

Now, I’ve always thought Christine should have chosen the phantom over Raoul. My view on this has never changed, no matter how many times I’ve seen the musical-either in the theatre or in the cinema. Raoul’s affections always seemed so fleeting and shallow. He only remembers his love for her when he hears her singing at the opera-after she’s become the lead performer. Whereas the phantom has loved her all this time, helping her and protecting her…

Dramatic, mysterious, passionate and powerful, that is what the phantom is for me. I’ve always found myself drawn to him. I suppose I’ve always liked the bad boy, the evil genius. The phantom had the swirling black cape, a mask framing eyes that captivated and a hidden lair that he filled with haunting music. At the same time, he was damaged and vulnerable in some ways. Raoul was always pathetic compared to him. He also certainly didn’t get the massive swells of music from the organ at his sudden appearance.

With regards to Christine, I don’t think I’ve ever liked her as a character. On one hand, I can understand that she’d be terrified of the phantom, having been suddenly kidnapped by him. He is quite menacing. But I can’t seem to shake the soft spot I have for him, despite being a kidnapper and a murderer (I seemed to have glossed over this part in past versions, I’d forgotten about it but I was abruptly reminded he killed a stage hand, when I watched the musical in the theatre the other day! The sympathy I feel for the phantom is certainly diminished when I take this into account, so I generally have to forget this happens!)

I think that Christine uses the phantom. She preys on his vulnerable side, the side that has never seen friendship or love. He’s had only hatred, disgust and fear thrown at him. Without him, her career wouldn’t have progressed as far as it did, nor would she have been able to sing like she does. She plays on his affections for her and then betrays him in the end.

Latimer: Actually watching it all again, in this form, I can understand her not loving the Phantom though. Because he wasn’t sympathic and he was pretty ruthless. I remember in the movie thinking, ah she should have picked the Phantom (I was annoyed that she didn’t to be honest!).

Yet in this musical version (possibly the real version- aside from the book!), I felt it was all mixed up, I didn’t like the Phantom. The characters I really liked were the two men who buy the theatre at the start. I found them funny and enjoyable (light-hearted among the grimness). My Aunt saw it in London and said that this Dublin version has been cut down alot, so we missed out on some backstory etc

Ridley: The funny thing is that all changes in the sequel to Phantom of the Opera, which I never realised existed! It’s called Love Never Dies, and I have some major problems with it. (Spoiler alert here)

Latimer: This is beyond ridiculous…!

Ten years after the events of Phantom of the Opera, the phantom tricks Christine and Raoul into coming to New York, where he wants to hear Christine sing once again (I’d like to point out, his love for her still hasn’t faded!) Christine has a son, Gustave. It turns out that this is the phantom’s son! (My jaw dropped at this! Latimer: what the Dicken’s? haha, this is just so bad!) Never, not once is there ever any hint that Christine and the phantom were in anyway intimate in the musical or the films. Perhaps this occurs in the book? (which i’ll admit I haven’t read, so i’m very open to being corrected on this) Not only this, through the phantom’s scheming, he convinces Raoul to leave Christine, which he does-without any fighting to save their marriage! Then suddenly it seems Christine has always loved the phantom and she finally stops fighting against this love. Based on the musicals I’ve seen, I would have always said she’d felt nothing but pity and disgust for him. Perhaps at most, she had an affection for her Angel of Music, but no this undying love. 

Latimer: She found this false, undying love very quickly, considering how she left things in the Opera house in Phantom of the Opera. I’m still shaking my head at this. It was obviously fabricated in light of creating another cash cow.

Incidentally, he’s (the Phantom) running a theme park in Coney Island when we meet him again in ‘Love Never Dies’. And it’s called Phantasma… oh my…. oh my… 

Ridley: Well, also, the other final thing I have a problem with is when Gustave finds out the phantom is his father. He decides to stay and join him at the theme park in New York, instead of following after Raoul when he leaves. Raoul is the man he’s known all his life, the one he’s always considered his father and yet he wanders off with this random stranger instead? What? Would that really happen? I don’t think so! Hmm…

All the same, despite all my nit-picking and wish to change the ending, I still love the story! I think there are quite a number of people out there that love it too, or am I wrong? 🙂

Latimer: While I really enjoyed my trip to the theatre and also, the set design and experience of the musical was just amazing, I don’t actually like the story of Phantom of the Opera.

But still, it was a nice night! Also, random that we both attended separately, but we have joined together, like bubbles caught in an updraft to write this post. After-which we’ll pop, likely never to speak of it again! Ha 🙂

Ridley: Yes…bubbles…..  *pop*   😀

It’s Hard to Dance, with A Devil on your Back

It’s festival time- whah-hey!

Latimer: I’m not a festival goer- let’s just say that straightaway.

I’ve been enjoying a few gigs, here and there. I like the intimate setting of a small venue. But the first and only major music event I attended was when I was a wee child of fifteen. Ridley was there too. It was Slane castle; we went to see The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Myself and Ridley were well out of our depth. We were lost on a hill with heavy drinkers, heavy party-ers, no tea and most importantly no creature comforts.

She won’t like me saying this, but we spent hours on that parched hill, in the blistering sun, wondering, when, when could we just go home! It was torture. While our other friends swayed, we guarded bags. I remember someone actually came into our protective circle, picked up my friend’s bag and walked away. Determined I plunge after her, and nabbed it back (sounds more forceful than it was, I literally just took it back!).

The sad thing about this is, we actually got so annoyed by being there that we both left before the ‘Chilli’s’ even started. Ridley does find this a bit cringe-worthy to this day. It’s not a story that would make music-lovers treat you well!

So, the Phoenix Park was, ‘ding-ding’, round 2 for me.

First off, the Phoenix Park is a very nice park in Dublin. Though Sunday was a very grey and rainy day, so picture quality was limited.

Phoenix Park is where our President lives, in Áras an Uachtaráin (‘house of the president’). As we walked in, I was asking ‘is this the Áras? Is that the Áras? Where is the damn Áras?’ to which a mutual friend of mine and Ridley’s, Orbie, said, ‘it’s over there! I was in the Áras once, I shook Mary Robinson’s hand.’

I gaped at her, I had known her years and never once heard this story. Why I pressed? Why was she in the Áras?

‘I was at a Saw Doctors concert in the garden’. That was plain weird. Now, I wanted to know why were the Saw Doctors playing a concert in Mary Robinson’s garden?

It was a pretty rainy day. We were kitted out in cheap welly-boots bought in the Irish retailer of Primark goods (Pennys) (probably the equivalent of Wall-MART, though I’m only guessing at that, as I’ve never been inside a Wall-MART before… though for some reason, I want to go to one!).

We were all moving in a pack. It seemed like everyone was going to the concert. Everyone knew each other by their wellys and rain-jackets- basically everyone was a walking Penny’s advertisement. I saw my boots repeated too many times to count over the course of the day.

By the time we got to the concert, we were already talking about how great our wellys were and how we were ready for muck-war. And muck-war we got. I have never experience such a vast amount of muck before in my life. We were herded into the main arena, through cattle gates. Patted down and checked for alcohol. I snapped a picture of a girl dressed as a cow going through the gates.

I found out later that said girl was stowing lots of bottles of vodka in her udders, and was subsequently ejected from the arena.

Once inside the arena, I scouted the field- food, check, toilets, yuck, check… massive stage dominating the skyline check! Hurrah, we’d made it!

We staked out a spot by one of the massive hoists near the stage. A meeting spot if anyone got lost. The concert started with The Temper Trap- they were good, but not as good as I thought they’d be. Somehow I don’t think I’m feeling their new stuff.

But I love the old album… when they played Fader, the crowd surged!

Afterward, we waited for Florence and the Machine to set up. That was taking a while; Orbie decided she wanted a drink. So I went with her to the O’Brien’s sandwich trailer. As we waited to be served- Florence appeared on stage.

Orbie looked back at me, her face panicked, “NO!” she mouthed as Flo started singing. I waded back into the mud, to look up at the stage.

When Orbie got her drink, we struggled back to the stage. But people were surging forward now, a massive crowd. We ducked and wove through them; we couldn’t move too quickly because the muck was sticky and I was panicking over what would happen if I fell out of my boots!

I wove through a huddled circle of people- protecting their drinks between them.

I overstepped them, Orbie hot on my tails. Orbie raced up behind me; “They were so mad at you! They pushed me back!”

“Stupid place to leave their drinks!” I declared continuing onward. No one would stop me from seeing Florence! Bah, I thought, Bah to them… (yet, I’m still thinking, oooppss maybe i shouldn’t have done that!)

Florence was an angel. She jumped, and floated around the stage like a force of nature. There was something very ethereal about her. She’s a free spirit. She wore a flowing dress and gliding down to slap the hands of her adoring fans, who were straining to reach her.

One banner read ‘Hey Flo, want to shake it out with me later?’ another stated ‘Flo! Marry me!’.

When Florence asked people to get up on each other’s shoulders and sway- they did. When she asked people to jump, to sing- they did! It was like for that split moment we were her giant, multi-person-ed, puppet.

And of course when she sung Dog Days the crowd almost imploded in on itself…

Her set reminded me how great her Ceremonials album is… wow..

Once Florence disappeared, telling us repeatedly how much she loved Ireland, and therefore us (we took it with solemn nods, with accepting, slight shrugs, ‘but of course Florence, of course’). Orbie and I raced off to Wok n’ Fry for some Pad Thai noodles- for which we waited at least 40mins. By which time Snow Patrol (who I was repeatedly referring to as Snow Play) had appeared on stage. I looked at Orbie and said, “I want my Pad Thai though!”

Pad Thai in tow, we stumbled back to the stage; mud wrestling had started up and various drunken girls and boys had started to toss each other around the field.

Myself and Orbie stood with our Pad Thai and watched Snow Patrol, happy smiles on our faces as the world turned to muck around us.

Snow Patrol were brilliant. While I preferred Florence’s music, I found that Snow Patrol got the crowd going in a way Flo hadn’t. But then, maybe she had warmed us up?

I’m not a massive Snow Patrol fan- I don’t even have one of their albums, however, everyone knows Chasing Cars, and when it started, I swayed, gobbling down my yummy noodles (with wedge of lime and heap of coriander- the ‘crowd divider herb’ I’m starting to realise- Orbie despises it- but I think it’s KING of herbs).

We had been in the park since 5pm. It took us about 2hours all in all to get to the stage from town. It was Sunday evening, my back and feet were killing me. The rain had left us in a murky haze for the entire day. But it was all somehow very cool.

Like a crowd of confused zombies, we waded out of the muck and started the walk out of the Park at 11pm. By this time, the crowd was full of drunk people- to be honest a lot of people were drunk going in- well, listening to people talking got to be very funny… one conversation;

Man: “Stop talking to me like I’m stupid… I’m not stupid… I pick up languages like a tick picks up *BLEEHH!*” (wherein he, well, got sick)

Woman to the above man: “AHHH! I thought we’d gotten rid of you!” Which begged the question, had they come to the Park just to lose him?

The woman and her friends started singing a song; like they were racing on horses, the ‘na na na nananananananahhh nanananana ananah’. It has no words, it’s just sounds.

Man (same as before) chirps up again: “Ah, is that Spanish? Are you’s speaking Spanish?”

I nearly died laughing.

We finally plodded out of the park and passed this interesting piece of graffiti on the way. The book spines were left blank and a message had been left on the bottom, stating ‘add your own’. So people had written their favourite books names on the spines- there was even a Chinese one there, which was pretty cool.

When we got home again, we debated what to do with our mucky boots as we have no outdoor space. We left them soaking in a basin and went to bed at 1am.

The following day, the dreaded Monday, I was so tired I wanted to cry.

But all in all, a very cool Sunday!

Advertising Jungle

Below are just a few of the advertisements here in Tokyo. They can be found on the televisions, large screens on the buildings around the city, in shops and on the subways. It’s not hard to notice that no matter where you go, there is always something for sale or being pushed at you. So here are a few of them….

Ridley: I really don’t know what it is about this video, but it’s just so creepy. The guy playing the tiger is a brilliant dancer, I’ll give him that much. I don’t know why, it’s a combination of the music, the movements he makes and also the little tail movements. Cool, but creepy. And as with all the advertisements over here, we’ve finally worked out what they’re singing (after quite a bit of debate I might add), it’s ‘Ultra Ultra Ultra-book’. The dancer is also in an advertisement that shows in the cinema here (we went to MIB 3 here, for the experience!). The ad is for discouraging illegal filming of the movies. He also dances like this but with a giant camera on his head. That too is creepy. 

Latimer: This ad makes my skin crawl; the sound, the way he moves, the setting- yuck! I feel like my soul has been violated! (He’s a brilliant dancer though!)

Ridley: PonPon girl, as I call her, is everywhere here. There are advertisements in the subways, on little trucks that trundle passed playing her music, in magazines, on TV adverts for fizzy drinks and also on shopping bags carried around by people. I think she’s mad looking, a bit like an Asian Lady GaGa.

Latimer: She’s been following us from station to station and bookshop to bookshop. Leave us be, woman! The song is catchy; but MENTAL… The video is just plain crazy- if I had epilepsy it would give me seizures.

Ridley: I’ve really grown to like this song *rocks side to side with a smile*.

Latimer: No you haven’t, it makes you sick after awhile, that’s not normal.

Ridley: Perhaps….pon pon poooon…

Latimer: Why are the Moomin’s so popular in Japan? A strange Finnish cartoon from the 80’s. Apparently, they now sell Suzuki cars in Japan! Hyaku-pa-cento (100%). That’s all I get out of it. It’s catchy; periodically I will turn to Ridley and sing; “Hyaku-pah-cent-ooh”. It has amused us; the easily amused.

Ridley: I didn’t know what the crazy Moomin witch (and Latimer) were saying for ages. Since I’ve been here, I’ve never had so many words I don’t know spoken at me, I’ve perfected the art of the half smile and non-committed nod. It will get me in trouble one day.

Latimer: There’s a One Piece movie coming out soon and so, it is EVERYWHERE in Japan at the moment. They are in every 7 eleven shop. I don’t watch it, but I am half-thinking I should, but the likelihood is slim. I can’t commit to something that epic any more. I’m not as young as I used to be. 

Ridley: Those twenty-five year old bones of yours are creaking pretty badly these days, Lat! Mwhaa. For the record, I have no intention of being sucked in by the bombardment of all the One Piece advertising, I have no time for it, not when I’m barely getting round to seeing my Bleach and Naruto episodes!

The Book Soundtrack

Latimer: So I finished Mockingjay last Friday. The fire burned swift and fierce. I totally ate that book. I started reading at 8pm and finished by 1.30am (minus aimless wandering time and tea breaks, ‘can’t talk people, Katniss has a rebellion to finish, and I can only just spare enough time to make tea!’).

Orbie only started Mockingjay on Thursday this week; and she was hard pushed to even start. The fire died in her quickly; she was very, ‘neh’ about it after she had raced through Catching Fire. I thought about it as she asked, “Is it any good? Should I bother?”

Baffled I asked, “How can you not read it after you invested all the time? In fairness, don’t you want to know what happens in the relationship?”

She shrugged, “That’s probably all I care about now.” I nodded (it was pretty much all I cared about too).

Anyway, her reading it had me thinking back over it.

It was good, the series as a whole, of course I had enjoyed it. But wasn’t the ending very lacklustre? The relationship only really ended on, “we are both broken, let’s be broken together”. The big showdown never really happened. I feel like I wouldn’t be alone in thinking that as a reader I had been let down a bit.

There weren’t any significant relationship moments that left you clutching your chest, sobbing, “beautiful, perfect”.

The ending was very rushed in the sense that; they got together, in time they healed and then everything was as good as it could have been. But, did we not deserve more of an insight? It left me disappointed, not overly so but still, disappointed.

I wonder will the movies kindle more of a relationship-fire?

Moving from on from the books; I happened upon a soundtrack. Here enter-th my other great love, music (the stories with sounds!).

I just stumbled onto it (maybe you’ve heard it before) it’s called: The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond. It’s the official companion soundtrack to the movie with songs, from various bands, relating to the Hunger Games. Now I’m not 100% sure if they wrote them especially for the movie (but some of them must have done, because they talk about ‘daddy working in the mines’ and specifically ‘mockingjay’).

The thing that caught me was I really liked the people that sung/wrote for it: The Low Anthem, Arcade Fire, Birdy and The Civil Wars! Wow, I thought, I must give this a go! Sting also did a song “Deep in the Meadow”; that’s Katniss’ song right? Sting… my god. (I don’t like it, but hey, Sting, I am impressed!)

It got me thinking about how often I ascribe a song to a specific character (book, movie TV show etc). You know when you are listening away and you start thinking, ah that’s such and such singing about this, that and the other.

Did anyone come up with any songs for the Hunger Games? I had a go (I was listening to Lana Del Rey’s album a lot; so that’s why it’s two of her songs!)-

(Katniss singing about the Games and Peeta; it works, born to die)

(Katniss after the Games- I like the ‘sweet like cinnamon part, cos it’s like a baker, Haha…)

Back to the ‘actual’ soundtrack; Taylor Swift sings a song with The Civil Wars (Safe and Sound), which is beautiful. I have never heard a Taylor Swift song before (I know nothing about her, except the following: she’s young (-er than me!), American, blonde-?, Kanye West badmouthed her at an awards do once- I think).

Her voice works so well with the country tones of The Civil Wars. I feel like they add a lot of maturity to the song because the song she sings on her own is awful (Eyes Open), very teeny; it’s so false, it hasn’t got any sense of being ‘real’ or from the heart. It’s so over-produced. It’s actually grating; it has no place with the rest of the songs.  

The Civil Wars by the way are amazing; they are just a girl and guy with a guitar (if you ever have a chance to see them live, seriously go, they are excellent). They are so in sic with each other it’s amazing; they should be together (this is how it always goes, trying to pair people off), but they are actually happily to other people *sigh*! It’s like they are unromantic, musical soul-mates; perfect harmony. This song is very sweet and lovely; it does reflect Katniss and the Games very well. Also, the song The Civil Wars sing on their own is very beautiful too (Kingdom Come).

Glen Hansard also has a song on the album; he is an Irish singer/songwriter. Who won an Academy Award for his co-written song ‘Falling Slowly’ on the film Once (it’s beautiful): and he used to be in the Irish band The Frames. He’s actually really good, but my god, his song… Take the Heartland, which people think describes Cato; is terrible, it’s just terrible! It’s a sound so unlike his usual self.

‘Come away to the water’ by Maroon 5 (which in my head I just called Macaroon 5!); is another great song. It just conjures up the images of the grim, brutal districts and the oppressive Capitol.

Arcade Fire’s song ‘Abraham’s Daughter’ has an undertone, rift in it that sounds like it was in the movie. The initial rift sounds like the Hunger Games to me (like the theme for Harry Potter is Hedwig’s theme).

But my absolute FAVOURITE song on this lovely soundtrack is ‘Lover Is Childlike’ by The Low Anthem. Oh, I love them. It’s a heart wrenching song. The tone, his voice… it’s perfect.

Sometimes I think songs are like books; you find a great one and you think you’ll never see the like again. But time passes and new ones come.

Susanne Collins is very lucky; these bands actually did songs about her world! It’s amazing; it’s a brilliant idea. The book soundtrack; brilliant! Let me know what you think of the songs! Give them a go; well worth musing over who/what they might be singing about!