Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Tomorrowland 2011

No words can describe it, really.
Think of one thing that brings you ultimate joy/euphoria and multiply it by 100. That’s how I felt walking out on the first night, and that was without the help of drugs, I didn’t need it.
As the Swedish House Mafia and their music blurred into the night, accompanied by a fabulous array of lights and fireworks, all of life’s problems were shook off. No worrying about your problems back home, no concern for any arguments you may have had with family/friends, not even the monotony of day to day life and its troubles could touch you.
It was heaven, pure unadulterated joy that only such things in life could bring. Think of the ecstasy that your football team brings you when they win a trophy or a big match. Think of the first time you had sex and that feeling you get off a girl you can’t take your eyes off. All of that rolled into one.
Not even the late night Belgian chill could dampen your enthusiasm. I was too busy having the time of my life to care. Whatever tomorrow may bring can wait until the morning. For at this moment in time, I was carefree with no burdens or responsibility and whatever came my way I was ready to face it head on.
The kind of music on offer at Tomorrowland is a funny thing. It gives you a vibe which other genres seem to lack. From techno beats to rhythmic house, with a bit of trance thrown in for good measure, they give you a feeling which is like no other.
Day two wasn’t bad either. Avicii’s set was eye-catching with popular tracks such as ‘Levels’ ‘My feelings for you’ and ‘Seek Bromance’ alongside remixes such as Armin van Buuren’s ‘Drowning’ to the delight of the crowd. Meanwhile, Hardwell in the Versuz tent brought his own sound and raw energy with ‘Encoded’ being one of the main highlights of his set.
The night was topped off by Tiesto on the main stage which was an experience in itself. It may have been raining but that didn’t matter. The sounds of ‘Adagio for Strings’ and ‘Silence’ more than made up for that and the large crowd at the mystical main stage seemed to agree.
So to the final day of a weekend I didn’t want to end. Instead of ending on a damp squib the party went on with Laidback Luke setting the tone for the night ahead. In a set which included ‘What happens in Vegas’, Chuckie perfectly set the tone before David Guetta appeared.
Although he may be loved by some and hated by others, the French house and electro artist always puts on a spectacular show and at Tomorrowland it was no different.
On a personal note the festival ended in the Versuz tent and in the company of Steve Angello. Despite having already seen him as part of the Swedish House Mafia the opportunity to see him perform solo was one not to be missed, and he certainly didn’t disappoint.
As the party ended and it was time to leave, there was a tinge of sadness for leaving behind a weekend I’ll never forget. In what was a trip into the unknown I enjoyed every minute of the ride and cannot wait to return in the future. Yesterday is history, today is a gift, tomorrow is mystery.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Roy off and The Return of The King

What a crazy week to be a Liverpool fan!

From another humiliating defeat at Blackburn, to seeing Roy Hodgson finally being put out of his misery, and then for King Kenny to step into the breach it really has been something else.

Ok so we lost at Man United on Sunday, but at least we have a man in charge who knows how to win and restore pride back into a Liverpool side who had clearly lost their way under the last regime. Now while it is easy to blame Mr Hodgson, the players have to shoulder some of the blame for what has gone on the first half of the season so it is now up to them to perform under the greatest of them all. Because if they can't get fired up for him, then surely they have no chance at all.

Anyway I'm gonna leave you with two articles I have written just to contrast the moods that I, and many other Liverpool fans were feeling at different points in the past week. Enjoy.

Time To Go
The Christmas and New Year period has been anything but festive for anyone connected for Liverpool Football Club. Postponed matches and demoralising defeats at home to Wolves, and then Blackburn last night, have left the reds just four points above the drop zone and with a goal difference of -3.

From title challengers to mid-table mediocrity in just two years, Liverpool have fallen quicker than any other club in the Premier League. But where does the blame lie?

From American owners who promised so much then delivered £350 million worth of debt, to former manager Rafael Benitez, many fans believe the blame lies at the feet of current boss Roy Hodgson.

While many aspects of the media deem this to be unfair on a man who took Fulham to the Europa League Final last season, the evidence is recriminating to say the least. Not only has he been at odds with the fans over their ‘small noise’ with regards to the protests at ex-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, he strangely claimed that defeat to local rivals Everton in October was the best he had seen his team play all season.

In addition to this Hodgson’s style of football and lack of wins away from home, (just one all season and 5 points from a possible 30 gained) has not gone down well with the Kop. So much that ironic chants of ‘Hodgson for England’ could be heard from the Liverpool fans last week, as well as last night at Ewood Park.
But it’s important that the players shouldn’t be absolved from any blame. They too have played a part in what has been an awful campaign for everyone connected with the reds. The likes of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard have been pale shadows of their former selves.

If Hodgson thought his situation was to get any easier in the meantime, he is sadly mistaken. On Sunday his beleaguered side face old enemies Manchester United in the 3rd round of The FA Cup. Normally Liverpool fans would be anticipating such a contest and hoping for a win, but such is their current predicament that is anything but the case.

Regardless of whatever happens on Sunday it is clear that Hodgson is not the right man for the job. The longer he remains in charge, the more likely Liverpool’s nightmare season will continue. 

Long live The King
On Saturday 8th January 2011, Roy Hodgson’s brief and disappointing tenure as Liverpool manager came to an end.

For many reds fans, this day couldn’t have come quick enough, even if it was on the eve of the biggest match of the season so far, an FA Cup 3rd Round tie away at Manchester United. So who would be willing to take over the reins and be faced with the unenviable task of trying to revive Liverpool’s fortunes? Step forward none other than Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish, or ‘King Kenny’ to those on the Kop.

Ok, maybe you should never go back and Kevin Keegan’s second spell in charge proved this theory correct. But Dalglish is something special and to those who worship him, the greatest player in the club’s history surely has nothing to lose?

Regardless of what happens between now and the end of the season, his stock will not fall to such an extent that fans will turn against him considering the part he has played in the club’s greatest period during the 1970’s and 1980’s. In addition to this, his family’s role as chief councillors to fans in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster will never be forgotten and just one of the many reasons why there will simply no greater servant to the club (besides Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley of course).

Despite Sunday’s result at Old Trafford, there is a renewed optimism amongst the ranks and the belief that Liverpool can turn their season around starting on Wednesday at Blackpool. Victory against Ian Holloway’s men would go some way to restoring confidence before a showdown against local rivals Everton this weekend where the atmosphere inside Anfield will surely be at its best for Dalglish’s first home game back in charge.

Liverpool may have lost on Sunday, but hopefully a bigger victory will be gained in the renaissance of a club who once dominated English football. The road ahead may be bumpy, but long-term stabilisation will surely be gained with ‘The King’ reigning from his Anfield throne.

Anyway hope them articles gave you an insight into the mind of a Liverpool fan. One last thing, we might have lost on Sunday but I am proud to say that I was part of our away end on Sunday. A few incidents aside, we were a credit to our team and for once supported them fully to the end, singing our hearts out along the way. The result might have put a dampner on proceedings but it felt good going on another awayday once again.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snow and Christmas shopping- a deadly winter cocktail

Is it just me or is the snow a massive pain in the arse?

Don't get me wrong I love a good snowball fight and that, but honestly when it gets in the way of a weekend's worth of football and a day off work, it leaves you with no choice but to be dragged around town walking through the slush and crowds of angry shoppers. Then you know you've hit a low-point in life when it comes to that.

But why as a country are we so inept when it comes to snow? As mentioned in my first blog post, surely we would have learnt by now how to cope with weather like this and maybe then everything and everyone wouldn't be as affected as they are right now. Queue an entire nation panicking over whether that Christmas jumper knitted for their ungrateful nephew, or that card with a measly fiver inside will get to their precious loved ones on time. The same loved ones that they only see 3/4 times a year if they can be arsed.

As for the football, well it's safe to say that Mr Roy Hodgson is walking on very thin ice at this moment in time (to use a weather-related pun, who'd have thought it?) Not only did he lose once again on the road at Newcastle last week (the same side who Liverpool beat 5-1 on their last visit) but he also oversaw an uninspiring performance against Utrecht on a night when the kids of Liverpool were let in free of charge. Another charge to add to the already long list of crimes he has committed since becoming Liverpool manager was to say that Torres would play, only to turn back on his word later due to 'listening to his medical staff.'

So not only did he mislead the fans into turning up for an apparent purpose (especially those who probably won't be able to attend another game due to the cost of tickets) but he also ensured that the game lacked any real presence. Instead we were left with the inept Milan Jovanovic and an out of sorts Joe Cole to watch who have both hardly set hearts racing since arriving in the summer. So it may have been rather fortunate for Hodgson (but not for fans) that the snow put paid to any action at Anfield this weekend. Another poor result and surely the knives would be sharpened ever so more for the beleagured boss.

As for Carol Konchesky? Next time be careful where you air your views about 'scouse scum' Let's face it, your son is a shit left back and he was and never will be a Liverpool player. Truth hurts.

Monday, 13 December 2010

The X Factor finishing- So what?

As the title may suggest, I won't be sad to see the back of The X Factor for another year. How people can get so worked up over this show never ceases to amaze me and watching the final last night in a mate's house confirmed this.

For starters, it is possibly one of the biggest moneymaking schemes that Simon Cowell has ever created and the evil genius is the real winner out of it all. Secondly, the winner (sorry, Cowell again) is practically guaranteed the Christmas number 1 except for last year when a facebook campaign got Rage Against The Machine to number 1 instead of whoever won it last year (Joe whatshisface?) Another point is that the show is just manufactured pop shite and is not a patch on any of the musicians whose songs they have copied off and performed to a shocking standard. Examples include the cover they have done of Heroes, a classic of the genius that is David Bowie. Now while it may be for a good cause (Help for Heroes which I support wholeheartedly) they could at least come up with songs of their own if it's a talent show and all about earning a record contract.

Don't get me wrong, I listened to Rebecca last night and thought she was as good as what people made her out to be (forget the fact she's from Liverpool she has a really great voice). But the thing that annoys me is that people with a natural have to go on shows like this just to get noticed. I'm sure there are better unsigned acts out there who are just as good as anyone who has took part this year yet won't get their big break unlike those who have been given a helping hand courtesy of Simon Cowell and his moneymaking machine.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

FIFA Fiasco, a shocker of a week and all night library sessions

Well another week in the life of a young scouser has seen more downs than ups but before I tug at the heart strings I'll quickly move on! While this week hasn't been the greatest it's fair to say that life hasn't stopped and despite a little bit of snow and ice it's been business as usual for the Kemlyn lad. Once again uni and work have been on the agenda and the Christmas season is well under away judging by the crowds of people I've noticed on Church Street this week.

But this blog wouldn't be worth a read if I didn't mention the farce that was the 2018/2022 World Cup voting process. Only the rose-tinted among us truly believed that England would win and despite the best efforts of David Beckham, Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron (does he even like football?) the bid fell flat on its face dspite alleged promises from FIFA members that they could count on their vote. Instead, Russia and Qatar (a country smaller than Wales) won the right to host the World Cup and left a country wondering where the blame lay.

Some have decided that the BBC should be held accountable but it's not their fault if they feel they have a right to let the public know just who the FA were dealing with. But any clued up football fan would already have known that FIFA was corrupt and if England were to have had any chance, then brown envelopes were a must, never mind the approval ratings our bid was given.

So on a significant day for English football where was I? The library. Oh yes, the most soul destroying place a student can spend during their time in university. While your average student was out downing cheap shots and warm lager, or in bed, I and a few others were in the library frantically trying to finish essays that were due in before Christmas. A session that lasted 12 hours (yes that long) and coming home at 8:15 the next morning, my work was finally done and an essay that talked about media ownership finished and waiting to be analysed and picked apart by lecturers whose voices sound so boring, that I would much prefer to listen to the bizarre array of buskers/performers on Church Street of a weekend any day.

But what possessed me to spend so long in the library? God knows. At least I got the work out the way but what shocked me was the amount of people still there at around midnight/1 am. And I thought students were all lazy, no work and cheap nights out...

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Greetings, Tottenham away and the cold weather.

I guess I should start off with a welcome to the blog! I'll try and make it as interesting as possible and give my view on what's going on in the world of football, Liverpool FC and also current world affairs. Plus there'll be an insight into the not so interesting life that I lead!

Well I suppose the past week hasn't been too bad seeing as I celebrated another birthday and enjoyed a night out with my friends. The next day saw me travel down (without any sleep) to the big smoke to see the reds take on Tottenham and while we lost 2-1 it wasn't a bad day despite the result. A trip down south is normally one us northerners (particularly scousers) look forward to with anticipation, but with a day off work and a few drinks consumed it wasn't too bad I suppose.

As for the match itself, Liverpool were unfortunate not to grab all 3 points but that's what happens when you don't take your chances. On the plus side however, it was probably our best away performance to date and showed what might happen if Roy Hodgson decided to send his team out to attack more often. But in the end, Aaron Lennon's late winner ensured that my first trip to White Hart Lane ended in defeat and if that wasn't enough, then Jamie Carragher's injury, plus Noel Gallagher deciding to draw us away to Man United in the third round of the FA Cup ensured that our Sunday night ended on a low note. But that's football for you I suppose.

On a final note, this cold weather we're currently experiencing. Yes it is a pain and it may require a few extra layers of clothing, but for god's sake is there any need in all the moaning? Countries like Russia experience this in far worser conditions and somehow get on with it. Why can't we? And also, why is it that the country comes to a standstill when a bit of snow and ice hits? Not only do you have football games postponed, but also everyday stuff like parcel deliveries are affected and people can't get to work. We are completely inadequate when it comes to dealing with extreme weather and don't be surprised if we run out of grit soon!

Anyway that's enough ramblings for now. Hope you enjoyed my first blog and any comments are welcome. Until next time!