Tuesday, 28 October 2014

7 boybands and me.

On Monday I went to the Big Reunion Boyband Tour in Cardiff, one of the concerts I've been most excited about all year!! Featuring 90's faves a1, 911, Blue, Damage, 3T, Five and Fifth Story (made up of Dane Bowers, Kavana, Gareth Gates, Kenzie and Adam Rickitt), it was a chance for me to completely re-live my childhood! I was most excited about seeing a1, as they were part of the first concert I ever went to at eight years old and I haven't seen them live for over 15 years!

Me and mum were lucky to have VIP tickets which included a meet and greet with the acts, which was an overwhelmingly brilliant experience. There was no guarantee who would be there but on the whole I was ecstatic! As we entered the room we were greeted by a signing table with eleven band members which was both bizarre and a dream come true! We met Lee and Antony from Blue, Jimmy from 911,  Taj from 3T, Sean, Scott and Ritchie from Five, Ben and Christian from a1 and Andrez and Rahsaan from Damage. 

I managed to ramble to every single band member on the table, to the point where Andrez thought I'd been on the wine before coming....! ("Nooo I'm just excited omg!!!!!"). The most I managed to ramble was to Ben and Christian from a1, and I barely stopped for breath as I explained that I'd waited 15 years to meet them and that they were at the first concert I ever went to and that when Ben had a solo career I won a stereo signed by him on CBBC (yes, I felt the need to tell them all of this, they were very very lovely in return so it's fine haha!)

As we went round the corner to the picture area I was praying that Mark from a1 would be there as he is my favourite member, to my elation he was! The picture section was a but of a blur as I was so intent on getting to Mark! I quickly hugged Duncan from Blue before pointing that I was going to the end of the line (accidentally walked past Simon from Blue as well as everyone in the middle, of whom I wasn't even certain had been there until I looked back at the picture haha!). As soon as I got to Mark, I hugged him and just said "I've waited 15 years for this" and some of the other lads were making a fuss haha, Mark was so sweet and made room for me next to him in the picture. At that point, TJ Jackson was stroking my back to calm me down because I was so hyped, AN ACTUAL JACKSON I JUST :O I also hugged Lee from 911 on the way out (nearly missed him as he is literally TINY and I was so flustered haha).

(Simon and Duncan from Blue, Taryll from 3T, Noel and Jade from Damage, Mark from a1, TJ from 3T and Lee from 911).

After having food it was time for the gig and we had front row seats for it! I was so excited for it and I wasn't disappointed at all! 

a1 opened the show, singing Take On Me and Caught in the Middle. They were incredible, busting some boyband moves and I got stage love from the boys which made me happy! I really hope that they will do their own tour as they really are phenomenal!

Five, now a three piece, went down well despite another member leaving this year. All their old classics got the crowd going!

911 are one of my favourites to watch purely because it amazes me how agile Spike and Jimmy still are haha, I wasn't particularly a fan when I was younger but Bodyshakin' is my favourite!

3T had one of the best receptions all night, no surprise considering they are the nephews of the late great Michael Jackson. I wasn't very familiar with their music but it got me very emotional, especially when they played a tribute to Michael on the screen.

(photo by @helz999)

Damage were really good, but again I wasn't particularly familiar with their music as I wasn't really a fan when I was a kid but nonetheless they were amazing!

Blue were incredible as always, such good showmen! It really made me crave for another tour, as their solo tour last year was one of the best shows I've seen!

(Photo by @helz999)

Last but not least, Fifth Story. They were one of my highlights as they performed the most notable song of each member's career. They sang Freak Me by Dane, which is one of my favourite songs and his voice was so on point! Kavana did I Can Make You Feel Good which got everyone going, whilst Kenzie did a medley of Flip Reverse and Crossroads which made my inner 12 year old come out as Blazin Squad were one of my original faves back in the day! The best crowd reaction went to Adam's Breathe Again, everyone went mental! Gareth got the honour of closing the show with Spirit in the Sky which was brilliant.

(Kenzie and Dane, two of my faves!)

I wish I could relive the night as it made me so happy! Going to gigs always puts a smile on my face but this was something else - 90's music was so different to now but never gets old and always gives you that feel good factor!

Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Sunday, 19 October 2014


A week ago I went to the latest Kingsland Social in Birmingham! 4 hours of bingo, quizzes, selfies and laughs awaited us as I got to be reunited with my little sis Em as well as Char, Chuns and lots of the other klanders.

(My beautiful little sis, I was supposed to be looking after her yet left her stranded at the train station for over half an hour oops!!)

(The fabulous Char, I ship Cosh loads ;) oh yessss)

First thing we did was take part in a quiz about the boys. We teamed up with four other klanders and named ourselves "Thompson's Topknot" haha! Some of the questions were soooo difficult, for example name all 7 people that have been tour managers for them (we managed 5).  The only section we did really well in was the picture round but we had a great laugh working together to try and answer the questions and waited for the results.

(Team selfie whilst we waited for Josh)

They were naming the teams in reverse order and they got to first place and our name still hadn't been called out. We genuinely thought they'd lost our paper but it turns out that we won!! I was proper buzzing because I thought we'd done crap - Josh came over and gave us our prize of Kingsland t-shirts and a massive ball of Lindt chocolates.

After several games of bingo it was time to meet the boys again. We made Josh blush by complimenting him on how good he smells and by stroking his beard haha.

Thomps was his usual self and I had the opportunity to test out my new camera!

(I asked for a cute photo and he succeeded)

Matt was a cutie and it's always my favourite thing seeing him and Emily together #memily ;) 

(Selfie king woop!)

(I had to include a Memily pic, two of my favourite people ever - how I wish I could get adorable pictures like this with my faves!!!)

Jay was totally adorable, his hugs are always my fave as he sways from side to side. He was pleased we won the quiz and wasn't surprised apparently haha!

It was then time for group pictures and half of team Topknot went together :) Jay made a comment to me whilst we waited which made me laugh, it's surprising the things band members pick up on...!

Unfortunately I didn't get to see Connor much as he spent half the time on the karaoke machine but I got a lovely cwtch after our group picture.

Sadly it was time for Em to go, and me and mum left early too as we had to head back to London as we were seeing Daughtry in Camden, Char came on the train with us too. We had such a fun afternoon and laughed ridiculous amounts, who knew people and telephone calls could be so funny? ;) gutted that I won't get to see Em until December now at our annual stalk session aka Clothes Show Live haha, and it's been so good to see the boys with Char the past few times!

(One of my favourite people in existence aw)

As I write this, I'm currently buzzing for the Big Reunion Boyband Tour - I have front row meet and greet tickets for tomorrow's show in Cardiff!!! Can't wait to relive my childhood, it's going to be brilliant! :)

Hwyl am y tro ✌️

Sunday, 12 October 2014

X Factor Live Show!

Yesterday I was one of the lucky audience members for the first live show of this year's X Factor! We had originally applied for these special rehearsal/front of stage tickets but after queuing for over 5 hours on the day it turns out the producers were ageist AND sexist, only allowing a handful of girls between 16-21 to go in! The rest of us got lumbered with "priority" entry into the live show instead which equated to seats near the back but at that point I was just glad to be inside.

We've been to see the live shows twice before, both times being to support Kingsland last year. This time we were sat behind the friends and family of the contestants and it was nice to be able to watch without having a particular favourite!

Around 7:15, Roycey (the warm up man for all the big ITV audience shows) came and gave us some practice for the 2 and a half hour clap-a-thon ahead of us, and told us we'd need to stand during all the performances etc. At 7:30 we went live to approximately 11 million people, and what an experience it was! Seeing the judges walk in was amazing, I felt a bit starstruck to be sat in the same room as Simon Cowell to be honest!!!

Then it was time for the contestants! There are 16 in total this year, the 12 original contestants plus 4 wildcards chosen for the judges by another judge.  Simon has the overs this year, Cheryl with the girls, Mel B with the boys and Louis with the groups.

Paul Akister

Paul opened the show with a brilliant performance of Ella Henderson's Ghost. He got a no from Louis at judges houses last year and the judges most definitely played on this element this year. He definitely deserves his place in the competition and his confidence has grown - it was a big deal to open the show last night, I just hope people won't forget about him following the other 15 performances.

Lola Saunders

Lola was a wildcard for Cheryl's category as chosen by Louis. She did a good performance of Sam Smith's Stay With Me and only really received criticism for her outfit!

Overload Generation

Formally Overload, these boys were Louis' wildcard as chosen by Mel B. Unfortunately their performance of Katy Perry's I Kissed A Girl fell a bit flat, no doubt down to nerves and the pressure of being the wildcard, considering that they have direct competition in their category with the eight piece boyband. However they were spurred on by a great crowd reaction, lots of screaming fangirls were sat around me and having seen them at events such as Soccer Six in the past, I know how popular they are. They also have a brilliant social media presence and I have no doubt that their fanbase will carry them through to next week where they'll need to prove themselves. 

Jay James

Simon's first over to perform was Welshman Jay James who delivered a brilliant performance of Sigma's Changing, completely different to the songs he's done in previous rounds. I thought he was brilliant and took a risk by performing something out of his comfort zone.

Stephanie Nala

Stephanie, of former Luminites fame, delivered an alternative performance of the old Bread song 'Everything I Own'. Whilst she has a distinctive voice, she lacked a certain something, and I agree with the judges comments that she would probably be happier in a group of some sort - having spent a lot of time in a group previously, it must be so strange for her to be a solo artist.

Jack Walton

Jack was chosen as Mel's wildcard by Simon, of which she was thrilled about as he is a local lad therefore has a close bond to him. He performed a version of Rihanna's Only Girl In The World. I don't really remember much of him from previous shows but he delivered a great performance, I just worry that he's not as well known as some of the other contestants which could have an effect on voting.

Chloe Jasmine

Chloe performed a jazz version of Toxic by Britney Spears which is exactly what I expected to be honest. She is not everyone's cup of tea, and is most certainly not mine however she may appeal to some people. 

Stereo Kicks

The newly named eight piece boyband were the second to perform a Katy Perry song, this time Roar. I think they delivered a fantastic performance and as expected, they trod all over Overload unfortunately!! I think they'll be in it for the long run, a few of the boys already have massive fanbases and together with the other members I think they'll most definitely prove to be popular and stay in until the finals!

Stevi Ritchie

The final wildcard, as chosen by Cheryl for Simon, added some light relief during the show. His performance of Living La Vida Loca got the crowd moving and possibly gasping in horror as he stripped his shirt open in the end haha. Definitely not a serious contender but he's a nice man and is entertaining, the crowd went mad for him!

Lauren Platt

Lauren delivered a slowed down version of Pharrell's Happy which was good - I think she was the best in the girl category and is sure to be in the competition for a while.

Blonde Electra

These madcap sisters covered Kids in America and I can only describe it as somebody throwing up rainbows in terms of being the most colourful set of the evening. The long haired sister has a decent voice but they really shouldn't be in the show in my opinion (definitely took the place of an act far more deserving *cough Concept*)

Ben Haenow

Ben delivered one of the most standout performances of the night, singing Bridge Over Troubled Water. He has such a gravelly voice, it's so nice. He comes across as a genuine person too and I hope he'll stay in for a long time!

Jake Quickenden

Another former contestant that returned following rejection at judges houses two years ago, Jake did a solid performance of Robbie Williams' She's The One. He is good but I wasn't particularly impressed by the performance, I know he can give more. Hopefully he'll be in next week to give the emotional performance I know he can deliver. He's such a nice guy, having met him a few times before, he deserves to go far.

Fleur East

Fleur's been pretty quiet on the show until her judges houses performance last week, although I remember when she reached the lives years ago with her band Addictiv Ladies.  She performed All About The Bass which received rave reviews from the judges however she received the least reaction from the audience - most people were just sat still during her performance. I'm not sure how she will fare during the public vote if I'm honest!

Only The Young

OTY performed a mashup of Jailhouse Rock and Twist and Shout. I didn't think much of them, having seen them perform in Wembley Stadium at Summertime Ball I already had a formed opinion as I didn't like them there and unfortunately they didn't prove me wrong last night either. However, they are another act that I'm sure will be in it for the long run. They have a very supportive fanbase and will be very popular, unfortunately just not my cup of tea!

Andrea Faustini

The final act was Italian man bear/pug man Andrea and quite frankly he blew everyone else out of the water with an epic performance of Michael Jackson's Earth Song. He received rave reviews and by far the best audience reaction. I 100% believe he will be in the final and I'd even put money on him being the winner!

It was a long but great night, I'm sure all the acts felt a sigh of relief getting the first show out of the way however they now have to face a double elimination tonight! I would say that the ones in trouble could be Blonde Electra and Stephanie however this is the X Factor, literally ANYTHING could happen!!

Hwyl am y tro ✌️
(Pictures courtesy of @TheXFactor twitter)