Friday, 21 September 2018

Flash - A Tribute To Queen


Anyone that knows me will know how much I love music. It's my happy place, my therapy, the thing that makes me feel alive, and something that I can still enjoy as much as I can despite suffering from anxiety. Which means when I come across something new that I like, my enthusiasm is probably all too obvious, as it was this summer when I went to see Flash - A Tribute To Queen perform at Chelmsford's Fake Festival.

I grew up on many of the Queen songs they perform, so nostalgia was always going to be a factor, although for me, with a tribute, that can only take you so far. Beyond this I could see and hear musical skill, vocal ability, and charisma. This is why you go and see a good tribute act, this is why a good tribute act works, and this is why I hope to be able to see lots more of Flash in the future.

I can only judge on what I have seen and heard so far, but these guys come across as absolute pro's, and a strong unit that work together well on-stage. They respect the songs they are performing, but you can hear little touches of them in there too. They interact with the crowd, and they make a lot of them smile.



I've heard some of the classic Queen songs live before, sung by covers artists, but hearing them performed by a pro tribute act is a whole different level of good. I even felt a tiny bit emotive at watching a Youtube video of 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives' live.

Claudio is the frontman who entertains, bursting on stage with energy and charisma, sneaking a go on the other's instruments like an excited kid entering a music shop for the first time, doing it all without the cocky attitude of some performers I have seen on TV recently.

Someone described them on social media as just a sing-along with Freddie style show - well yes, if you are there, and you have a frontman adept at working the crowd, how are you not going to respond to that! You can't please everyone, but those that listen to the detail know why Flash work, and many smiling faces this year lay testament to that.

If you're a fan of Queen, British Rock, or just want to experience a new tribute act for yourself, then check out Flash - A Tribute To Queen. Normal service will be resumed shortly, I just wanted to end the summer getting something musical out of my system.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Pink Parcel Subscription Box - May 2018 - Review

Hi everyone,

I am a member of a free stuff group on Facebook and recently they posted up an offer where you could trial a Pink Parcel box for £1. I thought it would be something different to order and review for you all, and this box was the May 2018 version, I realise this is a tad late going up, but I think it's still worth giving you an idea of what to expect.

What Is Pink Parcel?



This is a period subscription box, and when you subscribe you receive a pile of sanitary wear and some treats to see you through the monthly woes. The different pricing options normally are:

£12.99 a month - free delivery, cancel anytime.
£35.97 for 3 months - free delivery, one off payment, save £1 a month.
£64.95 for 6 months - free delivery, 1 month free, VIP extras, one off payment.
£129.90 for 12 months - free delivery, 2 months free, birthday treat, one off payment, VIP extras.

When you order you get to choose whether you'd like to be sent tampons, towels or a mix of both, and the date you'd like the box by (supposed to be near your period time).

Ordering Process

It was very quick and easy to sign-up to the site, look at details of previous boxes, and use my trial offer. I chose for the box to arrive on the 20th May, and it said on the site that it would be a letterbox sized box that would arrive.



First Impressions

It's worth noting that dates are probably not guaranteed if you order this box regularly. I saw reports of people getting boxes early, late, and some were still waiting and getting impatient. If there is demand, it might be worth choosing a date a while before you need, or order at the end of the month for use the next month.

The branding, design, and outer envelope is very subtle, which I liked, although the box was bigger than expected, and there was no way it was going to fit through the letterbox, and as my point above, my box arrived 4 days late.

The Contents



I've got to be honest it's hard to get that excited over sanitary ware, though I like the fact they included your choice of item, along with some extra pads and towels, so I think you'd have enough to see you through a cycle, though maybe needed a few more pads.

I love the idea of the little fabric pouch to put your stash in if you're going out and about or are away. I'd never thought of that before, but it's so subtle and convenient.

The 'for you' treat box is where the real novelty factor comes in and for the most part I was happy. A nice addition, though not too my taste were the chai latte sachet and the chocolate, but that was just taste, on the less impressive front was the sachet of Optiat facemask! Stingy is putting it mildly - I threw it out the box in mild disgust, you can feel there is barely any product in there - really don't see the point if you don't even get one full application over your whole face.

On the good side I love the eye pencil, and it's in one of my favourite make-up colours. It will go really well with the eyeshadows I have. I was surprised to find I also liked the scent of the orange juice hand cream from Naobay, and am interested to use the soap and body cleanser.

There was good variety in the treat box, but I could buy more sanitary products for cheaper, and despite proclaiming the box contained product over £40, I don't think some of the samples would be worth the cost of a full price box, they were just too small.

If there are offers on to try a box, then I'd definitely try it out, and you're sure to find some treats, but it's not something I would subscribe too.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Book Review - Wartime At Woolworths, Elaine Everest

Heat waves are wonderful things for helping you relax, switch off, and really lose yourself in a book, and that has basically been me recently, as I read, in record time for me, the latest instalment in the Woolworth's Girls series. Unfortunately I then got writers block when writing a review, so this has taken a while to get up, so sorry guys, but here is my thoughts.

Wartime At Woolworths picks up the action in 1943, with war still raging around the lives of the friends and family in Erith. The blurb on the back declares that the Woolworths Girls 'face their biggest challenge yet' and that certainly seems true.


The reality of wartime is that you never knew what was around the corner, and you can live life in fear of death and destruction. There's an unpredictability about it, but it takes a skilled writer to accurately portray that on the page and give the reader no sense of when something will happen and to who, and that's just what Elaine Everest did. She captured the mood perfectly and kept me engaged with no idea of what would happen next.

I also enjoyed the fact she had gradually built up insight into what life was like in the time period over this series of books, and here she adds details of day to day life in wartime. Grey bread, the sourcing of luxuries, re-using and making clothes, and above all the escapism that a trip to the cinema brings, were all covered throughout the book, this was a story where the small details were noticed.

Small details included the fact that someone could send a letter in the morning announcing their impending arrival, and have the letter arrive before they did, that same day. Not ashamed to say I was a bit mind blown by that idea, and how quick/different the postal must've been back then.

The characters and their attitudes to life back then bought some of comedy moments to life, including when Ruby, attending a wedding tells the newly arrived Alan "I'll join you when I've seen that Gwyneth's parents are settled. They're pretty decent folk considering their teetotal". I was equally laughing, and feeling like I'd stepped into an alternate universe.

Christmas Time At Woolworths didn't quite meet my expectations, but Wartime At Woolworths far exceeded them. Well done and I look forward to seeing what you write next.



Have you read this or any of the other Woolworths Girls books? why not tweet Elaine and let her know what you think. Her handle is @ElaineEverest.

Thank you to Ed Public Relations for gifting me this book to review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Fake Festival Chelmsford - 7th July 2018

Saturday 7th July was a day of new things. It was the first time Fake Festivals had bought their touring tribute band festival to Chelmsford, and the first time I had been to one of their events. I'd bought an early bird ticket as soon as they went on sale - partly because I love day into evening events (never been one for clubbing until 2am) and I wanted to try something new. The other big draw was Flash- A Tribute To Queen, were performing.

I've not spoken much about the music I've grown up with on here before, but Queen definitely featured and I was pretty excited to hear a tribute to them for the first time.


The event ran from midday to 11pm - 6 bands with roughly 1hr 15 minutes each, and 30 minutes break in-between to reset. The festival area included a fenced off outside area with food vendors, glitter face painters (should've done that!), and some children's inflatables/play activities. The main festival tent had a fast serving bar at one end and the stage with full lighting set-up at the other.

I wasn't going to miss the football, and knew my festival stamina wouldn't last all day, especially as it was VERY hot and humid, so arrived ready for some live music just before the 4th act went on-stage. Sadly the night didn't go entirely to plan, as despite being well rested and hydrated I think the heat and bad sleep caught up with me. I didn't get to enjoy as much of the event as I'd like, in the way I'd like, but I am still very glad I went.

PRO'S:


A quick and easy ticket scan and security check, friendly staff, a good amount of outside space, and good quality sound, light and stage set-up. Although I didn't get to see as much of the event as I wanted, I still think the ticket price of £22.50 was pretty good value for 6 bands all doing just over an hours set, and the quality of the set-up.

Timetables were available beforehand as well so you knew exactly what to expect.

I wasn't too sure what the atmosphere would be like, especially after the football, but although a few people looked a bit worse for wear it stayed friendly. There were good age range of people there which was nice to see, and should be repeated more in Chelmsford.

CON'S:

The access to water wasn't ideal - there were no water standpipes you could fill your own bottle up from, drinking water at the bar came in a cup - not very practical in a crowd full of people wanting to jump around a bit, and the vendors outside were selling bottles for different prices outside. You also could only take in your own bottle on first entry. I think this could be improved for future events, especially when it's so hot.

Although I never felt squashed or too crowded in, it was a very hot day and there needed to be more ventilation in the tent. They should have fenced off all the event area so they could take the sides of the tent down and get some cooler air in. I think this, and previous tiredness, just caught up with me a bit and I decided to leave - during the band I really wanted to see.

But let's talk about the music, I know from other's experiences the quality of tribute acts can vary, A LOT at gigs, but what I saw and heard from Guns 2 Roses and Flash was outstanding. Guns 2 Roses did a good mix of full on rock and rock ballads, some songs I'd even forgotten were Guns and Roses and that I liked!

Flash - Queen Tribute Band
It was definitely a moment when Flash literally bounced on to the stage with the opening bars of One Vision. What an amazing feeling to hear that song live, and this was swiftly followed by A Kind Of Magic, and Those Were The Days Of Our Lives also featured in the set. It was during their set I went home, but the musicianship and atmosphere they created was great, and Italian frontman Claudio Desideri as Freddie was a find!! a bit of a lookalike, and a whole lot of voice!

Two parts of two band sets wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I bought my Fake Festival ticket, but I still made some memories, tried something new, despite some anxiety and the heat. I would be more than happy to see either band again. Would I try another Fake Festival again? For sure, just be nice if it wasn't so crazy hot.

Find out more on the links below:
Fake Festivals
Flash- A Queen Tribute
Guns 2 Roses

ALSO I have a video of Flash performing 'One Vision' on my Youtube Channel, please do check it out, and there's some more photo's over on Instagram.

Popular Post:

Flash - A Tribute To Queen