The Nectar of Pain / Najwa Zebian (2016)

It took me a while to realise what’s written in the pages of this book, and it’ll probably take even longer to actually put it into action. But there’s plenty of time.

I’d been feeling used by a lot of people in my life for a long time, feeling like they only wanted me for one thing. There’s no quick fix to heartbreak or sadness over failed friendships and relationships, but day by day, I feel i’m closer to finding the me I lost. I started feeling better when i realised i’m worthy of something better and more satisfying. I cried less when I realised i’m not disposable, in odds against how others made me feel (even if they didn’t intend to make me feel so low about myself).

It’s a shame when you have to let go of things that once made you happy, but in the most selfless act, if it no longer makes you feel good, you should start putting yourself first.

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home for a year


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Interview: Sea Girls

Image: Patrick Gunning

I spoke to Sea Girls ahead of their gig at Leadmill on 12 October.

Your latest single ‘All I Want To Hear You Say’ is an instant hit, what was the story behind it and the writing process?

It’s about respecting yourself and not defining yourself in relation to others. Everyone is a person in their own right and should treat themselves as such. Like all of our songs, it’s very personal, but we wanted to put this massive sound on it, so we went full throttle chucking everything at it.

With the positive reaction to the Adored EP released back in August, can fans expect more material soon or news of a possible album?

Yes, there’ll definitely be more songs soon. We’re playing a few new ones on our UK October tour so you can expect to hear some of them.

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Live: The Blinders

Image: Alan Wells

With the recent release of their debut album Columbia, three-piece alternative group The Blinders performed a seismic set at Sheffield’s HMV.

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mental health matters

image featured above:  sunbeams in padley gorge

木漏れ日 – komorebi

‘the interplay between light and leaves when sunlight shines through trees.’

Since Mental Health Awareness Week is coming up (14th – 20th May 2018), I reckoned this post would be fitting. I’m not an expert, I don’t think anyone fully is, but I find when people talk from experience it can be so useful. Discussing mental health, with its magnitude and variations can be daunting. Some people who experience mental instability find talking useless or unnecessary, for others, it’s what will save them in the end. Dealing with childhood trauma, it’s always been an area I found hard to come to terms with. Probably because it made me feel different to everyone else or ashamed, as I never wanted to admit I had these horribly sad feelings when people said I seemed happy. Perhaps it’s a cliché statement, and even though my problems are unique, so many feel similar things. So having this awareness can potentially help others feel more at ease. Equally, it may not help, and that’s what we also need to understand: the complexity of mental health. While it’s encouraged to speak out about your worries, it can be very triggering for some, if not exhausting, to replay and repeat issues that inflict pain or remind you of a dark place you’re ultimately trying to escape from. So with that in mind, we need to allow people to be ready and not force it upon them.

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Dream Wife bring power-punk to their support slot at the O2 Academy.

image: Dream Wife, Joanna Kiely

The glam grunge trio won over The Vaccines crowd with a short but meaningful selection of compelling tracks.

The London-based British-Icelandic group, formed as part of a ‘fake girl band’ art project in Brighton in 2014. The trio soon got booked for gigs after the popularity of their mockumentary ‘Spinal Tap’ and their mesmeric public performance at a gallery exhibition for their project finale. After writing a few more songs, and touring more profusely, even reaching Canada, their fantasy became a reality and they were signed to Enfer Records in 2015.

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The Vellas rock Café Totem as they kick start their journey in a new direction

image: The Vellas, Stephen Harrison

Sheffield’s Indie four piece, The Vellas, comprised of Daniel Harbey (Vocals and Guitar), Ethan Grzesiek (Bass), Jack Motley (Guitar), and now Chris Hardy (Drums), [previously Alex Wood] have a sound similar to iconic bands such as Joy Division and The Strokes.

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image: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Netflix


One of the most captivatingly beautiful films I have ever seen is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In my eyes, it marries the two genres of romcom and sci-fi effortlessly; I struggle to imagine the day in which I no longer hold this film in such high esteem. Admittedly, it’s a movie that demands you sit and watch it repeatedly in an attempt to draw sense and coherence out of its (at times, thoroughly perplexing) narrative – but I believe that the first viewing alone was enough for me to extract an understanding of the fundamental emotions that both the writer (Charlie Kaufman) and the director (Michel Gondry) intended to portray.


Pale Waves Bring a Tide of Goth-Pop Anthems to Leadmill

image: pale waves facebook

Rising stars Pale Waves entranced fans on their return to the iconic Leadmill stage with their set of fan favourites.

The Manchester-based dream pop quartet were propelled into the public sphere shortly after signing to Dirty Hit Records and touring with fellow Mancunians The 1975 throughout North America and Europe last year. The tour soon led to the growing popularity of the band, further cementing their cult following: a perfect foundation for the release of singles such as ‘Television Romance’ and ‘New Year’s Eve’ at the end of 2017.

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