Thursday, 28 May 2015

Friday Food Fight, Manchester

If you're looking for something different to do for Friday after work drinks, then Friday Food Fight at B.EAT STREET MCR is for you. A wonderful mix of Manchester's best food vendors, quirky cocktails and banging tunes to get you in the mood for weekend - all in an industrial warehouse environment in the heart of the city. What's not to love?

Each Friday there's a different line up of DJs and a whole new range of dirty food on the menu. From lobster rolls to burgers filthy enough to compete with Almost Famous, it's actually difficult deciding on what to have. You might end up grabbing a snack and after a few more drinks find yourself trying all of the street food on offer!

There's also amazing desserts - the night I visited I couldn't take my eyes off Glamarang and their unbelievable sweet sensations.

So what are you waiting for? Start the weekend off right with a #FOODRAVE. Friday Food Fight takes place in The Great Northern Warehouse, Deansgate. Have fun, J x

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

12 Months to Go!

So it's 20th May 2015 - exactly one one year until my wedding day.

I have a feeling these 12 months are going to fly by! I love planning and organising so I'm in my element now - in fact everything is pretty much sorted. If it isn't booked already we know what we are buying nearer the time. There are just two things stumping me at the moment - the dress and the honeymoon.

Searching for the dress - "the one" - is tricky because I want something boho and quite relaxed rather than an over the top princess dress.Turns out not many bridal shops cater to boho brides like me without trying to charge out of the arse for a bridal dress which is more casual!

And where do I start with the honeymoon? We really can't decide where to go. I want to do it all, I have a serious case of wanderlust at the moment. But we did get engaged in Fiji, so we have to top that! I want to do something really special, have one last adventure before we will have too many commitments to just go and explore when we fancy it. So a once-in-a-lifetime trip is on the cards - an African safari or South East Asian escapade. But how will I ever decide?! I need your help please.

To be honest I'd much rather spend more on the honeymoon than the wedding itself. After all, the wedding is just one day and you're investing in everyone else having a good time - the honeymoon is just the two of you, as it's going to be for the rest of your life.

So - suggestions, please? J x

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Gig Review: The Maccabees, Manchester

13/05/15 - The Ritz, Manchester

Last night I had the pleasure of going to a lovely little gig. The Ritz as a venue is an oldie but a goodie - more intimate than The Apollo and more room to dance than The Academy. It was the perfect setting for a band that I've loved for 8 years and not yet had the opportunity to see live, The Maccabees.

The quirky five piece treated the crowd to some of their most loved hits old and new, in addition to some brand new unreleased tracks from their forthcoming album. The slower songs have the crowd mesmerised while catchy tunes such as Precious Time, Wall of Arms and Pelican transform the audience into jumping, clapping, cheery creatures. New single Marks to Prove it went down well but not as well as their debut, the electric X Ray Vision.

The Maccabees really are one of the most unique sounds in indie rock - there's nobody else making songs like them. However I have a massive complaint about the set list - how could they shun one of their best ever songs, Toothpaste Kisses?! It's not only my favourite, it happens to be their most played song on Spotify. Why would you punish your fans guys!

I soon forgave the boys when one of the roadies threw me a pick. #Fangirl! 
J x

Monday, 4 May 2015

Interview with a Dancer: Shelley Eva Haden

This week I had the chance to catch up with an exciting and talented dancer who is busy touring the UK at the moment - Shelley Eva Haden. She is currently performing in Rosie Kay Dance Company’s 5 Soldiers, described as an intimate viewing of the human body in war and how it affects those that put their body on the frontline. The piece debuted last week in Birmingham and has received 5* from The Guardian’s Luke Jennings. Here’s what Northern graduate Shelley has to say about the whole experience…

You recently wrote in the Guardian about your training exercise and experience in the army - how demanding was it physically? Do you think you could be a real soldier?

Training in the army (4th Battalion The Rifles) was one of the best experiences of my life, mainly because of the people and the extreme situations that pushed my comfort zones and capabilities like never before. The training mainly focused on combat and the approach of enemy and hostage situations. I personally found the training more demanding mentally other than physically as it challenged my ability to adapt to completely new ways of thinking. The exercise was the most physical part of the training, this involved managing our rifle and defending ourselves against platoons of infantry soldiers as they landed in from real life off spray aircraft. This was the most terrifying yet infusing experience and I dived in with 100% guts. Do I think I could be a soldier? I truly don’t know the answer to that, and I don’t think I ever will. My week of training was merely a taste of military life and I don’t think any of us really know the reality of a soldier’s life unless we have been there. 

Anyone who has seen any rep or photos of 5 Soldiers will know that you are the only female in the cast. (What an achievement!) What's it like being around so much testosterone all the time, how does it affect group dynamics when dancing together?

The cast of 5 Soldiers are amazing. I love the boys like my brothers and feel completely at one with them. Yes, of course I am aware that I am the single female of the company but I see this as positive rather than a negative as the female influence is so important in such a masculine, intensive work. The banter is hilarious and the chemistry we have as a cast is
very special, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Has working on this piece changed your opinion on military action? What do you think the audience will take away from it?

I have never had a strong opinion on military action, it’s a very big and complex topic that quite frankly scares me. I have however gained a much stronger understanding of the Army and I truly value and appreciate the life and work of a soldier. I don’t just think, I know that audiences are touched by the experience of 5 Soldiers. Civilians/People get an insight into a world that is hidden from society, a military land that people finally get to see and understand. People feel and witness emotion, passion, guts, and sweat. The show really works and I have every faith in its success to connect with all audiences. 

What do you have lined up after this UK tour?

Rosie Kay and 5 Soldiers has the potential to expand the tour internationally. Rosie is also working on a new piece which is due to tour in 2016. After the tour ends in June I have plans to continue performing, teaching and creating and can’t wait to continue doing what I love.

5 Soldiers is in London this week and on tour around the UK until 13th June – visit the website to find a venue near you and book a ticket: