Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Part two of my summer of music was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

Until recently I didn't know uch about them even though my flatmate had been asking me to come and see them with her for a while. But it was brilliant.

As it has been so hot recently I tried to be sensible with my clothes for once, This rarely ever happens.

Dress - Urban Outfitters Sale £14

The dress is one of my bargain purchases from my trip to Scotland where I spent far too much money for my own good. I also have a funny story about this dress; I tried it on and came out of the fitting room to show my mum and in front of everyone she said 'it's a very nice dress Ashleigh-Jayne but you need to get a boob job'. Thanks mum, I love you too.

I have never worn converse with a dress before but I've seen a lot of people doing it and it looks really good so I thought I'd give it a go myself. Conveniently the colour matches my dress prfectly which made me incredibly happy. These are one of those things I get away with, buying shoes in the cheap section for a disgustingly low price. Yay for having tiny tiny feet.

The gig itself was amazing. I was surprised by how many songs I knew considering I've only started to listen to them properly and it was nice to be able to go to a gig where you can actually dance and not look strange. 

Sadly as my DSLR is broken (sad times), I have no photos of the gig itself but you can see some over on my flatmate's blog. Enjoy!

My favourite movies

My favourite movies

Considering I'm a film graduate, I very rarely write anything to do with film. Shame on me.

Like everyone I have many many 'favourite' films but there are some that will constantly crop up at some point no matter what mood I am in. Whether I want to laugh, cry or feel all happy on the inside.

As I write this Charlie and I are curled up on our sofas under blankets watching Breakfast at Tiffany's, we're suckers for classics and  Holly and 'Fred' kissing in the rain is possibly one of the most perfect scenes in the history of cinema.

Choosing favourite films is always difficult but if I had to narrow mine down to a top five, it would be this, and this was a very hard decision to make.

Gone with the Wind - 1939

Rhett: You should be kissed and often. And by someone who knows how.

There is no disputing that this is my favourite film of all time. Ever. My room is covered with images of Rhett (Clark Gable) and Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) and I'm constantly spotting references to it in more recent movies. You'll be surprised at how many there are.

To me, Gone with the Wind is Hollywood at it's finest. Back when there was a turn around time of different movies practically every week, you can tell that the makers' hearts and souls went into this movie. From the elaborate costumes right down to the actual burning of the Atlanta stage, one of the first scenes filmed. The tragic love story of Rhett and Scarlett is perfect from the beginning right to the very end where Scarlett proclaims 'tomorrow is another day'.

Gone with the Wind also lead to the first Oscar awarded to a black woman, Hattie McDaniel for her role as Mammy. This was still considered as controversial at the time because of the sadly still existent racism in America and Hattie was made to sit on a separate table from the rest of the cast. Since then she became in inspiration to other black actors throughout her life and is still remembered to this day. 

Hattie McDaniel's acceptance speech. If you don't cry, you have no soul:

The Red Shoes - 1948

Lermontov: Why do you want to dance?
Vicky: Why do you want to live?
Lermontov: Well, I don't know exactly why, but... I must.
Vicky: That's my answer too.
Based on the short story by Hans Christian Anderson, The Red Shoes is one of the first movies to show the destructive relationship between a ballerina and her impresario which many will have now seen through Aronofsky's Black Swan.

A creative vision from The Archers, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, The Red Shoes shows a story within a story where Vicky's (Moira Shearer) life mirrors the tale itself. Unable to stop dancing despite being in love. She will always go back to dancing and it will eventually destroy her.

To this day The Red Shoes is considered by critics as one of the greatest British movies of all time and has become a cult classic. We even went to see it shown on the roof of the National Theatre before we got rained on...

Angel-A -2005

Angel-A: 'Do you love me or don't you?'
Andre: From the very first day. From the very first second.
Set in Paris, Angel-A marks the return of  Luc Besson who you'll know from Fifth Element.

Desperate AndrĂ© Moussah (Jamel Debbouze) is rescued by a tall and beautiful woman known only as Angela (Rie Rasmussen) whether he realises it or not. 

For reasons beyond AndrĂ©'s understanding, Angela has made it her mission to help him sort out his life.

Filmed entirely in black and white, Angel-A is funny sad and beautiful. I don't want to give too much away, I can only tell you to watch it.

True Romance - 1993

That's the way romance is... Usually, that's the way it goes, but every once in awhile, it goes the other way too.
A love story with guns. Where's bad? With an astounding cast including Christian Slater, Christopher Walken and Gary Oldman (and Brad Pitt as a stoner) and written by the legendary Quentin Tarantino, True Romance tells the story of Alabama (Patrica Arquette) and Clarence (Christian Slater) who "throw caution to the wind", fall in love and get married from the very first day they meet.

Action packed from the very beginning, True Romance is a movie I can watch no matter what mood I am in and have been known to watch it twice in one day.

Love, Honour and Obey - 2000

You fucking Anglo-Saxon!
Not only does the stellar cast boost this up to my top five but also the amazing one liners, gripping story line and, of course, Fat Alan. The cast consists of many members of the Primrose Hill Set was was set to be a part of a trilogy. 

Love, Honour and Obey is a British crime/comedy movie about the relationship between North and South London gangs. Ray Winston is head honcho of the North London gang with Sean Pertwee as his rival in South London. 

What's most interesting about this movie is that a lot of the dialogue is ad lib. The cast were given the basic outline and worked with it themselves which is why most of the characters have their own names.

Jonny (Jonny Lee Miller) plays the villain/anti-hero of the film who, due to his own ego and impossible ambitions, brings the worlds of the gangsters into chaos.

Love, Honour and Obey is nothing short of hilarious, some of my favourite insults come from this film with 'mate, you're flat and I'll throw you in the river' being somewhere near the top.

Here's a little clip but I'm warning you, there are parts where it's quite offensive but it's hilarious!

Well, there you have it. A run down of my top five films. If you haven't done so already you should definitely watch them.

What are your favourite films?

What I wore: Bow-ties are cool

What I wore: Bow-ties are cool

It's true and you know it.

For work this week I thought I'd let out my not quite so inner geek and try something I haven't done before. The Androgynous look! Well, a go at it anyway.

A few weeks a go, my flatmate gave me a lovely little Dalek bow-tie that I have mainly been wearing in my hair but I woke up one day and thought I should actually wear it as intended.

OH NO! It's wonky :-( Shame

I chose to wear with with some very battered old Peter Pan stylie boots, a long forgotten pair of Topshop shorts and the cheapest shirt known to man. With my Nightmare before Christmas lunch box as a bag for that extra touch of geekery.

Although one person at work said I looked like 'a little Victorian school boy', I got so many compliments for this outfit that I was insanely happy and think I need to try it a bit more often.

Off I go to buy more bow-ties and maybe even some braces.

Are bow-ties your new favourite accessory?

Amanda Fucking Palmer... Again

Amanda Fucking Palmer... Again

My love for this woman isn't exactly a secret. The day I had been looking forward to for months had finally arrived and I was practically dancing around the the office. I did warn them that I'd be really annoying that day.

Amanda Palmer

As always, Amanda makes sure the entertainment doesn't stop. While we were queuing to get in we were greeted by a brass band, Perhaps Contraption, so it felt like we had our own entrance music.

The picture doesn't do my sparkly sequin leggings justice but LOOK a ukulele!
Following Amanda's performance of Radiohead's Creep on the ukulele with a very shy small boy, the support acts came flooding onto the stage. There were seven support acts in total, that's right SEVEN, including the wonderful Bitter Ruin and Sxip Shirey PLUS acrobats, sword swallowers and more.

Opening with a bunch of songs from her latest album Theatre is Evil with her Grand Theft Orchestra, she automatically took my breath away. Especially since she covered one of my favourite songs in the whole world, Common People by Pulp.

Astronaut was as powerful as ever with the crowd singing their lungs out and the beautiful Lost was dedicated to her recently departed friend Becca Darling. Bed Song had me in tears as it always does and I finally got my chance to support Amanda and hold her hand during her epic crowd surf during Bottomfeeder.

Camera decided not to work so this is a photo from the last time I saw her

 Closing with the amazing Leeds United with Perhaps Contraption before an AMAZING encore (which I sadly missed but THANK YOU YOUTUBE) where she performed her open letter to the Daily Mail following their shameful article about her performance at Glastonbury. She performed completely naked towards the end of the song and truly embarrassed them in front of hundreds of fans and even journalists. Well done Amanda!

For some strange reason Blogger won't let me upload the higher quality version of this but for those of you interested, here's one recording for your viewing pleasure:

 Strangely enough, the Daily Mail are yet to respond to Amanda's open letter. For shame.

As I have said before, Amanda Palmer's shows just get better and I strongly suggest you see her. Do it!

What's the best gig you have ever been to?

The Returned; Answer our questions!!!

The Returned; Answer our questions!!!

How did Simon kill himself? Why did he kill himself? Why has Victor only just started talking? What's his real name? What's with the lake? IS JULIE DEAD??

If you haven't seen it before, in simple terms The Returned is about a bunch of people who are apparently dead coming back. We can't say coming back to life because we're not sure what they are or what their purpose is. A lot of people are guessing that it's a new take on zombies but I'm not feeling that.

My flatmate and I have been so obsessed with The Returned that when she went on holiday I had to promise not to watch any until she got back. That was also because we're too afraid to watch it alone.

Over the past few weeks we have found ourselves screaming at the TV, making dramatic hand gestures, asking the TV questions and using our favourite phrase 'WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!' and we're still as confused as we were at the beginning.

I rarely watch TV and tend to just flick through our seemingly endless collection if DVDs, film and TV, and that's mainly because I don't feel there's much out there that's new and gripping. It seems like there are any programmes out there that are basically just recycled versions of something else. But The Returned is different.

With so many twists and turns you end up feeling a bit dizzy at the end of each episode and you are also never bored. There isn't a single character you're not interested in. My personal favourites are the twins, Camille and Lena, Julie and Victor. The relationships between these characters are creepy yet moving at the same time.

We have just finished the penultimate episode and I'm at a loss to what the final episode will bring. There are so many questions that I am praying for another series. Surely they can't wrap up everything in one episode.

If you're not watching it, get over to 4od, catch up and experience the final episode and let me know what you think. I'm dying to hear your opinions.

My Jeffrey Campbell shoes

My Jeffrey Campbell shoes

It was a very exciting moment when I got a phone call from reception at work to say that my shoes had arrived and I let out a little squeal when I saw the beautiful pink box.

I have been wanting a pair of Jeffrey Campbell's for AGES and was kicking myself when I didn't buy a pair for £60 when I was in Scotland for Easter. Luckily for me, this season's Office sale is amazing and I managed to grab myself a pair for a bargain £45!

While in Scotland, my flatmate bought the black and gold Martinis so I thought I'd go for the black and silver. Good choice I think because then they'll go with everything.

For their first outing, I wore the tightest pair of trousers in the world from H&M and a tie up shirt from the one and only Tescos. I love the colour combination and take any excuse to get my tattoo out!

Looks like I'm standing at a strange angle!
 I love the shoes so much that I couldn't stop staring at them all day!

How would you wear silver shoes?

What I've been reading: 'Dangerous Girls'

What I've been reading: 'Dangerous Girls'

There are many hidden gems in the Young Adult section of your local book shop. 'Dangerous Girls' by Abigail Haas (Published by Simon and Schuster) is definitely one of them.

Dangerous Girls - published by Simon and Schuster

'Dangerous Girls' is a court room drama based crime novel. A young girl is brutally murdered while on holiday with her friends in Aruba, and the story is told from the perspective of Anna, the best friend, standing trial for her murder and desperate for answers.

I'm not one to like crime novels, many people are already aware about my sheer disappointment and loathing for 'Gone Girl' (Sorry everyone!!!), they're just not for me.

But 'Dangerous Girls' is different.

Flitting between flash backs, interview and telephone transcripts and the courtroom itself you are given an insight into each character and as I am currently still on the right side of my 20s there are a couple I can relate to.

But everything gets flipped on its head... a couple of times.

Considering the genre isn't normally my cup of tea, I loved how this book kept me guessing and had me shout 'What?' more than once. It even reached the point where I had to cover the bottom of each page with my hand so I wouldn't be tempted to glance a head.

If you're a sucker for YA books like I am then I strongly recommend you give this a go.

What's the best YA book you have read?

What I wore: Pattern clash!

What I wore: Pattern clash!

I've never tried pattern clashing in any way. My flatmate pulls it off really well and I have always been jealous.

I've been wanting to try it for a while now so I thought I'd start of simply with something I always thought was a cardinal sin. Spots and stripes.

For some reason my office were given gift vouchers for the launch of the new Topshop Marble Arch store so I treated myself :-)

I was in a very 'I love blue' mood (which is actually most of the time. It's the best colour) So I chose to accessorise with my favourite blue Zara bag and did a touch up on my leopard print nails. They just went so well with the outfit.

Even though I have an endless number of blue shoes I chose to break up the outfit with gold sparkly loafers from Office. Most already know that I'm practically a magpie and am drawn to anything sparkly, but when I saw the price of a whole £13, I certainly couldn't say 'no'. Their sale at the moment is absolutely amazing.

After this outfit, I think I have finally been converted to the whole spots and stripes thing and am ready to experiment with some bolder patterns.

What's your favorite pattern clash?

What I wore: Skulls and frills

What I wore: Skulls and frills

I know it's strange but I've always been against socks with shoes. I never thought it could work or I could pull it off. After some convincing from my flatmate, I thought I'd give it  a go.

Pairing them with my favourite skirt from H&M and the most amazing t-shirt in the world from Urban Outfitters, I think this might now be one of my favourite outfits. Plus the girliest in my wardrobe...

Standing in the rain = awkward face

The scarf is a bargain £2 number from Primark and I added it to break up the girliness of the outfit, at first I thought it was a little too much chiffon action but I love the finished effect.

THESE SHOES! Even though they're a little bit grubby at the moment (must. Vanish. them) are all levels of amazing. Not only are they beautiful and work with the Top Shop socks, they're also from the New Look 915 section so they were so cheap AND they fit my tiny tiny feet. This is something that never happens so #win.

Have you ever tried this?