Archive | August 2015

The Wonder Years

This article is about The Wonder Years (pop-punk band). For other uses, go somewhere else. I’ve never watched the TV show.

In twelve days, I get paid. In thirteen, I’ll be picking up the new album by my favourite band by a mile right now.

Metal might be more skilled, pop might be more refined, alternative might be the most ridiculously broad term for a music genre I’ve ever heard, but pop punk is just, happy. It makes me feel happy, feel epic, all the emotions. Isn’t that the point?

The start of university, round about four years ago, Mr Ryan of Flat 2 (full name) gave me a bunch of albums by The Wonder Years, one of his favourite bands (I assume). Being a pop-punk kid as it is, it took me right back to bands like Green Day and blink 182, Sum 41 and Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy and Paramore, the bands coming up in the 90s and 00s when the genre exploded.

Since then, FOB and Paramore have leaned more towards pop than pop punk (absolutely not a complaint, their new albums rank among their best to me), blink have imploded twice, and in general the whole genre has waned in the ‘mainstream’. There haven’t been a lot of records that style of pop punk released in the last few years to a big reception, to my knowledge.

Again, not a bad thing. I’m not one of those people who think because a band sign to a major label and make some money they’ve ‘sold out’ or ‘gone mainstream’. Those bands’ early stuff mostly sounded like it could have been recorded on a budget, in a basement, with a grapefruit.

It’s always nice to hear bands like Neck Deep and PVRIS getting some good Radio 1 airtime, for me though TWY are the yardstick for pop punk right now.

If you’ve never listened to them and like pop punk kinds of bands, or if you just fancy a listen to them, I’ll put a range of vids in here for you all to enjoy. I would just say that if you like the ones on here, chances are you’ll like ’em all. ALL credit for these videos go to Hopeless Records, who have a hell of a lot of top bands signed to them by the way.

Soupy (singer) is THE most passionate, emotional voice on my iPod. Lyrically, they are streets ahead of any band I currently listen to, across all genres, so many songs are so moving and so powerful. The three new songs they’ve released so far are amazing. Cardinals and Cigarettes & Saints are the type I just referred to, only they’ve tightened up their sound even more since their last album.

I Don’t Like Who I Was Then is, as I tweeted as soon as I heard it, VINTAGE, WONDER YEARS. I didn’t do it in quite the Michael Cole voice I wanted, but I was too excited by new music to think about wrestling commentators.

Pop punk has been hibernating for the last decade or so, but with No Closer To Heaven coming out September 4th, Neck Deep getting all kinds of recognition, fingers crossed it’s on its way back to the spotlight. I just hope I haven’t overplayed these three singles by the time the album drops.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack


Summerslam Predictions – Darren vs Emerald

This is a suuuuuper long post, but bear with us here.

Finally the card for Summerslam is (presumably) completed, so I brought Emerald back to do what we were planning on doing before the questioning thing: A full card prediction for THE BIGGEST PARTY OF THE SUMMER. Or something.

So we did, here it is. If you can’t be bothered reading some of it, the best matches are towards the bottom, to keep everyone hooked while we are being hilarious banterers.

We also thought it would be fun to do a little competition, so let’s see on Monday who has the most correct predictions. Let us begin! (All the bad language is from Emerald, so be warned there actually is some in one of my posts for the first time ever probably. And it starts almost immediately.)


No caption necessary.

Let’s do this!

Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev

EM: I think, they’re both fairly shit, and I don’t really care what happens in this match because the only thing that I’ll be able to think of is the fact that Rusev’s not even from Russia. That’s stupid. And Dolph Ziggler, his highest point was when AJ cut all of his stuff up on stage. Nothing’s ever gonna be as entertaining as that.

Winner: I don’t know the writers, but I’m gonna say Ziggler.

DH: Ziggler is awesome by the way.

EM: He looks like the missing person from LMFAO.

DH: I’ll probably be starting with the let’s go Cena chants at this point so I won’t be paying much attention. I really like Ziggler, but I don’t really know any background. Sooooo…. I’m going to be boring and say Ziggler as well.

Winner: Ziggler

Team Bella vs Team BAD vs PCB

EM: To be honest the only reason that I won’t be viewing this as a bathroom break is because Paige. I like Paige. So I’m going to say on a hopeful note, that Paige and the other two bitches on her team win.

Winners: PCB

DH: Well I know that PCB, which by the way is a stupid name, I know they changed it because it shared a name with like, a porn channel but still. I know they’ve won like the last couple of matches that I watched but I like Paige and I like the Irish one so I want them to win. This is boring.

Winners: PCB

Kevin Owens vs Cesaro

EM: Going to say Cesaro to win because I think someone called Kevin Owens sounds like he should work at Tesco and not WWE. Disclaimer: I’m not saying anything bad about people that work at Tesco; I really like their sandwiches. Or people called Kevin Owens.

Winner: Cesaro

DH: So, from here on in I think it’s going to be less boring because I think Kevin Owens is going to win. Because he’s awesome…Cesaro’s awesome too…but I think Kevin Owens is going to win. But it’s going to be one of the two best matches of the night.

Winner: Kevin Owens

Stephen Amell & Neville vs Stardust & King Barrett

EM: I’m going to say, Stardust & King Barrett to win because they’re more experienced. They can’t have a King lose (logic) and I like Stardust’s costume (slightly less logic).

Winners: Stardust & King Barrett

DH: Well i’m going to say the other two. Whoever they are *is waving arms profusely* the guy is from Arrow and Neville’s finishing move is called the Red Arrow! Probably, I think. I like that, plus its WWE so they’ll let the famous person win.

Winners: Arrow & Red Arrow!

Prime Time Players (c) vs Los Matadores vs The Lucha Dragons vs The New Day

EM: I really don’t give a fuck about this match. There’s too many people going to be in the ring and I just can’t keep up with it. That’s it.

Winners: The Lucha Dragons They sound funky let’s say them. (Logic has pretty much left the building at this point.)

DH: I also don’t care about this match. But I like the Prime Time Players, I don’t understand how any other team has just magically got a shot and this seems to be pretty much the whole division. So I’m gonna say Primetime Players because “millions a dollas millions a dollas millions a dollas”

Winners: Prime Time Players

Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper vs Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns

EM: Roman Reeeeigns and Dean Ambroooose. -starts kissing her phone case and rubbing it on her face.- Roman Reigns is bae. (Roman Reigns is on the back of her phone case.) I’m very excited to see Reigns and Ambrose together without that dickhead Seth Rollins. I do like Bray Wyatt, I do, but for this particular match I’m gonna be in my Reigns t-shirt, rooting for Reigns. I think Darren and I are going to have to sit on opposite ends of the table for this match because I know Darren’s going to want Wyatt to win but I think we’re just going to have to lay it on the table now that were separate to be rooting for the other person but console each other and be happy for each other whoever wins, and not rub it in the other one’s face.

Winners: Shield 2.0

DH: So obviously I want the Wyatts to win because I like them. I like Bray, he’s my favourite. I know that Bray beat Reigns at Battleground so I think Reigns and Ambrose are going to win. But I’m going to have my Wyatt t-shirt on and I’m going to be supporting them so I’m going to say they’re going to win. And I think that’s going to be the other best match.

Winners: Redneck City (I do like Ambrose very much, and Reigns too but not quite as much.)

Ryback (c) vs Big Show vs The Miz

EM: Ryback because out of those three he’s ma fav. To be honest I think Miz’ll just be a bit of an annoyance in that match. The other two are massive, he’ll bounce off them and get hurt and that’ll be him out and then once he’s out of the ring the real men can get down to business.

Winner: Ryback

DH: So I also think Ryback, but I also like the Miz. I think he’s good at talking and stuff. The Big Show is just painful to watch now most of the time. The match he had with Roman Reigns was good. But yeah, I want to see Ryback have the title for a while and I think he’ll win. Also he’s got a really weird shaped head, Do you not think? He’s got like a mohican made out of head.

Winner: Ryback


John Cena (c) vs Seth Rollins (c)

EM: I really don’t know. I feel like the writers are just lazy letting Cena win all the time, and I don’t like Cena, his legs are like the exact same length as his body, and it makes it look like he’s shit himself as he’s walking. And I don’t like his hat, I don’t think he’s a very nice person I think he’s a complete control freak, but I also hate Seth Rollins because he’s a big fat betrayer and as much as I want someone to beat Cena I don’t want it to be Rollins, but I don’t think they’d put Cena up against Rollins if that wasn’t the turning point to Cena losing a big match. So I’m going to say I think… that Rollins will win, but I’m not saying that I’m happy about it.

Winner: Seth Rollins (still not happy about it.)

DH: Right, before you start with your faces and stuff, John Cena has very good to match of the year matches with everyone.

EM: Can I just say before you start with your speech about all the things that make Cena great that I’m not interested in the life and time of John Cena just make your prediction and we will move on from this point in our lives.

DH: I hear what you’re saying, but no. You’ve said your piece, all I’m going to say is he continuously has great matches, recently he always seems to be trying new stuff. Most of the time when he talks it still annoys me, and also I think Seth Rollins is really good, He’s been really good in the ring and really good as like a whiny bad guy and I like that.

Winner: I think it’d be really cool to see someone with two belts at once but I don’t think it’s the right time for either of them to lose theirs so I’m going to say Cena wins by DQ.

Randy Orton vs Sheamus

EM: I like them both. I like Orton, I think he’s really good. Love a good RKO, we all know this. And I love Sheamus I think his whole character’s brilliant, and he recently got his septum pierced like me, and my hair needs redone so right now it is a bit orange. And he’s been really funny lately, so I don’t really have a preference I just hope it’s an enjoyable match to watch, and I hope wrestling wins. But I think what’s going to happen is that Orton will win, and then Sheamus will cash in.

Winner: Orton but it doesn’t really matter cos Sheamus will cash in.

DH: Ok, I don’t think Sheamus is going to cash in and thinking about it that would suck to see someone have two belts for like 5 minutes, but I think Sheamus won’t cash in tonight because I want him to have it for a while, the briefcase. I still think Orton’s going to win though, so they can tease a cash in later.

Winner: Orton

Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker

EM: -sigh.- -bigger sigh.- I don’t know. I don’t see why they’d have this match again if the outcome was going to be the same, and I would like it if Undertaker came back and won, I think that’s what everyone wanted at WrestleMania. Maybe they’ve just had that many letters of complaints that they’re going to rectify that tragedy. And I’d love them to stop selling those Eat Sleep Break The Streak t-shirts.

Winner: Undertaker

DH: Ok, I think that you made lots of sense, it doesn’t really make sense for Undertaker to come back and lose. I do think he sounded a little bit whiny when he came back the night after Battleground. And anyone else coming back and attacking Lesnar would have been booed, but I kind of want him to come back with the biker gimmick. That’d be awesome, and since it makes no sense for Lesnar to win I’m going to have to say that Lesnar’s going to win. BECAUSE CURVEBALL.

Winner: Lesnar

EMERALD’S FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m excited for Summerslam this year. I really hope Reigns finally wins and that I’ll really enjoy the Shield vs Wyatts match but the best match overall will be Lesnar vs Undertaker. Cena is a cunt. Reigns rules all. Wrestling is awesome. I hope they have nachos.

DARREN’S FINAL THOUGHTS:  I just want to say that I also think Sheamus looks awesome since he came back, love the beard braids. The best match for me will be Wyatts-Shield and the whole card in general looks really good.

So, who will win the first blog competition? Leave your comments on who made the better predictions! Oh wait, I’m not famous, I won’t be able to get away with that. Never mind, do it anyway, if you made it this far what’s writing one more word gonna do?

See you after Summerslam!

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Being interviewed

Studying journalism for three years I am used to doing interviews, so it was fun when Emerald asked me some questions the other night for her blog.

My questions for her are already on here, but I wanted to share her post as well so people can see what a hilarious/infuriating comedian/moron I am. Delete as appropriate.

So here it is below! Enjoy, I’ll be back at some point.

Darren: Interviewed –

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Just football, mainly

While I have a few minutes when I’m actually on my laptop, without being sat waiting for it to back up all my damn files while being incapable of doing anything else simultaneously, I thought I’d write a little bit about the first couple weeks of the new FOOTBALL SEASON. Cue all the people who normally read my blog to immediately tune out since I don’t think many of them like football. If you don’t like football and did get this far, what you still doing here? It says right there in the title, I’m surprised you even clicked on this. Maybe the ‘mainly’ in there enticed you, so I’ll make it worth your while. Maybe. If you are here for the stuff that isn’t mainly, which include ramblings and sentence long TV reviews, scroll away down to the bottom.

So a few brief thoughts on the new season, plus a couple of things and stuff that haven’t really fit in to any other post I’ve done recently. Surprisingly most of them do have some kind of theme or point to them.

Firstly, Manchester United and Carlisle United are my two teams, so yes yes glory supporter yes my family have always followed them and some of them lived out there while I was growing up oh don’t matter ur a armchair fan u never been to a game okay I’ve followed them and supported them all my life and yes I do go to games when I can so silence, most of you that say that to me are Liverpool fans FROM CARLISLE.

That went better than I anticipated.

I’ve watched the first two Premier League games of United’s, and have been very pleased by the massive improvement in defence since last year. Shaw looks like he’s back to his Southampton best, Smalling continues to develop into the top centre back we’ve been needing since Vida left, and Darmian looks like the signing of the summer.

Of course it’s been two games and of course we won’t be keeping clean sheets all season, but Romero hasn’t done a lot wrong either and Blind won himself a MOTM in defence against Villa. If and when David de Gea leaves, though, I will be devastated. Always supported that man from his first awful season with us.

But yes, obviously we can’t rely on 1-0 wins all season, and will probably have three of that back four injured by Christmas, but signs are good there. Morgan Schneiderlin looks a hell of a buy in there as well, as despite my doubts van Gaal went and picked him up anyway, without even asking me. Rude.

Going forward we’ll be fine, Memphis will settle in Rooney will start scoring Mata is attractive and all will be well. Top two for us this season, if not better. And an FA Cup please, it’s been too long!

I tragically missed Carlisle’s 4-4 on Saturday because I was working, which will continue over the next three home games at least I believe. Having said that I just realised I had this Saturday’s shift cut so I can go to the Wimbledon game!

From what I gathered from a friend of mine – called Dom, or something, better text him about this weekend actually – we were great going forward, which backs up what I saw Tuesday night. Hopeful about our chances for the first time in many years, thinking about the top half or playoffs even…

We have a couple of nice looking centre mids, who seem to actually want the ball instead of screaming and running away from it, a decent couple of goalscorers and some decent depth (for League Two). We came out of that cup game Tuesday thinking we had a chance of seeing some entertaining, winning football at Brunton Park for the first time in a while.

Couple more stray thoughts, Stoke’s frontline is amazing and I would not be surprised if they finished fifth or higher this season, putting that out there, no doubt straight onto my list of terrible predictions. Liking Ranieri at Leicester too, and Giroud is still my boy.

I will put that predicted table from last season on here and see just how badly I did soon, just jogged my brain.

This may be the last post I ever write on this laptop, as it’s so old and temperamental I am thinking I’ll install Windows 10 onto it soon, which may tip it over the edge or save it, who knows. I’m a gambling man.

Speaking of gambling (sexy segue), my first two bets of the season did not come in. Make a mental note that from now until May any post about any topic has a chance of these kind of complaints being included.

True Detective finished AMAZINGLY! Colin Farrell’s moustache kind of made a return, and a bunch of stuff happened and it was crazy and oh my goodness I am excited. Gonna try and finish Sons of Anarchy next, especially since Emerald’s started it and I’ve been on Season 6 for about a year now.

I also need more money from somewhere, so if someone wants to pay me to write this shit for them I’ll gladly accept cash through the mail in an otherwise unmarked brown paper envelope. In fact, just send me cash through the mail in an otherwise unmarked brown paper envelope.

Summerslam is next week and Leeds fest the week after, so if anyone likes those things, well that’s good.

Guess I should find a neat way to tie up this post now.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Festival Season 2015! #2: Download Festival

Another day, another festival.

Gotta just say at this point, True Detective season two is getting goooooood. First episode was a bit slow but it’s really gearing up now. Two episodes left for me to watch and I’ll be gutted when it’s finished. I miss Colin Farrell’s moustache.

Also they’re watching Friends on the show right now, so it’s just gone up again in my opinion.

Leeds is approaching, and after that I think I have three gigs with Emerald to go to plus a week off in October, so hopefully that’ll give me enough to write about for now. I had another story idea yesterday too so once that’s done it’ll go on here, as well as the other one I wrote last year.

Download Festival: 10.06.15-15.06.15

Wednesday was traumatic. We (Lydia, Emerald and I) set off at 6am, I think, and I had a couple of dizzy and vomiting spells on the way, which was fun. No drink or anything, just head failure. Then the queue took about three hours, since I delayed us by about an hour. My bad.

After all that carry on, plus an added hour trying to fit our tents into a space, we were all set up. Oh and we had a great fat sack truck stacked with crates of beer and coke, which needed two trips to get it all into the site.

But a good four hours or so after we arrived, eight or nine since we set off, we were in and camped and happy. We then found out at some point through that day that Ashley and Alex, some other festival going friends, had broken down right outside the car park and had to get a tow to a garage and a taxi back to Download. So, naturally I laughed my head off for a while and then we found them camped right next to us, so spent most of the week hanging out with them.

Thursday, to my terrible recollection, was a lovely chilled day. The sun was out, we had relatively cool cans of Fosters and Coke, and drinking horns to have Jack Daniels in. There will probably be a few glimpses of horn in the documentary Emerald has up on her YouTube channel, I will space each part out along this post.

Watching the second part of this documentary has brought me no closer to knowing what we did on each day, but I do now remember a man in a Speedo breaking the news of ‘Dr Lord Sir’ Christopher Lee’s passing to us while we were sat outside the tent.

I’m almost sure that was the Friday, because then I went with Emerald to watch Lord of the Rings at the cinema tent to remember him. This might have been Thursday now that I think about it because on Friday we were watching Slipknot. Never mind, it was all very emotional.

Think Thursday was also the day we went for some shisha too, was my first try of it. Went for strawberry, tasted like strawberry, so that was nice.

Friday Saturday Sunday we did some bands and stuff. Slipknot as mentioned, A Day To Remember played Champagne Supernova and it was epic, Slash was awesome and is fitter than I am at whatever age he is now, Motley Crue looked awesome but sounded so bad we couldn’t tell the songs apart, due to some problems with the speakers we believe. A steward we ran into on the way back told us it must be Gene Simmons messing up their sound on purpose…

We saw a little of Bodycount, a little of Dragonforce feat. Babymetal, and I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting. ‘We’ is Emerald and I, the two of us didn’t go to the arena with anyone else at any point.

It rained pretty solidly between Slipknot coming on to headline Friday and going to bed on Saturday, but other than that the weather was good. Food was good, noodles and toasties and burgers and tea. In the times between bands and when it was raining we had a lot of time in and around the tent, with some new friends that we made by shouting quotes from Archer and Burnt Face Man at.

These videos will probably do a better job of describing our week than a lot of my writing, so watch these as well! I’ve watched most of them, I just don’t like my face or voice on camera.

On Saturday (Sunday?) night, Ross Gellar was vandalised! We got up in the morning and realised someone had come and drawn things on him and I was very upset. Ross was our tent mascot for the week, inspired by an outtake of Friends where Matt LeBlanc tapes a headshot of David Schwimmer to his boxers for a take.

That is also why I came out of the tent with him taped to my boxers, in case anyone was wondering. Anyone who got it from that blooper reel on the DVD, hooray! We can be friends, pun partially intended.

So anyway, we had a few drinks, saw a few bands, had some good weather and we also went up on the ferris wheel on the Sunday, that had a nice view. It also went round a little faster than I expected.

I love camping though, that was the first time I’d camped anywhere since Leeds Festival 2012, so it was very fun for me. I used to go a lot with friends or Scouts, so it was nice to get back out and be able to sit and chill outside for large portions of the day.

Mentioned a few times in the documentary is the fact that Ashley and Alex relied quite heavily on suncream provided by Emerald and myself. It has just come to my attention that it is now August, and my thighs still haven’t fully healed from the burning they took from the sun that week. I could feel heat coming off them from a couple of inches above my leg.

Don’t let Emerald’s words fool you in that last video, it was ME who brought the aftersun. I saved the day. Of course, if I hadn’t brought it she would have, but I’d like it to be known that I contributed to the sensible.

Having said that, I still have that really white tan line around my ankles, it looks like I’ve taken someone else’s feet and attached them to my tanned legs.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Post-Wrestlemania Wrestlemania Predictions…

So very late, but since I got one post out I’m in a flow. Since Summerslam is rolling up I might as well make this a prediction/results double.

So for Wrestlemania I got a few right, got a few wrong. Some I didn’t mind being wrong about, others made me fume. I’ve pasted my old post in here, italicised it and filled in the results. Let’s take a look…

Battle Royal: Ryback

Why not, I have no interest in this or how anyone got there or what happens or watching it. Ryback seemed to be gaining popularity last time I watched with the whole Survivor Series thing, so let’s go for him.

Wrong. Meh. Big Show winning was such a let down, especially when it came down to him and Mizdow.

IC Ladder Match: Daniel Bryan

Best guess is Bryan to keep people happy, since the entire world has decided he should replace Cena as the guy who wins everything. Until they get sick of him winning presumably. My second favourite is Ambrose, then Ziggler, for the same reasons.

Right. Hooray! Shame he had to vacate it so soon after, but Ryback won a decent Chamber match for it so it keeps the title pretty relevant.

Like N'SYNC, but with ladders.

Like N’SYNC, but with ladders.

Fatal 4-Way Tag Titles: Kidd & Cesaro

Just a feeling the current champions will win. I’m assuming it’s not one of those daft Fatal 4-Way matches where only two people are allowed in the ring at once and anyone can tag in anyone, I think that rule is stupid.

Right. Had to Google this to find out who won, couldn’t remember for the life of me. I was right though.

Awful belts, great hair.

Awful belts, great hair.

US Title John Cena v Rusev: Cena

Can’t wait to see Cena with the US Title. It’s going to make such a nice change, it will open up a bunch of new feuds for Cena, and it will make the title look good again. Having Cena and Bryan as the US and IC champs would be awesome.

Right. Not at all surprised at the result, little surprised Cena’s carried the belt all the way to now. In a good way, long title reigns are so much better to me. Side note, Kevin Owens.

Exactly what I wanted. LET'S GO CENA

Exactly what I wanted. LET’S GO CENA

Undertaker v Bray Wyatt: Wyatt

Wyatt needs to win this. Ideally it would have been with the streak on the line, but I’ve seen him calling out The Undertaker the last few weeks and he is just something else. Shame I couldn’t find a tshirt for Sunday.

Wrong. The whole fuming thing? Here. I’ve cooled down a little on it, but still think a Wyatt win would’ve been way more beneficial.

AJ Lee & Paige v Bella Twins: AJ & Paige

AJ and Paige (mainly Paige) are just the best/only good women not on NXT at the minute and should have this easy. Seriously though if you haven’t watched the women on NXT go do it, they’re so much better than the crap on WWE TV.

Right. Sadly AJ retired and The Bellas have been beating Paige constantly in the odd bits I’ve watched since.

What could have been :(

What could have been 😦

Randy Orton v Seth Rollins: Orton

Rollins doesn’t need this, he’s got his Money in the Bank and whatnot. Orton’s whole pretending to be back with The Authority and betraying them was played out horrendously. From what I saw anyway, I waited ages for him to come back and found it so disappointing. Should be an amazing match though.

Right. And holy good gracious, that RKO. Great match.

Sting v Triple H: Sting

Got to assume Sting will win his first ever WWE match, it would make no sense for him to lose unless they had no other plans for him after this. It’s gonna be way better than a Sting v Taker match mind.

Wrong. Why? Haven’t seen Sting back since then, unless I missed it (entirely possibly). Stupid decision, amazing entrances. ALSO HBK!!!

Roman Reigns v Brock Lesnar: Reigns

I kinda hoped that this match wouldn’t be so soon because I really wanted to see another year or so of Lesnar butching the whole locker room. The time probably should be now for Reigns though, unless he’s still getting booed out of buildings in which case losing might actually help him get some sympathy. Either that or getting cashed in on right after he wins and gets F-5ed through a table or something.

Wrong. But in a way right, as I mentioned the Money In The Bank cash in which DID happen. Mid-match maybe, and technically on Lesnar’s title. But Rollins pinned Reigns! Screw it, I was right!

So those were my predictions from a good five plus months ago, and I finally just now concluded them. I will hopefully be quicker with Summerslam, those predictions will be up soon.

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Ten questions with Emerald

Well last night I suggested to Emerald that we do my Summerslam prediction post together to add a little competition to the guessing.

After a slight bit of research we discovered only one match had been announced, Lesnar v Undertaker.

So instead we decided to ask each other some questions and post each other’s answers on each other’s blog. This intro is being polished off on my phone, but I’ll link to her page/post later on. So here we go!

What is my favourite music?

“Your favourite music? Blink 182, punk goes pop, or is it pop goes punk? and Green Day, and Taylor Swift. But when alternative bands cover popular chart music that’s your fav. In your last life you really really liked the haka though. That’s got music with it hasn’t it?”

What is the first thing you noticed about me?

“The drunk time or the sober time? whichever one was first. Probably the drunk time but I didnt speak to you much then, the sober time i can fully remember. I remember that you were really tall, and that you had a nice smile, AND I REALLY LIKED YOUR CURLY HAIR (excitedly).”

What is one talent I have?

“You’re a good writer, you’re a good driver, and you’re really really funny, you always make me laugh.”

Do I have any weird obsessions?

“Taylor Swift. That’s weird enough. It’s not weird that you like her, it’s weird how much you like her. Why? Because she doesnt fit in with the rest of the things that you like, and I think if you met her in real life she’s not the type of person you’d get along with. She seems really boring. Like a wet paper bag, just a bit mushy, not much substance. Why do i have to be careful? Is Taylor Swift following your blog? Is she gonna write a song about me because of one time when I dissed her? She probably would, it’s Taylor Swift. (laughs)”

Who wears the pants?

“I don’t think either of us do. I think that, I have more ideas and opinions on things, but then nine times out of ten you agree with me anyway, and when you don’t agree with me, we just work it out anyway. We’re good at compromising!”

What do we argue about the most?

“Taylor Swift. (laughs again). Wrestling, and my heritage.”

If you could be any animal what animal would you be?

-long pause- (not her characters name) “It’s so hard to choose just oneeeee, cos I’d like to be able to fly, but I don’t want to be a bird, and I’d like to be an otter because they sleep holding hands, but I don’t like water. I think I think a monkey like a squirrel monkey because they’re really little but they can climb really high and I like to climb. The animal that I’d least like to be would be one of those fish that eats peoples feet. I just wanted to get that out there.”

Describe yourself in a film/song title.

“You do realise these questions were supposed to be about you right?” Yes. “And you just decided not to do that?” Yes. -long pause- “Can i have two? No I don’t need two. Erm… ermm erm.”

-five minutes later-

“Francis Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle. Just cos it’s really wordy and unnecessary.”

If I was an animal what would I be?

“I’ve told you this before, you’d be a puppy, like a dog that still thinks it’s a puppy, like a very lolloppy dog, one that their tongue hangs out all the time, not because they need to but because they’re too happy to put it back in. And you wouldn’t chase anything you’d just be chilled. And you’d always want your belly rubbed.”

Pick your dream six-band festival day. For both of us.

“Sigh. Oasis. Fall Out Boy. Can they be dead? Not at the show, can I pick people that are dead now?” Yes. “Yes. Not sure if I’m going to pick someone that’s dead, just checking. Slipknot. There’s a moth in the room. Oh it’s unnerving. -gets distracted and yawns- How many am I on, three?”

-another five minutes later-

“Nirvana. Prodigy. Aaand, see I was going to pick three bands I like and three you like but then I tried to do six bands we both like, otherwise I’d put Taylor Swift on it for you. Linkin Park!”

And there we are, this has been a thoroughly enjoyable hour and a half and we will have to do more stuff like this, maybe here maybe YouTube, who knows!

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack

Festival Season 2015! #1: Slam Dunk Festival

Little overdue perhaps, but I have returned with a big and wordy music post on all the festivals that I have been to and not posted about this summer.

As I write currently today now, I haven’t actually been to Leeds fest yet, but it’s coming up so I’ll be either saving this post until then, updating it after I get back or possibly splitting it into two. The suspense is so thrilling, I know.

There will be a couple of media presentations spread across the post, I’m guessing most of the credit for that will be going to Emerald, my fabulous girlfriend who makes documentaries on the gigs and festivals she/we goes/go to. Her YouTube page is here.

Slam Dunk: 23.05.15

Anyway, first up was Slam Dunk, way back in May. Seems like forever ago. Emerald did not come with me to this, so the videos I have are my own phenomenal camera skills. My good, impossible-to-get-a-hold-of friend Ashley came with me, as did my stockroom buddy JD and her friend also. We saw and used a carpool lane in Leeds and were all very excited by it as I recall.

For around £45 the amount of music we got around to see was insane. Off the top of my head now we saw Lower Than Atlantis, A Loss For Words (amazing on their last ever tour, v. sad), Cartel (nostalgic as hell), Zebrahead, and a few others, who I’m sure will be fuming not to get a mention here. In total I think it was 11 or 12 bands we saw on the day, all super fun.

The absolute runaway highlights of the day, though, had to be the first and last bands we saw; PVRIS and The Wonder Years. TWY have been one of my favourite bands since uni, and my first chance seeing them was so epic. There will be a video of questionable quality below as soon as it uploads of one of my favourite songs by them, definitely will be seeing again with their new album out in the next soontime.

I’d only recently downloaded the debut album from PVRIS to prepare and discover a few new bands before I set off for Slam Dunk, and loved it and them. Live they were amazing, the sun was truly out when they came on and it was just cool to stand and watch them turn Ashley into a fan right in front of me. Also, they favourited my tweet about how awesome they were!

A Loss For Words were another of those bands I’d researched before going and I’m so glad I did. Very unlikely we’ll be seeing the play a show over here again, unless I’ve missed some wonderful U-turn they’ve performed in the past couple months.

Zebrahead were a band I was really excited to see, but I’m afraid their set just didn’t sound good from where we were standing. Presumably nothing to do with them, since JD near the front said they were amazing as always, but the stage was at the top of a street, so the further down you came the worse the sound would be I guess.

Cartel were awesome, hadn’t listened to them for years but they were really good. All the bands on the Macbeth stage were brilliant to be honest.

We had a lovely day, wandered around Leeds city centre while waiting between bands, listened to some great music and came home to wait for next year’s announcement. The new location was cool too for me, all the stages were just kinda thrown around in the centre of the city, one in a car park, one on a street, one in Millenium Square. Best part is they were all five minutes away from each other.

Oh, and Ashley bought himself some sunglasses and a snapback to – and I quote – ‘fit in with the festival bellends here and at Download’.

Oh and also Leeds has a self service McDonalds. So, just let that sink in for a minute. Unless you live in Leeds or one of the, presumably, many other places that has a self service McDonalds, in which case I live in the middle of nowhere, let me get excited about this.

Well this has run rather longer than I thought, so I think what I’ll do is just a series, one post for each festival. Sounds like the perfectly sensible idea I should’ve had half an hour ago.

Slam Dunk: 10/10. Will certainly be going back next year if the lineup is half as good as it was this time.

From the kindness of my phone, here is part of an intro of a song by the headliners. Download next!

Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack