Daily Archives: June 8, 2012

Review: Coldplay at Stadium of Light 07/06/12.

I last saw Coldplay in September 2009 while Britain enjoyed something of an Indian summer. My brother and I had a great day in the sunshine being entertained by Coldplay and Jay-Z. At the end of the show in 2009, Coldplay released thousands of paper butterflies into the audience.

Last night in Sunderland, they released the butterflies within the first three songs and that’s when I knew the gig was going to be even better than the last time I saw them. Sadly, the weather didn’t go along with that plan.

Thanks to a Metro strike and torrential rain, some of the crowd were not in the best spirits – and who could blame them? Not to mention the fact that support act Rita Ora was slightly lack lustre and Robyn was just downright odd.

But as soon as Chris Martin et al took to the stage, the crowd went absolutely wild. Coldplay are a class act and Martin an utter gent. I can honestly say I’ve never seen another act who thanks the crowd for their support after every song. I truly feel that Chris Martin’s gratitude is absolutely genuine. Onstage, he acknowledged how difficult it had been to get to the stadium and promised the crowd a great evening. And, man, did they deliver!

The band were delayed in coming to the stage due to the fact that crew had to continuously battle against the heavy rainfall but once the gig got going, there was no stopping them. Every member of the ground was handed flashing wrist bands that, when activated, looked incredible in the crowd. There were inflatables, giant bouncing balls and paper butterflies as well as lasers and fireworks.

Coldplay try everything to encourage their fans to have a good time. The band want their show to be as interactive as possible, it’s great to see a band give so much – you don’t mind paying the money to see them when you know they appreciate it.

Their music is enough to keep everyone entertained. Martin – King of the Geeks – gives it all he has and you have to admire the musical prowess of the band members. The band moved to do a small set at the back of the stadium so as not to leave anyone out. Their anthemic songs rang out and it gave me goosebumps to hear everyone singing along.

The highlight of my evening was the anthemic ‘Viva la Vida’, which left the crowd singing the hook even as they left the ground. Coldplay might be regarded as the boring band of rock at the moment but there was certainly nothing boring about their gig last night.

It might have been cold and wet but Coldplay’s set warmed the cockles of my heart.

Vic x

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Getting to Know You: Allison M. Dickson

Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Allison M. Dickson to the blog. She’s here to talk to us about inspiration. I hope what she has to say inspires you!
Vic x
When people ask what inspires me as a writer, I could give a very long answer. Since Ms. Watson has offered me her blog for the day, I figured this was a great time to come up with an answer.
I’m inspired by life. I’m inspired by quirk. I love rhythms and harmonies. I love dirty and rugged and irregular. It isn’t at all erroneous to say that I also love all these qualities in the men I’m attracted to, but I digress.
People often degrade those who use plain or rough speech as being uneducated, dumb, or unworthy of attention. However, when I venture deep into the country to hear someone speak, someone who perhaps didn’t receive the best education, or has lived a hard life, I become almost obsessed with the cadence of their language. Without any concept of restrictions or pretensions, this person can say things that play in the ear like the finest jazz music in some hole of a bar in the seediest part of New Orleans.
To say I love something like that is an understatement. People who talk “funny” often find their way into my books, in one way or another. The character of Stan in my book ‘Scarlet Letters: The Tale of the Vampire Mailman’ has just a taste of that, and I had so much fun writing him that I’ve decided that if there is to be a sequel, I want him in the starring role. The narrator for my short story ‘Dust’ features a rough-necked man named Clyde Jackson who has seen war and lives by his own rules, and now he has to try to survive a world being slowly consumed by clouds of a gray alien substance in a panic room he built after 9/11. I could hear his voice so clearly in my head that it became my main mission in life to tell his story, long before I actually wrote it.
But that’s not all that inspires me. I’m obsessed with relationships and sociology and family, especially when viewed through a futuristic lens. My upcoming novel, ‘The Last Supper’, deals with a society ravaged by super weeds. In my short story ‘Taste’, I confront the dangers of obsession and unrequited love. I speculate a lot on the potentially large consequences of otherwise very small actions, and my mind becomes a flying carpet, taking me to some very weird and frightening places where I must record the events as I see them.
My last novel, ‘The Stargazers’, ended up being a very personal story for me in how it deals with a young girl attempting to come of age in her own way, despite the extraordinary demands being put on her by her family and the world at large (to sacrifice her child in order to save the world, you know, everyday kind of stuff). I first attempted to tell this story straight, as a mainstream fiction, but the supernatural kept knocking at my door as it always does, and soon I was writing of magical worlds and powerful witches. It’s just where my mind loves to go.
Writing is in itself magic. Finding what inspires you is the main ingredient. I think when you sit down and really think about the little things in life that stick in your brain, you can mold them in such a way that they can inspire someone else. If you do that, you’ll be that much closer to being a writer. The next logical step, of course, is to actually write.
If you would like to read any of the stories mentioned here or any of my other blogs, feel free to find me here: