The Happiness Tag

Now that my head has stopped rebelling against happiness (so dramatic!) I thought it was time for something lighthearted to lift the mood. That’s not to ignore the terrible stuff that has happened since (RIP Jo Cox) but sometimes humour is needed in the depths of despair.

On that note, I  was tagged by the lovely Dannii Jane at A Beautiful Thing to talk about things that make me happy. So here we go!


The rules for this tag are simple. List 5 things that make you happy, 5 songs that make you happy and then nominate 5 bloggers to complete this tag.

5 things that make me happy

  • Sunshine. Instantly lifts my mood and makes me a nicer, happier person (and easier to live with too!)
  • A really good meal. That sense of yummy enjoyment when food is speaking to your very soul.
  • Holidays. Planning them, but more so going on them! Seeing stuff, visiting places, taking photos, lying on a beach – I love everything about getaways.
  • My balcony in summer. I love planning colour schemes and potting new plants, watching them grow.
  • Singing along to powerful songs – the likes of Mariah and Whitney – trying for (and missing!) the high notes and doing the whole fist grab warbly diva thing!

5 songs that make me happy

  • Chris Isaak – Wicked Game

This song reminds me of my husband, we used to listen to it loads when we first got together and it reminds me of that time.

  • Motley Crue – Smokin in the Boys Room

This was always the first song I put on the jukebox in the many nights we spent in the Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood, LA. It’s so fun!

    • Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

I loved this song from the first time I heard it. When we were at the Rolling Stones Hyde Park gig a few years ago I was running round trying to find some friends who’d travelled separately (Hi Cookie and Sadie!) We kept missing each others calls and texts and struggled to get in touch due to poor signal and then I found them when this song was playing. I will always always remember it for that.

  • Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime

The ultimate summer song and one that never fails to make me stop what I’m doing, smile, dance and singalong. I truly believe it’s the best summer song ever! You know I’m right!

  • Finally, a very unseasonal one! Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You

I can’t listen to this without singing. I sing it so badly and I don’t even care, that’s part of the fun! It’s the ultimate Christmas song that I also do a weird hybrid pirouette dance when I hear it at home to make the husband laugh. For that reason he plays it on purpose when I’m doing other stuff, because he knows I’ll drop everything and come and dance in the lounge!

I’m actually not going to nominate anyone specific because I don’t want to put anyone on the spot, but if you’re reading this and it sounds fun then please get involved! And don’t forget to leave me a note in the comments with a link to your post so I can check out your answers.

Happy Friday and thanks, as always, for reading! x

Motley Crue – The Final Tour

This time last week I was basking in how great Motley Crue were at the Genting Arena the night before, and how excited I was to be seeing them at Wembley.

Motley Crue band logo

I’ll start this review by saying wow.

Now I’ll tell you why.

Firstly, Motley Crue as a band have been releasing records for over 30 years. When a band has had commercial success for that length of time; touring the world and playing to hundreds of thousands of people, it’s pretty fair to say they know their stuff. They know how to tour, how to put on a show and how to please an audience.

So it’s pretty difficult to review them in the way you would a smaller/lesser known band at a smaller venue.

Even so, there are bands that lose their shine and passion as the years go on; and perhaps their performance suffers as a result. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s band fall outs, maybe it’s quality of musicianship.

You couldn’t say any of that about Motley Crue’s two performances last week. The stage show was big – there was lots of pyro, millions of lights, fire, and a drumkit on a rollercoaster.

Motley Crue drum rollercoaster 2

Motley Crue drum rollercoaster

Drum rollercoaster

Yep, Tommy Lee’s whole kit was attached to a rollercoaster that came right out into the crowd. During his drum solo he traversed the length of the coaster and back again; going upside down while also spinning around on the drum platform. Pretty spectacular stuff!

All of the big hits were in there with pumped guitar riffs and singalong vocals. Vince was flanked by two hot girls in tiny leather outfits, and why wouldn’t he be? This is a band who were instrumental in 80s rock and really lived the rock and roll dream of sex, drugs and debauchery. They’re over 50 now, yet to watch them you wouldn’t know it. There were no signs of lethargy or slowing down- each and every member of the band was really going for it.

Vince’s vocals have taken a battering in certain reviews I’ve read, and a lot of people decided not to see them again after outdoor festival performances at this year’s Sweden Rock and Download. I don’t think an outdoor festival is ever the best representation of how good a band can be, to be honest. And with the amount of energy and movement he puts into working the stage, it’s hardly surprising he doesn’t hit every single note!

I’ve seen them 6 times in total now, which is a lot for a band I never really thought I liked before the first time, but I can honestly say that I’ve loved each and every show. Part of the brilliance is that there are hardcore fans at their gigs who absolutely live and breathe their music, so the atmosphere and excitement is electric. And the band genuinely seem to care about their performance and giving everything. The visual aspect of the shows, as well as the audio, is above and beyond what a lot of bands do.

At the end, Vince and Nikki stepped onto two mechanical arms which then swept out into the crowd, so they were over and above the audience and playing to people below.

Nikki and Vince

Necessary? Not at all! Imaginative? Yes! Expensive and difficult to set up at each gig? You betcha! But they did it because the passion is still there to deliver a great show.

Nikki fireworks

Nikki finale


Nikki Sixx

The finale couldn’t have been more different. The band left the main stage and made their way to a small platform half way in the crowd, lighting their path with torches. Just the four of them; Nikki on bass, Mick on guitar, Tommy on piano and Vince on vocals they sang Home Sweet Home.

Home Sweet Home

Nikki and Tommy Home Sweet Home

Vince Home Sweet Home

Nikki close up

No fancy effects, no bright lights – just the band in a pared down, intimate (well, as intimate as you can be in a sold out arena!) and emotional goodbye.

Crue famously signed legal documents stating that they will never tour again, so there was always going to be a lot of hype to this tour. Sceptics would say it’s a sure fire way of selling out venues, which they did. And of course there’s lots of sadness from lifelong fans that they’ll never see them again, but going out on a high was a good move. The fans will be left with nothing but positive memories of a great live goodbye.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Celebrity crushes

A bit of fun on the blog today (and an excuse to perv over ridiculously hot men!)

Inspired by the fact that I saw one of my big celebrity crushes on stage last night (and again tomorrow, woo!) and that another one of is all over TV chat shows at the moment (I’m not complaining).

So, in no particular order…

First up, Nikki Sixx. Ooh, ooh, ooh! He’s such a tattooed, big haired, guyliner wearing pot of yumminess! We saw Motley Crue in Birmingham last night and he was definitely the member of the band I had my eye on the most! So cool, so passionate!

My favourite picture of him really doesn’t need any explanation!

Tattooed Nikki Sixx

Nikki Sixx 2

Nikki Sixx

Next, we have Adam Lambert. Yes, I know he’s gay. But what does that matter? It’s not like I’m ever going to meet him or try to start a relationship. This is purely aesthetic, and he just looks sooooo good. Plus he’s ridiculously talented – we saw him with Queen earlier this year and he was amazing; vocally great and a true performer. Seeing him on TV he comes across as funny, and cheeky and a good laugh.

Adam Lambert with Queen

Adam Lambert 2

Adam Lambert

Last but not least – Johnny Depp. I mean, who doesn’t fancy Johnny Depp? He’s gorgeous and always has been, he’s an incredibly talented and versatile actor and now he’s taking to the stage with rock and roll legends as a guitarist for the band Hollywood Vampires. Not only that but he’s great at it. Is there nothing the Depp-meister can’t do?

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp Hollywood Vampires

Johnny Depp 2

I’ve already documented my love for Steven Tyler earlier this year; you can read about it here

Now I’m off to send a loving text message to the husband before he reads this post and tells me off!

Thanks, as always, for reading – and let me know your celebrity crushes!

The decline of the Los Angeles rock scene

My musical heritage is very different to my husband’s. He grew up in the days of Motley Crue, Skid Row and Bon Jovi – where the songs were big and the hair even bigger. These bands cut their teeth in the bars of West Hollywood, playing early gigs and drinking until they were carried out.

Sunset Blvd

We first went to LA for a whistle stop 3 days as part of a bigger West Coast trip. I didn’t understand the appeal, as I didn’t have the history that he had. But seeing his face as he walked into The Rainbow was a picture, and one I was happy to be part of.

Rainbow bar and grill outside

Rainbow bar and grill inside

We’ve been 3 more times since then. Apart from Birmingham, LA is the place in the world I’ve spent most time. The second and third time my love grew. I was more into rock music by then, and loved the history of the venues, even though I wasn’t around for the music at the time.

Whisky a Go Go

Seeing live bands play stages that had been graced by The Doors with Jim Morrison in the 60s. Sitting in the booth in The Rainbow which features in the November Rain video. Watching Motley Crue play on Sunset Boulevard when they closed the road for the festival – with the full roller coaster drum kit set up. All very special times. Chilling by the hotel pool in the day.

Mondrian Los Angeles pool

Seeing Lionel Richie in the hotel foyer and overlooking the exclusive Virgin Atlantic party from our bedroom. Watching Vince Neill of Motley Crue getting progressively more drunk on champagne in the hotel bar. Even seeing The Saturdays being interviewed by the pool. I’m not into celebrity, but there’s still something exciting about seeing these people sharing your airspace.

By the fourth time it was clear that things were starting to decline.

The rock scene is disappearing. There’s a big rise in R&B and hip hop acts playing WeHo venues. And that brings a different type of crowd – one who perhaps is less tolerant of the rockers with their long hair and tight trousers. Venues have closed. Not just the House of Blues – that’s just the latest one. The Roxy, Red Rock Bar and Cat Club all closed within about a year of each other. Cat Club became an Irish bar. That goes way against the history of the Strip.

Boutiques and restaurants and plazas are popping up.

Sunset Plaza

There’s a lot of money in the area; Ferraris and Lamborghinis are common place out side restaurants. And because the Strip is such a small part of WeHo, and indeed WeHo itself isn’t that big, space is at a prime. Developers see big opportunities for big bucks. Rock tourism (and rock locals) aren’t the big bucks spenders. Which is why places like the House of Blues are being torn down and replaced with condos and hotels.

Sunset Strip Music Festival – which started off honouring rockers such as Ozzy Osbourne and Motley Crue – now hosts electronic dance DJs.

The only places that left on the Strip now are the Roxy, the Whisky, the Viper Room and the Rainbow. Sure there are a few other bars in the area as well, but in a town that used to be renowned for partying, most venues are fairly quiet in the week. I think, as much as it pains me to say it, it’s only a matter of time before the remaining places start to close too.

It’s a long way to go and a lot of money to spend to get a watered down version of what it once was – especially when you’ve done all the tourist places and seen the other parts of LA you want to see.

Time for a new music mecca!


We’re already looking towards “Music City”.

Nashville, Tennessee – yee-hah!

Flashback Friday – Sunset Strip Music Festival 2011

Four years ago, right now, we were in Los Angeles. More specifically in West Hollywood. Sunset Boulevard (The Strip) had been closed down for a street festival that was being headlined by Motley Crue. Husband smiled so much I thought his face might fall off.

We’d been to LA twice before – the previous year was in June. We’d seen the festival advertised and said we’d definitely go in 2011, not knowing who was playing. When it was announced that it would be Motley Crue it was amazing – they’re my husband’s favourite EVER band. Knowing that we would see them on The Strip where it all began for them 30 years previously was amazing.

We went to the honouree event at the House of Blues (which you can read about here) but the gig was what was going to be really special.

The day was scorching hot with blue skies and wall to wall sun. As are most days in Los Angeles (lucky swines!)

Sunset Strip music festival view

The street had been closed form the night before while the organisers set everything up, and it soon got really busy.

Sunset Strip music festival view 2

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This was the year that Tommy Lee’s drum kit was set up on a rollercoaster loop the loop. We never for one minute imagined they’d build that set up outside. Oh but they did!

Tommy Lee rollercoaster Sunset Strip Music Festival

As darkness fell we bagged ourselves a good viewing spot ready to enjoy a once in a lifetime show.

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And it really was amazing! The sound, the pyro, the stage show, everything!

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Tommy played “Home Sweet Home” on a mirrored piano.

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See his drumkit at the bottom of the loop the loop?

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It went up and over, with him still playing!

Motley Crue Sunset Strip Music Festival

The atmosphere was electric.

Motley Crue Sunset Strip Music Festival

Afterwards we went into the legendary Rainbow Bar and ate pizza in one of the booths.

Inside the Rainbow Sunset Strip Music Festival

Bumped into a few famous faces – yes that’s Ron Jeremy!

Me with Ron Jeremy

What a trip that was. Unfortunately the LA rock scene is dying…my post tomorrow explains more…

Goodbye House of Blues Los Angeles

House of Blues Los Angeles closed it’s doors last week – yet another iconic music venue which is no more.

  House of Blues Los Angeles closed

I went to House of Blues a few times during my trips to LA. I saw Motley Crue being honoured there as part of Sunset Strip Music Festival exactly 4 years ago today.

Motley Crue at House of Blues Los Angeles

Nikki Sixx, swoon…

Nikki Sixx at House of Blues Los Angeles

Surviving members of The Doors played on the same night. That’s pretty legendary!

Steel Panther, poo-pooed by many for being a comedy band but who are actually great performers and musicians, played a regular Monday night residency.

Steel Panther at House of Blues Los Angeles

The after parties following the shows were amazing; raucous, loud and drunken.

The building itself is so cool – looking like a beat up old ramshackle tin shed, it’s size is deceptive.

House of Blues Los Angeles

With a restaurant area, large gig space and balcony bars it was a really great, quirky, unusual place serving Deep South inspired food, good measures and quality sound.

It’s sad that it’s closed. It’s even more sad that the building will be torn down and replaced with hotels, condos and entertainment spaces. West Hollywood is losing it’s musical edge and appeal; the history which made it the iconic hang out being plastered over with bricks and mortar to reap financial reward.