Unbelievably it’s December 31st 2013, which is the day that I like to look back over the last 12 months of my life and work out whether or not it was any good, so I’m going to stick on the entire A Day to Remember back catalogue and give it my best shot.
2012 was a funny old year with lots of highs and lows and after what was actually a good NYE I started the year in a funny place in myself, I was living in a difficult arrangement, still trying to get over a past relationship, skint as the next man in the street and generally carrying winter blues, but I had good people around me and Christmas had been well nice. January bought snow, lots and lots of snow. I also moved back to my parents post Christmas in order to save up some money for a deposit on a new place. Getting back to work was a s great as always and I had a pretty busy start to the new year going to watch the Saints lose to Chelsea with Craig & Lee (both Chelsea supporters…), the first Static Prevails radio show of 2013 carried on the now something ridiculous run of like 7 or 8 years that I’ve been doing it, my mate Ricky Brooks moved to Bath in which I spent quite a memorable night with James and Darren, oh and Anberlin was sick. A monthly Poker night got started, for which I have enjoyed throughout the year with my boys.
As February quickly came around work was busy and I was helping out on the college musical of Miss Saigon. As is always the case with any theatre work I do, this was great and I’m very much looking forward to Strode’s production of ‘Godspell’ in the next couple months. A band that I personally really used to enjoy called ‘Francesqa’ reimaged themselves as MMX and released a new EP this month, titled ‘Child’ it is actually great, really different to their older music, so much more than just a name change, go check it out. Myself and the art staff had another mini exhibition of our work in Strode Theatre running for the past few weeks and it all came down in early February, It is actually always really nice to have your work on walls, particularly in a public place, so I hope we get to do it again next year. The biggest and best thing of February was probably the return of Reel Big Fish to the Frome Cheese& Grain. So many of us got together and enjoyed a band that has been around since our mid teens, even better that they were playing our hometown again too.
Brillo and Jude ran the Bath half marathon together in March, with Brillo wonderfully dressed as Spongebob Squarepants. Music wise, a little new band called Bastille released their album bad blood to much praise, and I’d probably say it is one of the best records to come out of this year, Textiles cake Thursdays have still been very much on going this year and March was my go, mxed results this time mind. This month I went to London to spend some time with the best friends I’ve ever had, the beautiful Solent lot. We all just spent most of the time in the pub but it was a genuine treat to see Aj, Steph, Caity and plenty more. On a work related excursion, I ventured up to Birmingham to the Focus on Imaging trade show to take a look at some of the latest photographic equipment in use right now, it was actually really interesting and a good excuse to play with some rather expensive toys. Later this month I actually made a very long overdue upgrade to my own equipment and purchased myself a brand new 60D, it is a wonderful camera to use and I’ve not put it down much since buying it, maybe in the new year I’ll aim to use it even more. Another work related treat this month was the visit of Professor Julian Roberts, he is a textiles artist who specialises in creating dresses from one piece of fabric, it was a good day at work and a nice chance to break in the new camera. After he’d ran Bath, Brillo (and Rich) went on to run a very cold and dreary Yeovil half. Music wise, Cartel released a new album and one of the most underrated bands I know released a second full length this month too, Condtions ‘Full of War’ is actually amazing and if you have never heard of them, go look them up, now. They have actually recently posted that they are to come to an end now too, so even more the reason to go and listen to them. Towards the end of the month I went away with my boys for a few days. It was actually a good laugh with Darren giving birth to the now infamous Roasting Tray evening as well as showing how bad he is at cooking a fry up, oh and how much he disagrees with me cooking multiple eggs in one frying pan. James also knows how to turn it on when he wants to, I nearly set fire to a cushion, Twiby doesn’t like scrambled eggs in the microwave and Darren hates driving with a hangover.
Enter Shikari, came to Frome in April. Yup, seriously, they did. It was insane and every time I see that band live I am always so impressed. They are what live music is all about. The weather started to pick up in April too, with the sun coming right out for the first day music festival of the year for me. Hit the deck was a blast and even Brillo came home to tag along with Pavel and myself, the multiple venue thing actually worked brilliantly and I’m sure I’ll go again next year. I had some images featured on the Cox & Cox blog, My good friend from uni Martyn and his boyfriend made a stop in Frome whilst visiting the west country and Iron man 3 came out this month, I rarely go to the cinema these days (you basically need to give Wonga a call if you want to go) but this was a nice evening out with a few of the boys to watch some explosions and shit.
May was a pretty wonderful month as far as things go. Work was getting pretty mental as the rush to finish all final projects before the show prep started was in full swing. My second day festival of the year came around as myself and Daz went down to the south cost for Takedown, which was quality. I went to see Attack! Attack! On their final tour, Tonight Alive at the Fleece (One of Bristol’s best small venues) as well as a rather bizarre two gigs involving Sleeping with Sirens, a band for which I rather enjoy the music, but live it was a disaster, girls screaming left, right and centre, I’ll just stick to their records. Towards the end of the month Myself, Craig and Daz headed up to the Slam Dunk festival at Herts uni, it was so so good, probably one of the best I’ve been too in ages, fantastic stuff. In other news it was a joy to watch the FC Frome boys win the division one cup final as well as head down to Wembley to watch the Yeovil boys win a rather memorable play off final to be promoted to the Championship, yeah they aren’t doing so great in terms of league performance now, but it’s just amazing to see such a humble little club playing right up there with the best of them.
Two main talking points for the halfway mark of the year. The first is the huge event that is Glastonbury festival. Now, on arrival to the site (I was slightly late, getting their Thursday due to work commitments) it was slightly damp and I was met by the glamorous Bourbons who led me to the caravan where everyone was awaiting a delicious curry. I’d only been on site like ten minutes before we had a rather unfortunate, and damn scary, incident involving a minor explosion with a camping gas canister, fortunately no one was seriously injured but 3 people ended up going to hospital with pretty nasty, deep burns and missed out on the weekend (they are all fine since and made a right old quick recovery, but I can tell you it was bleddy terrifying, and I was lucky that I was outside the caravan when it went off) After the inital scares everything settled into place, the sun came out and the music went on. Highlights? Personally Bastille were great, as were the Wheel of Four Tunes, I’ve managed to secure a ticket for the 2104 festival, so see some of you there. Back at work all projects were finished and the show was to being construction. This year’s students put together probably the best End of Year Show yet. The work was outstanding and it is always a privilege to be a part of it, every single person that had their work on show can be damn proud of the mark that they have left on the college and I’m sure they are excelling at their respective universities or wherever they have gone on to be. It was actually pretty tough seeing a lot of this year’s students leave as they were a fantastic, enthusiastic and talented group of people, some I’ve known since the very first day I started at the college, so it was a little weird to say goodbye and I definitely miss them, and some had just demonstrated a professionalism towards their work that is rarely seen at such a young age.
Summer rolled around (actually summer as well, with some half decent weather) and in between being at work and having some time off, there was the annual Frome Festival, a couple events I attended included the rather fun festival quiz (we came last for the 2nd year running, have that) and the witty and hilarious Phil Jupitus, the latter of which was a bizarre scenario in which he was mis-billed in the brochure and was particularly annoyed, but it ended up being something rather special, as we ventured out to the Ecos stones to watch the rest of the show. I took part in this years Frome 10k, I aimed to finish in under 50 minutes and came in with a time of46minutes 21 seconds, I’,m going to enter next year and hope the break the 45minute mark, that’s the goal anyway. Big news this month was that I found a housemate, my radio co-host Rob needed someone to live with and so with that the house viewings got underway. Other events included my mate from first school having a stag do (he dressed as a crayon) and the auditions for the Merlin theatre’s Christmas production of Alice in Wonderland got underway.
As August reared its head the flat hunting was still ongoing, and was getting a little tedious, being turned down because you were sharers, properties going before you get a chance to view them was getting a little tiring but after lots of knockbacks we finally got some good luck and managed to secure a rather cracking little flat that was perfect for the both of us, signing the contract as soon as could, we moved on the 24th and I’m pretty damn happy here. It’s a social little space, is a million times better than where I was before, close to the town centre and I am just damn proud to have somewhere to call mine (okay, not mine mine, but you get the point). Boring little footnotes to August saw Mav and Father go on a little holiday abroad and the Alan Partridge movie came out (it’s great). In august I worked backstage on the brilliant summer production of Singing in the Rain at the Merlin, this was only a short little run of like 3 nights, but it was a blast and a good chance to see a few faces from previous theatre work, we even had real ‘rain’ on stage. A lovely little outing in August saw myself venture to the brothers for a night of gin based antics as well as meeting Jude a little later for some wine. This was a good evening. This month I also bought myself a Lego Delorean set, menial I know it seems, but thanks to the 21st century life of social media, it meant that someone saw it and invited me over for some pizza and Lego based fun, it was the start of rather nice friendship.
This year I turned 26. Twentyfuckingsix. I feel old, sometimes anyway, it’s weird getting older, paying bills, worrying about dying one day, but nonetheless this was a rather good birthday. To celebrate myself and my new flatmate held a little acoustic gig in the flat, something a little bit special, I also had a damn cool hedgehog cake made for me too. This year’s Pilton Party also fell on my birthday weekend, so I dragged my new legopizza friends (JEss and Ellie)and my sister to watch Miles Kane and Example in a field. It was great; I had cider, fell over and accused a woman of being a man, all in days work. Work was back underway and it was nice to see a few familiar faces return to the college as well as welcoming the new students. My friend Tom had his wedding to the beautiful Emily, congratulations Mr and Mrs Cray and may the future be bright and happy for you both. Another friend also got married too so all the best to them too, I’m really sorry I couldn’t make it on the day. Big news saw Ben and Becky move to Swindon, we all went down for a little housewarming which was good fun and the two of them have a rather snazzy little apartment. Oh and I went to the Cheese Show, can’t forget that.
In October I got to see one of my favourite bands live, Cartel played in support of Kids in Glass Houses, and they were fantastic, even if I did seem to be the only one in the room who knew who they were (Brillo saw them too at a separate gig and I got a text saying he experienced a very similar thing there) I also went to see Madina Lake live on their final farewell tour, Darren missed it, so he was pretty gutted. I managed to secure my Glasto ticket for next year as I mentioned before and the creative meetings for Alice in wonderland were going well, I eventually made a little prop for the white rabbit which I was pretty chuffed with. I also went on my first residential trip with work as I visited Lacock Abbey, it was actually a right good day and hopefully there will be more trips to come. I’d been hanging out with JEss and Ellie now for a fair few weeks and I’d become really quite good friends with JEss in particular. Now, she is a rather beautiful lady who was making me happy for the first time in ages. Since my last relationship, I’d been pretty guarded when it came to things like this and I had spent the last two years convinced I’d be alright by myself, but she had come along and was making me laugh, turns out she too felt the same way, so I guess that was nice. Right at the end of the month I went to a little Halloween party at JEss and Ellie’s house to see the month out.
Early November and my dad had planned a little dinner party that I was invited too. He themed it all balck and white (dress, food, decorations) and it was a good laugh. The rehearsals for Alice were all taking place and really coming together and I was shooting some behindthescene photos for it all, as well as the promotional material that would go in the local papers. Myself and the pretty Jessica were more than happy in a now confirmed relationship, and it’s been a joy ever since, she’s great and it’s really nice to find someone who understands me, she has made the last two months of the year a pleasure and I can’t thank her enough for just being such a brilliant friend as well as a beautiful partner. A couple of gigs this month, one being Mallory Knox, Who are always good and Yellowcard, who played Ocean Avenue (now 10 years old) in full, all acoustic, it was a blinder and a real treat to see that band so close, one from the teenage years that. For the Frome extravaganza Jenson Button came back home and drove his McLaren through the town centre. This, was, awesome. Anyone that moaned about it can literally do one, as it was actually great, not just for the F1 fans, but for Frome in general.
So December. Well, I have spent most of this month being the busiest boy ever. Alice opened and ran for the usual two weeks. It was really brilliant and I love the theatre. Anne did a fantastic directing the show and I’d just like to say thanks to everyone involved for all the time and effort they all put in, I can’t wait for next years show. All the long days and late nights though took it’s toll and I spent two weeks dealing with a bold case of flu, which was an absolute drag and I felt proper crap, luckily though I shook it early enough to fully enjoy Christmas, meeting all of JEss’s lovely family, eating too much food, getting some nice presents (cheers for all me kitchen knives mav), going to see my wonderful friend Lamb and her Dave and generally just having a quite positive end to the year.
Anyway, that’s about it, 3000 words of nonsense of all the things I’ve done this year. As for next year I’m looking forward to all the gigs I’ve already booked in, namely Neck Deep, Twenty One Pilots and the Fall Out Boy arena show. I want to go back to Slam Dunk as well as being so stoked for Glastonbury. I want to go away with the boys again, maybe somewhere a little further afar, and in general I just want to do even more things with the four of us. I’d like to maybe look at replacing my car as, upgrading my computer and hopefully investing in a new games console. I’d like for me and JEss to continue being the brilliant partnership that we are and I’d like to see more of the people I love that have become more distant as time has gone on. As always I’d like to continue doing the job I do as I love it more than anything as well as maybe looking into that teaching thing everyone talks about. Finally I’d like to just enjoy the things whatever 2014 has to throw at me, I cannot believe how fast this year has gone, but it has been one hell of a wonderful year and I have been so lucky this year in all the things that have come my way. Have a very merry New Years Eve the lot of you, and I’ll see you all in the future.