Monday, 15 December 2014

Olympia le-Tan's Disney inspired clutch bags

If you can't appreciate a bit of novelty value in the run-up to Christmas, when can you? Having said that, if you are starting to feel that the British public have taken the crap festive jumper thing a bit too far, you might just prefer these Disney-themed embroidered clutch bags by Olympia Le Tan. I know they are a little more expensive than your average Primark jumper, but they are so much more chic, right?

The popularity of the designer's previous literary-inspired bags makes the collaboration with Disney an obvious choice. So if you want to inject a bit of grown-up Disney magic into your wardrobe (and have £1,105 to spare, or a fairy godmother) then head on over to

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Today's Soundtrack: Trapt – Bring It

Today's soundtrack is Bring It by Trapt. It would have been impossible to pick my favourite Trapt song as there really are too many, so I went with something from their most recent album, Reborn.

Formed in California in 1997, Trapt have six studio albums and countless tours under their belt. They are probably best known for 2003's Headstrong, but more than 10 years later they still have plenty of die-hard fans; enough to raise $50,000 via a crowdfunding campaign to produce their next album DNA.

As far as rock bands go, Trapt have a pretty commercial sound – I recently read somebody describe Headstrong as the nu-metal Eye Of The Tiger! – but I have a bit of a soft spot for them. I've been waiting a very long time for them to come to London and finally next week they'll be performing at Borderline. I'll have had the privilege of seeing some of my favourite bands several times this year, but to see one for the very first time, that has been in my life for so long, is pretty special.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Today's Soundtrack: Family Force 5 – Zombie

Are you having a Halloween party tonight? If so, make sure this song is on your playlist. Trust me, you won't regret it. It's particularly appropriate as I'm off to Backyard Cinema to watch Zombieland and party with the undead! Time to limber up and get in some cardio...


Happy Halloween!

Halloween is my favourite holiday. Pagan and religious roots aside, it's basically an excuse (should you need one) to be creative and go crazy with the costumes and makeup. And who doesn't enjoy drinking a cocktail or two dressed as a zombie bride?! Exactly. So here's a little bit of Halloween fashion inspiration, from the incredible Maleficent-inspired shoes by Christian Louboutin, to Taking Back Sunday's 'Halloween Is' shirt....

Eylure Halloween Lashes Spooky, £4.64 (RRP £6.95)
Leather tote bag by REDValentino, £410
Limited edition Taking Back Sunday 'Halloween Is' shirt,
House of Holland Nails by Elegant Touch, £7.99
Maleficent inspired Malangeli shoes, £950 Christian Louboutin
UV Lipstick, £4 
Sequin bat mask, £7

Monday, 27 October 2014

Oscar de la Renta, 1932 – 2014

Last week came the sad news that one of the fashion world's most iconic designers, Oscar de la Renta, passed away aged 82 following a long battle with cancer. Since founding his own label in 1965, his name has become synonymous with glamour, and his designs have been worn and loved by an impressive list of ladies, from Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn to Sarah Jessica Parker and Taylor Swift.

Oscar's designs are both powerful and elegant, successfully capturing his Latin roots with a bold use of colour. Combine this with impeccable tailoring, reflective of his time in Paris in the early 1960s, and the up-town style of his life in New York, and you begin to understand why his work has such far-reaching and enduring appeal.

"Fashion is about dressing according to what's fashionable. Style is more about being yourself"
– Oscar de la Renta

So here are a few facts about a man who will be remembered and revered for many years to come:

Born in Santo Dimingo on 22 July 1932
Studied painting at the Academy of San Fernando aged 18
Learned fashion design under Cristobal Belenciaga
Was an assistant to Antonio Castillo at Lanvin in Paris from 1960-63
Created his first perfume, Oscar, in 1977
Artistic Director for Pierre Balmain from 1993 to 2002 – the first American designer to create haute couture for a Paris fashion house
Third husband of former editor-in-chief for french Vogue, Francoise de Langlade, until her death in 1983
Designed Amal Alamuddin's dress for her marriage to George Clooney last month
Held dual citizenship in the Dominican Republic and United States


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Excuses, excuses.....

This is one great big apology for the fact that I have seriously neglected the blog for the last couple of months. It is without a doubt the longest I have ever gone without posting and I'm a little bit ashamed of that fact. There are many reasons for my absence; personal ones, professional ones and, most recently, because this happened.....

Yep, that's right. Orlando 2014! Two weeks of theme parks, sunbathing, eating good food and drinking considerably more than we should have... Orlando is definitely the Marmite of the holiday destination world, you either love it or you hate it, and to be honest when I first went 10 years ago I was expecting it to be a one time deal. But here I am, five trips later, and my advice would be don't knock it 'til you try it!

Eating and drinking our way around the globe at Epcot's Food & Wine Festival, clearly a very serious business...

Supporting my beloved Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium

Making friends at Busch Gardens

The 'special' effects of Mike's Harder Lemonade at Halloween Horror Nights

Springfield at Universal Studios. I can now officially tick drinking a beer at Moe's off the bucket list...

If you are wondering why I look like I'm about to cry in the photo above, it's because this was the last day and we were about to leave for the airport. I'm a true sun worshipper and the thought of leaving 30 degree sunshine to return to grey old England was just too much for me to bear!

Huge thank yous for such an epic vacation go to: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (I love you no matter what), Mickey Mouse for inviting us to his Halloween party, Universal Studios for putting on the best Halloween Horror Nights I've witnessed in years, the Cheesecake Factory for the same reason as always, Mike's Harder Lemonade for producing some of the most memorable and memory-wiping moments of the holiday, Wholefoods for its vegan snacks and awesome beers, Epcot for its always epic food and wine festival, Rise Against, Sugar Ray, Richie the cab driver, the geese that visited our hotel each day and many more....

Last but not least a huge thank you to James, Horwill and Joss, for an amazing holiday, for willingly going on carousels with me and for making me laugh for two weeks straight! You guys rule.

Anyway, now that the jet lag is dealt with and the post-holiday blues are starting to lift, I've given myself a good metaphorical kick up the backside and established a few goals, the first of which is to return to my former regular blogging ways. First post done! That's one thing I can tick off my list, which means I've officially earned a tea break, right?!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Today's soundtrack: Pixies – Greens and Blues

Today's soundtrack is Greens and Blues by the Pixies, a band who are almost as old as I am and, after almost three decades, boasts three of its founding members. Despite reuniting in 2003 after a ten year split, things have been decidedly quiet on the Pixies front, and Indie Cindy (released back in April) is their first album in over 20 years. Blue Eyed Hexe immediately received extensive radio airplay, but for some reason I have only just got my hands on the full album. My review? Definitely worth the wait.

Blue Eyed Hexe is well worth a listen, but I've chosen Greens and Blues for today's soundtrack, which has a more classic Pixies sound and is a nice chilled way to start your Thursday.


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Official Music Video: Pigsty – Bayside

This is the new video for Pigsty from Bayside's latest album Cult. And yes, they play some dodgeball. There's not much more I need to say, just watch and enjoy!


Monday, 11 August 2014

Time: Tattoo Art Today at Somerset House

I made the most of Saturday morning's beautiful weather by getting up early and heading to Somerset House to see Time: Tattoo Art Today – yet another fantastic exhibition with free admission. It comprises work by 70 of the world's most influential tattoo artists, each commissioned to create a unique piece of work on the theme of 'Time', using any medium they liked apart from their usual canvas – skin.

Tattoo art has a fascinating history, reportedly dating back to Neolithic times. In western society it has evolved from something that was typically associated with the lower and even criminal classes, to an integral part of contemporary culture, so it's great to see some of the tattoo world's finest being recognised in this way.

© Kurt Wiscombe

I was immediately struck by just how incredibly talented these artists are. It’s easy to forget that first and foremost they are just that, artists. Tattooing is their chosen profession but, while they might spend the majority of their time creating art on the human body, they can also produce oil paintings to rival those in the National Gallery and interpret a brief like 'Time' with unrivalled creativity.

Naturally the theme lends itself to ideas of life and death, and many iconic symbols prevalent in the tattoo world are utilised, from skulls and clocks, to flower blossoms and the female form. The materials used are diverse and include various types of painting, bronze sculpture and mixed media pieces.

Many well-known names have contributed to the exhibition, including Don Ed Hardy, Mr Cartoon and my personal favourites Ami James and Chris Garver (Miami Ink anyone?), and while it would be hard to pick out favourites, here are a few I particularly wanted to mention.

© Rose Hardy

Rouge by Rose Hardy
This is such a beautiful interpretation of the theme, with the constant life-cycle of flowers represented in acrylic and watercolour, from buds and blossoms to the wilted petals. I love how the vibrant colours in the roses contrast with the monochrome shades of the classic pin-up girl’s eye makeup. The composition and execution are equally impressive.

© Chris Garver

Indigo Dragons by Chris Garver
The body is a natural canvas for a tattoo artist and I love that Chris Garver chose to illustrate a mannequin in this way. The use of blue on white for Chinese dragons is very reminiscent of the country's traditional blue and white porcelain, dating back to the 9th century.

© Shawn Barber
Kim Saigh at work, with Jamie Kompon by Shawn Barber
Kim Saigh chose to illustrate girlfriend (and fellow tattoo artist) Kim Saigh at work on former professional hockey player Jamie Kompon. Barber spent years documenting contemporary tattoo culture before picking up the tattoo machine himself, and he taught drawing and painting at art schools for over a decade. The multiple representations of Kim and Jamie illustrate the passing of time in what, as anyone with a tattoo will know, can often be a very lengthy process!

© Alex Binnie

Self Portrait by Alex Binnie
Tattoo artist and printmaker, Alex Binnie, has been tattooing since the 80s and established one of the first custom tattoo shops in London. I love this graphic self portrait showing both the inside and outside of himself in two distinct halves. Such a simple but effective piece.

Time: Tattoo Art Today is a fantastic exhibition and well worth a visit. I would have liked a bit of information about the thought process behind each piece, because it's something that always interests me, however, as I have come to expect from Somerset House, it is an incredibly well thought out exhibition. Tattoos tend to divide opinion (possibly because like all art forms, their creators range considerably in terms of talent), so an exhibition like this is a fantastic reminder of the abilities of the cream of the crop – creative, innovative and bound to leave an impression.

Time: Tattoo Art Today is at the Embankment Galleries, South Wing at Somerset House until 5 October 2014. For more information visit

A beautiful sunny morning at Somerset House

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Tigercub at The Social, Soho

One of the best things about living in London, or any major city for that matter, is that you never have to travel far to get to a good gig. If a band is touring the UK they are inevitably going to wind up in London and, equally, there are plenty of lesser-known bands playing venues all over the city.

Another great thing is that there is something to do on any night of the week. (When you have previously lived somewhere that resembles a ghost town from Sunday to Thursday this is very much appreciated.) So to spend your Wednesday evening in the company of Tigercub and not even have to pay a penny for the privilege is pretty darn great!

As you might remember, I stumbled across Tigercub just over a year ago when they were supporting Dinosaur Pile-Up at The Hope in Brighton. It was one of those rare occasions that we arrived in time to catch the support act and were very impressed. I've tried to see them a few times since and for one reason or another it just hasn't happened, but last Wednesday they were at The Social in Soho.

The Brighton three-piece have a heavily grunge-inspired sound fused with just the tiniest hint of pop. Growing up in the nineties they list a catalogue of great bands as influential to their work – Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Weezer – as well as a wider range including John Lennon and The Monks. Being a nineties kid too I'm a sucker for grunge and in my opinion they capture the best parts without sounding dated or overly nostalgic; it's different and new but still comfortingly familiar.

Musical talent aside, there is something immediately likeable about Tigercub. They have stage presence without having to try too hard, they seem like the kind of guys you could happily drink beer and talk music with and, most importantly, they seem genuine – you can always tell when the music comes first for a band and not the image.

The Social is a pretty small venue but the sound is good and Tigercub put on a solid show. Despite being a week night, the crowd that turned out clearly enjoyed the set and, best of all, the band played with the same commitment that many reserve for a much larger audience. My personal highlight was Centerfold, a song that perfectly captures exactly why I love Tigercub.

With so many bands emerging from Brighton it's pretty hard to stand out from the crowd, but I hope Tigercub's hard work and perseverance pays off. Although I enjoyed seeing them in such an intimate venue yet again, I feel slightly maternal towards these guys and nothing would make me more proud than seeing them play to the size of crowd they deserve.

This is their debut single Blue Blood, produced by Tom Dalgety and Dinosaur Pile-Up's Matt Bigland. You can also check out  Centerfold here.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Summer 2014 Fashion Picks

It's been a little while since I did some virtual shopping for Rock & Runway, so I decided to put together a few pieces for my wish-list that are perfect for all my favourite summer activities, from picnics in the park to pub crawls. No explanation needed here really, I'm sure you all know my taste by now – leopard print Converse, Karl Lagerfeld t-shirt, Marc Jacobs sunnies, YSL bag... say no more.

All items can be found at

Denim shorts £160 by Rag & Bone
T-shirt £85 by Karl Lagerfeld
Acetate sunglasses £220 by Marc Jacobs
Leather shoulder bag £970 by Saint Laurent
High-tops £75 by Converse
Earring £325 by Givenchy


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Today's Soundtrack: Royal Blood – Figure It Out

Today's soundtrack is Figure It Out by Royal Blood. I sadly missed a chance to see them supported by Tigercub a while back, when I made a rookie error and left it too late to get tickets. I was pretty disappointed. The Brighton boys have a fantastic sound, especially when you consider that there is only two of them, and Figure It Out is the new single due out on August 18th.

This will be their fourth single since November last year, despite the fact their debut self-titled album isn't available until 25 August, (although you can get your hands on a four-track EP) and each one has been consistently solid, making their album a highly-anticipated release.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Something for the Runway readers...

As many of you will probably know by now, I've been working on a little project with my beautiful best friend Kay. We've been talking about setting up a beauty blog to share our many product recommendations with like minded ladies for a long time, and the result is Your Beauty Best Friend. We're both beauty product junkies and a bit addicted to beauty blogs, but many of them are written by women who are one or two (or ten!) years younger than us. We wanted to create something that would be as useful to women in their thirties as it is to those a little younger than us.

We'll be sharing product reviews of makeup, skincare, hair care and lots more, because let's face it, with so much choice out there it's kind of nice to read a recommendation or two before parting with your hard earned cash. And as we're not affiliated with any brands you can be sure that all of our reviews are one hundred percent honest!

The project is still evolving and we really want to make our blog as useful as possible to a wide audience, so if you are a fellow beauty junkie, check it out at and drop us a line at with any comments or requests for products you would like reviewed.

You can also follow us on Twitter @YourBeautyBF and on Instagram @YOUR_BEAUTY_BEST_FRIEND (search for Kay and Jen) and sign up to receive our blog posts via email from the homepage.

On the subject of email updates, don't forget you can receive Rock & Runway posts in the same way, by popping your email address in the box at the the top of the right hand column.

Jen x

Friday, 11 July 2014

The Used at Scala

There are many things that you should be doing 48 hours before you move house (packing, panicking...), and going to a gig probably isn't one of them. But this wasn't any old gig, it was The Used at Scala, and the tickets had been purchased months before we knew that the sale of our house would drag on for so darn long....

Before I get to the show, I'm going to admit that my last few write-ups have been a tad soppy and full of unadulterated praise (see Taking Back Sunday and Bayside for proof). I'd like to say that this particular trend is over (writing about bad shows is actually easier than good ones) but, along with the aforementioned, The Used make up my holy trinity – the final piece in the puzzle of a long time love affair that I really can't play down.

So there I was, a million miles away from the stress of preparing to move house (or so it felt), happy to have escaped the nightmare of knowing that 80 percent of my life was packed up into boxes, or worse, that the remaining 20 percent was yet to be dealt with. Beers had been drunk, dinner had been eaten, and we had grabbed that elusive spot on Scala's balcony that nobody else seems to know about – perfect view, queue-less bar just behind, what's not to love?!

Formed in 2001, The Used hail from Utah and, drummer aside, they have retained the same lineup ever since. They are a fantastic live band and front man Bert McCracken is... well, he's Bert. Unique, charismatic and unpredictable, with a voice to match. I've seen him at previous shows in various moods ranging from completely crazy to kind of grumpy – but tonight he was at his finest; funny, engaging and extolling the virtues of sobriety.

The Used released their self-titled debut album 12 years ago and subsequently followed it with five more, the most recent being Imaginary Enemy, released in April. With each album their sound has evolved; from the post-hardcore, rawness of their first record and the follow-up In Love and Death, to the slickly produced Lies For The Liars, via a range of influences on Artwork and Vulnerable, culminating in the politically charged anthems on their latest offering.

As their sound has developed, I've witnessed one or two fans fall by the wayside, having decided that the experiments with dub step were quite literally a step too far (listen to Hands and Faces and make up your own mind – I'm definitely in the 'love it' camp). These particular fans wanted The Used to stay the same as in the early days, but that isn't realistic. It's like asking you to wear exactly the same outfit for ten years and not get bored.

Personally I love them as much as I ever did. They have retained what makes them The Used and perhaps I have simply evolved alongside them, but all I know is that I still listen to each of their albums with an (almost) equal passion. I could never put my finger on exactly why the changes have worked, until Bert did it for me, saying "We've always tried to do what isn't cool." Simple but so true. They don't follow the crowd – hell they don't even try to please the crowd – they just keep doing their own thing, and that's an attractive quality in all walks of life.

Kicking off their set with Cry from Imaginary Enemy – yet another example of a song I fell for instantly – they immediately went back in time to Take It Away from In Love and Death, proving effortlessly just how relevant their older material still is. I was transported back to my university days and the memory of the nightclub that played Take It Away every week without fail whilst serving ridiculously cheap drinks. This was followed by The Bird and The Worm off what I lovingly refer to as the 'over produced' Lies For The Liars, then Listening, I Caught Fire, The Taste Of Ink, All That I've Got and Buried Myself Alive.

It was an incredible trip down memory lane. The sound was great, the atmosphere was electric, and once again I was reminded just how passionate and dedicated The Used fans are. We were then brought back to the present by Revolution, the powerful opening track off their latest release. By the time they reached the encore and the always-moving On My Own I felt a bit sad, it was the kind of night that you just don't want to end. However, some uninvited guest vocals from a baritone voice in the crowd hilariously killed the mood, making even Bert laugh.

Finally the band played A Box Full Of Sharp Objects, finishing very appropriately with one of their oldest and most beloved songs. It was perfect. After 12 years and a lot of ups and downs, I'm so glad that I still love The Used. And the girl I was ten years ago, dancing to Take It Away and drinking Jack to forget her troubles, would be pretty damn pleased about that fact too.

Huge thank you goes to Luke Osborne for the fantastic photos, shot on behalf of You can check out more of Luke's work at


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Sarah Louise Bennett on the highs and lows of music photography

Music photographer Sarah Louise Bennett first came to my attention when I saw the fantastic photographs she took at the Taking Back Sunday gig at Koko in February. Always on the look out for images that are infinitely superior to my own, I got in touch and she kindly let me use them on Rock & Runway. Realising that we like a lot of the same bands and wanting to feature more of her brilliant work, I took the opportunity to interview her and find out more about the highs and lows of being a music photographer.

Alkaline Trio at The Forum which I reviewed in April

 Sarah has been interested in photography since she was just 14, and since studying at Nottingham Trent University, she has been shooting a mix of live music and portraiture, which takes her all over the country. Based between Reading, London and Oxford, she kindly took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions.

How did you get into photography?
I was given a terrible point and shoot camera for my 14th birthday and took it absolutely everywhere with me – obviously it joined me when I went to my first proper gig. After that gig, one of the band members found my photos on MySpace (yeah, it was a while ago!) and said they really liked them. In retrospect, he was probably just being kind – they were awful photos! – but that little bit of encouragement really sparked the idea of exploring music photography properly for me.

Taking back Sunday

Baby Godzilla at ArcTanGent 2013

What camera do you use?
A Nikon D700. My primary lenses are Nikon's 24-70mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8 and I also use their SB-910 flash.

Do you prefer colour or B&W? Do you do much work in post?
I tend to stick to colour if I can, I'm a sucker for cool production and lighting design so I want to try and capture that too. Some things just don't photograph well though. Red light for example is notoriously tricky to shoot in, digital cameras just struggle to process it, so those shots tend to need more in post. Otherwise I tend to do basic adjustments such as exposure, levels and cropping if the shot needs it.

How would you describe your style?
I don't want to take photos of people on stage with instruments, I want to take pictures of passion and emotion; that's what good music is about for me.

Funeral For A Friend at Slam Dunk South 2013

What's the biggest challenge for music photographers?
Lighting, or lack of it, can be an absolute nightmare, but that's something you can try and prepare for with the right gear, or salvage in post if you have to! I'd say the biggest challenge across the industry is the devaluation of music photography as a whole. These days, music photographers are a dime a dozen, and it takes a lot of time and hard work to gain respect and trust from bands. Ultimately, I do this because I love photography and music, and I want to work with other creatives and offer them a service.

Fall Out Boy at Wembley Arena 2014

Which are your favourite music festivals? Are you going to any this year?
There are so many great festivals around at the moment; it's my favourite time of year because you come across so many bands that you might not catch otherwise! My absolute favourite is Reading. I grew up in the town but my parents weren't keen on the idea of me going to the festival when I was younger (perhaps they'd seen some of the shenanigans that go down first hand!). As a kid, it was always this thing of awe that was just out of reach, so finally getting to photograph the festival last year was a real highlight. I'm hoping to shoot it again this year as well as Sonisphere, 2000 Trees, Truck, Merthyr Rock and ArcTanGent. Plus I covered Hit The Deck and Slam Dunk Recently and I'm confirmed for Download!

Gnarwolves at 2000 Trees 2013

 Which photographers do you admire/inspire you most?

There are so many! In terms of music photography, Danny North, Adam Elmakias and Todd Owyoung are some that stick out – they're all photographers who take beautiful photos but also have great business sense and work ethic.

If you could photograph any band past or present, who would it be?
Nirvana, Queen and Jimi Hendrix were all extremely talented and renowned for their incredible live shows – I just wish I'd been around to capture them! I've been incredibly lucky to have crossed a lot of awesome bands off my bucket list though, but there's nothing like shooting an up-and-coming band that takes you by surprise.

Josh Homme

Check out more of Sarah's fantastic images on her website and social media:


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Today's Soundtrack: Refused – New Noise

Today's soundtrack is New Noise by Refused because there are days when only Refused will do. If you need a little mid-week pick-me-up then turn this up loud and remind yourself that not only are we more than halfway through the week, but we are heading towards another bank holiday weekend!

For anyone who isn't familiar with Refused, they are a Swedish hard-core punk band from the 90s who reformed and blew my mind at several gigs in 2012 (you can read more about that here). Although they initially broke up a matter of months after their 1998 album The Shape of Punk to Come, it is frequently listed on 'most influential albums' lists and for very good reason – it has definitely stood the test of time.


Friday, 16 May 2014

Glow in the dark jelly shoes by Vivienne Westwood+Melissa

I have to admit, I'm a bit of a fan of jelly shoes, thanks to my beautiful sister who bought me my first pair of Holster sandals a few years ago – they aren't your traditional jelly shoes and have become a total summer staple. (Seriously, this woman should be paid commission by Holster for the amount of sales she has encouraged amongst friends...) And yesterday she pointed me in the direction of these babies by Vivienne Westwood + Melissa. Yep, that's right.... they glow in the dark!

There's no denying that after a few drinks on a summer evening this would entertain me hugely. I can't be the only adult who is still fascinated by the way G&Ts glow under UV light right?! If white isn't your thing, they are also available in a whole bunch of other colours including my personal favourite, the black glitter. This pair might not glow in the dark but, like my beloved Holsters, I think they might just become a holiday staple.

£85 from

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Rock & Runway: dinosaur edition

If there’s one thing I love almost as much as music and fashion it’s dinosaurs. I bloody love dinosaurs. In fact it’s quite surprising that it’s taken this long for them to infiltrate my blog! But in light of the discovery of Qianzhousauras sinensis – or Pinocchio Rex as he has been nicknamed – I decided to let dinosaurs have a moment.

The skeleton of this 66-million-year-old tyrannosaur has been dug up in China and identified by scientists at Edinburgh University. It is smaller and more muscular than its better known big brother but has a much longer snout, hence the nickname. Two long-nosed juveniles have previously been found but it was unclear whether the long snout was a transient feature that grew out as the species matured, so the discovery of the adult Pinocchio is a pretty big deal.

Dinosaurs have infiltrated just about every aspect of popular culture, and why wouldn't they? Dinosaurs, in my professional opinion, are awesome. My childhood was filled with them – dinosaur toys, dinosaur films, trips to the natural history museum – and it is my suspicion that just about any child who saw Jurassic Park in the cinema is equally as smitten.

So how, you may wonder, am I going to make my love of dinosaurs relevant to Rock & Runway? Well first up is a little dino-inspired fashion. All too often it is the children that get the best of the dino fashion but occasionally they make an appearance on the runway. My favourite such moment was Giles spring/summer 2010 collection. Remember this bag? Oh how I wanted one of those bad boys.

Dinosaur t-shirts are never too hard to find. My beloved Jurassic Park one (see above) came from Universal Studios in Florida – Jurassic Park ride anyone?! – but I also have my eye on this one from the Natural History museum.

On the music front I have two options. First up is Dinosaur Pile-Up with Peninsula, from their second album Nature Nurture. If you don't remember me mentioning them before you can read my reviews here. Second is the incredible Jurassic Park theme by John Williams. I defy any child of the 80s/90s to listen to this and not get a little bit emotional…. It might seem a bit unorthodox featuring classical music on a blog dedicated to rock music but dinosaurs are bad-ass and, frankly, classical music doesn’t get much more rock 'n' roll than this.

Read more about the discovery of Pinocchio Rex here.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Bayside and Alkaline Trio at The Forum, Kentish Town

We all know that getting a person's name tattooed is usually a very bad idea. Tacky? Probably. Risky? Definitely. But committing your love for a band to ink is another matter entirely (unless you have a Lost Prophets tattoo in which case you probably regret it for numerous reasons), which is why I'm happy to wear my Bayside bird with pride. They are my favourite band and I don't use the word 'favourite' lightly.

If you ask me to name my favourite film or fashion designer, the best that I can do is come up with a top five, and with bands I would probably need to make it a top ten. But when push comes to shove and I have to pick a favourite, it's always Bayside. I won't try and rationalise why. I could bore you for hours talking about their beautifully clever lyrics and infectious melodies, their talent as musicians or passion as live performers... but like all great loves it really just boils down to chemistry. And man am I smitten.

So on Saturday morning I woke up with a big fat smile on my face knowing that they were back in London for the first time in several years. Better still they were supporting Alkaline Trio, a band that I have recently rekindled my feelings for after a love affair that ended inexplicably without me even realising many years ago.

The fact that Bayside are still a support act baffles me. Formed in 2000, they have six studio albums under their belt and have been on numerous high profile tours with bands such as Taking Back Sunday. I can't work out for the life of me how they are so incredibly underrated. To see a support act of their calibre is pretty rare and I've seen them play some small venues, supporting bands that are clearly inferior. (Sorry A Day To Remember but you know I'm right...)

On the plus side it does mean that I'm still getting to see my favourite band up close and personal at venues like The Forum, and on Saturday I had a first class view just a few rows back, smack bang in front of bassist Nick Ghanbarian.

Bayside are currently promoting their latest album Cult and kicked things off with a new song Big Cheese before working their way through classics like The Walking Wounded and Devotion and Desire.

Anthony Raneri's completely unique voice gives the band a distinctive edge and guitarist Jack O'Shea effortlessly proved why he has been nominated for Best Guitarist at the first Alternative Press music awards, a well deserved accolade. Check out Devotion and Desire and you'll see what I mean – for the record he's just as flawless live.

Quite simply Bayside killed it. Once they had finished I knew that I had already got my money's worth. Were it not for an impending set by Alkaline Trio I could happily have called it a night and gone home to my sofa to celebrate Bayside's success with my good friend Jack Daniels. Instead I settled for another trip to the bar, which sadly lost us our prime position. The atmosphere isn't the same when you are further away from the stage but we still had a pretty good view. Luckily it was nowhere near as packed as last year's Refused gig which made me dislike the Forum immensely for a while...

Alkaline Trio put on a great show as expected and I, along with the rest of the crowd, happily sang my way through nine albums' worth of gold. I'm not sure I can pick out a highlight but This Could Be Love, Stupid Kid and Private Eye were all pretty incredible. In fact here's the setlist so you can see for yourself:

Yes, Alkaline Trio were fantastic but for me they were simply the icing on the Bayside cake. I got my fix. But a high like that is inevitably followed by a low, and the next morning I found myself wondering if I'd be waiting just as long for them to return to London. Or will 2014 be the year they hit the big time?

After all these years I'm completely torn between wanting Bayside to take over the world and achieve every bit of success they deserve, and wanting them to stay exactly as they are – seriously underrated but perfect. A Bayside gig is the only place that anyone has recognised my tattoo and if I'm honest I like it that way. I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve every single day but only a fellow Bayside fan will ever know it.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Top 5 Sunglasses – SS14

Yes, it's that time of year again! My sunglasses have taken up permanent residence in my handbag 'just in case' and the second the sun appears I dash out to the patio and spend half an hour on my sun lounger before a cloud arrives and I have to get back to work. Does anyone else who works from home do the same thing or is it just me?...

This season there's a really wide variety of styles hitting the shops and the slightly crazier ones are my favourites – bright colours, animal prints, totally unnecessary embellishment – particularly from my new sunglasses crush Anna-Karin Karlsson. I hope you enjoy my top five!

Anna-Karin Karlsson, £655

House of Holland, £180

Miu Miu, £240

Anna-Karin Karlsson, £480

The Row, £270

© Rock & Runway

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