Saturday, 16 April 2016

All Time Low Back To The Future Hearts Tour 2016

Back in February I went to see All Time Low in Glasgow for their Back To The Future Hearts Tour.  On Facebook I described the day as "seeing one of my favourite bands with two of my favourite people" because I had a great time.  We spent the day together in Glasgow, window shopping and eating Millie's Cookies then went to the SSE Hydro in the evening for the concert. 

We arrived at the venue about half an hour before the doors opened, I was panicking slightly as we had standing tickets and thought that by arriving this late we wouldn't get a good spot.  But we somehow managed to end up in the queue which got let in the quickest, and ended up pretty near the end of the catwalk - yes, there was a freaking catwalk!

All Time Low are getting bigger and bigger over here in the UK but you can still bet on their audiences still being mostly filled with a core of people who are dedicated fans of not only this band but alternative music in general. 

The opening acts for this tour were Against The Current and Good Charlotte.  Their music styles are quiet different but both had the crowd getting hyped up, and put on a great show.  Against The Current displayed a lot of musical ability for a fairly new band and seeing them live has made me listen to their music more.  Good Charlotte performing was like being at an old punk show, it was brilliant.  They played a range of their older music as well as a few new songs, and their onstage banter was great. 


During the opening acts I got split up from my two friends but ended up two rows from the front and made small talk with a few of the people around me.   Adam Elmakias (one of my favourite music photographers) was one of the official photographers for this tour and went round the front of the catwalk handing out some of his wristbands and I managed to get some for me and my friend Becca which was great. 

When All Time Low came on they entered the stage through a rising platform and the energy in the arena was ecstatic.  Their set was a good mixture of their older and newer music, hearing songs from their Put Up or Shut Up EP was incredible as a it gave a sense of how far this band has come.  I only took a few photos throughout the concert, the majority of the photos I have are from my wonderful friend Becca.

Seeing Alex Gaskarth perform Therapy so up close was pretty emotional, but not as emotional as being one of the voices in an arena full of people singing along with him.

Overall it was a pretty amazing concert.  The first time I saw All Time Low was at the SSE Hydro I February last year when they toured with You Me At Six which I was sitting pretty far back for.  The second time I saw All Time Low was at the Corn exchange in Edinburgh for their Reading & Leeds warm up gig in ugust last year.  That was a very small venue in comparison, hot, all standing, and one of the best concerts I've been too.  This cncert was like a combination of my other two times seeing All Time Low.  Yet this was a milestone for a band, they knew and so did the fans. 

This was All Time Low's first time headlinging an arena tour in UK where they weren't co-headlining,  The had the crew and the equipment to not just put on a gig put a show and the most certainly did that.  It was a punk show with the fun of the pyro and fire, and the usual ridiculous banter from Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat. 

I had a great time at this concert and hope to see All Time Low again.  Let me know in the comments about what concerts you've been too, I'd love to hear about your experiences.


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Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Baking Diaries | Madeira Cupcakes with Orange Frosting

It feels so good to be having a quite day where I can just sit at my laptop and type up a blog post (and by this I mean sitting on my roommates bed, stealing chips from her KFC and listening to James Blunt).  This past week has been extremely busy workwise for me, it was full of ups and downs and I'm so tired but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.  My week ahead is yet another busy work week but I'm looking forward to it. 

I haven't baked in a while because I've been working but I thought I'd share a recipe with you all that I tried a while ago and loved.  The madeira cupcake recipe that I use is from a Marks & Spencer cupcake book that was published in 2008 and is one of my favourite baking books that I own. 


For the cupcakes:

180g unsalted butter (softened)
170g caster sugar (superfine)
3 eggs
165g plain flour
2tsp plain flour
1tsp finely grated orange zest
1tbspn orange juice

For the icing:

250g icing sugar (sifted)
125g unsalted butter (softened)
1tbspn orange juice

Firstly you need to preheat your oven to 180 degrees (I use a fan oven) and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper cases. 

Next you need to beat together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Then add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture after adding each egg.   Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl and fold into the mixture.  Then fold in the orange zest and orange juice until all the ingredients are combined. 

Divide the mixture evenly between the cases then bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (or until a skewer placed in the cakes comes out clean).  Place the cupcakes on a wire cooling rack. 

While waiting for your cupcakes to cool you can, make the orange flavoured icing.  Measure out the butter and orange juice into a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add the icing sugar to the bowl, mixing together after each addition.  Continue to mix the icing until you have a smooth consistency to the mixture.  If you wish you can add orange food colouring, however I prefer not to add this. 
Using an icing knife, spread the icing on top of each cupcake then decorate as desired.  I decorated mine with silver sugar balls. 

I really enjoyed baking these cupcakes and they taste divine, the texture of the sponge is so unique for a cupcake but is still really yummy!  Let me know in the comments what you think of the recipe, I'd love to hear your opinions, and let me know if you try baking them yourself!