Music Talk : Manchester Music Trip

Finally have the time to start editing pictures.
I'm going to blog about my first day in the UK.
First stop was Manchester.
Good thing about travelling long distance alone is that 
I get to think a lot and reflect on life, I also get inspired most of the time.
What's more amazing about this trip? I get to do something that I'm so passionate about.
It was a music trip, UK music trip, what a dream came true.
 I don't want to stop exploring British music in Great Britain.
Downside about travelling alone is that my photographer friends aren't around to
help take nice shots of me, haha!
Wait. Who's complaining? Certainly not, haha.
First thing first, shoutout to team @LoveGreatBritain for such an interesting itinerary.
It made my trip so easy, I didn't have to worry about planning my own itinerary.
For those who want to go on a music trip in UK, I hope my blog posts can do you some help.

I travelled with Qatar airways this time, it was a pleasant flight.
 It's not as expensive as before to get to England anymore.
Malaysia Airlines has been doing promo offering super low fares to get to England.
I flew with Etihad the last time, got stranded in Abu Dhabi on the way back.
Not a very pleasant experience but it's okay.
I want to try Emirates the next time because I'm definitely going back!
I'm planning to see Sam Smith, Adele live, soon, one day, one day...

Anyway, I transited in Doha, it was my first time being in Doha.
It's a dope airport, artistic, modern and elegant.
The art pieces will make you stop and stare.
Took some shots in black and white using Huawei P9.
Compact, convenient, brilliant shots, I didn't have to carry my camera around.

I don't know about this massive teddy bear but it sure is a famous one.
Apparently, it's an art piece that belongs to Qatar royal family.

Moving on.
So many of you sent me messages and emails asking about getting through immigration.
I replied a few and I got lazy, so I'll just blog it out.
Some asked if I had to show proof of income to get into UK border.
( ps : you guys should really watch a programme called UK Border Force.
It's interesting and you'll learn about what to bring and what not to bring,
what to do and what not to do when you travel to the UK. )
Anyway, it's pretty subjective, depending on the immigration officers.

I haven't had to show proof of income so far.
The first time I went, I met quite a scary immigration officer.
She was grumpy, she asked me what was I going to do in London.
I said I was going to watch Coldplay and James Bay.
Then, she told me to show her my return flight.
So I showed her the confirmation email, she went all crazy on me.
She said she couldn't see it on my phone, why didn't I print it out.
I was thinking uhm? to save paper? everything runs paperless now?
Nah, I didn't say that, I just told her that I didn't get it printed because it's all in my phone.
She said she can't see it, she can't help me.
I just looked at her blankly, thinking waddhaya want from me, lol.
She was pissed at me and yelled out to a young male officer.
The male officer came to my rescue.
"Oh yeah, it's stated here that she's going back seven days later."
He tried to make small talk to soothe my mood because I was standing there, stunned, lol.
That's why it's subjective, maybe the immigration lady was having a bad day. Period.

This time I landed in Manchester.
The immigration officer I met was chill, friendly.
He was like so whatchu going to do here.
I just told him about the itinerary and where am I going to stay.

They will only ask you simple questions.
If you're not guilty, you have nothing to worry about.
Simple as that.

So, 1. no, I didn't have to show proof of income.
2. yes, they ask questions.
3. make sure you know what you're doing, where you're going to make the process easier.
You'll be fine.

It was afternoon when I arrived in Manchester.
I was knackered after an eight-hour flight to Doha, waited three hours in the airport,
then flew another seven hours to Manchester.
Jet lag was definitely kicking in, I normally take two days to recover, lol.
I checked in to Radisson Blu Edwardian, housed within the former Lesser Free Trade Hall.
I went for a walk before dinner.

Manchester is a city that generated, still generates world renowned bands and artistes.
Manchester has dictated trends in music history throughout decades.
Heard of Madchester genre? Some of you probably did but
I recently just learnt about this genre, guess it's not too late.
There are plenty of iconic landmarks and venues for you to visit here to
get the closest experience to your favourite band's history.

Such magnificent view from the hotel, Radisson Blu Edwardian.

I think I have a thing for pretty bathrooms.

It was time to meet the rest of my tour mates over dinner at Opus One.
Opus One restaurant serves innovative modern British food.
It's perfect for the first night as it's located in the hotel.
Its high ceilings make the space look dramatically theatrical.
Guess what? Hallé Berry once had cocktails at the Opus One Bar.

Here we learnt about history of the Free Trade Hall, the hotel.

The dinner was so unforgettable because I met music experts from all around the world.
China, Japan, Brazil, Spain, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, Canada, The States.
Most of them are older, hence their rich experience.
They've been writing about music for a long time.
I told them that I want to grow up to be like them, I want to know everything about British music.
They know every single thing about everything, everything.
They know about every song, every album, every historical gig.
I want to share about the music I love to the younger generations like this, in the future.
 I want to be able to answer all their questions, just like how they answered mine.
They told me stories about how they splurged on vinyls, how crazy they went on collecting albums.
30 years from now, I want to share about Ed Sheeran, James Bay, Coldplay, Ellie Goulding,
Kodaline, Arctic Monkeys +++ to the younger generations.

All pumped for the next day.
We went on a Manchester Music Tour with Craig Gill of the Inspiral Carpets.
If you're interested :
We got to experience all the sights and sounds from the city that inspired
all of these great musicians, walk in their footsteps and
hear first-hand how Manchester has produced plenty of superstars.
To be very honest, I'm not familiar about 70s 80s British music because I wasn't born, haha.
Not too bad at 90s British music, thanks to my dad for being such a good influence.
He used to play guitar for his school band.
He listens to a lot of Scorpions, The Beatles, ABBA, Rolling Stones, The Carpenters +

Back to Craig Gill, he was famous in the 80s, he is the drummer for the band Inspiral Carpets.
I checked their music out before I went on the tour with him.
To me, their music is alternative rock with lotsa distorted guitars.
Their music is also categorized as Madchester genre, that's how I learnt about this genre.
Then, I listened to The Smiths too, I thought I wasn't familiar with them.
They all told me "don't worry, you must've heard their songs before, you just don't know it's them."
When they played "There's A Light That Never Goes Out" and my sudden realization...
 Their music is categorized as alternative rock and indie pop.
Listen to the indie pop nowadays, it has evolved.
What's a band that makes good indie pop now? Do share it with me if you know any.
I think it's the influence from American music, everyone makes pop music now.
I thought Coldplay's music was indie pop + alternative rock but listen to their music now,
it's super pop, not much of the INDIE pop/Britpop touch anymore.
The older bands make a stronger and a distinct style of music.
In my opinion, they made better indie pop/Britpop but who am I to judge? Haha.
 Still, after listening to the older bands, I'm better at differentiating genres.
Oasis is actually Britpop + rock, I used to think that they're indie rock.
You know what indie rock nowadays? Arctic Monkeys.
Arctic Monkeys, they make distinguishable, distinct, defined style of music.
Check them out if you haven't.

Went a little over the top.
Back to Craig, he is super down-to-Earth.
That's the thing about musicians who genuinely love music.
Imagine the drummer from The 1975 hosts a music tour 30 years later, that'll be so cool.
All they want to do is share about music.

What's Free Trade Hall?
It was Manchester's premier concert hall until the opening of Bridgewater hall.
Now the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel.
It was the venue for the 1966 “Electric Bob Dylan” controversy and
the infamous audience heckle of “Judas!”.
The Sex Pistols also played here to an audience including future members of the Buzzcocks,
Joy Division, The Fall, Simply Red and The Smiths.
These histories turned 40, 50 years.
It's a significant year for musical anniversaries in Manchester.

Autographs of famous artistes, framed and set on the walls in the hotel.

It seems like things have changed but some things remain.
Famous photographs taken at the same place but different years.

Another famous landmark, the bridge where Joy Division shot their album cover.

My attempt, close enough.

Our tour bus, lookin' rad.

Oasis used to jam here at The Broadwalk.
They used to rehearse and play gigs here.

A gig used to cost 2 STERLING POUNDS.
Can we turn back time?

Vibrant streets in the city centre of Manchester.
Filled with musical history everywhere.
Must visit Manchester’s Northern Quarter – including Afflecks Palace.
A famous spot for clothes shopping during the ‘madchester’ era.

Next to Afflecks is Piccadilly Records.
Heard so much about this record store.
Piccadilly Records prospered in the post-punk 80s,
selling a mixture of rock, pop, indie and alternative music.
They keep the reputation as one of the world's best independent record shops.

Look at the labels and descriptions they did to the albums, it's amazing.

 My tour mates lost themselves here, hahaha.

Last stop was Salford Lads Club, a remarkable club.
The founding aims of the club were to eep kids off the streets,
encourage them to play sports, do art and get education.
It has kept to its roots since 1903.
Lotsa big names donated to this club to keep its doors opened.
More than 200 youngsters continue to use the building every week and volunteers
continue their contributions to the club.

My favourite is this room, I think they call it the "The Smiths" room.

Spot Cara Delevigne in pink-peach jacket.

Check this Wall of Names.
Super super super cool.
It contains the names of 22000 members of Salford Lads Clun from 1903 to 2015.

Side note:

I took some time off to get to Old Trafford Stadium.
Yep, one of my dreams came true.
I always wanted to step foot on Old Trafford, I made it.
I didn't have time to do the stadium tour but at least, I was there.

Bad pictures, but still in front of the stadium, haha!

Thanks to Annabelle for this shot.

Manchester trip was a little too short.
I feel like I could've explored more with more time.
We then headed off to Wales for Festival Number 6.

How do I end this post now?
Self shot OOTD picture, lol.
Bye for now.


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