Saturday, 30 April 2016
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Last Monday I was invited down to The Forge in Camden for an exclusive screening of Jagermeister's latest extreme musical performance starring Matt Tuck of Bullet for my Valentine.
Before you watch my chat with the frontman, I'll just give you some info about the lengths he and the Jagermeister team went to to accomplish this world first gig.....
March - Tromsø, Norway 2016 – Jägermeister accomplished a world first by producing a thrilling continuous gig on air, sea and land, featuring Matt Tuck – lead singer of multi-award winning British heavy metal band, Bullet for My Valentine,achieving top ten hits across the world including the US, UK, across Europe and Australia. The adrenalin-filled gig, which marked the fifth and most extreme chapter in Jägermeister’s Ice Cold Gig series, took place amidst (and above) the Lyngsfjord region, near Tromsø, in the stunning setting of North Norway, 192 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Jägermeister, the iconic German herbal spirit renowned for pushing the limits in the music world, invited the Bullet for My Valentine frontman, who has been part of the JägerMusic programme for years, to perform in this exhilarating world first attempt. The epic event encompasses three elements – never before associated with one continuous gig.
Matt and his unsuspecting audience of three loyal friends - completely oblivious to the adventure ahead until arriving at the dropzone - ascended to 15,000 feet above the stunning Lyngsfjord in a Eurocopter AS350 helicopter, set to start the show of a lifetime and truly test the bonds of friendship. Each paired with a specially trained instructor, Jägermeister’s 2016 Ice Cold Gig started in freezing freefall with the band launched into the brutal -30 Norwegian air. After the icy and swift free-fall and with canopy opened at 7000 feet, Matt grabbed his guitar playing the first song of the gig, The Last Fight, recorded on Zaxcom receivers for his floating audience, listening in on Sennheiser G3 headphones; a unique moment in music history.
Stage two of the Ice Cold Gig saw Matt and his mates whisked across the tranquil Lyngsfjord they had plummeted towards moments before, in a Buster Magnum speed boat. With wind chill factored in at -20 the challenge for Matt to sing and play the guitar was very real, yet spirits remained high with Matt wanting to put on a show deserving of his closest friends, who all sang along to Matt’s second song of the gig, Venom, the title track of Bullet for My Valentine’s phenomenally successful latest album which topped charts across the globe, and hit number 3 in the UK.
When the quartet arrived back on land they were led by Siberian huskies through the glistening Norwegian snow towards the Gukkesgaissa Mountains with Matt playing his 2010 classic Bittersweet Memories. Ushering his crew back to a traditional Norwegian Sami camp, the friends gathered alongside enthusiastic locals (including a couple of reindeer) – and, toasting to friendship and a world’s first in music; air, sea and land, celebrated with a well-deserved ice cold shot of Jägermeister.
After the gig, frontman Matt Tuck said: “I’ve played some incredible gigs around the world, but that was right up there, literally. Jäger’s Ice Cold Gig was one of the very best and definitely the most extreme! It’s my first skydiving experience, so dealing with the excitement and nerves – even before you add in the ruthless cold – was intense, but totally worth it. It’s awesome to say you did a world’s first in music, but to do it with my best mates, the guys who were there with me from the beginning, made it unforgettable. Now for a drink!”
In the Ice Cold Gig series, there’s no obstacle too big for Jägermeister to overcome. Jägermeister’s 2015 Ice Cold Gig saw UK progressive rock band TesseracT perform on top of an immense gigantic igloo, thought to be the world’s biggest, spanning the equivalent of 3.5 double decker buses in Ylläs Village in Lapland, Finland.
In 2014, Jägermeister hosted the world’s first gig on an iceberg with UK metal band The Defiled. The band performed a special set to a host of locals from the nearby town of Kulusuk Greenland, who ventured out to the ice field to watch this once-in-a-lifetime experience from an array of fishing boats and leisure craft.
Tom Carson, Jägermeister UK music manager added: ‘We go bigger every year and because of the nature of this world first, spanning air, sea and land, in extreme conditions, this gig was not only a test of friendship but one of supporting each other too. I think they had a great laugh.The Ice Cold Gigs have become such a prominent feature for our JägerMusic programme and this year we really wanted to celebrate musicians giving back to the people who supported them from the very start; typically their best friends’.
Like Jägermeister’s 85 year old secret recipe, plans like these do not come about overnight. The mammoth challenge of putting this incredible tribute to friendship together fell to Secret Compass, a professional expedition company whose Brand Projects team is adept at conceptualising and delivering multi-platform media projects of this nature in the world's wildest places. Faced with extreme modes of transport, freezing temperatures, high winds and rock stars, the team utilised strategic planning, the latest high tech equipment and sheer human endurance to capture the essence of the project.
Tom McShane, Operations Director, Secret Compass commented: “From having to film from helicopters, skydiving, speedboats to huskies, this project was mammoth in the extreme. From looking after all the filming and audio kit in freezing temperatures, to co-ordinating the permissions to run a really complex project, and getting the logistics in place has been challenging to say the least, but like Jägermeister, we revel in breaking boundaries.’
Thank you to Tom Reast for arranging the chat with Matt.
So last week I posted a little video about dressing with Denim Hair featuring some new tops that have made it into my wardrobe in recent weeks. I knew that my new blue tinged hair would be short lived so I wanted to make sure the outfits I chose over the couple of weeks (following my temporary transformation_ would do it justice. I wanted to wear tops that would either compliment the hair by being the complete opposite on the colour wheel, or ones that would fit into the pastel blue/silver colour pallette and create a tonal look.
This is probably my favourite top from the lookbook, a denim bardot style top from Forever 21, who are fast becoming my favourite high street fashion store. I'm kicking myself for not shopping there sooner, they have so many great pieces, but are extremely affordable too. What's not to like?
Bardot style tops are big this S/S too, and are great for those that don't like to show too much bosom. If you are smaller chested the frill part of the top also gives the illussion of a bigger breast...if that's what your after. I've never gelt comfortable showing off my gazongas, but I am more than happy to get the shoulders out. I actually find shoulders a rather shexy part of the female body, and its somehow less in your face than heaving bosoms. I think it's a personal thing...just do what you feel comfortable doing skin exposing wise. Bra wise...try and hunt down that elusive well fitting and comfortable strapless bra. In it's absence I just had to tuck in the straps of my faithful everyday black bra...unfortunately when I looked at my photos half of them were unuseble due to rogue strap, or cup rearing over the top.
Because I am creating a double denim look by combining my top with my hair, I thought another denim on my bottoms might be overkill. To give the look a bit of an edge I teamed with my faux leather skinny trousers. I'd not reccommend these in the summer months, particularly if like me, the majority of your sweat glands seem to be located in your posterior.
As you guys know by now I always like to give you guys an insight into the realities of blogging, so let me give you a few nuggets about this little photoshoot sess.
So rather than doing another rather amateur looking shoot in my garden we decided to venture out. I don't tend to do this often because I find the thought of posing in public horrendous. Si is really trying to encourage me to stop worrying about it and try and up my blogging game in terms of the outfit pics. I had said that I was looking for rust/orange coloured background as well as icy silver of blue, so he thought the local industrial estate with all their metal doors and garages might be a good shout.
It was bitterly cold that day and raining. I had curled my hair prior, but as you can see if feel prey to the wrath of the weather.
We found a good spot to take some pictures so we ran over sheltered by Si's big Zara Puffa, which I'd put on the floor when it was time for posing. Men kept coming out of their offices and warehouse, curious as to what was going on. This did nothing to help me look relaxed and natural. As per usual Si got increasingly frustrated with me, as my awkwardness was clearly visible in all the pictures. I also got heckled a couple times - they're really doing nothing to help sterotypes here - 'she looks scary' I guess referring to my blue hair, and the classic ' get your tits out'. Si kept telling me not to woryr about it, but only girls will get this...it's very offputting.
Then next hump in the road came from the realisation that my comfort eating had had an impact on the bod. In the past I will admit to being one of those really annoying people that can eat what they like and not really put on weight. Unfortunately those times are now in the past, and my penchant for snacking is starting to make a real different to the state of my figure. To be fair to my I was wearing trousers that do hit an unfortunate place on my stomach that means it's cut in and creates a flop over the top - this is why we wear high waisted jeans people!! That said, I've defintely developed a bit of a soft tum over the last few weeks. I'm not stressed about it , because I'm not exactly working hard to do anything about it, but it was a bit gutting when Simon kept having to tell me to breath in, suck in, or pull my top down.
You'll notice it in some of the photos, but rather than edit or leave them out of the post I've decided to keep them in. As I keep hammering home on this blog, I want this to be a place on honesty, and me and my soft tum is the reality of my current situation. I've got a bit of time before bikini season right?
Forever 21 Top
New Look Boots
Claires Accessories Necklace
Tuesday, 26 April 2016
When the opportunity came for me long blonde hair to be transformed to an on-trend denim, I was obviously intrigued and excited by the prospect. That said, a large part of me felt anxious and fearful as I pressed reply on my email saying that I was up for doing it.
With every drastic hair change there is an element of risk, and as I have suffered at the hand of a hairstylist before, a traumatic event which resulted in losing a lot of inch of my hair due to bleach frazzling, I am perhaps more wary than most. As you will have read from various post denim posts I needn't have worried in the care of Adam Reed, but in less expert hands you really are taking a leap of faith.
When I had to cut my hair short a few years ago due to a dodgy dip dye (I won't name and shame the salon) I felt completely bereft. I felt at least 50% less attractive, and as someone that doesn't consider themselves high on that scale, that was a drop I couldn't really afford to have. It made me realize how much of my esteem and confidence lies in my hair.
I've very unremarkable on the looks front. I have no stand out features. My face is plain. I'm just run of the mill. Josephine average....you get what I'm saying. One thing I had and the one apsect of me that would occasionly recieve complimentary comments was my hair. For some reason I have always been able to grow it long, which I know it something not everyone can do...hence all the potions and supplements on the markets promoted for their growth enhancing qualities.
As I've said before my hair has also been a comfort blanket of sorts. When I'm suffering one of my allergic reaction rashes, or struggling with a serious acne breakout, I'd use my mane as veil to mask, or at least dilute the drama of the markings.
So as I said before, when I was forced to cut my hair I didn't feel good about myself...and I also just didn't feel like myself. I realised that I had been relying too much on my hair. Investing too much of my identity and esteem into these odd strands of fibre that come out of my skull.
Very odd when you think about it like that.
When I started to ponder this realisation in depth, I realised what a risky and potentionally dangerous thing this is to do.
I'm from a family that has suffered numerous times at the cruel hands of cancer. I've known people going through treatment and the resulting hair loss. I've also known people with alopecia, and even suffered my own hair loss during an intense period of stress.
We don't know what the future has planned for us and what expected or unexpected traumas, hiccups, difficulties may arise. We can't ever fuly prepare ourselves for the spanners that appears in the works, but I do want to try and make sure I have my prioities sorted and try to get myself in a place where I am more focused on the important aspects of what it is to be a human. Essentially finding my self worth in other things less superficial.
Transferring these notions to my work life... I don't want my blog or YouTube to be solely focused on looks or the superficial. Not, that's not quite right...what I mean is, I don't want it to be focosed on my looks. I'm not saying I wouldn't have a channel dedicated to beauty/make up/fashion...in fact I think YouTube needs these sorts of channels because escapism is SO important in this stressful world we live in (in fact I hardly ever watch the sort of content I make, I'm always looking for fun/silly/mundane videos).
There are a lot of YouTubers and Bloggers that have carved a huge following because people love the way they look. People love their style. Perhaps they are really great at doing their make up. Perhaps they look great in crop tops. Maybe they have super cool coloured hair or extremely long hair. On Instagram in particular you don't even have be a blogger in the traditional sense (many don't have blogs or write anything), but you can create a career just out of posting pictures of yourself. Us girls love to look at other girls - what they're wearing, what their house is like, how they've done their hair, how the look in a bikini, what they'e buying. Sometimes we even follow accounts that are just selfie after selfie. I don't whether we enjoy that combination of the feelings of jealousy and aspiration, or whether we just like looking at things we deem 'pretty' or 'cool'. It's a weird phenomneom.
I find myself worrying about these types on bloggers though. Although I'm sure many have other jobs and goals on the side, and this is merely a lovely side project/bonus of being attractive, I do worry what happens when they age or if their looks are effected in some way. If their looks were not considered aspirational anymore, have they instilled enough of their personality into their posts that people would stick around?
When I went Denim I saw a slew of new people follow me on Instagram and YouTube. Of coure as someone trying to build my channel/following this was great. But I couldn't help but wonder whether they would quickly disappear as my hair dye faded.
It made me realise that I'd much people follow me because they like what I've got to say, my personality....rather than current look ( particularly as someone who is getting more haggared by the day).
But this is a tricky conundrum for a YouTuber or Blogger. I should be doing all I can to grow and build my audience, and I do know what I need to look like and the content I need to do to acheive this. But, I also don't want my behaviour, style, content to be dictated by my ambition to be a successful YouTuber/Blogger. Essentially I'm cutting my nose off to spite by face...but I'm hoping I'll be comforted by knowing I'm staying true. I've kind of veered away form my original point here...but I just wanted to briefly delve into how your image can have an effect on your popularity on the likes on Instagram and YouTube.
Back to my original points regarding the fact I was far too attached to my long blonde hair...
In daring to go for denim I felt like I was free'd from my shackles. For a bit I wouldn't be described as 'you know, the Sophie with the long blonde hair'. Okay, maybe I wouldn't be described as Sophie the one that's true to herself and writes about stuff she's passionate about, but for a little bit I might be the 'Sophie, with the denim hair'. Just having a change means you can step out of routine, be out of your comfort zone, and there a lot to be said about putting yourself in new situations. I've always loved that I can blend in to a crowd and be invisble, I hate to be the centre of attention. Having blue hair did mean I was far more noticeable, which was terrifying and took a bit of getting used to. I think it probably did me some good though. I found myself having to fake confidence and coolness to try and pull of my new look. You know what they say...fake it till you make it.
When I was taking shots of my new blue look, I tucked it into my polo neck to create a faux bob. After being gutsy and dying my hair blue, I now felt far less stressed about the mere idea of cutting my hair short. I don't think I'm ready for the leap just yet, but It doesn't feel nearly as horrendous an idea as before.
I guess what I'm saying is... Let's not put so much importantce and emphasis on our looks, I know I don't want my looks to have such a hold over my level of esteem. Easier said than done, and I'm probably only one percent there, but let's allow ourselves to have fun with our looks, and let what we do and say do the real talking!
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