Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Vinyl records the revival

In January of 2017 sales of Vinyl Records had hit a 25 year high, in 2016 for the first time the sales of records had exceeded sales of digital downloads.

In my 30 years on this earth I can look back on a varied amount of music forums, cassette tapes, CD's were the sound of my youth, I can still remember being really excited when I got Michael Jackson History which came complete with gold discs & a booklet featuring all the lyrics and images of his musical life. 

Now unfortunately hundreds of my collection sit in boxes stacked in the garage, unloved and not listened to for a few years now. 

At around the age of 13 I was suckered in to purchasing a mini disk player! Maybe less said about that the better, but believe it or not I still have it tucked away waiting for the reprise of that technology. May be a long time coming...

Then came the truly digital age. Over the last 15 years the development of iPods and the ability to stream and instantly have access to music on your phone is fantastic, but yet for true music lovers the experience is quite cold and lacks the theatre of purchasing the physical album. 

It is no exaggeration that my dad really was not a fan of the modern era of music. He loved nothing more than playing his collection on his record player and blaring it out, constantly pointing out that the intro of a song alone should be at least a minute long. At the time I didn't have much appreciation for his taste, with the likes of Pink Floyd, Genesis, Black Sabbath & The Stranglers,  I was much more in to my mum's collection which had the likes of Michael Jackson, Motown & 80's classics.

In July, my amazing FiancĂ© bought me a Crosley Keepsake Record Player (mines in cream, however that seems to be sold out, so this is the link for it in black) complete with Marshall Acton Speaker. She started our collection off with London Grammar's latest album and the 1975, two bands she knows I really love, and were very well suited to display their sound on the record player.

Having the experience of placing the record on to the turntable and then placing the needle delicatley on to the record as it started to spin round gave me such a nostalgic feeling, we couldn't  help but give each other a knowing look of wow as the crackles and pops emanated from the speaker. 

Since then our collection has grown to over 30 which includes Bob Marley, Kanye West, Kings of Leon & some of the classics raided from my parents collection, which I can honestly say I have a much greater appreciation and love of now.

Having a Rough Trade shop on my door step in Nottingham city centre is both a blessing and problem... I can easily whittle away an hour just flicking through all of the sections and having a listen while in there, just as easily you can walk away with a number of new additions which has become a regular habit. 

You can't complain that our instant download world is so easy and provides us access to huge volumes of new and back catalogue music. However I absolutely love having the stunning set-up in our lounge.  Accompanied with the ever growing collection on both original and re-recorded albums, it is a musical experience that can't be beaten.

It really is amazing that we live in a time where generation Y & Z can appreciate and enjoy technology and platforms of music that their parents and grandparents had, and yet still listen to the artists of the here and now as well as the past. 


Sunday, 22 October 2017

WoodWick Candles - The Perfect Winter Home Scents

Seasons are wonderful thing (in England however it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between Summer & Winter!) I love the Summer months as much as anyone - getting my chicken legs out and enjoying the bbq's and beer gardens. However Autumn & Winter offer up the opportunities to get by the open fires, layering up, eating hearty warming meals, winter walks and cosying up on the sofa with the latest box sets or must read page turner.

Over the last couple of years we have had made a stay in a wooden lodge in Yorkshire a yearly tradition, the lure of a location in the heart of one of the most beautiful places in the world is hard to resist. At the end of each days walking we were able to put our feet up and warm ourselves in front of the log burner. There is nothing quite like it, the heat, the sight and sound of the logs burning through & crackling away, accompanied by that beautiful smell of the smoking wood is one of the best experiences you can have. 

In the absence of having a log burner or open fire in our new build house (there is a plan to have one) we have to create our cosy atmosphere in other ways. 

It was on our first trip to York that we came across a little shop on The Shambles stocking a range of candles by Woodwick - who have fast become my favourite candle brand. I don't know what it is, maybe because my Mum always used to love having candles or incense burning. But I can't resist having a whiff of several candles when they are on display, picking up each one that I like the sound of and hoping that it matches the name. 

Which brings me to one of Woodwick's signature scents which I just cannot get enough of... Fireside. It literally is the closest thing you can get to the experience of having the smell, sound and sight of a wood burning fire. 

They come in a couple of shapes/sizes and styles but I feel that the wider 'hearthwick' option is the better for this particular scent. The reason being the unique feature of the Woodwick range is the crackling wick made of natural wood. When lit, it sparks and crackles away, creating the sound that provides some authenticity to the fireside name.

There hasn't been another candle that I have come across that offers such a impactful smell and truly matches the name. With the lights down the Woodwick offers a lovely glow to the room, the smell emanates throughout the space, not just in the room you are in but it drifts throughout the hallway and up the stairs, which is pretty incredible from a just a simple candle.

In addition to this fragrance, for the season I highly recommend two of their trilogy ranges, which have three layers to create some truly gorgeous room fragrances. The first being the Frontier Trails which is made up of vintage leather/ timber & evening bonfire. The second the Exotic spices trilogy combining cinnamon chai/ ground cinnamon & spice rum. Both of which are perfect accompaniments to your interior this Winter & Festive season.

All three I have featured here can be found on the Woodwick website. So as we settle down in front of the tele or read a good book, make sure you add these candles to your lounge arrangement, to add a lovely smell and atmosphere this season. 

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