Monthly Archives

August 2013

Festivals, Metal, Music

Gemma’s Top 5 Heavy Metal Treasures

August 27, 2013

Reading Amie’s recent post on her beloved metal shinies reminded me I put together a list of my own favourite bits and pieces but never got around to posting it – so here it is!

Amie and I, like most heavy metal fans, will hoard and stash almost anything related to the genre, be it a limited edition signed CD or a scrap of paper a band member drew a penis on.

Being in a band means we also have a huge collection of memorabilia from our own tours and shows, and from other bands we have met along the way!

We all have those treasured things that rise above the rest though and I thought I would share a few of mine with you.

 Iron Maiden Vans

Maiden Vans

Have you ever had a pair of shoes you loved to the point you let them get in this state?

Amie bought me these as a birthday present some years ago and I literally wore  them every day till they reached the point they are in now. If I thought I could get away with wearing them as they are without looking like a complete hobo I probably would.

Even now I cannot bring myself to throw them away…I even still have the box they came in (full of gig tickets and other memorabilia in the loft!) and I imagine I wont ever throw that away either!


Edguy AAA Pass

Edguy badge - metal treasure

You know that one song you listen to, that no matter how dire the situation it -always- cheers you up? For me and my band-mates that song is “Superheroes” by Edguy.

When we were offered the chance to support them at the HMV Institute in Birmingham we were all more than a little excited (as you can tell by look of Amie and Adam’s fridge!)

Edguy were all very lovely and we hung out in the dressing rooms backstage after the gig which was just the perfect end to a great day.


Bloodstock Artist Wristband

BOA band


For the uninitiated, Bloodstock Open Air (BOA) is a annual heavy metal festival in Derby, UK. I’ve attended every year since 2007 and don’t plan on missing one any-time soon!

I don’t think there is a single metal band in the UK who doesn’t dream of playing BOA  from their very inception, it was certainly at the top of our dream-gig-wishlist!

Last summer we finally got the email we’d been wishing for, and my artist wristband is a lovely memento of our first major festival slot.


Original “Sign of the Hammer” Manowar vinyl.

Sign of the hammer

 This was a birthday gift from a student at my music school and her family earlier this year. I squealed so loud when I opened it I think I burst a few eardrums!

This is in immaculate condition, having been part of her father’s personal collection since it’s release in 1984.

I love it so much I keep it out on display at all times in my room with the rest of my Manowar treasures (of which there are a great many!)


Handwritten Thunderstone setlist and stage photo.

Photo © John Moore

Photo © John Moore

In September 2010 we supported Thunderstone at The Roadhouse in Birmingham. Having been huge fans of the band for years, when they finally came to England for a one-off gig in London we jumped at the chance to talk them into letting us support them at a later date.

Jump to a few months later and we’re in the green room with the heroes that inspired my own band to form. It was an absolutely magical night for us, culminating in being invited on stage to sing “Until We Touch The Burning Sun” on-stage with Thunderstone.

I also managed to snag the handwritten set-list which has been pinned to my “Wall of inspiration” ever since!


So there you are, my very favourite treasures! Do you have any items of significance, maybe even some Dakesis trinkets hidden away somewhere!

Totally hellbent for priceless pieces of scrap paper

– Gem


Clothing and Fashion, Festivals, Metal, Music

Nothing last’s forever, right?

August 26, 2013


First and foremost, Metal -is- forever.

With that bold impregnable statement shared, I do all that I can to preserve metal artifacts so that I may have them in my possession forever. I also collect a vast array of things to remind me of good times. Some examples include tickets and posters. (I get very annoyed when ticket people don’t give me my half of the ticket back, or I have to print out an “e-ticket”)



Another of my most prized possessions are my festival wristbands:



They may not look many, but on this wrist, I bear the following tribal festival marks:

  • Bloodstock Open Air 2009
  • Bloodstock Open Air 2010
  • Bloodstock Open Air 2011
  • Bloodstock Open Air 2012 (Artist wristband from our acoustic set)
  • Bloodstock Open Air 2013
  • Glastonbudget 2011 (Dakesis have played there three times now, but I only have one wristband)
  • Hammerfest V
  • Hammerfest IV
  • Hellfest 2012
  • Metalfest 2009
  • Wacken 2006
  • Wacken 2007
  • Wacken 2008
  • Wacken 2010
  • Wacken 2011
  • Wacken 2012
  • Wacken 2013

More recently, Gemma had to remove hers as she ended up with a horrible rash and she came up with the idea of putting them back on with some elastic. Since a lot of mine are nearing death I figured I would try this theory out. I hate getting mine wet which is inevitable due to the whole showering regularly and the use of many products, so I figured an additional bonus would be to remove this as I wanted.

Alas, this was a success and I have now sew elastic onto all but my Wacken bands, they are removed easily and the only problem I had was the fight with the very temperamental sewing machine.

wristband1So when you are sad that your bands are falling off, because other festivals just haven’t taken the hint from Wacken and still use those stupid plastic ends, do not fear – elastic is here!

Totally hellbent for festival wristbands





Beauty Boxes

Birchbox August 2013

August 26, 2013

I know, I know – we are nearing the end of August and I have already had this box since my return from Wacken!!

Unfortunately, real life took over and I have been very slow on the posting horizon, but better late than never, feast your eyes on this:birchboxaugustbirchboxaug3bircboxaug2

My juicy contents this month include:

  • Birchbox Gel Mask
  • Montibel.lo Gold Oil Essence
  • Molton Brown Ylang-Yland body wash
  • Skinlife Energetic Cellular Cream
  • LAQA & Co’s Fat Lip Pencil in Fairyblood
  • Gerda Spillmann’s Hydro Pearls Make-up Primer
  • Propercorn (looking forward to nomming this)

I was a little underwhelmed at the Birchbox last month, but I have to say I am loving this month’s and despite plummeting head first into a financial crisis after deciding to leave my job to work alongside my partner, I think I am going to keep going. Well worth a subscription, even if you do intend on it  being for only one month!

Totally hellbent for “just one more month” mentality



Festivals, News

Breaking the radio silence

August 25, 2013


I’ve had a unusually quiet online presence over the last week, no new blog posts, no twitter updates and only very brief periodic Facebook visits to check band messages.


Sadly one of my beloved cats, Loki, had to be put to sleep whilst I was away at Sunkfest with Dakesis, and I needed some time in private to grieve and deal with the horrible loss.

Seven days later and it’s no easier to understand how a feline member of my family was fine one day and gone forever the next, but returning my energy to the world around me rather than focusing on my grief is a good step in moving forward.

Vast and sudden change seems to be the recurring theme of my life recently, and thankfully it has not all been for the worse.

Last weekend was the first Dakesis show as a four piece, and despite nerves all around it all went very smoothly. We had one or two very small hiccups with the backing track, but otherwise it was a thoroughly enjoyable set. Lots of compliments both from old fans and new listeners and four Dakesians full of the warm glow of accomplishment.

I’ve always wanted to play an outdoor show where the sun sets throughout our set, and the encroaching night brought a brilliant atmosphere as we moved into the darker heavier numbers. Also there was an epic hair-blowing breeze at the front of the stage that has made me seriously consider getting a stage-fan!

Once our set was over we had a celebratory drink that ended up with us dancing in the rain till the early hours….


.. then we met a man who was half me and half Amie..


..and wrapped the night up with a giraffe suit of course


All in all I had a great weekend with Dakesis and co. that I hope I will remember for positive reasons rather than the bad news we came home to.

I feel very blessed to have such wonderful friends and band-mates, especially in times of adversity.


Totally hellbent for my amazing friends.

– Gem



Avon Mega-Effects Mascara in Blackest Black Review

August 15, 2013

Avon lashes


No matter what your make-up style, mascara is a staple in pretty much everyone’s cosmetics bag. Every single mascara I own comes in a long tube with a wand…except this one!


mega effects mascara 2

Mega Effects is nothing at all like other mascaras – it features a “new multidimensional wonder-brush” that claims to give “Bold lashes with panoramic volume. Eyes look bigger and lashes look darker, denser and more dramatic. Clump-proof, sweat-proof, non-flaking and non-smudging” .

The packaging is very nice and sturdy and I have to admit, is quite fun to play with! You wiggle the brush and then use the bottom of the container to bend it into your desired shape. The curved bristles are shaped to fit the eye and are quite flexible so you can easily bend it into a shape suitable for you.

mega effects 3

Now this all seems very exciting, no-one has seen anything like this before, right? Well I couldn’t wait to test mine out, so I gave the brush a wiggle and started applying!


mega effects 4


Though the novelty of this product made applying it very fun, this is definitely not something I would reach for if I were in a hurry. Perhaps application gets easier with practice but I found it a little awkward to get the brush from root to tip and it took at least twice as long as a conventional mascara to apply.

The colour is definitely blackest black, and did make my lashes look full, but I have to admit I do still prefer my go-to Jelly Pong Pong Fairy Lashes mascara for ease of application and results.

Worth purchasing for the novelty, and perhaps it will grow on me more in time, but I don’t think it will be making it into my everyday make-up any-time soon.

Avon Mega-Effects Mascara will be available from mid September for the introductory price of £10 (including a free eye pack worth £23 for a limited time only) from your local Avon lady.

Totally hellbent for origional products, even if they arn’t quite perfect for my tastes!

– Gem

Beauty Boxes, Hair, Make-up, Skincare

August 2013 Glossybox

August 13, 2013

As well as free things, I also came back to Augusts Glossybox upon the return from Bloodstock. It certainly turned a very glum Pants into a very excitable and distracted one! There is something about this box that makes me feel as though it’s Christmas again. Even though everyone else gets the same packaging, it makes me feel as though this was packaged and wrapped just for me.

So enough with the jabbering and on with the contents you say? Well alright then:

augglossyboxaugglossybox2augglossybox3This month brought me the following:

  • Oceane makeup remover pen (with extra tips)
  • Jelly Pong Pong 2-in-1 shadow liner (I had the grey/green like colour)
  • TRESemme Concentrated rinse off treatment (perfect for post festival hair disasters)
  • Emite Eyelash Curler (I’ve been thinking about buying some curlers for a while now)
  • Olay regenerist 3 point treatment cream (can never have enough cream to help with fine lines and sagging right?)

Needless to say, I am more than excited at trying the Jelly Pong Pong after I fell in love with their fairy lashes mascara. Now I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of other beauty boxes to satisfy my addiction for new products and kill the inevitable festival blues.

Totally hellbent for post festival cheer ups

– Pants




Beauty Boxes, Hair, Skincare

Free product joys

August 13, 2013

It’s always sad when festival season finishes, however it is made slightly better when you come back to parcels that contain free things!!!

On my return from Wacken, I received my two free products after signing up to Birchbox:

wenloccitaneWen Cleansing Conditioner, which I confess I used during my first shower back at home and it felt amazing! I was also filled with joy at receiving another L’Occitane moisturiser. I already have one of these from a Glossybox a few months ago and have been using it sparingly so I am pleased this has now been replenished.

To make things even better, upon returning from Bloodstock yesterday, I received this through the letterbox:

maybmascaraA free Maybelline “The Rocket Volum’ Express” mascara. This was from a competition I had entered and clearly forgotten about. I have resisted opening it to test it out for now so I am sure this won’t be the last you will be seeing of this!

Totally hellbent for bonus postal goodies




Nails, NOTD

NOTD – Essie sleek stick nail stickers in 03 so haute”

August 13, 2013

essiewraps1Shortly before festival season, I received the Latest in Beauty Ultimate Summer Nails box which Gem and I have been pining after for ages. These were one of the items in the box and in my delirium between Wacken and Bloodstock, I decided to give them a bash.

You get 18 stickers in total and a small emery board/buffer. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but found there was at least a sticker for every nail that fitted well. It’s a bit strange that you only get 18, which means if I wanted to use these again, I would only get 8 nails done.

As a first timer to nail wraps, I found them surprisingly easy to apply, stick them on and file the edges off. My only issue with this, is that throughout the course of the evening and the day after, my nails felt very rough because the edges of the stickers didn’t come out very smooth. After showering and doing some light house work, this became worse so I applied a top coat. Needless to say, the feeling of scratchy nail tips became so irritating, that I had to take them off after only an evening and mornings wear.

The final result was pretty and I am willing to try wraps again to see if I can refine my technique, only next time it wont be before another festival and definitely after a day of house chores.

essiewraps2Despite my first time disappointment, I thoroughly enjoyed just peeling these off, although I used a small amount of nail varnish remover to take some of the residual glue off my nails. I could definitely get used to avoiding the task of varnish removal.

Totally hellbent for laborless nails

– Pants



Festivals, Metal, Music

Festival Season Fun!

August 12, 2013

Well we are finally back to normal life after over two weeks of drunken shenanigans at Wacken Open Air and Bloodstock Open Air, crossing many international borders along the way! We have Sunkfest (The first Dakesis show with that silly blue haired girl on lead vocals) next weekend to go and then we can put the tent away for another year.

Festival season ’13 has been absolutely brilliant, and though I’m sad it is drawing to an end, I’m already excited for next year (EMPEROR, EMPEROR, EMPEROR!!!)




Needless to say we road tested plenty of festival essentials, saw numerous amazing bands (and wonderful festival sights!) and came back with more than a few new pretty things which we will share with you over the coming days.




For now however it is time to shower and then play with the many boxes of make-up and assorted products that arrived whilst we were adventuring!

Totally hellbent for a night in my own bed

– Gem