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Monday, 3 October 2016

LIFESTYLE | An evening in Blackpool

It's no secret around here that I love Blackpool - and I always have done.

I visited there a few times as a kid and loved the variety of the seaside town and how much there is to do there - visit the piers, drive along the illuminations, ride a donkey on the beach, visit The Pleasure Beach, visit Coral Island etc and, of course, Blackpool Tower!

So when I found out The 1975 were doing an exclusive Live Lounge there with the BBC Symphony Orchestra - in the Blackpool Tower - I had to get tickets. 

I'd missed out on seeing them at Reading and since Blackpool is one of my favourite places of all time, I made sure I was refreshing the website at 9am the day the tickets went on sale and, lo and behold, managed to get a bunch!

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Blackpool | Blackpool Power | The 1975 | Live Lounge | The 1975 Live Lounge

It turns out in the end my sister couldn't come and none of my friends fancied it, but I was determined. I vaguely knew some people going that I could meet there if I wanted, but I sold on my spare tickets (for face value, of course) and began the three hour-that-actually-turned-out-to-be-around-six-hour drive on the Friday, ready for the gig that night.

The drive up would have been fun if not for all the traffic. I love having my own car and the independency to hop in it and go on random adventures like this. My car only plays CDs, so I was chuffed to find the gem of Avril Lavigne's first album in a charity shop the day before. The drive up was spent mostly singing along to this with a throwback to my emo years, and munching on crisps.

I was so excited when I arrived but because I was running late, only had time to throw my stuff into the hotel, quickly get changed and head over to the venue. 

It was still about an hour before the band came on, but the excitement was already thick in the air - not just for the band, but because it was a Live Lounge which made it extra special. The event was being filmed for TV and recorded for the radio, and the ballroom itself looked gorgeous and plush.

I really like the 1975 but I'm not a massive fan, so when they played their set, there were a fair few songs I didn't know. However, I still found I could dance along to nearly all of them, and the set itself was amazing. The band just have something about them that captivates the audience in a way other bands don't, and their show was definitely one of the most different but best performances I'd seen in a while.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Blackpool | Blackpool Power | The 1975 | Live Lounge | The 1975 Live Lounge

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Blackpool | Blackpool Power | The 1975 | Live Lounge | The 1975 Live Lounge

Afterwards, I bought some chips and wandered along the strip, gazing at the pretty illuminations. I headed onto the pier as well, and watched the tower for a little bit all lit up at night. I remember going onto the pier with my parents when I was younger - or at least one of the piers - and seeing the Legends show. There's some photos somewhere of us sitting on a bench with the tower lit up in the background, and this reminded me of that!

Although I was tempted to go out for a drink, I headed back to my hotel to get an early night because I then decided that I was going to hang around for a bit the following day instead of heading straight back home.

The next day I woke up bright and early, put my stuff in my car and headed back over to the tower where I bought a ticket to go to the top. There were a few things I wanted to do like see the circus or visit the dungeons but not alone. So I did the only 'must do' thing I could think of in Blackpool and travelled to the top of the tower!

I must admit, I did get a little emotional here. I'd come (up) here last with my parents and visiting Blackpool had reminded me of the many times we'd been to Blackpool. I'd loved it each time, and I'm so grateful that I had parents that took me to amazing places like this growing up. I walked along the glass floor at the top and remembered how my mum had always been too scared because she didn't like heights.

It reminded me a lot of those family holidays when I was younger and even more so of how much I missed my mum. In a way, I was actually really glad I went to Blackpool alone, because I still very much feel like losing my mum hasn't yet hit me yet. 

I know it sounds stupid, but it seemed kind of right approaching my visit alone and remembering happier times, and that maybe doing some of these things that I used to do with my mum (and my dad) is just some small steps into accepting what has happened.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Blackpool | Blackpool Power | The 1975 | Live Lounge | The 1975 Live Lounge

After my trip up the tower (and gazing out at the rest of Blackpool), I headed back down to look around the town a bit more, walk along the strip and quickly pop into my fave, Coral Island.

I then decided it was time to head off home, but I made sure I drove along the sea front and past The Pleasure Beach for a somewhat close up view of my favourite rollercoaster of all time, The Pepsi Max.

I do wish I'd had a bit longer in Blackpool, but I think just going for the evening (and the afternoon) was right when visiting on my own, because I probably wouldn't have wanted to do all the things that Blackpool has to offer by myself. 

I would really like to visit again with friends or family in future though to explore the rest of the tower and visit The Pleasure Beach and things like that.

Still, it was a welcome adventure away!

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