I have finished my degree. I studied law at the University of Manchester for 3 years, and will be officially graduating with first class honours on July 17th. I couldn’t be more thrilled, but now as I enter the dreaded land of post-graduation and I wanted to write a bit of a frank and honest plan of action. So:
Full-time blogger?During the final year of my degree, I decided that I don’t really want to be a lawyer (not in the very near future, at any rate). I have also thought a lot about the fact that I have been in education solidly since the age of 4. With that in mind, I’ve decided that I want to take a year out of sorts, but not really. I’m fortunate enough that I have been able to call my blog a ‘part-time job’ alongside my studies for the last year or so, and now my plan of action is to work extremely hard and make my blog my job, or there abouts.As far as the logistics of this go, going from being a supported student in Manchester to an unsupported graduate in London is an astronomical step financially. I have been somewhat sensible and saved up a lot of the money I have earned this year, so I have a little bit of a buffer to figure myself out in the first few months of moving down. I’m not ruling out part time or even full time work of a different nature and in some respects I think I would really enjoy and benefit from a ‘real job’ related to what I’m doing with my blog or writing, but this is getting into very hypothetical territory and I will be crossing that bridge when I come to it.The TLDR to all this is that, for now at least, I am a FULL TIME BLOGGER.What this means, is that I’m going to be refining and working a lot harder on my content. Now, my satisfaction level with what I’m posting is at about 6/10. I love clothes and I love putting together outfits and don’t intend to stop photographing them for this blog, but what I’d really love to do is start writing more about what I am passionate about. I’ll make angry, socially and politically charged tweets, post pictures from gigs on Instagram, but none of that really translates here at the moment. You might have noticed a slight increase in music related posts, and this is definitely a step in the right direction for me. In essence, I want my blog to be more reflective of myself as a whole, rather than exclusively about what I’m wearing or the products I’m putting on my face. Ok? Ok.
Moving to London!The second fairly huge post-graduation life decision I’ve made, which I’ve basically already given away above, is to pack up and move myself to the capital in September. Obviously this is somewhat related to being a ‘full time blogger’; sadly the industry (as with most things creative) is still very London-centric and so it makes a lot of sense for me to be there. I love Manchester to death and am already getting overwhelming waves of nostalgia whenever I walk around the city, but I have lived here for three years (and nearby all my life), and I am itching for a little change. This plan materialised earlier this year with my friend Lowri; she is going back to university in London, and I essentially invited myself along. Although I’m sad to leave a lot of people in Manchester, I couldn’t be more excited to move. I’ll be blogging as much of my moving experience as possible (and selling most of my worldly possessions on Depop), so I hope you’re going to be interested in hearing about that.
Nai Harvest is Ben Thompson (vocals and guitar) and Lew Currie (drums). They are a two-piece from Sheffield whose sound (in very brief summary) has grown from roots in twiddly emo to a sort of fuzzy indie punk that music media seems to find difficult to describe. Whichever adjective you prefer, their new record Hairball is really, really good; from the very first line ‘I wanna know what the weather’s like in your mind’ to energetic title track Hairball. I’ve had the contagious first single Buttercups stuck in my head for months, and dreamy Ocean of Madness is proper ~summer anthem~ material (and my personal favourite song from the album).
How’s tour been?
Ben: it’s been really good, we’ve been with our best friends and had all our friends opening the shows. It’s been really nice to be able to curate a tour and ask people we want to play with to play with us.
Lew: the best tour we’ve done I reckon.
The new record is very sick, what’s your favourite song from it?
Ben: All The Time, it’s really easy to play.
So you’re both into creating visual art in one way or another (Ben studies at Manchester School of Art and Lew is an illustrator), how important are visuals to you as a band?
Ben: I guess the aesthetic of a band is quite important, obviously music is the most important but you’ve got to have a clear direction visually.
Lew: I think it’s 50/50, you’ve got to stand out these days pal.
Ben: yeah, if your record covers are ugly and your t-shirts aren’t nice then no-one’s gonna buy them, regardless of how good the songs are – a sad but true fact! And as we’re both artists it’s kind of important to have an art vibe with Nai Harvest as well.
Which do you prefer to create then, art or music?
Ben: I actually prefer music these days, art is becoming more and more stressful as time goes on.
Lew: yeah same, I wouldn’t say art is a job but it’s more that way than music.
Ben: me too art is becoming more a job and I have to think about it more, whereas music comes really naturally.
And Lew quickly tell us about the book you’ve just done?
Lew: I basically decided to do a book because I got bored of doing conceptual work. I wanted to draw what I know and I really like football. It’s basically a collection of moments in my style.
*check out Lew’s Tumblr for his illustrations, and pick up his book via Snöar Press if you’re into that*
Where do you get your clothes generally?
Ben: off Etsy or eBay, or just general charity shops. There’s a really good one near where I live in Withington, shout out to Cancer Research UK.
Lew: pretty much the same, charity shops and my dad actually.
Out of all the current UK bands in this scene you two have one of the most distinct aesthetics, has this ever been a conscious thing?
Ben: not at all! It’s weird because people in America always ask if we’re brothers even though we don’t physically look alike. I think it’s because we look sort of coordinated, but it has actually never been intentional.
This is my least favourite question that I get asked as a blogger; can you describe your style?
Ben: my style is kinda lazy, baggy and comfortable. I don’t like anything to fit properly.
Lew: the bigger the better! Pretty much the same, but a bit more sporty.
Can you describe my style?
Lew: fire emoji.
Ben: haha fiery fashion babe. I don’t know, it’s like London Fashion Week in Manchester casual.
Ok cool I’m putting that in my bio. Any fashion influences or icons?
Ben: Orlando Weeks from The Macabees, still swag after all these years. He brought white trainers and sick bowl cuts into rock and roll, legend.
Lew: Mike Skinner I reckon, hard as fuck.
What about other bands you know, who else dresses great?
Ben: Best Friends probably.
Lew: Magic Gang.
Ben: yeah they’re pretty swag… like Jack Wills punk, yacht punk, gone on a boat but also in a punk band…
Lew: and Mahogany!
Ben: Hetty from Night Flowers always dresses really Vogue, like really long coats and heels, she always looks very put-together. And when we saw Alvvays, Molly had the coolest stripy t-shirt on I’ve ever seen, with a red Mustang and white trainers. She was dressed like a boy and it looked so sick!
And your favourite bands, musically and/or visually?
Lew: I’m gonna say The Streets, musically and visually it works together.
Ben: yeah The Streets is a good one he’s got that scally thing on lock. Mac De Marco’s got a pretty good look on the go with the whole gap teeth, cap, stoner-but-not-actually-a-stoner vibe, dungarees and stuff… I reckon he’d be so fun to hang out with.
Lew: at the moment musically it’s Cymbals Eat Guitars.
Ben: yeah and the new Waxahatchee record is amazing, and I can’t wait for the show.
Nice, and finally what can we expect from you in the next year?
Ben: just loads more live shows, probably a cool support tour, and back to the states in October.