Turning 25: My favourite people and Pretty Lights. The best birthday I could ask for.

So, I turned quarter of a century on Thursday and felt inspired to write a blog about it. Why? Because it simply was the best birthday ever, for a number of reasons.

One, I spent the day at work with my colleagues. Some people may dread the thought of being in the office on their birthday but I’m lucky enough to love what I do at The Data Octopus and have a great laugh with the work crew, namely my partner in crime, Ashley (aka Moly). I fully appreciated the One Direction card…particularly since everyone who signed the card had literally included at least one hashtag # and referred to me as ‘@SpamellaB’, which is just standard these days! We enjoyed a cheeky drink at the pub in the lunchtime sun in between a typical day’s work so it wasn’t all bad!

But I can't eat donuts!

The second reason, which is perhaps cheating a bit. Realising we’d have no time on my actual birthday to stop and open presents, my boyfriend James let me open them on Wednesday night (it was near enough midnight anyway!). As well as the usual girly things like perfume, make-up, clothes, I was thrilled to find he’d ordered Pretty Lights’ latest album, ‘A Color Map Of The Sun’ and a gorgeous branded hoody all the way from the States. Bearing in mind we were FINALLY getting the chance to see our hero, Derek Vincent Smith, the night after at The Deaf Institute, this made me even more excited!

That’s not all. Thirdly, on my birthday morning itself as I was walking to work already buzzing for the night ahead, I almost burst out into song and dance in the street when James rang saying he’d been given confirmation that we could meet the guy himself, Derek Vincent Smith, after the gig… I was in shock! Huge boyfriend points were awarded!

So, after a giddy day at work, I headed straight to Piccadilly station to meet my best friend from back home in Yorkshire, Laura (aka L-Shep). It had been quite a while since our last meetup, so having her stay with us in our studio flat for a couple of nights was awesome. That night, together with James, we pretty much got smashed while blasting out Pretty Lights, getting even more psyched for the approaching gig. L-Shep hadn’t heard much of PL but instantly fell in love with his heavy dub/electro vibes, glitchy hip hop beats, gorgeous melodies and vintage funk/soul samples. We all knew we were going to be in for a great night.

L-Shep et moi!

Onto the gig then, my highlight of turning 25. Admittedly I was very drunk and hyper by this point, with my two favourite people, in one of Manchester’s most intimate venues ready to see our favourite producer/DJ. For the next two hours, I was in my own zone and my total element as Derek Vincent Smith destroyed the whole space with his incredible sounds. Playing tracks from the latest album as well as older classics like ‘I Know The Truth’, to a crowd who knew every drop and sang along to every word, the atmosphere was simply electric and absolutely buzzing.

I could not have been happier, dancing as hard as my body allowed me to, ‘slut dropping’ every time the bass dropped (so much so, my neck muscle has only just about recovered), feeling immersed in the music. We befriended the group of lads rocking out next to us, who started a mosh pit at one point – of course, I jumped right in the middle without thinking but escaped unscathed! Seeing Derek right in front of us, clearly having as much fun as we were, made his set even more enjoyable.

Derek Vincent Smith aka Pretty Lights

Finally, the end of the night. As we were being ushered out of the venue, James managed to grab Phil, part of PL’s production crew, who lead us outside to where Derek, his girlfriend Krystal (also the Creative Director/photographer/ videographer at Pretty Lights Music) and the rest of his crew were chilling. For the next hour at least, myself, James and Laura chatted music, touring and all sorts of random shit with this bunch of awesome guys…it was like I was dreaming – especially when Derek brought out an exclusive USB pen for me and signed the album I brought with me.

James and I with Derek Vincent Smith

A very surreal but amazing finish to the first day of being 25, certainly a night I won’t be forgetting for a long time! (On Friday I had possibly the worst hangover I’ve ever had but it was so worth it…) Thank you so much to everyone who made it the best, you know who you are 😀 x

Pretty Lights USB

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