Thursday, February 11, 2010

From the Archives: The Day I Met The Strokes

Having to endure a rather boring day in work yesterday, I decided to trawl through my old blog.  What gems that proffered.  I was a boke-worthy teenager.  Really.  But one thing I am SO glad I documented is my love for The Strokes.  In particular, I blogged about the 2nd time I went to see them, on 30th November 2003 in Belfast.  Reading through my blog it all came back to me - it was announced really quickly and the tickets only went on sale 3 days before the show!  It was a mad dash to get tickets - they sold out in 10 minutes and I got my slimy mitts on them.

I've no real reason to share this except for my own posterity, so I give you my summary of the gig, written on 1st December 2003, by me, aged 17.  I'm dead eloquent.

"[ mood: ecstatic ]

THAT was amazing.

The gig was just, well, fannnnnnnnnnnntastic. They played an even mix of old and new and the guitars were blisssssful. Oh my. Julian was just...eek. Although I did laugh when he turned round after getting a cigarette and walked straight into the microphone teehee. We started off in the 3rd row but eventually moved back because I was being mightily squished. But wow!!!!!

To make the day even more perfect...

I MET THE STROKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got to the venue quite early and after I'd collected the tickets we waited round the back for the bus to come. I got a photo with Julian! JULIAN CASABLANCAS PUT HIS ARM AROUND ME!!! I near died, I did. So hopefully I'll get that photo soon. Nick (who is FAR more beautiful than I'd ever imagined, and so polite to go with it - our eyes met and I knew it was love *cough*), Albert (swish!!!) and Julian all signed my ticket envelope and Fab (aaargh) signed my shoe! Wowwwww it was just all so surreal. I'd met Albert before but it was just a quick "Sign this" but wow they were so close and so...real! I offered Julian a can of beer and he said no, I stood back in absolute shock. He said he already had beer inside. I then told him he had hurt my feelings, so he took it, probably to get rid of me but I prefer to believe he took it as a keepsake from his one true love (being me). Wow I still can't believe I met them all, it was soooo unbelievable because they're the one band I actually do worship and woah, it felt goooooood!

All in all a very satisfactory evening. No doubt I shall post more as I remember it."

And the proof?

Well, here's a fresh-faced little me, with the Casablancas.  Poor quality, but it is him, and it is him with me.  This photo is one of my treasures.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You Remind Me Of A Time When I Was Boring...

I have hot love for Maximo Park.  Hot, giggly, mad love. 

I'm not usually a person for going all "Oh the lyrics man!  The LYRICS!  This song is about MEEEEE!".  I'm a much shallower being.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a well-crafted lyric, but I'm not a pretentious wanker, so.  However, when it comes to the Park, their lyrics are just so miraculously spot on that it makes a wee tear form. 

I first started listening to them in a big way in the early summer of 2007.  My boyfriend had just dumped me, I got to know a boy who made me listen to Our Velocity and I fell in love (with the song, not the boy, he had a snaggle-tooth).

They instantly became the soundtrack to my couple of months of heartbreak and single-ness (we got back together, but that's not the issue).  I was in a state during this time.  I was miserable and missing my boyfriend painfully.  I was rarely thinking straight - completely on auto-pilot and prone to breaking down at any time.  Sure I was having enough fun with friends and whatnot in the meantime, but my enduring memories of that period are lying in my bedroom late at night with the lights off, listening to Our Earthly Pleasures on repeat.  I did that a lot.  So now when I listen to that album, I am instantly taken back to that scenario.  And it's not a bad memory.  Even now, that album still makes me feel comforted in a way that few other albums I own can.

The first album has a completely different connotation for me - it's my album for my next stage of getting over him - moving on, realising what was wrong with our relationship, getting on with my life, getting back out there.  So I've been listening to it a lot recently.  Going Missing is the one song, in the whole wide world, that has ever made me tear up.  Honestly.  I don't cry at songs.  Never have.  But this is one song that just gets me.

As for Quicken The Heart, the 3rd album, I associate it most with my sillier recent moments.  There's an air of desperation around it, an air of not-really-knowing-what-the-fuck-I'm-at.  Let's Get Clinical is the story of my fucking life these days.  Like it actually describes a few nights I've had recently.  And I love having this band around to remind me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You Are A Flighty One

This time last week, I was extremely giddy.  For 'twas the day that Adam Green descended on to Belfast terrain to give a musical performance!

This isn't going to be a gig review.  Merely a collection of my memories (which are few) of the evening.  I'm nowhere near coherent or objective enough to write a review.

The evening started as it meant to go on - a few pints of the Wife Beater avec Emma (who took the amazing photo you can see above), my fellow Band Botherer (don't ask).  Having only intended to have "one or two", I managed, by the time my lovely friend Clara came to meet us at 8pm, to be TROLLEYED.  The drinking continued until, at last, Mr Green was ready to come on stage.  Having already stationed ourselves in the middle of the front row, we ensured that Adam himself interacted with us on a very regular basis.

The tour was to promote his new album, 'Minor Love', which, I have to say, I have MAJOR Love for (AH-HA!).  He played quite a few songs off it (my particular highlight being 'What Makes Him Act So Bad'), but in no way neglected his older stuff, going way to back to his debut album 'Garfield'.  Indeed, during a lull in both music and crowd noise, I yelled (YELLED) at Adam to play 'White Women', a song that makes me go weak at the knees due to both its racy content and Adam's incredibly Jim Morrison-esque delivery.  So what happened?  Did he ignore me and go to the next song on the setlist?  DID HE FUCK.  He looked me in the eye, and sang the opening lines: "You know I wanna bone you, I wanna make a hole in you".  I was lucky there was a crowd of people holding me up against the barrier, as I would have died a slow and lustful death right there on the floor.

The gig itself was typically chaotic.  Reminiscent of a shambolic Pete Doherty show (except, y'know, good), Adam was more often on the floor in front of the stage or in the crowd than on the actual stage itself.  Crowdsurfing from the beginning (I ended up on the floor at one point due to being overwhelmed by having to hold him up), the poor sod found himself minus a rather attractive red shoe at one point - which was thankfully returned.  Hugs and kisses were a-plenty - never have I touched a man that I wasn't entitled to more in my life. 

Having watched a couple of videos of his recent shows on YouTube before the gig, I have to admit I was apprehensive about the quality of performance he would give.  I have seen him once before, supporting The Strokes back in 2006, but being obscenely excited at the prospect of seeing the main act he sort of passed me by.  I was wrong, very wrong.  Despite obviously being on a concoction of alcohol and drugs that would stun a large elephant, his voice was on form (in fact what I love about him is that you don't expect his voice.  Know what I mean?  He doesn't look like he could sing the way he does...he channels Morrison, Sinatra and Bowie all at once.  DEAR GOD), and he seemed genuinely impressed by the crowd's reaction.  Clumsy as ever though, he managed to knock my vodka out of my hand as he was dancing past me.  As he returned to the stage, he opened a bottle of Beck's and jumped back down and handed it to me.  I couldn't believe it!  Such a simple gesture...but very much appreciated.

The gig ended, and we found ourselves stumbling away from the stage in a daze, drenched in other people's drinks and the sweat of Adam Green.  I haven't washed since*.  Personally, I was completely overwhelmed at what I had just witnessed.  I still am a bit, if I'm honest.  And that's the sign of an amazing gig. 

*I have, actually.  Several times.