Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A sudden turn around

I never expected 2013 to turn out all the musical experiences that it eventually did. 

Soppy stuff blah blah blah

No, but seriously.
After Sound City Players, which was quite possibly the most spontaneous decision of my life (and the mostly costly moment of spontaneity), the playing field didn't look too good. I had to pass literally tens of exams, which I did, and get into University, which I also accomplished, and after that? No gigs until the gig season!

What I did expect on my part was more friendships based on mutual musical feelings. About bands, about movements, about the way a drum part faded onto a next song. Yes, friendships about how concept albums are the best, how Biffy didn't initially deserve the headline slot (later revised statement!), and coercing people into buying masses of Pearl Jam records. Okay.... No, who I am really talking about here is my boyfriend. Who, without which, I wouldn't have seen so many gigs in the past few months. And without which I am nothing.......... (Okay, joking. Sorry.) 

The first of which was Arctic Monkeys. We had both started Uni, the autumn was truly upon us and it was the overwhelming season which is gig season. Me being me had already bought tickets in July 2013. Him, being him.... decided to buy them on the day. It had never 'occurred to him' that the monkeys may be gig-worth by the end of 2013. Well, with AM you were sure of this 'gig worth'. Unfortunately, I take gigs seriously. I take obtaining of gig tickets seriously, kind of like bonds you have to buy before the market collapses, or things for a rainy day. Anyway, they are investments. It turned out to be his costly £95 investment that was worth it after all, and after a tremendous turn from the touts, we were in. It was the Earls Court gig, the gigs they famously did on a two-nighter, right before cancelling of the other shows. It was totally worth everything: the gap in between me being the 14 year old Humbug loving teen and now; the time between July and the gig; the time between obtaining the tickets from the tout and actually seeing if they were real. Every song, from "Do I Wanna Know?" to  the amazing end of main show "I Wanna Be Yours" led us all begging us for more. A particular highlight for me was when Scott raised me onto his shoulders for half of "Cornerstone", and suddenly it was that gig calm you get up there, a kind of gorgeous sensation when you can remember every single time you have sung the chosen song to someone, to yourself, in the rain and in the sunshine. It was one of the best gigs I'd been to in a long time, obviously. And we were so close to Alex Turner himself that the air was sexy. The tale of how close we get to the stage in successive gigs just gets better. We are a tremendous team. 

Next was Alice in Chains, a mere two weeks later. This was a purchase that was truly called for. Thought about for months, pondered over with the "Best of Alice in Chains" (I know, I'm sorry) and went for it. It was early into our relationship, but Alice in Chains was literally the reason we got together. It was my first sentence to the poor lad: "You went to Download? Did you see Alice in Chains?!" Now this was the real deal, even if any way Arctic Monkeys wasn't. Ally Pally, cold night, took hours to get there with tube lines down. C'est la vie. We were close, we had to bear the weight of Ghost, truly the most self-absorbed bands I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of self absorbed bands, trust me (in my hometown, it could be called what they consider to be a "fashion"). But it was the best. They started with Them Bones and went straight onto Dam That River. But here was where I was the amateur. I hadn't even listened to much of the "new guy", and that "new guy"- William DuVell- had been so since the early 00s. He was amazing. We got some exciting picks from Rotten Apple which was just astounding to the encore. Well, the encore was enough already if for some reason bands only played 3 songs at gigs. They could have. It Aint Like That was the moment we had been waiting for and they delivered. They jumped into it at the start of the encore and it was truly magnificent. We were like screaming little girls, albeit in a crowd of lots of lovely blokes that looked like they should have been doing some kind of ad for a Loreal hair product. They screamed too. I can't really explain this gig more than it was kind of what I'd been waiting for my whole life. It was a total reality check. A grunge girl's dream. I could have happily lived and died in that pit, truly.

Finally was an early Xmas present present from my beloved. Wembley Arena, 9pm, November 23rd. QUEENS (QOTSA, for all those naive). Now, this gig was slightly different. I knew Songs for the Deaf but had only been introduced to Rated R a couple of months beforehand. Recipe for carnage, right? You bet. This was gig was the kind of gig you walk away from and then spend weeks listening to on repeat. Josh Homme, collar coat, and "Feel Good Hit of the Summer". Oh, and me in a pit to "Song for the Dead". Goddamn you and you're patriarchal pit! C-c-c-c-c-cOCAINEEE! I felt like there needed to be some ladies in there, so I kindly obliged. Chaos ensued. I didn't break anything. Success. No more explanation is really needed here, but I give so much thanks to Scott because again, one of best gigs been to. Which isn't really hard, because I'm young and impressionable and have only seen really a handful of bands compared to my veteran boyfriend. But now, I am the master at the gig season. 

Also, I almost forgot! At my Uni's SU we had S Club 7 for one night only. With 3 of the 7. Who were drunk. And came on for half an hour and performed a half arsed medley of S Club songs. Nevertheless, IT WAS AWESOME. I'll try to be a bit more grunge in 2014. But 2013 was truly the year of grunge. So yeah, it was kind of the best. 

Predictions for 2014 look good. I kindly bought my mother Kasabian tickets, as she's going through the "Fire" stage and uses the band to give her the strength to be a big-ass boss at work everyday. 
The best part? We have Pearl Jam tickets for Milton Keynes Bowl in July. Roll on 2014, you have been patiently waited for for quite some time. This will be the star of the show. 

Thank you and goodnight, kids. X