My misspent teenage years….

This week, Emily and Kelly have told me to write about about going to concerts. And so I must.

I did my fair share of concert going when I was younger actually. As mentioned in The Handbags And The Gladrags, it started with Ant and Dec AKA PJ and Duncan. I went to three of their concerts. The first one was the one mentioned in the post, where my friend and I wrote a letter to them to ask if they needed backing dancers cause we were really good and had even made up some of own dances to their songs already. We were about 10 years old. We also wore co-ordinated outfits to the concert – black heeled pumps, see through tights, white denim skirts, black t-shirts that said ‘Right On’, denim jackets and small black handbags. All matching.

The other two times I saw them, I went with a girl from school. We did all the obligatory screaming until our throats were hoarse and buying t-shirts and massive posters and lingering outside hoping to see them, etc.

I also went to a few concerts that had loads of groups/singers at them. Lingering around outside after those was always good cause you were almost guaranteed to see someone. My big sighting was Shane from Westlife. That was big news with the girls in school the next day.

One time, when I was about 15 or 16 years old, a few of us at school had become really frantic about Westlife. We LOVED them. WE LOVED THEM SO MUCH! AAAHHHH! THEY’RE SO AMAZING!

We loved them. Yes, we did.

Somehow, one of the girls had got hold of the tour manager’s phone number. Now I think about it, it was probably just some bloke pretending he was so that young girls would call him up and act all silly with excitement. Anyway, this girl kept ringing the tour manager and would find out when they were doing concerts, etc.

This one time, they were doing a small private gig in Liverpool. I think it was a restaurant or something, which had a small performing space downstairs, something like that. So we went there, about four or five of us *hardcore* fans. And we stood outside and waited. And these other hardcore fans were also there and they were telling us about all the times they had met Westlife.

This one girl said to us that sometimes Brian (my personal fav) and a bodyguard sneak out of a back door and go to the car so that they can assess the situation and see how many crazed teenage fans are waiting outside to leap on them when they leave. Then the bodyguard goes back and gets the others and they leave by the front entrance.

Breathless with excitement, midnight approaching, heart beating, we snuck around to the back exit and waited, hoping this girl had been right, otherwise they’d leave by the front exit and we’d totally miss it. We giggled, we squealed, we hoped beyond hope that he would emerge, see us standing there, fall in love with one of us and whisk us off in his fancy limo. That’s not expecting too much, is it?

And finally, the door started to open… The girl had been right! A tall man dressed in black emerged, his distinctive blond locks pulled under a dark cap and a bodyguard following him.

We were gobsmacked. There were just five or six of us standing around. It was late. It was dark. It was exciting. And here we were, standing with Brian McFadden from Westlife, as he shushed us a little and quickly signed autographs.

I approached him quietly from his left side as he signed something for my friend. I could see from his hurrying that he wouldn’t have time to sign my notepad. So I did the best I could to create a lasting memory of the moment.

I touched his upper left arm with my right hand. I touched it in wonder. I held onto it slightly, as though I were going to link my arm through his and walk off with him.

And I stared. My mouth was probably hanging open. I may have been dribbling. I honestly couldn’t tell you. He signed two or three autographs then gently told us he had to hurry off.

And then he was gone. Just like that. Out of our lives forever. He ran up the slope toward the front and got in the waiting car. As the girl said he would. Then we ran to the front entrance and waited for the other four Westlifers to come out. As the girl said they would. We were obviously at the back of the crowd because we had spent all our time waiting for Brian at the back. We saw the tips of their heads at most.

But it didn’t matter.

I had held Brian’s arm. His arm, goddamnyou! His ARM! Does it come much better than that?

I think not.

22 responses to this post.

  1. I’m of a much older generation, but I remember feeling like that about Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet. My girlfriends and I each had our favourite (luckily, we all fancied different ones, so we didn’t have to fight over them) and very seriously made our wedding plans etc.


  2. I have a similar memory to this. As an eleven year old boy, I was in Guernsey on a school trip, and me and my best friend were in a shop. Suddenly, a solemn silence befell the entire shop because royalty had entered the room. We both looked around feeling the significance of the moment coursing through our veins. We strained to see what the fuss was about. It was none other than Dot fucking Cotton from Eastenders!!!!

    You may have been able to hold Brian’s arm, but I got a whole signed postcode with Dot Cotton’s face on it! Does it get better than that? I think not.

    (loved your story by the way, very enjoyable!)


  3. You are right, it doesn’t get much better than that 🙂


  4. Meeting an idol is SO exciting!!! It’s hard to keep it together. How awesome that you had this experience!


  5. Whenever I think about the times when I’ve been in close proximity to celebrities that I admired, I always have such a hard time getting it out of my brain that the relationship of idol to fan is so unfair. It kind of bothers me that he didn’t have time to give you his autograph. I mean, in theory, what are celebrities without their fans? They’re just guys on huge street. I hope someday you get famous and then dude wants YOUR autograph but you don’t have enough time to give it to him.


    • Well, I already pretty famous for my World Renowned Blog…. Have you read it? He’d definitely be asking for my autograph if he didn’t already live in Australia with his girlfriend from Neighbours.


  6. Posted by Alex Jones on September 22, 2013 at 13:02

    I bet many fans of One Direction wish to have a similar personal encounter with their idols.


  7. Sigh. I’ve never met any of my idols and I’ve never even heard of any of yours. Sigh again.


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