Posts Tagged ‘PJ and Duncan’

My misspent teenage years….

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

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The handbags and the gladrags…

It’s Friday morning and here I am again, writing about the time I jumped on a bandwagon, cause Emily and Ashley told me to. I’ve no idea what I’m going to write really, so let’s just see what happens.

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I can start by telling you about a bandwagon I didn’t jump on. I didn’t jump on the Take That bandwagon when one of the popular girls in juniors, Amy, decided she loved them, as did a lot of other girls.

I did, however, jump on the PJ and Duncan bandwagon (that’s Ant and Dec to most of you). I don’t know if they had their own bandwagon, as such, but my friend Hannah liked them, hence I liked them. Her and I went to quite a few of their concerts.

My other friend, Ruth, and I once wrote them a letter before one of their concerts. We must have been about 11 years old. We were all into learning dance routines off Top of the Pops or making up our own so this one time we had tickets to one of their concerts. We had matching outfits ready for the concerts, by the way. O yes, matching outfits. We didn’t do things by halves, Ruth and I. We had black tight fit t-shirts that said ‘Right On’ in silver lettering, a white denim skirt (yes, white denim), black pump things with a bit of a heel, a pale denim jacket and a little black over-the-shoulder handbag thing. All matching. Boy, did we look cool!?

And we wrote them this letter which was something along the lines of “Do you need backing dancers for your next concert in Liverpool because we’re really good and already have dance moves to all your songs so we could be your dancers.” I’m also pretty sure Ruth asked PJ to send a pair of his pants with his reply.

We never got a reply. Which surprises me.

Actually, talking of having matching handbags, Ruth and I jumped on that bandwagon bigtime! We decided, when were maybe 15 years old, that it was time for us to join the world of grown ups and have handbags.

Our first foray into the handbag world was filled with nervousness and there was a lot of discussion about how best to go about it. I think Ruth’s first one was a cute grey fluffy backpack type thing. I’m not sure what mine was, probably more of a shoulder bag. We experimented with what exactly to put in it. I remember us both being like, “What on earth do people have in them?” So Ruth went on a discovery mission and looked through her Mum’s handbag.

I remember her being like, “Ok, she had a pen in there,” so we both ran off, got a pen, put it in our handbags and felt like we were real grown ups cause we had proper handbag items.

We were in such a rush to grow up, Ruth and I. We spent hours poring over Argos and Next catalogues, looking through the ‘home’ section and deciding how we would decorate the flat we would live in. Even down to the design of the taps in the bathroom. We had a little scrapbook where we cut out all the things we saw that we liked and stuck them in then spent ages looking through it all.

When we were about 17 and people had starting ‘going out’ drinking and clubbing, we decided to jump on the ‘clubbing’ bandwagon but in a comparatively rubbish way. My mum and her then-boyfriend were going for a drink at a kind of upmarket fancy pub-club place called Yates’ on Allerton Road (the cool girls at school went all the way into town to the proper over-18s clubs whereas Allerton Road was just a shopping road with one or two gastropubs at the end) so Ruth and I went with them.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. My first Big Night Out was to a slightly fancy gastropub with my mum.

Mother and boyfriend went and stood a little way off so as not to ruin our Cool Factor and it was at this point that we decided to give ‘drinking’ a go. I think we probably got some kind of bottled soft drink thing with about 0.2% alcohol content that wouldn’t even get a toddler tipsy. I was doing a bit of dancing cause I’d heard that’s what people did when they went out. Ruth, however, was having none of that silliness. She sat on a high stool while I bobbed about and sang “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!” in her face (while also changing the word ‘roof’ to ‘Ruth’ and feeling terribly clever).

I can’t remember if we Talked To Any Boys on this occasion (another bandwagon I was pretty keen to jump on) or even if we stayed out past midnight. I imagine we didn’t. I’m pretty sure we just walked to the car and drove the five minutes back home and got into bed.

When I’d be in school after this occasion and girls would sometimes ask who’d started Going Out Clubbing, I would always pipe up.

“O yeh, I have, yeh. I’m mad for it, me! Can’t stop going out! Yeh, I love all that. The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!”

It was quite a long time, after this one evening out before I actually did start clubbing and we all know how that turned out.

Evidence of a misspent youth

I still know all the words to the ‘rap’ in Mysterious Girl by Peter Andre.

 

My Barbies and Kens had specially made (by me) paper underwear.

 

I know all the words to 99% of Backstreet Boys songs and can still do the dances that my cousin and I made up to about four of the songs from the album, Backstreet’s Back.

 

There are hours of video tape of me doing a ‘chat show’ on the camcorder.

 

My friend and I spent two weeks waiting anxiously for a reply to a letter we had written to PJ and Duncan (AKA Ant and Dec) saying we were going to their concert soon and were really good dancers and did they need backing dancers because we were obviously the people for the job. We had even made up some routines ourselves.

 

I have a drawer FULL of hair straightening products in my old bedroom… My hair has always been, and will always be, wavy/curly.

 

I have another drawer FULL of different coloured pens. I was extremely religious about what colour I underlined the date with, and whether it was a double underline or a squiggly line or a cloudy bubble thing.

 

There are hundreds of pieces of novelty wrapping paper dotted around my old bedroom. I never wrapped anything with them. I just kept them.

 

I have an exercise book full of ‘song lyrics’ I wrote (!). They were full of unrequited love and grand statements about life….. I was 14.

 

The vast amount of make-up I owned and the hours I spent in front of the mirror, with a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine, learning how to apply it… It always looked ridiculous and now I can’t remember the last time I wore any.

 

I spent at least 50% of my entire teenage years watching/re-watching/discussing/quoting from Friends.

 

I am now a Tetris demon.

 

I must have tried 5000 times to get past the big baddie at the end of the Starlight Zone on Sonic The Hedgehog and could never do it.

 

I spent a significant portion of my time wishing I was George from the Famous Five and pretending to be tomboyish. I even joined the girl’s football team at school and played half a match. Once.

 

I used to write and re-write (in different colour pens, with different underlining, in swirly writing or bubble writing) a list of the names I liked for my future children…. What a ridiculous idea!