Sunday, 25 April 2010

Dream A Little Dream Of Me...

I have a weakness…for pretty boys and their seductive guitars. Ever since I was a young and impressionable teenager swooning over grainy pictures of Tim Wheeler ripped out of magazines in the Art room, I have believed it is my God-given duty to forever dream of being played like a guitar string until that one fine day I find a rockstar of my very own. Today, at the tender age of 25, it is no different. Whether it’s Tim, Kurt the Dirty Blond or Serge and his Ice-Cool Charisma, these men are electric and never fail to stop me in my tracks and slip off into quiet fantasy.

I wouldn’t say I relate to Amy Winehouse as such, but I can’t help but think Wino continually hits the metaphorical nail on the head when she sings about her weakness for the other sex, ‘His own style,
Right down to his Diesel Jeans,
I can’t think by any means’
Perhaps replace ‘Diesel jeans’ with ‘Skinny Jeans’ and there, you have a woman after my own heart, Miss Winehouse sure does start to make sense to me. Of course she would make sense this was, after all, pre-heroin and pre-Blake Fielder-Waste-of-Space. And so continues my love and appreciation for the opposite sex, emotional baggage, creativity and all. Well it’s nearly Easter and I’m officially back from the dead and ready to drool again.

I needed a new crush, and as fate would have it, some of my favourites, a Boy and his Band, were soon to be making a trip to London Town to play a last minute gig, the timing could not have been more perfect.

Clear, gutsy and cut with a strong Northern accent, The Boy has THE voice! Not to mention a momentous graduation from the catchy guitar riffs and cute puppy fat of bands of old to a whole new enterprise of a moody, sexy persona and just the right touches of politics in his fantastic songwriting. He exudes power over his microphone….which leads little old me to desire him exuding his power over me…what I wouldn’t give to be that microphone!

And so it was, in the continued absence of The Great Unmentionable, I decided to unleash my inner Des Barres and head out to Highbury to see The Boy and his Band live and very much in the flesh. I had the Rose Print dress on and, as any one of those close to me knows when the Rose Print comes out, I am ready and I mean business. With my ever-faithful G and T in one hand, my ever faithful friend Mr Must-Have in the other, beaming from ear to ear at the close of a much enjoyable first week in my new job, off I ventured.

I should point out that my friend gave himself the name Mr Must-Have for all intents and purposes. Though he isn’t far wrong, he is my Must-Have accessory – a very dear friend, one to be seen on the arm of, with a sharp sense of humour and an even sharper, straight-talking tongue. If you want an honest opinion, a decent drinking partner or a regular swap of life-coaching skills then look no further! And originating from foreign lands, he loves nothing more than immersing himself in British culture, plus there is the small factor of me forcing him to listen to bands I like, another characteristic those close to me will be familiar with.

So it began, about half an hour and two drinks later than planned, plus an interesting conversation with one man and his broken River Island military jacket. The first band faded into a droning oblivion within about the first thirty seconds, some sort of Gallagher-wannabe who had about as much stage presence as my cat after his neutering operation. Hello, the nineties called, they’d like their Brit-pop back? Could this really be happening? I had never experienced this before…Was I actually BORED watching a gig? Little did I know that with just a turn of the head and a few second’s patience my heart would, once again, skip a beat and that familiar pull of anticipation and anxiety would come flooding back.

Glancing behind me, I came face to face with two puppy-dog eyes and one downturned (in hindsight, probably hangover-induced) scowl obscured by a mass of black curls, looking suitably unimpressed with the band too. I forgot everything, for just a second, my world stopped, this was the moment Boy became Dream Boy.

A quick nudge of Mr Must-Have’s elbow and I found myself in between a haze of nerves and imagining momentary ‘Prison Break’ style blueprints to get backstage, whilst trying to mouth and point MMH in the direction of Dream Boy, he didn’t get it. Well, at least he didn’t until he heard THAT voice.

I felt kind of sorry for them you know. After a massive night held in their home town the night before, they must have bundled into a tiny van heading towards the bright lights of London town, expectant, hungover and ready to rock and roll…only to find a dwindling crowd of about twenty people, not including the one crazy dancing man averting everyone’s eyes to the corner.

They put on a bloody good show though and if they were disappointed they didn’t show it. They had it all, and outshined the other performances. They were so together, their music powerful, their links hilarious and Dream Boy as captivating as ever as he took the royal piss out of the overpriced drinks stand. There was definite eye contact, I wondered what he was thinking. A promoter was selling their EP, fate had smiled down upon me. MMH was off to get drinks, I was off to get an EP.

The promoter, it turned out, was an old friend of Dream Boy.  We chatted for a bit before three members of the band swanned out for a drink. I stood still for a few minutes, let them pass me by and then decided to have a f**k it moment and start a conversation with a friendly-looking drummer. Five minutes later and I’m near enough invited to see them up North, MMH is nowhere to be seen and I’m making small talk with a band. This must be what Pamela Des Barres life was like every night, this was my first taste and I was loving it. Surrounded by lovely boys and good music and G and Ts, it was heaven. There is, after all, no law against outrageous flirting.

Then came the moment I was waiting for, Dream Boy emerged in his stripy glory, still hiding under his mop of hair and we were introduced! We shook hands, he was a little cold but he held my stare for a while, I don’t think he really knew what to say to me so he mumbled a thank you, asked my name and signed my CD. The last real contact I had with him was getting a face-full of his mop as our ‘moment’ was rudely interrupted by another man waiting to get his CD signed He wasn’t as friendly as the others, but he was sweet and something told me it wouldn’t be the last time I spoke to him. I frittered away about an hour with the others chatting, talking about potential moves to London and whether that was potentially coming next for the band. I’m sure I kept catching the Friend gesturing in my general direction and mouthing to Dream Boy to talk to me. Dream Boy said he couldn’t, I think he could, I hope he will.

On the way home and in between drunks at bus stops and alarming men hanging out of kebab shops, I realised, albeit in the lowest and bitchiest sense, that I had been starved of ‘normal’ conversation with ‘normal’ male fanciable company for so long. I missed that strength, the earthiness, the guttural conversations and the downright manliness of it all. I decided, there and then, that it was probably quite disconcerting after all to date someone who knew more about Chanel than I did. Bring on the normalcy of future dates, with a Northerner or two. I also decided, there and then, that my hands felt really rough against the cold and wished I had my very best hand cream back. BASTARD. My drifting memories of that evening kept me warm against that chilly Good Friday wind, and a biting wind it was at 2a.m, one that even the fluffiest of leopard print jackets would have trouble barricading its G&T-ed up owner against.

I slept soundly that night, awaking to the world’s best hangover cure – a trip to see my lovely friend in sunny Brighton and an appointment with Magnum Opus and their magical needle pens…ready for another permanent etching on my shoulder. I think something changed in me that evening, I felt brighter, warmer and fuzzier and it felt right good!