Am I doing this ‘Write’?

Camera faces a band with crowd at a music venue

I kind of get irritated by those daily notifications from Facebook – you know the ones, the relentless cry of, “You have memories to look back on today!” It’s like the social networking site is desperately harking back to a time where it was far more relevant than it is today.

The Joy of Gigs

It served a purpose today, however. It told me that it’s been six years (six!!!) since I first travelled across the country, just me and a pal, for a gig. February 2013 saw lilolme took a coach and a train over to Liverpool to stand in a queue for eight hours outside in ridiculously cold weather for the Kerrang! Relentless Energy Tour. We weren’t even going for the headliner – because honestly I couldn’t and still can’t stand Black Veil Brides – and instead, me and my friend travelled on an overnight Megabus for the opening band: Fearless Vampire Killers. At that time, this was a ridiculous, borderline stupid, idea. Looking back on it now, it remains one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever done, but now I wouldn’t call it stupid at all. FVK were, and still remain, one of my favourite bands, and pulling ridiculous stunts like that just to see the looks on their faces when we showed up on the other side of the damn country was worth the Travelodge booking price.

Band members of Fearless Vampire Killers pose in dark clothing with zombie-like makeup and voodoo dolls

 

It was also the first of many gigs I’ve travelled to since then, and I have no doubt I wouldn’t have attended any of those concerts without that first leap of faith. I learnt a few tips and tricks in the years since early experiences: 

1 – Coaches are your friend. Megabus is handy, but sometimes the fancier coaches are cheaper if you book it at the right time.

 2 – Make pals with people who can drive and have a car. Just make sure you pay them back somehow – be it petrol or a tasty lunch.

3 – The earlier your coach back home is, the less you care about where you sleep or for how long. I once managed to negotiate travelling back from the back end of Wales after three hours of sleep on my friend’s hotel room floor. (It is surprisingly comfy, and very good for your back.)

Galavanting Around

This anniversary couldn’t have come at a better time, either, since this week I was once again galavanting off to other areas of the country in the name of concerts. I spent last weekend in Manchester, going to three gigs in as many days. Being a 23 year old lady with professional friends means I’ve upgraded from hostels and buses to car shares, trains, and spare rooms in friend’s houses, so it was a much more sophisticated experience than most of my past travels. (No doubt I’ll still have to fall back onto my old faithfuls when times get financially tough, of course.)

Friday and Saturday were dedicated to arena shows with Don Broco and Neck Deep, two bands who know exactly how to make thousands of people have a good time. Anyone who knows anything about Don Broco will know the ridiculous cowboy character who appears in many of their music videos. He’s upgraded to appearing in their shows now, too. Don Broco have been worthy of an arena-sized audience for a while, and now that they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve, I feel pretty proud of these Bedford boys.

Band of four members - main member standing the the foreground

Sunday, meanwhile, was reserved for The Faim in a much smaller venue and with a much calmer crowd. This Australian four piece has been on my radar for around a year now, and every time I’ve seen them, they’ve gotten more polished and more confident in their performance and their sound. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do in the future, especially since they’ve tipped their debut album for release this year.

Fangirl-dom Never Ends

The whole weekend was spent in the company of good friends, doing fun things, and making good memories. I dread to think what I’d be doing now without that shakey step in this direction six years ago. I wouldn’t have all the experiences I’ve gained from travelling the country to see these bands and musicians. I also wouldn’t have the love I have for music itself which fuels my journalism today, and I don’t even know if I’d have as close a bond with my friends if I hadn’t had to go through the very worst aspects of life on tour(ish) with them.

As I get older, I frequently end up thinking about at what point I’ll have to stop travelling to concerts and start being more “responsible.” But honestly, what is more responsible than budgeting, organising travel and accommodation in advance, and navigating unfamiliar cities, all at the age of 16? I don’t think I’d be half as confident in doing all of that stuff now if I hadn’t started at such a comparatively young age. The moral of the story is: be a fangirl, because you end up with better administration and organisationa skills than anyone else in your age group.