Friday, April 20, 2007

Everybody scream!


IT’S WEDNESDAY morning and I have a sore throat. My voice has taken on a husky quality and I’m beating the paracetamol into me like there is no tomorrow.

Do I have a cold? No. Do I have some weird throat infection? No. Did I scream like a 14 year old eejit throughout two hours of a Westlife concert on Sunday night and cause some serious damage to my vocal chords? Yes.

Yes, I admit it. I’m a 30 year old woman, but on Sunday night I regressed to a teenager as I screamed, boogied and sang (badly) throughout a Westlife concert at the Odyssey Arena. The way I see it, I’m making up for lost time. I never got to go to concerts when I was a teenager. I missed the only Belfast Bros concert and by the time I persuaded my mother to pay for tickets for their next tour they had split up amid rumours of bankruptcy.

So, the closest I got to the thrill of seeing the pop idols of the day on stage was the annual trip to the Radio One Roadshow in the Guildhall Square. And Derry rarely got any of the big names. In fact the biggest pull of the Roadshows was the year Philip Schofield was the presenter. I have not so fond memories of standing in the blistering heat from 7am just to get to the front of the crowd for an up close and personal look at the handsome Mr Schofield. Watching ‘This Morning’ still gives me a certain thrill.

Now it might not be cool to admit it, but I kind of like Westlife. Their songs are very catchy and with the risk of sounding like a cradle robber (because they are all bits of wains) they are pretty darned gorgeous. (Especially that Shane one, and Nicky Byrne too.)

The first time I saw them in concert was three years ago. My son was a couple of months old, the hormones were coursing through my body and I sobbed my way through ‘Flying Without Wings’. (It was the ‘some find it in the face of their children’ line that did it). This time I was a little more composed. Until that is, they walked on stage.

I’m not sure if it is just the atmosphere of having several thousand other people screaming that makes it so contagious but I was a like a big wain. I screamed. I bought a light up heart stick thingy (“for the wain to play with”- or so I told myself) and when they sang a line - just one line- of ‘When Will I Be Famous?’ by Bros I thought I was going to faint.

It was escapism in its purest and most innocent form. It didn’t matter one jot that I am exceptionally tuneless or that I only knew half the words to most of the songs. I did not let that stop me from enjoying every moment of the night and switching off from everything else, good and bad, that is happening in the outside world. One of the nicest things about the whole experience (apart from Shane’s dashing good looks) was the fact that I simply didn’t care whether or not I was making an eejit of myself. I spend an inordinate amount of my time worried that I’m not making the right impression on people. I worry I talk too much, or too little and that whatever I say is inappropriate.

I worry about how I look, what way I stand, how my clothes hang on me. I worry about my wonky toothed smile and if my skin is behaving or has decided to have another teen style break out. This week I needed to have my picture taken twice and I worried the whole time because, much like most women, I HATE having my picture taken. I worry that if I sing I will make ears bleed. I’m so overly self conscious so much of the time that generally I find it hard to relax. Thankfully I had no such problems on Sunday night.

I relaxed - and then some. It was a far cry from my recent trip to the Forum to ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Brilliant and all as the show was, I couldn’t chill out as my five year old niece spent the show asking me questions, whispering in my ear and trying to hide at the scary bits. Similarly,my trip to the Tweenies this week lacked that certain something. Perhaps it was trying to persuade my three year old (with limited success) to join in, while dodging (again with limited success) the spokes of his illuminated Tweenie light stick thingie. (The Westlife ones were better. They were less likely to cause an injury).

Instead of joining in and singing along, I spent a decent proportion of the show nursing a wounded eye and thus trying to clap one handed. (I spent the rest of the evening singing ‘Blinded at the Tweenies’ to the tune of ‘Stranded at the Drive in’ from Grease.) I have long come to accept that my days out at concerts and the theatres will generally involve a bag of sweets and assaults by plastic toys for the next few years.

And I’m okay with that. But it’s nice to let my hair down from time to time - even if I do look like a bit of a sad old 30 year old amid a crowd of teenyboppers. I do, however, apologise to the people standing around me who would have been assaulted by my singing. It’s only because I don’t get out much.

1 comment:

Fiona said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed Westlife I also had a fantastic time screaming like a 12 yr old when I seen them at Sheffield. xxxx (OOOOOHHHHHHH Shane)

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