A tale of two boy bands

This year I was fortunate enough to see 2 boy bands play live. The two occasions could not have been any more different, even if I planned them to be.
I need to tell you about the second event first. My bestie tart friend Jane and her daughter Phoebe invited me to go with them to Birmingham to see Westlife. I’ve never really considered myself to be a huge fan of theirs but not able to turn down a night away, I was all for it.
But oh boy I was not disappointed, they put on a fantastic show and I sang along to every song so I must be more of a fan than I first thought. They also did an outstanding Queen tribute which was an unexpected treat.
The three of us had a fabulous time filled with music, alcohol and a lot of laughs.
A word to the wise though, if you need walk alongside the canal to go to and from your hotel, it’s probably best not to knock back as many of the 2 for 1 cocktail combos as we did, it made it a bit tricky to safely negotiate the sometimes narrow paths and little bridges.



The first boy band story is very different. This was definitely a case of being at the right place at the right time.
As soon as I discovered Take That was coming to Bristol I knew I needed to be there. I must admit I wasn’t their biggest fan in the 90’s but they have grown on me over the years. Their stage presence was legendary and I wanted to be a part of it.
Unfortunately I fell at the first hurdle when trying to get tickets, it was a combination of not being fast enough and not waiting long enough on the phone. But not to be put off, I remembered dancing around Hyde Park a couple of years ago outside the Summer Festival, where they put on a fantastic show which I could just about see on the big screen, through a gap in the fencing.
So armed with our prosecco supply my bestie George and now friend Emma planned to listen from a park next door to the stadium. I assumed lots of people would have the same idea, but as it turned out we were the only three sad Muppets there, sat on our camp chairs sipping warm fizz from plastic cups.
It soon became apparent when the time came for Rick Astley to be on stage that we couldn’t hear a thing and George needed a wee. So we packed up and headed to the stadium with the intention of finding a better vantage point.
And then the miracle happened……. While George was in a well-known fast food outlet using the facilities, Emma and I were approached by a man selling three tickets for £20. Our faces must have immediately taken on looks of suspicion as he went on to explain that he was the driver on an organised bus trip and not all the passengers had turned up. He just wanted to get some of the money back and not waste the tickets. As we were still not convinced, he proved their validity by getting George through the barrier. Emma and I wasted no time stowing our camp gear in the storage area and getting ourselves onto the pitch.
The night could not have been any better, we could not believe our luck. We were in time for the last Rick Astley song, he was fantastic. Take That were out of this world, they really are the greatest showmen.
So take that chance, plan something small, it may turn into something bigger and much more than you ever imagined.


My 15 minutes of fame

After reading Jack Scott’s post on Perking the Pansies about his radio show appearance, it got me thinking about my very brief moment of stardom on the radio waves. My claim to fame is not nearly as exciting as Jack’s, but nevertheless it was good for me.

A few years ago our local radio station, known then as GWR, was doing a daily slot called ‘Four play’. Listeners were invited to contact the station with 4 songs; their favourite song at the time, their song they dance like their dad to, the song to turn up their speakers to and the song that makes them cry. The presenter would then do a quick interview about the reasons behind the choices and it was edited and played back in the show.

I listened to that show quite often and decided I should let Bristol know about my favourite tunes.

My favourite song at the time was Take That’s ‘Shine’, I liked the song because they had just reformed and I never really was a big fan of the band first time around, I felt it was much better than their old stuff.

My first choice for the song that made me dance like my dad was ‘Suspicious Minds’ by Elvis Presley because my dad was a huge Elvis fan and he actually won a prize once for dancing when he was in the RAF. But alas they didn’t have that one so I had to think of something else, my son suggested ‘Get down on it’ by Kool and the Gang as there is some ancient video evidence of his dad dancing to this somewhere.

The song to turn my speakers up to was ‘Summer of 69’ by Bryan Adams. I have been a fan of Bryan for many years and have seen him live in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol and I adore him…enough said!

I always cry when I hear ‘These are the days of our life’ by Queen. I am a massive, lifelong fan of Queen and I loved Freddie Mercury. Like many people I was upset when he died and the video for the song is just heartbreaking because of Freddie’s appearance. It was the last video he made before he died and he was just so thin and fragile, but still he managed to perform for the camera to thank the fans for all the support over his fantastic career.

He is truly a legend…