Monday, July 03, 2006

You remember Griffin, right? The bloke who's not David Tennant.

You remember Griffin, right? The bloke who's not David Tennant.

As some aspects of DA are a little bit of a Griffin archive it seems a bit remiss of me (or maybe it's (sings) "just another sign of the times"*) not to have mentioned going to see what was my most expensive Griffin gig in ticket price terms EVER. If I remember rightly I think I paid the same price to go see him play tennis and sing a couple of songs at the wonder which was Cliff Richard's Tennis Tournament in 2004 but I understood the price there. It was televised on Sky Sports on Christmas Day. Sky Sports . You're bound to have to pay for that. But for the Black Sheep Festival? With not another minor celebrity in sight, or even the possibility that someone in the bar might tell Gayle and I that we should have been on X Factor? Eeek. But I softened the blow with the reasoning that I'd paid the same to see Whistle Down the Wind a few weeks earlier and that didn't have the potential for Griffin being cute in it. Equally it didn't have the potential for Griffin being a git in it but we'll side step that one because, tangled experience as it is, I've made the choice to ignore that possibility.And there's been much more cute than git in the last 12 months, so it's there in the statistics.

And was it worth the money? Oh diddly dum, yes. As I always secretly knew it would be. Because I still find hearing Griffin sing, hearing those new songs of his, a rather magical experience. And if he won't be making it on to DA's Best Dressed Awards (The DABDA's if you will) any time soon - courtesy not just of the deck shoes but a white towelling hoodie that made him look either pregnant or gay depending on which angle he chose to stand at - there's still a lot of love for the boy in the DA room. And even though he was singing in what amounted to a bistro, and even though Val, Gayle and I arrived too late to go to the giftshop (did they not realise that they could have doubled their takings?), I loved it. Because I wasn't expecting greatness, I wasn't demanding rock and bounce and no-frigging tables, so the peripheral stuff - as much as it makes me choke slightly - didn't bother me too much.

Undoubtedly the day started well when Gayle and I got lost in Masham, which - if you've ever been - you'll know is quite an achievement. But we did eventually find Val and the pub and Sunday afternoon in a pub is always one of my favourite things so the day was getting big ticks already, marred only by the fact that it was raining and in my head the Sunday was supposed to be glorious. Summer dress, sunglasses, slightly baking glorious. Not run-quickly-because-you-didn't-bring-an-umbrella weather. Once we'd eaten, gained our goodiebags ("Forget Griffin, I've got a keyring that's also a bottle opener") and avoided the Morris Dancers it was on to the venue itself where I had to go straight to the bar simply because I'd developed hiccoughs on the way there. And whilst I'm sure the tradditional thinking is to give people a fright, I think giving people alcohol is an acceptable alternative.

We'd made the - patently wrong - assumption that the bar area would be in a seperate section to the gig itself and that we'd be able to sit, not get trollied and then go and hear Griffin so it was a little bit of a dilema when it emerged they were all in the same room. Plus the women on the door had taken mine and Gayle's tickets off of us (clearly we looked the types to cause some kind of ticket mayhem) so we really had to stay put. This suddenly became a lot more amusing when it became clear that the band first up had a very good looking guitarist. And you know how we like boys with guitars. Thus Gayle and I attempted to enlist Val to take a picture of said Guitar Boy whilst we provided a foil for our covert operation by pretending she was taking a picture of us. Obviously this all sounds simple enough but throw in us finding it hilarious, Val worrying about getting Gayle and I in focus and Griffin standing directly behind Val then you have a recipe for disaster. Flattering, I think not. I'm mentally kicking myself though that we didn't snatch the comedy moment of getting Griffin to take a photo of all three of us (with Guitar Boy in the background). In days of Yore he might even have gotten into the photo himself.

Once Boss Caine had finished it was on to Griffin. Well, 'The Band'. But, I'm sorry, they're not yet a band in my head because, let's be honest, I've been non-stalking Griffin for almost three years. As fond as I may become of any of the other members of said band** - look what happened with the Riccardi boys - it's going to take something of a shift in attitude to change my perception from the 'I'm going to see Griffin' standpoint. In fact, it's so ingrained that I don't think I ever will. It's more than my saying that Robbie was my favourite member of Take That, or H my favourite member of STEPS****. Griffin is the only reason I go see this particular band. I suspect he may always be.

And because of this I mark the gig in Griffin terms. Yes, I thought they sounded more 'together' as a unit. But that wasn't what made me excited. Griffin's voice. Seeing him play the electric guitar during 'Sex and Love' (though, I confess, I initially thought he was holding it for someone else). Hearing a new song. Feeling that wonderful, incredible moment when he sang 'I Have Lived' and I thought 'fuck, he means this. He means every word'. And I had to love Fiesty Griffin: (on the tables) 'Do they do table service?'; (introducing the song) 'Why? - Good question'. I believe we might have cheered him at the point. Even he noted 'I'm just being rude today'. I don't know about anyone else but I kind of a liked it. And there wasn't a dancing bear joke in sight.

Afterwards was when the timing had begun to feel odd. We'd had ten songs, a mini gig, I'd had three riccardi and cokes and yet it wasn't even five o'clock. It was still daylight, when in my head it should be nearing last orders. Odd.

Equally odd was the conversation as we bumped into Griffin as we were leaving. Job done, he was wearing what resembled a tin hat from the first world war, only it was made of plastic and had the flag of St George on it. If the alarms bells are ringing then you're probably right to be worried. Even if only for the fact that he'd parted with money for this piece of hat tat. What happened next is probably best consigned to folklaw because whilst I thought it funny and cute at the time, in the retelling it hasn't positioned itself as one of my all time great griffining stories. Needless to say, such behaviour can get you arrested in Germany. But in the rain in Masham? Ok, I'm soft.

*Sorry, Blood Brothers reference. And, obviously, it's not true. I just wanted to use it.

**Walt, the drummer, made a valiant stab at redeeming himself from the comedy hell he afflicted upon himself via ours and Griffin's gossip*** last time we saw him by saying that Gayle and I could be in the band. Because I honestly think we could be.

***It was our gossip first even though Griffin tried to claim it as his.

****Just how cool a teenager was I?


cat said...

please tell me that there really will be DABDA's?

Corinne said...

Was it that obvious? ;-)

gayle said...

Yay, *finally* we have a Masham report! What a surreal day that was in so many ways. x