Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dancing on the kitchen tiles

Dancing on the kitchen tiles

Last Saturday I stood in the middle of what amounted to a conference hall and sang along to '(I've Had) The Time of My Life' with a thousand under 12's. This freaked me out a little bit. How do they know this song? They were not born when the film came out. C'mon, I was only just born when the film came out [ok, I was four]. It certainly wasn't until my mid-teens that I watched Dirty Dancing and even then you wouldn't have found me dancing along to its most famous number on a freezing cold night in Harrogate when what I was really wanting was to see my latest boy-band crush. So, 11 year olds, stop it. It's just weird.

What is not at all weird is the fact that I was in the conference hall with the under 12's (and their parents) was to see McFly. I have had some very funny reactions to the information that I was going to see McFly. This ranged from over-head hand clapping (appropriate) to looks of something resembling absolute horror (inappropriate). In some quarters, because of stuff like my seeing The Holloways and The Fratellis and waxing lyrical about 'Nightswimming' and Urban Hymns and talking about pubs in Balham where I saw Posh Young Farmer Boy when he was third on the bill to someone with a fidgety leg and a guy who came second in a reality tv show*, it is taken that I have some musical discernment. I would argue that I do. But I am also obsessed with Steps. I love pop music. I do not entirely trust anyone who doesn't.

McFly are a combination of all that is great about pop and 'serious' music. They play their own instruments. They write their own songs. They are pretty. They are quite willing to take their clothes off. They even starred in a middle of the road teen rom-com that I enjoyed so much it made me giggle for a week after I saw it. There is no other album (other than maybe one by Busted, another perennial favourite of mine) in which you could get songs which reference jellybeans, Anne Boleyn and bubblewrap but still manages to speak loudly about the people who wrote it and where they are in life. Because, let's be realistic here, if I were to equate DA to an album it's heading to McFly territory rather than Automatic For The People. And, y'know what, I'm happy with that. I love Motion in the Ocean for some of the same reasons that I love PYFB's These Streets and The Holloway's So This Is Great Britain - they stand as wonderful albums about idiosyncratic events that strike me as being overwhelmingly honest. Because what is life like when you are in your late teens? It's a flipping McFly album, that's what it is. Final Straw, Urban Hymns and Hot Fuss must wait.

All in all I heart McFly rather a lot. Particularly Harry McFly for reasons - if I'm honest - which aren't primarily musical. If I were 12 years old I suspect it would have been his face plastered on my bedroom wall. I'm not quite sure who was the most popular with the tweenies in the conference hall, plus finding out might have meant encountering the possibility that some of them were aware there was more in life than getting to hold McFly boy's hand. And I was disturbed enough about the Dirty Dancing thing (and indeed about having seen Lil' Chris. I am choosing not to blog about this in the hope that I can one day convince myself that it didn't happen). I didn't need any more.

What struck me about the gig itself - other than how wildly inappropriate large parts of McFly's back catalogue are for ten year olds - was just how underrated McFly are as a live act. Because, damnit, they rock. They're funny [especially Harry McFly it must be said given that he broke his drum stick and everything]. They have really cool lighting and fancy guitars. And they can sing. If there was little that could match getting to sing "oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh so wouldn't you like to come with me?"** then I was honestly - and unexpectedly - moved by 'Bubblewrap'. A little piece of magic. Which is all I ever ask for. I did, however, get very very girly and start making heart signs at Harry and informing everyone around me (primarily six year old boys with gelled hair) that I loved him. This is allowed though. I've yelled 'I love you' in much more embarrassing venues if the truth be told***.

If more proof of my McFly love were needed I parted with a whole eighteen pounds for a t-shirt. And then wore it round Bloomsbury on Monday morning. Some things, after all, don't change.

*I love you really, Griffin.

**And before anyone gets snobby about the 'ooohs' it was only when I saw The Fratellis live that I realised that two thirds of their album is made up of 'ooohs'. And they won a Brit and everything.

***York Barbican seems to spring to mind.


gayle said...

I shall be wearing my McFly t-shirt on the London Eye on Good Friday. A holy day deserves such splendid clothing, I feel.

I guess I'm stuck in this mad world... x

PS I heart Dougie lots. And his glittery guitar with flashing red lights. x

Nik said...

i heart danny and tom lots. [i am also noting you mentioned harry's broken drumsticks but not tom's broken guitar so :( for tom's broke guitar]

also i had a scary thought the other we have to sit thru lil chris again in two weeks?!

Nik said...

oh and also, you need to watch the behind the scenes thingamajiggy that the hits are showing [see MC Fly's site for the times an' stuff] because it is highly entertaining -trust me and gayle. basically, harry dressed as a woman is funny; danny and dougie dying is not. that is all. said...

I am a bona fide Music Snob but defend McFly. They write incredibly catchy melodies.

This is what music is about. And it's all that any of the biggies - The Beatles, the Mozarts - ever did.

I am aware I am going to be slated for this view.

gayle said...

I think Dougie enjoys dressing as a laydee a little too much...

And I would happily sit through Lil Chris again in 2 weeks if it meant McFly followed.