Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Scenes From A Tour: "Way up high or down low"

Scenes From A Tour: "Way up high or down low"
The pub, being a venue with flocked wallpaper and low hung chandeliers and without the smell of urine, is already busy when I enter. Eventually I manage to grab the only available seat round a small table tucked in a corner. I clock a couple of faces in the group next to me, clocked in that vague way of faint recognition from other gigs in other places but without the comforting certainty of names.

A few minutes later Band Member enters the pub. As he catches my eye he starts to move over to where I am sitting.

"Hello" says a man who is part of the group next to me.

"Hi" says Band Member "You all ok?"

The table nod as he moves to where I am sitting, giving me a hug in the process.

We talk for a couple of minutes before he leaves to drag in equipment. As he leaves the man who is sitting with his back opposite me moves his chair. I wonder at first if it is for comfort reasons before I realise that I have just been included in the circle. The timing causes a flicker of suspicion. It used to be something that amused me, until that is, the one night when we were followed down a street. It is odd how quickly non-stalking by-proxy does that to you. Though, I remind myself, that was another world away.

"Are you here to see [Griffin]?" the man asks.

There is a novelty to the question. I have become used to a sort of contemptuous notoriety.

"Yes". It probably sounds a bald reply, I am aware, but there is little else I can add to it.

"Do you go to lots of things?" the man continues.

"Some things". There are not so many things to go to after all and I drift in and out, usually dependent on whether or not I have to pay.

I let my words drift: "Once upon a time..."

Because he doesn't know, these people do not know. I want to tell him. About meeting Griffin for the first time in Boro when he was scared he hadn't lived up to our expectations. Of him telling us his video was at number one on the Box outside of Metro radio station in Newcastle. Of using the phrase "it's the whole package" on York radio. Of that incredible couple of weeks between the release of Bring It On and the album when, genuinely, it felt like anything might be possible. Of those horrid nightclubs where I laughed so much it hurt. Of nine radio stations in three days. I want him to know of Steve and Gav and what it felt like when Fox became the UK's Eurovision entry. I want him to know of Swindon, of seeing it reported in the press that morning that Griffin had been dropped by his record company, and then us coming together, dancing in a metal cage and knowing that whilst it wasn't our dream we had been privileged enough to come along for the ride.

Whilst I do not understand how anyone could possibly maintain the intensity that we had then - how unhealthy it might be to still occupy that spot - then it still feels that those who walk in our footsteps should know. Should maybe know why I felt compelled to be here and why, later that night, when I bump into someone who was there she says she had already discussed the fact that "Corinne has to be here" I know exactly what she was talking about, just as I did when Griffin assumed I'd be here.

I am, I realise, deeply proud of all we did. Crazy maybe. But then we always knew we were crazy.

Instead of saying this I simply smile at the man.

"So, do you know Oxford?" he asks.

1 comment:

billygean.co.uk said...

Aha, stealing a 'things i'd like to say' blog idea are we? ;o)

I have noted your prolific blogging and my expectacy for advice continues to grow! :o)!

BG