It's always exciting when a band comes to the country. If you're anything like me, you've got a feed going with all their tweets, facebooks and instagrams, you've analysed the pics to figure out which hotel they're at, you've lurked around the stage door and equipment vans in hopes of catching a glimpse, or you've made besties with the roadies in the local Starbucks (but that's another story altogether).
But then sometimes, the band just comes straight to you, without you having to make any effort whatsoever. Yes, fellow fangirls, an international band were so within my vicinity that I had to do no more than conveniently wander across the office in order to meet them. Take away some of the fun, doesn't it? There's no feeling of victory left, is there? Ah, but there is.
So after I'd seen one whole song ("fire, fire, fire...") of Bastille's live at T in the Park this year before dashing from the Radio 1 Stage to King Tut's to grab my barrier spot for Hurts, I was very excited that they were to perform in SA. But really, I only knew who they were because I have a thing for random British music, and they had a song called 'Pompeii' which was pretty awesome because, well, because it was about Pompeii. And everything about Pompeii is pretty darn awesome (minus the death and stuff, whatever, I digress).
Sure, I'll buy tickets to see them, but there's no way they'll sell out, so I don't have to be in queue an hour before tickets get released and take my Rescue pills with me lest I stop breathing a minute before I reach the front of the online queue. Three days after tickets go on sale I decide that I might as well just buy the thing already... and to my horror the next day I find out they sold out that same night. Close call, but I'm sorted.
Cue filing e-tickets somewhere in my inbox to print out and deal with at a later date. A far later date. Tickets bought in September, show in January. In fact, it's so far away that I might as well forget about it.
Until the end of December when I hear whispers about the band coming into the studio (some background: I work for a live TV show, studio = office). Hmm. Interesting.
Fast-forward to show day, I hit Kirstenbosch Gardens (in my Reading hoodie, which says 'Bastille' in tiny writing on the back somewhere near my kidneys because they played a tiny stage the year I was there) around 7pm and have only a short wait before the opening act Bed on Bricks (featuring Dan of Bastille's cousin, apparently) and then the headliners. Opening with 'Bad Blood' and then 'Things We Lost in the Fire' and ending with 'Pompeii' (cue massive crowd reaction) they were great and everything, but this ain't a concert review. Oh, Dan also ran through the crowd at one time (cue crowd surge and influx of females vowing to marry him, ahem).
So we've already seen Bastille by the time they come to our studio, and three hours before the fact, everyone is ending every single sentence with "fire, fire, fire". Forget Pompeii. I vow to be completely free of work when the moment comes, so that I can do what I do best: watch the band. This is A-level celeb stuff here, we've got people who are still on leave coming into the office just to catch a glimpse of Dan and his cronies. I mean, not even John Black got this kind of groupie love when he paid us a visit back in 2012! We're allowed on set to watch the performance once the interview is done, and there is absolutely nothing like a toned down version of 'Pompeii' on keyboards, with at least 30 people trying to crowd into a tiny space and take as many photos are humanly possibly - because Bastille.
The band are on a super tight schedule and need to rush off to a radio interview, so we're told they can do some group photos, as long as it's really quick. I watch them take photos with the presenters, and mutter under my breath that I want a photo toooooo :(. Luckily my boss comes to my rescue and we all pile into a photo together.
"We saw you guys last night." I tell Dan bravely. Call me socially awkward, but I'm unstoppable when it comes to making buddies with bands members (besides that time I ran screaming out of Starbucks because I ran into The Killers' drum-tech, but that's another story...). "Oh yeah?" "Yeah, and then I came to work at 3am, so it was real dedication." "Whaaat, no way! How do you survive on like no sleep?" Dan wants to know. I don't know, so I change the topic while we smile for another picture. "I actually saw you guys at T in the Park last year." I tell Dan, trying to be casual. "Oh yeah! What other festivals have you been to?" "Reading... you guys played Reading, right? And V Fest in 2012...." I know full well they played Reading, 'Bastille' is written in tiny font at the bottom of my Reading 2012 hoodie, remember? "You ever been to Rocking the Daisies?" "Yep, year before last." Ha. Dan and I are having a full-on conversation!
And so we thank them and all make our way back to our desks, eagerly anticipating uploading those photos to Facebook. The band are packing up their things and heading for the lift... I was going to leave pretty soon anyway...
"Oh no, don't hold the lift for me, I'll take the next one!"
"No, there's space, come on in." Replies a band member.
Downstairs, I can't help myself... "Dan, can we have a selfie?" And so we grin at the camera together, and I click. There you have it, a casual selfie with Bastille. Just another standard day at the office.