Monday, August 17, 2015

Brandon in Brum: The Desired Ending

In some kind of obsessive fangirl haze, I'd bought a ticket to see Brandon Flowers in Birmingham, without first considering how the hell I was going to get halfway across the country and then back without missing any work. Nor had I checked trains. Oh, and the person who had my ticket was - unbeknownst to me - driving from Wales that very afternoon. Somehow, I pulled off a £16 return journey to Birmingham, which would allow my to stride into the office the next morning exactly on time, if slightly worse for the wear. 

So around 3pm, I stuck my laptop into my drawer, picked up the handbag containing my pyjamas for my sleepover at Amii's house (lol, sleep), and legged it to Euston as fast as the Tube would allow (read: soul-crushingly slowly). Halfway to Coventry I started to get nervous. I had never cut it this fine for a concert in my entire life. If the train broke down now, would I be able to walk to Birmingham by 9pm? C'mon, train!

By 5pm, I was jogging to the venue, only to find Amii was taking a loo break with her queue mates, so I intercepted James and his mama in the balcony queue. I do apologise if I scared you with my over-bubbling enthusiasm and the screaming hug Amii and I shared when she arrived back. 

It is so, so wonderful to meet human beings who understand you. To have friends that you can be entirely yourself around, knowing that they like you for the strange, weird and quirky human being you are. Amii, you are one of those friends. And don't get me started on the hugs from Justine and Emma too, I'll just get emosh. 

And so my ticket arrived from Wales, and a little before doors, a mass of curly hair appeared out of the venue door, and with it, backing singer Danielle Withers. It took a few minutes, but I was brave enough to ask her for a selfie, and we bonded over a short chat about which shows I'd been to. Manchester had been my favourite so far, due entirely to the appearance of Jilted Lovers.

I made my way back to my spot in the queue, and before we knew it, doors were open. Amii and I managed our traditional Mark's-side-second-row spot, although I lost it after attempting to make a run for water 3 minutes before showtime. Stupid me. While waxing lyrical about the London and Manchester setlists, two ladies next to me butted with with a very un-British friendliness. "So, do you just like, follow Brandon Flowers around?!" They were intrigued. "Yep, that's why I'm in this country." They laughed, but I grimaced. "I wish I was joking."

Some would say seeing four shows in one week, with largely the same setlist, would be boring, but tonight couldn't have been less so. Hyper aware that this was the last time I'd see King B for a while, I soaked up every glorious moment. I held my breathe for the appearance of 'Diggin' Up The Heart', but I had nothing to fear. My favourite from the new album was firmly on the setlist, having only been left off of the first London night. I feel like this was the first time I was honestly able to appreciate 'Lonely Town', and lost myself entirely for Brightside.

After the show, I located Amii, who had been a couple of people away from me, and together we screamed and hugged Emma, most likely traumatising her plus one for the night, who came in the form of her dad. And although we didn't get to meet our guy after the show, we did glimpse him, signing the odd autograph, then waving and grinning before boarding the tourbus.

After following James and his mum to their hotel, Amii and I fell into a cab back to Solihull, where we thought watching Harry Potter until 3am would be a fab idea. 3 hours later, I was bundling myself back into a cab to the station, and trying not to spill my Starbucks latte as I climbed aboard my train back to London. Screaming children prevented me from catching up on any sleep on the train back, and although I strode confidently into the office, right on time, 3pm saw me dismissing my new intern and stumbling back to my flat for an excellent nap. My Desired Effect Tour was over, and I was so satisfied that I'd barely even checked the prices of the Eurostar to Paris for the next show. Nope, I was done. And I was happy. 

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