I watched her dance, oblivious to the people who giggled at her extravagant enjoyment. Twirling, laughing and clapping her hands, this was the band and their songs that spoke to her alone. And within that pure expression, she was at a height that none of us reached.
I watched them laugh, drunk on cheap beer, heckling the band, the audience and anyone else who crossed their path. Finally, one of the gang launched an object at the lead singer and hit him squarely on the head. It stopped the show as the singer walked off stage. Another band member had to chide the audience and welcome the singer back on – which he did, gamely – and finished the set.
Their amusement was not found in the music. It was in the high.
I watched them grouped at the perimeters of the action – the sideliners. They didn’t want to take part in the atmosphere because they either couldn’t understand it or weren’t impacted by the band that was giving their all, their heart out on stage. They were just there – disengaged.
I stood in the centre of it all.
Early this morning, the Husband told me that we had free tickets to the Stereophonics final show before they returned to London.
‘Do you want to go?’ He asked. It was a loaded question because I don’t ever give up gigs, whether paid for or not. It’s just a matter of work and time. I find that there’s always something to appreciate at a performance. I understand the hard work that goes behind the scenes – from the crew to the performers – and I won’t disrespect any of it. I may not always get it, but I will honour their passion. So I checked with the boss, who wonderfully excused me from the night’s responsibilities.
I’m glad with my choice because tonight, I was made a fan.
I listened to the odd Stereophonics track here and there back in the late 90s but was never into their music. I just happened to identify more with other bands like the Ride, Cocteau Twins, Suede, Pulp, Blur, Stone Roses, the Smiths, Spiritualized… somehow, the Stereophonics was not on my listening to-do list.
Today, I was a captive audience. Watching them perform was exhilarating and I think I fell in love. Not with the singer but with the songs and with his voice – one that sounded like it’d been drenched in too much cigarettes and alcohol. It’s broken edges wrapped me in a blanket of hope, sprinkled with the stars of yesterdays and tomorrow’s clear skies.
I stood there in my beautiful moment and looked up at the moon, the twinkling blanket above the trees… I closed my eyes and swayed, allowing myself to be pulled in to the place where I no longer cared about anything at all.
I was caught up in their untold story.
It’s a thrill to see your imagination
Just watching you is an education
What’s in your mind is my fascination
It blows my mind, it sets my heart to racing
You’re my Sunday, Make my Monday come alive
Just like Tuesday you’re a new day, wakes me up
Wednesday’s raining, Thursday’s yearning, Friday nights…
Then it all ends at the weekend…
You’re my star
– The Stereophonics
What made the lead singer continue pursuing his dream? It’s been so many years on and he’s still doing it, chasing his star.
If I met setback after setback, would I still chase my stars? If you met me on the streets and asked me what today was all about, and what tomorrow held, how would I answer you?
Yesterday, I might have hesitated. Tonight, I’d have come alive.
Under the stars tonight, I finally believe that dreams do come true.