Thursday, 16 June 2011

Take That & Party...a bit too hard, by all accounts....

Who'd have thought?  Back in the early 1990's, when Take That were this fresh, new boyband and all their fans were young and over-exciteable, (and the most we ever got up to on the way to one of their gigs back then was share in a bag of Cadbury's Fun Size mars bars on the coach on the way to the GMex), who've thought that - almost 20 years later - those young and over-exctiteable fans would grow up to be middle-aged but still over-exciteable, downing bottles of Jacob's Creek and getting totally wasted before they'd even set foot inside the stadium to witness, or not, as the case has been for some of them, Take That's very much new and improved stage shows!  Beggars belief in my eyes to be honest.  I mean, I love a drink.  I really love a drink, but there's a time and a place and a Take That concert, in my opinion, is not the place to get rat-arsed.  I just don't understand it.  Why would you even bother coming to the gig if your sole intention is to get out of your skull on Smirnoff Ice?  You could do that any night of the week without the added £60-plus price tag it's cost you to get into the bloody concert!  It's just not my idea of fun.  And I'll tell you why...

I love Take That.  I have done since the very beginning.  I wouldn't say I was as obsessed as I was back in the day, when all I wanted was to marry Howard Donald and have his babies, (I'm fully recovered from that now!) but I do have a tendancy to get sucked into the hype and hysteria when it comes to ticket buying and concert time.  So sucked in that, last October when tickets for Progress Live came on sale and my computer was constantly saying no and the 'phones had left for a 2 week break in Lanzarote, I was to be found slumped over the dining room table in an hysterical heap crying like some demented madwoman, until my (extremely tolerant) husband rang me to tell me that he'd cancelled work for the afternoon and was outside Sunderland's Stadium of Light and in the queue for tickets.  That day, I think, he would have done anything it took for an easy life because he knew that if I had got to the end of that day without any kind of ticket for any of those shows then his life would be a bloody misery!  He's probably right, that may well have been the case, but when he came home with those show vouchers in his hand I could have cried again - with sheer relief!  But it's absolutely ridiculous how a woman of my age can become a gibbering wreck just because Ticketmaster can't sort their servers out.  And I got no sympathy from me mother.  There was a time when I would have done, because my mother used to adore Gary Barlow, but when it came out that he was a supporter of The Conservative Party, well, I've never seen a woman turn so quickly!  He may as well be related to Satan now!  No, he's well off her Christmas card list.  But I did get sympathy from the army of women out there who went through the same as me that day.  We stick together at Take That ticket buying time, it's like a little commmunity, I don't know what I'd do without it. But what gets me - and this happens every time - is how ridiculous you feel over the coming weeks when you see that more and more tickets are put up for sale, which can be obtained without the help of a jar of Kalms and any alcohol you can lay your hands on, and you realise that you really did not need to put yourself through the self-inflicted stress of ticket-buying Friday!  But, should they choose to do another tour, we'll all be there, doing it all over again.  Guaranteed!



It wasn't like this first time around.  No, back in the day I don't even remember buying the bloody tickets (probably because we got other people to buy them for us, I don't know, I can't remember!!) but we had no stress, and we always had decent seats.  We had second row at Whitley Bay Ice Rink for their 1993 tour and I have no idea how we got those seats but they were amazing seats!  We could have reached out and touched them, infact, thinking back, I maybe should have taken my chances befcause that's the closest I'll ever get to them now!!  We had some great times following the boys (as they were back then), seeing them in places such as Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow, and even Germany.  Those coach trips to gigs were some of the best days of my life, although we seemed to have some weird habit of getting our photo taken in motorway services station toilets and I have no idea why. (See above photo. Great matching T-shirts though, don't you think?)  All I know is that we had a laugh.  We may have annoyed several poor coach drivers with some extremely bad renditions of various Take That songs but we always had a whip round for them (it was the least we could do for those brave men!) and at least we weren't legless on Lambrini!  Actually, not sure you can get legless on Lambrini.  I've had stronger Ribena!  All we wanted to do was enjoy the day, see the boys, and have a great time at the gig.  And even though we've all grown up (physically, anyway.  Not sure mental ages have increased as much!!), when all is said and done nothing has changed in that respect.  And when it came to these Progress Live gigs at Sunderland a couple of weeks ago that's all we wanted - a nice day, a bit of a laugh, and to enjoy the gig.  I'm not saying we had no alcohol because I'd be lying if I did.  Ofcourse we had a drink.  The sun was out (thank Christ! The idea of queueing for bloody hours in the rain wearing a plastic poncho wasn't something I was looking forward to, but I would have done it anyway), and everyone we met in the queue were lovely, and sober!  We were lucky.  We didn't really see much of the drunken behaviour going on but, it has to be said, they weren't exactly discouraging anyone from drinking alcohol.  From the second we got in that queue outside all you could see were people selling Smirnoff Ice, bottles of wine and beer.  Trying to find a bottle of water was like trying to find a needle in a haystack but if you wanted a vodka and Red Bull all you had to do was turn to your left!!  And once inside the stadium, well, it was no better.  They were selling beer in two-pint pots and the mobile alcohol sellers were everywhere you looked.  Now, I'm not saying don't have a drink, it was nice having a glass of wine in the sun while waiting for The Pet Shop Boys (who were very good!), but to be out of it before any of Take That have even set foot on the stage just seems a bit of a waste to me.  Can't quite get me head around it.  The constant to-ing and fro-ing of people going backwards and forwards to the bar during the gig was just something I couldn't understand.  Watch the gig for Christ's sake!  Isn't that what you came for?  Can you not go five minutes without a frigging drink?  It was so bad, and this is a story my husband heard, that one bloke arriving to pick up his wife outside the stadium found another woman sprawled on the floor so out of it she couldn't even answer her 'phone.  This bloke had to answer it for her and explain to her husband that she was incredibly drunk, in the gutter, and unable to walk!  And she'd wet herself.  Classy.  I'm sure she had a great night.  You see, to me, you go through all that stress to get a ticket, you pay all that money to see the show and wait months for it to come round, getting more excited as each month passes and then, when the day finally arrives, you proceed to get so drunk that you may as well have been to a Jedward gig for all you can remember and end your evening in a Sunderland gutter with some stranger answering your 'phone who has to stay with you until your husband arrives to cart you off to A&E with suspected alcohol poisoning!  Fantastic!  And not my idea of fun at all.  No, if I'm going to spend £60 on a gig then I'm going to make sure that I can at least remember who the hell it was I went to see.  And you can still have a drink or two and do that.  It's not impossible.

Take That & Party by all means - those gigs are a great excuse to kick back and have a great day and I'd do it all over again given half a chance, and a free ticket - but don't spoil your own day, or anyone elses.  Make sure you've got memories of Jason, Gary, Howard, Mark and Robbie, not of some disapproving doctor who's scowling at you as he's trying to pump your stomach.  And to not be fully concious when Robbie Williams makes his entrance to 'Let Me Entertain You', well, that would be a travesty.  That would be an absolute travesty....





No comments:

Post a Comment