A few weekends ago I had the best night ever. Well, I say ‘ever’ but what I really mean is for a long, long time. Actually I can pinpoint the exact date that I had a better night – July 11th 2014, but I’ll come to that later. Since then everything has paled in comparison, until last Friday night.
I love living in Spain but if I had to choose the one thing I miss most about being in the UK it would be going to concerts. Proper concerts by the sort of bands and musicians that I like. Not necessarily big concerts, small, more intimate ones are equally missed and I can’t help but miss seeing the bands and musicians that I love play live. Here in Spain I would have to travel a long way to go to that sort of concert, often to another country. Of course there is lots of live music in my local area which is great but most of it really isn’t my sort of thing. When I go to a concert I want to be able to dance from the beginning to the end. I want to love the music, I want to know the music and I want to be able to sing at the top of my voice to every song in a mass chorus with everybody else. I don’t want to watch D-list bands from the 80s or 90s that are going through a ‘revival’. I don’t want to pay excessive ticket prices to see bands that, to be honest, few people cared about at the time during their ‘heyday’ that are now inexplicably headline acts because they have a vaguely familiar name or because people know one (literally) of their songs. I don’t want to see ageing ‘legends’ who charge a fortune for tickets to their shows. Those sorts of music events aren’t for me. I can’t help it, it’s like avocados, Formula 1 and aviator sunglasses, I just don’t like them.
I know it’s not everyone’s idea of great music but I love bands like Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Jane’s Addiction. Loud music that I can jump around to in such a way as to pose a potential hazard to anyone in my immediate vicinity. I love loud, boisterous, a little bit rough and a little bit edgy type concerts. Did you know that I once saw up Kurt Cobain’s jumper from the front line of a Nirvana concert? You didn’t? And did you know that another time I was given a quick flash up Courtney Love’s dress as she was carried over my head having stage dived at a Hole concert? No? Well I did! Sometimes I felt like the third person in their marriage, I really did. But I digress.
Anyone who knows me even the slightest bit knows that my best, most favourite band in the whole wide world is Pearl Jam. I LOVE Pearl Jam. LOVE THEM! Keep it under your hat but I have a bit of an obsession with them. Have done for many years. And so it caused me huge, uncontrollable excitement in August last year when I saw that a Pearl Jam tribute band called Alive were going to be playing just down the road at a venue in Estepona port! Oh my life! I could hardly contain my joy! Tribute bands, done well, can be great. Close your eyes while they are playing and you can be transported to another place. It can be the only way to hear the songs you love played live when in reality the actual bands themselves wouldn’t come to play anywhere near you. Anyway to cut a very long (and previously documented) story short, I went, they were amazing, I had a ball, I returned home happy, I made Facebook friends with some of the band and I looked forward to them announcing their next concert.
Fast forward some months (8 to be exact) and Alive finally announce that they are returning to Estepona on May 15th! Cue much excitement, jumping about and anticipation of another great night out. Hurrah! I hastily grabbed my calendar prepared to instantly cancel any plans that fell on that very date only to remember that silly me, I’m a mum of young children, I don’t actually have any plans!
So May 15th rolled around and I set off, suitably excited, to meet Carrie, my friend and fellow Pearl Jam fanatic. Carrie and I have become rather a double act of late haven’t we? She’s featuring in rather a lot in my recent blog posts. Like me you’re possibly thinking of her as the Muttley to my Dastardly, the Dougal to my Father Ted, the Spit to my Bob Carolgees. Anyway, after chatting over a beer or two at Carrie’s we headed out to a bar in the port. Carrie knows almost everybody in Estepona and this bar was no exception. We bumped into a group of people that she goes to football with, all very lovely and happy and chatty. We shouted at each other while trying to make ourselves understood over the loud music, we danced about quite a bit and we drank beer. It was all very pleasant indeed. After a while I was approached by one of the men who had been standing on the sidelines. The conversation went a bit like this –
Him – “Hello.”
Me – “Hello.”
Him – “I like you.”
Me – “Oh. That’s nice.”
Him – “Do you like me?”
Me – “Oh, erm, well I don’t really know you.”
Him – “You’re very pretty.”
Me – “ Well, thank you, that’s a lovely thing to say.”
Him – “Do you think I’m pretty?”
Me – “In English we say ‘handsome’ for a man.”
Him – “Do you think I’m handsome?”
Me – “Oh, erm, well, erm, yes I, erm, suppose so.”
Him – “I like you.”
Me – “Yes, I know, you said.”
Him – “Do you like me?”
Me – “Oh, I think we’ve done this bit already.”
Him – “I like your eyes. Your eyes are beautiful. You’re very pretty.”
Me – “Yes, I think we’ve done this bit already too.”
Him – “Do you have a boyfriend?”
Me – “Yes I do.”
Him – “That makes me sad.”
Me – “Oh. Oh dear.”
Him – “I would like to be your boyfriend. Would you like me to be your boyfriend?”
Me – “ No.”
Him – “I like you. I like you a lot.”
Me – “ Yes, I know.”
This conversation carried on for some time until I noticed that, thank the Lord it was nearly midnight! It was time to go to the concert! Escaping the stalker like attentions of my peculiarly intense admirer we went off to the bar where the concert was going to take place. We paid for our ticket to get in, went to the bar, bought some beers and waited for the band to begin. The singer came over to say hello and he told us that they would be going on in 5 minutes! Yay! But wait a moment! No! Surely not! Out of the corner of my eye I noticed Mr Intense approaching. Oh for goodness sake! What was he doing here?!
I was about to find out. He walked over.
Him – “I like you.”
Me – “Really? Again?”
Him – “I like your eyes. You’re very pretty.”
Me – “Yes, you said.”
Him – “I want to be your boyfriend. Can I be your boyfriend?”
Me – “ No. No you can’t.”
Him – “You have lovely eyes.”
Me – “Yes, you did mention it before.”
Suddenly the band came on. There was a sudden outpouring of noise as the guitarists started to play, the drummer joined in and the singer started to sing. Carrie and I immediately jumped up to dance. I didn’t notice Mr Intense leave but luckily he did. From the moment the band started their first song to the moment they finished the 27th and last song, we sang, we danced, we drank more beer, our hair got knotty and bedraggled, we glistened with sweat and we had the best night. The perfect night. Afterwards we stood outside talking to the band and drinking, perhaps unwisely even more beer until almost 5am at which point tipsiness and tiredness dictated that it was time for us to call it a night and shuffle off back to Carrie’s.
With my ears ringing, my poor tendonitis plagued knees a bit popped and clicky, my head a bit spinny and squiffy and with a huge smile on my face I fell into bed. Rather ambitiously I tried writing a Facebook status update on my phone about how much fun the night had been but I must have fallen asleep before posting it. This was not a bad thing because there, waiting patiently for me to click on ‘post’ my late night status update was still there on the screen in the morning. It read ‘Hbd a grdet gihnr! Love parel jam! Ned to g’’.
I decided not to share it.
So that was my best night ever! Well, my best night ever since July 11th 2014. Ah yes, July 11th. A day filled with happy memories, for that was the last time I saw ‘Pearl Jam’ in concert during a fun filled, jape packed weekend away in the UK. But that’s another story!
This coming Friday we are off to see Alive again, this time in Gibraltar!
I can’t wait!