A Musician, A Politician

My attempt at putting a political slant on a musical anecdote…

My friend brought two tickets for Kodaline in hope that her summer romance would last into the winter months. Thankfully, for me, it didn’t. So I nabbed a last minute ticket and trotted up to the O2 ABC proud as punch. I looked up at the huge ‘SOLD OUT’ sign and thought to myself; my mother is right- I’m such a jammy dodger.

The first thing that took me by surprise was how close the band felt. Being 5 ft nothing, I followed my usual protocol for gigs and found a step near the back so I could actually see the band. Even though I was perched at a step near the bar, the sound travelled right to the back of the room. I’d been to a few gigs last month, (Tom Odell, Daughter) which were great but didn’t sound like this. This was different; a good sound. Actually a great sound. It was bold yet subtle. A sound that made you remember a feeling you’ve never felt before.

Still giddy from the melodic high we’d just breathed in, Amy and I swooned out of ABC and into the eminent ‘Nice N’ Sleazy’s’. It would be terribly rude to take a trip along Sauciehall Street and not pay our old friend a visit. Being two single/emotional unstable girls at a Kodaline gig was not the best combination. The excessively cherishing couples were out in full force; trying out a ‘Glasgow kiss’ didn’t seem so brutal. I don’t really understand why it was such a romantic getaway- don’t they know the songs are sad? So the plan was to find a quiet corner, drown our sorrows in White Russians, and discuss the men that left us clutching our chests bitterly at the final rendition of ‘All I Want’.

However, when we stumbled upon my chirpy Irish friend Laura and her hilarious pal Ailidh, I knew our plans been hijacked. Laura, in her doting southern accent, sung out excitedly how the support band, Hudson and Taylor, were from her ‘neck of the woods’ and they’d just walked in. We spent the first few hours turning into frivolous little girls dreaming up what would happen if Kodaline walked in too.  Guess what? They did! My Mother’s words rung true- such a jammy dodger. So I marched up and introduced myself to Steve, the lead singer. I used the usual fan-girl line, told them the gig was great etc etc. He said thanks, that he really appreciated it and extended his hand for mine. I had never met someone famous before. Probably why I turned into ‘that girl’ who says far too much and holds onto his hand for an extra second longer than what I should have. Knowing my time was up, I skipped back to my seat grinning from ear to ear.

To my surprise, the band has drifted near us and came over for another chat. We asked the clichéd questions and told them to see Kelvingrove Art Gallery, but all in all, a pleasant chat was had. I spent the rest of the night dipping in and out of chat with the different members of the band and crew. We met a nice media lad called Ciaran who was lactose intolerant. Amy brought him a kinder egg, he refused the egg but kept the toy car. I hope he still has it. I attempted to talk to the drummer Vinny about ‘four to the floor’- the White Russians should have definitely stopped a while ago.

In my lactose infused state, I turned to Steve and said ‘You’re quite like a politician.’ He did not take too kindly to this. I justified myself by stating ‘Oh no, it’s a good thing, I study politics!’ to which he replied ‘I studied economics and politics, and I hate politicians!’ So it wasn’t quite the compliment I intended it to be. However, I had watched during the night as he lingered with everyone who spoke to him, he was pleasantly serious and kept his answers brief and sincere. That was the politician I saw in him. There’s a composure to politicians that I find fascinating. We’re so quick to brand them false and misleading. Yet I would call it the art of performance. I often wonder if a politician gets the same rush standing in front of cameras and reports as a musician does walking out in front of a screaming crowd. The thrill of performing; the craft in delivering something special. As spectators we can have a similar response to musicians and politicians. We feel like they owe us something because we, the fans, the voters, put them there. We know nothing about them but their lyrics and manifestos yet manufacture this claim over them. The journalist in me was almost tempted to ask Kodaline personal and inappropriate questions… why? Because I felt like they owed it to me- I am a fan, I have an invalid right. Yet the ugly truth is that their talent put them there. However, that’s what I find so lovely about politicians and musicians alike- they know that, yet they still care.

The night ended with Ailidh trying to convince the Kodaline lads to go for a bit of pizza crunch while Laura jumped around ecstatic to discover her and Harry from Hudson and Taylor were in the same primary school. Amy was trying to get Ciaran’s email for ‘tickets’ and I was trying to convince Alfie from Hudson and Taylor to show me his Irish jig. He refused, I was persistent, he still refused. As the clock struck 4am and Nice N’ Sleazy had locked their doors long ago, we admitted defeat and said our farewells. As the Irish would say- all in a night’s craic.

-Kathryn Stevenson

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