Gig Tops

Whenever I go to a gig, I always like to buy a piece of merchandise, usually a T-Shirt. I’ve been collecting them now for years! I rarely wear them, which you might find weird, but to me they are treasured possessions, a reminder of a great experience.

This is my collection of music concert t-shirts! As you can see, there is Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Boyzone, Kelly Clarkson, NKOTB, Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Tim McGraw, Professor Green and many many more!

Music Gig T-Shirts
Music Gig T-Shirts

There is also a suitcase filled with sporting t-shirts, football shirts, F1 tops and boxing.

My mum is going to make it into a patchwork quilt for me, something to keep so I can always remember the things I’ve been too.

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My Ticker Tape Obsession

I love  it at a gig when an act fires off ticker tape into the crowd!

It’s my most favourite thing… I love it more than a B stage….

Ticker Tape, Coldplay
Ticker Tape @ Coldplay

I always try to suss out if there will be ticker tape, if possible I try to stand by the cannons.  I always want to be in that position in the crowd where the full force of the ticker tape lands. Unfortunately that rarely seems to happen. We end up spinning round in circles trying to jump and grab it.

Coldplay do amazing things with ticker tape, there has been florescent butterflies that look like they are fluttering through the air, giant yellow balls that pop and gold tape flies out everywhere.  The Killers had lightening shaped ticker tape in red and silver that came shooting out.

I always pick it up and bring some home to go in my gig scrap box where all my tickets, wristbands and gig paraphernalia is kept before it makes its way into my scrapbook. I love when I put on a coat I wore to gig and put my hand in the pocket and out comes a handful of ticker tape.

I have no idea where my love of ticker tape came from, I just know that nothing makes me happier than seeing it shooting out when I’m at a gig… Sometimes I wish every time I opened my front door I would be showered in ticker tape and streamers, wouldn’t that just be a nice welcome home!

Though my mum tells me I’d soon get tired of the mess.

The Day of a Gig

You bought the tickets, waited patiently for them to arrive and now its the day of the gig!

A weekend gig is the best, no rushing or time off work needed. A work day gig, for me usually requires an afternoon off. I don’t like to rush around before a gig. Me and my gig gang, have a gig routine. If it’s a gig with my sister, we have to plan outfits! Otherwise we end up in very similar ensembles.

I am really lucky, we are close enough to all the major London venues. We always head over early, usually about 3ish so we can get to the venue, get parked and get some food.  The journey over always consists of listening to the group we are going to see and saying ‘ohh hope they sing this’ and speculating on surprise guests, B Stages and Ticker Tape. Then there is the decision on what to eat.  Each venue has a favourite of ours nearby. At the O2 we usually have a Wagamamas, at Hammersmith there is a nice pub round the corner that serves a Dolly Parton Burger! For Shepherds Bush a new fave has been Byron Burger and Wembley its TGI’s or Cabana.

Once we’ve eaten we’ll head over to the venue, if we are standing, then we’ll want to get in the queue to make sure we have a good chance of standing where we want too.  Shepherds Bush means we are able to join the O2 priority queue so usually manage to get the best spot by the side of the bar.

I love getting into the venue, it means its almost starting… the crowd slowly fills up and you go from having all the room in the world to none at all. First the lights go out and the support is on.  We always get in to see the support, I mean why not, you’ve paid to see it and sometimes you find a great new band to like.  I remember seeing Example support Tinchy Stryder and had no idea who he was, but all these young lads were singing every word! The support hypes everyone up.. and finally its their last song. Lights up again and we wait!

I feel like the tension slowly builds, you always roughly know what time an act will come on and as the minutes pass, you become impatient. Why can’t they just come out!  The crowd slowly moves in, people stand even closer to you, the time ticks by…

And then the lights go out and the screaming starts!

What started all this

I always loved music and songs and always fell in love with lyrics.  I had been to various concerts over the years.  Shania Twain, Pink, Justin Timberlake, Leann Rimes, Keith Urban, Robbie Williams to name a few.  But I wasn’t obsessed with gigs then. If I happened to hear about someone I liked was touring I might go. But I didn’t HAVE to go!

In 2008, I had some crazy life changing (for the better) stuff happen.  It was also the year I got an iTunes account. My sister was an avid concert goer and she had a couple of gigs booked up at the end of the year with her husband (though they weren’t married then).  He then had to go away for work for a few weeks and she was minus a plus one! So I got to tag along.

This first gig was The Pigeon Detectives, playing at Alexandar Palace. I had never heard of them, my sister has slightly different music tastes to me so I wanted to at least know a few songs before we went so I remember copying their songs to listen to in the car. I fell in love with their song ‘I’m not sorry’.  The concert was really good and lots of jumping and dancing happened, we were going to leave just before the end to get out the car park  and miss the traffic and then ‘I’m not sorry’ started to play as the last song and we just went crazy! The lyrics, just meant something to me at the time.

“You said things would never change
But sometimes they get rearranged
I know that you’re wrong
You’ve known all along
You said I could keep you safe
Then up and left without a trace”

The second gig I got to be plus one at was Coldplay at the O2, again, I wasn’t really into their music.  I knew the songs that had done well in the charts and not much else.  We had good seats on level 1 at the side.  Now Coldplay put on an amazing show (there will be more about this in later posts and my love of ticker tape!). It’s truly breathtaking some of the effects they add into the show.  There were a couple of great things about this gig.  Firstly Coldplay are known for appearing somewhere else in the arena other than the stage, and we were lucky enough for that place to be our block! It was amazing to be so close to these superstars.

Now my favourite Coldplay song, then and now still is Viva la Vida, I think they played it as their last song and the second memorable thing was once we left the concert, the entire crowd as we walked to the tube was singing this song. The tube was filled with people singing the “Woahahahah oh, woahahah oh”. It was just a perfect end to a lovely night.

After these gigs, I just wanted to see music live. Songs, music, singing it’s my passion.  Songs can change my mood instantly, happy, sad, angry – there is a band or singer who can make me feel better and concerts are just the most amazing experience and I will continue to go to as many as I can for as long as I can afford too!

Planned Gigs… 2015

To finish out 2014 Peter & I are going to see Professor Green on the 11th Dec, with his cousin and fiancee.

Then already planned for 2015….

3rd Feb – John & Jacob, for the 3rd time with Mum, well they are her faves!

John & Jacob, Borderline, July
Mum, Me, John & Jacob at the Borderline

10th Feb – Saint Raymond, he was support for Ed Sheeran and Peter and I really like him, so we booked straight after the Ed gig.

7th & 8th Mar – C2C Festival, for the 3rd year running.

C2C, Country to Country, 2015
Country 2 Country Festival 2015

14th Mar – The Script, with Lisa and Peter.

9th July – Bette Midler, with Peter and his mum! I’m sure he’s going to enjoy it as much as he did Barry Manilow!

14th Sept – Chris Young

Also – I have an amazing trip to Nashville booked in May! And that will be all about music, but more to come on that later.

The Gig Gang

Maybe its about time I tell you a bit more about who I gig with

So if its a country gig, it’s me and my mum,  my parents are really the reason I love music so much. I’d walk home from school and as I turned into our road I would hear the music coming from our home that Mum was playing. Temptations, John Denver, Celine Dion, I grew up listening to most music. Dad more often than not would spend a Sunday afternoon listening to Queen, Elvis or Billy Fury through the headphones, but still loud enough that we could hear it anyway,

Country to Country Festival, C2C 2014
Mum & Me at C2C, 2nd Row

My other half Peter gets dragged to anything that’s pop music.  I say dragged, he never gets excited about a gig, but once we get there he always announces “That was the best gig ever!”

Eminem, Wembley
Peter, Lisa & Me, at Eminem

Then there is my sister, Lisa, she will honestly go to anything… One Direction, Dolly Parton, The Script.  She loves all kinds of music, so can often be counted on as my plus one.. and the purchaser of many of my tickets!

One Directon, Wembley Stadium, 2014
Lisa & Me at One Direction

The ultimate gig group is Me, Peter, Lisa and her husband Stewart, however there are no gig pictures of all of us as Stewart is either getting a pint or trying to find the loo….

V Festival
My Brother in Law Stewart

And then there are the people who I’ve become friends with through my love of country music, The Mitchell Family and The Webbs, seems the nicest people like country music.

It’s not just music concerts

Yes, I do go to a lot of concerts, but I mostly love anything live.

I’ve been to BDO Darts at Lakeside twice and LOVED IT, the atmosphere is amazing and you are so close to the action and the darts players.

Wesley Harms, BDO Darts, Lakeside
Me & Wesley Harms

I’ve seen Russell Brand and John Bishop live and almost wet myself from laughter.  Been to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and been super impressed with the speed and sound of the cars

This year I finally got to see a boxing match at Wembley Stadium, Carl Froch vs George Groves and I really wasn’t expecting the spectacular show we saw.

Froch vs Groves, The Rematch, Wembley
Carl Froch & George Groves