Between the ages of 18 and 23, I spent a lot of time sitting, eating, and sleeping on the streets. I’d have worked out where the nearest toilets were, where the get the cheapest high-protein meals, and how to keep warm as nightfall hit and my nerves rose. If I was lucky, I’d get a friend’s sofa to sleep on for the night, but I’d be up and out in the world at dawn.
I wasn’t homeless; I was queueing for gigs.
I’ve travelled across Europe and to the US to do this. To sit outside venues for hours in freezing or sweltering temperatures, wearing binbags for warmth or being swung around in sundresses for a breeze. A heart-racing dash to the stage, an hour’s wait, a support act of variable quality, another wait (counting down the songs because I’d been to so many shows on that tour), before two hours of bliss and a sweaty stumble to the nearest bar to deconstruct. Rinse, repeat, for around 3 weeks at a time.
My transient Happy Place.
It’s been fucking ages since I’ve done this, though. Nine Inch Nails haven’t toured since 2009, and my mammouth 48-hour queue for Placebo was 18 months ago. I’m not sure if I should count queueing for Take That last year; showing up at 3pm and going for seats seems like a bit of a cop-out given my record, but it *was* Wembley, and I *did* tear up, and Robbie Williams *did* write to me the next day. But it wasn’t a proper queue.
But that’s all going to change next month
Placebo are back on the road, and I’m seeing them twice. Now, as much as I love Placebo, it’s quite evident that they don’t really love their fans, not least because they’ll go for months without changing a setlist. I’ve never done more than one show per leg of a Placebo tour, but so starved have I been of queue-worthy gigs that I am going to see Placebo twice in the space of four days – the same songs, the same “banter”, the same hand raises at each show. Quite looking forward it.
I’ve been planning for these shows at the end of April for a while now – trains and hotels have been booked for weeks. What I haven’t been able to prepare for, however, is this Tuesday. Most people that know me, or have read this blog, or perhaps even have passed by me in the street (when I’m in Soho, I’m sure they can smell it on me), will know that I ever so slightly adore Kylie. She’s my earliest memory; I’ve followed her career from the start, copied her outfits, and endeavoured to see her at least once a year (she played Hyde Park on my birthday, you know). But I’ve never queued for her. Tiny as we are, Kylie tends to play arenas, stadiums, gigantic street festivals, but very rarely a club. Not since I’ve been allowed to go to concerts, at least. But this week she starts the UK leg of her Anti Tour – a two hour show with no support where she will play only demos, b-sides, and rarities to celebrate her 25th year in music.
It will be my 25th year as a fan, and I am going to queue the shit out of it.