After I saw Metronomy last time at Alexandra Palace I said that I wouldn't see them again as the venue was quite big and I don't like the crowds at big gigs. Skip forward to the announcement of their next tour and it's at a big venue but I decide that I want to go. Everything always sounds like a good idea when I book it but once the date rolls round I generally don't want to go to things.
It was a busy day storming round photo shows as it was the only available day so I planned to miss the support acts as I knew that I would have to go really early to get a good spot and I decided that I would just stand at the back.
We get there (me and boyfriend) and I join the mega queue for the ladies loo. I want to wash my hands first but I am worried that if I leave the queue then people will not let me back in my place in the queue, so I don't. I let a gap open so people can pass through the line and a girl jumps in front of me. There are lots of people behind me and I wonder if I should say something. I don't but then it turns out that there is a security guard monitoring the queue and he tells her off. Then a girl joins behind me, she gets told off.
I find my boyfriend by a wall and we agree that it is a good place to stand. Then we look and the tallest guy in the area is stood blocking our view of the stage. I always feel like I get stuck behind the tallest person in the room. We notice a balcony behind us so we check it out. The best spots are taken but it we stand behind the people who are already there then we can still see a lot better. We try to figure out the best place to stand. Gradually people catch on to our 'great idea' and it gets busier. The people leaning on the railing are spread out but not enough for me to slip in. I debate asking them to move up a bit but I am worried that they will say no.
Metronomy come onstage and start to play. I can't see anything. I am in a bad mood. I might as well have stayed at home and listened to them on my computer. I go into my own bubble and just start dancing as a way to distract myself. The woman stood to my left taps me on the shoulder and we sing some of the words together whilst dancing. She tells me that I am beautiful. She's drunk and I'm awkward. I thank her and tell her that she is beautiful too. She tells me 5 more times and that I have an old English look about me that you don't see very often. I thank her. I am worried that the people behind us will be annoyed that we are talking. I hate when people do it too. She tells me that I have nice skin. I tell her thanks. Occasionally she taps me on the shoulder and we dance together. She spins me around a couple of times and I feel super uncomfortable but I don’t want to upset her. She asks me if my boyfriend is my boyfriend. I say yes. She stands next to him and tells him how beautiful I am. She says that British people can't take compliments. I agree. She keeps moving out of her spot on the rail so I lean in a bit to see the band. I worry that she will think that I am trying to take her spot. I tap her on the shoulder to tell her that I am not trying to steal her spot but I just want to see. She pulls me into a space and pulls my boyfriend close to us. I thank her. Occasionally she taps me and we dance together. I am still feeling awkward but I feel like I owe her and do have to play along. I'm surprised at myself for going along with it all. She asks me my name. She says it is beautiful. I ask her hers. I ask her again to check. She says her name is nice but it is no flower. Does she think my name is that of a flower? I try to guess which one she thinks it is. Should I ask her what she thinks my name is? I decide not to as I don't want to annoy people around us. She loses interest in me as she talks to other people around us. At one point I think she is having an argument with another girl and I listen in concerned but I think it is just them trying to shout above the music to be heard. At one point she goes off to the bathroom and I worry that she will fall down the stairs. I look on as concerned for her as her boyfriend does. When she returns I breathe a sigh of relief.
I don’t like taking pictures at gigs. Even though everyone else has their phones in their hands for the duration of the show I still feel awkward. I take some pictures and a bit of a video of my favourite song since I am in a good position and I can hold my phone without blocking over people’s views but I still feel self-conscious whilst doing it. I think about the story that I will write for this project and think that I should take a picture of myself at the gig, but I don’t want people to see me doing it so I take a picture on the tube instead. It’s unflattering, but I find it funny as the story involves a stranger calling me beautiful.
I think at the end of the gig that I should say bye to the woman but I then forget as we move as quick as possible after the lights come up to get to the exit. I don't hold my boyfriend's hand as we leave through the venue as it makes things awkward. I get squashed against a door and elbowed by a guy holding on to his girlfriend's hand and who is pushing through to not break contact...