welcome to the hotel s-oh-s-ew dear friend...
this week we have many guests, all of whom are excited to share their thoughts and ideas with you dear reader....
first it's the turn of one aisling O...this lady is a musician, promoter and writer among many other things...from what we've heard, she's quite well known and connected in the city and is quite fond of sequins... she's waiting for you in the bar with a whiskey; you'll know her by the blue ribbon in her hair......she has a story for you, do listen..
It’s 7.22pm and the Air Lingus flight has finally landed in Manchester airport. My nails (or lack there-of) are biting into the armrests of the window seat as I watch the rest of the passengers move to get their bags. The woman next to me, who spent most of the flight on her Blackberry and could have killed us all, simply sighs and examines her nails. I take a deep internal breath and see her logic, there’s no point in half standing up to just wait for everyone else to get off. We’re positioned in the middle of the plane and everything is moving quite slowly. I let it go for a few moments before turning to her and saying –
“Look, I’m really sorry but I’m in a huge hurry and need to get off this plane.”
In my anxious state my hand covers my mouth and she sighs, asking me to repeat myself. I glare at the red cravat around her neck. Paired with the stripy t-shirt she is wearing she looks nothing more than a sad sailor wife. I ask again would she mind letting me out and she rolls her eyes. At this point I’m close to tears. This woman has no idea the day I’ve had. She turns away but once the people around us start moving she starts to get up and I run out of the plane after her.
After a bus ride and taxi journey I finally arrive at the Manchester Academy at 8.25pm and throw a twenty pound note at the driver. The punters mill around and throw judging looks at the red-faced frantic girl that pushes past them. The relief finally sets in as I view a poster in the window that says
BRIGHT EYES STAGE TIME – 8.55pm
I’ve actually done it. I have beaten all the odds and got there. I make my way to the front of the crowd, which is surprisingly easy since Bright Eyes fans are pretty nice people, and raise my arms into the air. I have beaten the system. The minute Conor Oberst steps on stage my heart quickens again but this time in the most lovely way.
What followed was the most wonderful 90 minutes of my life filled with Oberst singing away the anxiety that the day had brought. Throughout the whole gig a huge smile covers my face, not because I am smug for getting there half an hour early but because I am truly happy.
Why was I so anxious in the first place? It all started when I got impossibly drunk the night before. I knew I had to get up at 5am to catch my flight, which would’ve given me lots of time to hang out in Manchester and have a good day but this did not happen. I fell into a drunken slumber at 2.45am and woke at 10am. My heart sunk as I frantically tried to figure out what to do. I rang Air Lingus and managed to change to a Dublin – Manchester flight at 6.30pm that evening. Next I got my incredibly hungover self to the train and sat on the edge of my seat for the entire journey. I got to the airport and boarded the plane (which was 20 minutes late) and thus where the story starts.
This is crazy right? The whole day my sanity was shouting “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU ARE A CRAZY WOMAN!” but the music fan in me was humming Lua to drown it out. On the train ride to Dublin I started thinking about the crazy things we do for the ones we love. The one I love is not Conor Oberst (even with his lovely polka diamond shirt!) but music. In the words of CSS music is my boyfriend.
This made me question my decision to devote my life to music. For the past three years I have spent most nights at some gig or another and every day was filled with songwriting classes and chord progressions in college. Was I stuck in some sick addiction? Anytime I thought of not making the gig my eyes filled with tears and my stomach started to twist but this could also have been the hangover taking over. The sane part of me had a problem with the incredible lengths I was going to for two hours of entertainment. It also kept reminding me that it wasn’t the first time. I kept telling it that it wouldn’t be the last.
I like to think that everyone has been the same situation. How many times have you queued four hours to make sure you’re so close that you can see up the nostril of your favourite singer? Or paid €100 to see Britney Spears mime? I would never like to count up the amount of money I spend on gig tickets. I could probably own a small country by now.
Music is probably the most important thing in my life (along with family and friends, I’m not that heartless!) and has given me so much. I feel like I give it equal amount of effort back. We should have a happy functioning relationship but at times, it feels like Music is more like my Ex-Husband who I still sleep with when I’m lonely.
There was once I spent 5 hours sat outside the Marquee in Cork in the rain waiting for a Madness gig. I’d like to state that I did not want to attend the gig but was going with a friend who bought me a ticket. We went an hour early to get up the front but because of the wind the front tent had blown down. We sat for an extra 4 hours to attend a 40 minute gig of a band who clearly didn’t want to be there. Looking back, this was stupid. I didn’t even like Madness but I was devoted to the cause. There has to be a method to my madness.
I really think the thing driving me that day was the prospect of hearing Oberst’s sweet voice tell me that everything would be okay. He did. And I believed him. As I flew home the next morning, facing the debt of the flight I bought last minute, I could only smile and put on I’m Wide Awake it’s Morning where Conor continued to tell me that everything would be alright.
so dear reader, enjoyed your time with ms. O ? i thought you might..she had to check out but do come back soon...another guest is just dying to meet you...