The Same But Different.
I first met The Fratellis five years ago, outside the Queensbridge Hotel. They were here for The Big O Festival [an O-Week celebration tour thing that was never repeated], and my friend Steph and I walked past them on the way to the gig. They were having a smoke outside the venue, and in an attempt to appear cool in front of both Steph and the band, I struck up a conversation about the weather and tried to act as if it was no big deal; that I often hung out with Scottish rock stars. I think I had them fooled.
Fast forward to Friday night, backstage at the Prince of Wales. In the time that has passed since 2009, there are many things that have changed:
The Queensbridge Hotel is no longer there. I wear make-up now. My hair is red. I no longer support the [bizarre] made-up theory that bands will only think you’re cool if you’re in the third row of a gig [because the first two rows are “too eager”, but any further back and you’re not enough of a fan – I have no idea where I picked up this nonsense]. Jon has much better hair. And he looks happier, although that may just be because he’s not squinting into the sun like we all were back in 2009. Baz has got a pretty swanky look going on. And while I’m still a fan of The Fratellis, I’m not quite as starstruck by them as I was when I was nineteen.
But while there are differences, some things have stayed the same:
My favourite Fratellis song is still “For the Girl” [which they unfortunately didn’t play this time], and I still know the words to every track off Costello Music. Jon still skips a lot of words when playing songs live. Baz likes black t-shirts, and he’s still my favourite. Mince gives a thumbs up in photos. The crowd still go absolutely mental when the band play “Chelsea Dagger”. And the song that plays over the PA when the gig ends is still “Sweet Caroline”.
Also, a fun fact for you: Alan Fletcher [Karl Kennedy on Neighbours] was at Friday’s gig [here’s proof]!
In the mirror behind Jon’s head, you can see the reflection of the man taking our photo.
I should probably thank Soundwave Touring for letting me hang out backstage. That was a pretty cool thing for them to do. So, uh, thanks. I might make it up to you one day… but probably not.