I was a willing participant in a social experiment last Sunday. 'Can a die-hard guitar based rock fan enjoy a cheesy pop concert?'
I accompanied my 16 year old daughter to see Steps, I had refused to go earlier in the year and she couldn't find anyone else to go with (no surprise there), so when they were playing quite near to us I gave in and agreed to go.
I have to say, it was a great night, not least because my daughter and I had a fantastic laugh and did a lot of dancing!
But because there were a few concert 'firsts' for me. It was at the Arboretum organised by the Forestry Commission, the idea is you take your deckchairs and picnics and sit and take in the concert as the Sun goes down - beautiful.
And if I had gone to see Alfie Boe the night before, I probably would have stayed in my deckchair. But this was my daughter's first concert and I owed it to her to initiate her properly; so we ate our picnic while the first support act was on, then legged it to the front to watch the show in the standing area!
The first act was a singer from the Ukraine, who had limited speaking English, but she sang in almost perfect English - strange that. What was particularly funny was when she asked the crowd "are you having a good time?" you know the drill: crowd cheer, act says "I can't hear you" and you cheer louder. Well, bless her, she got her English a bit muddled and every time she got a little cheer she said in a broad Ukrainian accent "I deedn't leesen" to which I looked at my daughter and said "well that's not our fault"
Once she was out of the way we abandoned our picnic rug and bags and headed down to the mosh pit - I mean standing area, to see Bjorn Again an Abba tribute act, who were fantastic, really good fun and a lot of dancing!
Now, I've been to a fair few concerts, most of them quite grungy where the crowd is 90% long hair and tattoos, and that's just the women. But I've never seen a fight break out and 10 security guards enter the crowd and eject a crowd member - until Steps! What's that all about?! And does it say something about me, that I would expect it at a 'rock' gig but not a 'pop' one?
What I actually want this post to be about (if you're still with me!) is this picture I took of a lady in the crowd. She has a crucifix tattooed on her back and is wearing Devil horns! Is that what you call ironic? And I wondered which she thought was least significant. The cross or the horns?
Does the cross mean anything to her personally? Or has it become a fashionable symbol in which the wearer is unaware of the story behind it. Does she really want to represent the Devil? Or again have they just become another bad taste fashion item? I suspect the latter with the horns because lots were wearing them.
I had no idea Steps were Satanic or I wouldn't have gone and would instead have been sat at home insisting my daughter burn her cd's...........I still may insist on that.