Saturday, 5 March 2011

DAMON ALBARN ALMOST DELIVERED MY BABY

Saturday, 5 March 2011
So! The other day I was reading a post from Heather at Dooce.com about the “serious hots” she has for Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn. Oh, dear readers, she is not wrong. Impossible to quantify or express the stratospheric levels of his hottie-ness. And he just happens to make bloody marvellous music, too. Heather links to a brilliant version of Gorillaz covering The XX’s “Crystalised” – click on this link and go and watch it, but come back here because I never told you about the time that Damon Albarn almost delivered my baby.

Let me give you a bit of background first: back in 2009, the rumour mill in the music news was churning with more than a steady trickle of talk that Blur were thinking of getting back together for a reunion gig that summer. In a year that saw just about everyone get back together for a reunion gig, I dismissed it until it really became really really real!

Let me take a moment to remind you of what I looked like for most of 2009:
Baby #1 and Baby Mama, and Baby Belly.

I’m not so great at math... so that last paragraph in that Guardian article took a little bit of working out. Proctor Baby #2 was due on 12 July. Blur reunion gig in London (a five and a half hour drive from where we live) on 3 July. Needless to say, as fond as I am for zipping down the M1 for a gig, it didn’t take me very long to comprehend that the likelihood of my attendance at Hyde Park was mostly in the “Not Very Bloody” category.

BUT! Ye gods of music snobbery smiled on me when, around April, Blur announced that they were going to do a warm up gig about a week before the Hyde Park show, just to see how things went.


IN MY TOWN.


The gig was announced for a teeny-weeny little venue on 25 June. More math (and a bit of “Thirty Days Hath September...” and I worked out that with about two weeks to go before the baby was due, I could certainly go to the gig. And you know, like... try not to jump up and down too much.

“We can make this happen,” I convinced my unborn little dude.

The day that the tickets went on sale was a Friday. I was at work at the time. Cleared my diary for the morning, instructed the rest of my team that I would be unavailable for comment/advice/fire drills/cups of tea or anything that would pull me away from TicketWeb come 9am. Knuckles cracked? Check. Credit card at the ready? Check.

But lo! Cometh the hour, cometh a weird message on TicketWeb’s site saying that a last minute decision had been taken that tickets for the Blur gig could only be obtained from the venue itself and that online purchase facility had been disabled.

(“I’ll bet she flipped out,” I hear you saying.)

I DID TOTALLY FLIP OUT. Tried to phone the venue; couldn’t get through. Tried other ticketing agents; no joy. Then heard through the grapevine that a huge queue had formed outside the venue in the last few hours and the police were there trying to keep order, etc. I look down at my six month belly, and over to my raging in-tray on my desk, and knew that there was no way I could leave work and stand in a day-long line-up. With my swollen ankles? Needing the loo every 4 and half minutes?


Fuck, twat, arse and shitty bollocks.

Was this happening? I was gutted with disappointment. Couldn’t believe that I couldn’t get tickets. Couldn’t find an explanation. Flounced around (can a waddling pregnant lady flounce?) all day in a horrid, foul temper.

So I did the only thing I’m really good at (besides swearing, pouting and stamping my feet) when I get a bee in my bonnet: I got ready to send a bitchy email. Okay, okay – riled as I was, I promise I’m telling the truth when I say that it wasn’t THAT bitchy. I found an email address for the ticket office, and spent the morning constructing a passionate yet strongly worded (not even sweary, I really really promise) tale along these lines: blahblahblah I’M PREGNANT blahblahblah CAN’T LEAVE WORK blahblahblah REALLY LOVE BLUR blahblahblah NOT FAIR blahblahwhinewhinewhine.

And you know? Not an hour later I got a lovely email in reply from a very understanding lady, who explained that at the very last minute and at the band’s request, the decision had been made to sell the tickets on the day only in person only, to stop scalpers and ticket touts from buying up batch blocks of tickets and flogging them at extortionate prices. Admirable, I thought. Fuck, twat, arse and shitty bollocks, I also thought – on 25 June I wouldn’t be watching Blur.

24 June rolls around and – the day before the gig -- and I was so big and huge and uncomfortable, complaining all the time about everything; it wasn’t pretty. I looked like this around then:
 

Who ate all the pies?

BUT LO! AGAIN! Out of nowhere arrives an email from none other than the unfortunate recipient of my bitchy email of a few months before. It went like this: blahblahblah EXTRA BANK OF TICKETS BEING RELEASED blahblahblah ARE YOU STILL PREGNANT blahblahblah WOULD YOU LIKE TO RESERVE SOME blahblahblah I REMEMBER YOU hurrahhurrahhurrah!

Hy. Per. VENTILATING! I’ll spare you the formalities but will let you freak out with me when I arrived at the gig and was shown to a seat ON THE FRONT ROW OF THE BALCONY which looked like this:
V.  I.  Pregnant.  P, bitches!

I know I stink for waiting all this time to blog about it. I can’t even tell you how brilliant the gig was. Instead I will let the video and pictures speak for themselves. 





They opened with “She’s So High” – my favouritefavouritefavourite – which you might be able to discern for yourself when you watch this: that scream a few notes in when it becomes apparent which song it is? Totally me. Pregnant, screaming, water nearly breaking me.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=220491175401&l=8119096834692673928

Here’s a bit more of the same song- I WANT TO CRAAAAWL ALLL OVAAAAH HERRRR!!! Sexy, sexy, Damon. I’m practically contracting by now.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=220491965401&l=1189528930584860494

A bit of “Chemical World”:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=220495960401&l=8243683203752932448

And here is a bit of “Country House” with some BLOODY BRILLIANT zooming-in on Damon courtesy of my gig-mate and most excellent cousin, the lovely Lauren. YOU CAN SEE HIS BELLY BUTTON. Oh, my giddy aunt! I just love how you can hear the audience screaming along with every word.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=220498475401&l=4556179903827391691

And a brilliant bit of “Parklife”:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=220507120401&l=4852162574062716637

I went into labour the following week and my gorgeous Jude was born on 7 July. 5 days early – rocked out of the comfort of my womb by my pregnant belly Blur gig waddle dancing. And that, dear readers, is how Damon Albarn VERY NEARLY delivered my baby.

Oh COME ON... I had to give you some flash headline to make you read all the way to the end.



2 people had something to say about this...:

Danielle said...

How did you wait so long?! I can't believe you had a seat reserved. You are my favourite. I've only seen Blur once, and that was with you (Ned's, Elastica and Blur, what a day).

Did you let @dooce know about this?

Mammy P said...

I sent her a tweet and a little message (couldn't help myself)... us aspiring Mrs Albarns need to share the love. :-)