This is it, my last Snow Patrol gig on this tour, I will have to wait until V-Festival in August, unless of course the boys slip in a little gig somewhere around London, you never know. Call me “foreverhopeful” hehhehehe
I fly into Paris Orly from Geneva, after the Basel gig; again, I can kill two birds with one stone: my lovely daughter Jane and her husband Ben live in Paris so I can stay and visit at the same time.
Good news is that Jane is coming with me to see Snow Patrol, and Ben being a professional photographer will actually be working! That will be really exciting seeing my son in law taking photos of one of my favourite bands.
I have also been in touch with Virginie, a fellow Snow Patroler, she will be at the venue around midday and we agreed that I will join her as soon as I can.
With Jane expecting her first baby, I knew she wouldn’t want to queue up all day just to get to the front row. We managed to come to a compromise, I will join Virginie in the afternoon, Jane will join us just after 6pm, stay for the support band and a few Snow Patrol tracks with me at the front and then go and join Ben further back. This is great, I get to be at the barrier, spend time with Jane at the front and my fellow Patrol’ers.
At around 3pm I make my way to the Zenith, again a new venue for me, so I have no idea what to expect. When I arrived and emerged from the Metro I was greeted with rain…nooooo, that is no fun! I make my way to the the venue, walking past a couple of girls hiding under their hoods, something made me turn around, just to see so did the girls….it was Virginie and her friend Soleen, they were on the way to McDonalds, I decided to go along to stay out of the rain. Once we have food and drink we work on getting signs made, apparently Virginie has a dare from Tanja, to get Gary’s attention to read the Ewoke sign….there more signs, “French hug” is my personal favourite.
We arrive back at our space, there are actually 7 queues, we are in the middle one. I get introduced to more to the girls that have been keeping our space: Aline, Lydia and Sophia from Grenoble, Audre, I explain that my pregnant daughter will join us later, and they are all fine with that.
Now it starts raining really hard, that is not fun, specially as there is no shelter at all, never mind, it won’t be long now and it is the first time that I have to wait in the rain….:-)
Ahhhhhh, and here is my baby-girl, she comes and joins us and only 15 minutes later the gate opens and the race is on. We make it to the barriers and make sure there is space for Jane, we are in front of Gary, I like it, a lot! Now the waiting beginns……we can spot Ben at the end of the barriers talking to other professional photographers.
It can only be a few more minutes now, the photographers take their place in front of the stage, Ben’spots us and says hello. Rams Pocket Radio are arriving on stage, and yes, Peter McCauley does a little bit in French, and again, he seems really happy. They are just getting better or is it more confidence? Jane and I love their set and I’m also watching Ben doing his work, it makes me terribly proud to see my son in law in action. Jane of course has seen him working a zillion times, and I know she is proud of him, it is very special for me to be here with both of them, or should I say 3, baby Stitch is hopefully enjoying the gig too, apparently baby reacts to the drum beat!
Far too soon Rams Pocket Radio has finished their set, the do receive a huge amount of applause and cheers, Peter thanks Snow Patrol yet again for being given this opportunity to support them on their tour. They go off stage and a pang of sadness stirs in me; this is it, no more Rams Pocket Radio for me in a while. They are playing at the Barfly in Camden the day after, but I won’t make it back in time to catch them, I just have to be patient and wait for them to come to London again soon.
There is enough time between set changes for Jane to sit down for a while, and for me to chat to Virginie, she isn’t sure when to hold which sign up…..decisions decisions…lol!
It is time, Ben and his fellow photographers take place in front of us again, the lights are down…..the intro Berlin starts, the animation and yes Paris in big letters at the end of it. The band storms onto the stage, Gary arrives last, starting with “I’ll never let go” of course. he greets Paris, and even though it does not seem sold out there are a lot of cheers and clapping. Watching Ben work is amazing, I do manage to get a couple of photos of him doing his work…lol! After 3 songs the Photographer have to leave, Jane stays for another 2 or 3 songs and then goes and joins her husband at the side.
It is time for Virginie to put those signs up, “welcome to Paris (finally)” is first, “French hug” is next, and yes, Gary sees it and reacts, he jumps of the stage gives her a big hug, grabs the sign and climbs back on stage…..wow, there is one happy girl at the front row now!
The show is as amazing this time as all the other times! Sonia and Lydia and the other girls are really into it too, I love their look of awe as Gary prances around in front of us, and when at some point he comes down from the stage all hands are reaching out to him, including mine I have to say, and yes, I do get a handshake… :-), and so do the girls next to me.
I love the way that Gary interacts with his fans, he does make every single one of us feel special, that alone is quite a talent, Pablo and Nathan are getting the hang of it too, singling out individuals and make eye contact, smile or wink. Trouble is I may expect that sort of treatment from all the bands I’m going to see in the future ;-). Suddenly Coatsey appears on stage, there must have been a problem with some cables, Coatsey is on all fours and Gary being Gary stands over him while carrying on with the show….you can see both of them laughing though.
Virginie holds up the Ewoke sign and toy, Gary sees it but I don’t think he gets what is was all about ….and I guess he is running out of time, so he doesn’t react to it. Last sign up is “Team Jonny”, it took a while for Johnny to spot it, but he does eventually and smiles! Another girl is holding up a sign saying it is her Birthday today and she would like a kiss, Gary reads it but tells her that she really does not want a kiss and get that nasty cold he has and just flashes her a smile…..ahhhhhh, now I know whose germs I have!!!
Talking about smiles, when Gary introduces Troy I could have sworn Troy looked straight at me and smiled…….maybe he recognised his T-shirt; I’m wearing his “Snow Patrol Humper” t-shirt that Neil organised for me.
There was a strange feeling in the air once Snow Patrol played their encore and went off stage, for a tiny amount of time it felt like they were going to come back for a second encore. The crowd clapped and shouted, but no, after a while which seemed an eternity the house lights went up and the magic was over.
I did manage to get Coatsey attention, and yet again he passed a set list down to me, thank you so much, I now have the set. I also get passed a bottle of unopened water….yes; a drink is a good idea!
All of a sudden though the French girl that stood behind me decided that it should be her set list, even though it was screwed up into a ball in my hand, and I held on to it tightly, she started to pull and tear bit of it. I forced her fingers off my hand, I hope she felt that for a few days…turned round and shouted at her: “What the f**** are you doing???”…….This is one sure way of putting you off French gig-goers; she doesn’t deserve to be called a fan or supporter. Lucky for me I have met and know some awesome French people, so that one silly girl won’t be spoiling it for me. Anyway, I managed to hold on to all my pieces, stuck them back together…..and now it has so much more character….lol!!
I make my way to Jane and Ben, they did enjoy the gig too, but they felt that the sound in the back wasn’t that great, which may have something to do the empty seats as it seemed to be echoing.
We make our way out, I see Virginie and Soleen, wave to them……and that is it….until the next time!
Thank you to Snow Patrol, Rams Pocket Radio, Everything Everything, A Plastic Rose, my fellow frontrowers, random people in the streets, queues and toilets, Martina, my sweet Janey and Ben………you all made these Snow Patrol gigs very special for me! 🙂
PS: on my return to humdrum life I came across Gary’s little write up on tumblr: http://icanhover.tumblr.com/post/18924508419/oh-paris , I wasn’t wrong with the second encore thought!
PPS: my friend Neil tells me he got in touch with a friend who was supposed to tell Troy (and show him a photo of me) so he can flash me a smile or a wave should he see me…….hmmmm, so that smile was for me than?
PPPS:….those awesome photos I cannot claim for myself, they are Ben’s, click here to read the article in the paper!