Alternate title: Figuring out where the value is. One of the best things about London is all of the impromptu. With Zee away in Portugal (because it's not like we just got back from an epic multi-country trip or anything) I crossed the river and went to North East London for a good old fashioned back yard BBQ. It was fun! It was good catching up (Carrie and Jamie are getting married! G shaved his beard!) and once all the stories were out it just about passing the time. Love it. We played songs through youtube and tried out Carries hula hoop (harder than it looks, because it's got weights in it).
We also tried out the mini bonfire, which then meant going down the road for marshmallows, which turned into roasted marshmallows that you dip in Jack before consuming. It was a sugar overload in one of its many fine forms. And, because Carrie is amazing, I tried on all her fancy dresses for an upcoming wedding. That was fun.
This is turning out to be a 'we did this and this and this' post. It wasn't meant to be, all of this is preamble. The best kind of preamble, really, because I adore these people. Anyway, what I really wanted to post about was this sense of entitlement I had, that perhaps I shouldn't have.
I'm a fan of Frank Turner. I think he's delicious, I like his tunes and I even once met him at a gig for The Water Tower Bucket Boys when I first went to London. I was with G, who got all fan boy on me. Frank was lovely, though. And it was that night I became a fan. So when he was playing a DJ set down in Camden off we went to go have a look see, drink some more drinks and dance. Lots and lots of dancing. It was great!
Right up until I decided that perhaps, if I was lucky, I could probably go get an autograph when Frank was between sets. He's a nice guy that makes time for his fans at almost every gig I've been to, so off I went, up to the booth. And I waited and waited and waited and waaaaaaaiiiittted.
And I stood surrounded by other girls who also wanted autographs. It felt… greasy. And weird. And these girls spent the whole time either yelling out his name, sighing dramatically, adjusting their cleavage or trying to negotiate with the people whose jobs it was to stay between us and Frank so he couldn't be pawed at. Fair call.
Frank? He mostly ignored us.
At first, I was angry, because wtf, all the waiting! Just turn around and SIGN THIS BIT OF PAPER! And then, very quickly, realised that Frank? He didn't owe me an autograph, or his time or even his attention. He owed me nothing. That I'm sure at every gig he does there are girls fawning over him, waiting for him, wanting a piece of what? What was I going to do with an autograph? What value did it hold for me? Turns out: nada.
In the end I rolled my eyes and went back down to my friends, because seriously, these are people whose time and attention I value. I danced. I drank all the things in a little basement club in Camden. Frank? Frank arrived late for his set, played obscure tunes that no one but him knew, and then he left early. It wasn't really worth the ticket price we paid to get in, let alone all the waiting for an autograph I did.
It turns out that the best part of the night was preamble. Spending time with this little crew, in a backyard, on a bus, in a club in Camden – that's where the value was. Learning curve, aye?