I do find it hard to believe that I managed to watch the X factor all those years ago without the illuminating brilliance of a twitter feed to go alongside the auditions and live shows but I did, and even despite the lack of twitter (try it, VERY funny) I loved it. I feel slightly sad that I obviously wasted a fair amount of Saturday nights in watching these shows before I had children but you don't know what you got till its gone and all that and in fairness on reflection I really had hit the Saturday nights pretty hard in the past anyway (Blog title explanation right there) In 2006 I watched Leona Lewis deservedly win and then sometime in October last year I saw there were tickets at the Brighton Centre. I booked them, why not? - Gwyn wouldn't really be up for it I was fairly sure, pop is not really his thing, but he would come because he would have to. That's the way these things work isn't it? Once in, he'd enjoy it.
And then about a month a go we saw Ryan Keen at Komedia, that had been another random booking, I'd just been going through some listings and decided I quite liked one youtubed song (Orelia) so booked them. He actually turned out to be better than 'an alright night watching someone play the guitar,' which is what I was hoping for. He was great, the sort of great that you watch live and then sort of mourn the following morning and want to go again the next day. Gwyn, me and my friend Ju thought he was brilliant.
This was my favourite song from that gig:
So imagine how pleased I was to hear that he was supporting Leona for her tour! How lucky is that?! It wasn't the most obvious connection but it all worked out pretty well for me didn't it? So that's me at the top, yes I queued for a picture.... I'm making a new habit of this.... Gwyn can't understand it. Why a photo? I really can't tell you. Maybe in this case purely to have my daughter mistake him for her father, which she did this morning. Hahahahaha. In any case, this guys songs are making up part of the soundtrack for this part of my life and it was nice to say genuinely, 'good work, you were brilliant,' I like that, even if you do feel a bit of a dick when you do it. Isn't it weird that music artists put their work out there and you anchor an entire part of your life to it if you like it and play them all the time? Rather than a person or night, listening to Ryan's music will anchor me to a time. When I'm old and I whack on a bit of Back to the Ocean or Orelia, I'll be sitting in a garden in our terraced house in Brighton, we've just moved in and I'm drinking my green juice and watching the little people skip or cut paper, generally pretty happy with nothing of substance to worry about. Perhaps this memory will be punctuated with screams of 'don't do that....Stop!' or 'Let go of the skipping rope' but in much the same way that when I hear David Gray I'm in Sixth form and when I hear Jack Johnson I'm sitting on a beach in Thailand, Rumer reminds me of Sundays in my old house, Ed Sheeran's album was played on my way to visit my dad when he was sick and Bryan Adams Summer of '69 makes Gwyn and I smile at our memories of a particularly fun Dutch friend we met on our travels called Sander, when I listen to these songs I aim to be recalling this time, what I am up to right now. Obviously that is by no means an exhaustive list of my musical memory, all those notes, all those songs, all those times. These people, bands and producers contribute to the landscape of our lives. It's weird no? You're all 'hey! I like your music' and they have absolutely no idea who you are, what you do and that it's on when you make the dinner.
I have to say, to watch perform, I enjoyed Komedia more, because there is obviously a different crowd, a different demographic and well, let's face it, smaller gigs are just generally better. Also it was at the Brighton Centre and despite having seen some pretty good acts like Bombay Bicycle Club and Basement Jaxx there, it doesn't really do it for me as a venue. Leona was also great to see! I mean she was the headline so I ought to mention her rather than to continue relentlessly gushing about Ryan Keen (I can't help it). When she sang footprints in the sand I was completely caught off guard and did actually cry. Yes, really, silently and surrreptitiously I wiped away a couple of tears, it was dedicated to anyone who has lost someone and that was it for me....tears. I have to say though my favourite part of her performance was when she announced she was going to sing 'Run' and a guy behind us yelped with excitement and sat back in his seat, his head in his hands, completely overcome with emotion saying 'YESSSS!!!! THIS IS THE ONE I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR'. I love watching people really excited, truly happy all because he was going to hear his favourite song. It's a lovely thing. All his friends crowded round him, a beautiful, perfect, happy moment.
And I got to repeat such a moment when I handed this flyer to Ju who had babysat, a nice squeal of delight at real love in writing from Ryan Keen. THANKYOU RYAN. I hope in some small part this makes up for the hour that my kids spent showing her every known item they possess and then having to clear up one that had wet themselves and settle them back to bed (ideal babysitting gig right mums??) It's certainly got to take the edge off surely?
His album is out this year. GET IT.