1. I am not a music photographer.
2. I couldn’t use flash nor did I take my tripod with me.
3. This post is not wedding related (unless you would like to hire Nouvelle Vague or Melanie Pain to perform at your wedding…)
How I went from being a fan, to becoming a SUPER fan.
Most mornings I’ll pop into Cocoa, the French Patisserie on Queens Road, for a strong Cappuccino and a croissant/ raspberry square. The ladies in there are soooo lovely.
“Alooo, good mor-ning! ” with an upbeat French accent.
On this specific occasion, as I was waiting for my coffee, I heard one of my favourite music groups playing in the background.
“Ahhh, Nouvelle Vague!”, I commented. “I love their music!”
The lady behind the counter smiled and walked past me, only to return with a poster for the French Festival in Brighton, due to start that Thursday.
“Melanie Pain and Phoebe Kildeer, from Nouvelle Vague, will be here in Brighton, this Friday”, she said.
My jaw dropped… “NO WAY!?? Really??”
I couldn’t believe my luck. Within the next half hour, I booked a table at Plateau Restaurant to secure a space for that Friday night’s after party. Melanie Pain and Phoebe Kildeer were going to DJ just after 12pm. Of course, my eyes deceived me and I did not notice that they would ONLY be DJ-ing!
So the Friday night came and we got our little table right in the front. I took one of my cameras with me just for fun. I was SO incredibly excited! I mean I have listened to all the Nouvelle Vague albums, Melanie Pain’s first album, sometimes stuck on repeat for weeks on end! I AM that kinda crazy about their music. And even though I can’t speak more than 5 words of French, when I sing along… maybe I know a few more…at least it feels like I’m fluent in French!Ha!
Anyhoo, towards the end of the night my friends were looking a bit tired after our meal and so just before we went home, I thought, hey, why not go and tell Melanie how great she is, that I’m a HUGE fan, and that I am totally starstruck. Yeah, that seems like a good idea right? So I did it, and also happened to ask her why they weren’t singing that night and whether she would sing at the next evening’s show at the Duke of Yorks cinema in Brighton.
Melanie was incredibly sweet. I just felt so privileged to be in the same room, and wait, I know, she’s just another human….like me, like you… BUT. Sometimes, just sometimes, when someone has a voice/talent that’s mesmerising and remarkable, it’s so easy to get completely tongue tied and star struck. I couldn’t help it.
Anyway, Melanie mentioned that the performance scheduled for the next evening was sold out and that there would be a special midnight screening of the film, Amelie. My smile turned into a frown without even noticing and so I just responded with….: ” bummer! That’s such a shame…”
Melanie responded with: ” Do you have your phone?” I looked at her completely bemused. “My phone?”
She entered her phone number and said: ” Text me tomorrow and I’ll see what I can do…”
I smiled and thanked her as I handed over my phone.
Wow, I thought as I headed back to my table. Wow.
The next day, after checking whether or not, just maybe there was a spare ticket for sale online, I discovered there wasn’t and so I sent her a text.
Within the hour, she replied and said she had added me to the guest list. ” Just tell them at the door, Melanie + 1.
Whoooaaaahhh….. see now I don’t even have to tell you just how incredibly happy I was! You just know. That little girl inside me was doing cartwheels for the rest of the day!
That Saturday night, I invited a friend to go with me. We arrived at the Duke of Yorks at about 11pm and then grabbed a quick coffee. When we walked into one of the screens, I felt this wave of excitement. Soon… soon I would hear Melanie Pain sing beautifully the songs I usually sing quite badly…
Everyone settled, the lights dimmed and Melanie and her band walked on stage.
They played for almost an hour and I just sat there in awe, soaking up the moment. I never want to stop feeling this way. About music, about art, about creativity, passion, love, food… the simple and most beautiful things on earth. I never want those butterflies to go away… however silly it makes me feel as an adult.
During interval I went outside hoping to see her to say thank you. I queued to buy a t-shirt and asked her to sign it, knowing it would smudge if I washed it. It’s the absolute least I could have done to show my support.
“Ahh, you came!” she said as she looked up from signing the person in front of me’s CD. She signed my new shirt without me having to tell her my name. She remembered. Wow.
If there is anything that I learned from the entire experience is that people, any people, it doesn’t matter who you are and where you came from and what you do, what you have to offer etc. If you make people around you, feel validated and important, they will be your super fan forever. Forever.
What an amazing experience that was.
Thank you Melanie. x
Something so simple, but so easy to forget and SO difficult to do all the time.
Below are a few pictures from that night, along with a few YouTube videos. Hope you fall just as hard as I did for this sound…