So I have managed to tick off another dream from my list of things I would love to do. It may seem so insignificant to a lot of people, but for me it has helped me feel so much stronger. Making the small dreams a reality has given me more impetus to aim for the bigger ones.
This small dream, was seeing Take That live. I have loved this group since I was fourteen years old. My bedroom wall, like so many other teenagers at the time, had no white space at all. Their beautiful faces, and bodies, were plastered everywhere. I would write to them, by traditional methods obviously, record on VHS every single television appearance. I would record on cassette every single radio broadcast of them. I learnt every single dance routine and every single lyric, including the backing parts, to every song that they produced. If I was a grown up doing this, I would probably be locked up! I lusted after every single one of them, well actually, I never really liked Robbie. Clearly I had good taste even at fourteen. Gary and Mark were my favourites though. I love that we had no idea as teenage fans, just what an amazingly talented man Gary Barlow was. Neither did we realise just how beautiful he would get with age! Mark was just pure perfection back in those days. So handsome and cute with that little dolphin tattoo. So, with my teenage dreams starting to awaken inside me, off I went to the O2.
I like to think of myself as pretty calm, cool and chilled. Good in a crisis, relaxed and generally well behaved. My fourteen year old self had different ideas. I was fine inside the arena. Even when I saw the TT symbol on the side screens I was fine. But, and I do hold a bottle of wine slightly responsible, the moment they appeared on stage, well, I did not hold back. I was a maniac! I was jumping and shouting, possibly even screaming at points. I was four rows back. Four rows! I held my sister’s hand in solidarity as they played one of my favourites, Pray. I remember listening to that on repeat when I was on a family holiday in Tenerife at fifteen. But the most poignant moment for me was when I heard the beginning bars of Never Forget. Seriously, I have waited my whole grown up life to do the clapping bit to that. Clapping and signing along live to that iconic song was a moment I will err, never forget! The feelings rushing inside of me lay dormant for so many years. I guess it’s like adrenalin, is it adrenalin? It might be. I was buzzing all the way home. I still am, nearly a week later, but I will take this buzz and put it to use straight away. So, thank you teenage me for storing that all up for when I really needed a hit of excitement.
And, thank you Take That. Thank you for not fading away and becoming a distant memory. Thank you for going through the rough times, being skint, losing control of yourself, finding yourself again, and for still being here all these years later. Thank you for the beautiful iconic songs and the lyrics that haunt the very heart of me. Thanks for still being sexy, no wait, for being way sexier in your forties than I could possibly have imagined. Thank you for not being East 17!