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James!

I have spent the past few months quietly, excitedly anticipating seeing my favourite band: James (wiki page HERE).



I'd happily have the lead singer's babies:

Tim Booth, looking as hot as ever - yes he is 50!

They were mostly famous in the 90s and sang songs such as Sit Down (that video is live from last night!), Sometimes and Laid. My dad has been a fan of them since day 1 and thus I grew up listening to them. They broke up in 2001 but reformed in 2007 and we have seen them at every UK tour since then (sometimes twice on a tour if we can make it).

I had so hoped I could write this post without mentioning diabetes. But naturally - diabetes had other ideas.

Before we went into the soundcheck - we had purchased extra tickets to see the soundcheck and have a question & answer session with them - I checked and found I was 16.8. I had changed my set about 5 hours previous to this, and had hypo'd in the mean time - so I assumed the set had worked. But such is life.

I gave a correction via the pump, waited an hour - then discovered I was 22.3. I rummaged around in my bag only to discover my spare set had managed to go AWOL. Thankfully I had my pen with me, so I was able to correct down - but I have to say, it took what felt like hours and hours to come down. I'm guessing that's a combination of ketones and insulin resistance. However, the show must go on!

During the soundcheck, which was absolutely amazing, I was feeling incredibly sick, thirsty, headachey, etc. I really want to keep this post focused on James though so I want to tell you all about it!

The soundcheck and q&a were very informal, there was only about 50 people there, so in between songs they took questions. My dad asked about a song, Five Oh - he wanted to know why it was called Five Oh and the band explained that when they were jamming that song back in the day, it didn't have a name but they needed to remember it and apparently it reminded them of the old TV show Hawaii Five-O, so the name stuck!

As I had (literally) run to the front/centre of the stage, I also asked a question about the huge anthology thing they are releasing next year and found out it's going to be delayed by over 6 months! Very sad - I had planned to buy it for my dad's 50th in Feb! Oh well.

After that had finished Tim came down from the stage to sign stuff and I got my pass signed. I asked him about the 5 Rhythms dance class he goes to in Brighton (he lives in the same city as me yayyy) and he told me I should go to them. So I think I might!

We then headed back out to get something to eat. I was still 22+ and so just had some fish (I took the batter off). Because of our VIP passes we were let into the main gig first, so we got good standing room - to the right of the stage, but at the very front up against the barrier!

Here's the token diabetes rant - the venue had run out of diet pepsi on tap. I explained politely that I was type 1 diabetic, could not drink anything else they had on offer - then spotted that they had pepsi max in bottle. I asked that due to the circumstances would they be able to sell it to me at the same price as the tap pepsi. The young girl behind the bar stroppily told me it wasn't her problem and that I would just have to pay the full price. I was getting very hacked off with her attitude but my dad told me to chill and go and get somewhere to stand. However, when he came back with the drinks I told him I felt strongly I wanted to speak to a manager (the bar girl had denied there was a manager around). The manager was very empathetic, said he was sorry he did not have anything else I could drink and that there was no excuse for bad manners and therefore he would speak to the bar girl. I explained that whilst I did not want to cause a fuss, I just wanted the same opportunity to buy the same priced drinks as everyone else in the room. He then offered to get me another drink for free - he offered me OJ to begin with which I politely explained I could not drink due to the sugar content. He happily passed me another bottle of pepsi max and I left it, feeling very satisfied that he had taken my concerns into account.

(let's have another picture of Tim Booth to make us feel better)


But the GIG! Oh my goodness, the guys were on TOP FORM last night. I've seen them several times now and this was definitely my top gig I think. They played a brilliant variety of songs, ranging from their REALLY old stuff right up to stuff from the latest album. My favourites were Lost A Friend (again, a video from last night's show - so rarely performed he had to have the lyrics on paper!) and Johnny Yen.

Why was Johnny Yen a favourite?! Well - Tim climbed down from the stage, and asked my dad to hold his hand as he stood on the barrier in front of us!! He looked down at me for a while whilst he sang, I could straight up his shirt and THEN he climbed over the barrier aka slid down in between me and the barrier! I practically cuddled him! He headed into the crowd and did some crazy dancing before coming back onto stage.

When I read twitter this morning, Tim had tweeted that the band felt like they had blown it. I 100% disgaree with that! The energy in the room was brilliant. The venue itself - the O2 Academy, Birmingham, isn't very well laid out and there were a few issues with bass volume (I lost most of my voice and my hearing due to standing too close to the speakers).

I'm afraid I'm one of those fans who, even if the gig did go horribly wrong, would LOVE it. Their music has been such an inspiration for many years, such a comfort. Often it's their lyrics I turn to when in a crappy mood - especially with the diabetes/living with a chronic condition thing.

By the end of the gig, I was sitting in the 11s/12s, feeling much much better. Due to the heat and the massive drop in BG level over the course of the gig, I had felt quite faint at some points and got in a bit of a panic that I would actually faint - thankfully I didn't!

The icing on the cake was my persistence in geting a setlist. At first we were told noone would get one. Then some got handed out to a different part of the small crowd that remained. I finally gave up and went to get my coat from the cloakroom - only to eye up one of the stage crew handing a security guard the last setlist! I ran over shouting "ME ME ME ME ME!" and got it off him!

So thanks to my dad, who paid for my tickets (to the gig and the soundcheck), who paid for a taxi home, bought me an official tshirt (we normally just buy them cheaply outside!!) and bought all the drinks. Also...a huge thanks to James for being, in my eyes, the coolest band around.

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