Sunday, March 02, 2008

Middle Age Mexican Wave

First, lets get the laughter out of the way. I may not look or sound it but in my youth (as it were) I was greatly taken by the Boy Bands - from the more respected Bee Gees to the more frivolous Wham, Aha, New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, Boyzone, Take That - you name it and I listened to it. I didn't do groupie things like tattoo their names on my butt but I did get the odd poster to adorn my walls and I always listened to their music - on tapes, the radio, TV, CD's. I didn't join fan clubs and I mostly couldn't name every member or any of their details but if I heard a tune I could probably tell you the name of the band and possibly sing along with it, stumbling on no more than a few words.

As I grew older I was exposed to a greater range of tunes and genres of music than ever before, introduced to by friends, family and the movies. At the surface I liked to think that my ear became more discerning and my time more precious and therefore my devotion to boy bands matured into something more meaningful and age appropriate.

Clearly deep down I am still a ditzy teenager/ twenty something chick. Equally clearly my devotion has not waned in the very least. V-boy bought us tickets to watch Westlife perform live at the O2 arena last night, Saturday evening. It's his belated anniversary gift to me and even though he is not a fan AT ALL he came with me (and carried his FT just in case) and was as enthusiastic as I was excited - and that is a LOT. To think that all I got him were New York subway coin cufflinks.

I won't bore you with details as I guess this might be the time to say goodbye to those of you who feel we can no longer be friends because *gasp* "she likes boybands". Just to say that the arena was packed to the gills and that unlike popular lore about boy bands that states "they are appealing to young pubescent girls for emphasizing marketing and packaging over quality of music" it was full of middle aged women and men like ourselves swaying to every cutesy number one that Westlife have produced in this past 10 years. The O2 is undoubtedly a fantastic venue - neat, clean, well organised and arranged - a wonderful use of the white elephant that has hung around the Labour party's neck since the turn of the millenium. The sound sytem and acoustics were excellent, drowning out the cacofony of 25,000 tuneless fans in favour of one marvellous male vocal group. I had a stellar time; enjoyed the live band, the singing/ dancing extra's, the stage-lights-effects, the choreographed nature of boyband-ed-ness. I swayed and jumped with the crowds, clapped my hands raw, danced and sang till my feet ached and my voice turned hoarse. Our stand of middled age aunties and uncles mexican waved with as much enthusiasm as our flailing bodies and old knees allowed. I had an absolute ball. There is nothing quite like live performances and the enthusiasm that a crowd of fans brings.

I think it is OK to like Beethovan and the Beetles and Roxette and Ravi Shanker and boy bands galore and not be betraying anybody. I must admit that over the years and with many genres of music/ bands/ singers I've often joined the band wagon of acceptable/ esoteric/grown-up/ serious music more to be accepted into discussions/ friend circles than because I really liked something. Trance music and heavy metal being two case in points. Well no more. I am determined to stop being pretentious about my taste in music and will never again think of BOY BAND as two dirty words.

It's about 4am now and I am still so buzzed with the evening that I am sitting here and posting this while V watches India vs. Aus cricket. It's the very least I can do after I tortured him with my ear drum shattering singing.


  1. "I must admit that over the years and with many genres of music/ bands/ singers I've often joined the band wagon of acceptable/ esoteric/grown-up/ serious music more to be accepted into discussions/ friend circles than because I really liked something." That applies to a large percentage in general I think! 'Pretentious' is the word!

    Loved this post, and your honesty is so refreshing.

  2. Anonymous11:48 PM

    me too!!!cant wait for my girls to grow up a little more so i can go on the pretext of taking them!!! 40in2006

  3. you know, i think it's okay to like the "unsophisticated" entertainment as well. in addition to reading fine literature i enjoy reading tabloids. my husband used roll his eyes at me for it, until i started reading them in spanish. now i at least get to use the excuse that i'm learning another language.
    be proud of your love of boy bands!

  4. It is good to listen to Boy bands for a change.

  5. Anonymous4:11 AM

    good for you!!

  6. Anonymous12:27 AM


    lovely review.. good to know that there is hope for us middle-aged ones :)
    tagged you (in the hope of receiving yet another brownie !! kidding !!)

  7. Anonymous11:17 AM

    Whatever rocks your boat, girl!

    Tagged you.

  8. "Beethoven and the Beetles and Roxette" me too... ditto :)

  9. Anonymous9:15 PM

    hey1 I loved boy bands too..

    I loved Boy zone and backstreet boys :D

  10. oMg.
    i haven't thought of Westlife in forever. and I heart boy bands too :)

  11. Shub: Thanks!

    40in2006: Can I come?

    LNorris: Thanks for siding with me. I think, strangely, I am proud of it!

    Soulmate: It is.

    MG: I know.

    Chakli: Thanks. Tag. Um...aaah....maybe not?

    RnotsoR: Yay!

    Chandni & Me: Welcome to the club!