|Beyond The Comfort Zone – Extracts|
Page 3 of 5
Love, Loss and Rollercoasters
.............. I’ve tried many times to explain the volume of several thousand screaming girls trapped in a confined space. The closest I can come to it is if you imagined standing next to a 747 engine on takeoff. All you hear is a rush of white noise, a hiss so loud and crushing that your hearing begins to flutter as your eardrums reach the limits of their ability to process it. Our grins had been replaced by looks of disbelief, I’m pretty sure none of us had ever experienced anything like it. We launched into the first song. I couldn’t hear a single instrument, how any of us managed to play through the songs I’ll never know. The Volume needle remained pinned to the red for the entire gig. The flashes popped, the girls screamed, I couldn’t hear a thing – I loved every minute of it!
All too soon it was over, we gave our bows and one by one the band members left the stage. At this point I had no roadie, so I was last to leave the stage after collecting up my Saxes. I waved and as I left glanced down at the stage-floor. It was covered in cuddly toys - and dozens of pairs of girl’s knickers. Back in the changing room everybody was already packed up, I was on my own, packing away my Saxes when a very agitated security man brought a very breathless Jen through the door.
“Oh My GOD” she wheezed “That was AMAZING….they were carrying girls out one after another…it looks like a warzone out there!” I didn’t have chance to reply before the flustered security Guard broke in.
“Look you two, we really have to go are you ready?” I was a bit surprised at his lack of patience.
“I’m going as fast as I can mate, I’ll be with you in a sec.” I said as I packed away my horns.
“No, we can’t wait. Are you ready?” What was his problem?
“Ok…I’m ready.” I slung my two cases over my shoulder, giving Jen the Soprano, and the two of us followed him out of the upstairs changing room and headed down to the backstage door. When we reached the door he hesitated, turning to us once again asking.
“Are you sure you are ready?” I looked at him as if he was insane.
“Yeah, we’re ready…. Let’s go.”
He turned to the closed fire-doors that led to the outside.
“Ok…..Ok…..” He said, almost to himself, as he took a deep breath before finally, with a flourish, kicking the door open.
Jen and I stood there for a moment, transfixed, like rabbits in the headlights. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. Before us, Police, linked arm in arm, formed a corridor to the open door of the tour bus. On either side screaming fans dived and clawed, attempting to find a way over or under the police line. The officers sweated and slid, their helmets lying in the dust, as the tide of girls buffeted them time and time again.
We were pulled out of our stupor. The doorman put his arm around the two of us as we attempted to head towards the sanctuary of the open bus door. I got barely a few feet before I felt my Jacket being pulled and I immediately sagged to my knees against the line of Police. As I struggled to free myself, I watched as a fan leaped over the Police cordon catching a handful of Jens hair in the process, pulling her in the opposite direction. Somehow I managed to get free and grabbed Jen with my free hand, the two of us fought our way forward, eventually stumbling up the stairs of the Bus. We watched through the windows at the near apocalyptic scene, as the hysterical fans, tears streaming down their faces, battered themselves against the side of the Bus. .....................