Not me. Though I must admit there are times when I can get a bit hysterical, I admit. But something I witnessed on Saturday night, that I have never seen since I saw George Michael put a shuttlecock down his shorts and then throw it in to the crowd. And that was so long ago he was straight.
Last weekend we were given tickets to see Shane Filan. Who he? Only one part of Westlife, that’s who. Live Nation who have invited us to several concerts over the past few months wondered if we fancied going, and as part of our “say yes more than you say no” mentality we did just that. He was coming virtually to our front door step so it seemed rude not to.
At this point I have to say that Mr B was in a very small minority of men. Clearly men who had been dragged along by their other halves who wanted to go, or …. nope there is no or. They were all there because their other halves wanted to be there. I say all. There were about 6 in an audience of 600.
Six hundred hormone fueled women. I have to say I have never seen anything like it. Or heard it. Every time the support act mentioned the words “Shane Filan” the place erupted. And when Shane finally came on stage I think we would probably have heard the screams if we had stayed at home.
I missed the whole Take That / West Life / Boyzone hysteria, mostly as I was out of the country in the 90s and my teens have never been fans of the last crop of hysteria inducing boy bands. In fact youngest teen was a Kerrang festival on Friday night at the Brixton Academy. In a Limp Bizkit mosh pit. I don’t even know what that is and I am too scared to Google it for fear of banning her from ever leaving the house again. I thought a limp bizkit was what happened when you left your Digestive in your tea for too long. But I got the eye roll after saying that I suspected I was wrong.
Every third person was wearing the tour T-shirt for this gig (hastily bought in the foyer and changed in the loos) or a treasured Westlife hoodie. Which when removed revealed a treasured Westlife T-shirt.
The lady in front of me was constantly taking photos, she virtually watched the gig though the view finder of her camera. Only putting it down to clap. I had visions of her printing them all out and making album after album or wall papering her bedroom with them as I did with Nick Heywood and Nik Kershaw. I was 16 again.
What struck me though at this gig was the age of most of audience. This wasn’t screaming teenage fans as it had been at George Michael. Reliving their youth? I don’t know but this was women of a similar age to me. And in many instances much older. Much. Who the very instant Shane appeared not only screamed but LEAPT to their feet. He got a standing ovation before he had even got to the end of the first line. Members of the audience in wheelchairs had to be moved from their original spots to get a better view. Every time he walked down the stage women waved at him in the hope he would wave back at them. Spot them amongst the sea of faces.
And do you know what? It was bloody brilliant to watch. Women of a certain age, dancing away, clapping, cheering. Screaming. There may even have been pant throwing. There were certainly security guards by the stage. I have to say, I have never seen a gig like it. I thought hysteria like that was a myth. Or a young kids game still. Suffice to say on Saturday night it was alive and well and truly kicking in a comfortable sandal in Reading.