I think every songwriter/performer must remember the first time they see a crowd singing their songs. I'd seen it a little at Koko and 229's anniversary show in London...but I'd never expected it at The Great Escape.
The show was exactly 6 months to the day since I lost my dad, the entire 24 hours felt like I was repeating every final moment I had with him. I had 3 interviews and a show to do, keeping busy was the best thing, but in every quiet moment I was gritting my teeth and forcing back the tears.
That night I had no idea what to expect. I knew the venue I was playing in (Concorde 2) was awesome but it was miles away from the main strip...was anyone gonna show up? I thought it'd be an industry heavy crowd - they see multiple shows every day of the year - would they respond to me? Would they get involved? I wanted it to go well so badly but I swear I was on the edge of a very well hidden nervous breakdown.
The seconds counted down on a TV screen but I was on another planet. My band stepped on stage while I was pacing backstage psyching myself up...I almost forgot to go on, I ran on just in time for my first lyric but I'd forgotten to plug my in-ears in #RookieError.
I spun into auto-pilot for a second but when I looked up I saw the room was full and you guys were going IN 100% with me. You sang all the words (I have absolutely no idea how you even knew my songs?!). YOU DANCED YOUR ASSES OFF. There were so many photographers in the pit, I milked the shit out of that 😂 (evidence below). I loved every minute of that night. I didn't forget my loss, but instead of mourning I was able to celebrate all that I'd been given. I didn't sleep and was buzzing for days with the feeling re-enforced by each and every tweet and photo I was being sent, especially from MTV and The Great Escape themselves 😵
I still can't get over the beauty of that night. To be going through that deep heart-wrenching pain then be gifted with a dream come true was unexplainable. It was the sweetest and greatest escape I could ever have imagined and is a night I will never forget.