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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Show of Hands and ahab in (separate) extreme fandom incidents

"She lost her heart to the boys in the band" runs the opening line of Show of Hands' Stop Copying Me. On Saturday at Colston Hall in Bristol there were two manifestations of high octane fandom, each of which was charming in its own very special way.

First up, there was a twenty-something at Show of Hands' headlining gig (below, photo courtesy of Ian Wright) who was there for her hen night. You could tell this was the case because she was wearing one of those clip-on bride's veils that can so easily get dipped in your pint of beer if you're not careful.

Also she was carrying a big banner that read: "I'm getting married but I still love Phil and Steve!"

This led to prolonged banter between the stage and her, in which all acquitted themselves splendidly. She was, of course, three sheets to the wind - as is traditional on these occasions - and Beer and Knightley seemed caught somewhere between terror and fascination.

Best of all, she did this thing when the band exited the stage (twice), of shadowing their exit from directly in front of the stage with her banner - which had a stick at each end - arms in the air, and creeping along just slightly behind them, as if she was playing What's the time, Mr Wolf? She pursued them as far as she could go into the wings, then stood, banner still aloft for some time afterwards, and somehow, triumphantly, this seemed to give her the final word.

And while her hangover should clear in time for the wedding, my second super-fan has a more indelible badge of honour.

A young woman called Caroline V***, from Manchester, attended ahab's Songs from the Shed recording session at Bristol and while she was there, Jon Earl - Mr Shed - noticed her tattoo.

According to the arch-propagandist from the Shed, Luke Price (wearing the hat in the video below) had once obliged her by writing some lyrics on her arm and Caroline went out and got them tattooed into permanency before they could wash off.

It's not clear that this is entirely, one hundred per cent accurate. But Caroline told me in an email: "I have a pretty big scar on my arm, so I was looking for some lyrics for aaaaages to cover it up with, when I came across ahab's Songs from the Shed session (above). I checked out a bit more of their stuff and I think it was more the lyrics than their sound that grabbed me initially. As you probably noticed, I chose lines from three difference ahab songs and combined them. I don't know why, it just felt right... and still does obviously."

It's just as well that Luke's got such beautiful handwriting.

Also from Bristol, The Young'uns play the Olympics.

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