“Waters Running In The Wrong Direction…” – Girls Aloud Live May 2006

Girl bands weren’t big in the era I grew up in, so in terms of female singers I always looked to Kylie Minogue and Madonna and got into them. Then the Spice Girls came along in 1996, and although I bought one of their singles, I was never into them properly. Ginger Spice annoyed me, Posh Spice was too stuck up, Emma Bunton so not my type, Mel C annoying scouse accent and Mel B, completely unattractive in my eyes, though a few of their songs were OK! Then up came PopStars or PopIdol )one of them music reality TV shows) and suddenly Girls Aloud were here. The first song I heard of theirs was the class “Sounds of The Underground”, which I seem to remember was a Christmas Number One, and was also popular in my first few months living in Bournemouth, where I often played that particular song on my radio show at Nerve Radio. The catchy chorus, the mixed voices and the fine lyrics, still make that a great British Pop Song, and slowly I got into Girls Aloud.
I bought the second album, and also a few more singles (including “Love Machine” and “I’ll Stand By You”). I always liked The Pretenders song “I’ll Stand By You”, and the Girls Aloud cover version was a good attempt at it, great tune that. By 2005 I heard they were playing at the Bournemouth International Centre (where incidentally I was working last night!!). The gig was to take place in May 2006, so I decided to go, but wasn;t sure who with, so I bought two tickets and thought I’d have a girlfriend then or ask a girl to go with me. I was single, but soon started going out with Fee (a Portsmouth Persian girl), we had both planned to go to the gig together, but we split up just a few weeks before that (April 2006), so I had to ask someone else at late notice, and that was Zoe Oakley, who worked with me occassionally in Tesco at Branksome in Poole. All was set – Zoe and I were off to see Girls Aloud and have a few drinks.
It was the 31st May 2006 and that was a very strange day. In the morning I was busy selling ice cream at “Mobile 4” ice cream hut in Boscombe, as I worked for Bournemouth Borough Council. That night I was meant to work in Tesco as well, but had shift swapped. Then in the afternoon I got a call from Cat Fletcher at Bite Communications in London to say I had got the job. I couldn’t really say no to the job, so I took it! I was on a high very excited, had 3 jobs and was coming to the end of my time in Bournemouth (for then…as I’m still in Bournemouth 2.5 years later!!) so I left work very enthusiastic that night. I met Zoe for dinner and drinks in The Moon In The Square in Bournemouth. It was great, we seem to get on really well, and had a laugh together. I did fancy Zoe but nothing ever happened there! She liked Girls Aloud slightly more than me, and sang me a few songs and also texted me one night when I was drunk to say “you don’t need no good advice cos you are already wasted!” We had a few beers in The Moon In The Square pub, before heading up the hill to the BIC, where we were in balcony seats and could drink in the Bourne Lounge before the gig. I was looking forward to seeing Kimberley and Nadine, my favourite two band members. Nadine Coyle is from Northern Ireland like me, and I have included a photo of her in a Northern Ireland kit there!
We drank Smirnoff Ice once inside the arena, as its easy to down, must have had about 4 each during the show. Girls Aloud came out and to be honest I was surprised at the amount of kids there! In Northern Ireland you have to be 18 to attend a proper gig, this idea of under 18s getting in doesn’t do anything for me. Though having said that our balcony seats were great and we were around older people as well as some kids! Zoe and I sang along to the songs we knew including “No Good Advice”, “Biology”, “Jump – For My Love!!” and “Wake Me Up”. In fact you’ll find yourself admitting you know more Girls Aloud songs that you thought! Then my two favourites came along, the awesome introductory chimes of “Sounds of the Underground” came out of those speakers as the Girls treated us to their best song. Its just a catchy riff “Disco dancing with the lights down low; beats a pumping on the stereo”, when the chorus came round I was loving it, dancing away with a Smirnoff Ice like a lunatic! “Don’t know what is pushing me higher” the girls sing as kids and grown ups alike sing along in awe of the awesome pop songs. This is proper pop music!
They also treated us to the cover version of “I’ll Stand By You”, another highlight of an ever changing set. The set changed quite a few times, and the girls changed clothes a lot (sadly this was done backstage so I didn’t get a glimpse of Nicole’s fanny unfortunately), making for an awesome eclectic night in the BIC. It never got boring, and the hits kept coming. Zoe and I had a great night, and as it hit midnight, I realised it was June and it would be my last month in Bournemouth for a good while. Zoe and I went to Bliss (possibly via another bar – I cant remember) and enjoyed some drinks and chat in there. Looking back I was dressed particularly camply, a pink shirt and black jacket, but then I was going to a Girls Aloud gig! After that we sat on the beach and I went skinny dipping (done this quite a lot in Bournemouth, not for a few years though!). Then I stayed at Zoe’s place in Branksome (the only time I’ve ever been to her flat, incidentally). The night was over, and I ended up going into work later the next day, which was fine, as a misty breeze greeted me on Bournemouth seafront that June day. I still keep in touch with Zoe, via Facebook, she is now a proud Mum, I will have to meet her again sometime! I fear my water is still “running in the wrong direction…”
 
When – Wednesday 31st May 2006
 
Where – Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Road, Bournemouth.
 
Bars Visited – The Moon In The Square, The Bourne Lounge, Bliss.
 
Who went – Jonny Blair, Zoe Oakley.
 
Lyrics to “Sounds Of The Underground” –
Disco dancing with the lights down low
Beats are pumping on the stereo
Neighbours banging on the bathroom wall
Your sayin’ crank the bass
I gotta get some more
 
Waters runnin’ in the wrong direction
Got a feelin’ its a mixed up sign
I can see it in my own reflection
Summit funnies goin’ on inside my mind
Don’t know what its pushin’ me higher
Its the static from the floor below
Then its drops and catches like a fire
Its a sound I, Its a sound I know
 
It’s the sound of the underground
The beat of the drum goes round and round
In to the overflow
Where the girls get down to the sound of the radio
Out to the electric night
Where the bass line jumps in the backstreet lights
The beat goes around and round
Its the sound of the under
Sound of the underground
 
Chain reaction running through my veins
Pumps the bass line up into my brain
Screws my mind until I lose control
And when the building rocks I know Its got my soul
 
Waters runnin’ in the wrong direction
Got a feelin’ its a mixed up sign
I can see it in my own reflection
Summit funnies goin’ on inside my mind
Don’t know what its pushin’ me higher
Its the static from the floor below
Then its drops and catches like a fire
Its a sound I, Its a sound I know
 
It’s the sound of the underground
The beat of the drum goes round and round
In to the overflow
Where the girls get down to the sound of the radio
Out to the electric night
Where the bass line jumps in the backstreet lights
The beat goes around and round
Its the sound of the under
Sound of the underground
 
I don’t know what it’s pushin’ me higher
It’s the static from the floor below
And then it drops and catches like fire
Its a sound I, Its a sound I
Its a sound I, Its a sound I know
 
It’s the sound of the underground
The beat of the drum goes round and round
In to the overflow
Where the girls get down to the sound of the radio
Out to the electric night
Where the bass line jumps in the backstreet lights
The beat goes around and round
Its the sound of the under
Sound of the underground
 
The bass line jumps in the backstreet light
It’s the sound of the under
Sound of the underground
The bass line jumps in the backstreet light
It’s the sound of the under
Sound of the underground
 
A VIDEO I TOOK OF “I’LL STAND BY YOU” LIVE AT BIC THAT NIGHT:
 
A VIDEO SOMEONE ELSE TOOK OF “I’LL STAND BY YOU” LIVE AT THE BIC A DIFFERENT NIGHT:
 
VIDEO FOR SOUNDS OF THE UNDERGROUND:
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