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Mcfly.

As Mcfly prepare to launch their new supersite and start a new phase in their career I thought I would post this that I wrote a few weeks ago.




Seven years is a long time for a band to be around nowadays – and no one really quite realises that the band in question have in fact been around that long. But they have. It’s hard to believe it sometimes.

It was Spring 2004 when I first heard them. Not yet having found music that I really liked I didn’t quite realise that they would be the ones who would change it all. That first song passed me by, although I liked it, it didn’t yet mean that I would try to find out everything about them. For one thing I was still horribly naive, and another, the use of the internet hadn’t quite grown to what it is now - I never would have thought to ‘google’ them, because what would I have found?The second song came on the radio. It didn’t initially register as anything much to me. They passed me by again. I was beginning to fall in love with Busted however, the very band who brought Mcfly onto the scene. And then a few months before Christmas while watching the music channels with friends (as we used to do) the video for Room on the Third Floor came on. Although they weren’t deemed ‘cool’ as a band, I instantly loved the video and how clever it was. I remember going into Woolworths one weekend and wanting to get the album, but it had sold out. I had to wait till Christmas.

And that’s when it all began.

I got the album for Christmas. I found the calendar in the Woolworths sale, and sat there puzzling over which was which, comparing the photos to those on the official website – at the time the only source of contact and information on them, on my rickety old laptop.

Things sped along after that.

Busted split.

I found the Busted forums, and a new group of friends who I became deeply attached to, and we stayed on the boards, at first moaning about Charlie leaving, then writing Busted stories, and it soon developed into a Mcfly craze. We all loved Busted – but we all also loved Mcfly. Maybe that helped keep us together, because I couldn’t be torn apart from them.

That however wasn’t to develop until later in the year.

First there was the new single, the Comic Relief one – the one where everyone noticed them, because it meant they were singing ‘it’s all about you.... it’s all about you baby...’ over and over. It was one of those songs you couldn’t ignore. They were everywhere. I collected the cuttings from papers and magazines, got the single the day it came out, and whenever anyone asked me anything I would normally answer with a Mcfly related response – or I wouldn’t answer at all. Indeed, I felt a great sense of rage on their behalf every time someone insulted them. I loved them, and their humour and silliness – I loved them for just being themselves. It was different, and refreshing. I loved all four of them.

I went from being the quiet, incredibly shy girl at school who read, to the quiet, incredibly shy girl at school who read, and, who also happened to be obsessed with Mcfly. Of course they weren’t cool enough for anyone at school. The initial phase had passed and they had moved on. They were ‘growing up’, and they didn’t have the time for me. I was still shy yes – but I had something to be passionate about. And it turned out, embarrassed.

It began as one of those things. At first people would ask what music you listened to and I would mumble some response, for some reason (I can’t really remember why... or maybe it had something to do with how they were perceived, and of course at that age you try your best to be ‘cool’) deeply embarrassed about my Mcfly obsession. Maybe it was the kind of world I lived in then. And I liked keeping my own private little world to myself. It was around that time that I began to really get into writing, moving from just fan fiction to my own creations. I had found something I adored and couldn’t bear to be apart from.

As those couple of years passed by, and GCSEs came, I found that I hated any moment away from my computer and the internet, and my friends. They were my world. I felt like – typical teenage angst – that nobody else understood me and I was lonely. I needed them. We all needed each other. It was an important time for all of us.

That first summer after ‘All About You’ came out, the next album was due. The hype that built up around it I can only now remember as insane – or maybe that was just me. They were on every early Saturday morning kids TV show (all of which I watched and recorded), on the front of every teenage magazine, such as TOTP, ‘Sneak’, Smash Hits, among a few. They were
everywhere.

That was probably the craziest summer – when the obsession was at its fullest. The new single I pre-ordered. The album I had to get the day it came out. My room was covered in posters. I could practically quote every interview. I learnt trivial facts about them.

The new album I listened to constantly, thrilled at the thought that I had got it the day it came out, that I had waited for it. I spent hours obsessively on the ‘Mcfly boards’, a place I was to frequent for many years, getting to know other fans.

And then in September, just before I went back to school, we went to see them.

Of course it was a family affair. It was one of those outdoor, family days at the ‘zoo’ and the whole family came. I was so excited – I couldn’t believe that I would actually be seeing them for real, on the stage. And then they were there.

I don’t think any subsequent time has ever quite matched up to that – though it all felt a bit surreal and impossible to believe afterwards. I got the t-shirt and obsessed over it for months.

I went back to school to do my GCSES and the obsession and need kept growing. While the other girls were worrying about how they looked, and fashion and makeup and boys, I was obsessed with Mcfly. It didn’t do me any harm – after all, I came out of that obsessive stage – but it definitely shaped how I was. I wanted to be different. I didn’t want to be involved idle girly chit chat about big brother and fashion designers. I wanted to talk about Mcfly and nothing else. I must have been awful company – no wonder I was lonely and depressed, it probably drove me to Mcfly even more. But then it was a double edge sword – that’s what I wanted. I liked to be that state. I don’t know if I liked the exclusion so much. I still had no confidence and so I was still deeply embarrassed by the obsession. I kept everything to myself. ‘Wonderland’ fitted with my mood at the time and I thrived on it – needed it desperately. I felt like they felt the way I did, that I could relate to everything they sung about. I felt like I knew them. I had my opinions too and I wasn’t going to compromise. At the time I thought that everyone should love Mcfly and I didn’t understand why anyone else wouldn’t like them. I thought that they were crazy.

Of course now I see that everyone has an opinion, I shrug, smile, and say, ‘Yeah I like Mcfly’. And that’s that. I suppose it has to do with growing up. Everyone grows up, and I suppose that everyone goes through that, but in intensely different ways. That was my way of growing up. After a while I became less embarrassed about who I liked. I think that may have begun in sixth form. I had more confidence, I had good friends, good GCSE results and I knew who I was. I was doing subjects I loved, I had more freedom and knew that it didn’t matter what band I liked. I could like them. I could still be obsessed with them – and I was, but it didn’t matter so much. It still mattered – my online friends were still there, and we still talked nearly every day, but somehow having them made me able to make friends at school, people who didn’t care for Mcfly but didn’t mind that I liked them. I had the best of both worlds.

That summer I had met up with my ‘boardies’ for real. It had been nerve wracking, but incredible. I remember thinking how amazing it was that we could spend the whole day talking about Mcfly and Busted, and joking, having fun, and that’s what everyone wanted to do. For once I could talk about what I wanted to. And they liked me for me. I was allowed to be obsessed with Mcfly¸ because they were too. The next time we met was at a Mcfly concert that September in London. I remember circling it in my diary obsessively, so incredibly excited. It was my first arena date, the first time I had done something like that by myself, and I got to meet my boardies again. It was an amazing night and I still remember it so clearly. I dragged some school friends along too, and I’m not sure that they enjoyed it quite as much – especially when I disappeared, leaving them behind.

It was hard going back to school after that weekend, although was still buzzing. I had hundreds of pictures, and so many stories, though I don’t think anyone else shared in my excitement quite as much. I was still insanely jealous. Living in London and having a lot more freedom than I did, they regularly went off to do Mcfly related things that I couldn’t take part in. I couldn’t stand it.

I was still incredibly naive and quiet. While I was obsessed with Mcfly, a lot of my friends, and the rest of the year, were off drinking and going to parties, something that I hated and dreaded.

New albums and singles followed. More obsessive TV watching, magazine buying, internet stalking – though it wasn’t quite as bad as it was before. It was beginning to mellow. The next Easter they did another tour. I went along again – this time going to two dates, and meeting other people that I’d talked to online.

It was Mcfly mania really – for me anyway. And my friends. That was the way I choose to live those few years, and I thought that it was the only way I could. Throughout the rest of sixth form I continued to be obsessed – I had posters on my wall, I wore their t-shirts (inspiring many amusing conversations, because now I was no longer ashamed. I was proud.) Other people didn’t like them, thought they were for little girls, but hey, I didn’t care so much, because to me they were important. I remember one particular comment from a friend who said that it wouldn’t last long. In a year’s time I would wonder why I was so obsessed. Little did she know. Three years later I was still thinking, ‘hah, proved you wrong.’

The winter of my second sixth form year half term was crazy. There was the tour – in which we managed to go to quite a few dates – and then the single signing for the next single.

That two weeks I spent practically living at a friend’s, getting up at ridiculous times and queuing for hours just to see them. It was a crazy life but we loved it. It felt exciting and adventurous. And of course we’d do anything for our boys. We felt highly protective of them. They were ours. No one could insult them, or we’d be upset. We put up with a lot really, but we were so proud we didn’t care. We would stick up for our boys anytime. There were more tours, signings, and all sorts of things. That year was a whirlwind – and all the time I was meant to be doing A levels. Of course I still did them – I worked so hard whilst all the time still obsessing. It’s a strange time to look back on now.

The summer I left school I went travelling for a month, and missed their promotion and all their summer dates. I was so disappointed; I think the trip for me was slightly overcast thinking about what they were doing. But then again I probably needed it. By the time I got back there was their new album to obsess over, and I did. But then I had left school. They had a tour in the winter, and then another at Easter, and then they disappeared. They disappeared off the radar.

The magazines they used to appear in either stopped or moved to the new Disney obsessions. The Saturday morning TV shows they used to frequent vanished. There was none of that anymore. Of course there was more and more online – twitter, myspace - all that. And their presence was there. The obsession however abated. It meant my attentions moved elsewhere, while I waited for them to return. I still loved them, listened to them obsessively, but I didn’t make sure they saw everything were on, got annoyed if I missed them somewhere. I became more laid back. I grew up. I was never going to lose that love though. That was – and is- definitely still there. There were just other things to care about now. It came at the right time I suppose. I had grown up, they had grown up, and so had the rest of their fans. Things had definitely changed since those early days. But the thing was they were still together – it hadn’t been stupid this obsession, they were still incredible, still my band, still mattered, but it wasn’t the be all and end all. There were other things.

They definitely shaped me and the way that I see the world. They let me have experiences that I never would have thought that I would have – queuing at the early hours of the morning just to see them, getting to know London, growing in confidence in just the way I was, are among a few things that come to mind. They’re not exactly going to go away, after all they changed the way that I was in those awkward teenage years when I didn’t know who I was and needed something to tell me who I was. They were that band, and I wasn’t going to let them go away. They have always been there over the years when things got difficult, when I needed something that was important to me to get me through, when I felt like everything else was against me and I was all alone. They taught me that I wasn’t. That it was alright to be a bit different and not worry what people thought. They gave me confidence and without them I don’t know where I would be. I would have grown up differently, and I wonder how differently – what I would have been like without them. Still incredibly shy and awkward? It’s strange how the love of a band can give you a new life and make you feel incredibly wonderful. I never would have thought that they would shape my life, but they have. They really have, and I’m not sorry for that. In fact I’m incredibly thankful. So thank you boys. Thank you for giving me a life and teaching me how to live and be myself.

They’re still there.

And I have a feeling that they will always be.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jan. 17th, 2011 07:39 am (UTC)
painter 11
I have to state, you chose your words well. The ideas you wrote on your encounters are well placed. This is an incredible blog!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 18th, 2011 05:56 am (UTC)
provides access
The stories are like reflections of what I am going through in my life…and these did make me realize my mistakes and what steps do I need to take….
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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quotes and things

“He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night and the storm and the heart of the sun…

He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of the time and he can see the turn of the universe…and he’s wonderful.”

“They say you’re supposed to talk to people when they’re in a coma, don’t they? I have absolutely no idea whether you can hear me Jack.

I never heard of anyone coming out of one and carrying on the conversation. So I suspect it’s probably something the doctors tell us to do. To make us feel better, rather than help you. We don’t feel quite so useless and helpless. We get the feeling there’s still some sort of purpose in our lives. We’re not just waiting. Waiting for the science to work. Or the miracle to happen. Or the nightmare to end.

I’m not much of a talker Jack, you know that, but I’ll talk to you now on the off chance that it helps.

Just promise me, if you’re hearing this, that when you come round - and you’re going to Jack. You’re gonna come out of this - just promise me you’ll bring up anything I say to you now. How’s that? We got a deal?

This must be the longest I’ve ever looked at you and not see you smile. I’ve watched you in your sleep, did you know that? So many times.

Just woken up beside you in the middle of the night, and watched you. Watched your eyes move behind your eyelids as you dreamed. I tried to imagine what a man like you could possibly dream about. Things you’ve seen. The lives you’ve lived. The people you’ve loved. I wondered if you were dreaming about me, I hoped you’d be dreaming about me.

But let’s be honest Jack. I’m nothing more than a blip in time for you. Everyday I grow a little older. But you’re immortal. You’ve already lived a thousand lifetimes. How could you watch me grow old and die? How can I watch you live and never age a day?

I suppose we both know that will never be a problem. Not in this job. No-one in Torchwood ever lives to draw their pension, do they? Even if, by some miracle, I survive to see my hair turn grey, or god forbid fall out, I don’t kid myself that you’d still be around to see it.

One day you’ll go again, just like you did before, and this time you won’t be back.

Maybe that’s what you’re dreaming about those nights when I watch you sleeping. Maybe that’s why, even when you sleep, I see you smile. But you haven’t gone yet, Jack. I know that. I know you’re coming back to me.”

"But you never will be just a blip in time, Ianto Jones. Not for me."

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