Don't Stop Me Now

I had the absolute time of my life this weekend.

I was at the Isle of Wight Festival this weekend, and I'm currently reliving it through some painful post-Festival blues. I love Festivals. I'm not going to claim to be a crazy festival goer as I have only been to two, both of which are basically on my doorstep. Last year was the first time in about 8/9 years that I hadn't been to one, because I spent the summer in Greece. I love the friendly atmosphere, the lack of worries and the drinking games centred around a muddy patch of grass that becomes 'home' for the weekend. (side note at this point, the below pictures are not mine due to an awful phone at this point of the weekend, but I will be of course crediting the photographers correctly)

(photo credit: Liz Murray photography)

I haven't been to the Isle of Wight Festival for about 6 years since I migrated over to Bestival. But this year, my favourite band in the world were playing. I knew I had to go. I didn't care how I got there that I went through so many different attempts at getting in. Buying a ticket was immediately off limits as I definitely can't afford it, so I looked in to all the different ways of working for a ticket. I was very lucky to land a pretty simple job through a friend of a friend and the countdown began!

For those of you that don't know, the Isle of Wight Festival is held, funnily enough, on the Isle of Wight, right in the centre of the Island and is curated by John Giddings. And this year, he managed to pull one right out the bag and get frigging QUEEN to play as Sunday night headliners.

Now don't get me wrong, the whole weekend was absolutely fantastic. A great round of Jazzercise, rounds of Ring of Fire and Beer Pong, alcohol, going on a terribly horrific spinning ride after too much vodka and seeing The Who perform. But I was always thinking about how excited I was for it to be Sunday night so I could see Queen.

SO many people have said to me 'you know it's not really Queen without Freddie Mercury, don't you?' Yes of course I do. But it's still the music that I've grown up around, the songs that I blare out in my car and give myself laryngitis singing along to, and it's the songs that match every mood I could possibly be in. The wonderful thing about Adam Lambert is not only his strong vocals, but also the fact that he is not trying to replace Freddie. Everybody knows that that would be impossible. He even said it whilst performing, '...we all know there will only ever be Freddie...'. He's said in interviews what a Queen fan he is so I find it so compelling that he's not trying to replace the big man, just helping to keep spreading the music. I also like how they stage decor says 'Queen + Adam Lambert', it will never just be Queen.

I think Freddie would have really liked Adam.

(photo credit: Dylan Roberts)

Sadly, Freddie died before I was born but I have always loved there music, and I never thought I would be lucky enough to see them perform in the flesh. I thought watching them at Rock Big Ben Live on YouTube (as I'm doing right now) would be the closest I'd ever get. But no.

At their only UK date this year they definitely did not disappoint. I'm trying not to make this a review post but they really were incredible. Every song they sang the whole crowd sang too, being there for Bohemian Rhapsody was out of this world. Apart from the annoyingly drunk 'grown ups' that kept falling into us and talking absolute turd at the highest volume the whole thing was perfect, to me anyway. I know of course everyone will have different opinions, but for me the set was wonderful. They even played my favourite song, not only by them but ever, which is Somebody to Love.

The local radio actual played 'Don't Stop Me Now' on my way to work this morning, and I blurted out the lyrics against the radio at the loudest volume. (Definitely not helping my already sore throat) As it drew to and end I genuinely got a bit emotional at the fact that I'd actually seen the great band live - I've said it before but I could just never see it happening.

This has been a bit of a weird post for me to write as it's something I've never really written about before, but I had to put it all down somewhere. It was like a kind of magic (pun intended) in me that day, the fact that nothing could get me down because I've just seen frigging QUEEN live. Still, three days later on my Festival comedown, still not quite caught up on sleep and with an iPhone that's still trying to recover from a very leaky tent (no thanks to alcohol that one) I still can't quite believe that it's happened.

These days I think it's very easy to go through phases of 'favourite artists', new artists are coming and going everyday and with the new technology they can churn out hit records at the touch of a button. However Queen, for me, is a band that I have loved for years, the above image came up on my Timehop the other day which really brought it home for me how truly excited I was to see them. It's nice to go through phases of music, and to get excited about seeing smaller bands of course, when I saw Scouting for Girls for the first time and got high-fived by Roy Stride I didn't high five anyone for around FIVE MONTHS but it's also important to remember that some bands truly are timeless.

Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?