On Tuesday 4th July I travelled to Manchester to see Radiohead play at Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground.
I travelled alone.
My partner isn’t a crazy enough fan to pay £72 to see them play live, plus the £87 for the return train ticket, plus the £36 for the hotel room, plus the £25 for the official tour t-shirt.
To say that I was apprehensive would be an understatement; I was excited because Radiohead are probably my all time favourite band, I’ve only seen them play live once in 2008 and the experience left me feeling so high, my feet didn’t touch the ground again for days after. However, I couldn’t shake off the uneasiness… Speaking of which, I was sat next to the most restless traveller I have EVER come across! In fact, I blame her for my seizure because sitting next to her and watching her fidget so constantly stressed me out to the max!
I’m still having daily seizures; I can still barely walk; I’m finding it difficult to stand for long periods of time, and on the train to Manchester Piccadilly as I felt the aura consume me before the complex partial seizure came on, I understood how reckless I had been.
But the inevitable had happened now and I was in constant contact with my partner so somebody knew where I was if anything did happen.
“Are you well enough to go to the gig?”
I did feel a sense of relief when it happened.
I did also fear that it could happen again at any moment.
I was reminded of the unpredictability of my disability. When my partner asked me if I was well enough to carry on, my response was that I had to.
When I did get to Manchester, I did feel a sense of achievement.
I’d done it, all on my own, even with a frazzled mind! And I thought that the euphoria would carry on into the gig but unfortunately it didn’t.
The sound quality for a start was weak – in comparison to the warm up acts, this was surprising and disappointing.
The crowd wasn’t warm: metaphorically or physically. I’d actually moved into the crowd against my better judgement because it was so frickin’ cold (I’m a southerner!) but this left me constantly on edge that if I had a seizure I wouldn’t be safe. I don’t know how to explain it… I’ve been to gigs on my own before, and never felt so uneasy like this.
It was strange.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom – the visuals were incredible. They played “You and Whose Army?” where screens were consumed with only Thom’s eye, staring you down. That song has been my battle cry many a time.
And of course getting to see Thom move across the stage (I’m a sucker for his dancing!) was awesome!
They also played “Pyramid Song”… a song I’ve sat and sang to myself in my room in my mother’s house, so many years ago….
This trip reminded me that I can be independent.
This past year I’ve really lost myself and believed in so many lies that have been thrown at me. I’m also loving that my partner is finally getting to see the real me again – the woman he fell in love with so many months ago, before the bullies got into my head.
Even if it unfortunately wasn’t THE best gig I’ve ever been to, it was definitely great to take some time away for me, because for more than a minute I did lose myself but I’m slowly reclaiming myself back.
In the uber to the hotel, the driver was astounded that I’d travelled all the way from London on my own and I couldn’t wipe the proud grin off of my face.
The hotel was amazeballs by the way, I highly recommend it! Oakfield Lodge Guest House