For the love of boybands

16 Aug

When I was a teenager, I fell head over heels in love with a boyband. I watched every TV show they appeared on, bought every magazine they were in and learned all the words to every song. I watched the same concert on tour more than once. I got up at stupid o’clock on Saturday mornings and took myself to London to wait at television studios. We’d drive two hours down the motorway just for five minutes. I spent hours online chatting away to other fans. We’d spend time outside hotels, in bars, sat on walls, running around to meet them – often having to make do with a wave as they got in the car.

I felt compelled to watch the Channel 4 documentary “Crazy about One Direction” last night. I’ve had some experiences with the ‘directioners’ which have been a little bit intense and I think I’d almost expected the programme to show me that they’re doing something different to what we did back in the day. But, for the most part, they’re not.

As the girls were filmed in their bedrooms adorned with posters of their favourite boys, I smiled as I remembered that my room was just like that. I had a life size poster by the door, I’d carefully line up all the others to cover all remaining wall space and the ceiling too. It got to the point where Mum commented that she didn’t like coming into my room because she felt like all the eyes were watching her.

As the girls were filmed standing outside the venues and hotels, I remembered the days where we’d spend hours doing the same thing. And the days fans have so very often been ‘moved on’ from hanging around outside.

Yes, some of the One Direction fans shown on the documentary do take it too far. But I could reel off a list of names of people who did exactly the same when we were doing it. Social media plays a huge part in it now because fans are given so much more access to the bands without even having to try. It also appears to encourage more competition because your success can be immediately beamed across the whole fan base for everyone to see. But the result of that is not really any different to how it’s always been. It’s just done differently.

Before One Direction there was Westlife and Take That. Before them, The Beatles and Bay City Rollers. The whole crazy process will soon enough start again with someone new.

Teenage girls will always fall head over heels in love with boybands. They will always lose their heads, scream at concerts and cry when they meet them. They’ll always make friends with other fans because their school friends just aren’t interested. They’ll always make excuses to miss school or use all their annual leave at work but, in the end, they’ll turn out OK. We all have!

And, years down the line, they’ll cringe a little at the insanity of it but above all else they’ll remember how bloody brilliant it all was. How going a bit bonkers over a boyband gave them the best memories and some of the best friends a girl could ever have. And when you look at it like that, how could it possibly be anything other than worth it?


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