So it turns out that having one of the best weekends ever doesn’t actually make me want to sit down in front of a computer and blog about it…who knew? But I’ve finally come down from my two-week long high and am ready to relay to you my thoughts and feelings regarding the day I saw Johnny Flynn live at the Edmonton Folk Festival. For those of you that know my secret identity (which is all of you, because you’re the only ones who read this thing) you’ve probably seen the ridiculously long, drawn-out story (with a hundred billion pictures) that I put up on Facebook. I don’t want to repeat myself, so I’ll try to share what was not previously covered so y’all don’t get bored. Just for kicks I’ll probably pretend that some other people perhaps may stumble upon this little blog someday and may not know what the heck I’m talking about. So first a little background.
Back in November, I discovered that the cast of Twilight had celebrity playlists available on iTunes. I love celebrity playlists on iTunes, and my Twilight obsession had only been forming for a couple of months at that time, so needless to say I was super excited, particularly for the one by a Mr. Robert Pattinson. Rob had included a song by Johnny Flynn and his little note said that he had grown up with Johnny and that he recently saw him live and that he was amazing. He also said, “Get this album its great.” So what did I do? I got the album, of course! Didn’t really listen to it until a few days later…one night I couldn’t sleep so I remembered that lovely little song (“Brown Trout Blues,” to be exact) that I thought might relax me. I dialed up the album on my iPod and was BLOWN AWAY. I don’t think I ended up falling asleep for another couple of hours because I was so energized by this album. This amazing album that sounded like nothing else ever that made me feel like my life would never be the same. (I know, I’m being overdramatic.)
Then tragedy struck. The next day I immediately jumped on the interweb to learn more about my new music love, hoping that maybe he would be coming soon to a town near me, only to discover that he had already played a show in Seattle, exactly one month before!! NOOOOO!!!!!! I was devestated. Heartbroken. A thousand frowny-face emoticons cannot express how bummed I was. (It still makes me sad, even now.) So January rolled around and I made a resolution to see Johnny Flynn live, somehow in the year 2009. If I was going to have to go all the way to London, than so be it. Turned out my financial means were not coinciding with this noble aspiration, and I ended up pretty pessimistic about the possibility, all the while listening to the album at least twice a day, every day, telling everyone I knew about how great he was, desperately trying to share the love of Johnny Flynn to as many people as possible. Cut to springtime when I found out he was playing at a random folk festival in Edmonton, Canada in August. A quick Google search revealed that Edmonton was not really all that far away from Seattle (at least not as far as London) and my plan was set…Edmonton or bust!! Oh, and PS, it turns out that he recorded his album at a secluded studio located a mere mile away from the house I grew up in, the house my dad still owns. Coincidence? I think not. That killed me too. He was hanging out in my home town last year and I had no idea! WTF was he doing in the Pacific Northwest when he’s from London!?!? It’s still a mystery to me, so therefore I declare it as fate bringing us together.
Oh man, this is already taking way too long. Okay, so two weeks ago I got on a plane and flew to Edmonton. I was so excited, so nervous, so scared that he was going to cancel at the last minute, still in disbelief that it was actually happening…basically I was a mess. But Saturday arrived and after a series of unfortunate/fortunate events, I finally made it in to see Johnny Flynn. I really did cry the first time he opened his mouth and started singing. It was just so overwhelming to hear it in person, something I had wanted for SO long. Sigh. It was amazing. After the first little show I stalked him and his band for a little bit. Okay, for a long time. Which resulted in quite a few opportunities for me to say something to him. Which resulted in me saying ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to him. I was literally walking RIGHT NEXT TO HIM at one point, and I still couldn’t open up my mouth! What a weirdo, yeah? It was quite an enlightening experience though. I always knew I was shy, but I did not know I was THIS shy. I had originally thought that maybe it was just Johnny Flynn himself that was the problem. But even when I saw just two of the boys from his band walking around, I still couldn’t muster up the courage. 5 cute British boys=too intimidating. 2 cute Britsh boys=still too intimidating. It had me wondering if there would ever be a situation where I could say something. For example, if JF ended up in the seat next to me on a plane perhaps, could I say something then? Who knows…I’m an idiot. That’s what I do know.
Just so you all know, Johnny is completely gorgeous in person. He’s got rosy cheeks, disheveled, sandy-colored hair (that he constantly runs his fingers through, just like Rob!), and his teeth are almost as white as Taylor’s. Pictures do not do him justice. Also, like Rob, he was quite charming and funny but in a shy kind of way.
Anyways, the second, larger show was incredible. The entire band was amazing…I have to recognize the entire band. This whole time I’ve just been writing “Johnny Flynn” but what I mean to say is “Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit.” It’s just that that takes to long to type. But his band is great. They’re all cute and super-talented and I love each and every one of them. Especially Joe, the cello player. I actually went away from the weekend with more of a crush on Joe than Johnny…go figure! Anyways, the show was great, the weekend was great, and I was the happiest I’ve ever been. Here are my favorite moments:
At one point I ended up walking about ten feet behind the entire band. They were walking to drop off their instruments, and I was following them. An older gentleman who was walking the opposite direction, just as he passed Johnny and his band, said very loudly, “Looking forward to this afternoon!!” All five boys whipped their heads around SO FAST, one can only assume that they thought he was talking about their show. But sadly, he was actually talking to his friend who had been seperated from him by the dear boys of the Sussex Wit. SO CUTE. I got the impression that they were pretty excited just to be involved with this festival, they all seemed pretty humble, like they were lucky to be there. This should have only encouraged me to speak up and say something myself (“I’m looking forward to this afternoon too!!!”) but it didn’t.
During the mainstage show, I grabbed a spot on the ground inbetween some tarps. A couple of older ladies on the tarp next to me were QUITE impressed with Mr. Flynn. “So young!” “What a hearthrob!” And my favorite, “He plays that guitar like a poet, not like a musician!” How sweet. After the show I just had to thank those tarp ladies for sharing their space with me and inform them that I had come all the way from Seattle just for this band. They seemed fascinated by that.
During the first little show Johnny explained that the bass player didn’t have his guitar because he was held up at customs and the guitar was nowhere to be found. He said that as their bandmate was being interrogated, they “didn’t know what to do, and he seemed to be enjoying it…so we just left him.” Poor guy.
So that was my wonderful weekend. When I got back into town I caught Bobby Long’s (another friend of Rob’s) show in Seattle. It was a completely different experience, very mellow, very small venue, but I had a good time. Bobby was also very charming (also ran his fingers through his hair a lot, do you think they all attended a class together on “how to impress the ladies by looking angsty” in grade school or something?) and funny and cute and talented. He was taking requests and dedicating songs to various fans in the audience and was definitely making the crowd happy. I was hoping for some freaker Twilight fans, decked out with their Edward Cullen totebags, but no such luck. But a good night had by all for sure. Curiously, he reported on his myspace page a few days later that he had to cancel his Vancouver show because of problems getting into Canada. Which begs the question, what does Canada have against young, male, British musicians?? Why won’t they let any of them into their country? Hey! America Jr! WTF??? Trust me, these boys are not going to cause as much havoc as Rob does! I know he’s turned your great city of Vancouver into a sespool of crazed, over-caffeinated, teenage girls, (not to mention all the paparazzi a-holes) but I don’t think these boys will be as much trouble. Let them in!!
Thanks for taking the time to read my crazy ramblings about my most favorite band ever. I hope that you all check out Johnny Flynn (if you haven’t already) because he really is amazing. There has been mentioned of a new album coming up within the next six months, so let’s hope for another US tour!
PS My hotel in Edmonton was located on Jasper Avenue. Awesome.
PPS…Truth: Part of the reason why it took me so long to post anything new since JF is that I’ve been holed up in my house watching the first season of True Blood. Did you notice that I wrote “y’all” earlier? That’s the True Blood talking. I’m starting to think in a Louisiana accent. I’ll be giving you an in-depth look at True Blood and how it compares to Twilight very soon, so don’t touch that dial!