Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Meeting Ed Sheeran. Should you meet your idols?

This is a question I have previously never been asked until after it happened to me.

Should you meet your idol? A popstar? An artist? A comedian?

Some people strongly believe that meeting your idol isn't a good idea as the idea and admiration you have of them may purely be fantasy. Will they be the person you believe them to be? You listen to this persons music every day on the way to work and watch them every time they're on the tv - you feel as if you know them. You're connected with them. But will they live up to expectations? 

Meeting Ed before The Steamboat Tavern... 

I first fell in love with Ed Sheeran and his music in 2009 when his videos started appearing on YouTube. I found him creative, his music is amazing, the lyrics just appealed to me and from then on I was hooked.

In January 2012 I first went to one of his gigs at Brixton Academy and I remember dreaming that I would see him after or he would speak to me. Needless to say out of 2000 people I didn't have a chance! Everyone can dream though aye!

I knew after 2012 it would be a long time before I went to another gig of his or had a chance to meet him - he went to America to play gigs and write a new album. I followed what he was doing on Facebook and Twitter until this year when he finally released his album X in June 2014.

A Screen Shot of my Secret Gig Booking..

Prior to the release of his new album, Ed did a series of free gigs around the world. After moaning about my job being boring I finally felt ecstatic that I could check my social networks during the day! I booked 2 free tickets to a gig in Ipswich for Ed Sheeran at a Secret Venue! I remember phoning my mum from work and being so overwhelmed that this had happened to me - I cried on the phone! Reading on social networks at how many people tried to get tickets for this gig and couldn't manage - I felt so privileged.

On Sunday 5th May 2014 me and my friend drove the 2.5 hours to get to Ipswich and stayed in a B&B for the night to ensure we were at the front of the crowd. I imagined there to be 200-300 people at the venue - THERE WERE NO MORE THAN 30 ! Imagine that - being in a pub with your idol standing 2ft in front of you singing with his guitar. Crazy. Even now it makes me smile every time I think of it! 

Ed playing at The Steamboat Tavern Ipswich.
 So Close I couldn't fit him all in the photo. 

I had decided since I knew who Ed was that I would have his autograph tattooed on to me if I ever met him. I already had 'Give a little time to me' tattooed around my wrist and it made sense to carry on my Ed Sheeran theme.

I love tattoos and it just made sense to have one that meant so much to me and had such a story to go with it. If anybody ever asks about my tattoo I can tell them about the day I met him and how amazing it was. Every time I look at the tattoo I can remember how that day made me feel. I aim to have a sleeve finished with different pieces of art of Ed and his music, I won't tell you any of my ideas until its finished, but I look forward to finishing it! 

Ed Signing my Arm... 

I had considered all of the things in my head that I wanted to say if I ever met him - yet when he came out to speak to everybody - I couldn't speak. It's not very often I am speechless! But on this occasion I didn't know what to say and I could not believe that not only had I met Ed, he had agreed to sign my arm!

He was so nice about it, he asked me if I was going to have it tattooed and said he hoped it doesn't hurt - he was everything I imagined and he went along the line speaking to all of his fans. He took photos with everybody and chatted to the guys in the queue that played the guitar.


When somebody says to you 'I am on top of the world' - do you actually think they are? Do you think anyone can ever feel like they are on top of the world? Believe me - the way I felt that day and even now when I look at these photos is out of this world. Euphoric. I have never ever felt like that before - I'm not sure if it was adrenaline or just pure shock that I had finally met my idol. 

I have heard that meeting your idol can shatter your image of them and destroy your fantasy - I strongly believe that this isn't true. I have only ever met one person that I would love to meet but the feeling that it has given me and the amount of happiness I felt from it just doesn't warrant the comment that you shouldn't meet your idol. I'm not saying that every person you meet will fulfil all of your dreams and some people are probably very disappointed when they finally meet their idol but I would say most people aren't. 

Personally I believe that if you are disappointed when you meet your idol - then they are not worthy of being admired in such a way or you do not admire them enough. An idol is somebody you look up to, somebody that you have blind admiration to, whatever they do is the right thing to do - above anyone else like them. 

All I can say is that if you ever have a chance to meet the person that you look up to like no other person - then do it. I am 99% sure it won't disappoint you. If I could share the feeling with everybody in the world, I would. Purely because everybody would be so happy and I am sure nobody would fight because that feeling of being so high is indescribable. 

T-shirt and Tattoo of my Idol. Ed Sheeran. 

Who is your idol? Who would you love to meet or who have you met? Did it live up to your expectations? 

Let me know by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @guntherams

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Pride - A short review. *Spoiler Alert*

Written by 
Directed by 

Its the summer of 1984 Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support. But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership.

I recently saw this film advertised in the Time Out London Magazine and I had a feeling that it would be a good film. Little did I know that it would be one of the best films I have ever seen. From start to end it had my attention - you know sometimes when you watch those films and your mind drifts off to what you're up to next week or that report that's due in on  Tuesday morning - I had nothing of the kind, I was hooked from the start.

The film starts showing a young gay couple in a flat and the TV is showing Margaret Thatcher on the television speaking out about the current mining strike. It is June 1984 and its the day of the Pride March in London.
You then meet Joe - a young boy on his 20th birthday with his parents opening presents in his home. He leaves the house and goes to see the Pride March - He ends up being pushed into the crowd and asked to hold a banner with Mike. Joe's parents don't know that he is gay and he tries to hide in the crowd to avoid being seen.
When a group of gay people get together to create a support group called Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) including Joe and Mike who have only just met, they are ignored and nobody wants support from them. Even miners that are in such need of financial support did not want any help from the group because of their sexuality.

The anger and disgrace I felt when watching the scene unfold is astounding. These people couldn't even accept help from people that were willing to go out of their way for them. The way in which the film portrays the hatred towards these people makes you feel as if you are there in the time and feeling it with them.

By the end of the film I was in tears, tears of sadness and tears of utter joy.

My tears of sadness came not only because it was based on a true story but because the main character in real life died a few years after the LGBT legal rights were changed by the Labour party of Aids.

But my tears of joy came due to the solidarity between the miners and the LGSM. It is so liberating to know that people can change their view, once their eyes are opened they can completely change the way they viewed a person.

It would be so perfect if we were not judged by our sexuality or the way in which we dress, if everybody realised that we are all the same just trying to live a happy life and leave a print on the world in one way or another, do you not agree?

My advice would be to watch Pride yourself and really feel it, let yourself go and feel empathy with these people.

Hats off to the actors and the creators of this film, it has a great message and educates us on the pure struggles some people have faced due to discrimination.