Cher Lloyd performing Swagger Jagger at Nottingham Rock City, Thursday 12 April 2012.
(C) Copyright 2012 JP
After the wonderful experience of the Meet & Greet and when my turn was over (boo hoo!), I had to leave the venue for just a short time but could come back and use my early entry pass to make sure we got a really good place. So when I left I nipped to a nearby pub for a quick coffee … then it was time to go back!
I was able to get back in and get right down the front and hook my arms over the railing from which wild horses could not have pulled me! And soon I could tell the rest of the venue was filling up too and loads of excited brats were piling in and filling up all the space behind.
Pretty soon, ‘No Lights at Lockdown’ took to the stage and started their set. It was good to see this band as at Birmingham a few short nights before, when I walked in they were finishing off and I heard only the very last note of their set! So now I had the opportunity to see them properly and I thought they were really good. Their music was a fusion of guitar boy-band pop but with a grittier more alternative side to it which really gave them an edge. ‘No Lights at Lockdown’ struck me as the result of ‘Mcfly’, ‘Busted’, ‘Green Day’ and ‘Blink 182’ all blended together – but it’s important to say, with some originality of their own. They really really could play – as they were tighter than a gnat’s proverbial! I think this band should do very well!
Next up were brother and sister act SD-Jem. I had actually seen these before at Birmingham so it was fun to see them again. They looked like they were loving it bringing their cheeky Eurocentric dance music this time to the East Mids. They were really good at getting the crowd ready for Cher and I think they’re just a really positive and fun act and clearly having a great time bounding all over the stage! Fabulous!
And finally, it was time for Cher Lloyd to take to the stage and I couldn’t wait! The band emerged first and began playing the opening to ‘Dub on the Track’. Then Cher emerged to a very excited and screaming crowd, centre stage on a raised platform behind the drummer and from behind a big bobbly lit up curtain. She looked fab wearing a snug looking blue jumpsuit with red detail! A cross hung on a long chain around her neck and she wore her hair down and long with a hat like (if not the same) to the one worn at Birmingham. (I wonder if the hat is TopShop?) Cher’s boots also looked fab and with killer heels!
Cher ran thru ‘Dub on the Track’ and onto ‘Grow Up’. The crowd was again definitely really pro-Cher and were very lively and noisy! But Cher then calmed it all down with ‘Love me for me’, an immensely powerful song filled to the brim with power and emotion. We all got to jump around again with ‘Over the Moon’ and ‘Superhero’ before the brakes were applied again for ‘With Ur Love’, ‘End Up Here’ and ‘Beautiful People’ … all of which were performed magnificently.
Then it was time for a little chat and again Cher invited questions via Twitter and spent a little time answering them. We all had our snap taken ready for tweeting by one of Cher’s dancers with and iPad then Cher began to sing again, maintaining the ambience with an acoustic version of Jason Derulo’s ‘Breathing’. Next was Robyn’s ‘Dancing on my own’ followed by Avril Lavigne’s ‘Complicated’. The cover versions all a charming and delightful trio songs which Cher sang beautifully.
Cher then quickened the pace as a dancey intro kicked in which I (this time!) immediately recognized to be ‘Swagger Jagger’. Cher was clearly having lots of fun playing ‘Swagger Jagger’, whipping us all up and with her swag well and truly on launched next into ‘Playa Boi’ – the crowd and me were loving it!
Then time for one more change of pace as Cher performed a wonderful cover version of Usher’s ‘OMG’. Which again, gave me goosebumps to hear and I could feel all my life chords pulling! It was brilliant!
Then all to soon it was time for the last song of the set. The bratty and perky ‘Want U Back’! Everyone absolutely raised the roof for this and at the end of the song the band kept playing allowing Cher time to thank her band and thank her fans before disappearing backstage. The gig was absolutely fantastic and I left the venue with my ears ringing and so so happy! I was looking forward so much to the penultimate and ultimate nights of the tour at Swindon and at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London!
…. as I paused by some street vendors outside and in the coolness of the evening, I was just completely buzzing !!!
My Cher Lloyd Poster bought at Nottingham Rock City today.
… so friend was right – it was only a 10 or 12 minute journey and already there were loads of other brats waiting at the venue outside. All sitting on the big wide steps by the entrance to Rock City. I only had to wait a shortish time outside before I could slip inside with all the other VVIP(er)’s! We shuffled into a kind of lobby then omg I could hear music and I could hear Cher singing ‘Dancing on my Own’ – a track by Robyn that I had first heard Cher do just a few nights before in Birmingham. I absolutely love Cher’s treatment of the song. It’s haunting, enchanting and incredibly emotional. As I wrote before it really got stuck in my brain and so for me became one of the stand out songs of the tour. I don’t mean that to take away from the other songs as after all, it is not a Cher Lloyd song and neither is it on ‘Sticks + Stones’? But Cher does sing it so amazingly well – it is as though the song belongs to her. So I guess if nothing else, its was a song that belonged to my ‘Sticks +Stones’ tour experience – and I really liked it x
As we waited our chaperone chatted to us nicely about different things including how nice Cher Lloyd was as a person. And in my mind the suspense really started to build now – especially with waiting and been able to hear Cher singing just a few metres away. All in all however, it was a short pleasant wait before we all could go in – and suddenly we could! Omg – I was really nervous now! But it was fab to be allowed into the main venue hall and to be able to get right up to the front where Cher’s band were on stage and among them, sitting on a monitor was Cher herself! She looked around and gave us all a big wide grin – and in real life is tiny, even to me – who is not the biggest person! Cher was very much dressed down and keeping warm in a big comfy knit which had a big ships anchor on the front. It was amazing to be just a few feet away as she sang!
Cher sound-checked Ushers’ Omg’, Robyn’s ‘Dancing On My Own’, Jason Durelo’s ‘Breathing’. It was just really really cool and special to be able to be there and to experience all that! After a few numbers we were all ushered into a queue to be able to meet and greet with Cher. The guy next to me had a copy of French Fashion Magazine ‘Flavour’ which had Cher on the cover. I still am to this day trying to hunt this down but I can’t find one 😦 So I couldn’t resist commenting on it to him I said ‘aw wow you got that copy I’ve been looking for it everywhere’ to which he agreed it was really hard to find, he said he had ‘had a right old game trying to get it’. But got it he had! Good for him!
All of a sudden it was my turn to meet Cher Lloyd and I was more than a little starstruck! What do I do? What do I say? I was trying to remember what our chaperone said and I was trying to keep together all the items I wanted to ask Cher if she would sign for me. I was worried in case thought I was a bit of a doofus – as I am really and I can be quite dippy – so all in all – I did what I usually do and I went all shy – which probably meant I went into babble mode too! But hopefully I was ok and Cher didn’t think ‘omg, he’s a bit of a plonk!’
So I trotted over and first of all after saying ‘Hiya!’ camera shy little me had my photo taken with Cher Lloyd which it was really nice and gave me a nice memory of the day. I remember Cher to be extremely petite and with the most gorgeous big dark eyes! I asked could she please sign my ‘Sticks + Stones’ cd, my VVIP laminate pass (which had been designed by Cher herself), and I asked could she sign a photographic print I had bought from the tour shop whilst waiting earlier and dedicate it to my bf Peter – and she was only to willing and happy to do these things. I said to Cher I had seen the gig on the previous Saturday in Birmingham to which she replied ‘oh that was when I had a problem with my…’
…now remember how I had mentioned at Birmingham there was the reported equipment failure backstage, which had happened just prior to ‘Over the Moon’? At the time, I hadn’t picked up on this and just put it down to Cher been emotional at a hometown gig – just as I was…
Well, Cher mentioned ‘oh [Birmingham] that was when I had a problem with my …’ and I have been racking my brains to remember what the equipment was she said had failed. It was not something I knew of so from my memory only and I hope I have not got this wrong and if I haven’t, please forgive and correct me, but I think Cher said she ‘…had a problem with her IEM’? I hope I have this detail correct? I think it means her ‘in ear mike’ and this meant I guess, Cher couldn’t hear things right. Which would undoubtably be a big concern when performing live! So no wonder she was a little upset about it a few nights before!
As the conversation drew to a close I just said I was having a great time following the tour, and that I hoped she was enjoying it all too. I said I was also going to the ‘Swindon’ and ‘Shepherd’s Bush’ dates as well and was really happy as to this Cher said an ‘o wow!’ So that made me happy and after saying bye byes I hopped off like a very happy bunny so the next person could go up…
Thanks for doing VVIP meet and greets Cher – as it was just amazing to meet you today. You are a charming & lovely person. You are a star!
Thursday 12 April 2012 was a really special day for me! I had obtained a VVIP ticket to Cher’s gig at Nottingham Rock City which would enable me to see Cher sound-check, have a photo opportunity with Cher and have early access to the gig – so I could get to front row! It would also be the 2nd Cher Lloyd gig I had been to – and again – a bit like Birmingham HMV (Digbeth) Institute – it was at a venue I really loved!
This time is was Rock City in Nottingham! And I couldn’t wait!!!
…but at the same time I was more than a little nervous…
A couple of days before I spoke to a friend 0f mine who lived in Nottingham and told him about the evening and also mentioned what had happened with the car getting locked in at Birmingham. So he said why not park at his place as he only lives a short distance from Rock City? So I could leave the car there, get a cab into the city and back out again later and save the worry of any hassle with the car?
I did take him up on this offer as only a few months before – Monday 12 December 2011 in fact – I had driven into Nottingham with bff to see ‘The Saturday’s’ at Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena. But I had struggled completely with Nottingham’s road network – and I think in trying to find a car-park near the venue I broke every rule in the book that night! I drove in a bus-lane, I drove in a tram-lane! I drove the wrong way on a one-way system and I drove in a pedestrian only zone! I even went over a red light omg! So I did have a bit of a mare that night, I made loads of mistakes and of course, I was not looking for a repeat of that! It made me think back to when I was learning to drive and how my instructor used to give me this look when I cocked something up! So I wonder what she would have made my performance that night? But unless she reads this she will never know lol x
So I set off around mid-day from bf’s house in West Mids and set off North for Nottingham. It was a drizzly day but I didn’t care. The traffic was moving ok and I had my ‘Sticks + Stones’ cd spinning in the player. On the passenger seat were my tickets etc where I could see them as I was not wanting to be without those! I arrived in Notts in really good time and after a quick chat with my buddy I got a cab from a company of his recommendation to Rock City! I was really looking forward to my 2nd Cher Lloyd gig and I just couldn’t wait to be there … I think I checked I had the tickets with me only about a million times …
Pic at the top of this post ‘Cher Lloyd Sticks And Stones Tour 2012 Official VIP Experiences’ is from the website selling the tickets at the time, reached via Cher’s official UK website.