Glasgow SECC - Keith And The Award
Because of the loss of a friend due to cancer a couple of weeks before I was not in the slightest bit excited about the gigs. I knew once the guys hit the stage I'd be fine. It was a quiet, relaxing day of queuing at the SECC sat watching the comings and goings with the occasional wander in the glorious sunshine to while away the hours. The usual knotted tummies at doors open, the mad "fast-walk" into the arena and we found ourselves somewhat knackered at the barrier in front of Keith's microphone but I was still not excited.
I was stood fiddling with the settings on my camera when suddenly all those to my right who knew me began yelling at me. I look up and am like what the.? They're all pointing to the side of the stage so I glance over to find the lovely smiling face of the one and only Keith Scott staring back at me. Thinking he'd just popped out to see what was going down I grinned and waved to him. Then I realised it was actually ME he was there to see! Through some lip reading and hand signals he was telling me that he wanted to see me backstage to give me the award I won in the last TT competition. I'm like "what NOW??" thinking I'm not giving up my favourite barrier spot for anyone. Keith laughs, shakes his head and mouths "after".Well that's ok then! Off backstage he disappeared and I turned to Les and beamed..NOW I was excited! From my right came the offers of money, to be my personal assistant and I was told to remember who my friends were! It seemed I was a very popular, and very lucky girl.
My heart was thumping by the time the guys hit the stage. Boy I needed this. Right from the off there was lots of smiles and interaction from Keith; which was fantastic. I'm sure half the audience now go to the gigs just to see Keith perform. He and Bryan were on top form, the best I've ever seen them. They gave it their all. Frequently I found myself stood still and silent gazing at Keith's fingers as they worked the strings. It was hypnotising. The hairs on the back of my neck are still standing on end just thinking about it!
I was absolutely delighted to hear I Was Only Dreaming. Les and I couldn't help but look at each other and sing a couple of lines from our own version."I Was Only Pishing", composed after Les' toilet fiasco at the Aberdeen ECC the previous October! The crowd went loopy for Blessing In Disguise...I have got dents in the metal support bars of my wrist splints from thumping the barrier in time to the music!
All too soon it was the end of the gig and time to peel myself off the barrier that had been supporting me throughout the gig. The house lights went up and a very loud MOOOOOO..rang out from the sound system followed by Rawhide! Why everyone turned to look at me I've absolutely no idea!!!! A perfect end to a fabulous gig.
I didn't know how to go about meeting Keith backstage so I spoke to Lance. He didn't know anything about it and said to speak to security. Les and I painfully hobbled (our joints are getting too old for this caper) round to the back of the venue but the teenage security guy standing at the barriers had no idea even who Keith Scott was (tsk) and suggested we spoke to the security staff inside the venue. Back we hobbled and I explained the situation to security and they said they'd radio through to find out. We stood there like a pair of lemons for about 15 minutes whilst the rest of our party went round the back to try and catch the guys leaving. Nothing was forthcoming from security inside the venue so we went back round to the stage door and spoke to yet another security guy at the other barriers. Again he radioed through and got no response. By this time I'd had enough and was about to forget the whole idea and try and catch up with Keith when we got to Dublin when we suddenly saw the guys going across to the fence further down to speak to the waiting fans. We legged it (well.) down and spotted Keith so I called him over to one side and explained that security wouldn't let me through. He said he knew and that he had to leave right away because they had to be somewhere but not to worry.could I meet him at his hotel? He told us which hotel and said he'd be in the bar. Les explained that because of the gig traffic we might be some time but he said no problem, he'd be waiting..awww J
We dragged the rest of our party back to the car and began to make our journey to the hotel. None of us were that familiar with Glasgow's one way system and after an hour's "site seeing" we finally made it to the hotel. We had a quick squint around the bar and couldn't see anyone remotely related to BA and feeling decidedly under dressed we approached reception. Nope, they didn't have any guests booked in the name of Keith Scott, Bryan Adams or Bruce Allen. We were just about to give up when another member of staff came over and asked if we were looking for Keith. At last. Someone knew something. Was I Paula? Yes..erm.he's left you a note (heart sinks).he got the wrong hotel!!!!!! She handed me the note from Keith saying he'd got the hotel name wrong and telling me to meet him at a different one. Laughing and shaking our heads we left to make our way to the correct one. Fortunately it was just a short walk down the road.
We walked in and headed straight for reception but they didn't know anything of a Keith Scott or of the party he was attending. Just about giving up all hope we peered into the gloomy public bar and in the distance saw the silhouette of someone who looked remarkably like Gary standing speaking to a crowd of others sat sunken into the comfortable chairs. Then I spotted the silhouette of Mickey's hair! We'd found them! We still couldn't see Keith though.
Suddenly feeling shy and not wanting to barge in on a private party we snuck further into the bar hiding behind pillars as not to be noticed. We'd been genuinely invited to the hotel but felt like groupies. It was slightly easier to blend in because I'd taken all the cow gear off so I didn't stick out like a sore thumb.
Finally, sat in the corner in a comfy chair was Keith, deep in conversation with someone with his laptop on his knee. Not wanting to interrupt we stood a little to the side in the hope that he'd spot us. His companion looked up a couple of times, eyed us suspiciously and then whispered something to Keith. He looked up, beamed from ear to ear and leapt out of his seat and greeted me with a huge bear hug and a kiss on the cheek. I'd walk a thousand miles for one of Keith's hugs! They make me feel all warm and safe.
We apologised for being late and teased him about getting the hotel wrong and we had a laugh about it. He produced a plastic carrier bag and pulled out the award, apologising for it's lack of wrapping. He said a few words and presented it to me and I promised to take good care of it. He posed for photos and then asked if we wanted to see some shots of the kids that he's received that day. He proudly showed us loads of photos of his gorgeous children.such a beautiful family and spoke of them fondly. All too soon it was time to leave and make our journey north. Keith thanked Les for looking after me and wished us a safe journey and said he'd look forward to seeing us in Dublin.
When I arrived home the following morning my son Matthew (6) was waiting for me. He watched as I unpacked my overnight bag. I took out the award and showed it to him and explained as best as I could what it was. Lots of "wows" and "cools" came from him. Then came "can I have it Mum?" Now what's a girl to do.does she be selfish and keep it all to herself or give it to the little boy she adores? Neither, she shares it with him.we will look after it together. I disappeared to put things away and aome back downstairs to find him rolling the award across the carpet. Having a learning disability means he sometimes doesn't quite grasp things and I should've expected it. I mean the award is made out of a rubber wheel.wheels go round...wheels are for rolling.
The award is now safely out of harms way!