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Author Topic: An open letter to the UK Brigadiers  (Read 3322 times)

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SoulPhoenix

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An open letter to the UK Brigadiers
« on: September 15, 2009, 06:44:26 AM »

At the risk of sounding sappy (and believe me, i'm about to pump you so full of sap you'll be wiping your noses with pancakes) I'd like to address something that's been on my mind since i got home from the "Weekend of AFP" in London, and it's this.....

Despite the number of years i've been a Dolls/Amanda fan, this weekend was the first time that the stars have aligned (and my schedule's allowed) for me to make it to any of their/her live shows, as i'm usually either working, or in the wrong country at the wrong time. But the one thing that struck me most about this weekend wasn't the shows themselves (I won't waste your time preaching Amanda's awesomeness to you all since, let's face it, that's why we're all here) it was the people AT the shows.

Over the years i've been to thousands of gigs, in dozens of countries, on pretty much every continent, spanning every musical genre, but never in all my time have i experienced fans like you guys. I know bands who pride themselves on being "artists" and their fans are usually the type of eye-rollingly dull and pretentious type who spend their days going back and forth on their respective forums about how creative they are, and how original they are, but when it comes to the shows themselves, they all line up outside and barely so much as make eye contact.

And then there are you guys, i barely know where to even begin describe you, haha, you're like some wonderful combination of the Edinburgh Fringe, Carnivale, and Dio de los muertos, whether it's the grandiosity (assuming that's a word) of Robin's Puppet parade, and Johnny's full-body painted Sin collecting or something as wonderfully sweet and simple as Rachel's free hugs and giving out little hand-made gifts, you've all as a group fundamentally changed what it means to me to be a "fan"

The entire 3 days i was taken aback by the sheer unbridled creativity and enthusiasm on display from you all, just the fact that, unlike a hell of a lot of other band's fans, you actually cared enough to do what you do, not to try and get in good with the band, or to show off, but just because you love what you do, and you do it to make the other fans happy, without any kind of pretention or air of superiority about you, it's something i honestly never thought i'd see, and it's something i sincerely doubt i'll ever see again outside of an AFP/Dolls gig.

What i'm trying to say in my rather long-winded and rambling way, is that i've been fans of many, many bands in the past, but this is the first time i've ever been a fan of fans, you make such a dull and simple thing as queueing an event in itself, and i'm already breathless in anticipation to see what will happen next time.

So for reigniting that spark in a somewhat jaded music fan, and for all the effort you give for little or no reward, from the bottom of my heart, i thank you.

Gareth/SoulPhoenix
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JohnnyDBBUK

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Re: An open letter to the UK Brigadiers
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2009, 11:17:21 AM »

Thank you.

You were the first AFP fan there, without fail at every show last weekend. It should be noted (3hours usually)

From the Brigade side of things I will say this in reply:

"you actually cared enough to do what you do, not to try and get in good with the band, or to show off, but just because you love what you do, and you do it to make the other fans happy, without any kind of pretention or air of superiority about you"


You've summed it up perfectly right there.
It's not about getting close to Amanda
(lets face it thats not hard :P ask the thousand people she and neil huggged and kissed aftershows this weekend)
Its about engaging with the fans while the venue sorts the tickets/soundchecks go on etc
Creating an makeshift circus on the street with comedy, art and a break from the sometimes greyness of reality for a while.
Queueing is boring as hell, the funeral pace entry to the shows etc the waiting about in the cold for that front row seat.
The hardcore fans of AFP and the Dolls should be rewarded somehow and for myself its including things to brigading like
including them in the act/interaction, buying a few hundred flowers on ebay the week before to give out, making some stickers.
chocolate heartplanes .. whatever :) ... Just to say thank you

and yeah no pretentiousness. It's all a bit of craic at the end of the day (and a break from reality :))

The Angel Raliel

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Re: An open letter to the UK Brigadiers
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 02:52:33 AM »

Awwww thanks!
yup we do it for the hell of it! the whole creative attitude of things is what got me hooked....and I doubt that I could go to an AfP or Dresden Dolls gig now, without trying to do something creative for the queue lines.... It was an unexpected and wonderful bonus to be able to take the puppets onstage on Sunday.... nut the real reward is comments like this!
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@raliel

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Re: An open letter to the UK Brigadiers
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 04:55:12 PM »

Thank you.

It's reading things like your letter that reminds me just how much I love the whole experience of being an Amanda/Brian fan.
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ylferb

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Re: An open letter to the UK Brigadiers
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2009, 05:11:31 PM »

Thank you, Gareth. You know, it wasn't just the dedication of everyone involved that was so amazing for me. To take part in it all last week was truly one of the best experiences of my life, but more because of the fact that it didn't matter what people were doing - puppeteering or statuing or whatever - every single act was welcome. As you said, I was doing something very very simple - free hugs, handing out sequins and a bit of random singing and ukulele playing (or attempting to learn on the spot) - but nobody made me feel like what I was doing wasn't worth it, or that I hadn't made enough effort, or anything. People genuinely appreciated everything that was done, by everybody. I'd taken part in the statuing on the south bank before but this was my first time actually Brigading, and it really was fantastic.

So yes, I agree with you - thank you to all of you who also made it such a brilliant experience to me. I don't think I've ever had so many hugs in one night in my life!

It was really lovely to meet you, Gareth, and I really enjoyed talking to you ('specially in the queue after the second UC gig!). Hopefully meet you again next time round :).
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SoulPhoenix

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Re: An open letter to the UK Brigadiers
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2009, 06:50:43 PM »

I sincerely hope so ^_^ And simple or not, free hugs are still the best thing EVER  O0
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