On a hot, sunny day at the start of June, I was stuck in traffic and feeling a bit sick... but also excited. I was on my way to Rou Reynold's acoustic set and book signing at Rough Trade, Bristol.
Now, I'll admit that I woke up wishing I could just disappear and/or sleep forever. But all of that went away when I was stood in the venue, waiting for Rou to come on stage. The atmosphere was electric, it felt like a drug.
I decided to go by myself, and it was actually a positive experience. I was getting much-needed personal time, whilst going out and having fun as well. The best thing was that it was all on my own terms: the day was mine, and mine alone.
Rou played a half an hour acoustic set first and it was astounding... especially from someone who was suffering from what sounded like one hell of a hangover. Hearing him sing and play the guitar felt quite peaceful. During his final song, Live Outside, he even broke into Wonderwall by Oasis at the end. I can honestly say that I haven't smiled that much in a long time.
His down-to-earth personality really shone here and made it even more enjoyable. The set was very laid-back; he laughed and joked with us, had conversations with us (and not just about his hangover), and I was very amused when he called his guitar a "bastard" when he was trying to re-tune it. I also swear at my possessions when they're not doing as I tell them.
Afterwards, we all lined up for the book signing. As I neared the front of the line, my nerves started to get the better of me... what the hell do I say to him? I rehearsed the conversation in my head a hundred times, and I still sounded like an awkward mess. Even so, it was lovely to meet him again. He's a kind and friendly person, who takes the time to have individual conversations with his fans. His book, Dear Future Historians, is amazing. I've nearly finished it already. The essays are wonderfully written and the pages are packed full of beautiful images of the band.
The whole event only cost £19.99 (you paid for the book, then you could go to the signing and gig). I've always respected Shikari's morals on meeting their fans, being completely against charging for meet and greets.
There's nothing like meeting members of your favourite band. During this event I felt very connected to Rou, the band and Shikari's fans. I could feel the endorphins pumping as it boosted my spirit - just what the doctor ordered!