Photo - Lewis Shaw
(I don't mean to brag, but I took a photo of my shoes.)
These are my shoes. They're from Vans, a brand that despite coming and going trends I have been wearing solidly for all of my shoe-buying life, and a brand that I trust and know will be comfortable, durable, and get compliments from drunk people at parties. I've been wearing this particular pair of Sex Pistol feet covers for almost a solid two years, and they have the wear to show for it - see rips up the side from feet growth for examples of that.
I've worn these shoes through lots of different situations, some incredibly boring, and some incredibly incredible. Today was, in terms of coincidence, walking, and celebrity come-across-ing, one of the more incredibly incredible days that this pair of soon to be dead shoes has witnessed.
I woke up this morning, unlike most mornings of my time off college, with no hangover, and a plan. A certain Lucy Browett, who goes to my college, happens to be a part of the YouTube community in London, a community that I also happen to have friends in. Today she had a Gathering organised, where various nerds (Such as myself, past experiences documented here) can meet up and talk and stuff. I didn't know this until the other day however, when tiny Asian friend Fizzy asked me if I was going to this gathering.
'Yes.' I said. 'I just don't think she knows yet.'
Lucy continued to not know, up until this morning, when she arrived at the South Bank centre, not expecting to see my hobo-silhouette against the Thames, but simultaneously seeing it, alongside Fizzy, Fizzy's boyfriend, and my Russian model friend Vickya.
People began to file along and introduce themselves/recognise people they know from either past gatherings or from YouTube (People get really happy when they get recognised). Meanwhile, I was hugging strangers, making conversation, and trying to stop Fizzy from tormenting tourists with her crazy moves. The gathering wandered up the choral elevator of the Royal Festival Hall, where Vickya suggested we go to Camden to get some food.
Camden is an ideal location for Vickya, as Vickya is Vegan. For those of you who don't know, vegan's can't eat meat, milk, wear leather, or generally do or have anything that has had bad morals anywhere near it - "They put the sweet and sour sauce from the chicken on my spring rolls!"
So with a little help from Fizzy's boyfriend's travelcard (Thanks Kaiman!) I got a bus with Fizzy, Kaiman and Vickya over to Camden, the fabled town of markets, really-really-fast food, and stalls that sell any colour bong you desire. Somewhere along the way, Vickya stopped talking about her recent holiday to Israel and mentioned that Charlie Simpson was doing a secret gig in the brand new Vans shop in Camden.
Photo - Lewis Shaw
F*cking fan girls. Getting in my way.
'Charlie Simpson...' I thought to myself. 'I've been waiting since Busted's 2002 self-titled LP to bask in his gloriously manly pop-punk midst...' the fact that it was in the new Vans shop only added to this realisation of man-crush.
We arrived in Camden, ate some fried chicken/Chinese cuisine crossover, bought some stuff, looked at some stuff - all the while I was trying to act not-excited about meeting Charlie f*cking Simpson and trying to hide the piss-stains in my corduroys because I was within a miles radius of Charlie f*cking Simpson. At some point this guy called Alex arrived, but I wasn't really paying much attention because of Charlie f*ckin- yeah, you get the idea.
We were milling around the Vans shop, having been there nearly two hours when we noticed that there were very few people around, and a lot of Kerrang-worshipping 12 year olds gathering outside the store. "Look like you're buying stuff," said a friendly security guard, who looked more excited about Charlie than I was - "Or I'll have to kick you out into that lot".
Eventually all the kids came in, and there was lots of bustling around and waiting whilst the other musicians and set their stuff up. After ten minutes of awkward waiting, there was a cry of "CHARLIEEEEEE" as
I one of the fangirls saw him coming out of the changing rooms towards the back, sporting a nice new pair of OTW Vans which he probably got for free, what with him being a world-famous BRIT award winning multi-instrumentalist hunk of man-candy.
He played songs and looked beautiful, something he seems to be very good at, whilst people looked in through the windows and screaming little girls - who probably no idea what he went to school for or what the year 3000 was going to be like, and probably only heard about him from Fightstar anyway - took pictures on their Blackberries and wondered what bit of tat they had in their pockets they could get signed whilst TRUE LIFE LONG FANS LIKE ME (And that guy who got his lyrics tattooed on his chest, he was pretty cool) GET SHOVED TO THE SIDELINES you whores.
Because yeah, that's pretty much what happened. It's not like I'm bitter or anything. We fit in some nice Busted jokes, and he seems like a really nice person. So yeah, that's how I met Charlie f*cking Simpson in a Vans shop in Camden after surprising Lucy through a mutual acquaintance from London.
If that isn't enough coincidence for you, two guys who were on my train this morning were on the same train back with me, and when I got home, there was a new hawaiian shirt waiting for me. If this article wasn't enough Charlie f*cking Simpson for you, I'll post a link to a video I got of his performance in the comments once I've finished uploading it.
I love you Charlie.