The worst groupie ever

This weekend I went to Bexhill to see my favourite artist John Grant perform. I have loved his music since he was in the Czars, and his debut album Queen of Denmark I listen to in one form or another every week. So that’s about 18 years of adoration, and despite that my most common quote is I’ love J Grant ‘this is was the first time that I’ve seen him live.

Off we went on the train from Victoria, booked into our B+B and investigated the town. Bexhill has the largest contingent of second hand books shops and second hand furniture shops that I have ever experienced, so fortified with 3 books for £4.80 we pottered off to the De La Warr pavilion .


The pavilion is gorgeous and a stunning example not just of a beautifully and sympathetically restored building but one that is clearly used by the local community all the time. It was a lovely day… so we decided to have a glass of wine on the terrace or maybe two. Which led to dinner.

We had seats in the balcony, but  it was such an intimate venue that I that this wasn’t a problem. He was of course magnificent, JG’s voice is amazing, smooth and emotional, counter balanced by his beautifully reticent and diffident stage presence. Just after an stunning version of Queen of Denmark there was flurry of ‘I love you John’ s from the female sector of the audience, resulting in a rather grumpy riposte from the guy sitting next to me along the lines of ‘ha- they don’t realise that he’s queer’. What I should have said was  – of course they do, but shouting out ‘Your songs really touch my soul, irrespective of your sexual orientation and this has forged an emotional connection with me John’ is not zippy enough. What I should have done, is stand up and shout out ‘I love you John’ because I do – but I didn’t do either.

John of course was courteous, and told the ladies that he loved them too, then sang Caramel, which is one of my favorite tracks, prefacing it by saying that this was a song about unrequited love. So sad, because it was once a song about requited love. He finished with version of Abba’s Angel Eyes that made me cry.

Sunday was a perfect Spring sea side day.


We drank tea and watched the sea, rehashing JG’s performance.

On the way home I reflected that despite JG’s music being such an important part of my musical and emotional history I am a poor excuse for a groupie, I have only seen him live once, I’ve lacked the balls to declare my love for him in the face of minor criticism and I haven’t got tickets to see him in June.

So to correct 2 out of 3 – if anyone lives in the Cambridge/ Bournemouth area – with a spare room/ sofa  – can I crash with you in June ?

Here’s the encore (not from Bexhill but true enough)


4 thoughts on “The worst groupie ever

  1. i love John Grant. Saw him at the End of the Road festival a couple of years ago and then again last year at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh. Perfect voice. His version of Angel Eyes kills me.

  2. I also love John Grant – I … have followed him around a fair bit, so I guess I get my Good Groupie Token 🙂

    Weirdly I’ve also heard queers getting grumpy about him in that sort of way – as though we have ownership of the dude because of his sexual orientation.

    Which is ridiculous, of course. And also kind of … degrades … the value of his art.

    He sings about love and loss and alienation – those are *human* themes.

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