On Saturday, I had another rare outing. Yup: another gig. Everybody’s looking at the band, not me…plus I love music, so it’s perfect!! This time, I went to see Courtesans and Esprit D’Air in Manchester. Being from Manchester originally, I love going back whenever I can. I know of Esprit D’Air through their singer Kai, who I met last year when I was touring with The Birthday Massacre. He was playing bass for another band that was touring with us. I found out about Courtesans through somebody I know. Since then, I’ve been addicted to their music. Dark, full of feeling, genuine and catchy as fuck. I came away from the gig feeling…I don’t know…motivated?
Having played in and seen so many bands, plus worked with musicians that have influenced me so much, Courtesans have a sound like no other and their lyrics are both stunning and raw. “Scream” is a track that’s really resonated with me for the past few weeks. Summing up how I feel in about 3 minutes. However, it’s not just their music that I love though, it’s their attitude. Whilst I meet a lot of musicians who have a stage persona (or a planet-sized ego…), it was nice to meet genuine people who are just themselves, that do what they do without caring what anyone thinks and they look fucking great whilst doing it!! Given all the shit I’ve been feeling (especially over the past week), it was so inspiring to see and meet them. It was also nice to take time out from my messed up world and to experience a form of…acceptance. Seeing people love them and supporting them for being themselves, it made me wonder if I would ever get to that stage. Could I ever be somebody that people accept or even love…or will I always be seen as a freak? Wait…will I always see myself as a freak? After all, self-acceptance has never been my friend. I’m not going to lie, I did come away from the gig feeling a bit empowered…like I could just tell the world everything. If they didn’t like me, then who gives a fuck? In fact: FUCK THE WORLD!! Or maybe that was the Jack Daniels talking? Good job I wasn’t drinking my beloved Jägermeister, otherwise I might have!! On Sunday, I was still feeling like that. Actually, it’s now 2 days later and I sort of still feel the same. So what was it? I can’t quite decide. Almost like there’s some kind of hope but a kind of strength at the same time. Obviously, I still haven’t told anyone. Ha, no chance!! Nobody knows about this blog, let alone me ‘fessing up to the world…but it’s nice to be in this moment, even if only for a short time as a distraction from everything that’s been pulling me under lately. It’s kind of euphoric too. I haven’t felt so calm in such a long time. Not even any bad thoughts, which is truly unusual. Just calm. Peace. Quiet. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns though – the pessimist within me is preparing for shit to well and truly hit me in the face at any moment. To be honest, I can slowly feel myself slipping back as I think about the enormity of my situation.
In a previous post, I wrote about gender in the music industry and it’s need for labels etc. Well, of all the things I’ve read or heard about Courtesans, they’ve never been labelled in that typical way. Yeh, they’re all female…but they don’t make a big deal of it. This is also what gives me hope: knowing that something (whether a person or a band) can just be itself. It can just exist without being judged or criticised. Not just that though – it can be accepted. I still don’t feel I could ever play music live until I know who I am and that I can be accepted…but at least I have something to keep me going now. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a very difficult and challenging journey. Music has always been my saviour. It’s got me through some really bad times and it’s helped me to find ways to express my inner thoughts, whether it’s been dealing with my eating disorder or just zoning out – it’s always there. I’ve never been very good at expressing how I feel, so music has done it for me. There’s been a song for every occasion. Even whilst in therapy, I had to use music to help me narrow stuff down!! As much as I’m sad that I can’t play live and had to take time out from band life for a while, I am glad that I can still play drums and guitar at home. If I couldn’t do that, then I think I really would explode.
“Music speaks the words we can’t always put into speech”
Sinead La Bella, Courtesans
So yeh, a BIG thank you to Courtesans for such an awesome night. Not just for a great gig but for being such nice people and waking up something in me by being so welcoming. Something that isn’t more darkness, or more crap to have to deal with. Something new and refreshing. Maybe something permanent? Only time will tell. Whatever it is, they’ll never know just how much Saturday meant to me. As another week starts, life goes on and I need to carry on figuring out what’s wrong with me…but at least I’ve now tasted peace and acceptance in a non-destructive way. Hopefully it can continue but it definitely gives me a bit of hope.
Here’s their new track. I fucking love this song so much. The haunting vibe, the harmonies, the backing and *that* build up at the end!! 😍
Featured image: via Courtesans’ Facebook page
Video: “Mesmerise” by Courtesans (via Courtesans’ YouTube page)