02/10/12 - A very funky Friday night

I am not the kind of thing that exciting things happen to.  Probably one of my most used phrases is, "I'm so jealous!" as people tell me about the amazing experiences and opportunities they've had.  So I love that I actually have a fun story to tell, for once!

Friday night was one of the oddest yet most brilliant nights I think I've ever had.  It started off with a few quiet drinks in my Student Union, kitted out in Performing Arts executive committee T-shirts, ready to welcome any new members.  That was great - getting to chat to new people, finding out that there are actual boys who want to join (a change from the all-female society we were last year) and just having a laugh.  Sitting and talking to a load of strangers can be quite a weird experience anyway, which got weirder when a handful of us decided to move into Asylum, the SU club for a silent disco.  If you're not familiar, everyone is given headphones which have two channels, giving you a choice of which DJ you listen to.  Then you pop them on and rock out in your own little world.  I've never heard a club so quiet - other than the noise of stamping feet and people singing along badly.  It was really surreal.  The people we were there with were a really good laugh, but we didn't realise until afterwards that, of the five new recruits we were out with, we only knew two of their names.  Still unsure of the other three.  Bad Social Sec.

When it hit midnight, Rosie and I had a decision to make.  We'd been torn all week over whether or not we should bite the bullet and go to an event at Welly (a wonderfully disgusting dive closer to the centre of town) on this particular night.  It was pretty pricey to get in, and Welly isn't usually a Friday night haunt of mine, but this night was different.  Craig Charles - of Robot Wars, Red Dwarf and Coronation Street fame - was DJing a funk and soul night, and we decided we couldn't miss it. Until this week, I never realised what a secret fan I was of funk and soul music...but it turned out I knew most the music he played and the atmosphere was brilliant.  It wasn't too full - which is nice, as it's normally packed to the rafters with wasted students whenever I go - and it was a slightly older crowd, but it was really cool.  We staked out a good spot, to the side but on a step, as soon as we arrived and just soaked it all up.  I tried to get some photos, but the smoke machines in the club always make it impossible to take decent pictures.

See?  Poor.

From here, things started to get more exciting.  A man in a suit came out of the door to backstage (which had been very busy with people going in and out) and Rosie approached him.  This is where is pays to have friends in high places - as the Deputy Editor of our student newspaper, Rosie has some serious blagging power.  To the point where we were taken through the backstage door and, as it's only a very small stage and 'backstage' is basically onstage behind a banner thing, onto the stage with Craig Charles.  It was such a great experience - watching the crowd dancing and singing along, Craig really psyching them up with his energy and brilliant music, the people backstage with us all grooving away as well.  We chatted to the tour manager who was lovely, and a rapper/DJ from Indianapolis who gave us his Twitter name...which I have forgotten.  He seemed nice anyway.

After the set, we were told that Craig wouldn't be able to do any kind of formal interview-type thing, which was understandable as it was getting late and he must have been knackered.  Not to mention the copious amounts of vodka he seemed to have consumed, if the bottle behind the decks was anything to go by.  But we were told that if we hung around for a bit, he'd be out when he'd cooled down a bit and got changed to take a few photos.  So that was cool.  But it was about to get cooler.  We waited out in the main club with a few other fans who wanted photos, until Rosie and I were ushered through a door and up to the dressing room.  At this point, I was seriously pinching myself - these kinds of things just do not happen to me!  I know this won't seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but I'm a big Coronation Street fan and have been practically since birth...so this was pretty exciting!

Craig Charles was so lovely - obviously tired and a bit out of it, but such a genuine guy and didn't object to having his photo taken and having a little chat.  I hadn't realised that he had an international DJ career, but apparently the best place he's ever played a gig is Croatia!  And I thought he was just little old Lloyd from Corrie.

The best nights are always the ones you don't plan, and this is one of the best - and most random - nights I have had in a very long time.  Unfortunately, I doubt I'll have any stories quite this interesting to tell any time soon.  If you've met any celebrities or just had a crazy good spontaneous night out, tell me about it in the comments!