That time I met The Horrors

I’ve written a fair bit about The Horrors here. They’ve been my favourite band since I was 15 (I’m now 21) and I recall at that age daydreaming about meeting them. Pipe dreams, I thought. It’d never happen to me.

15 year old me would be so impressed with present-day me.

I was living in England (more posts on that later!*) when The Horrors released their fourth album, Luminous. At first I was stoked because it meant I could preorder a signed album without astronomical shipping fees. But then I saw a post from the band saying that they would be at the hmv on Oxford Street signing records. Which usually would result in a soft pang of sadness that I couldn’t go. It took me awhile to realise that I wasn’t in New Zealand – I was in London, which was where they would be!

There was a lot of kerfuffle in actually getting to hmv, but eventually we got into the room where the band was playing and had a short set. After the set, a table was set up and the crowd lined up to get their albums signed (there were less than 100 people, it’s astounding how few people went to an essentially free gig).

Rhys was first at the signing table. I was trying very hard to be normal and shook his hand (which probably wasn’t normal). He asked me my name, and then as he signed my record I actually made conversation with him. I told him that I was from NZ and that next time they go there they should go to Wellington instead of Auckland because Wellington is a lot better**. After hearing I was from NZ, he then invited me to Cave Club, a club night that he runs, because a kiwi band was playing.

I just want to reiterate that: a member of my favourite band personally invited me to his club.

Next up was Tom (who is my secret favourite) and I also awkwardly shook his hand and managed to have normal conversation with him. Unfortunately I kind of used up all of my coherent conversational skills on the first two and kind of word-vomited when I met Josh, Joe, and Faris. Faris ended up drawing a cat on my record and then said it was nice to meet me, so I can’t have seemed too insane.

Me & Rhys!
Me & Rhys!

So I went home with a personally signed LP of Luminous and felt like my life was almost complete. I finished completing it by actually attending Cave Club with Erin, a friend who is also super into the band. The club itself was fantastic, playing music we actually liked (a lot of 60s and 70s psychedelia). Around the middle of the night, we went outside for a quick breather, and happened upon Rhys. We ended up chatting with him and managed to take pictures with him. When we headed back in to keep dancing, Rhys would occasionally come out of the DJ area and dance with us.

After we decided to call it a night, we then also bumped into Tom, and had another chat with him. He recognised me from the signing which put me on cloud nine, and also agreed to take pictures with us***.

Me & Tom! He asked if he could shut his eyes during the photo. I didn't question it.
Me & Tom! He asked if he could shut his eyes during the photo. I didn’t question it.

This post was probably slightly rambly and incoherent, but I achieved a bucket list item five times over, and met the five people that have inspired me since I was an angsty teenager. Meeting my favourite band also succeeded in making me less of an obsessive fan. I obviously still love their music more than anything, but meeting them in person took them off the pedestal and made me properly realise that they’re just normal people. Normal people who make incredible music and made my life so much better.

*eventually they can be found under this tag.
**I’m slightly embarrassed I said that but I also stand by it: if you ever find yourself in NZ, Auckland is very overrated. Wellington is where it’s at.
***also I realise that this is the first time I’ve posted a picture of myself. This is what my face looks like.

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