On Wednesday I ate a bagel with cream cheese and chugged down a large hot chocolate with whipped cream. The occasion called for serious carbo loading. We had a Radiohead show to attend!

You may recall the last time I saw my beloved boys, I embarrassingly fainted from excitement, and knocked over a few lasses before hitting the floor. This time I was determined to be prepared and get through the gig without medical attention.

There’s no way to describe how excited I was without sounding like a really sad bastard. It was so all-consuming, my limbs were tingling and my heart trilled like an idling engine. I just wanted to get there and get my elbows out to jostle for a good spot, to see the lights dip and hear the crowd roar. You know the feeling, it’s the same glorious anticipation when it’s been too long between shags or you’ve just undressed a family-size chocolate bar.

Last time I saw Radiohead I’d only been going out with Gareth for a couple of weeks, but now we’re old and married I don’t have to have to pretend that it’s entirely about the music.

He is most tolerant and understanding of my undying lust for his royal tallness, Mister Ed O’Brien.

“Where are you going to stand? Edside, I presume?”

“Oh fuck aye!”

“And I s’pose you’ll be wanting to get up close since he’s cut his hair short again, just the way you like it.”

This gig was all the more interesting because it was in Amsterdam. Radiohead announced their mini European tour a few months ago, playing smaller venues to showcase their new tunes. This sparked a ticketing frenzy, and after seven fruitless hours on their pre-sale website then a panicky encounter with the Ticketmaster general sale a few days later, we decided to go Dutch. Or rather, I decided and then later convinced Gareth to come along and bring the smelling salts and spare undies.

Besides, I’d never been to Amsterdam and it would be our first holiday together in which we didn’t have one of our weddings to go to!

So after a day of sightseeing we finally arrived at the Heineken Music Hall, all well nourished and hydrated. We were greeted with the Times New Roman of Doom.


Sadly, due to a sudden and unexpected family bereavement, the show was cancelled.

It’s a strange situation, because on one hand you can’t help feeling crushed that you came a long way to see your most favourite band and now you won’t see them and even though the show has been rescheduled for August you won’t be able to come because it was a fiscal stretch to make this sortie to Amsterdam, let alone do it all over again in a few months.

But on the other hand, you feel the PIRANHAS OF GUILT gnawing at your stomach for feeling so devastated, because somebody has lost someone, and you know how you’d feel if it happened to you. We later found out that it was Phil Selway’s mum who passed away. He posted a wee message on their blog which makes your heart go out to him.

“Just wanted to say sorry to the people who were due to come to our show in Amsterdam last night, particularly those who made wasted journeys. My mum died suddenly in the early hours of yesterday morning and so I just wanted to be at home with my family. Mum was a big Radiohead fan, and was very proud of all we’ve done as a band. I love and miss her very much.”

Oh you just read that and really hope he is doing okay. And you want to reassure on behalf of all dedicated-but-totally-not-stalkersome fans that it was not a wasted journey because we got to spend a couple of days in a great city. We saw touristy things like Anne Frank’s House and the Van Gogh Museum and ladies in glass boxes in the Red Light District. It averaged 23 degrees so I freaked out at the unfamiliar sensation of sunshine on bare arms.

But my favourite bit was last night, sitting by the canals near 10pm, eating takeaway sushi and watching all the people cruising past in their boats. Unfortunately every photo I took on this trip is beyond mediocre, so just close your eyes and imagine blue skies and squeaky bicycles.

About Shauna Reid

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13 thoughts on “Amsterdamn

  1. Oh dear. That’s how I felt when we booked flights and tickets to see U2 in Australia in March and then they cancelled the tour because Edge’s daughter was ill. I was pissed off about missing the gigs but felt really sorry for Edge going through something as terrible as a daughter dying. And it wasn’t a wasted trip. I got to hang out with my family for a bit.

  2. Thom is the one who butters my bread – as long as I don’t see his teeth. There’s also a really hot guitarist in the band, but I don’t know his name. I just got a CD filled with Radiohead videos from netflix. Yum!

  3. Hehe … I hear you on the sitting by the canal thing. I was in Amsterdam one day when it was 30 degrees, and it seemed that every bond-white Dutchman from every corner of the Netherlands had taken it upon himself to get a boat and schlep around the canals with his shirt off, over-exposing any attempt at photography (in more ways than one).

  4. Times New Roman of Doom! No one makes me laugh like you do.

    My husband is 100% Dutch, the second generation member of his family born in America. And it’s always so funny to hear about things like the red light district and public pot smoking in The Netherlands, because the Dutch in America are SO conservative! They won’t even cut their lawns on Sunday because it’s The Lord’s Day. As we don’t abide by this rule, we remain on the American Dutch Shit List.

    So sorry you didn’t get to see Radiohead, though. I feel your pain — I missed out on getting tickets to seeing Radiohead in Chicago next month. The tickets sold out within minutes, and now they’re on e-bay selling for quadruple the price! I hope there is a hotter, more painful place in Hell reserved for ticket scalpers.

  5. What a bummer about not seeing Radiohead. I remember when we saw them in Sydney in 1998. I’ll never forget the way they played ‘Street Spirit’ – first concert to ever bring me to tears.

  6. I have tickets to a concert in Amsterdam next month. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to go (living in the states and the plane fare itself is over $1k round-trip), so I’ll be having to sell the tickets on ebay. Soooo very disappointed. I totally know how you feel.

  7. Damn! You were in Amsterdam? Missed you by only four months! After all these years.
    And Krissy, its not only the Dutch in America who are SO conservative. Most of the Dutch in the Netherlands wouldn’t be caught dead smoking pot or visiting hookers.

  8. I’ve been to Anne Frank House! You probably have some of my shoe molecules on your shoes. Think about it.


    Reason #137:

    She’s the only gal on the planet who can say this with a straight face:

    “…it would be our first holiday together in which we didn’t have one of our weddings to go to!”

    *falls on floor*

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