It was 1993 and I was watching MTV in Luxembourg. Short explanation for the younger readers - MTV was different, it is didn't have so many reality shows, it was more like Youtube, which didn't exist back then, neither did the internet...... I know, how did we survive?
There were 5 young men dancing along to a song called Pray, they were called Take That and that was the start of that.
I absorbed all things British, it wasn't just the music or Take That that I fell in love with, the more I was watching clips about them the more I was bemused and interested by the culture around them. People were so friendly, polite and enjoyed standing in lines whilst waiting. I made some penpals (again - I had to write letters, emails and mobile phones didn't exist) who I visited in the UK. Those trips became the most memorable summers of my teenage years, sitting in the national express trains exploring, walking the streets of Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and London. Getting into Top of the Pops in the 90s, I wasn't quite aware how huge Top of the Pops was, I just enjoyed watching Suede and Robbie Williams.
When I was 18 it was time for a roadtrip across the UK in my dad's very old VW Golf with my friend, it wasn't comfortable at all, yet it continued to shape me. When I was in Luxembourg I would go out in the British pubs and clubs, who doesn't remember Pulp, the small room to the left was the best!
My music taste changed, I discovered Brit Pop and with that we reached a whole new level. My first Music Festival was V97, the line up was out of this world, festivals became a yearly habit and continued to shape me. Even there the people enjoyed standing in lines and were polite, even during a Prodigy concert. The camping was painful, the first tent we stayed in was held together with hairbands, don't ask!
Every year I travelled across to the UK and it wasn't just the music, it was the culture including going to Marks to get a sandwich, going to the pub to have a pint (when I was 18 only of course), the fashion, second hand clothes were the best, the hair, everything. Reading Q magazine was way better than homework, my favourite part was looking at the gig listings at the back and how I hoped that one day I could go and watch all these concerts, noone ever came to Luxembourg apart from K's Choice and Placebo.
So it comes to no surprise that in 2001 I packed my bags and moved to the UK. Fast forward 18 years and I am still here, every now and then I get nostalgic about how exciting I would have found my now very normal life here in the UK.
Who knew that Gary Barlow's moves could have such an effect on one's life......