Back To Front Bottoms in Aberdeen
Back to front was the bill for Sophie in Aberdeen last week when Given To Live took her to see The Front Bottoms. First on a bill of three The Front Bottoms were Sophie's headliners with Frank Turner supporting and Blink 182, headliners on the poster, Sophie's support act. When GTL met Sophie and her sister Samantha in Aberdeen on show day her first words were she's anxious, scared. A big crowd of people for someone who has agoraphobia is daunting. Somewhere new, a first concert...all daunting however much excitement there is, however much you want to see your favourite band, the band whose lyrics speak to you, make sense to you. All GTL could do is keep offering Sophie complete agency over the situation, let her know she could leave anytime, go out for a breath if she needed, could ask for whatever she needed to make herself comfortable.
An afternoon spent enjoying the pool at the hotel, a change, then a pre-show meal and then it's time to jump into a cab. The cab taking Sophie to her first gig. A short journey yet a huge step in Sophie's journey as she takes steps to challenge her agoraphobia which had kept her housebound for four years as her world became smaller and smaller over eleven years.
In March she took her first bus trip alone in eleven years, Sophie has got a job and been into therapy to get support. She's come a long, long way in a short time. There have been bumps in the road as with all great journeys but she's kept going, pushing herself to go further. And as well as a gig seeing The Front Bottoms was a celebration of her journey, of Sophie. We'd decided by the sound desk was a good place to see the show as there was the security of barriers and great sound. And not near the crush at the front, the crush at the front being where Sophie decided was the best place to see The Front Bottoms.
A gutsy move prompted by wanting to see her favourite band. T F B came on and Sophie didn't stop singing and smiling all the way through their set. It was also a mellow vibe so Sophie was up close without and problems at all. Up next was Frank Turner who is a second favourite band of Sophie's and having got through being up front for one band why not try another.
Frank Turner is a very different show and straight away it was more intense up front but Sophie stuck in. Stuck in until Frank called for a pit which was too much and Sophie decided it was time to get out. Out we went over the rail up front and made our way back to the sounddesk where Sophie spent the rest of the evening singing and dancing. And smiling. Sister Samantha said at the end she'd never seen Sophie smile or dance so much, ever. The best night ever, was how Sophie described her night the next day wearing a Frank Turner hoodie with her TFB tee tucked away; thank you to our wonderful tee shirt fairy for donating specifically for Sophie to have extra merch. A night that was made even more special when Sophie got to meet Ciaran of TFB during Blink's set.
Sophie is a very courageous young woman.The progress she's made in such a short time is very significant and hasn't been without bumps in the road, bumps she's faced an works through. There will be more bumps, there always is, there will be more progress. The show was a celebration of all she's achieved. Also it was a catalyst for pushing herself, for stretching her comfort zone. The Front Bottoms weren't the headliners on this tour. They were Sophie's headliners and more significantly they made her world bigger, a lot, lot bigger.