Saturday, 29 June 2013

Day 417 - BOtox ;)

For all the sadness of leaving Warwick on Wednesday, I was also very excited to get home - to see my family, my best London school-friend, Eileen...and to go to what was only my third live gig ever. I've said for a while now that I'd dedicate a few of these posts to some of my non-medical methods for stress-relief, relaxation and muscle spasm control, and music (either my own or others) offers all of these benefits, as well as providing a soundtrack for my physio sessions. I have quite eclectic tastes, ranging from Queen and The White Stripes to Handel and Mozart, as can be seen from this playlist I posted some months ago - but it takes a lot for me find current artists who I absolutely love. Bo Bruce is among this select few and, because her EP and album have carried me through the ups and downs of the road towards this crazy goal, I thought that now (following her gig at Bush Hall on Wednesday) was the right time to say thank you.

Hence the terrible pun in the title. You see, the impact of Bo's music on my physical progress began all the way back on 5th May 2012, when I had my first round of botox injections. As I was coming round from my anaesthetic, I had the first two lines of the chorus from one of the songs off her EP, Search the Night, in my head. The song was called 'Behind the Gates', and the couplet went as follows: 'Lead us back to the light/I can't see you in the dark night'. The aptness of the lyrics to my situation was uncanny, if a tad literal, so it seemed to me that I couldn't let this coincidence pass by - and I have since listened to that EP for motivation in the vast majority of my physio sessions, because it's been with me from the beginning.

Furthermore, unlike most of my exercise soundtrack, Search the Night managed to spill over into the realms of my general musical appreciation - because it has helped me through the bad times as well as the good. Whereas Katrina and The Waves' 'Walking on Sunshine' can seem mocking if it catches me on a spasmy day, Bo's 'Fighting Arizona' somehow acknowledges how difficult it is to be stuck in a hole, whilst simultaneously affirming that there is a way out. The same can be said of the tracks on her new album, Before I Sleep - perhaps even more so because, for the last couple of months (as I waited for my latest round of botox injections which would get me back on my feet), listening to them was the only way I could relax my legs enough to allow myself to sleep comfortably, or to write my last few essays and my dissertation. It helped me to 'turn the ruins into something beautiful' ('Speed the Fire'), to transform the spasms into a productive impetus for creative (and eventually physical) triumph - and, on a non-academic level, it brought me to the realisation that 'I miss you' is a perfectly reasonable thing to say to the friends who are no longer with me ('How We're Made').

All in all, her first tour was not one I was going to miss - and this leads me to another reason to be grateful. Very few intimate music venues have good accessibility, if it's possible to get in at all, so I've not been to many concerts. The Bush Hall exceeded all my expectations - we had a little section at the side of the stage, and a great view, even though everyone else was standing up. I felt very privileged to be so close, and as though the staff had really thought about what I would need.

The set was fab - both Bo and her support Boxes came out and gave it their all. I cried silently during 'Lightkeeper' and 'How We're Made', my two favourites, and found a new joy in Boxes' 'Can't Imagine'. It was magical - and that would've been enough. When we went out to buy a t-shirt and a copy of Boxes' EP, though, the magic went through the roof. Bo came over, said she had seen me from the side of the stage and wanted to talk. So I got to say thank you in person, and to tell her about my blog. I only hope she realises how much I meant it.

Thank you.

Still grinning!



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    1. Hi Albert

      I'm really sorry it's taken so long for me to get back to you - apparently I didn't get notification of your two comments. I really appreciate your interest and you taking the time to write. As you may have noticed, if you're still checking my page after all these months, I'm no longer updating this blog. Sorry! However, I have started a new one, so if you are still keen to follow my journey you can find me at

      I do hope you get this message and that you'll continue to read and enjoy!

      Thanks so much for commenting!

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