Kip Moore walks into a bar. Seriously. Not just a bar. Kip Moore walked into my bar in Shepherd’s Bush.

Four of us had managed to crowd around the last spare half table at my regular pub for a pre-gig pint. To my right were two girls I feared I’d have to restrain from storming the stage during Kip Moore’s set later that night. To my left, a country novice taking advantage of a spare ticket with no idea what she was in for.

Squad
Starstruck Squad

We were trying to explain the Kip Moore effect to the novice. As we laughed about how in Ireland we’d overheard two grown women arguing over which one of them Kip had been waving at in the crowd, a guy with a cap walked in through the pub door right by our table. Correction; the guy with a cap walked into the door right by our table.

I broke off mid-sentence and gripped Judi, gob well and truly smacked. The novice asked why we’d apparently instantly started playing with our hair and reverted to giggling teenagers. I should say I was never that giggling teenager. No pop star autograph books, no screaming after bands at concerts. My day job involves producing celebrities without getting star struck. But I was only half a pint in so I can’t blame the cider.

Of course, we’d had conversations about what we’d say if we bumped into Kip Moore in a pub. Who hasn’t?

“Come on, come on, baby I’m buying…”

“Tonight we’re just worried ‘bout having fun…”

“Come on buddy, just take a seat with us, and turn off the tough”

Or, perhaps even, something less creepy than quoting his own lyrics at him, like;

“Good luck for tonight, can I buy you a beer?”

This was not the first time we’d come close to meeting the Something ‘Bout A Truck singer. Well, almost come close.

In Nashville…

There may have been a little near-miss in the car when we thought we saw Kip Moore sat outside a bar. At the risk of appearing far too stalker-like for our blog credibility, I confess we did park up (safely) and go back to the bar. It wasn’t Kip. But we had a lovely evening in there chatting with the cap-wearing lookalike.

In Ireland…

We were at Enniskillen’s Harvest Festival on official blog business and were honestly very professional.  But when Judi was given a photography pass and allowed through the barrier and beyond the security guards for Kip’s set I was concerned. She somehow held it together and took some great stills but I spent the whole time gearing up to disown her if she launched at his ankles when he sang Come And Get It.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Judi playing it cool

But this was not a drill. I decided to down the rest of my pint then go up to the bar to use the latter opening line. In the time it took me to realise I was no longer a student and didn’t have the capacity to down my pint, Kip Moore walked back past us and out of the pub. Perhaps he’d run out of Beer Money.

We’d missed a chance. Chance for what, we weren’t sure, but we’d definitely missed it. Later though, we discovered that lightning does strike twice.

I am shamefully aware that this sounds like school girls with a crush but I swear this is not about biceps. At least not solely. As I looked around the sardine tin of a gig venue – we just about had room to turn our necks! – the same ecstacy was reflected on the faces of all genders and all ages.

Kip at Country Music Week
Rammed and rowdy…

Kip Moore has an unparalleled connection with his audiences. The first time he performed here at C2C two years ago hardly any of us knew of him, but by the end we were die hard fans – helped by the fact he launched an impromptu meet and greet to the security team’s dismay. I looked over to our novice and she was hooked, raising her glass and screaming Wild Ones. She turned to me and yelled “now I get why you melted in the pub”. I have never heard such deafening screaming at a country gig and now have some idea of what it might have been like to be teenage One Direction fan.

We left on a high, no longer kicking ourselves at the missed opportunity to dine out on a “time we bought Kip Moore a beer” story. Besides, I’d shamelessly (and clumsily) grabbed bass player Manny for a selfie outside the toilets earlier, so had filled my fangirl quota for the day. But on our way back from post show drinks – spent tipsily trying to explain the different types of country music to the novice – we saw a crowd still outside the venue’s stage door. They must have been there for at least an hour.

Just as we marvelled at the patience and tenacity of these hardcore fans, but prepared to trot past to the tube station, cheers began. Kip Moore was coming out right then. We were, once again, our teenage selves with pride abandoned. This was the chance to redeem our earlier tongue-tied shambles. This was surely going to result in us swapping Nashville and London bar recommendations with Kip making him laugh with our British wit.

But alas, I suffer from hanger. In hindsight, my priorities were probably wrong. I left the other girls to queue for selfies and to shyly mumble something original like “great show”. For now at least, I will never know what I might have said to Kip Moore when I finally met him. At the time the others were getting their blurry but Instagram worthy snaps, I’d actually gone to buy chips.

IMG_6964
Judi & the man himself.

CJ