Today, I’m having to explain to lovely but non-country-fan friends why I’m leaving our idyllic New Year’s Eve retreat (log burner, seafront, cheese…) before actual New Year’s Eve.
I’m leaving early to rejoin the secret internet friends I’ve been spending increasing portions of time with over the last year. To go clubbing.
“But you hate clubbing” the non-country friends point out.
Wrong. I hated clubbing because they never played the music I like. Now, I’ll be in a sleek west London nightclub with award-winning toilets (which, it turns out, feature quite highly on my clubbing priorities) and where the DJ is solely spinning country music. Or would be spinning if DJs still spun.
My mecca, Nashville Nights, is holding its first New Years’ Eve event; something I’ve long wished and pleaded for through the almighty medium of social media.
But as I say things like, “I just feel I should see the new year in with my country family” and “I feel like I belong with them…” there is the tiniest niggle. Uh-oh; aren’t these exactly the kind of things I’d say if I’d joined a cult?!!
A bit dramatic, I know, but I Googled the tell-tale signs you’re in a cult (thank you, internet) and the theory isn’t actually that far-fetched;
SIGN 1: Becoming more and more removed from the outside world.
EVIDENCE: “No I can’t come to your wedding, it’s C2C weekend.”
SIGN 2: Seeing your group as the elite, enlightened ones.
EVIDENCE: “No, you only think you don’t like country music; let me play you some Chris Stapleton…”
SIGN 3: Adopting bizarre secret rituals.
EVIDENCE: The Mona Lisa Conga. (If you know, you know).
SIGN 4: Using niche terminology only those inside the cult will understand.
EVIDENCE: Again, the ‘Mona Lisa Conga’.
SIGN 5: The shared ideology starts to drain your finances.
EVIDENCE: Kip Moore tickets go on sale just before Christmas and some how you scrape up enough funds to ‘donate to the cause’. Second mortgage? Seems worth it.
SIGN 6: Desperation to convert others.
EVIDENCE: You start bringing friends to ‘gateway gigs’ like Maren Morris and Drake White. “See, it’s not all giant hats and crazy cowboy boots… yet.”
SIGN 7: You start to cut ties with former friends.
EVIDENCE: Don’t tell my non-country friends, but if Nashville Nights had been announced sooner, I probably wouldn’t have been going to this weekend away at all.
But until Bob Harris starts suggesting that all human life originated from underneath Brad Paisley’s hat, I think we’re still pretty safe. So at 5pm on December 31st as I literally and symbolically change from hiking shoes into my cowboy boots and flee our coastal retreat shouting something to my non-country friends like “y’all just don’t understand me like they do…”, could someone in West London please have a tequila shot waiting for me?
P.S. If you would like to join the
cult country music club night, Nashville Nights NYE tickets are £20 advance or £25 cash on the door if not sold out.