Melody had been buzzing all day, energy fizzing out of her pores as she had blared South Season songs throughout the house, lying spread out on the floor of the sitting room with a huge sketchbook in front of her, a watercolour palette and an array of pencils laid out on a sheet of newspaper. She had been like that for hours, funnelling her excitement into her art, and any time Ishaana wanted a cup of tea, she'd had to step over the minefield of art supplies that regularly littered the house.
After several hours, Melody had laid out an expressive piece to dry, explaining that she had painted the album, interpreting each song through the charcoal and her paintbrush when all she could think about was the concert waiting for them at the end of the day. While the doors opened at seven, it would be two hours before South Season actually made it onto the stage and after a little gentle persuasion, Ishaana had talked Melody into having dinner out before the show, promising to make it to the venue before the interval was over.
It was going to be packed. The tickets were sold out, a wonder that Melody had managed to get any at all when they had been released so close to the date of the concert: Ishaana hadn't realised that it was quite an intimate gig, with a capacity of one thousand. The tickets had gone on sale at nine o'clock on Friday morning, just two and a half days before the show, and Melody had managed to snag a couple for thirty pounds each before resale had rocketed the price through the roof.
Tonight was the only concert the band were doing in England before they headed out to America for a few months, due to return to the United Kingdom and continue the tour with thirty more dates. Melody would no doubt want to see them then too, but Ishaana vowed to have weakened her obsession by that point, or found her someone to take to concerts.
"God, I can't wait," Melody said as they sat in a cosy pub in the centre of Birmingham, a mile or so from the venue, and she jiggled her feet as she ate. Even in the pub's dim lighting, her cheeks shone as brightly as her eyes, the soft overhead glow bouncing off her glasses, and Ishaana couldn't help but smile at her friend's excitement. Melody reminded her of a puppy, the kind that wagged its tail so hard that its whole body shook.
"We'll head off in half an hour," she said, glancing at her watch. According the venue's website, South Season would be on the stage in a little under an hour, though she had already resigned herself to waiting around as the interval got longer and longer, and she had been slowly imbibing as they had eaten their supper. It would be a lot easier to enjoy the concert if she had a few drinks in her system and she was already on her third double vodka orange: her usual drink of choice, it was on offer for just two pounds fifty until eleven o'clock, and she wasn't about to waste that opportunity when the club would be so much more expensive.
"We could be missing the most amazing band right now," Melody said, sipping the glass of wine she'd ordered with her fish pie, scooping up a generous mouthful on her fork. "What if the support band is, like, your new favourite group?"
Ishaana doubted that, cutting a chip in half before piercing it along with a sliver of deliciously plump, seasoned chicken breast. "Who are they?" she asked once she had swallowed. Melody unlocked her phone, bringing up the concert details for the name of the support group before she tapped them into Google and handed her phone to Ishaana. Wiping her fingers on a napkin, she squinted at the screen that displayed a photograph of two men around her age, who seemed to be total opposites. One was tall and clean-shaven with dark skin and black hair that he wore in dreadlocks; the other was shorter and pale, his dirty blonde hair hanging to his shoulders and a moustache tickling his upper lip.