PTL 10th Anniversary – Trina Bedden

Trina’s Welsh. I met her on the Official forum years ago, and she’s never failed to impress with her entertaining ability and her passion for The Darkness. Here’s what she has to say:

Taffy and The Darkness … A Long-Term Love Affair

I didn’t know it at the time, but 7th July 2003 was an enormously important day. It was the birthday of two very important elements of my future life – firstly, a wonderful lady who has become a terrific friend/confidante/fellow minx/bit on the side (*Rolf Harris voice* “can you guess what who it is yet?”), and secondly an album from one of the most amazing rock bands of the last 20 years, and my salvation (I’m not kidding).

Trouble was, I didn’t realise the significance of this date until four months later (fashionably late, and all that). I was vaguely aware of ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ through the summer of 2003, but was in such a miserable daze that I wasn’t paying much attention. November saw me on sick leave, on the sofa, on painkillers and swathed in duvets, bawling through flu and an infected wisdom tooth. Theres only so much daytime TV a body can stand (ok, none), so music channels were my other drug of choice. And in the run-up to Christmas, they were all playing Christmas songs, with ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’ on heavy rotation, back to back with ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’. And I was lost. Transfixed. Laughing my (considerably skinnier than the 2013 version) ass off. It was WONDERFUL. The music. The catsuits. The bare-faced, balls-out, laughing in the face of taste and cool attitude. The can’t give a f*ck cheek of it all.

Amazing. And I was hooked. I bought Permission to Land shortly afterwards, intended as a gift for my sister … I played it to death, then regretfully wrapped it up and put it under the Christmas tree. And then bought my own copy to play to death. We tried very hard to help ‘Christmas Time’ to the Christmas number 1 slot, only for it to be held at number 2 by the most suicidally boring and un-Christmassy song in existence. After that outrage I wandered onto the band forum and fell in love with many like-minded individuals, and my fate was sealed. A full-grown Darkling blossomed shortly afterwards, and for that I’m eternally grateful. She’s a lot more confident, bossy and tattooed than the previous version.

Without the band, their music and their ridiculous antics, life would have been so different. So boring. I’d probably have never ever gone to a gig – instead, I bought spare tickets from a fellow Darkling, spent 3 weeks designing and glitterfying (it IS a word) a t-shirt, and buggered off to Paris to pop my gig cherry. I’d never have braved the mud and flying pots of p*ss at the Reading festival so I could watch them headline. I’d never have followed the band to gigs in Cardiff, Glasgow and Wembley – 5 gigs in 10 amazing days – on the 2004 Winternational Tour, and several hotel rooms would have remained glitter-free forever.

I’d never have been invited to a preview listen of their second album. I’d never have moved an entire departmental meeting by half an hour, just so I could hear the world premiere of One Way Ticket on Radio 1. I’d never have followed the band to Dubai to watch them headline a (mostly) non-sweary set at the Desert Rock festival. The gig on my birthday in 2006 would never have happened, nor would the crazy Dublin gig weekend. I wouldn’t have the Brighton hotel room memories, or the muff giggles. I’d never have won Justin’s dartboard. I’d never have discovered my inner minx, covered her in eyeliner and leopard print and unleashed her on the world, following Justin’s mantra of “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing”

All of these things would never have happened, and my life would be far poorer for it

There have been bad times and sad times during the 10 years. The tensions in the band became more obvious as time went on, and the cause was easy to guess. The split wasn’t the massive shock it could have been, the solo careers diverting but nowhere near as diverting (for me) as the main event once was. Keeping the faith became our sole occupation, living on hopes and dreams of “one day

And “one day” happened. It really did. All together again, the original line-up. Older, possibly wiser, clean and sober. With more tattoos, more facial hair, more attitude, and a determination to not f*ck it up. And a wonderful third album which gets played daily, and hasn’t yet gone stale. News of what they’d been doing during the quieter times filtered out, and made me cry in public, on a train full of people (thanks Q magazine!) – but so what. The old me would have been mortified, this version has given up giving a f*ck *grins*

So, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for the music, the memories, the fun, the laughter, the tattoo and the eyewatering number of band t-shirts … heres to another ten years!

Happy Birthday!

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