And she knows she’s more than just a little misunderstood, she has trouble acting normal when she’s nervous…

Zara stripe shoes

(OK, I finally worked out how I’m going to handle this whole Photo-a-Day thing, and how I’m going to handle it is, I’m going to just keep posting the photos on Instagram, and then blog about the ones I really like, or which have a story to them, or something. That way you don’t have to look at 365 blurry photos of the sky, and I don’t end up writing 20,000 words about them, but I still get to document my life in photos, and also get some really lazy blog content into the bargain. And I probably WILL still write 20,000 words about them, just so’s you know.)

So! A couple of weeks ago, Terry surprised me with the news that he had bought us tickets to see the Counting Crows for my birthday this year.

(They’re not actually playing on my birthday, or even anywhere near it. Rude of them, actually.)

Now, I know it’s not trendy to like Counting Crows, but luckily I don’t give a crap about being trendy, because I LOVE them. I discovered them back when I was a tortured journalist (as opposed to being a tortured blogger, obviously. “Older, not wiser” has been the motto of my life.), and I couldn’t help but notice they were singing the story of my life, which is all about love, and loss and, er, growing up in a small town on the east coast of America, and then moving to L.A. in search of a dream that is never realised. So, you know, maybe not EXACTLY my life, but whatever: I RELATED.

(I just realised that describing myself as a “tortured journalist”, might have been misleading. I meant that I was tortured emotionally, obviously. I wasn’t, like, John McCarthy or anything. Glad to have cleared that up.)

Anyway, I love Counting Crows, is what I’m trying to say. So when Terry told me he’d bought us tickets to see them, my first thought was, “YAY! Counting Crows! I bet Adam Duritz will notice me in the crowd, recognise me as his number 1 fan, and pull me up on stage, to join him in a quick rendition of Mr Jones. Awesome!”

(And now I’ve made it sound like I stalk Adam Duritz or something. I don’t. I’m not allowed to, ever since the restraining order.)

My second thought was, “Hmmm. Maybe I should get some singing lessons, just in case.”

And then my third thought? Well, obviously my THIRD thought was, “OMG, what will I WEAR?”

Things like this, you see, present me with my biggest fashion dilemmas ever. (Yes, it took me a while to get us back on topic, but I got there in the end…) The fact is that my wardrobe is sadly lacking in clothes of a practical nature. If you want me to go out to dinner (in the 1950s), accompany you to a bar (in the 1950s), or attend a wedding, say (in the 1950s, natch), I will be able to pull something out of that closet without even having to think about it. But if you ask me to go on a hike, or on a coastal walk, or to help you weed your garden (Note: never ask me to help you garden. I will cut you.), I’m out. I’m not joking: the “practical” section of my wardrobe boils down to either:

a) Workout clothes

or

b) THIS.

So, if you were to ask me to help you move house, say, I’d turn up looking like I was going to either run a marathon or climb Everest. Or I’d turn up dressed like a pin-up girl, obviously. None of these would really be appropriate for that particular activity, and none of them will be appropriate for a rock concert either. I mean, if we were in the seated area, that would fine. I’d just go with the pin-up option. But we’re standing. The last time I was in the standing area at a concert was at Bob Dylan in 2011. “It’ll be fine,” I thought. “It’ll be a bunch of old hippies, all flashing V signs and swinging their beads and stuff.” Yeah, not so much. Someone stamped on my toe so hard I seriously thought it was broken (And, indeed, the toenail died. Sad for it.), and … actually, no, sorry, I can’t talk about the Other Things that happened that night. It’s too soon.

What I’m trying to say here, then, is that not even I would wear stilettos and a sundress for something like this. I need shoes that can be stamped on. Clothes that I can fight dance in. A comfortable, practical outfit that will allow me to be on my feet for several hours, in the middle of a probably violent crowd, without my feet hurting, or, well, my dress getting creased. Because I would HATE IT if my dress got creased.

At the end of the day, though, I’m still not prepared to give up my heels, so I bought these:

counting crows

They’re biker boots. But they have a little heel! They are TOTALLY not my usual style, but they’re super-comfortable, and I think they’ll protect my toes if someone tries to break them again. As for what I’ll wear WITH them… my thought-process hasn’t extended that far. I’m sure I’ll work it out, though. Probably the morning after the concert, knowing my luck.

Because I’m the kind of person who puts a pretty, bokeh effect on the photo of her concert ticket, though, and to go some way towards combating the whole BIKER thing, I also bought these:

Carvela bow shoes

(excuse crappy, low-light iPhone photo…)

And the balance of the universe was restored. WHEW.

[Title lyric: Counting Crows, Round Here]

Hi, I'm Amber. I'm a full-time fashion/shoe blogger from the UK, and this is the story of my life, my clothes, and the International Man of Mystery Next Door. You can read more from me at my other blogs, The Fashion Police and Shoeperwoman, and you can follow me on Bloglovin' here.

23 Comments

  • Reply February 13, 2013

    Roisin

    !!! As I comment with numerous exclamation marks on the instagram photo, I also majorly LOVE Counting Crows. I discovered them when I was a tortured 6th former and they used to always play Mr Jones at my favourite disco but Round Here is my favourite of their songs, and it’s because of the line that you chose for the post title. Oooh and Omaha, and actually basically every single song on August and Everything After and Recovering The Satellites. SO yes, jealous and happy for you :) When my best friend in the world got married on new year’s eve last year, one of the highlights of the night was the fact that the last song played at the reception was Mr Jones, and everyone danced to it in a big circle and sang along (she met her husband at that disco, you see) God, just thinking about it makes me tear up!

    AAAANYWAY, and of course I am much the same as you in that I have no practical clothes for any activity except for drinking cocktails. But that’s just how I roll.

    • Reply February 13, 2013

      Amber

      It makes me stupidly excited that you share my love for them – and also that we seem to like the same songs: I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone mention Omaha before, but it’s one of my favourites too, and, of course, Round Here is just awesome. We were listening to August and Everything After in the car on Sunday, and that particular line never fails to make me nod in recognition, no matter how many times I hear it. And I can’t listen to Long December without wanting to sob…

      I love that your friend had Mr Jones at her wedding! I wasn’t the typical bride when I got married – I didn’t really obsess over flowers and napkins and stuff, but I DID obsess over the music, which was mostly the Beatles (although I walked up the aisle to a Queen song…): I had to make sure all of my “people” were represented!

    • Reply February 13, 2013

      char

      Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE Omaha. I’m not playing it on repeat and it’s cheering up my shit of a day, so thank you both.
      I love the Carvela heels. I’m such an emo when it comes to gig-attire. I usually revert back to my tortured student days and go with a tshirt from the gig over a dress or miniskirt, and a pair of heels. I hang out at the back, though so as not to get inadvertantly involved in any “mosh-pit” action.

      • Reply February 13, 2013

        Amber

        Yes! This is exactly what I’m like, too – any time I go to a concert I end up basically dressing like the student version of myself! I tell myself I’ll just stay at the back, but I always seem to end up right in the thick of things and… I don’t want to ruin my pretty shoes. I’m a rubbish gig-goer, basically.

  • Reply February 13, 2013

    Lauren

    EEEEE!! I adore the Counting Crows, and Round Here is my favourite. The lyric you’ve used in the title is beautiful, and I’m always attracted to slightly-miserable-but-really-bittersweet songs like that that actually seem to mean something. I’m going to be humming that all day now!

    • Reply February 13, 2013

      Amber

      My work here is done :)

  • Reply February 13, 2013

    Caroline

    Where are those boots from? They’re the boots I’ve been looking for all winter!

  • Reply February 13, 2013

    Sandy

    Oh how timely! I’m just having the same “but what do I wear??!” dilemma for a impending Kasier Chiefs gig. Now usually I’m found skulking at Duran Duran gigs and those you ALWAYS wear impractical shoes…we all do it, even my US pals but with KC I’m thinking about bouncing mental students and my toes.

    So, I’ve ended up with some red Hush Puppies boots (Vivianna if anyone wants to Google!) and I’m still going to wear a pencil skirt and a nice top…..my nod to “hipdom” is that the skirt print is a fiesta/day of the dead Alexander Henry one (I bet Roisin will know it! LOL!)

    Yes I will probably be over dressed but I don’t caaaaaare!!! LOL!

    • Reply February 13, 2013

      Amber

      Oh, I don’t care about being overdressed – I just don’t want to lose another toenail or ruin good shoes!

  • Reply February 13, 2013

    Katie

    Those boots are amazing! My gig attire (on the rare occasions I go out instead of staying at home under a mountain of blankets with a bucket of hot chocolate) is always black, black, and a bit more black with steel toe-capped biker boots. They’re comfy for standing, save my precious toes, and black doesn’t show snakebite-splash stains from enthusiastic moshers. Or sweat marks. But, as I am a lady and totally don’t sweat, that point is moot. x

    • Reply February 13, 2013

      Amber

      This is my thinking, too – I just don’t want any of my favourite clothes to be sacrificed to the spilt beer and sweat of a gig!

  • Reply February 13, 2013

    Maddy

    I love the boots so much, really want a pair now! xxx
    http://unstitchedd.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply February 13, 2013

    Erika

    So many memories come up for me when hearing about the Counting Crows! Your boots seem to be a good choice for the event at hand. ;-) I also like your approach to the photo-a-day posts. I am trying to keep a photo a day myself, and already have decided to use it as my blogging prompt for another week – Agh! It kind of makes it too easy for the temporarily uninspired. (Now that my shoes have all been saved, I am missing my weekly write up. Maybe I should buy some more shoes!)

    • Reply February 13, 2013

      Amber

      Yeah, I think this will work better for me – I have an app on my phone to store the photos in order, anyway, so I don’t need to feel under pressure to do weekly posts, which were just too long and disjointed given that I was trying to write about everything at once!

      You could always just write about the shoes you’re wearing, and what you did while wearing them, if you’re missing the shoe challenge? Buying more definitely sounds like a preferable option, of course ;)

  • Reply February 13, 2013

    Corinne

    I LOVE COUNTING CROWS. I have been a fan for 10 years, when I discovered their song ‘Black and Blue’ I immediately bought all of their albums. I still listen to them now, ‘Amy Hit the Atmosphere’ and ‘Round Here’ have to be two of my favs. EEEE. They are right up there with Death Cab for Cutie and Tori Amos for me.

    I just went to check where they are playing, it is just a pity I don’t have any friends that like them too to manipulate them into coming with me.

    Hope you manage to find a suitable outfit!

    Corinne x

    • Reply February 13, 2013

      Amber

      Ah, Amy Hit the Atmosphere! I LOVE that one! I also love All My Friends from that album – such a great track!

  • Reply February 14, 2013

    Becky

    Absolutely love Counting Crows (August & Everything After was the soundtrack of my childhood) but I’ve never come across anyone who’s even heard of them which means I’ve had to pay someone to go see them in Manchester with me! Good shoe choice – I’ve started wearing my Rachel Comey boots (nice chunky heel for returning stamps to the feet) to gigs after sustaining several serious injuries including a tambourine to the head (which I didn’t even get to keep) x Becky x Oh, and Omaha has to be my all time favourite but Anna Begins comes a close second

    • Reply February 14, 2013

      Amber

      I never seem to come across anyone who’s heard of them either (Which is a bit odd, because I don’t think they’re particularly obscure…), which is why it’s always so great to hear from other people online who share the love! I’ve never had to pay anyone to come to a gig with me, but I did end up going to see REM on my lonesome because none of my friends liked them enough to shell out for the ticket, and on one occasion I basically forced a long-suffering friend to come to see Kristen Hersh. She still complains about it to this day.

  • Reply February 14, 2013

    Sue @ A Colourful Canvas

    Oh, I love Counting Crows. I’m old…over fifty is old to you youngsters, right? And grooving to their songs at least keeps me feeling young.

    I knew exhibit B was going to be Rubin and your puffy coat, just sayin’.

    And, love the booties! I almost always choose my outfit from the shoe, or boot, up. Well, not necessarily up, because that would mean choosing my socks next, and then…anyways, I say wear something with fringe.

    Sue xo

  • Reply February 19, 2013

    Janine

    I love Counting Crows (but I already bored you with that information on your Instagram haha)

    I am loving those boots. They would look great with some black skinny jeans and longline loose tunic top of some sort (all can be bought cheaply for this occasion in the cavern of wonder that is Primark next time you pop in for ‘just a pair of tights’ perhaps?) I am sure that whatever you wear though you will look wonderful and have a fabulous time!

    Also, glad to see you bought the pretty lady shoes too, the yin to the boots’ yang!!

    Janine xx
    Bake, Glue and Trend!

Leave a Reply