March 19, 2011

Fierce Blue Ascot / Dominic Keating

Yaknow, it totally sucks to fall in love with a rock star - that doesn't even exist!!

Back in 2007 Sprint created the mascot character of Ian Westbury (and his rock band, Fierce Blue Ascot) to promote their new music store. Okay, so probably every Dominic Keating fan already knows about this, but I only found out this month. As soon as I heard the words 'Dominic Keating plays a rock star' in a row, that was my very next Google search!

I love everything about this little gimmick - the music video, the behind-the-scenes and launch party vids, the pretend interviews and Myspace page, the graphics and mp3's - it's all genius! I'm quite impressed that they went to as much trouble as they did to make the content, and it all feels so authentic too.

DK is delicious as Ian, he plays him perfectly! The hair, the moves, the lovable ego... And it's cool cos you get to see more than if he'd just played a bit scene as a rock star in some movie or other, you get the sort of content you'd get from a real 80's one-hit wonder. A bit disappointing that it isn't his voice, but Dale Martindale sounds AWESOME, so I'm not complaining, and if they couldn't have gotten that type of vocal performance (that the Westbury character needs) out of Dominic, then I'm glad they chose to have him dubbed.

The music video looks straight out of the 80's (if I didn't know DK wasn't that age in the 80's you could very well convince me that this was just some unearthed lost gem from that era) - from the slow pauses, to the pink telephone, to the hair and fashions, to the glass crashing to the ground - it's so hilariously, perfectly an 80's hit video! (Note that they knew better than to use anything other than a 555 number, lol - don't want a repeat of the 'Jenny 867-5309' fiasco ;P)

And the song sounds straight out of the 80's too - I'm quite happy to know that even twenty years after that era (one of my fave music eras *heart*), someone can make a song with the identical production, sensibilities, danceable-ness, and simplistic heart that music had then. Yeah, suffice it to say, I'm over the moon for 'Under the Moon'...


A thought did cross my mind: If he's a pretend rock star, then couldn't we be pretend fans? With pretend memories of meeting him or seeing him in concert? I liked this thought too much to pass it up, so...

The Luckiest Gig - a fan account by Joanna Magnolia

Just by sheer luck, I got to see FBA live, when they played a brief gig one night in our town. It was during the height of their fame, and they wouldn't have otherwise been playing in such a small town, if it hadn't been for a miscalculation - as Ian *swoon* told us in his opening banter as the other two members got set up on their instruments behind him on the stage. He was wearing a magnificent outfit with black lacy cuffs and a blue satin coat, and spoke to us in his oh-so-dreamy Leicester accent:

"Hi, luvs. Everybody ready to have a good time with us tonight?" We all cheered a big "Yes!" (the 200 or so people all gathered in the small auditorium were each as much a fan of them as I was). "Right well, count yourselves lucky, we don't usually play the small venues nowadays. I mean, not since we've gotten big enough to reach a wider audience, ya know, spread our music to as many fans as possible at any one time, right? That's what I say anyway. But our manager loused up our schedule, so we've got this extra little bit of time to fill. We'd otherwise be starting our gig at the Rose Bowl at this moment and you'd have to watch us via satellite." He said it 'vy-uh' with a slight R at the end in that accent of his *melt*

So then the band proceeded to play their big hit "Under the Moon" and those of us who knew the lyrics all sang along and I waved my FBA cassette over my head in time to the music. It was great!

But all of a sudden the power died. What a time for that to happen! Ian made a joke about "this is why we skip the small places" with, I assume, that dashing smile of his, but it was too dark to see anything, let alone his face. Their roadies and concert people came in while Ian was apologizing to us fans:

"Sorry, luvs. Maybe another time... These things happen... Karma will straighten things out though, ya know, it always does in the end."

Talk about disappointment! There we were with FBA having only gotten half the song played and now they were being helped off the stage and over to the exit. Why didn't the auditorium have a generator?! But then, as Ian was framed in the doorway with moonlight from outside spilling in, he turned back toward the room and said:

"Hey, I've got a cracking idea if anyone's up for it. If you want, the girls and I can finish the song out here--" he waved his hand lazily at the parking lot out back "--under the moon."

Hell, we were all outside before you could say 'fierce blue fedora'! So we got treated to an amazing a cappella version of their song - man, do I wish I'd had my Casio tape recorder that night! Susie thumped out the rhythm with her hands, Pauline did some lovely soft backing vocals, and Ian did some dance steps and even mimed some moves from the video. It was spellbinding and his vocals were like liquid, melding perfectly with the moonbeams...

All too soon the song was over, and before any of us had a chance to ask for an autograph, the band was being whisked into a limo (with Ian saying "Thank you. Goodnight. Love ya." and blowing a kiss in the general direction of the crowd) and being driven away to the airport. I still have my cassette of their single, that I held up that night, and I still listen to it on occasion, but I'll never forget that moonlit performance! Thank you, Ian, Susie, and Pauline!

(Please note that the above account is FICTICIOUS, and the cassette sleeve is a mock-up, intended only to play along with the Ian Westbury mythos.)

I'd love to hear any other fans' accounts of their Ian Westbury or FBA memories. If you have any, pass them along, please :)

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