A Midnight Date With Kylie Minogue

Ever since HMV announced the competition to win one of 300 places at the midnight launch of Kylie’s 13th studio album GOLDEN I had a strong feeling that I WOULD be attending that wasn’t even slightly dampened by failing to be picked in either the original draw or the subsequent re-draw. When there’s a will there’s a way. I’m certain the HMV customer service team were delighted by my daily correspondence on this matter. With 5 days to go I’d been informed that all tickets had been allocated and that there would be no further draw for tickets, or as I call it – a technicality.

The day of the event arrived and weirdly I’d still not received a notification that I’d been allocated a GOLDEN ticket. Working just a few minutes stroll from the venue I decided to pop along during my lunchbreak and see if I could work my charm. I managed to procure an impromptu meeting with Simon, HMV’s Head of Events who informed me, alas, that there was nothing he could do as the event was already oversubscribed so they would not be running a reserve list. I enjoyed his advice that I snap up a cassette if possible, as this was the most limited of all the formats. “Babe, I have a delivery for every single format pending since the dot of midnight they went on pre-order!”. I thanked Simon for his help, and trotted back to my office with only a very faint feeling that I should doubt my proven Kylie Karma.

Despite all of this I still felt in my heart that Cinderella would be going to ball. Back at work I saw a notification pop up on my phone from my friend Danny (a competition winner) “Dear. Spoke to HMV again. You can come with me”; “ARE YOU JOKING??????!?!?!?!?!?!?” was my highly restrained response. It turns out that darling Danny had won twice (under two e-mail addresses) and had spent the past week trying to convince them to transfer one to me to no avail. He tried one last time that day by speaking to a lovely chap at the store who informed him that as long as I entered the venue with Danny I could attend. All seemed too good to be true, so I called the store myself to speak to my saviour Jason, and he confirmed that all was legit and that within a mere matter of hours I would indeed be in the presence of royalty.

This lack of notice was probably a good thing for the stability of my mental health as it meant I didn’t have time to get too worked up beforehand. I headed home from work to select an outfit and plumped for a vintage ‘Kylie Says Relax’ t shirt from her 2006 Showgirl Homecoming Tour with a leather jacket. I caught up on my soaps then popped back on the bus to join my friends. There were many familiar faces in the queue so it was delightful to catch up with so many people. Another Danny who I ALWAYS go and see Kylie with had also won a ticket so I joined the queue with him and many others joined our group as we waited for the clock to strike midnight.

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Minogue herself arrived at about 11.45pm to a sea of paps, some of whom ran in the building after her and had to be dragged out by security. Despite being very near the front of the queue I’m not much taller than Kylie herself so this was all I saw of the scuffle.

At about 12.30 we were ushered into the store to select our product for signing. Despite having every single format on preorder from Kylie.com I panic bought another picture disc as decided this would look best signed, and I had no intention of playing it anyway. So if anyone wants a picture disc (unsigned) holler! We joined another queue where we were issued with GOLDEN wristbands and given an as-invented-by-Romy-&-Michele Post It with our name spelt correctly on.

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We were then ushered to the fourth floor where we joined another queue that had a stage at the far end with a GOLDEN tinsel backdrop. “It’s ACTUALLY KYLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I proclaimed to my group.  Whilst queuing I saw my buddy Simon from earlier who had changed into a snazzy pink suit. Looking at me with a mix of disbelief and confusion he said to me “You made it in then?”. “Why of course!” was my response as I beamed a big smile at him. The queue moved along quite swiftly and I suddenly felt like I was having an out of body experience, my legs felt like jelly and I kept thinking I was going to drop my record.Before I knew it I was at the front and handed my phone over to the attendant who started snapping away.

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“Hello Kylie!” I cheerfully exclaimed “I so enjoyed your Spotify gig the gig the other week”. “Why thank you!” replied the Queen of the Universe “I enjoyed it too!”. “Nice choice Jasmin!” she said as she took my picture disc from me, GOLDEN pen in one hand.

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“Kylie” I said. “Can I ask you an odd question?”. “I THINK so” giggled back my idol. “Well. This has bothered me for 30 years now. WHAT were you wearing on your bottom half on your debut album cover?”  “Oh gosh” she replied. “I really don’t remember”. “Did you accessorise your hair hat with jeans or was that a black dress?” I embellished. “It was a long time again” replied Minogue “I’m really sorry I just don’t remember” “Oh well, if you remember please Tweet the answer! I’m so excited about this new album” and with that our moment was over. It may have been fleeting but meant the world to me.

On the way out the HMV social media team asked to take a pic of Danny, Laura & myself with our signed vinyls as we looked “fab” and we happily obliged. And that was that. I’m delighted to report that Kylie did not turn into a pumpkin at midnight and would implore you all to check out her FAB new album GOLDEN available from all reputable outlets now.

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So the key takeaways are thus….

a) Daniel Langrish-Beard is an ABSOLUTE LIVING LEGEND

b) The power of manifestation. There’s never been a thing on this planet that I’ve not been able to make happen if I’ve really set my mind to it whether it’s moving to New York on a whim or attending a ticketed Kylie Minogue competition that I’ve not even won. It’s all in mind! I wonder what I’ll work on next?!

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A Meeting With Queen Minogue…

This is something I don’t really like to talk about but I am a Kylie Minogue superfan. I’ve loved her since I was 7 years of age and can’t ever imagine her not being a part of my life. I’ve been lucky enough to meet her once before (at her Harrods book signing back in 2012); but other than that my fandom has been confined to attending concerts, listening to her music, the occasional Tweet from her, writing freelance articles about her and having my cover version of her single All The Lovers featured on Popjustice.

I woke up Saturday morning with a mild hangover and with no idea how the rest of my weekend was going to pan out… At around lunchtime I saw a Tweet from Liberty saying a competition was being held for 30 winners to attend the unveiling of this year’s Christmas window display which the queen of the universe was commandeering. I hit the retweet button, gazed longingly at my Kim Kardashian West prayer candle and hoped for the best.

Fast forward to 6pm and I was sat on my Kylie At Home bedsheets (leopard print, obvs) and applying my limited edition Kiss Me Once lipstick when I saw a notification appear on my phone… “Congratulations!!! You’re going to meet Kylie tomorrow!” I immediately turned into a shaking, gibbering mess and my heart was pounding. Although I’d met my idol before, I’d never had a photograph with her that hadn’t involved me photoshopping myself into it…was this finally going to be my chance? My mind was filled with a million questions and all I had was a time and an address to meet the following morning and an instruction that due to security no phones or handbags would be permitted.

I barely slept that evening, and woke up super early feeling like a child on Christmas Day. I was shaking as I selected a t shirt I’d designed myself to wear which I accessorised with a red sparkly giant Christmas hairbow I’d already purchased for her concert at the Royal Albert Hall next month. My journey was an unmitigated disaster. I left with twice as much time as needed but due to road closures by 11.15 I was still stuck in an Uber near Westminster; at one point I really thought I wasn’t going to make it and I think the poor driver was quite taken aback by my hysterics (fingers crossed it hasn’t affected my 4.9 rating!). At 11.26 I finally got out the Uber at Piccadilly Circus and proceeded to RUN up Regent Street. Anyone who knows me will testify I don’t run but please see the evidence below!

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With one minute to spare I arrived at the office entrance to Liberty and I was beetroot red and making little sense as I checked my handbag in with security, obviously hiding a few personal items for signing under my cape and was given a VIP wristband to wear:

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We were ushered upstairs to the 4th floor and escorted into a small ornate side room with three rows of chairs, a pink sparkly Christmas tree and two arm chairs at the front. On each chair was a small purple Liberty giftbag that contained a deluxe edition of her new album Kylie Christmas. I was lucky enough that two of my friends Danny and John had also won tickets so I sat with them and we chatted to the people around us as we made the most of the complimentary pastries and beverages.

At around 12.15 a buzz went around the room… She was on her way! First into the room was her new exceptionally handsome boyfriend Joshua Sasse who lingered at the back staring at her adoringly. Seanny Sean her tour manager was also accompanying her. A representative from Liberty brandishing a microphone came out and introduced her as the entire room stood to give her a standing ovation as she entered the room. “Sit down, sit down!” she said as she took her seat.

The representative from Liberty proceeded to interview her; I presume for their website as the entire event was filmed. Kylie explained that she’d decorated the pink sparkly Christmas tree herself as part of a charity initiative for ITV’s Text Santa. My Christmas tree always features my Ms Minogue Barbie doll dressed as an angel but I guess Kylie was going for a more understated appearance for her interior décor.

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The interview itself was mainly about her thoughts on Christmas and Minogue family traditions. The most revealing part which had the room howling was probably that her ideal Christmas day would involve “spending the morning in bed, then I’d take it from there”. Also, world exclusive, on her Christmas list this year is a wick trimmer which I initially misheard as “wig trimmer”. I was sat in her direct eye line, and each time we got eye contact my inner 7 year old died a little.

When the interview ended it was time for the meet and greet part of the session, and each person got to go up to the front one by one, row by row. After the first photograph was taken Kylie took command to alter the set up as there was a table with a floral arrangement on between the two chairs. “This isn’t working. Let’s move this table” she said. “The guys will get a much better picture if the chairs are closer together”. Thanks babes!

Eventually it was my turn and as I sat down next to my idol it struck me how much this reminded me of a Santa’s Grotto, but with an opportunity to meet someone much more glamorous and fragrant than Father Christmas.

“Hi nice to meet you, I love your bow!” was Kylie’s opening line. “Thanks so much, I bought it for your Christmas gig at the Royal Albert Hall; thought I might as well get in the festive spirit early” I responded. “Oh you’re coming!” she said, “I’m so excited about it and want to make it special. I hoped all the audience would be dressing up!”

Being a responsible Aunt I have brainwashed my four year old niece into being a Kylie fan too; and when she found out I was meeting our shared idol she burst into tears, informing my sister “That’s not fair, Auntie Cha Cha has already met her”. I handed Kylie a photograph of Florence singing into a microphone with Kylie on the television screen behind her. “Oh my goodness, she’s so cute!” said Kylie and she looked horrified when I told her she was upset she couldn’t come due to the no plus ones policy. “Why couldn’t she come? It’s not a school day” was Minogue’s response as she dedicated the picture to Florence and we talked about how much fun being an Auntie is.

As a side note Florence is not sure that Kylie did indeed sign this herself as she’s not sure that Kylie would be able to spell F-L-O-R-E-N-C-E, but at least this is a great souvenir for when she’s feeling less sceptical.

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The next item I’d bought with me was a bit of a gamble as I handed Kylie a photograph of some artwork I’d created in which I’d superimposed myself into a photo with her and Dannii. “Please don’t be alarmed by this” I warned as I handed it over. “What is this? And how did you do it?” asked Kylie as she raised the picture to her perfectly formed face to inspect closer, as she cackled away. “Oh just a little something I created using a phone app” I retorted as my brain envisaged the nail varnish emoji. “I always fancied being the third Minogue sister”. “I can see that!” giggled Kylie.

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Other items that she signed were the Christmas CD she had gifted me with and also I bought the insert she’d created to replace the dire cover for her Greatest Hits 1988-92 album. “This is a blast from the past!” she informed me as she signed the collector’s item.

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We posed for the professional photographer who took some pictures of the two besties and it was all over. “Thank you so much Kylie!” I said, “I hope you have a fab Christmas”. “You too!” said Kylie as she beamed her magnificent smile at me.

And that was it. The whirlwind was over and I exited the room. It all seemed so surreal and dreamlike. I only hope that when the photographs are e-mailed to me later this week I’m not pulling an odd facial expression. But, hey, even if I am at least La Minogue approves of my photoshop skills!

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