Something quite amazing happened to me before Christmas. Something I had been building up to for years, maybe most of my life. Something that would finally give me the national recognition, I so richly deserve. I became the UK Air Guitar Champion for 2014. Yes, you read that right, Champion. Not of my bedroom, or house, not of Brighton or Sussex or the South Coast; The United Kingdom; my beloved country (and surrounding areas).
Let me take you take you back to the beginning. I first took part in the UK Air Guitar Championships at Concorde 2 in 2011. I had a blue sparkly cat suit (obviously) on at the time and I was confident of doing well. The competition was fierce and little did I know, the winner was judged on audience reaction. Most of my competitors had bought groups of friends and all I had was a camera crew. Well, more of a camera man. And he was very quiet.
The format starts off quite gentle and then gets more challenging as you progress towards the final. You start off by air guitaring (not a word but I’m going with it) to a song of your choice. I went with T-Rex’s ‘21st Century Boy.’ I slinked and minced and won the crowd over. The next round I was placed in a cage and this obviously restricted my movement. It forced you to be more focused on actually playing the guitar and to still entertain the crowd. From memory, I went with the Alice Cooper tongue movements and again, the crowd approved.
Next up, I was head to head with two other competitors, all playing guitar to the same track at the same time. And this is where I failed. I took my off the ball (one of the girls was very attractive) and the audience picked up on my lack of focus and eliminated me, just short of the final. I was gutted.
Anyway, like any true champion, I came back three years later and claimed what was rightfully mine. Crucially, I had a gold cat suit on this time AND a cape. I was more or less a rock star superhero and that’s probably the coolest thing one can ever be. There was no cage this time. And again, I had just one cameraman and just two friends in the audience. But it was enough. I took out the other finalists, claimed my trophy and got the No.26 back to Hollingbury, like all good rock stars should.
Just to confirm, I am the UK Air Guitar Champion for 2014. And I will be back to retain it in 2015.
Prepare your plectrums…