Meeting my hero

For quite a while already, I have been closely following a Thai singer on youtube. This singer by the name of Pong is the lead-singer of a band called Phattalung Band (วงพัทลุง), which also comes from Phattalung in southern Thailand. If you may remember, I have actually made a bLOG entry previously about this very band.†

There has always been something special about the lyrics of his band’s songs that goes straight to my heart and that I can somehow - despite different locations - identify myself with them. During my many trips to Thailand over the past three years, I have made a great effort trying to go to one of his concerts. But, always, it just didnt fit with my travels and available time. A short while ago, we started exchanging some random messages through IG. On my last trip to Thailand, I sent the lead singer a short message asking if they had some upcoming concerts. I receievd a reply quickly and within the next couple of days, a concert was actually coming up on the island of Phuket.†

I immediately requested a round-trip ticket with Thai Airways, and drove for several hours back to Bangkok to be able to catch my flight. With my flight delayed and big traffic jams once at Phuket, I truly feared for some time that I would also miss the whole concert. That would be a disaster for me personally. But, eventually, I arrived at the hotel, checked-in and dropped off my bag. My excellent and very friendly driver from Phuket Airport was so kind to wait for me while checking in, so that he could send me off to the concert before he had to go back to the airport.†

Arriving at the concert, I was thrilled that the concert was still a full hour away from starting. At this time, I didn’t expect much, but I sent the lead singer a message saying that I had arrived and was eagerly waiting for him to perform. Naturally, I expected that it would be an absolutely awesome feeling to finally hear and see this band live for the first time. I was really excited. The absolutely biggest wish was to just get a second to have a photo together to remember this concert forever. But, expecting nothing, it was just a big wish.†

As the warm-up band was finishing up, and the their concert getting closer, I could hardly wait anymore. I had been dreaming of this moment for such a long time. Once the lead singer, Pong, appeared on stage to start the show, he signalled that he recognized me in the crowds. That was an awesome feeling. I felt so personally welcomed.†

The concert was off course amazing: actually better than I had ever expected. I sang along to many of their songs, danced the night away, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. But, as it turned out, it wasn’t going to be the highlight of the night. At the end of the concert, I was hoping for a picture together but tried not to be disappointed if it didn’t turn out to be possible.†

As Pong walked off the stage, he signalled me to come around to the side of the stage. Before me, several dozen other fans lined up to get their shots too. I patiently waited for my chance, and as I got closer, he asked me to step aside so that we could toalk more after all the picture-taking.†

I was overly ecstatic to finally meet my biggest singing hero. We eventually got to talk together for quite some time, and exchanged contact information. I must say, both Pong and the rest of the band, are probably some of the warmest and nicest people I have ever met. I really can’t wait to meet up with the whole band again - in Phattalung, and to get to know them even better. In the meanwhile, we communicate regularly through various communication apps.†

Recently, they also made a movie about the story behind Parahut Music - their own record label - as well as the story about how their band - the Phattalung Band - got started. They have also made the whole movie available on youtube with English subtitles for so many more to fully enjoy. Have I seen the movie? Yes, 4 times already.†

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