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A Special Day in the Life of… Big Special

You know what’s simpler than shadowing your favorite pop idols day in and day out to catch up on their current activities? Just asking them. This month, we catch up with Callum Moloney from Big Special.

7 am → The alarm goes off. Hit snooze. Alarm again. Another snooze. The cycle repeats until panic sets in with only 10 minutes left to get ready before the taxi to the train station arrives. Despite years of early starts as a van driver, mornings remain a struggle. Anything before 10 am feels like a violation of basic human rights and should be outlawed.

Rushing into the taxi, I realize I forgot to brush my teeth. Fortunately, Sadiq saves the day with a piece of gum.

8:30 am → After a frantic sprint through the bustling station, I barely catch my train and collapse into an empty seat. Today, Joe and I are meeting in London for a photo shoot and some confidential meetings amidst the chaos leading up to our debut album, ‘POSTINDUSTRIAL HOMETOWN BLUES.’

Navigating this new territory together, fueled by coffee, fatigue gives way to jitters.

To distract myself, I design a gig poster on my iPad to promote our upcoming hometown show in May and share it on social media.

11 am → Meeting Joe at the photo shoot site, he recounts spotting “the shady red-haired guy from the TV series Traitors” near Euston, contemplating warning an elderly lady about him. We agree on his lack of trustworthiness, surprised by his public appearances.

Joe’s wife, Mini, surprises us with freshly baked banana bread—a fusion of punk and comfort food, earning a solid 1010 rating.

Engaging with the friendly and professional team, the initial tension dissipates. Being in front of a camera, not a speedometer, feels surreal. A dash of Irish spirit in our coffees helps us relax, reverting to our playful selves during the shoot. The rock ‘n’ roll life demands hard work, but we embrace it with zeal.

1 pm → Hunting for a pub lunch, we settle for an overpriced Guinness as food options prove elusive. Conversations range from pint prices to regional identities, pondering the Midlands’ cultural significance often overlooked in discussions. Our musings fulfill the quintessential “Midlanders in the Big Smoke” stereotypes.

As the day progresses, we reluctantly leave for our next appointment.

4 pm → Following more meetings in trendy, music-filled spaces (feeling surprisingly at ease amidst the cool ambiance), we retreat to the pub for another pricey pint.

6 pm → Realizing time constraints, we adjust our train schedules to unwind.

7 pm → Hastily finishing a third round, we rush through the underground maze of tubes, marveling at the engineering marvel while embodying the “Midlander in the Big Smoke” archetype. Comparing it to Birmingham’s less impressive tram system, we delve into underground tunnels permeated with a distinct odor.

7:30 pm → Joe and I bid farewell at Euston, a bittersweet moment as always.

8:30 pm → Absently grabbing salmon sushi for the train ride, I inadvertently subject carriage D to my culinary choice. Engaging in Spanish Duolingo and reviewing emails regarding our upcoming South American tour, I confront my lack of Spanish fluency and technical jargon. Quietly munching on nigiri, I evade the curious gazes around me.

11:00 pm → After enduring delays in Swindon, I finally reach home to playfully tussle with the dog and catch up on my fiancée Billie’s day.

12:00 am → Striving for an early night before my van duties tomorrow, I reflect on the dual life of balancing music aspirations with a conventional job, akin to a modern-day Clark Kent juggling identities like Superman, albeit with a mundane superpower of transporting vans and a punk persona as Clark Kent.

Excerpt adapted from the April 2024 edition of Dork. Big Special’s debut album ‘POSTINDUSTRIAL HOMETOWN BLUES’ releases on 10th May.


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