posted by Nick Hornby July 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm Music ,

This afternoon, during a shoot with a photographer from the Times, I met four English fans of a Japanese rock band called D’Espairspray. (I may have positioned the apostrophe wrongly.) They were on the pavement outside the Garage, a club on Highbury Corner, waiting for the band to play a gig. But here’s the thing: they had something like thirty hours to kill before their heroes took to the stage. Were these teenage girls worried about the gig selling out? No, they weren’t. They already had their tickets. They also had queue tickets, numbered one to four, proving that they had arrived before everyone else. And they also admitted that D’Espairspray probably wouldn’t sell out the venue anyway, which isn’t one of London’s biggest; in other words, even if they turned up thirty minutes before the gig, it would be impossible to end up more than fifty feet away from the band. These girls, however, wanted to ensure that they were leaning on the barriers at the foot of the stage, and this need to be as close as they could get meant an afternoon, a night and a day on Holloway Road. However much you feel you understand the mindset of the obsessed fan, someone will always come along to prove you know nothing.