I’m in Dublin this weekend and early yesterday morning took myself off to the southside’s temple of shopping, otherwise known as the Dundrum Town Centre, for some retail therapy. It was only 9 am but already the place was buzzing with throngs of excited teenage girls. I couldn’t figure it out – I mean 9 am on a week day morning, it’s not a usual occurence to find them there. Turns out Jedward were scheduled to make an appearance later in the day and fans had queued from 9.30pm last night to meet the twins who are on course to be more popular than X-Factor winner Joe McElderry though they were voted off the show two months ago.
More than 400 wristbands to see the twins were gone by 4am Friday morning with many of their fans staying all night to be sure of their place in the queue. Those who arrived Friday morning were disappointed and I saw many of them wandering in disconsolate groups through Penneys.
Apparently when the boys appeared in the afternoon, there were Beatlemania scenes of teenage girls screaming for their pop idols. I have nothing new to add to the comments on the nature of Jedward or instant fame; obviously the twins are a highly manufactured pop sensation who are getting the most out of their 15 minutes of fame. How long they will last is anyone’s guess – a few months, a year or two? But they seem harmless enough and likeable young lads, so good luck to them.
It made me feel old to see the hysterically excited young girls. I thought back to my teenage boy band fantasies – Duran Duran and am sure I would have been just like the Jedward fans if they had appeared in my home town back in the days. But back then, there was no megalithic Town Centre – Dundrum was still a small village, and boy bands didn’t come to Dublin. There was no X Factor or reality shows making instant stars either. But one thing that still remains unchanged since the early days of rock is that combination of teenage girl hormones and cute pop stars and on Friday I saw once again how powerful a combination that is.