Taylor Swift: I don't have tickets to The Eras Tour at Murrayfield Edinburgh but I'm almost a Swiftie - Gaby Soutar

US singer Taylor Swift performs on stage during a concert as part of her Eras World Tour in Sydney on February 23, 2024. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)US singer Taylor Swift performs on stage during a concert as part of her Eras World Tour in Sydney on February 23, 2024. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)
US singer Taylor Swift performs on stage during a concert as part of her Eras World Tour in Sydney on February 23, 2024. (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)
It might be premature to call myself a Swiftie. I’ve got my stabilisers on, so I’m more of a Taylor tinkerer. Anyway, I’ve been partially converted, in anticipation of her upcoming The Eras Tour to Edinburgh’s Scottish Gas Murrayfield stadium on Sunday June 9.

Blame my ten-year-old niece. She is a mega fan, though we have no tickets to the show, since they’re long sold out and my pockets aren’t that deep. But, if you’re out there, Taylor, we’ll take two VIP admissions, in exchange for an overweight hamster. (Only joking, Miso is staying in his cage).

Junior is such a devotee that she even watched the documentary, Taylor Swift The Eras Tour Film on Disney, although it’s a Scorsese-esque three hours and 30 minutes long. While on a sleepover, she was the only kid who stayed up to watch the whole thing and sang along all the way through. That’s devotion.

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Before she introduced me to Swift’s back catalogue, I only knew this artist for two things.

One was the song Shake it Off, which was released in 2014. I definitely agree with its sentiment, that haters gonna hate-hate-hate-hate-hate-hate.

The nieces loved the video for this when they were really tiny, mainly because there’s lots of twerking going on, and toddlers are obsessed with bums. Back then, among ankle biters, the song was second only to Frozen and Katy Perry’s Roar.

The other thing I knew about Swift is that she’s going steady with American footballer Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. (His position is tight end, which always makes me imagine him walking funny).

This lot beat my other half’s favourite team, the San Francisco 49ers at this year’s Super Bowl.

So, there has been plenty of grumbling in my household about Swift, and her many appearances in the American football crowd, supporting her hunky man with his funny walk.

I knew nothing of her back catalogue, but now I do, as my niece has played it to me in its entirety.

That’s because we recently let her be the DJ in the car.

She knew every word, as if she’s a Swiftopedia. It was incredible. I’m sure she’s already packed her hippocampus with 80 per cent lyrics. There will be no room for school work.

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When we were kids, we’d copy song words down, from Smash Hits, and try to memorise them. I definitely didn’t have an impressive eidetic memory, like she does.

I’m always happy to indulge her, when it comes to drivetime tunes, because my dad would never let us play our own music – “what’s that racket?” – when he was ferrying us anywhere in the car.

If he ever capitulated, after extreme pester power, he would turn it down so low that even a bat couldn’t hear the faint Nordic strains of Morten Harket.

In contrast, when his classical music tapes were inserted into the deck, they had to be played so loud that the horn section would make your teeth rattle. Anyway, it always cheesed us off as kids, so I would try to sneak my Pet Shop Boys cassette into his pile in the glove compartment.

I just wanted him to enjoy what we liked, and he wanted to convert us. Both of us remained stubbornly at either end of the musical spectrum. I’ve budged from that point, but he was always a single genre man, though he did have a soft spot for The Beatles, The Carpenters and Tom Lehrer’s Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.

I’m not a music snob, and I unashamedly love a bit of pop.

I do struggle with some of its contemporary iterations, but that’s only because I grew up in the Eighties, which was the best ever era for pop music. We had the trinity of Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince. My mind was blown the first time I saw the Thriller video, when I was seven.

On this side of the pond, there was A-ha, Wham and Duran Duran. All the best Now That’s What I Call Music hits.

We had the creme-de-la-creme, but it’s great seeing my niece becoming obsessed with today’s music. That’s even though I show my age when I complain that much of it is hyper-sexualised (I mean, what is JoJo Siwa up to?) and that today’s lyrics are boring and unimaginative.

Neither of those things apply to Swifty, of course.

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It’s true that most people’s love of music is ignited by a bit of childhood pop exposure. You just need a catchy tune, some spangles and lovey-dovey lyrics.

In the car, my niece asked us which were our favourites.

I went for Bejeweled, mainly because it makes me wonder if “shimmer” and "remember” really rhyme. Sort of, in the same way that “sated” and “discombobulated” do.

My niece agrees with my choice, though she also likes 22, because, she says, “it is very energetic and fun” and Mastermind, because “it tells a story from start to finish”.

My four-year-old nephew, who was also singing along in the car, is a fan of Swift’s Love Story, because he has a tender little heart and has, thus far, managed to dodge the toxic masculinity that might make him feel silly for liking a sentimental tune.

My husband put his antipathy for Taylor’s beau aside, and said Shake It Off is his favourite.

I think he must have liked that video, too.

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