We continue our story about a girl called Gladys and her three older sisters who are in a girl band called the chiX. You can catch up with the earlier stories here.
The chiX have to get up at 6am every morning to practice. They are becoming tired and grumpy, and Laura has a new influence in her life. It's becoming hard to hold the band together .
Story by Bertie.
Read by Natasha.
Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.
Picture by Tania.
The day after their first concert, the girls were in a much better mood. As they were going on the bus to the shopping centre, Laura commented: “I think we were alright really.”
“Not bad for our first gig,” agreed Sam.
Gladys felt cross, because the girls hadn’t been saying that the night before. Then they had claimed that it had been a disaster and it was all her fault.
Mandy saw her frown. “Cheer up Gladdy. We’re sorry we gave you the grots yesterday. You did a great job.”
“Yeah, we were just stressed out with ourselves really,” added Laura, “because we set such high standards for the chiX. We only want to give the public our best.”
And Gladys felt better because she wanted the chiX to give their best too. In fact, when they arrived at the shopping centre, the girls were feeling much happier, as if they already had a light sprinkling of stardust. They treated themselves to posh ice creams in tubs. They sat on a bench to eat them, and a couple of guys came along with ice creams too, and sat nearby. They both wore mod haircuts with long sideburns.
Mandy whispered: “Hey, didn’t we meet those dudes at Em’s Party last week?”
Laura nodded, because they had.
One of them came over and said: “Hello again. Remember us? I know this is a bit sudden like, but I’ve got two tickets to see The Snouts tonight. My friend here is otherwise engaged. I wondered if one of you girls would do me the honour?"
Sam said: “Sure I’ll come with you,” but his eyes were looking out from under his fringe straight at Laura. She checked her mobile phone, as if she hadn’t heard him, before saying: “Alright, but I’m only coming for the music. We’re musicians you see. I’ve got a professional interest.”
“Alright,” he said. And they agreed to meet that evening.
The next day Laura said the concert was great and that the chiX could learn a lot from The Snouts.
On Monday, the chiX's manager, Arny, called up Gladys and said that the girls had made a good start, but the hard work was only beginning. They needed to build up an act with more songs in it, and to do as many gigs as possible to get “broken in.” As the chiX were back at school, they had to get up at six in the morning for rehearsals. The last time they had seen such an early hour was when they were flying to Ibiza – and then they got to the airport late and missed the plane.
Gladys sat up late writing songs, and then woke up early to get the girls out of bed. It was a very tired and grumpy girl band that met the backing musicians at 7.30 in the rehearsal room.
By the end of the week they were able to dance and sing to two new songs almost without thinking. But their mood was terrible.
On Saturday Laura went shopping on her own. When she came back she showed the girls her new outfit. She had bought new skinny jeans and an off the shoulder t-shirt with a large hipster belt.
“Corr, check out the indie chick,” said Sam.
“Well if the chiX are serious we can’t go around looking like a bunch of chavs,” said Laura. “We need style.” And that night she went out to another concert with the same guy as before. His name was Ming.
The following Monday, when Gladys tried to wake up the girls, they went on strike and refused to get up. Gladys had to ring Arny and apologise.
“I think we’re pushing them too hard,” she said. Arny agreed to give them Tuesday off as well, but he told her that they had to make the rehearsal on Wednesday because a journalist was coming to see them.
Gladys felt tired and a bit low too. She began to wonder, even if the chiX did make it, would it be worthwhile? She sat down and began to write a song:
"How were we supposed to know
Our dreams were made of silver lining?
Finding out, was meant to be
That this is where our sun is shining
Holding on and living strong
This is where we belong.."
On Wednesday Gladys felt much better but Laura still looked tired at the rehearsal. Then Gladys realised that she had changed her make-up and had a dark smoky eyeliner look. She had also tasselled her hair. The girls read Gladys’ new song. Normally they didn’t comment much, but this time Laura said: “I don’t think we should be doing this girly kind of stuff Gladdy.”
Gladys asked her what she meant. “Well I mean, this girl band thing is a kind of naff. Can’t you come up with something original and different?”
“You mean to impress Ming?”asked Gladys.
“What’s Ming got to do with anything? I mean like, we want people to take us seriously, don’t we? We don’t want to be another fizzy pop and bubble gum group do we? Like, the chiX are better than that, aren’t they?”
Gladys felt totally frustrated. She looked around the room at the empty tea mugs, the electric cables strewn all over the floor, and the bored looking backing musicians. She thought that she should be just getting up out of bed and cleaning her teeth at this time. She recalled that she was behind with her school project. She hadn’t had time to read a book for weeks. She wondered if it was all worthwhile.
Mandy said: “Come on. It’s a bit early for a heavy discussion.”
And Sam said: “I thought we were a girl band.”
And Gladys said: “Exactly. Don’t try to be something you’re not.”
“Well you’re not a true artist,” said Laura. And she picked up her bag and stomped towards the door of the rehearsal room. Before going out she turned round and said: “In case you haven’t realised yet, I quit!” And she slammed the door.
The girls were stunned. The backing musicians were smirking. Eventually Gladys said: “We’ll talk her round. Come on, let’s go through the song.” And they did their best, but it wasn’t the same without Laura.
They forgot all about the journalist. They didn’t know that he had met Laura in the corridor. They only knew about the article the following Monday when Arny rang Gladys and asked: "What’s all this nonsense about the chiX splitting?” And he read out the article to Gladys:
Newbie Girl band, the chiX, have split almost before starting. Heavily touted by top manger Arnold Layne, the chiX seemed set for a mega-bucks record signing. Lead singer Laura Cooper said: “I have left the chiX after creative differences with my younger sister Gladys. It was fun while it lasted. Now I just want to get on with my solo career.”
“Are you cross?” asked Gladys.
“Not really,” said Arny. “All publicity is good publicity. A short piece at the bottom of Page 25 is not bad for a band that’s only done one gig. Now get Laura back in the band, and we’ll start all over next week.”
And Gladys thought that might work well in the tabloids, but even in reality, would Laura come back? And did she want her to?