I can't believe that these words are going to come out of my mouth. But nevertheless, here they are:. Tonight, I'm going to a gig.
It's not the idea of going to a smelly venue with a beer soaked carpet and legions of the young, so much as the idea of me going, and of having to actually say gig.
It's just one of those words that people over fifty shouldn't have in their lexicon. Like fit, except as it refers to a person who goes often to the gym, or buff, unless you're talking about exfoliating. Nevertheless, to a gig I mutton go... To see Marina and the Diamonds after having first listened several times to a USB with five songs on it to accustom myself to the sound, something between a crazed Kate Bush and well, a less crazed Kate Bush. But with conditioner.
It seemed like a good idea at the time of Lukewarm's suggestion. But after the Ozu film, I am slightly worried about the retributive aspect of the invitation. I needn't have been. We go in, get our hand stamped with the mini post office set on the door and plonk ourselves down on the aforementioned beer stained carpet like kids at a picnic where we wait obediently for the support act - a miserable chap in an Oasis jacket, with an Oasis sneer and a sound something between Happy Verve and an Irish Jig. I tap my foot. Lukewarm's footballer's leg remains immobile next to mine. I tread on it several times trying to show my enthusiasm which isn't matched by his but which eventually welds mine against his and stills it. I think he may be trying to tell me something. Just like at a football match, dancing is not a good idea.
"I don't think much of them,' He says after a round of obligatory clapping, following a round of somewhat obligatory songs. I remark on how unhappy they all look - like kids who've had a lot of music lessons and been reluctantly forced by their mother on to the stage when they'd rather be playing Super Mario Cart. One chap in particular, strumming the ukulele with a fountain of curly hair covering his eyes, seemed particularly unhappy to be there. Well, playing the ukulele - you can hardly blame him.
Marina comes on next wearing a knitted pig cloak with ears and a felt nose.
I feel very, very old.
The next day I tell my youngest daughter that I'd been to hear a band, and I cringe inwardly at the word 'band' which might almost be as bad as the g-word.
'Marina and the Diamonds. Have you heard of them?'
'I take it this means no.
'They are at number two at the charts,' I say encouragingly - because the singer announced this between songs.
I realise that I haven't known what was in the charts since I was about 21, and didn't care that much then, and that it's pretty pathetic that I should even appear to care now. I'm sounding like the oldest freaking swinger in town. I give up which is a relief to both of us. It's only later at work when Publicista notices my rubber ink pad hand and says - 'Oh, you have a nightclub stamp!' that I realise it could have been worse.
A nightclub - comeawwwwwn...
'No, no - it was a g..." I protest, but the word sticks like a claustrophobic to my open lips. Unlike me, it just won't come out.