I went to a pop gig. Because I am a cool kid.
My wife had had Louise Wener from Sleeper on her podcast
(and you can tell from listening to that episode what a fangirl of the band she is) and tonight all the Drunk Women and their producer and various partners and friends went to see the band at the Forum in Kentish Town.
Beforehand we all met up for Thai food and someone asked what the last gig everyone had been to was. I very rarely go to watch music and I couldn’t actually remember what the last one was. It might have been Ben Folds, but that was at least five years ago. I don’t get too many nights off, with my job and my being a dad and my being old and if I do I’d rather see comedy or even theatre or most likely a film. Music is OK, but it’s not my favourite, like it seems to be for everyone else in the world. My lack of enthusiasm for it is, I acknowledge, weird and I think I have missed out on a lot as a result.
In the 90s I was young and should probably have widened my musical interest beyond Paul Simon, The Jam and Ice T, but I wasn’t massively into Britpop or any other music. IN spite of this I did end up as a host (for a week) on MTV (When we met the Spice Girls Mel B was so excited that she’d met the funny guys from MTV Hot that she asked us to sign a post it not and tried to ring her boyfriend to tell him - she stuck the post it not to her bare stomach. It was the most -and only- erotic thing that happened to me that decade) and Top of the Pops. I was excited to meet Pulp and Michelle Gayle and hear one of Eternal singing while doing a pee in the dressing room next to ours (I wasn’t trying to listen - it was just the acoustics). I incorrectly preferred The Oasis to The Blur (though one of my few happy tour memories is us all singing along to the Oasis album and morphing into the Beatles songs and You and Me theme that they’d ripped off) and I was aware of Sleeper and like all humans with blood running through their veins recognised Louise Wener as the star and sex symbol that she undoubtedly was and is.
But watching Sleeper and Supernatural (who I don’t even remember having heard of) tonight just made me realise how I’d missed out on the 90s. Because I didn’t know many of the songs, so whilst all the people around me had been making memories to this sound track, I had been sitting at home on my own playing computer games. I guess I’d have to go to concert of someone playing an 18 hour concert made up entirely of the background music to Civilisation II to get the same thing.
Both bands were great though and my wife was in Heaven as she loved Supernatural too and had once failed to have a drink with them. And Louise still has it in every regard and all those men and women who fell in love with her in the nineties would still crawl over broken glass for her to spit on them.
Her kids came on stage at the end of the gig and danced along and took the bow with the band. It was the uncoolest and coolest thing simultaneously, but what a great symbol of the way our lives have changed and the way they’ve stayed the same. Except for me. Being out of the house.
We got to go to the afterparty too, though babysitters and a drive back to Hertfordshire meant that Catie and me left before Louise arrived (we’d waited long enough to assume she wouldn’t come). We didn’t go to bed til after 1am, making this the most rock n roll thing we’ve done in four years.
I didn’t miss being drunk and in fact have got to the stage where watching other people necking huge glasses of beer for fun looks alien and insane. I suspect I will be back with them all soon enough and think that getting pissed is normal again. But maybe not.