Bury them, all of them, let them not take up the sunshine that comes to earth to bring light on the righteous. Well maybe I shouldn’t be that specific or damning, but really, when should a POP Group retire? When should they call it a day and live in their mansions making music for elevators and be heard and not seen? About the same time that I decided that getting on the dance floor with the 20 somethings was a mistake and that as nice as my legs are, miniskirts should not be worn by women over the age of 30.
It was my own fault. I thought it would be a good idea. I had no idea who the band were, what records they had produced nor when they had done so. Naïve? No just younger than my husband. I should have asked, I know I should have asked, but I thought I was doing the right thing. The tickets were expensive, in fact I have just realised that we could have spent the money on going to Twickenham to watch England play Wales in the Rugby Union Internationals. Gutted! I booked on line and went, “Mark, guess what I’ve done.” When I told him, I’d booked for Steely Dan his reply was, “Oh, Ok.” Not like the time I booked for him and his son to go and see Van Morrison. He almost jumped for joy. Almost, remember Mark doesn’t use any energy that isn’t absolutely necessary.
The saving grace of the whole evening was the support act. Steve Winwood. Yes, OK I had to say, “Who?” but apparently, he was Ok, so I redeemed myself. Stuffed up with a throat infection and dosed with antibiotics and stuffymeuppynose squity stuff, we trundled off to the Manchester Arena.
Those of you that follow my tales of marital blitz, know that our Mark is not in any way Twat Nav savvy, so a trip into the heart of Manchester was going to be a challenge. All I can say is I have never silently recited so many “GO ROUND’ tunes in my head at one time. Things like, “Here we go round the roundabout, the round about, the roundabout, here we round the roundabout, again, again and aggaaaaiiinn.” And “She’ll be coming round the mountain, when she comes…” Basically I had a really good chance to take a look at the city, cheaper and warmer than taking an open air bus, although the driver was a bit tetchy. Eventually I got my phone out and opened Google Maps, ahhh, clarity.
In the narrowest laned multi-storey carpark, up, and up and up we went, were we would stop no one would know, until finally at the very last level we found a squeeze hole. Toyota’s are not known for their ability to breathe in and squeeze into tight spaces, but Mark can get that thing to stand on its head and take a bow, so we were parked.
I’m coughing and Marks on the stick. The cheeky bugger, he doesn’t really need it any more, not for short distances any way, but it did come in handy. Escorted to the lift we took a short cut of a whole floor. It was pretty stupid and funny at the same time.
“Empty your pockets, empty your pockets before you get to the gate.” There must have been five different security guards shouting at us every chance they got. Pockets emptied, one small children’s purse with pennies in and a mobile phone. That was my haul. I asked Mark if he had his smoky stick or tools on him.
Interlude: We are bikers, it is a prerequisite of all bikers to carry tools at all times. If you don’t carry tools on your bike then your bike is too posh and you are officially a motorcyclist and not a biker. End of discussion. Personally, I have a set of driver heads and Alan keys, that fit on to a handle, in my handbag, and another set of tools under the seat of my bike. I am a biker.
Mark said all he had was his wallet and phone. We approached and Mark started. The phone came out, and the wallet, and the black folded thing, and the packet, and the leather thing and eventually everything was in the basket. I dreaded the guards asking to see inside the cacophony of bits Mark had deposited in the basket. I didn’t even ask and ushered him forward, which is hindsight might have been a mistake. You see, although Marks stick is only for balance when he’s standing still, it only works if he has it. It was at that point that I realised that it was laying on the table in front of us, being thoroughly examined by another guard. Woops! I didn’t push him that hard I promise.
Dark, bloody impossible to see your own feet let alone your aisle number or find your seat. We made it, after overshooting by three rows. I looked back and there she was, the one person that you really hope to God you will never have to sit next to anywhere, at a concert, on the bus, in a doctors waiting room. The Sourpuss. I asked what seats she was in and she got the right raving hump, looks of fire and brimstone shot out in a glare that would better any melting witch. Her companion was nice enough to tell us what number their seats were, and from there we found ours. But did she stop there, oh no, her glare seemed to bury itself into my head. Mark got into the music of Steve Winwood and not being a timid, shy, small man, his toe tapping was tantamount to a pneumatic drill powering through concrete. The whole row of seats shook to the rhythm. I was pleased that there were no awkward harmonies, Mark doesn’t have the best dancing moves. But every now and again she would throw an, “I’m disturb” look in our direction and Mark would carry on oblivious.
The couple sat next to Mark, in between us and fright night starry woman, were lovely and within minutes of Steve Winwood having finished Mark had found out that the man was born not far from where Mark was born. The man liked to name drop in the third party. You know the, I met a man, who knew a man that was famous. But he was nice, so I let him off. His wife didn’t say much and he had sweeties so they became our best friends for the next two hours.
Happy to have enjoyed the music I settled in, to look forward to the main event. They began, and I listened, and I watched, and I listened and I felt sick and I got frustrated and I then realised that the noise was actually making me wince. At this point I fear that both Mark and I forgot the one rule that we both adhere to, “be honest with each other.”
I hated it, they were dead. The music reminded me of a bad 70’s PI show and if I’d have seen Quincy MD climb on to the stage I would not have been surprised. I didn’t recognise one song, not one. The one they did play that I was supposed to know was that distorted that I didn’t recognise it. Never before have I ever heard music that moved me in such a away. It moved me alright, it made my head spin and my gut wobble and I was not comfortable at all. To add to that the scary face kept looking over and I was beginning to feel as though one quick get out, would be to cause a brawl in the middle of the Manchester Arena. I stuck it out, I kept my cool and I should have told Mark that I wasn’t enjoying it.
Little did I know that inside that calculating head of his, Mark was feeling disappointed and let down. This wasn’t the band he loved, they had no life and played like a bunch of session musicians that knew they would never be credited for their efforts.
Eventually Mark said, “let’s go,” and I gave a big sigh of relief.
Not wanting the die-hard fans and scary woman to jump on us and rip us to pieces as we left, Mark put his weight on the stick and I guided him carefully up the steps, nodding towards him and holding out my supportive hand in that, “my poor husband, we have to leave early.” Although if the truth be known I was more in need of his stick at that point. Those bloody seats are not designed for delicate women of a certain age.
Traversing Manchester on the return journey was quicker than getting in and we settled on a KFC as a consolation.
Mark was upset and not at all amused, he expected more. I on the other hand had listened to the band on YouTube before we went and knew that I was going to struggle. We both concluded that the remaining members of the band should hang up their musical hats and call it a day, and that the session musicians should stick to playing elevator music. It was a shame, because there were obviously many people there enjoying themselves.
Take the dancers in the audience for instance, no please do. Take them and put them in front of a live band, or should I say a band that are still alive. I think they would have had a better time. Unlike the three women shimmying for England, I have realised that my dancing days are over, well in public at least. Now to convince the old music makers that maybe they’ve had their time as well.