I went to a concert at the weekend, a 30 years celebration of a Manchester band called James who played the set list they played 30 years previously at Alto9n Towers. Mrs T and her sister were there as was our good friend “L” but enough of that, how bloody old am I now!? This trend to rerelease old records, 30 years after the event is becoming commonplace, and like busses I’m going to another open air gig, at Ally Pally in a couple of weeks, this time Primal Scream who are making a big deal about it being 30 years since they released Screamadelica (a fantastic Andy Wetherall record). Would it be correct to say it’s a state of apathy to ride on the coat tails of past glories, a cash cow to ease their way into retirement? Probably a bit, i’d say. But of all the people at the James gig at the weekend pretty everyone seemed pretty pleased to be there. I took a crowd selfie and showing it to my daughter she remarked,

“Looks fun, why is everyone so old?”

Well, they are my tribe I’ve come to realise and that ain’t no bad thing. We went out early on in the day, took in a few pints and a bite to eat as we walked along the Sale towpath making our way to the Castlefield Bowl, the open air arena next to the canals and viaducts of the part of Manchester which has Atlas and Dukes 92. Atlas was where I used to medicate myself on a Sunday Lunchtime with Guinness and Port, after a sleepless night clubbing, the walk of shame a badge of honour amongst those of us with eyes who could tell a thousand tales but will forever remain behind sunglasses. And Dukes 92 where I met my wife for our first date the day after we met at “Bugged Out” in Sankey Soaps. She spent a good amount of the time by the cigarette machine next to the toilets seeing if she could recognise the stick thin, ruffian she is now lucky to call her husband, although not so thin any more, you’ll understand when you get to my age. So while she was trying to work out who this mysterious man was I was stealing glasses of Champagne from the wedding up the stairs.

This time we had to ask the bouncer if we could come in, this time we had means to buy our own drinks, and as a result we sailed in without any issues. The drinks were very expensive and the clientele, were it not for the folk going to the James gig, were the type with really tight trousers, tiny dresses, tits and lips, and eye lashes, fucking hell, the eye lashes. Photos and Instagram, their persona intact within the safety of an app but less so when they have to speak to strangers. Unable to converse, afraid to look like an idiot by saying the wrong things, when saying the wrong things is what makes the world turn, makes the choosers choose and life exciting. We stood outside intent to go about our business to ponce cigarettes from people as weekend smokers, the worst type of smokers and the worst type of blagger. You’ve got to have some front to ask someone who doesn’t want to give you a cigarette for a cigarette, and then to win them over when they have to relent, talking and joking with them until they think that they haven’t been done. 

Thats my point, I really don’t believe that many of the younger more beautiful people would have gone to the embarrassing lengths we went to, but then we’ve made our path, we’ve ploughed our furrow and are now past the awfully tricky dating scene. I wish them luck and love, but be silly, embarrass yourself by asking the wrong questions and be nice and smile, it’s free and most people tend to like that. And for heavens sake, if you ever get the chance to swipe a 2 pint beaker of cold but poor lager from the bar instead of paying £13.80 i’d suggest you do that too.

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