Archive for June, 2007

Oldness comes with a smile…

old old old

Things seem to have ground to a halt around here. It’s not that we’ve run out of gigs to review – we’ve got a huge backlog – it’s just that both of us have been suffering from a serious lack of motivation. JustHipper has a decent excuse: she started a new job last month and it’s longer hours and a much longer drive so she’s exhausted most of the time. I, on the other hand, had the dubious distinction of turning forty a couple of weeks ago and I can’t say I enjoyed it very much.

Turning thirty was something I did quite enjoy. I felt that I’d drifted through my twenties waiting for my life to get started and I knew on my thirtieth birthday that the next decade would be infinitely better. Just over six months later I met JustHipper and the next ten years were the best of my life, our 4th wedding anniversary the day after my birthday was a considerable consolation. But at forty I’m starting to feel old, conscious of the likelihood that I’ve passed the halfway line on the great football pitch of life. I spent the first week of my forties initiating a program of home improvements, getting people in to install a new garden fence, replace the garage roof, cut down trees. I’m slowing down, settling in, taking stock. I think I’m starting to enjoy gardening. If only it would stop raining.

Despite my disappointment at reaching such a grand old age (not that I had much choice) I can’t really think of a better year to be born than 1967, from a musical point of view at least. There can’t be many people around who have had the good fortune to see live the likes of The Jam, The Smiths, R.E.M. (in their 80s heyday), The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, My Bloody Valentine, The Go-Betweens, The Triffids, Pixies, Nirvana, Galaxie 500, Ride, The Field Mice, Stereolab, Radiohead, Neil Young and more recently The Hold Steady, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene and, er, Pixies. If I stopped going to gigs now I could look back on my gig-going life with a great satisfaction, R.E.M. at the Gallery in 1984 and the Pixies/Throwing Muses double header at the Manchester International in 1988 are the only two gigs I can think of that I really regret missing out on. I won’t stop though – I can’t. On more than one occasion I found myself in a tent at a festival standing next to the great John Peel watching someone like Hefner or The Delgados. If John Peel could attend gigs in his sixties then there’s no reason why I, or anyone else, can’t.

I’ve felt old at gigs before: as long ago as 1995 I found myself surrounded by small children, seemingly no older than twelve, at the much missed Duchess Of York in Leeds waiting for Feeder to take the stage. Moments after they had I was making my way back to the bar, head bowed, wearing the majority of my pint of Tetleys over my Sonic Youth t-shirt. I’ve never forgiven Feeder for that. At a CSS gig earlier this year I stood among people my own age: parents of the screaming teenagers at the front.

Hopefully normal service on this blog will resume fairly soon, not that we ever had anything you could call “normal service”. I’m almost over my mini mid-life crisis. I’m off to Fopp with a spring in my step for a bit of musical retail therapy. Bugger.

The Clean – Getting Older

Red House Painters – 24 (Only Mark Kozelek could be this miserable about turning 24)

Green On Red – Time Ain’t Nothing

The Jam – When You’re Young

Posted by The Ledge on 30th June 2007 at 4:25 pm | comments (16)
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