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

16 Responses to “Oldness comes with a smile…”

  • James Says:

    *wipes away tear at “past the halfway line on the great football pitch of life”*

    Hope you’ll be rocking out on yer zimmer at The Hold Steady tomorrow.

  • The Ledge Says:

    I shall indeed and I can’t wait. I’m pretty sure I’ll be rejuvinated by Craig Finn and co. They’re gonna make me feel 38 again.

  • JustHipper Says:

    Get him dancing won’t you James? He’s such an old sorry git he wouldn’t come to T in the Park with us women!

  • James Says:

    I’ll get him moving to ‘Southtown Girls’, don’t you worry!

  • Paul Says:

    Wow!! I was at that Throwing Muses/Pixies double-bill in 88!!

    Brings back some memories!!

    Still love both bands today.

    I also remember the In Tua Nua & Melissa Etheridge gigs at the same venue with the same fondness.

    Good times.

  • The Ledge Says:

    Ah, The International was my favourite venue of all time. My first gig there was R.E.M. in 1985 which was mindblowing. Also remember seeing 10,000 Maniacs, Green On Red, The Triffids, The Long Ryders, Half Man Half Biscuit, Tom Tom Club and Galaxie 500 (twice). Happy days. Pity it’s now a turkish supermarket.

  • dok Says:

    that is a shame always check past your page. You can always come and read my mag http://www.musictowers.com go on… you know you want to…

  • Mancubist Says:

    Boo! Hiss! etc.

  • Paul Says:

    It’s been a wee bit quiet around these parts this July – Have the floods reached IndieCredential HQ?

    Anyway – just wondering whether you guys are going to the Elle Milano / WinterKids gig at Korova in Liverpool on Thursday night? Two great bands for a fiver!

    I saw Elle Milano play there last year and they are top dollar. I’ve only recently got into WinterKids but they are utterly brilliant – check out the track ‘Tape It’ on their MySpace site. Fantastic Stuff!!

  • James Says:

    What’s with the radio silence guys? Is Rick having a mid-life crisis or something? I take it you’re at Dpercussion on Saturday? Be good to see you, catch up, make snide comments about bands with you two. See you there?

  • The Ledge Says:

    James, I got over that age thing a few weeks ago. We just need to give ourselves a good kick up the arse to get the blog going again. We should be at Dpercussion for early evening – got a family thing in Wales in the afternoon – so unfortunately we’ll miss j4d’s dj set. See you there, no doubt.

  • James Says:

    J4D is so getting some stuff chucked at him. He’s on at 1.30pm so there’ll be no-one there then. Just me. Stood in the middle of the basin. Booing. See you down there.

  • James Says:

    Sorry we didn’t catch up yesterday guys. My phone crapped out on me and decided to not send any texts. That sounds like a shit excuse but it’s true.

    Didn’t see J4D, but we did see Neil Morrissey in the Ox on Liverpool Road, so that made up for that disappointment.

  • JustHipper Says:

    I saw J4D but he didn’t recognise me and I was feeling rather anti-social.

    And James, being too drunk to remember how your phone works is not the same as your phone not working.

    I need to put up a post now. Sans MP3s cause I’m that lazy. It’s been waiting for them for 2 weeks. It ain’t gonna happen.

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