When I left you, we were making our way down to the Gov to see 'The Vines' accompanied by two intensely excited 'gals' incapable of speech without shrieking giggles.
On arrival, we were greeted by the ubiquitous concert queue. I remember concert queues. They usually involved blankets and snacks and gangs of your mates sitting around all day before the gates were opened and everyone scrambled for 'poll' position near the front of the stage. Queues were part of the concert experience and many a romance was kindled in a concert queue as you got to know your neighbouring queuers pretty well.
Fortunately, this queue had a more practical application. As we stood in line, security guards proceeded along the queue checking idees and slapping these attractive bracelets onto anyone old enough to drink. We were flattered that it was deemed we needed them :-) What a fantastic idea to save time and embarrassment for the bar staff! All the hard yards had already been done.
Once the sheep had been sorted from the lambs; or perhaps that should be 'the fish' from the 'fry' (as in, 'he drinks like a.....') the doors were opened and we spilled into the venue.
The Gov is a reasonably small venue with the bulk of tables and chairs moved out of a back area to make room for moshing and the like.
There are a couple of bars with some stools and tables nearby and the room opens out onto, what we used to call, a beer garden. Surrounding the stage was a sturdy looking steel mesh fence. Hmmmm. Should I be worried?The girls of course, made a bee line for the front and claimed a spot by the fence. Himself and I were obviously not being encouraged to stay nearby (goodBYE Mum) and so, as the place was far from full at that point, we got ourselves a beer and retired to the beer garden. We could sit out there and still see in through the doors to where the girls stood by the stage. At this point I must fill in a few details, paint a more complete picture as it were, so that you can fully appreciate what happened next.
My attire for a rock gig consists of; a black, boned shirt with lace-up back, a long eastern style coat, blue jeans and pointy black high heeled boots. I clasp my pint in one hand and my newly coloured red hair glints in a high fashion bob under the early evening sun. I look like a groupie.
Himself is all in black too, down to his black cowboy boots. His collar length hair is flying in the breeze; his not inconsiderable girth gives him the appearance of a juggernaut matched by his surly countenance, as if carved from redwood, under its magnificent moustache and beard. He has a pint in one hand and a cigar hanging carelessly from the other. He looks like a biker.
At this point, as we searched the garden for a seat, my eye fell upon the sheepishly grinning face of a callow youth and from there to the pale, shocked face next to him and another next to that.
Year 10. Three of the more streetwise of a pretty streetwise cohort. I grinned, raised my glass and said "Hello boys, it looks like ALL the reprobates are here now!"
They were speechless.
I wish I could have been a neuron-on-the-wall in their brains at that point. I would have LOVED to know what went through their minds. Hahahahahahahah
All I could say to Himself as we made our way to a seat nearby was,
'You are earning me squillions of points in street cred!'
I must say though, it was hard to know whose style was cramped the most by our joint presence;
tough, uncompromising middle aged teacher or rebellious, 16 year old Christian students with attitude! Although I found it quite amusing, I also felt a little exposed and perhaps not as free to 'let my hair down' as I would have liked.
It's funny really because I was driving, so my beer was a lonely one, and of course I was also supervising The BA and her friend so I was never going to climb onto the bar or lapdance the security guard (as if I ever would!) but I still felt as if I couldn't even get up and dance in case the boys saw me.
Eventually, Himself and I went back inside and parked ourselves on stools and a table near the bar while my little friends disappeared over to the extreme other side of the room as fast as they could. The BA and friend were just visible through the gathering crowd and I made myself useful collecting up their bags and jumpers to 'hold' like a good mum. Lo and behold what do I discover but that the couple standing next to us are ALSO here supervising their 13 year old son! Seems it was an 'all age' event. The first band came on.
I laugh now when I think of the innocence of The BA and friend. Part way through the set I took them lemonade and she took the opportunity to shout in my ear "Is this The Vines?"
The look of doubt and confusion on her face brought a smile to my heart. Of course! She's never heard of a support act! She's only 13 and this is her first concert. :-)
I reassured her that it was not and she appeared relieved.
We enjoyed the first band. They're called the Shiny Brights and they have a My Space page. They were energetic, catchy and put on a good 'show'. I'd go and see them again.
The next band had delusions of adequacy. Himself was less polite and pronounced them 'crap'. From the man who designed a T Shirt in the 70s which said 'If it's too loud, you're too old', came the words, "That was just noise." They really were a bunch of self indulgent wankers
(sorry mum) who stood with their backs to the audience playing into the loudspeakers so they could hear how good they were. Boooorrrring.
But, never fear, The Vines were at hand. They exploded onto the stage and hit the ground running. Now these guys know how to put on a show. For the BA's first rock concert it was text book. Craig Nicholls had his shirt off after 2 numbers, tipped a glass of water over his head and swore at the audience. There were crowd surfers, LOTS of crowd surfers. There was moshing and the sensation of being pinned to the fence (in total safety as the crowd was only 6 people deep near the front, at the max). There were poignant numbers and intensely popular commercial faves and if I was clever like A Free Man, I would be able to post some examples and link them to the appropriate words, but I'm not. Finally, there was smashing of guitars and mike stands into drum kits and speakers. Quintessential rock and roll. :-D The Vines had it all.In the end I went down the front and moshed, after all, I had paid my money too. No sign of my students *whew*
At the end of the evening the girls were beside themselves with excitement. They nursed their ringing ears and pronounced over and over again how 'brilliant' it had been. They swore they would never be able to get to sleep. They sighed over the fact that Craig had 'touched' them as he low fived the front row.
The BA was asleep within half an hour of getting home; the exhausted, happy sleep of one whose expectations have been exceeded.
Of course, I was waiting to see what the repurcussions would be at school on Monday. Nothing was said initially and then two relatively unknown Year 9s came up and asked me if I liked beards. Random? I think not. Somebody had been talking :-) Later, another teacher came in chuckling to report that the two boys in question had talked to her about the experience whilst being kept back after class.
Boys: Mrs B, do you know Mrs A very well?
Mrs B: Why yes, we share an office.
Boys: Well, did you know we saw her st THE GOV on Friday night? It was freaky.
Mrs B: Why freaky?
Boys; Well, you know....like....... she was there, and.........we were there....and.....well......it was
Mrs B: kind of like worlds colliding? (she's an English teacher...you can tell :-D)
Boys: well, yeah. AND.....she was DRINKING!!!!!!!!!!!
Mrs B: SO??????????
Sheesh. I don't know. One beer. What's a girl to do when the Playground Police are onto her??? :-D
Thank God for wonderful colleagues I say!