And for one night I was back in my mid-twenties because I think is precisely 20 years I have not attended a concert. A proper one, as I don’t believe Jane Birkin in a theatre can be categorised as “concert”.True must be told I nearly risked to go to see Metallica. I already had the tickets in my pocket when daughter number one got in the way. Literally on the way as from the day we bought the tickets and the day of the concert I developed a six months bump that was coming before me. Sometimes I still doubt that the travelling husband, being a man of numbers and a man who hates music even in the car because he finds it annoying, made his math and got me pregnant to avoid the concert.
Back to these days, here we are the big man(aka my Swedish friend’s husband) and me, all excited and ready to go to see Roger Waters. Meeting point is a pub in town not much far from where the travelling husband works as I am supposed to drive there with the girls and leave the car and the offspring with him.
He is already waiting for us on the road. He got in the car and took the driver seat. I show him the pub address,”But that is on the other side of the canal, it will take ages to get there with the car but walking is five minutes, you better go on your own”.”Oh ok “, I say, ” So where would I get out the car?”.
“Now. Go go go go, before the traffic light gets green again”, and the travelling husband opens my door, not in cavalry gesture but more in an “I am throwing you out” gesture.
In fairness, he was right and even miss google map said I was only five minutes walking away from the pub. Unfortunately, because of my controversial relationship with maps in general, those five minutes became fifteen as I kept going in a circle around the same street. Eventually, I am on the right track, as confirmed by miss google map. I am now truly two minutes away when my darling husband, who had just pushed me out the car, rang me to be sure I got to the meeting point and I am safely in the company of my concert pal, who is also a good friend of him. Of course, I did lie not wanting to bear the humiliation to have gotten lost again.
Now, the two rockers are reunited and have all the essential to enjoy their “back to our youth night out”. Like two happy and light-hearted teenagers, we start with a beer and a sneaky cigarette.
We might feel in our twenties, but still, we have old people seats. Expensive sitting chairs with a brilliant visual and an even better acoustic.
The atmosphere is fantastic ad the concert is terrific, even better then I expected.
By the time is finished and we are out is not even midnight. The queue to get the tram back into the city is monstrously long. We decide to stop by at the nearest pub. Not the most original idea as whoever is not queuing for the Luas is having a drink there. The place is anyway not excessively noisy or annoyingly crowded. We sit outside and share the table with an old couple, just back from the concert too. The big man and I are both quite extrovert and rarely go somewhere without knowing new people, for the not always well-concealed annoyance of our introvert partners. As more as we talk with our new friend of the day and as more obvious it gets that they think we were a couple.I then very genuinely I say,”Oh gosh no! He is not my husband “.
“No no no, I have a wife at home, and she has a husband too”, the big man adds. The couple looked at us slightly baffled, the woman clearly doesn’t know what to say, and then it hit us both that now they are probably thinking we are having an affair and we are quite shameless displaying it.
“No no no, we are not having an affair”, we said nearly at the unison,” Just our partners don’t do concerts!”.
Relief crossed the couple faces, and we can all celebrate this clarified situation of not sin with another pint.
We leave the pub, the queue for the tram is gone, and we head toward the city centre. Now, what do we do? Do we go straight home or do we enjoy for a bit longer this free pass night? We decided on one last drink despite the fact it is a school night for both of us, but what else can we do? We are in our twenties again, and we can sure handle this, right? Not really, as the following day he didn’t start working until late morning and me, I was indeed up and running by seven am, but with a sluggish stomach that is still with me after three days.
As it was the last drink, we went to a fancy cocktail bar. The bouncer greeted us and escorted us inside down the stairs. Dimmed lights, carpets on the floor, red velvet covered chairs and couches.The tables are positioned in a way that they are entirely private but with a good sight of the rest of the place.
We take a seat and, sharing the same twisted mind we can’t help but laughing and starting to make up stories about how much the place resembles one of those swinging club prive’ they show in the movies. We are now expecting some masked guest any minutes to come and approach us. Instead, the only one to show up is the waiter.
While waiting and in between fantasising and ironising about the place we also had plenty of time to consult the cocktails list. I went for a banana and coffee-based cocktail called “manner your dog”,(the cocktails name were quite peculiar and open to multiple interpretations too), the big man stayed classy and classic and ordered an “old fashion”.Unfortunately not a suitable option for the place and the waiter that not even bothering to write down the order said,”But Sir, as you are here why not to try something very different. May I suggest something you sure have never tried before?”.I nearly chocked myself in the unsuccessful attempt not to laugh, the big man probably for the first time in his entire life was speechless. I couldn’t resist but rub his arm and say, “He is a very traditional man”.
“Believe me, sir, you won’t regret it”, the waiter replied. Now even the big man is desperately trying not to laugh, and after some insistence, he capitulates and goes for a new alternative cocktail. Once the cocktail arrived, we drank them, paid them and called it a night before being suggested to try something else or even more alternative.