I had an inner dialogue slamming backwards and forwards in my head on Friday night as I watched The Wedding Present perform their ‘Bizarro’ album at The Black Cat. The music was all buzz-frenetic brilliance, but it wasn’t quite distracting enough to take my mind off the half dozen or so men who formed a midlife mosh-pit just in front of me.
Voice 1: Oh Christ, look at those sad bastards in their 40s trying to pogo dance.
Voice 2: Ah just relax, it’s a Friday night, they’re trying to have a good time.
Voice 1: Yeah, but they’re nearly all bald, and they’re taking it way too seriously, like this is 1976. I mean, the original Wedding Present came more than ten years after punk. No one pogoed to The Wedding Present even back in 1989.
Voice 2: Shut up, you miserable bastard, just enjoy the concert.
Voice 1: I am enjoying it. Except for these idiots. One of them just barged into me. I don’t mind that on the football field when I’m steeled for it, but he could have spilt my beer.
Voice 2: Do you want to make something of it?
Voice 1: Maybe. Especially with the balding wanker in the brown leather jacket bouncing up and down wearing that self-conscious, shit-eating grin like he’s on the bouncy fucking castle at Chuck-E-Cheese.
Voice 2: So you’ve never danced badly when you were drunk?
Voice 1 (ignoring Voice 2): And look at that lass there, she’s really learning something about her boyfriend tonight, isn’t she? Lucky she’s into him enough to pretend that she finds it really charming that he dances like a psychotic gibbon trapped inside a popcorn machine.
Voice 2: Maybe she really does. And maybe you wish that you weren’t too uptight to just let go and freak out without a care about what other people around you might be thinking.
Voice 1: Maybe you could shut up and stop spoiling my enjoyment of moaning about other people at the concert. Ah, look at that, how sweet - one of the twats fell over and the slap-headed wannabe hard man helped him to his feet. Almost like a real mosh pit.
Voice 2: You’re going bald too, you now.
Voice 1: Wrong. We’re going bald.
Voice 2: Oh Christ, am I really part of you?
Voice 1: Yes, we came together and we’ll leave together, whether you like it or not.
Voice 2: What if I want to dance?
Voice 1: But you don’t, really. You want to have another beer and stand here slouching and bellyaching. It’s what we always do.
Voice 2 (quietly): But maybe we could just try…
Voice 1 (to barman): Is this all you have on draft? Bloody crap selection...
Fine band, great night. Apart from the odd moaner.