I’m not a fan of so-called ‘festivals’. Sleeping (trying to) in a tent amongst loud, shouting teenagers who don’t seem to go to bed, while playing their hideous pirate radio station drum ‘n’ bass tunes on their tinny-sounding mobile phones, having to wash for 4 days with wet wipes, queuing for 4 hours behind people 6 deep at a bar to receive a warm, watered-down pint of cheap cider, to then find your way to the ‘toilet’(a sweaty plastic box with a bucket inside) to then realize you haven’t remembered to bring one of your shower wipes™ so have to drip dry, and make your way through discarded toilet paper (wishing you hadn’t worn your Russell & Bromley sandals) back to your soggy bench (it is undoubtedly raining) to try and enjoy the rest of your cheap cider, which has now been diluted in the rain. But, I hear you say, surely the bands are worth seeing? Unless you have arrived at 9am, sat yourself down at the front of the stage armed with enough sustenance to get you through the whole day (no alcohol though – you don’t need any unnecessary trips to the toilet) then you are pretty likely to be behind a few thousand people. In the rain. Behind some stinky people that forgot to bring their shower wipes™. Being too hot then being too cold. Being able to see the lead singer when the person in front sways to the left and the person next to them leans over to puke up their watered-down cider. Then realising that the view is much better on your television, from the comfort of your sofa. And there is a free, clean toilet.
Yet, in an effort to keep young, I found myself booking tickets for a concert (sorry, gig) last month. After hearing them on radio 6 (the grown up’s radio 1 with far less drivel-talking disc jockeys) I was much pleased to see that ‘Bombay Bicycle Club’ were playing on my home turf of Bournemouth. The venue, a magnificent renovated theatre. (in my parent’s youth, the old ballrooms, in my youth, a huge club playing brilliant dance music). The boyfriend quite liked them too. He was in on the plan. To be honest, we went to cure our intrigue as to what it now looked like. Was the sticky carpet still there? Did they still sell Hofbrau lager? Queuing in the foyet, a young girl commented on how she loved my trainers. A good start, I thought. Fitting in with the youngsters. Feeling chuffed with ourselves, we entered the grand looking front doors, ready to step back in time. Disappointingly, it was now funky fresh new carpets, brightly-lit walkways, and the bars even sold gin and tonics! We decided not to enter the fray of moshing revelers at the front of the dancefloor, but chose a more conservative viewing spot up in the gallery. After their ‘set’(which, I’ll be honest, sounded better on the radio) they did the usual ‘thanks-everyone-we’re-off-but-you-know-there-will-be-an-encore’. We looked at each other, and, knowing that this would happen, the boyfriend said, with a dead-pan look on his face, “If we go now we can beat the traffic”. I didn’t need to think twice. Oh, how times have changed.