Time & Place

“I dreamed about killing you again last night and it felt alright to me…..”

(“Via Chicago” – Wilco)

In only the very loosest sense of the word is this a “Beer” post….

This is my vent space. My safe place where I can say things I rarely will in person. The trick is….. to find the words to begin. But I’ll give it a go, however inadequate.

I found myself on Friday in a rare place, quite firmly ensconced within my “cups”. Drink had been taken. A lot. I was (in the words of Rowley Birkin QC) “Very, very drunk…” I ranted a bit – not nasty, that’s not in my nature – but got a bit embarrassing (apologies guys, you know who you are). And rather strangely, slightly defensive at one point.

About music. Which – as I’ve said before – as passionate as I am about Manchester and its beer, matters more. The thing that truly keeps my spirits up.

About my favourite ever concerts (I’ve never “got” the word “gig”).

You see, my favourite ever concert was U2. And – to be perfectly clear, I’m not a massive U2 fan.

At Salford University’s Maxwell Hall in 1981. Over 36 years ago.

You can have your opinion about that band, but in that night and in that place, they were transcendent. Absolutely magnificent.

I remember one particular moment amongst many in particular. I think it was during “I Will Follow”, when – momentarily – I stopped leaping.

And the floor moved. Like a wave. The floor was actually moving. Up. And down.

Obviously, this could have been disastrous. Like the 1831 “Marching In Step” bridge collapse, that sense of oneness, that joyous leaping in time could have been catastrophic. But it wasn’t. It was a special moment. Unforgettable.

Time & Place.

My second favourite concert was Gary Glitter & The Glitter Band the next year (I think).

Whatever became later public knowledge – the despicable abusive monster that Gadd (Glitter) was – at that time and in that place (again Maxwell Hall) the evening was something I’ve never forgotten. 2000 people. Bouncing to one of the great 70s bands. Together. In a 1st floor hall. In Salford.

Time & Place.

(Not every night was great there – I walked out of New Order on the Low Life tour. The last time I’d allow them to take the piss.)

I find myself reflecting more, recently, on those “moments”. Those times of enjoyment. Release. When I can laugh and smile. Without embarrassment. No self-reproach. I allow myself those moments.

There’s one such coming up on Thursday when I go to see Jeff Tweedy live. With a dear friend with whom I think we’ve formed a mutual support group. He helped me following our tragic loss. Then recently his dear wife passed away. And I’ll say it. My life would be much poorer without him.

He knows that I’ll cry like a bastard to “Via Chicago” (The above line of which a very young Fionn sang in the car once when I played it – making my jaw drop). He won’t judge. He knows also that I’ll dissolve to “California Stars“, a song forever associated with my dear departed friend, Phil. You see, Phil introduced me to Wilco (via Mermaid Avenue).

Time & Place. Again.

Be kind to one another. Jx