25 Jan 2014

Hestia's Del Amitri Moment

Yes, this will do me nicely.
And so it came to pass that I found myself lugging my overnight stuff plus flowers plus wine up the stairs to Bobby and Colette's lovely home.  At last - it was the day of Del Amitri!!!

Colette greeted me with a hug and an expression that I shall refer to as STF (stressed to fuck).  'It's so lovely to see you was your journey okay we've had a disaster WE CAN'T FIND THE TICKETS' all rushed out in one panicked breath.

I dump down my stuff.  This was serious.  C explained that they had had to move all their furniture so allow carpet fitters clear access for fitting and the tickets hadn't been seen since.  That was November. Idly I wondered whether
we would turn up at the Hydro and find 5 burly carpet fitters sitting in our seats.

'WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?!'  Since Bob is friends with the Del's frontman, Justin Currie, we contemplate trying to get ahold of Mr Currie but we figure that he will be up to his armpits in honey-skinned blondes and throat-friendly lager shandies this close to his big Glasgow Return that he will not be bothered about two hyperventilating women and their lost tickets.

'Here, check this box.'  She thrusts a cardboard box full of the sort of paperwork pile everyone has got at home.  Some empty envelopes scrawled with nameless telephone numbers, credit card statements, folded bits of adverts and sundry paper clips, hastily drawn maps and elastic bands.  

But no Del Amitri tickets.

Bobby phoned - had we found them?  No, we hadn't.  Then I remembered that he'd read off the location of our seats a few weeks back.  Did he do that from the ticket? 'I can't remember'  

Colette and I quickly fire up the computer and I log into my facebook account and find the details that Bobby had sent to me on 3 January.   I get the telephone number for the Hydro and they quickly confirm that if we can get the credit card holder to contact them, replacement tickets will be issued.

The day is saved!!!

We call a Fast Black and head to Glasgow's West End, to a restaurant called Stravaigin, where we meet up with Graeme who has already ordered a wee bowl of chips to keep him ticking over until we arrive. Colette winds up to regale him with our Search For The Tickets only to find that Bobby has already explained.  Deflated and robbed of a good story, we order wine.

We all take the pre-theatre Triple Haggis Taster plate (with glass of whisky) and I try to practise some newly learned flirting techniques on the waiting staff (I read my magazine on the ferry and it was full of tips).  I attempt to make and hold eye contact, but fail miserably.  I am just not cut out to be a flirt.  Plus 50 is a bit late to be starting to flirt with good-looking men 20 years younger than me.

We catch another fast black to the Hydro and pick up our replacement tickets.  This is Glasgow's newest venue and it's like something out of Close Encounters.  Inside the huge Coliseum-like arena, the space is huge and yet strangely intimate.  Everyone feels quite close even though there are 8,000 people in it.  The third circle is so high you need Sir Edmund Hillary and a couple of Sherpas to escort you to your seat.

We take our seats, thankfully in the main floor area - almost at the VIP enclosure. Colette and I scan the seats for honey-skinned blondes that look like they might be with Justin.  We wonder why we are not in the VIP section when Bob plays footie with Justin.  

The support bands are good.  We have missed the Os, but The Big Dish is on.  I remember the name, but I have no recollection of any tracks.  Still, the dude can sing a bit.

By the time Del Amitri take to the stage,  we are MANY white wines into the evening and love everyone.  Except that couple that tried to take our seats.  And who then moved into the row in front and tried to take someone else's seats.  What a nerve.

The people in front of us take photos of themselves.  Bobby and I photobomb them.  I'm not sure whether they take it in good spirits but the band are suddenly on stage and the place goes WILD.

We're on our feet as they launch into the first of their many hits.  Fortunately there are two big screens either side of the stage and so short-stop Colette and I basically watch Justin Currie on the telly. We decide he is ageing well and that we both fancy him.  We are generous:  if one of us ever bags him, we promise to let the other have a shot too.  What a 'shot' actually means is left hanging in the air.  With our luck it will be Monopoly or Scrabble.

Justin begins to sing Driving With the Brakes on and as the words and music rises and arcs over our heads like a phoenix from the 80s, my eyes are filled with tears.  He's a fab lyricist, but I am also perimenopausal and can squeeze out a tear at a Gocompare advert.

This is not from last night because some of the camera phone footage has criminally bad sound quality. This is from an Aberdeen gig a couple of years gone.

I wonder what it must be like to write something that so exquisitely reflects other people's unuttered words that the sentiment hits you in the guts like a punch.  Kiss This Thing Goodbye thunders into life:

We sing along.  8,000 of us.  It is shivery-wonderful to hear it. Word perfect, if not note perfect, Roll to Me...... then Tartarus's personal favourite Be My Downfall tonight (that's the one that I nearly threw my pint over him because I got the distinct feeling that *I* was the girl lying in bed 20 miles away and that HE had had a wee 'downfall' moment with someone else.  I never did get to the bottom of that with him.  But I will.

By the time the band leave the stage after their encores, they'd been on for about 2 hours and we would happily have kept them up there singing for another 2 at least.  The Hydro spewed us out into the cold, wet January streets.

We go to a pub, Rockus, which isn't hugely busy given that it's Friday night and it's close to the venue.  I am treated to a massive Gini Hendricks cocktail which is, unsurprisingly made of Hendricks gin.  I eat my cucumber garnish.  My throat feels like I've been french kissing razor blades.

I decide to practise my flirting techniques, but end up deep in conversation with Graeme whom I haven't seen since the day Bob and Colette got married.  Rockus is REALLY noisy, so we go across the road to another pub. And waltz straight into a window table.  Bob and Graeme are transfixed by a female couple outside who go through the fight/make up routine right outside the window.

Colette and I go to the toilet which is downstairs and we discover a whole Nother Bar down there!!!!! It is hot and sweaty.  There are vintage frocks and expensive aftershaves.  I feel about a million years old as we press our way through Glasgow's version of the Young And The Damned.

The toilet has those fucking awful downlighters that make even 12 year old girls look haggard.  You can imagine what they were doing for me.  Colette's son is 31.  She looks like she's 31 herself.  Bob might be an old ex-bfriend of mine, but I adore his wife.  Smart, warm and fiesty, she's one of my preferred people in the world.  I wish that I could see them both more often.  Graeme too.  I've never even met his wife.

I am seized with the panic of wondering how I can stop pissing away my life, my one bright and beautiful life, before it's all too late and they nail the lid down.   Sometimes music and hideous down-lighters can really pull you into a dark place.  Literally and metaphorically.  Yanno?

We are back at our table where Graeme is trying to find a picture of a man with a mohawk in the shape of a lizard and Bob has ordered a Spensive Bottle of wine.  Colette says something funny that makes me laugh like a drain and the anxiety scurries back into the crack in my mental skirting board.

Colette and I discuss,  with the earnestness of the Spectacularly Drunk, how we can engineer a meeting with Mr Currie.   I wonder what it would be like to lie in the arms of someone who writes words that can move you to tears.  

Is it better than lying next to someone who can fit a patio?

If our Capture The Curry plans come to fruition, we may yet find out...

*** Note: original tickets were eventually found in the Bedroom Pile of Paper.  We had checked the Kitchen Pile of Paper and the Phone Pile of Paper and then the Box of Shame Pile of Paper.  But not the Bedroom Pile of Paper.  Let that be a lesson to you all.  Only keep ONE pile of paper ***


  1. You, me and the Kitty - let's take off and do some living. Evil road trip! :D

    1. We'd need to inform the Kremlin and the United Nations for a road trip like that......

  2. ''I am seized with the panic of wondering how I can stop pissing away my life,''

    It's too late - so open the gin, and enjoy what's left :D PS.road trip is through Italy ....:D

    1. Oh don't! I told Juno that I periodically get gripped with these Nameless Dreads - that I am never going to do anything meaningful with my life and she drained her wine glass and reminded me that I'm nearly at retirement age and that it's pretty much too late to do anything about it now.

      Just pass me the gin bottle.... ;-D

  3. "50 is a bit late to be starting to flirt with good-looking men 20 years younger than me".

    I know a few 30something blokes who'd disagree with that. Don't stop flirting--that's one of the ways of making sure it *will* feel like you've pissed your life away.

    I really like the image of the crack in the skirting board and your worries scurrying away again.

    1. Looby - you're probably right - Maybe I just need to keep practising! And thanks for liking what I wrote. Means a lot *grin*

  4. Seriously, though, who are these people who can manage with only one pile of paper?! :) Glad you still got to go to the gig, though. And I'd definitely keep practising with the flirting, it's fun ;)

  5. do NOT stop flirting. flirting is life, and life ain't over, baby. just look at me - back to school at 40, where i prance about surrounded by a bunch of 20-year olds, and where i most emphatically do NOT hang out with the other oldies (because yawn!). life gets lived to the bitter end.

  6. "can squeeze out a tear at a Gocompare advert." - really made me laugh and nearly knock over one of my (multiple) paper piles. Sounds as if you had a blast!


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