Good mate Princess and I went to see the Charlatans, who have been in my life almost as long as I've been an adult, with their stonking track The Only One I Know* coming out the year I turned 18 (go on, do the maths). When I lived in the UK my flat mate, Geordie, and all round party girl Debs and I had it bad for Mr Tim Burgess, and I was kinda wishing I was able to be with her to see them play. All in all it's probably a good thing Debs didn't make the trip from her cosy house in Tyne-on-Wear. The band looked old. The band looked bored. And not long after so did I. And Princess too. I leaned over and said 'I'm happy to go back to the Worlds End for a pint if you'd rather'. She rathered. She also said it looked like Mr Burgess had taken a particularly strong trip in about 1991 and had never come down from it. Too bad it didn't get them bouncing off the walls. I didn't get to hear Only One I Know, but I was sure it would be an encore and I just couldn't be bothered waiting around that long.
So we did go back to the Worlds End, where we'd eaten before the show (tip: Saturday night is $15 parmie and pint night, and very nice it was too). These days I'm nearly 40 and Princess has two kids under the age of three, so late Saturday nights at the boozer are not a common event for us. This venue used to be a semi-regular haunt for us when we were young and on the streets, and the clientele has certainly changed, but that's probably for a future post on the death of feminism....
This evening, and conversations with some of more-academically minded friends have made something apparent to me. In my early twenties my successful, academically minded friends were nose-down-bum-up, hard at study and focused on where they were going. I on the other hand, was hanging around at gigs and drinking waaaay to much beer with musos, roadies and groupies. Hence me slogging at a Masters degree in my 40s, while many of my friends had PhDs under the belts in their mid twenties.
Would I change it? Hell no. As Princess said, quite out the blue - we've done some good stuff in our lives, haven't we. This was sort of phrased in a "we're old and boring now, but..." kind of way. But it was 9.30 and we were both tipsy on our fifth beer and ready for home, so I knew what she meant. Princess and I have travelled Australia and the world together, been in at least three share houses together, laughed, cried, and held each other's hair while we were throwing up. We can also fight like no other friends can.
She's right tho, between us we have:
- gone to school in France
- lived in a small village in rural China
- built an orphanage in Kenya (not single handed though!)
- shared a lift with Nick Cave
- lived through hepatitis and malaria (one a piece)
- danced in precariously high heals to Robbie Williams with the cutest boy on the floor
- done tray after tray of shots in those horrible sticky, plastic shooter glasses
- ridden cycles and vespas to exciting locales
- woken up with the rhythm section of the support act asleep on our lounge floor
- picked up the lead singer of strange country-ska acts
- done countless all night sessions of Donkey Kong Country
- got some of the best tattoos in town, from the best tattoo artists in town
- eaten BBQ'd chicken hearts on the silk route
- SCUBA dived, parachuted and paraglided
- ended up homeless on the streets of Athens
- bargained for carpets whilst drinking endless cups of tea in Varanasi
And last night we got caught up in a friendly street tussle with the Hilltop Hoods.
Yep, it's been a good life.
* it should be noted that this stonking dance floor favourite is now being used to flog chocolate.