Monday, March 12, 2007


Last night I went to the Barfly in the centre of Birmingham to watch Christian's band play: 'The Day We Caught The Train'. Yes, I know, it's a dreadful name.

I've four lads and none of them have been particularly sporty. I haven't had cause to stand around watching a rugby or football match in the driving rain in the hope of catching one of my lads kicking a ball or involved in general play. It's something I really feel that I've missed out on, but my lads just aren't really that interested in sport. I can't blame them, I'm not either particularly. I watch England play Rugby with vigour, but that's about the extent. I can't be bothered to watch golf, cricket or football - in fact I can't think of anything more tedious.

So, stood in the middle of a real dive in the centre of Birmingham, watching my lad and his band play in the Irish quarter of Birmingham was a real treat.

Getting to the gig was a little arduous. The roads had been closed for some time for early St Patrick's day celebrations. As a pedestrian, I negotiated the crowd of partying Brummies that were singing the words to songs I'd long forgotten. Girls in their late teens sung about 'Sweet Molly Molone'. These girls were so young, they would consider the Spice Girls as classic rock. It was like me sniggering at the '90's Club Classics' advertised liberally on the television as 'Old Skool'. These girls obviously didn't know the words, and seeing these youngsters singing the old classic was grating and somehow wrong. It was about as right as seeing the Queen with a mohican headbanging to Motorhead's Ace of Spades with Prince Philip hugging the Armitage Shanks.

What on earth was this all about?. Why St Patrick's a week early? I'm sure I am more Latvian / Fijian than some of the drunkards were Irish. The place was awash with Green shirts and Guiness top hats.

I've long thought that we here in the UK are suckers for trendy calendar events. Why do we celebrate Halloween for goodness sake? Why is Valentine's day such a big thing? We'll be celebrating 'Thanksgiving' whatever that is next. Oh well.

Back to the matter in hand, I hoped to goodness that the wheels would remain on my car, parked in a long line of illegally parked vehicles on the faded double yellow lines, probably from long historical illegal parking.

I held my nose in a vain attempt to staunch the smoky acidic smell of urine that was freshly staining the yellowing wall just ahead of me. One of the Urinors nodded a shaky hello at me as I stepped over someone not so cogniscent or vertical, lying as horizontally as a prone man can, on the pavement.

Inside the gig venue was little better, sticky floors & broken glass. But there was a really great atmosphere, and my lad was playing with his mates at a proper gig venue, and I have to say, they were playing really, really well. I was ever so proud of Christian. The sticky floors and over priced drinks were a pretty good trade for driving rain, cold fingers and my watching a muddy, tedious game of footie.

So this is what it's like having sporty kids eh?

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