We almost didn't make it onto the coach (and a psychologist might say this was subconscious self-sabotage, or subconscious identification with Babcia's experience, or as Red, my psychology student daughter said 'because you're crackers') because I left the coach tickets on the table. I realised I didn't have them before Big Man drove away and I sent him haring off in the car the two minutes away to the house. In the interim the driver told me I could get the ticket reprinted in the coach station if I knew the number. The number!! On my phone was the email confirmation and after showing it to the staff I got a new ticket printed and jumped on the coach. It pulled out as Big Man drove up, tooting the horn madly and waving the ticket. I just had time to give him the thumbs up as we drove off.
Plan B was excellent, fantastic really. The sound was great and we were pretty near the front. If you've heard of Plan B - Ben Drew as his mum calls him - you'll know he released a soul/rap album last year called 'The Defamation of Strickland Banks'. I suppose he thought it was a good idea, since he has a soul sound, to have some dancers on stage doing some....well, it's almost sacrilege to call what they were doing Northern Soul dancing but I think that's what it was meant to be.
Now you all know that I'm a transplanted Northerner of many years and back when I was growing up in my particularly malignant Northern city, Northern Soul was the only show in town. I appreciate that it's not to everybody's taste - Big Man can't stand it, Red loves it, I really, really love it - and it's not soul like, say, Aretha or James Brown...it's a very specific era, a very specific sound and a VERY specific style of dancing. Read about it here if you're at all interested. And listen to this for some Northern Soul that isn't Soft Cell's version of Tainted Love...
Anyway, back to the dancers. God love 'em, I was mortified for them, especially the girls, most of whom looked like they'd watched a YouTube tutorial for a couple of minutes. There are lots of spins, flips and so on in Northern Soul dancing and one girl in particular kept on doing these wild spins and ending in the kind of pose that Bruce Forsyth used to do at the start of the Generation Game, a bit like Rodin's 'The Thinker'. It was shameful really, to think how much money must have been spent on putting the show on then spoiling it with such crummy dancers. Actually, there was one guy who was not bad - he looked old enough to have been at Wigan Casino back in the day - but they were really just kids. My uncle Al was a regular Casino-goer in the '70s (I was a bit too young and Babcia way too paranoid for me to have gone) and he would have laughed his socks off if he'd seen last night's performance. Watch this for a little taste of Wigan Casino...fantastic moves.
So Mr Drew, Music - A+...Dancing - Epic Fail!
Oh, and I've decided that, since it's unlikely that Joe Strummer will ever be brought back to life, last night'll probably be the last gig I'll go to. Felt too small amongst the tall youngsters!