Thursday, 24 April 2008

Time, like an ever rolling stream bears all its sons away

"I used to be 'with it', but then they changed what 'it' was. Now what I'm with isn't 'it', and what's 'it' seems weird and scary."

The feeling of getting older is never pleasant. And the onset seems to be happening earlier and earlier what with "it" changing every 15 minutes.

It's crushing when it happens, when you go on a night out thinking you're the big hepcat around town and all of a sudden your favourite venue is overrun with madourravih teenagers wearing clothes that seem more suited to, well, high concept TV drama about impossibly cool and beautiful young people than a dingy booze-sodden kip in a condemned building in the Old Town.

This happened to me years ago, when I moved to Edinburgh and the crowds at gigs and clubs seemed younger, cooler and way, way, way more connected than I did. A lot of that had to do with the fact that in reality I was never particularly cool to begin with. Unfortunately my own sense of self is often completely out of step with reality so trying to settle into a country with amazing clubs and a much wider variety of gigs than where I was used to was a tough transition. It played on my mind, wasI just the old fucker in the corner? Are those women dancing with me because they're flirting or ripping the piss? As it turns out, no more or less than they used to which is predominantly the latter. Are there ways in which you can cocoon yourself from this?

I found the best way was by having a few drinks and not caring. I was there for the music to start with so why let a few hyper-confident drug pumped infants ruin it for me. You can also do so by acting your age. This is difficult for someone with a personality that is half infantile and half grouchy sanctimonious pensioner.

Anyway, on the bus home today I heard a song that put me in mind of this. It was on a mix and being completely out of the loop I thought it was a lost 80's pop classic. It turns out it was Chromeo and it's a fantastic way to take the edge off that "are they dancing to flirt/take the piss" paranoia.

Cheer up everyone! It doesn't matter. It's all good and that. And when you look closer at the crowd around you you'll probably realise that it's actually full of old gits and gitini too, you've just been distracted by all the neon sunnies.

And chances are you'll look back on the gig as the night when you realised that the world is moving faster than you ever thought possible and will smile at how upset it made you.

Ireland's funny in a way, there's a suspicion of trendies that is nowhere near as pronounced as it is elsewhere. The summer before last I went back to Dublin for a weekend. At the time as a lengthy and ill-considered shaving experiment I was sporting what I thought to be a raffish 'tache. I'd had it for a few months in Scotland (which, as a society is no slouch when it comes to the slagging people for affectation stakes) with nary a comment on it. You'd swear I was wearing fur the way some people reacted. Including a couple of randoms at a gig I was at who seemed to think that this gave them the right to rip the shit out of me for it despite not having spent the time to even bother speaking to me.

Anyways, have a listen to the Chromeo, although everyone's probably seen it about a million times ago thus proving my point as to the futility of trying to keep up with everything.

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