the letters one by one illuminated the cold brooding bleak Glasgow sky. adolescent habit had been changed, instead of European floodlight football, witnessing Liam Brady’s lowest management moment, the ballroom and my underagedness was my opponent.
huddled against the wall, from the frost and the stare of the bouncers on the door, no eye contact, look at your feet, see the gap and get in. it failed. no reasoning, just pleading and i’m sure there was tears, ticket ripped, a gruff, “on you go son” was music to my ears.
up the stairs and past wendy james with her unwelcoming glare, past the smell of the hot dogs that come with a warning of a week in bed, through the doors and into the hall, greeted by that giant mirror ball, no time to catch breath and drink it all in, live rock and roll was there, a blur of long sleeves, sideburns and hair, nostalgia says the hall was rammed, experience says different, down the middle, testing the famous wooden sprung floor, i had left any coolness at the front door, not that I had any, a sweaty set and it was gone, what the hell had just went on?
the following day, flicking frantically through the NME, pocket money handed over in Sleeves for the seasonstream EP, keepsakes, buttermouths, shires with island securing me and no roses at doors became part of my imagery, for a village boy, slight frayed and lost, this world was mine and at no cost.
many years have passed and many bands seen, I often wonder what might have been if I hadn’t connected that cold November night with a band with no name, i learned the half way line runs both ways, Liam Brady never did.