I Am Malcolm

I used to have a good friend called Malcolm. (I really did – that’s his actual, genuine, real name – a first for this blog.) Sadly, these days I’d have to place Malcolm on a list of former friends. We didn’t fall out or anything, it was just one of those drifted separate ways things. He moved away and we just lost touch.

Malcolm was a very particular type of mate: he was my gig buddy. We liked lots of the same music, so it wasn’t surprising that we often went to see the same bands. Sometimes it was just the two of us, sometimes we were part of a larger group of friends. Looking back through boxes of memorabilia the other evening I was struck by just how many concerts we’d been to together. He’s just one of many friends that I’m no longer in touch with because I don’t have their e-mail. Sign of the times.

Sadly once we got to an actual gig (or, as Malcolm always pronounced it, a ‘jig’), it became obvious that we weren’t the most compatible of gig-buddies after all. I wanted to be near the front, waving my arms and generally acting like a lunatic; Malcolm’s preferred territory was further back, away from the throng, where he had space to chill, to enjoy the music and just tap his foot. (Actually, in all but the largest venues, the physical distance between our preferred spaces turned out to be surprisingly small.) Afterwards, he would tease me about my frenzied dancing; I would chide him for his apparent lack of enthusiasm. But they were good times which have given me fond memories to look back on.

Nowadays my gig buddy is my bestest friend, the lovely Mr TLC. He also likes to take the Malcolm approach at gigs and prefers the foot tapping territory. Perhaps it is a sign of just how sedate I have become, maybe it’s just a lack of energy, but whatever the reason, I found myself quite happy to be standing near the back with Mr TLC when Feeder came to town. Given that the carpet in the Carling Academy is now sticker than something very sticky indeed, even the tapping of feet represented quite a challenge, because the moment I stopped moving, my feet were well and truly stuck fast.

Feeder were brilliant. They played … oh, I can’t do gig reviews. They played everything, finishing with Just a Day, at which point the already enthusiastic crowd went berserk. Part way through the song Mr TLC nudged me and gestured that I should look around. We could see every dance, every little routine from that video. Every single one. Brilliant.

Basically, everyone else there was going absolutely crazy. Everyone. Except for me and Mr TLC. We were standing quite near the back, away from the mad throng. I was chilling, enjoying the moment, enjoying the music and tapping my foot. And then it hit me, that moment of sudden realisation.

I have turned into Malcolm.

Yay for being Malcolm!

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