A couple of months ago, I dropped into a pub at the end of an evening.
I wouldn't normally go into pubs which feel the need to have bouncers on the door, but I fancied a pint and I the music coming out of the door got the better of my interest.
First off: Order a Pint of Smithwicks (it was an Irish pub (or O'Neills which is an Anglo-Irish pub to be honest)).
Secondly: Enjoying the music selection .. hang on, its a live band
OK, it was only a local covers band, but I'd actually forgotten the visceral power that a live band playing loud can have on a bloke.
Some years ago, the live experience was to be had on (at least) a weekly basis. I would travel the length and breadth of the country (OK, Berkshire and the Home Counties) seeking out live bands.
I even organised a few pub gigs for friends bands (this was when it was possible for a band to play in a pub for a cut of the bar takings, without red tape, form filling & special licenses).
And then all of a sudden it stopped.
Why? Don't really know, but I'm guessing that marriage, mortgage and kids may be more than just a coincidence.
And so this period of time was marked by (a) a complete lack of cash, and (b) a bout of Metropoliphobia (an irrational fear of going to 'that London'). These two things combined sort of put the mockers on going to see bands. And then when I rectified the cash situation, I found I now had no time.
In August I went to the 80s Rewind Festival - OK it was a retro-ironic-fashion parade more than a music event, but it did inspire me again to get my arse in gear and go back out in pursuit of live music.
And so this is the point where I get back on the horse - tickets for Stiff Little Fingers a Sub89, Reading on 23 November have been purchased. This will be first proper live show since Santana at Wembley Arena in 2006 (which I got complimentary tickets for anyway (friend of mine knew the Sound Engineer)).
And the Metropoliphobia?
It's still there I guess, because I've done nothing to face up to it and change it.
Irrational? I'm sure it is, but I will be addressing this in the very near future.
On Friday 05 October I will be off to the Smoke for a meet-up/mingle with other frequenters of The Afterword site.
Kept promising myself to go to previous events, but the "trinity of annoyance" (cash, time & personal stupidity) always seemed to get in the way.
I've bought the train ticket, consulted Google Maps so I know where I'm going, and I just need to keep saying to myself: "confidence, confidence, confidence - what's the worst that can happen?".
Amazing what a pint of Irish Ale can do to you.