A while ago we had an anniversary and it coincided with Dan Sultan and Scott Wilson playing at Joe’s Waterhole. I didn’t want to go because I knew only one song, and I did not like it, Sam I Am. But it was our anniversary, and seeing as most other things around this place seem to go my way, I thought it maybe it was time for Nath to have an opinion. Don’t freak out, it was a one-off, no habits were formed.
So I got that boy some tickets and we were away.
We dressed ourselves young again, and turned the music up loud in the car, tricking the years away. We even stood up at the bar for a bit, despite there being perfectly good seats available. I still didn’t want to see the band, but I loved the feeling of the years fizzing away, dissolving into my stubby like an Aspro Clear. Without the bitterness.
And then the boys got playing. I was transfixed. Dan Sultan has a raspy, morning-after voice, and the stories in the songs can take you on a trip to away. Scott plays his guitar like it’s his mistress, so you can’t help but wish he’d written the songs for you. The whole show was cheeky and funny and sensual and transporting. The boys were just that, boys, having a fine time, and acting like they couldn’t quite believe their luck that they were there and we were there and we knew the words to Sorrowbound and Dingo and Come Home Tonight. I’ve lived that night many times since, catching a whiff of the exuberance of it all every time I hear the songs. So I got us tickets to see Dan again. This time without Scott. This time on a Wednseday night. This time in the middle of Winter. This time when we have had a big week, with more to come. This time when I’ve just given blood. This time when the babysitter cancelled, and another couldn’t do it. This time when it all seemed too much effort.
Somewhere there, between then and now, we caught old. We weighed up the pros and cons and decided it was too much trouble. To find another sitter, to go out on a work night, to drive all the way down south and out of the Shire, to learn the new songs, to get off the couch.
So we gave the tickets to some young people, and sat on the couch with a blankie and reflected on times gone by- bands seen, comedy shows laughed at, drinks spilled.
I don’t know if this old that we’ve caught is just a virus, something that will pass with appropriate rest and a nice lie down, or if it will settle in our marrow and constrict us until we become fused and immobile.
I hope it will pass. And that if we tweak and stretch ourselves in just the right way, we can shake it off. Because I suspect this is exactly how it begins. The new things seem like too much effort, so you make a decision to stay right here. To miss the gig, not do the update, wear last-year’s fashion, turn down the music, refuse the newest social medium, complain about how the town used to look. And the old that you’ve caught, eventually infests and kills you.
So please excuse me, I’m off for my Milo and a lie down. But I may just listen to THIS first. See if I can shake it off.
Do you go out on a school night?
How much do you love Sorrowbound?
And how much am I now spewing that I didn’t just GO? Answer: A LOT.
…From The Ashers