Feeling knackered today due to being up late on a school night at the Bay City Rollers concert with Hel and Heather. It was soooo weird and nostalgic.
We got there and had civilised drinks at the bar, chatting surrounded by similar ladies (I choose the word deliberately) of, shall we say, a certain age, chatting about kids, knitting, husbands, work, holidays-just-taken – that sort of thing.
We are all a little exited but we take our seats in the provincial auditorium, nodding at the odd few who have dressed up in their bygone tartan and platforms, smiling at the many who’ve tied a tartan scarf round their wrist as was done back in the day when The Rollers surfed the world. The band comes on and we clap and cheer like an ordinary crowd. It’s not until they strike up the opening chord of Locomotion, their hit from 1971 and announce the arrival on stage of Les McKewan, the lead singer, that the atmosphere changes – just like that.
A wave of something sweeps the genteel, well-heeled ladies of St Ives and they (we) leap out of our seats, surge forwards and start screaming at the front of the stage, reaching up to the band to have our hands touched by our – sorry Les but it has to be said – red eyed, beer-bellied, jaded idol from yesteryear. The ladies are ladies no more, we have time-slipped and are girls again, teenage girls once more, screaming, dancing, chanting, singing along loudly because we’ve just remembered all the words.
In the interval I wondered what my ten-year-old self would have thought had she known that one day she’d meet an actual Roller. My sister (two years my senior) and I weren’t allowed to go to see them when we were wee but we had their posters on the wall of our shared bedroom (along with Alvin Shockermoller the show jumper) and learned all the words to Bye Bye Baby by playing the beloved record again and again on my Dad’s radiogram, lifting the stylus off the single (we couldn’t afford albums) again and again, line by crackling line until we had them by heart. (This was before even cassette recorders.)
Funny how things change perspective as you get older – what was once superlatively important becomes almost unremembered. But the echo of somethings must imprint deeply and, remembered or not, when you trawl them back to the surface they are so fresh and real and vivid. Last night released such a memory.
Right enough of this – must embark on penultimate chapter of A363 as did nowt yesterday except final-edit a flash fiction about dead legends which I’d set aside but which I liked so much on re-visitation I decided to resurrect. There’s a linking theme to the Rollers concert in there somewhere, I know, but have no time to develop it as academia calls.