Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Golden oldies

Last night, I met up with AnimalStyle for a trip down Memory Lane. We went to the English Beat/ABC show at the 9:30 Club. I must admit I was a bit curious as how they would've held up over time.

Actually, the real question is how would their admirers themselves hold up? It's been well over two decades since the bands' heydays.

The answer is that, as a great philosopher once said*, "Time marches on; and pretty soon you realize that it's marching all over your face." There were a lot of 40-somethings clearly tickled pink to be out and about on a school night, including a couple of really skeevy guys in business suits who were trolling for female companionship.

We found it great people-watching, especially since for once we weren't the oldest ones at the club, but my smirk got wiped pretty quickly off my face when a guy who had to have been at least my age bumped into me. He apologized with either a) "Hey, sorry man" or b) "Hey, sorry ma'am". I couldn't really tell because of the plugs in my ears; then again, the mere fact that I was wearing them probably gives me my answer.

At any rate. I was surprised by how many English Beat songs I knew, and how much their music sounded like ska. Their lead singer, who was obviously very happy to be there, kept a constant patter up between songs that we could not understand. At all. I'm not sure where in the UK he's from, but his accent was, to my provincial ears, indecipherable. We would hear, "blah blah blurble TEARS OF THE CLOWN" and then they'd segue into a song. So I guess we understood the important parts, but still.

ABC was fun, but I knew only one of their songs - "The Look of Love" - which of course they sang as their send-off before the encore. Oddly, for the encore itself, they did a new song (as if anyone in the audience was interested in something new) and a song they'd played earlier in the night ("Poison Arrows" - had they run out of songs or something?). The band had six members on-stage. Three of them were recent additions but three of them were from the original set. Imagine 40-something English rockers who are making a comeback. Now that was exactly what they looked like: rumpled suits, shaggy hair, and amused smiles on their faces the whole time.

There were only two palls on the evening. The first was my overburdened intestinal tract. Prior to heading over to the show, we grabbed dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl, a DC institution (guess what it serves?). I had the chili dog AND cheese fries, which proved to be my downfall. Flew too close to the sun on that one - you can have one but not the other in one sitting. I was so stuffed that I couldn't bear to have anything except for tiny sips of water at the club. I truly thought I was going to ooze cheese out of my orifices if I wasn't careful.

The second problem I ran into was that I realized while walking home that I'd left my keys in my office. So at midnight, I had to take $20 worth of the cab rides so I could get to Cleveland Park and wake up G&T for my spare keys. She was gracious about the intrusion, but god was I pissed, especially since AnimalStyle lives like three seconds from G&T and if I'd figured it out in time, we could've shared a cab. Alas, I was slow-witted as usual. I'd say it's an expensive lesson for me except that there was no learning involved.

* From one of the biggest chick-flicks of all time: "Steel Magnolias" (Dolly Parton's character was the speaker). I defy you to watch it and not tear up.


Post a Comment

<< Home