Well, that was odd.
First time at the buffalo bar in months. This time on my own. I stand at the end of the bar to watch Betty and the Werewolves set, clutching a £3.20 bottle of Tiger, feeling awkward. I've seen them play before a couple of times, and the Werewolves tracks on my ipod always sound good when they come up on shuffle.
The place is busy tonight. John the mohawk guy from every gig ever is at the front taking photies. The longhair photographer from every other gig is stood to his right. At the back of the room I catch a glimpse of Ria the Blogger. My beer runs out and I feel awkward.
The acoustics at that end of the bar are never good, but the view of the stage is great. I wish I'd stood further back.
Between bands I head outside to wander the streets of Highbury and Islington for a while, to escape my feeling of awkwardness inside.
I've been to plenty of gigs on my own before, easily hundreds, maybe 50% of my total. Did it feel this uncomfortable before?
Am I just getting old? I used to find myself in the middle of the moshpit at huge gigs at the Apollo and the Barrowlands. I broke my foot, got a black eye and a huge lump on my shin after Idlewild shows in the nineties.
I dunno why, but the last moshpit memory I have is two rows from the front during Suede at the Barrowlands, maybe six years ago. The memory of being jammed up again fellow man, at one with the throbbing of the crowd, that's the last I remember.
Back to the Buffalo, waving my stamped hand to sister Delia on the door, and then taking up a position behind tall people at the back to watch 14 Iced Bears and The Wolfhounds.
Dan from Pocketbooks is a yard or so to my right, sideburns all magnificent. Ian How Does It Feel mans the merchandise table behind me. Sean from Fortuna Pop arrives at my elbow, I migrate left, forfeiting my view of the stage.
I used to be a lot more comfortable feeling awkward at gigs, I used to rudely embrace it, cuntly so. Justifying it with my notebook, blurry photies and blog.
Time passes and I'm still writing this, now at the Lexington, two days later. I went to Currys, Staples and Maplin, earlier and was thoroughly underwealmed. Years ago I'd browse such shopped, brimming with ideas and creativity, with this printer I could make books, with this set up a record label, with this camera I could have a whole new career. But now I just think "meh", no point, tried that, failure or moderate success. Why try again.
I have become more cynic.
Do Betty and Teh Werewolves gaze at the icebears and Wolfhounds thinking the same thing? "That's what I wanna be in twenty years time"?