“I sleep in late
Another day
Oh what a wonder
Oh what a waste
It’s a Monday
It’s so mundane
What exciting things
Will happen today?”

Courtney Barnett

Oddly I had most of this written with the intention of sending it as usual on Friday, last Friday, but found myself in a field in Stradbally and the queues, accreditation, parking etc. and most importantly, lack of power or WiFi means it goes out today, serendipitously, on a Monday, about last Monday.

This is last Friday’s blog TODAY !!!

Several months ago my great friend Baz sent me a message, “Boygenius, August ,ticket ?” and I immediately replied “Yes !”.

At that exact moment I had absolutely no idea who Boygenius was/is/are/were , but I’ve always benefitted from simply saying yes to any of Baz’s invitations. I’d always liked Nick Cave, but loved him after Baz took me to see him in the grounds of Kilmainham Hospital, Dublin. I was a big fan of Radiohead, and had seen them live in Londan before, but , again, at Baz’s invitation, saw them in the Point Depot, and have been an even bigger fan since. I’d never considered going to see Hamilton, Baz took me to see it in London and I subsequently took my Soulmate and the kids to see it. Up until last year I’d only known, and loved, Sigur Ros for the video to their song Hoppipolla, but Baz called and asked “Are you fit to go to a gig ?” and I said yes without even knowing who, what, or when we were going. It was AMAZING !

Boygenius were playing in Kilmainham,  on Monday , August  28th, and in between agreeing to go I also got letter for an appointment for an eye injection in the Mater Hospital, and a blood test in Beaumont Hospital, all conveniently in Dublin.

After my eye injection I called my best mate Micky to see if he was around and free for a coffee, he said yes and invited me to his house. It was only after I arrived and was greeted by his better half Helena that I discovered that it was their third wedding anniversary. Micky and Helena have been soulmates almost as long as my Soulmate and I have, we all grew up together, left home together , shared houses in Dublin together, and have been there for each other throughout our time on this wonderful tiny blue dot, but they only got married three years ago, and as I’d always considered them as together, their actual marriage didn’t leave a memory mark.

But , regardless of their plans for their anniversary, Helena insisted that Micky take me out for lunch, which he did. We went for a walk around Phoenix Park and like best friends who ….I was about to say ‘…are always there for each other..’ but I don’t think that’s quite true, he is always there for me, counsellor, supporter, influencer, tolerator…and , basically, God’s own glue. In my darkest moments he has been the light. If it wasn’t for his terrible taste in headwear , music, and following Leeds Utd., he’d be perfect. I’m definitely on the debit side. Anyway we had a great chat which felt like moments, but was hours. I left him home , gave Helena a hug and wished them a happy anniversary, and headed up to Beaumont for a blood test.

Before I had chemo last year whenever I had a blood test the nurses would almost salivate , saying that they could see the vein as soon as they entered the room. But as chemo and 12 days in hospital , all necessitating multiple needle extrusions/ intrusions ,took their toll, a blood test would involve stabbing both arms several times until a vein would limply part with a modicum of my blood.

Even months later , after chemo was a distant memory and all the operation stitches had healed , I was disappointed when the nurse had to apologise after trying a number of spots on both arms until enough of the blood could fill a tiny vial.

But on Monday, when it came my turn, ticket #72, and I sat down in the barbers/dental/ominous chair , the nurse didn’t even ask which arm I was offering, tourniquet Lefty, swabbed, and first go found a gusher. She was taken aback by how excited I was, but she recovered quickly , and as I started to explain ,at length, why this was such a joyful occasion, she smiled, turned away and shouted “Number #73 !”.

I left and wandered into town. I had an hour or two to pass until I met up with Baz for a bite to eat before the concert and I spent almost all of it in Freebird Records and Dubray books, and appreciated having the time to have the time. We went to 5 Guys and chatted over our burgers , seeming to simply pick up where our last conversation ended.

The gig itself was EPIC !

The support band were Muna whom I’d only heard of because another band I love, Arxx, had played support for them a week earlier, but the whole crowd around us knew all the words to all of their songs and belted them out.

After Muna the large screens either side of the stage showed clips of bands that were due to play in Dublin over the next while. I was walking through the crowd to buy a tour tee and overheard two young fellas comment on S Club 7, a pop group from 20 years ago who are touring again.

“Who the hell are they ?”

“I think they’re American , my Mum and Dad are fans, one of them’s dead.”

“Aah, that’s too bad.”

Boygenius came on stage to wildly enthusiastic cheering from the crowd, and gentle applause from Baz and I. Again the crowd roared along to every song while Baz and I nodded sagely and swayed back and forth a little for the rockier tunes.

At one point, in between songs, Phoebe Bridgers told the audience that they’d been touring for a while and all missed their dogs at home, so she asked everyone  to pull up a photo of their own dogs on their phones and hold them up facing the stage. The stage film crew then scanned the audience and broadcast the images on the large screens either side of the stage. There were cheers for different breeds, Oohs and Aahs for the cute ones and then they zoomed in on someone holding up a picture of their cat and the whole crowd booed !

The band were brilliant, the audience contributing greatly to the buzz, and their 90 minute set seemed to end soon after it started.

We walked back to our cars chatting about the gig , agreeing that it was one of the best.

Not a bad way to spend a Monday………..



P.S. This is Courtney Barnett’s Avant Gardner

P.P.S My Soulmate and her mad band of dippers’ fundraiser for cancer support is going gangbusters. They are doing the ‘Dip In The Nip’ this Sunday. You can still donate here

Author: paul

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