I am old. If you know me at all then you will know that I am old. I don't really need to be reminded that I'm old but some people feel that they need to rub my fucking ancient nose in it.
It was my fault, really. I was very happy at home but about 9 I got the urge to go to my local pub, The Fox & Firkin, and check out their Ska Night. I'm not a Ska expert but to me Ska is music that sounds a bit like a lovely, big brass band playing really cheery reggae while a misery guts sings about Thatcher. That sound right to you? Well, how wrong I was. There were no men in suits looking sharp and cool, there were no pork pie hats and, very noticeably, there were no black people. At all. Three bands played in this Ska night and, I think, one of them played one song that was kind of like ska-ish. The rest was the whitest rock music you've ever heard in your life. They were whiter than Michael Jackson's corpse (HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Topical. You can have that).
They were also all about 18 years old. Great to see young people starting bands but, and I hate to be nit-picky, it wasn't Ska. Ska doesn't do ballads with guitar solos or have call and response bits between the bass player and the drummer. Ska definitely doesn't sing about texting, I'm pretty sure about that. Plus the look? Is this really how Nu-Ska looks? White boys with dreadlocks, beards, tattoos of their favourite fires and, Christ Almighty, shorts?
It's No Doubt Ska, isn't it? A Ska band that don't do Ska at all ever. Well, that's not how we did Ska in my day. It wasn't songs about love and pretty blonde singers and it definitely wasn't about joy. These bands were actually happy. The fucking cheek of them. I stood there with my friend Anthony mildly grumbling about how all young people should be sent into the army at 17 and then have a war on the moon. But after a while the joy of The Scaredy Cats (that's what they were called) was too infectious and in the Fox and Firkin, they say, that the Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day. I went down the front for a dance.
I lasted about half a song because, as everyone around me proved, I am old. The band were slowing down on purpose because they pitied me trying to keep up.Being old is crap. I wouldn't do it if I were you.