There are some moments in life when you just think “yep”, this is as good as it gets. Tonight is one of those. After a gruelling and distressing day, I hopped on a London-bound Mainline train, scooted as fast as the London Underground could manage on a Friday night, walked the ½-3/4 mile to Wardour Street in Sunny Soho and met up with Colin and Paul in the Ship Inn. (See what I did there any Buddy Curtess fans reading this?) Nostalgia abounded – The Ship Inn, just a few sweet steps away from the best ever music venue in London, now sadly closed, the legendary Marquee. We’d always meet at the Ship before a night at the Marquee. Even with the great venue down the road gone, the music emanating from the Ship’s depths hit the sweet spot alright. The pint of “Pride” or London Pride to anyone who doesn’t get it hit that same sweet spot too.
Long hugs ensued, a short while later we were munching pizza in Dean Street then on to the 100 Club. Just about the first person we saw when we walked into the bar was Shazbop. More long hugs, more short whiles and the support act (sorry, despite their superb performance, I don’t know their name) came on stage. It was a warm-up to the main event, Buddy Curtess and the Grasshoppers. My oh my. It’s more than 30 years since I last saw them play. Although they’d aged we forgave them because, well frankly so had we, we didn’t need to forgive them for anything else because they were utterly fantastic, just as we knew they would be. If you don’t believe me, type their name into Youtube and watch a video or two. Effin wonderful. After the show, Wendy May’s Locomotion kept us on the dancefloor barefoot to Barefootin’ until we got unceremoniously chucked out at midnight.
More lovely London Public Transport was travelled to get back to Colin’s house. Paul and I showed Colin that the art of chatting to random strangers on the tube is alive and well. It all started with a conversation, a selfie and a bottle of wine on the train into London with a couple that I now know are called Hannah and Louis. We got chatting on the train, we got on famously and when they were about to get off at Wembley, Hannah took a selfie of the three of us and gave me most of a bottle of wine that they’d been drinking but couldn’t take into Wembley Stadium. As she jumped off the train, she asked me for my fb name and we’re now friends! I related this to Colin and Paul and later on, on the way home we added another three total strangers to our tally. Despite the legendary status of Londoners as a bunch of miseries who think talking to other people on the train is only slightly a lesser crime than knifing someone, we found all three delightful and very willing to discuss all sorts of nonsense with us. We finally made it back to Rainham, where we flumped on the sofa before winding our way up the wooden hill (made from a forest of love) to bed. I can’t remember so much fun with my bezzies in a long, long time. Picture me now, as I type, big beaming smile plastered across my face.