So if a donkey crashes into a rainbow and shatters it, do we cease to believe in Leprechauns?
Oh, sorry, Stretch here.
Back from the feast of Judas Priest, Megadeth and Testament. I had thought I was going to see Maxi Priest and looked the fool when I turned up with my giant beanie hat, fake dreads and enormous spliff. I quickly changed into a beard and cut-off t-shirt and readjusted my headspace.
Fuckface had insisted on going to all the pubs on the way to the Point. I refuse to call it that mobile phone company’s name. They’ll be advertising on people’s corpses next. We decided the only way to experience this gig was to pour enough liquid into our little bodies until we were fit to burst. Round after round. My head was swirling like Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas when she marries Ray Liotta.
Publicans loved us as we threw money at them for bizarre concoctions of alcohol which made no sense, especially in the stomach area. Transcending drunkeness and giggling hysterically at passersby, insatiably looking for drink in clothes shops, kebab shops, newsagents and Clarendon Street church (yay success), we went to visit the Phil Lynott statue or the two pubs either side of it. Not sure where the tribute lay. At the statue we met a child-whore who was to be delivered to Dave Mustaine. He was 18 and when I told him that I first listened to Megadeth 22 years ago, he shrieked. I had slid down and was holding his thighs. He got the wrong impression. I screamed after him that Mustaine would do much worse to him. More cocktails please.
We decided to drink some rum and the barman, seeing the state we were in,
decided to sell us everything he had. I had my credit card out and Fuckface’s two and we leered at women who may or may not have been hallucinations. Fuckface jumped from his chair, knocking over two tables and a shitload of glasses, all the time holding up a finger, and said,
“We’re late! To the gig!”
In his mania, he had forgotten his normal life and was now convinced that he was performing this night. We grabbed the nearest shit-eating taxi and it turned out to be my ol friend MR James’s cousin from Donegal, Mr James. He regaled us with stories of good places to find a nice bit of ham and also that it’s hard to get corned beef in most butchers these days. He had never been published, like his cousin. Bored, we jumped out of the taxi and rolled three times to avoid injury (thanks 1980s TV). Fuckface’s teeth were chattering and he was muttering to himself something about the artist’s entrance.
“Where you going, Fuckface?”
About a thousand sensitive rockers glared at me as if Desmond Dekker had become lead singer of Motley Crue. Fuckface bypassed all these queueing souls and demanded to see the manager. The bouncer’s jacket inflated to attack mode but noticing Fuckface’s ticket, he said,
“Yer in the right queue gobshite, now fuck off inside!”
Confused by this order and before we were stungunned by the mobile phone company police, I dragged Fuckface away and entered the behemoth. This place had changed. Not only was it large, but incontinence trousers were being sold at the entrance because of the vast distances needed to travel until you got to a fucking toilet. Testament were on. They played “Over the Wall.” We screamed like girls at a disco and went straight into the mosh. Fuckface then started screaming at me that he was a virgin, which created lots of space for us, until I realised that this was his first mosh. Like a baby taking its first tentative steps he fell flat on his face.
Things were strange, we were but two rows from the stage and yet we carried on a conversation. HANG ON. What’s going on? I don’t believe any of my gibbon family had mated with a bat, so how exactly was I able to talk? There was noise alright but it was unidirectional. Weird. It was liking listening to thrash metal in a lift. Exhausted and dehydrated, we stood back for a while and had a look at the punters. As a young Stretch remembering the good ol days of 1980s heavy metal and bikes and chicks and venereal disease, I have to say the crowd was one ugly bunch. Young men and women had abandoned the look and ideals of the rawk, instead appearing to be a line-up for a mass casting session for Head and Shoulders or some horrible Daily Mail expose on depressed youth. We just looked old and grizzled like stray mutts.
Anyway, clever Dave Mustaine started playing backstage and the confused audience collectively said “ahh, I see” as he walked on playing his geetar and sipping espressos very smugly. The sound was a little better. Their set was mostly classics, including “Wake up Dead,” “In my hour of Need” (which a lot of people didn’t seem to know) and finishing off with the great “Peace Sells.” It was great to finally see Dave onstage 23 years after I first heard Killing is my Business and that he still had all his own hair.
Our level of drinking had gone to the stage of buying beers, walking back over to where we were positioned, pouring most of the beer over our t-shirts and with puzzled looks sending each other back to the bar. I feel my clothes may have been drunker than I was.
Bang! Judas Priest entered our consciousness. A time warp had spat us back into the 80s and men wearing enough leather to start a gay-club burst onto the scene leaving me and Fuckface speechless until Rob Halford (who could start a gay club on his own) appeared on the top left stack, dressed in..dressed in….shit, I’ll let Fuckface explain this one,
“The fuckin eejit’s dressed in tin-foil.”
A varied set got the crowd going, although a better sound system could have made it legendary. We even indulged in singalong-a-cappella-with-Rob which only became embarrassing when I thought about it the next morning. Danny Glover walked over to me and said “You’re too old for this shit.” I said, “at least I’m not best friends with a holocaust denier.” He said “Touche, my friend.” We high-fived and organised to share a taxi (not like that!).
The classic JP motorbike arrived on stage, and maybe I was hallucinating again, but it looked like only half a bike. How did that work? Where was Rob sitting? What the fuck was going on? Even though I wasn’t here for JP, they were really good, very fun stuff. I could sing along to a few of their songs like “Breaking the Law” but no “Living after Midnight” or “Nightcrawler”? I suppose, as Al Jourgensen points out, these bands aren’t “fucking jukeboxes.” Gig ends with smiling greaseballs, sweaty old men, ripe (and I mean RIPE) young women and a long walk home.
I awoke the following morning with no hangover, amazingly. However, due to incessant high-fiving throughout Priestfeast, my right hand was bigger than a large possum after being stung by wasps and my mouth tasted of Danny Glover. Oh..nooooo!!!!!!!!!!!