Roadmender Rock’n’Roll

It’s automatic. Happens without, it seems any conscious direction from my brain. Into the hall – matt black walls, matt black floor – no seats – find a space. Enough space. With a view of the stage – or the parts that I am hoping will be the significant ones. I want to  be able to see the singer (the main reason I came) and the guitarist.
Then, without too much preamble – some overture that is not too grandiose, but somehow reminiscent of Als Sprach Zarathustra and, er, maybe the  Clockwork Orange soundtrack– the band are on-stage. Straight into the first song and again, without too much thinking, my body is moving. The sound is good, the volume pleasantly loud, the vocals maybe a little indistinct (but who’s picky right?)
I am comfortable with this crowded space; there’s a guy at my ten o’clock waving his arms and a pint of beer, somewhat crazily – but he’s happy and as long as the beer stays in the mug …
Where, and when did we all learn to dance on the spot? With our feet, more or less glued to the floor. Leaning, swaying, just occasionally getting nudged gently by an anonymous neighbour who is doing, pretty much, the same thing … or of course bumping into another. We don’t know each other right? But we’re all here for the same thing. To be entertained, to pay homage, to be reminded, to learn a little something, to be part of a live-concert magic that, sorry, cannot be properly replaced with even the best of You-Tube videos (though I will look at them; goes without saying.
 It’s a skill, this movement, a science and an art-form. Not always glamorous or attractive. But beautiful for its simplicity and lack of aggression. Some moves are reminiscent of the captive-in-a-plane gymnastics to ward off DVT, I think shamelessly. But all are a response to the venue, the atmosphere, the band and the music I guess. And the show is a good one. Some people pass by; toilet, cigarette or bar breaks I imagine. But it’s done without words. Without upset. There are no aisles, we make our own rules for the duration. And live by them.
The beer stays in the plastic container until it is swallowed.
28th October, 2012

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