Five twenty five and I’m on a train. It can only mean one thing. Rock Mum aka Rock Friend was off out to play.
Little did I realise……
After a few last minute changes of plans due to illness, I was accompanied by Boy Child, Girl Child. FB Son, Rock Chick Friend and a new addition to the posse, who will be christened later in this tale.
Our destination was the legendary Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow where the American rock band Halestorm were headlining for the night.
As the train pulled into Glasgow’s Central Station, FB Son and the as yet un-named member of our group declared that they needed to grab something to eat. While I darted off to the loo, the two boys headed off in search of some food. FB Son duly returned with a sensible healthy sandwich and some fruit juice. His friend returned with a loaf of bread. Not just any old loaf – an M&S loaf!
Cue every bread joke imaginable!
Bread Boy, no longer nameless, promptly began to munch his way through said loaf slice by slice.
On the taxi ride out to the venue, the loaf was securely tucked into the seat belt just to ensure it arrived safely at the gig.
It queued patiently with us for forty minutes without a murmur of complaint, although it was now reduced to less than half a dozen slices.
I bumped into my fellow rock chick writer friend and her husband in the queue and they too were duly introduced to Loaf and Bread Boy.
“Are you allowed to take a loaf into a gig?” was a question I never thought I would ponder.
The loaf made it through security and was escorted upstairs via the merchandise stall into the ballroom.
At this point our tale splits – or should that be slices?
The three boys, having dumped their hoodies and assorted t-shirts with Rock Chick Friend and I, disappeared off with Loaf in search of some moshing and crowd surfing. It had already been pointed out that a baguette would’ve been a smarter choice for crowd surfing.
Us girls took ourselves across the hall and secured a spot fairly far forward with a clear view of the stage.
The first support act, Wilson, took the stage by storm and played a blistering half hour set. In front of us, two “females” had pushed their way in and stood drinking throughout the entire set.
Second support band, the amazing Nothing More, followed Wilson and held the audience captivated with their performance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more athletic display of drumming. Awesome set! Check both these bands out if you haven’t done so already.
The two “females” still stood in front of us downing pint after pint.
As the hall filled up, it was getting to be more tightly packed around us and it was getting hotter (not helped by the fact I had three hoodies tied round my waist and at least three t-shirts stuffed down the various sleeves).
Halestorm took to the stage, opening their set with Mz Hyde. Love that song!
The two, now very drunk, “females” launched straight into full on dance mode. Both of them were completely oblivious to the carnage they were causing with their drunken gyrations. One had also by now soaked Girl Child down one side as she had thoughtlessly discarded the remains of her beer. After too long watching my baby girl getting bodily thumped and smacked in the face with hair, I stepped in between her and the gyrating drunk.
Now I’m not a large person and I am most certainly not a violent person but I will not stand back and watch my kids getting hassled.
Bracing myself, I let the “female” bounce off me a few times, barely able to retain my own balance. At least Girl Child was out of the firing line.
The crowd was tightly packed around us and there was no visible alternative spot to relocate to. If we wanted to see the stage, we had to stay where we were.
At the end of the number, the “female” turned round to face me and hurled a foul mouthed rant at me about what did I think I was doing. Cue angry rant back about what did she think she was playing at and did she realise that she had repeatedly battered into my daughter. She spat a mouthful of abuse back at me. It was clear to see she was too drunk and too ignorant to care!
To our left, another mother was having a similar conversation with the drunken friend to the same effect.
Despite our best efforts neither of us could attract the attention of the security staff at the front of the crowd. We were stuck with them. I silently prayed that the beer would take over entirely and that they would run out of steam.
Girl Child had had enough. She bailed out to sit at the side of the room. I offered to go with her but she said to stay and enjoy myself. Awash with guilt at my baby girl missing out due to the thoughtless actions of the two drunks, I opted to stay put.
OK, there’s a stubborn streak in me- I wasn’t moving for anyone least of all an ignorant foul-mouthed drunk.
Rock Chick Friend had wandered off to the side to get some air so I hoped Girl Child would find her and not be entirely on her own. (Sadly she didn’t)
Out on stage Halestorm were playing a blinder of a set that included three of the songs from their forthcoming album Into the Wild Life. The main set ended with a fabulous rendition of I Miss The Misery.
And during that who did I spot?
FB Son crowd surfing!
The two drunks had thankfully long since run out of bounce and were at long last not disturbing those around them. Hallelujah!
During Halestorm’s encore someone threw a Scottish Saltire flag up on stage which Lzzy duly held up before tying it round her neck. Wearing it like a super hero cape, Lzzy and the rest of the band ended the show with Here’s To Us.
As the lights went up, I quickly located Girl Child and greeted her with a huge hug. I still felt like I’d failed her.
As the crowd dispersed we waited for the boys and Rock Chick Friend to reappear. The boys turned up first, minus Loaf. The loaf had enjoyed Wilson and Nothing More but after a bit of crowd surfing (humble apologies to Halestorm – those naughty boys lobbed a slice on stage!), the loaf failed to survive the moshing and was trampled underfoot in the mosh pit.
If only the two females in front of us had used their “loaves”. If they had had a little – ok a lot- less to drink and actually been aware of their surroundings then perhaps all of us could have enjoyed a memorable gig.
Aftermath – due to adverse weather conditions the trains had been disrupted while we were at the gig. Shortly before midnight, tired, wet and weary, the six of us boarded the last train out of Glasgow. It was jam packed. There’s nothing worse than being stone cold sober on the “Piss Head Express”. The train service terminated five stops from home and we were all herded back out into the wind and rain and onto coaches to complete the journey. The six of us ended up on a bus filled with folk who had been to see Lionel Ritchie at the SSE Hydro and who insisted on serenading us with “All Night Long”.
A long night it had been. A long surreal night!