....the answer is, when 28 and 10 months old.
Exhibit A: Shhing people at gigs
Well, I didn’t actually shhh anyone, but was so glad when someone else did. I guess another exhibit altogether is the fact that I won’t get to a gig in time to see ths support because I have to stand up too long; by the time the band comes on I’m concerned only with how much longer they will be on, because my feet hurt.
Anyway, this means that we usually have to stand at the back (which still doesn’t protect you from insanely drunk people or people who invade your personal space) and apparently the people at the back (with the exception of us, of course) have payed their £30 in this case to stand at the back chatting at a volume which drowns out the now-distant band for you and everyone within a 6ft radius. Or doing this AND laughing absolutely hysterically......and at what? What is SO funny that you have to laugh THAT loud?
AND WHY? Why pay the money? Go to the pub! Or, stick Belle & Sebastian on the stereo and stay at home with supermarket booze! The key advantages of the latter are that 1) At least they will play Step Into My Office Baby, which is suspiciously absent from their set list this tour, and 2) You can drink wine which doesn’t taste like paint thinner.
The net result of Being at the Back is that Belle & Sebastian were barely audible when they were singing and totally incomprehensible when engaging in inter-song banter. Not like at the Apollo, where we got a seat......
Exhibit B: The sheer joy experienced at finding a seat
This applies to a variety of settings and these are the settings at which the most joy has been experienced so far:
1) At a gig. Many of the problems experienced above at the O2 academy (for that is where I last saw Belle & Sebastian) were not present at the Apollo due to the fact that we were seated. Firstly we could get there as early as we liked because we could SIT. DOWN. Secondly there seems to be a different, possibly more reserved (?) type in the seated bit, who just want to sit back and enjoy the indiepop. Thirdly I wasn’t thinking ‘jesus how many more songs’ because I was SAT. DOWN.
2) A random bench at a museum. Now I love museums (of certain types – video games, costumes, natural history, science, art are all favourites), but they require a lot of standing up. And walking around. I’m ok with that as a rule, but after a while it is not your interest in the exhibitions which have waned, but your desire to stand up for longer than an hour and a half. So there is nothing sweeter than turning a corner and realising that you can appreciate the cast (booo but it’s better than nothing) of a T Rex from a seated position.
3) Beer festivals. I have come to accept that at beer festivals, you have to be willing to stand up in a queue for ages before doors open to be able to get a seat at a beer festival (and you can see my issue with this). And, which may be a surprise, I just suck it up and enjoy the beer/cider. Imagine my delight, then, when we attended the LS6 Beer Festival yesterday and THERE WERE PLENTY OF SEATS! Yay! We could sit down all afternoon! And this was even more fortuitous because the afternoon session for which we had booked was a generous 6 hours long. A seat, instead of a standing position, for a whole 6 hours! Yesssssss.
If you’re wondering, yes I do believe I was channelling Victor Meldrew for most of this post.