Lady H and I went to Usher Hall last night to watch the recently resurrected Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (most of the original members, though some on stage had a certain corpse like quality). My only real knowledge of the band comes from the biography of Stephen Fry. Unsurprisingly, the name caught my attention and when I heard they had reformed I booked tickets.
The crowd at last night's gig was a strange mixture of aging hippies and the now respectable who took turns to shake their geriatric loins and bounce their stiffening knees in time to the rock as they attempted to recapture the sounds of their lost youth.
I've tried this myself (not the dancing like an old person part - not yet), the want to recreate some past event that has stayed in the mind as one of those perfect magic moments. I've been to see bands I remember listening to on a small tinny cassette player, I've been back to childhood holiday haunts and I've attempted to recreate past drunken escapades that seemed hilarious in time and mind. And the thing is - you can't and shouldn't attempt it.
The door to that once magic moment is closed once the event took place; it has dissipated like vapour into the air. The rain will never be as perfect washing down an empty street as that night, and all kisses after that first lingering electric kiss will pale in comparison.
The beauty of those moments is that they are fleeting will-o'-the-wisp magic events that grab you when you least expect them to. For the aging fans last night 'The Bonzo's will never compare to that moment they put a shiny new LP on their bedroom record players.
Read this week:
The Ladies of Grace Adieu and other stories by Susanna Clarke
Web moment of the week:
Helsinki Complaints Choir