I went to see Peter Gabriel on Friday. Those of you who know me will know that he’s not my musical cup of tea, but he is Husband’s, and as he’s sat through his fair share of Morrissey gigs for me (apart from the one where he walked off stage, and no one got to sit through that, reluctantly or otherwise!) I braced my knees for being squashed by the seat in front and wondered how many songs I’d know.
The concert was a 25th anniversary concert – it’s 25 years since the album ‘So’ was released , and yes, for those who remember it being released, hasn’t the time flown! But this silver anniversary celebration meant that the audience was very… middle aged. I like to think I was one of the youngest people there (even though I know I wasn’t!). If you’d wandered into the arena by mistake, you could have been forgiven for thinking the event was actually the Specsavers convention, so many pairs of rimless glasses were in attendance. The lighting technicians must have had quite a job, as there were so many bald heads, the lights were at risk of bouncing off one and blinding someone. There were matronly bosoms aplenty, and a disproportionate amount of outfits that looked like they’d been ordered from the back of a Sunday supplement. I’ve no doubt that more than one handbag had a Lakeland plastic banana guard in it.
And then the music started…
Suddenly, the venue was full of young, enthusiastic Peter Gabriel fans who just happened to be wearing a more mature and worn in body than they had been wearing 25 years ago. Bingo wings rippled and there was dad dancing at an intensive level, but these people were enjoying themselves. There was a couple in front of us, in their mid to late forties, and they danced with abandon. They even had a routine for a couple of songs (nothing Strictly style, just some co-ordinated clapping and hip bumping. But they had definitely done it before).
It all made me think. How often do we judge the book by the cover? We make our assessments of people in less than ten seconds, we’re hard wired to do it. How often are we right? We can’t avoid getting older, but I’m beginning to think we might all need to let our inner 20 year old out more often and not worry about what other people think, because the reality is that there will always be someone ten or twenty years younger than us who thinks ‘blimey, look at the old girl go’.
I can guarantee that I will never, ever buy a banana cover though.