Snap Shot #39: Middle-Aged Portly Punks


It’s with a tinge of embarrassment that I must make a confession. While the following event did definitely happen, the passage of time has dulled some details. For instance, not only can I not place the year of it’s occurrence, I can’t even tell you the decade. In fact, it’s with more than a tinge of embarrassment to confess that I can’t actually nail down the century. I’m pretty sure it took place sometime between the mid nineties and the mid noughties. What I do recall is that it was a rare outing with two old friends from my Perth days: Dean and Adrian. Dean called to see if I was interested in joining them to see re-formed punk rock legends ‘The Buzzcocks.’ Fuck yeah! It was at Sydney’s Metro Theatre – probably the best venue to see a touring band that couldn’t fill the Entertainment Centre. While not exactly the original line-up, the reformation included the band’s creative engine room of Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle. I was slightly shocked to see how portly these punks had become – especially Pete Shelley. I remember the clip of his solo hit ‘Homo Sapien’ and what a camp little skinny guy he was. Not anymore. My shock was short lived, however. Once they started playing, the years (and excess kilos) took flight. These old punks still had it. I was soon pogoing to ‘Orgasm Addict’ and ‘Ever Fallen in Love’, probably because there is really no other form of dance which can keep up with their relentless punk pace. I was sweating. My mates were sweating. The band was soaked. It was fantastic fun. Afterwards, our trio went down the road to the Century Tavern for some beer, pool and to de-brief what had been a great gig. A couple of beers later, who should stagger in? Pete and Steve, no longer soaked in sweat but in desperate need to re-hydrate. Well, we three fans were slapping their backs in no time, thanking them for a rocking trip down memory lane. They seemed genuinely grateful for the attention and the offer of beers and pool. Unfortunately, this is where many of the details have dulled. I remember we were all pretty pissed and shared several rounds of beer and pool. But I can’t recall a thing either of them said. This is partially because I couldn’t understand most of what was slurred in their thick Mancunian accents. But what I was able to understand I remember being pretty funny. They had us all in stitches. I think we left before they did and I vaguely recall telling them how great it was to meet and just hang with them. Or something like that. In retrospect, perhaps it’s not so much the passage of time that has dulled the details of this encounter. I now suspect that it’s probably all those millions of brain cells I slaughtered that night – and over many, many nights since.


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