Equidistant from the bar and the bogs. That’s us. Strategic. Lined up at the critical spot where we can fully survey the audience while absorbing the sounds with a respectable three-feet radius between us and the next middle-agers. Plus the occasional reveller, though I suspect they’re just desperately trying to locate the toilets. It’s the three of us. Her, him, and me.
Her: Fairly decent crowd, eh. That’s the good thing about being among our own – we’ll be spared all the cameras and phones in our faces
Me: And everyone looks like someone slightly famous
Him: ‘Nother pint? *waves empty plastic glass*
Me: Nah, thanks. Driving.
Him: What about a coffee?
He’s especially polite when he’s the one on the lash and not the designated driver.
Text from mate over at Beyoncé: Hey!!! Lovely white clouds covering crokers!!!!
I swear the exclamation marks are a wind-up.
Me: There’s yer man. Erm. What’shisname. Eh no, false alarm, it just looks like somebody.
She: Everyone’s aging alright, aren’t they?
Me: I was just thinking that. And there’s a fair few much older. Although we probably share the same age category in the Census. My rule of thumb is if they are old enough to be my parent, well, they’re super oldies.
She: Andrew (her brother-in-law) will be the same age as Joanne’s (her sister) mother-in-law this year
Me: No way. He doesn’t look it. My mother-in-law is 21 years older than me. Just made it.
He: (back from toilet) Just saw Joe Brolly. Pissed.
Me: How did you know?
He: Erm. The way he was walking?
Her: There’s my old college lecturer *waves at grey-haired man smiling over* Can’t you tell he’s one, sure look at him
We both survey the shorts and sandals ensemble
Me: All that’s missing is the socks. Look! It’s Will!
Her & Him: Who’s Will?
Me: Will! From the Ray D’arcy Show! One of the funniest fuckers on radio
These people have no appreciation.
Final half hour:
We’re joined by another pair of friends. Let’s call them er.. them.
Her: I thought I saw Leo Varadkar there when I was going to the toilet
Me: Yeah, that’s him. He looks taller on the telly
One of them: He goes to my sister’s gym. Says he’s an awful poser. It’s all about being seen apparently
Her: Well, if I’d known it was him, I’d have tripped him
She’s 5ft nothing and the most polite woman in Ireland. But we’ve gotta take her word for it.
He: (returning with another pint) Just saw Aidan Gillen there at the bar
Me: (in a nonchalant that-don’t-impress-me tone) Meh. He’s everywhere. And a bit self-consciously cool, is he not?
He: Well, he was in The Wire
Me: You’re right *solemn tone* I take it back
The other one of them: I bet ya Leo is taking a selfie so he can check how many people behind recognise him
Text from my mate at Crokers: Phenomenal!
One exclamation mark. She must mean it.
John Grant: You’ve been a wonderful audience
Him: Yes, we have been
Her: Yes, we’re still up
Him: Without the aid of any mind-altering substances
Her: Well, I had a cuppa tea
Me: And I had some chewing gum
Her to Him: Just think if you weren’t coming back again tomorrow, we could’ve gone to Coppers
Her, Him & Me: *laughs uproariously*
The following morning:
Text from Beyoncé convert: Were we not all lucky not to be poured on?????
You can take the music fan out of the middle-aged crowd……..
This audience review was brought to you in association with the wonderful John Grant from the perfectly intimate surroundings of Iveagh Gardens, Dublin.
Saturday 9th July 2016.
John Grant takes a moment to welcome Leo Varadkar