12 August, 2007

Going Out - the New Staying In

Thanks to the generosity of a few friends, I've had such a fun year. It started when I went to see The Pipettes in March. They're a band my pal David raved about ages ago, and I wasn't all that convinced to be honest, but live was another sory. Very charming and with a lot of catchy tunes under their belt. They had two support acts, one of whom was Metronome - not the Japanese one, but three lads who looked like a geeky version of 'Busted'.

Since that night, I've seen 'Little Shop of Horrors' with Sheridan Smith in the female lead role and Alistair McGowan as the dentist. Lots of fun and I'd definitely go again. 'Absolute Beginners' at the Lyric, Hammersmith, was amazing - we thought it'd be really worthy but it had a very inventive set of blocks that the characters clambered all over. There were a couple of performances at the Drillhall - one about Joan of Arc that had half the audience asleep because of heat, and another called 1001 Beds by Tim Miller, which is about his idea that we sleep in about 1000 beds in our lifetime - not all of them sex-related but the funniest ones are. It's a breathless, engaging, personal one-man performance... which I can't remember because I'd been to the park and got drunk for a mate's birthday. Shameful!

With another friend, I got to see 'Fame - the Musical. Sorry to say, it's really poor and needs a rewrite by someone with a sense of humour. So many dropped balls throughout the plotting and it feels like someone trying to make a play after being told the story by someone who knew someone else who'd seen the movie or the TV show but not both. Still, it was free.

One of the surprise highlights was a night with Marcia Brown (aka 3 Non Blondes star Tameka Empson), whose diva-scaled performance was hilarious - especially when she began to pick on my friend for going to the bathroom during her act. Marvellous!

Have I got time to mention 'Live Earth'? George Michael at Wembley? Marc Almond's comeback gig on his birthday? The Scissor Sisters? The amazing Imogen Heap...

My old friends have passed comments that they never see me any more, and one person apparently asked my flatmate if my new friends are too good for them now. That's a tricky one to answer. A lot of my old friends are partnered up, buying houses and generally very busy people, who are always never less than supportive and lovely when we do actually meet up. We used to all get together about four times a week, whereas there have actually only been three occasions in the last nine months where a sizeable number of us has met up.

I suppose I'm a little - no, actually a LOT - pissed off that when my flatmate broke his leg, only three people came to visit from that gang, despite promises to pop round soon. My flatmate was really down then and any new face that wasn't mine was always enthusiastically welcomed. But then, there are friends of mine who've moved homes in the last three years and I've not set foot inside their new places. Is it because I was waiting to be invited, or because I didn't make myself available? Probably both.

I think all I'm getting at in this post is that there are some people who I'd love to see more of, and I don't think less of any of them for being busy, so I hope they don't think any less of me for finding a new gang and spending time with them. Because there've been some times in the last year when I could have really done with some company, but I was too stupid to ask. Suddenly, there are people who don't know all my jokes, who invite me out and make sure I'm included, and for the time being at least, I'm just enjoying going out. It's the new staying in, and it's a lot better for my mental and physical wellbeing.

No comments: