One of the things I’ve found while trying to fix the gaps in my memory is that for a period of time I blocked out all the music I used to listen to before my first breakdown. I would listen to old music but not the music I loved before I turned 21. That changed a few years ago when the old tunes came flooding back and I’ve spent an enjoyable time revisiting these old bands and songs that made up part of the old me.

My oldest school friend helps with this. We were practically joined at the hip in our teenage years and where I went she did and if we didn’t go to a concert together then we would be on the phone at the first available moment to impart every bit of what the other had missed. It’s funny where I now have a terrible memory she has an almost photographic memory and can remember everything. She’s a good person to have around on this journey in many ways.

This week we went to see a band in concert – Then Jerico – who were a big part of our youth but before over dinner we were chatting about other gigs we’d been too. She asked me if I remembered seeing The La’s and Miltown Brothers in the venue we were going to later. As usual it’s a no. I’m not sure how you could forget seeing such an iconic band such as The La’s but hey that’s what I have to deal with. The words Miltown Brothers just conjured up a lilac colour that baffled me until the next day. A quick tour around ebay and you tub reveals an old 12 inch vinyl in lilac, matching exactly the colour in my head. What amuses me more is that despite not being able to remember the band or concert I instantly remember the words to three singles when I play them on you tube! It’s nearly a week later and I’m still singing one of them…

But Then Jerico, they were our boys. I’ve vague flashes of concerts past always standing if possible in front of Rob Downes, the guitarist. Not sure why now as I always liked the other guitarist that always stood on the other side of the stage. But they had their way of doing things and so did we. Last year they reformed for a small tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of their best selling album so we had our own reunion and went to see them. The band and fans enjoyed themselves so much they’re repeating it again this month. Seeing them last year was a shock; they were OLD! Granted I’ve aged 25 years as well but you never expect your heroes to actually age. They should stay youthful forever, although I’m pretty sure the lead singer is giving that mission a good go πŸ™‚ Regardless of beauty battles both last time and this there is no faulting their musicianship and stage presence. They were always a fantastic live act and despite the tears and tantrums that split them up for decades this hasn’t changed a bit. Everyone seems to be having a good time.

I worried when we first found out about the tour last year because of the small size of the venues but reflecting after two shows I think the smaller setting suits them well. There is still room for Mark, ever the showman, to strut his stuff but the intimacy allows him to also show off his personality, cracking jokes and telling stories. In his own words, he could make a living as a crap comedian. The others join in too, something I don’t think they ever had the opportunity to do before.

One thing that amuses us both is the amount of gyrating going on. Neither of us were ever big fans of his so front row grinding tends to be a bit off putting. I’ve just eaten; get out of the way and let us concentrate on the muso’s. Incidentally what is the fascination with staring at each others guitar strings while you play?? I’ve never understood that one.

The gig ends with Mark in the crowd. The lack of barrier allows him to relive his own teen idol youth in the encore by basically singing in the crowd and hugging at least 90% of the audience. He’d spent the evening acknowledging a guy in a wheelchair and I found it a very sweet thing when he made sure the guy was included in the hugging session and sing-along.

Hopefully these trips down memory lane for the band will eventually lead to some new material or at least the ability to continue as they are doing although as two of them now live abroad it may not be possible to be as frequent. It’s nice to re-live your youth now and again. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to fully remember the bits I’m re-living πŸ™‚

“Living ain’t always easy

It’s a fine life”

Muscle Deep – Then Jerico


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