It was Monday the thirteenth of March, 1978. Straight after school, I went round to my friend’s house. We had our tea there and watched television until seven o’clock. We had put on our best clothes and were looking very smart. At seven my friend and I got into his father’s car, and he drove us down to the town hall. It was now a quarter past seven, but the concert did not start until eight and already there were about two hundred people queuing up. Soon Mark and I were in about the middle of the queue, people were arriving very fast.
At first Mark and I talked about school, then about the songs we would be likely to hear. We were interrupted by a man selling badges of the group, so Mark bought two, a total cost of sixty-six pence. It is amazing how much money one can squander when excited.
Our conversation subjects dried up, so we turned out attention to the people behind us. The couple behind us I worked out to be boy and girlfriend, the boy doing most of the talking. It seemed that he had been playing rugby that day, and from what he was saying about the other team members, I supposed he was the best player. He said of one other player “He’s got two left feet. No, sorry, he hasn’t even got any feet.” Just then the boy he was talking about appeared on the scene, and the hero behind said, “Quick, hide me. Here he is!”
The group in front consisted of three boys and a girl and I joined their conversation as one of the boys was saying, “There’s lots of Teddy Boys around.”
Another said “Teddy bears.”
And the the third one said, “I prefer penguins.”
“Oh! So you’d be a Penguin Boy would you?” joked the first one.
“Yes. I can just imagine a gang of Penguin Boys waddling down the road, in white tie and tails, and a top hat,” said the second one.
Mark and I found this extremely funny and had a hard time on our hands trying not to laugh out loud.
The doors must have opened soon after that, for the queue started to move. I saw a policeman and told Mark a dirty joke about policemen. Then we were in the town hall. I showed the man at the door my ticket so that I could get in, and showed the ticket again to another man who told me which floor I was on. It was the ground floor.
Mark and I went in and took a seat on the left-hand side of the hall, four rows from the front, in the middle of the row. The time was now a quarter past eight. We had queued for an hour. It was another fifteen minutes before the first group came on. It was the supporting group who came on first, and the called themselves something like ‘The Young Wild Boxes’. It wasn’t a very memorable name and neither was their music.
The lead guitarist and piano player of this group made fools of themselves by leaping in the air at the end of every song. The rest of the audience cannot have thought much of them either, because we only clapped them politely at the end of each song, and there was no cheering.
As soon as that group left the stage, many of the audience went onto the dance floor to try to get as near to the front of the stage as possible, but Mark and I remained in our seats, and I am glad we did for it was half-an-hour before the main attraction came onto the stage. Mark and I had got up about five minutes before the came on, so we did not have too long to stand.
Darts came onto the stage amid earsplitting applause, cheering and whistling, and they went into their first number. Everyone danced or clapped in time to the music, music varying from just the four singers singing without musical accompaniment to real Rock ‘n’ Roll songs like ‘Too Hot in the Kitchen’.
Darts had to do two encores for us because we were cheering so much. During the last encore, Den Hegarty climbed the loud speakers at the side of the stage, and from there jumped onto the wall, and even from there he still sang in tune.
When Mark and I left, his father was waiting for us. We felt slightly deafened, but did not mind that as we had had such an enjoyable evening.
Last paragraph needs developing, M. Try to use figures of speech to make the atmosphere more vivid.
(c) M. Robert Gibson
Written shortly after 1978-03-13
This is a school essay.
It was written well before the internet. It is full of inaccuracies and assumptions; bad punctuation; bad grammar and a woeful lack of research, but, it is also a first draft. It was also hand-written in an exercise book, none of your fancy electronic gizmos back then.
And don’t forget, it was written by a schoolboy in a time before political correctness.
It is published here for purely selfish vanity reasons, so read it at your own peril and do not expect any great revelations.
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