Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Live music and a bit of head banging

There's something about live music that plugs in to a channel leading directly to my soul. As my friend Sean says,"even shit live music is good". Good live music however is inspiring and satisfies me at a level like nothing else. On Sunday night we went to the Castelli winery in Denmark and saw the Waifs. It definitely fell into the latter category. I'm not familiar with much of their music but it made no difference at all. I loved it all the same. The rain threatened to disrupt the occasion, but in fact it somehow added to the spectacle with the bright stage spots reflecting off the raindrops like tiny mirror balls. The crowd were going berserk regardless of any weather and weren't likely to let that get in the way of a good time. The produce of the local winery, expensive as it was, clearly had a large part to do with the atmosphere, as everybody seemed well primed, stumbling around with gusto as much as dancing. I spent some time sheltered under the mixing desk tent with Finn while Jaz and Tori huddled under a picnic blanket during one of the heavier downpours. When that cleared, I figured it was time to head to the front of the stage. Finn decided to have a sit with Tori so Jaz and I made our way towards the throng at the front. We jumped on the train of a small but determined and quite inebriated woman, who was on a mission to get all the way to the stage, "excuse me"ing her way right to the front. I'm not sure at a Waifs gig if the area in the front of the stage could really be called a mosh pit, but it was certainly roaring and that's where we landed, two deep from the front. Jazzy was beaming. She could barely see over or around the rollicking bodies, even though we were so close, but she was clearly getting off on the energy and atmosphere generated by the crowd. It's the place at a gig that I always love to be, right in the thick of it. I danced around Jaz and kept the flying elbows and bodies from nearby revellers at bay, enjoying the fact that my ten year old daughter was as absorbed by the gig as everybody else and was loving being a part of it right down front.

Totally sated from what had been a great last day in Denmark, we bedded down for the night back at the van. And that's when the real drama began. Some time around 2am, Tori woke to the sound of a loud thump. I only woke when Tori went to get out of bed and I could hear Jazzy crying in a whimpering kind of way. She was lying on the floor with all of her bedding around her, having rolled out of bed from the top bunk and then plummeting to the floor. She seemed to have hit her head on Finn's bed on the way down as there was a graze and a forming lump under her eye. Tori gave her an ice pack and comforted her for a half hour or so while I tried to do some quick reading on concussion and make sense of it through my own sleep weary brain. How do you tell if somebody has it? Is it ok to let them go back to sleep? We decided after a period that sleep was probably the best thing. Jaz remembered the gig and could describe in detail what we had done that day, so she seemed ok. But a fall from around 5 foot for a little person who is only about 4 foot tall seemed potentially serious. I often find it difficult as a parent in these situations to balance the fear of the worst possible scenario (cerebral haemorrhage) with the likelihood that everything will actually be ok. But it usually is ok. Right up until it isn't, I guess. In the end, all the "what if" negatives were laid aside and we all got off to sleep. Apart from a bit of a headache the next day and a good bruise and lump under her eye, she was fine. She'd never fallen out of bed before in her life. Perhaps she'd been dancing to the Waifs in her sleep and got a bit out of control, like a number of others at the gig. In any case, we might need to look into some kind of side barrier for the bed to prevent it from happening again.

On the Monday we left Denmark and decided to camp a night in the Shannon National Park. The site had been a large timber mill from the 1940s through until 1970 when it was realised that the giant karri, jarrah and marra trees were more important as a forest than as tables in people's houses, and the site was turned into a National Park. We arrived there early in the evening and set up camp. With a roaring fire going, it really felt like "proper" camping. We sat around, inevitably trying to avoid the smoke that always seems to follow you, telling bogus stories and with me playing some guitar. I'm sure I've learned a load of songs over my time, but I always seem to remember only a small number of those and rarely all the words or all the chords. Nevertheless, it was nice to have a good play for the first time in a few weeks, and through my own musical meanderings, I hit a patch of around a dozen songs that we could all sing along to. I'm pretty sure that those listening would rather have been seeing the Waifs, but for me it was all good. The only thing better than listening to live music is playing it.


Meteor said...

I know what you mean about the concussion. Sid fell out of bed a few months back and had a blood nose! He wanted to go back to sleep, but I had visions of him waking up dead. In the end, we just decided to risk it, as he seemed to be able to remember things ok and it would have been worse for us if we tried to keep him awake. Turned out ok in the end, but what a choice to make.

DavidMollet11 said...

Jazzi has inherited the Genes of hard core crowd parting get to the fronters on the Swedosh side of the family - which is a very good thing.
You'll probably be glad to hear, (I was) when Aidan said to me the other day, completely unsolicited - "Dad can you burn the ungarded moment CD for me, I really Like that song." Isn't it great when your kids show good taste and discernment right off their own bat!