Edge Of Seventeen
I alluded briefly on my blog this Sunday to two teenage girls we met at the Hot Chip iTunes festival. They were in front of us in the queue and immediately started chatting away. At first we just talked about their love of Madness, how much they liked the tattoo behind my ear, cars (of which I am brilliantly ignorant, that’s Lucy’s department) and make-up. The usual topics I’d expect to cover with two sixteen year-old’s (apart from Madness, that threw me). They also couldn’t get over how old I was. I told them I was 33 (it turns out I am not 33 at all. I am in fact 34 and at some point over the past couple of years I have accidentally been lying about my age. That’s another story I’m still trying to get my head around).
This may also go some way to explaining why at one point I found myself screaming “I don’t even know if you kids think high-fives are cool any more but I’m giving you one anyway”. They humoured me with part pity and part bemusement.
Conversation soon moved on to truancy, let down dads and getting into fights. That’s when, in my drunken state, I imagined a cape falling from the skies and wrapping round my shoulders. I must be a responsible and inspirational person in a queue for a very brilliant band. They had to endure lectures about why they shouldn’t fancy Chris Brown, that if they keep on getting into fights how they need to join a boxing club like Nicola Adams, drugs, careers, school. I covered it all in a breathless whirlwind before the band started, each time something they said gave me cause for concern. We just danced non-stop after that, pausing only for me to give them horrendously middle-aged nods and winks every time boys their age walked past.
I was so determined to make some small impression on these girls, some little dent that come Monday morning they’ll decide not to bunk off school after all that I didn’t really take into consideration some of the things they were saying to me. When I told them I had a date soon they grabbed me by the shoulders and told me not to sleep with boys on the first night with furrowed brows and a stern pout, it was the most serious I’d seen them all night. When one of them said she had an audition for a talent show she turned to me and said “It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out, life carries on doesn’t it? You just keep putting one foot in front of the other”. Wise words from one so young.
Followed by the other one grinning at me, pointing at Hot Chip and saying “I like the beats”, North Face jacket pulled up over her head, Nike Blazers keeping perfect time. I am in love with that simple sentence. All my music reviews now will have that ode to her, even folk music. I like the beats.
You know, I told someone about these girls and they told me they’re probably already a lost cause. I’m not so sure. After all they burst into song during Hot Chip covering Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere and with huge grins said “We love Stevie Nicks”.