When I was in my early 20s I used to go to a lot of shows with Grumpy's mate DavoStevoCombo. DSC was a bit of a funky dude on the cutting edge of all that was hip, hop and happening. Also, he was really into Yes. Anyway, the point is, before every show he'd bung a couple of plugs into his ears, to protect them from the sonic booms that seemed to occur in every venue we entered. As I have aged - but not as much as previously thought! - I think about old DSC with some fondness and realise that he was really on to something with those ear plugs. I bet these days he isn't always trying to hear every conversation around him above the ringing in his ears.
I reflected on this again on Saturday night at the P!NK concert, as the music rattled my rib cage and flattened every little hair down my ear canal. The other thing that occurred to me that night, as we floundered amongst the swarming teenage army near the stage, was that our presence in the 'standing room only' area had raised the average age there by about 30 years.
Of course, for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, and this happened last night when I took Bezley along to see the Treorchy Male Choir. Bobbing along in a sea of walking canes and creaking hips I felt like quite the young whippersnapper. An upstart, if you will. It was a night of beautiful music and wonderful singing, but on about three occasions the choir raised their voices in competition with the swelling strains of the pipe organ and the combined effect pressed me back into my seat and set my ear drums vibrating alarmingly.
I looked around at this point at the various nodding heads of the blue rinse set and figured that they were grateful someone had finally turned the volume up.