One of our local pubs is frequently the venue for concerts of local bands. A year ago it came in the hands of a new landlord. The old one had a constant struggle with some of the neighbours because of the noise of the concerts. And so there was a sound limiter, a device that cuts off the electricity of the instruments. So in the old days we used to have fun at unexpected moments when only the drummer could play on. We would all cheer and a technician had to put everything back in working order.
Somehow the new landlord had managed to get rid of this awful thing so there were no limits to the sound at all.
This Sunday afternoon a Neil Young tribute band was playing. Neil Young himself normally does acoustic concerts or concerts with Crazy Horse. This band combined it: before the break the musicians played the ballads and after that songs from Buffalo Springfield and Crazy Horse. And they showed how loud it could get. The normal impolite chatting of some spectators had stopped and our ears were almost popping out. The people sitting next to us looked at each other and left in a hurry, leaving their drinks. The crowd was standing in amazement and almost started headbanging. I say almost, the average age must have been between forty and fifty. At that age people don't do that sort of thing.
A man in his eighties shuffled to the vacant seats, carrying a few newspapers, followed by a lady of the same age carrying a glass of water and a glass of wine. While the loudness of the music caused a squeaking in my ears he was reading the newspapers and she was fiddling with her blackberry. After each song she would look up and applaud politely. He read on, nothing could disturb him. Sometimes he would reach out for his water. After the last page of his papers he emptied his glass and stood up. She finished her wine, put the blackberry in her handbag and followed him to the way out of the pub.
The band just started "Keep on Rocking in the Free World".
Did I really see her shaking her head up and down or was it my imagination that fooled me...