I was out grooving the other night, (yeah I know), and this song came on.
If that video caused your spine to snap as you leapt uncontrollably around the room, I’m sorry.
It’s Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja by The Lost Prophets. It may not seem like much these days but this song dominated 2001 for me and holds a serious (very loud) spot in my heart.
The first time I crowd surfed was at a gig as this song played. Actually, it was the first time I really sampled the sweaty, neck breaking, delights of a real mosh-pit. The first surfing attempt was a disaster, a far heavier friend got hoisted up before me and instantly came crashing back down, so of course when I went up everyone over compensated and threw me about six feet into the air. I too came crashing back down.
But when we fall off the horse we get back on right? Bring it on!
Crowd surfing isn’t quite as glamorous as Wayne and Garth made it look, it’s a clumsy, ungraceful nightmare of elbows, heads and gropey, gropey hands. It’s painful, undignified and when you’re as frail and girly as me, pretty terrifying. But man alive is it freeing. Once the initial “I’m not leaving here with my wallet” concern dissipates you enter a world of peculiar calm, like when you stop struggling and just float on the surface of the water (if the water was a gaggle of hairy, angry Welshmen).* The experience was, for lack of a better word, magical. In fact that experience shaped the rest of my teens. One hit wasn’t enough, I needed more. I grew my hair (the beard is just laziness) because of that night.
So, of course, I was out on the town last week, dapper gent that I am, and this wave of europhic nostalgia crashes into my head. I completely lose my mind, forget I’m a twenty-something with a mortgage and spring into action.
I’m throwing myself to the left. Crashing to the right. Screaming what I think are the lyrics at the top of my lungs. Leaping from chairs as the Waiter tries frantically to take my order (just kidding). I’m having a gay ol’ time. I’m living in the now, man! Don’t push me, I’m close to the edge! As long as this song plays there IS no tomorrow.
But there was a tomorrow. A dark, bleak place that brought with it tunnel vision, a pair of knees that no longer worked, a neck with a turning circle of precisely one degree and hearing so distorted I couldn’t even hear my own sobbing.
What happened? Yeah I’m not sixteen anymore but there’s juice in the engine yet surely? Was that a one off occurrence or am I destined to be beaten by my slowly decaying body forever more?
I’m off to test myself next week. I shall find the heaviest metal bar I can find and give myself to the pit. If this is my last blog you’ll know how I went out. Broken necked, covered in sweat and with a big maniacal grin on my face.
*I did my research. The collective noun for the Welsh is gaggle.