I was a right little raver in my twenties. Here’s the evidence:
Back on track, yes a right little raver. Give me a field, or a grubby warehouse, or a S.U.P.E.R.C.L.U.B; a pair of flat boots (flat because I am a GIANT with NO control of my legs), a denim skirt, a racer back vest and a truck load of black eye-liner; a cheap and nasty tooth rotting alcopop; and overlay it all with a soundtrack that went DOOF DOOF DOOF DOOF DOOF *KLAXON* DOOF DOOF DOOF DOOF *wooooooooooooo!* and James and I were in our element. (I was not really a very good raver – flagging by 2am and invariably tucked up in bed by 4am with a pint glass of water and a straw and the prospect of the mother of all lie-ins stretching out in front of me as I slipped into a sore-footed, plastered, contented sleep.)
And did I turn my long nose up at anyone who was not a clubber?! ‘The pub?!’ I would shriek and chortle and scoff to myself. ‘The pub is just a drink stop on the way to the club! Who are these people who spend a night at the pub?! How frightfully frightfully dull, to choose the art of conversation over the art of DANCE and DOOF DOOF DOOF.’ Quite the obnoxious little clubber was I.
Because I just loved to dance and at the time I thought dance music was simply the best music in the world. And I lived in BIRMINGHAM! The home of GODSKITCHEN! And the Custard Factory! And I went to The University of Sheffield! HOME OF GATECRASHER! And Bed Nightclub! And we weren’t far from Stratford upon Avon and GLOBAL GATHERING. Woo and indeed hoo! Dance was in my blood, like, you just don’t understand how much I love it and Daft Punk are the undisputed genii of our time (let’s gloss over Random Access Memories) and on and on and on I wanged.
I have very happy memories of my ravey days. James and I were a new couple, falling in love to a backdrop of funky house, with no real commitments and plenty of disposable income to burn on nights out I will always remember with real fondness. We had Emily and Andy, our raving partners in crime, and we danced our socks off to Daft Punk, Faithless, Basement Jaxx, Pendulum, Digitalism, Sneaky Soundsystem and countless other acts over a series of memorable Summers that I think, when I am old and (more) grey and look back on my time, will crystallise into a series of images and nuggets of memories that I will label as my reckless youth.
But of course, such things are not sustainable. Fall in love James and I did, and marriage and a family and a whole new world of glorious opened itself up. And the very things I scorned in my twenties have become precious. The pub, with your friends or family, or both, with a nice glass of something and time to idle away in chat is really a very very nice thing.
Conversation, especially when you have a toddler who is always on the hunt for the next opportunity to build a train track or race around the garden, becomes a commodity that you thoroughly enjoy. And dancing? Well dancing can wait, or can be confined to rocking around the Kitchen to Bob the Builder’s Megamix.
I have had some glorious weekends of late. My friend Kate’s Wedding – a happy, glorious day in the company of the girls (women?!) I went to University with, and their Husbands and their children – a real summing up of our growing up and a beautiful day of sitting and eating and chatting together. I loved it.
And weekends with my in-laws, sitting in a pub garden while Blake explored (trashed) the beginnings of a bonfire and trundled his trains over picnic benches and we just sat with a drink and talked.
And Saturday nights with my parents, who so regularly come and have dinner with me and keep me company while James is as work, and the nice little post-dinner coffee routine we have fallen into where we chat about everything and nothing for half an hour.
I don’t regret my dancing days one bit. But neither do I regret that I, or actually we, have moved on. I am happy for 24 year olds to pour their scorn on me for choosing a chat over a rave. Which is not to say I wouldn’t be happy to join friends for a little boogie here and there (I might be *am* going to Sugar Hut this weekend IMAGINE THE PACKING DISASTER THAT WILL BE.) I am just less of a brat these days, and I have run out of glow-sticks.
dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused