Paul has this tattoo – which is actually a Libertines’ quote, I think – that says: “If you’ve lost your faith in love and music, the end won’t be long.” But you know what? I kind of had lost faith. Not in the love bit, obviously, I’m all about the love, but possibly in the music. I’d just kind of forgotten about music, what with Peppa Pig and dinnertime and nappies and washing and homework and shit.
But music’s a massive part of my life. All the big decisions in my life have been dictated by music. Every boyfriend I’ve ever had has been selected for their taste in music, and how much they look like Damon Albarn, and whether they can complete the sentence: "I get up when I want, except on ... WHICH day? When you get rudely awaken by (a) the postman (b) the dustman (c) Liam Gallagher?"
So Blur. Yes. Blur are my band. I got them, and they got me, a chubby teenager putting on a fake English accent in suburban Perth. Twenty years later – in the SAME t-shirt I’d bought from 78 Records to wear to Britpop night at Planet Nightclub on Charles St (it’s a titty bar now, for shame) – I was at Perth Arena, to see my band: Blur.
To the tinkling of an ice-cream van they came on stage – Damon and Graham and Alex and the drummer – and I got goosebumps, and then felt like a bit of a dick getting goosebumps, for I am old, and I have three children, and when we'd walked into Perth Arena, Paul had pointed at the seats in the stands and said: "Ooooo, we're sitting up there for The Wiggles!"
And they played their first song, which was a newish one, and that was okay, and then they played There’s No Other Way and I thought my heart would explode, and then felt like a bit of a dick having an exploding heart, for I am old, and a mother of three, with a home open on Saturday. And I tried to dance, but I was way too self-conscious about being old, so I just kind of swayed awkwardly.
A couple more newish songs followed, and then – praise be – the wonderful Coffee & TV, and the penny suddenly dropped that BLUR were old too. And they were fine with it! In fact, they were over the fucking moon with it. There weren’t four jaded old dudes on stage going through the motions to pay for the next round of hair replacement therapy (or as Shaun Ryder said when the Happy Mondays reformed, “new teeth”). Damon and Graham and Alex and the drummer were genuinely chuffed to be on stage, together, singing the songs that ruled my world.
So, when Beetlebum started up, I happily lost my shit. I danced. I sang along. I pogoed for Song 2 and Girls & Boys and I waved my hands in the air for Tender and The Universal and For Tomorrow. I acted like a fat little teenager at Planet Nightclub on a Saturday night. And you couldn’t wipe the stupid Britpop grin off my stupid Botoxed face.
You know what? I didn’t act my age last night. Neither did Blur. They were older, and cooler, and better than ever. And that’s why it was one of the best nights of my entire life, and why I’m still grinning like a middle-aged fool today, and why the entire Blur back catalogue’s been on repeat since we sobered up at lunchtime. Thank you Blur: you've restored my faith in love and music.