Last night, my parents treated us to tickets to see Bjork play in Manchester. Esther had jumped at the chance when it was offered a couple of weeks ago, but now it was the actual day and she was starting to panic.
“Maybe your parents won’t mind if I don’t come” she says hopefully while we get ready.
I refuse to even grunt my disapproval. She isn’t getting out of it that easy.
I realise I must be getting anxious too, because nothing I try on looks normal. How could I not have noticed that I am a pot-bellied pinhead with a whole wardrobe specially designed to accentuate these flaws?
I finally have to put on the least wrong outfit, and we set off; only for Esther to fall flat on her arse at the bottom of the road.
“Ow” she moans, holding her ankle, “maybe I can’t go now?”
After a brief moment of sympathy, I realise it’s a trap.
“You’ll be fine” I say.
The rest of the journey passes without too much moaning. Apart from me panicking about spending an hour on the train with nothing to read. Esther goes for a fag and re-appears with a Heat magazine.
‘The new one’s out tomorrow’ I thought, ‘this is old news’. But I just smiled and said thankyou. A treat from Esther is a not to be sneered at.
We waited for half an hour in the sticky gloom of some warehouse in the backstreets of Manchester. The bar ran out of lager twice while I was waiting in the queue. Then came a big ‘oooh’ and 20 or so people took to the stage. Which one was she?
“Lots of Bjorks” someone muttered behind me. I pointed out a funny one with a giant ginger afro. After some shuffling about, it turned out that was her. She had a drawn on chinstrap too, and a glittery a-line dress that made her look like a space mermaid.
“I love you B”
said an overfamiliar bloke, and the crowd guffawed. She ignored it.
Bjork’s first song was called Thunderbolt. A big Faraday cage came down from the ceiling and massive lightning bolts shot across it to add hellish percussion to the music.
Esther clung onto my arm in fear.
“My dad would shit himself if he was here” she said.
Well my dad’s tougher than your dad- he was here and loving it! Bjork’s throng turned out to be a choir of Aryan beauties who wailed like it was the end of the world, and shuffled like an apocalyptic chaingang.
Up above, there was a circle of projection screens showing squids filling each other’s multiple orifices with multiple tentacles, mushrooms growing, dnas dangling and moons waxing and waning. The main theme seemed to be sex: things going in holes and things fusing and growing.It was like all the mating bits from nature documentaries segued together and set to volcano-pop.
After about 30 mins of this, I felt a feeble hand plucking at my t shirt.
“I’m too hot” moaned Esther looking like her petite frame had melted into a 2-dimensional placard of herself, “I have to go outside”.
Well, she had done well so far.
The rest of the concert (do people still say that anymore?) was good, but I couldn’t shake the worry that Esther had passed out in the heat or was quivering in the shadows as her social phobia took the reigns. Luckily, I found her outside, smiling and having blown herself back up again to 3D.
A fun day out was had by all.