He smells of glue.
Of itself nothing remarkable.
A few do I’m sure. But they ain’t that close. His is fresh. It’s still fucking wet. And on his chin. And he’s got long hair. And it’s damp with sweat. And he's wearing a bright yellow jumper. And those creases in his face mean it's clear he's had way too much adhesive next to it.
And of the thousand or so people that decided to watch Crass tonight he’s next to me.
This is a ‘March For Jobs’ gig. I'm not marching. I’ve got a lift coming later. I’m 11.
And at this moment, I have no options. I’m stuck.
And this bloke is breathing Evo all over my head. And I just want to get in. We’re shuffling in. The coppers are watching like we’re a threat to society.
I’m no threat. I'm at school. I not looking to start a riot or set about destroying capitalism. I just want to get away from glue-boy.
And eventually I do.
And we’re in a venue that isn’t used much. And after Annie Anxiety has screamed at us for a bit the Poison Girls are on. And the crush starts.
And I may be the novelty young one (it got me some wonderful ‘presses’ against women when I was far too young to be having them at Brannigan’s, the Palm Cove etc) but this ain’t good.
Bit fucking mad to be honest.
Very mad. And scary.
I’m getting crushed. They’ve got tables on their sides to keep people back. And they’re not moving. And it hurts.
And then someone is grabbing me.
And I’m up.
And watching the Poison Girls. Sat on the edge of the stage.
This is good.
It’s loud. I don’t even like them that much. But I’m right by the band. And they’re ‘grown up’. And 'real'. And 'into' what they're doing.
And I just want to take this in....
'Bombing cities, pulling switches, we won't do your dirty work.....'
And then Crass come on. And I know it’s all a bit earnest even at my age. But they’re fucking good. Because they mean it. Not many that do.
I’m only 11 but I know what they’re on about. And the saddest thing is that even at 11 I know it won’t work.
‘The problems that you suffer from are problems that you make.....No one ever stopped the church by pulling down the steeple, you'll never beat the system by bombing number 10'
We’ll all forget it as we get older, that sense of wanting to change things. Things get in the way. Exams, jobs, bills. And people with glue on their chin.