funny how very little gets said about the upside of alcohol. it’s mostly a great social glue.. it greases the wheels of conversation, marking out a clear line between work and play… deeply comfortable environments are created in its honour…the liquid formula looks terrific in a cocktail glass dressed with a cherry…it’s a horny proposition from ice cold mexican beer bottles nestled in the hands of hairy bikers… the head rush is nice, and i could go on and on and on.
i never used to drink..in my reefer smoking youth, playing small bars around ireland i’d often get harmless catcalls from fun loving audiences, where i’d love shouting back, i’m a talking head,and you’re a piss head... not very witty, but i enjoyed my staged revulsion for mass produced pissy lager anyway.
as the twenty first century dawned, i acquired a taste for glimmering cocktails … i like the velvet service and chairs, but more than anything i relish the strong rush of a well dressed drink. i’d gradually gone from a lifetime of tee total, to a keen cocktail drinker in my mid forties… it was never frequent and it never got out of hand, but on weekly/fortnightly visits to the city, i definitely looked forward to the hit of pure alcohol under the soft lights of a credit card..
soooo… summer starts with us going to see jose feliciano at ronnie scotts. we have this lovely lady in our company and after we order our martinis and manhattans, she orders a pot of tea. dear reader, i’d never known the likes… it’s ten p.m..it’s soho, and this doll is ordering pots of sodding tea…in a jazz club…what blew my mind even more was the waiter didn’t blink an eye. i realised there and then that many folk must do this as well, so the next time i’m there a few weeks later to see doctor john, i order the flippin tea..several buckets of earl grey…then a few weeks later when i return to hear hamish stuart of the average white band sing, i’m swigging my way through gallons more of the gear.
the thing that’s different is how a lake of tea changes the tone of a night out…because ronnie scotts is tiny and civilised,and i’m sittin there with my wee tea set, it suddenly feels like i’m listening to these world class players in a homey living room, so that’s fun. also it’s good to wake up the next morning with less of a price to pay. i haven’t given up on those swishy cocktails, but it was a big deal for me to know that i don’t always have to pickle my liver every time i go for a swim down the velvet lined sewer of soho.
mary fairy liquid