The scene played out at midnight on the periphery of Leeds city train station. To the backdrop of sparkling city square Christmas lights, a bearded middle aged man huddled in his Superdry wind cheater amongst a throng of almost a hundred fellow revellers. Like minded individuals who similarly sought refuge from the biting cold, along with transport home, in the shape of taxi carriage
The Superdry coat achieving exactly what it said on the tin (well the sleeve branding) and keeping the hirsute man dry***. Sadly for beardy (who for purpose of this narrative I’ll call Gary) his outer torso layer only partially fulfilled his desire to keep him super warm.
*** – As it wasn’t raining at the time he’d have been peeved and somewhat surprised if he’d not remained dry will queue in situ.
During a period while awaiting carriage to his East Ardsley abode, Gary felt akin to a cycling peloton, him and wind cheater coat giving shelter to those huddled behind him also seeking solace from the face numbing breeze. Among them two guys, who much to Gary’s chagrin, were singing a cacophonously out of tune version of The Beatles refrain With A Little Help From My Friends.
At the songs much welcomed ending, the hirsute middle-aged Yorkshireman concluded it was the last time he’d ever stand in a taxi queue adjacent to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
It was a frustrating end to an otherwise enjoyable evening for Gary. Earlier his spirits elevated by his presence in the company of buddies Mike and Jon; the trinity’s self-imposed mission the witnessing of a gig by the band Shed Seven, The venue for this aural treat the acoustically magnificent chambers of Leeds’ fd Arena. Mike and Jon big fans of the band from their 1990’s pomp.
A decade when Gary’s existence was more restricted as father to two young children in Bedfordshire. When his younger mates were bopping and rocking to Shed Seven anthems such as Chasing Rainbows and She Left Me On Friday and You he was chasing his toddlers. Consequently, prior to his introduction to the band’s back catalogue of works around five years ago, the capricious Garfield thought Shed Seven was a half read football result!****
**** – As in “Barclays League Division One – Shed seven, Everton three!”….. Apologies if this explanatory footnote appears patronising, but I’d thought it best to placate the ‘What the f*** is he on about!’ brigade…… Although there’s always the potential post explanation they’d still wonder what my the chuff I’m alluding to in the gag.
Also enhanced my evening was the opportunity to engage with numerous Sheddies (as their fans might be know) in the packed standing area. Couples including Ed and Tracey who at least laughed at the Shed Seven football result gag so loathed by the ‘What the f*** is he on about!’.
At one point, I also spoke with two other Leeds citizen’s whose acquaintance I’d previously not had. Named Anne-Marie and H, they were also impressed with the football gag and spoke at length of their love for Shed Seven; boasting they’d got tickets for the after show party. Although bragging isn’t an appealing trait, I wished them both well and asked them to tell the Shed lads about my website.
Footnote – To clarify Anne-Marie’s buddy wasn’t the H from 1990’s pop band Steps. She was a buxom thirty-something lady from Leeds.
At the conclusion of the gig, I left the venue with Mike and Jon, who were venturing home in Jon’s car to the other side of our metropolis from me. I headed for a pre-cab kebab at Zaam Zaams. A place where I became engaged in a conversation with two other women (Caroline and amazingly another woman called H).
On concluding my food I meandered towards Leeds city centre station, little knowing of the levels of cold I’d experience in the upcoming hour while standing in the aforementioned taxi queue.
Further Footnote – To clarify Caroline’s buddy wasn’t the H from 1990’s pop band Steps either. She was also a buxom thirty-something lady from Leeds.