“Hey Mom! Led Zeppelin’s playing,” Matt points to the UK Folklorama Pavilion program as James I take our seats across the table from him. “And Maiden Manitoba. Check it out, it’s an Iron Maiden cover band.”
Matt passes me the paper and I read it over – The Revival, covering Led Zeppelin and the Maiden cover band, playing tonight at midnight. I don’t really want to deny my teen son his first love – a classic rock experience – which ranks better then a dreamy girl any day… (I’m his mother, let me believe this is reality.)
I pass it over to James and he reads it. “Oh, yes.” His non-committal response. He pushes his chair back, “I’m going for some steak and kidney pie. Coming for food, baby?”
“Uh, yeah. Matt, you hungry?”
“Not really. Can we stay for this? We have to.” His eyes plead with me.
“Not sure yet.” Which is code for I’ll work on James, give me a minute…
My love muffin and I stand in line for traditional British food. On the menu is the a fore mentioned Steak and Kidney Pie, plus Fish and Chips, Welsh Rarebit, Cornish Pasties, and some puddings which James says aren’t the good ones he was hoping for… We eventually return to the table with food and drinks in hand and Matt looks at me, expectantly.
I give my head a small shake. Not yet. “It is late you know, they don’t come on till midnight. This show finishes at 10:30, then we’d have to sit through a repeat of this show at 11:00…”
“But we have to stay.”
“Had I known they were playing, we’d have just come for the 11:00 show.”
“I’m not even a big Zeppelin fan…”
We sit in silence for a bit, nibbling on food that I come to realize is awful. “I don’t like your country’s traditional food, babe.”
He nods. “This is awful, whoever cooked this should be shot.” (Yes, ladies… all spoken with a true English accent.)
I pass the program over to James. “So, what do you want to do about this?”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the United Kingdom Folklorama Pavilion…” Opening remarks boom out over the crowd.
Our conversation is drowned out by the start of the show. During a quieter number, I tap James arm, point to the paper and raise my eyebrows. Give a little nod. (We can stay for a bit right?)
James tips his head to the side. (I’m not sure.)
I shrug one shoulder, shift my eyes to Matt, back to James and nod. (Just two songs… we’ll just stay for two songs.)
James widens his eyes and makes a quick nod. (Two songs, sounds great to me!)
Fantastic, I lean over to Matt, “We’ll stay for a couple of songs and see how it goes from there.”
A happy boy.
The show ends at 10:30 and we meander slowly around the cultural display upstairs, twice even… we do have time to kill so might as well take in all the details.
A make-shift tea room is set up on the main floor at the far end from the stage. “I haven’t had high tea for years,” James says, being reminiscent of home. We enter the small restaurant and sit down. The three of us chat, spend a little time on our cell phones, the boys nibble on date squares, I watch the 11:00 show playing behind them (a repeat of the 9:45 show.) James has three cups of English Breakfast. The show ends at 11:45. Fifteen minutes to the Zeppelin cover… Matt’s blood courses through his veins with his shots of adrenaline. He doesn’t often get excited, but I can see him… kinda bouncy.
James stands up, “Well, I guess we should make a move.” (“Time to leave” – for those who don’t speak British lingo, I learned this on our third date, but that’s another story!)
“What do you mean leave?” I’m bewildered.
He sits back down.
“What? No!” Matt looks at me.
I look at James, “We agreed we were staying for a couple songs to see how it goes.”
“When did we agree to this?”
“You know, before, at the table, I did the eye brow raise thing and you did the shrug and head nod thing and we did the mind meld thing and agreed to stay for two songs.” Now that I say it aloud I do realize I’m a crazy person, but why stop now.
“I did not mind meld with you!” James disbelief rumbles.
“I thought that’s why were sitting here for so long drinking tea… wasting time till midnight.”
James says, “I was just enjoying tea.”
Matthew pipes in, “We’re staying right?”
“Well, it’s almost midnight, I say we stay for a couple of songs and see how it goes.”
… And there you have it, a failed mind meld.
However, the evening was stellar fun. The bands were fantastic and we ended up staying until 2:00 a.m. So worth it to hear my teenager say several times, “This is great, so much fun.”