I don’t think I’ll ever be past my Prine

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - COLUMNIST -

There’s some­thing tremen­dously de­press­ing about get­ting older. The things you used to en­joy don’t seem as much fun as they used to be. Even those things you do still grudg­ingly en­joy now seem like too much hassle.

Go­ing for a week­end with­out sleep? I did it more times than I can count, and had a bloody great time do­ing it.

If I was to try that now, I’d prob­a­bly die.

Meet­ing up with friends when­ever you feel like it? Well, I’ve spent the last three weeks try­ing to or­gan­ise a play date with one of my old­est friends and we still haven’t man­aged to set­tle a def­i­nite time or place.

He has an ex­cuse, he has a kid. Me? Ah, some­times even go­ing into town at night just feels like more hassle than it’s worth (with apolo­gies to my friend, of course).

I got into the strange and in­creas­ingly ter­ri­ble world of jour­nal­ism through writ­ing about mu­sic, and as the song goes, mu­sic has al­ways been my first love.

But I’ve now reached the age where I give out about the younglings’ taste in tunes, al­though that’s mostly be­cause so much of it is shite.

Lis­ten up kid­dies — Ed Sheeran is not good. He’s just a bad busker who, I am con­vinced, sold his soul in re­turn for suc­cess, like a very beige Robert John­son (def­i­nitely no re­la­tion to Boris John­son, see left).

There’s still some great mu­sic be­ing re­leased, of course. I’ve spent the last 18 months de­vour­ing the likes of Fu­ture Is­lands and The xx — roughly two years af­ter ev­ery­one else dis­cov­ered them.

Sim­i­larly, I reckon Chris­tine and her queens is the sin­gle great­est tal­ent I’ve seen in the last 10 years, but I’m prob­a­bly too old, too white and too straight to go to her up­com­ing show in the RDS in Novem­ber.

But I can still rouse my­self ev­ery now and then, and I’m count­ing down the min­utes to John Prine (above) in the NCH on Mon­day night.

It’s prob­a­bly an ex­ag­ger­a­tion, but not by much, to say that I love that man.

From the time my Da started play­ing him in the late 70s to the day I fi­nally got to in­ter­view the great man, Prine has been an ever-present in my life.

I even got so ex­cited the other day that I told some­one this would be a pil­grim­age, not a gig.

No­body, and I mean no­body, should ever re­fer to a gig as a ‘pil­grim­age’.

Yet that’s how much of an old fart I’ve be­come.

The guts of 40 years of some of the finest coun­try mu­sic and most bit­ing lyrics you will ever hear, Prine is a freakin’ leg­end and my now mid­dle-aged bones are ab­surdly ex­cited...

Hon­estly, the 20-year old me would be dis­gusted if he knew what he was go­ing to turn into.

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