When we were lads, the pub that was the nursery of our drinking, just next to the school, threw a disco every New Year's Eve. The DJ was Diddy Dave the barman, a diminutive Lancastrian who had played the pubs and clubs of the North West in his youth and would consequently sometimes scatter a couple of northern soul classics in amongst the better known Tamla Motowns, Town Called Malices and Come On Eileens of our requesting. The Weather Girls 'It's Raining Men' I recall was a particular favourite of his - and no, 'he never married'. That dance floor in the public bar by the jukebox where the pool table usually sat was truly one of the greatest of my life, all spilt beer and sweat and hormones and cheap perfume on the girls from school done up to their nines. At midnight you were licensed to kiss every single one of them on the lips and they didn't even mind. Never such paradise again.
Now New Year's Eves are, as I have related here before, cosy indoors affairs that came as a mighty relief after so many over-priced nights in chocker London pubs with vomit and violence and hung-upness at best always just round the corner, in our difficult twenties, in our insecure thirties, and not a cab to be found gone midnight.
So - I've done another booze shop. And Mrs H's bezzie is joining us, which'll be nice. And the girlies will want to stay up too, now they're bigger.
Meanwhile Diddy Dave, I'd wager - long-since retired - will be playing cards at Hookhills Community Centre, then home for an early night.
This one's for him.
HNY to you all.
The Weather Girls - 'It's Raining Men' (1982)