niallb's current selection is:
A Love Of Your Own
by Average White Band
The three-piece suit is light grey, with a pale blue check and expansive lapels. The shirt is powder-blue, with a button-down collar, and the tie is navy blue and wide. The black platform boots are gleaming in the lights as I stand on the edge of the dance-floor. It's December 1977. I am 21 years old. I'm in Cinderella's in Guildford and it's just after midnight on a freezing cold Tuesday night. Tuesday night is Rock Night and it's the night when we can get the DJ to play Thin Lizzy and Status Quo, because the dance-floor is dead. I'm drinking a pint of Harp. It's a terrible pint, but my tastes are not sophisticated enough to know that, yet. Lager is still a fairly new concept in 1977 Surrey. My brother and my mates are at the bar, telling jokes to each other while they survey the dance-floor.

?Suddenly, a stunning girl is in my face, talking to me. My ears are buzzing, full of noise, and I can't hear what this vision of beauty is saying. I raise my eyebrows and wave a finger at my ears. She smiles and leans in close. Her breath is hot on my face as she breathes into my ear. I can just make out the magical, mythical words.
“Do you want to dance?”
I put down my drink and, terrified, lead her to the deserted dance-floor. A note of music quietly breaks the roaring silence and, sad sap that I am, I instantly know the song. This live version is so slow, so sensual, so perfect. The music whispers quietly as I hold her close. She buries her head into my chest as 2 Scotsmen, called Hamish and Alan, sing;
“The sooner you give....” Terrified though I am, the music takes over. I listen to the drummer as he pushes the rest of the band, so expertly, just with his right foot on the bass-drum pedal. He is subtle, quiet, not flashy, all the things I love in a drummer. As the song comes to an end, and Hamish Stuart, in that distinctive falsetto voice, sings the last words, his voice wipes out every thought, every sound, every miserable fear. The girl kisses my cheek and runs off back to her friends, bet fulfilled. It's December 1977. The Average White Band are the soundtrack in my head. I'm 21, suited and booted, and I'm scared out of my fucking wits. The fear is constant. A knot in the pit of my stomach. I don't know when it started, just that it seems to have been there forever. I can ignore it sometimes and actually relax. But it is not very often. I am uncomfortable around people. Uncomfortable, scared, constantly wishing I was somewhere else. All my life I have wished I was somewhere else.

?I'm about to leave home to enter a 17 year relationship with a woman 10 years older than me, who already has 2 kids. I have no idea that I am bi-polar, or that the phrase even exists. I have no idea that this upcoming relationship will cause me to attempt to take my own life. I am a drummer in a band and I'm pretty good. I love being in the band but I have no idea that, not only have I played my last gig, but that I will not play the drums for another 25 years. I am scared, nervous and uncomfortable every waking second of every day.
I am 21 years old.

1976 - Atlantic - United Kingdom
Posted: 1st June 2017
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Niall Brannigan
Red wine, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Boston Red Sox, Kauto Star, Big Big Train, Dawes, Springsteen, Yes, Toto. Just a few of the things that make me happy. Oh, and great food!
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