I’m 16. My mate Pete has been humming “Achinta beyda beyda tatvaaaah” endlessly. I finally break and ask him what gibberish he’s spouting.
And thus I am introduced to Kula Shaker. It was the first CD I ever illicitly ripped to MP3. It was my reference album for any audio equipment purchase. Potential girlfriends were unfairly judged on their appreciation of its mystic tosh.
I’m 36. My mate Vicky posts that she has spare tickets to Kula Shaker’s 20th anniversary tour. I sprint to the web and discover that the opening night is tomorrow, a short bus ride away from where I live.
I am standing in a sweaty venue. It is packed with blokes my age who are balder than they used to be, rounder than they used to be, up quite late for a school night, and all – to a man – screaming like they’re teenagers again.
It was 20 years ago today…
There’s a moment in every gig where the band’s singer says “…and here’s something from our new album!” to groans from the audience.
No such nonsense here. The plan is simple. Kula Shaker are going to play all the songs from K, in order. And they do, with terrifying enthusiasm. I had thought that they might regard it as a bit of a millstone around their neck. But no, every drop of sweat is a bead of pure joy for an album that people adore.
The crowd know the lyrics and the track order intimately. There’s no need for introductions. There’s a bit of banter, but we’re all here to get lost on the music, to relish the lyrics. To be young again.
It’s the end. Naturally we’re cheering for an encore. If we’re lucky we’ll get a couple more songs, right?
The hits keep coming. All those singles! A few barely remembered B-Sides, sure, but they just indulge the crowd in an explosion of nostalgia.
I’m 36. My knees hurt and my throat is hoarse. This never happened when I was 16, surely? But my mind feels the same. My head spins with joy.
For you shall be tomorrow,
Like you have been today,
If this was never ending,
What more can you say?