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There's nothing like an '80s crowd

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About Drinking, with Kenley Gordon

In alcohol’s defense, I’ve done some dumb things when sober too.

Growing up in the '80s meant big cars, big hair and big hangovers.

If you grew up in the 1980s, it was all big cars and big pubs, with live bands and good times.

V-Capri in their glory days.

V-Capri in their glory days. Perms galore.

You know what I’m talking about. Put on your tight jeans and a collared shirt (it could be a $100 Jag tee, but no collar, no entry) and off you go on a Friday night. V-Capri or Dave Warner could be playing on the other side of town at the Morley Generator, or the Angels could be the touring band at the Charles Hotel.

One of my favourites was the legendary Push Rods, with the manic Mark Constable playing blues harp out front.

The girls would keep their handbags safe by dancing around them in a circle and the blokes would do the VB shuffle, with beer in one hand and cigarette in the other.

I recall a spirit of friendliness, meeting new people and enjoying loud music and camaraderie – with strangers all round you. Mind you, it was also the age of the massive pub brawl, but let’s not go there.

Every now and then, and often quite unexpectedly, the spirit of the '80s resurfaces and I find myself looking around at the crowd of smiling faces, many with grey hair and glasses, others still in tight, heavy denim jeans and think, this is what the 80s was like.

It’s mostly the music, atmosphere and the crowd having a lot of fun without spoiling anyone else’s good time.

This was exactly what I thought when I saw local Perth boy Todd Johnston playing in Peace, Love and All that Stuff on a recent Friday night (at Crown Perth's Groove Bar). He’s a good showman, Todd. From a show family.

At 55, he’s played in V-Capri, who we all saw in the 80s, has been a TV personality and still looks pretty fit in blue jeans and loose T-shirt (no-collar).

But he works the crowd and knows what they like. The Doors, Santana. The Stones - of course. The new young bands are sharp and loud, but just don’t get the crowd involved like the old blokes. There's certainly a few heavier bodies on the dance floor, but dance like no one's watching was definitely invented in the '80s.

And what did I drink during this flashback Friday? Something I hadn’t even heard of in the 1980s. A very refreshing Il Posto Prosecco.

I think a Prosecco is an excellent social drink. It’s light, bubbly, not too sweet, dry enough for the blokes, and puts you in a good mood almost immediately.

And let’s face it, if you’re old enough to remember the '80s, you need a mood lift every now and then.


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