Tuesday, 7 April 2015
Bikers, Trikers, Whatever..
There are days when it's best not to go out; settle yourself to WW2 Countdown to Victory and have done with it. In fact that image of peace and quiet (see below) runs strong in most of us. But there are other days when (whilst we still can) we must gird ourselves and shake our collective fists at the gods and do stuff; and take a peek at what the human world out there is actually like.
They were line dancing outside The Forresters, Southend yesterday, to rockabilly. The bikers, and there were thousands and thousands of them, divided in to roughly two groups, the bean-poled maniacs in lime green leathers trying to stand their Suzi's on their noses; burning, drifting, screaming, banging bundles of post adolescence out to play, and the over forties, overwhelmingly agricultural folk who find engines in barns, strap girders to them and somehow make them actually go; those gnarled cross breeds of Willy Nelson and Keith Richards who have seen it all before, alongside their molls, mothers, mamas and old ladies, who mount up on the 'Slut' or 'Dirt Bag' or 'Death Trap' or 'Mutant' to demonstrate their thorough couldn't give a flying fuckness with a degree of insouciance that saw them line dancing at the Foresters. You got the feeling that if somebody had actually cranked up a Stones riff, the place would collapse from over stimulation. These, I decided, were my kind of people.
Of course they didn't know that yet, but we did our best to fit in, hide our iPad's and slope, mosey and otherwise mask our crippling un-hipness (and over tight boots) to the scene. Would we even buy patches? We made do by gawping at almost every conceivable variant of Harley Davidson the world might offer, and Julie specialising in the already specialised area of the 'rat', a contrary reaction but a fair one given the overwhelming plenitude of chrome, tassel, and flake; the rat iconography consisting of enough skeletons, skulls, spiders, beer kegs, webs, nets, scythes (and dogs in baskets) and of course rats to spell doom in anybody's language. 'You can't go touring on one of those' I said. In fact, it looked like you'd hardly get down the street on some of 'em.
This was a culture so blissfully unaware of celebrity that the photographer for the local paper picked on me. Well I had the beard didn't I, and no exhortations to death and destruction as yet in evidence. Well thats a result I thought, roll on us on our trike, in matt grey.
(Photo: Julie Cook)