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Revolution # 10

Stuart Bailie | 09:28 UK time, Monday, 4 January 2010

I saw off the decade with a samba band, some effervescent DJs, a few mates and a load of decent strangers. The mood was uproarious and a guy wearing an owl mask was sustaining the atmosphere, like Bez with a giant beak and plumage. It wasn't the time to be reflective and I'd say that most of the people in the venue were swaying and throwing their arms around for that exact reason. There will be plenty of time for analysis and forensics later.

I was at The Point in Dublin for the end of the Eighties. It was my second U2 gig in a row and Bono was popping the champagne cork and promising a deal of reinvention. The fella lived up to his word. Ten years later and I'd just come back from the Ulster Hospital with our third daughter. Everyone was worrying about the Millennium Bug and so they wanted us out of the ward in case all the systems died. We had two kids in nappies and my dad was mortally ill. The first part of that decade was a rush of confusion and major changes. I remember talking to an old friend from London in 2004 and telling her that I felt like a snake, ready to slough off an old skin. And I think that by the end of the decade, I had achieved that process.

Like most people, I'm not sure what the rules are these days. Twenty years ago, my trade was information and opinions about music. Ten years ago, it was about content, fast delivery and a deal of critique. I wouldn't presume to have a strategy any more. But looking back at my musings a year ago, I think there are some constants. Music is still something you ought to love and be immersed in. Perspective is so important when there's drama going off. And it's not cool to scrimp on the family and the health for too long.

Still, it's a privilege to be working with music in an edgy era, in a rocking city. Ideally, we can confer in 12 months and we'll agree that the adventure still has juice left in it.


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