It was horrific. Borderline nightmarish. They were everywhere. I took my seat, petrified. They moved erratically and noisily. I was surrounded by them. Only the introduction over the microphone could quieten them down. Moments later, the man, who entertained millions of children across Australia since the late 80’s, bounced on stage with such enthusiasm, wearing a shirt that probably also began its career in the late 80’s. It was of course Peter Coombs and if you couldn’t tell, I was at a children’s concert filled to the brim with bloody children. I have only myself to blame. I should have known that there would be hoards of them.
The mother’s sat down, their hair all done up in a practical fashion. Their children running riot on the floor in front. They weren’t really here for the kids, for these mothers, just like myself, grew up listening to the sounds of “Juicy, Juicy, Green Grass” and “Quirky Berserky the Turkey from Turkey”.
I sang along where I could because I was told once that singing or humming whilst on a fresh horse will calm ones nerves. I wasn’t on a fresh horse but this was close enough. I watched the children have little spacky fits. I don’t know how else to describe it. They thrashed around like a druggie trying to drag out his hit. These children must have been on eccy’s too because they were pretty happy to be there.
Once the little children got in to the swing of the concert, they crept closer and closer towards the stage, like a virus spreading. It was bad enough at one point that even the seasoned entertainer expressed concern. At one stage I was questioning whether the children were louder than Mr Coombs, especially when one nearby child wouldn’t stop shrieking. This was the same child who kicked off his shorts with panache to indicate to his mother that he would like to visit the bathroom facilities. Either that or he was really, really happy.
After all the off-key yodelling and out of time clapping from the children, Mr Coombs sang his finale, my favourite, “Mr Clickety Cane”. We all sang along to the nonsense of washing our face with orange juice and cleaning our teeth with bubble gum till the song ended and it was time to go home.
Seeing Peter Coombs in concert wasn’t on my bucket list but it sure did make my day!