Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

One Foot in the Rave

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

One Foot in the Rave

Article excerpt


London's trendy, middle-aged middle classes are partying till they drop. Adam Edwards celebrates growing old disgracefully

ON Tuesday night Marco Pierre White threw a 40th birthday party at the Mirabelle restaurant. Bernard Manning told a score of offcolour racist jokes, Madonna listened and misunderstood, and the food critic and journalist Jonathan Meades was, according to The Mirror, "off his face" with drink.

Yesterday the tabloid newspaper reported that Meades "greedily tucked into a gourmet menu" and then, "staggering around from the amount of booze he consumed", heckled the comedian and was then sick in the lavatory.

According to Marco Pierre White, "Meades was drunk, rude and obnoxious. He embarrassed everyone, humiliated himself and, frankly, I never want to see the horrible little man again."

This presumably is the same Marco Pierre White who would roundly abuse his customers if they asked for ketchup. This is the most glorious example so far this century of the pot calling the kettle black. It would need a stomach full of bad oysters not to laugh. The foulmouthed ageing chef who has made his reputation with his churlish and ungracious behaviour has now, without a soupAon of irony, berated an ageing rouE for doing exactly that. (Actually, in many people's eyes, Meades behaved rather well by being exceptionally rude to the appallingly bigoted Mr Manning and yet still managing to find a lavatory in which to be sick.) BUT what is most cheerful about this incident is the light in which it casts London's fashionable, middle-aged, middle classes. They are not, as previous generations were, interested in celebrating the run-up to Christmas with "a flick" and a quiet Italian. Not for them a small glass of white wine and a concert on the South Bank or a modest cocktail party. The balding trendies are out in force this month squabbling, snorting and chug-a-lugging at a raft of parties as if they were 20.

For despite reports this week of binge-drinking by teenagers and an increase in cirrhosis of the liver, it is yesterday's baby-boomers and the Seventies Generation X for whom the booze, the partying and the bad behaviour is still meat and, of course, great quantities of drink.

Meanwhile, it is the young who are quietly tapping their toes this Christmas to the crooning Robbie Williams singing Sinatra's greatest hits and drinking non-alcoholic energy drinks.

On that same Tuesday evening, Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones played a gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire.

Ronnie a fiftysomething likely lad, who is as well known for his extraordinary appetite for liquor as much as his dexterity on the guitar, was joined by his son, Jesse (rhythm guitar), and daughter Leah (backing vocals).

The spikyhaired rocker with a face as wrinkled as a walnut also managed to inveigle his ageing chum Slash from Guns N' Roses to play along with the family. …

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