WILLO TALK: On the Vengabus

DEPENDING on your age, we all have a favourite decade.

Some of the older generation hark back to the swinging 60s, others say the 70s was the best decade when disco and flares ruled the world, while people in my age group go misty-eyed at the thought of the 1980s.

My personal favourite decade was the 1990s, particularly 1996.

What a year that was. I’d hit the legal drinking age two years earlier, Euro 96 was in town, the music scene was thriving as Oasis and Blur went head-to-head and Sporty, Ginger, Posh, Baby and Scary spiced up our lives with a bit of girl power.

There was the so-called Lads Mags boom, the fashions were great and it was just great to live in Cool Britannia.

I had a blast from the past over the weekend after being encouraged to broaden my horizons by going to a gay pride event in Newcastle.

Normally my Sundays revolve around around football and a few beers in the club, and attending an event of this nature wouldn’t feature anywhere near the top 100 in my personal list of 100 Things To Do Before I Die.

But I’ve had a couple of telling offs recently and needed to get back in the good books so in an attempt to claw back some much-needed brownie points from Miss Right - as she’s always right - I pulled the pink shirt out of the wardrobe and headed north.

I assumed we’d spend the afternoon dodging drag queens and listening to Village People tribute acts doing the YMCA, and expected the highlight of my afternoon to be when the train back to Hartlepool arrived on the platform.

But you know what, I actually enjoyed it. The atmosphere was brilliant, it was fun and friendly, and even though the drinks were flowing I don’t think I saw one policeman all afternoon.

It was free of charge, people were smiling and the sun shone down on us.

On top of all that - to finally get back to my point about the 1990s - The Vengaboys were on.

Boom Boom Boom Boom, We’re Going To Ibeeeetza and, of course, The Vengabus Is Coming really did give us all a blast from the past.

It was brilliant. I enjoyed it, Miss Right enjoyed it, the friends we went with enjoyed it and The Vengaboys enjoyed it.

I’m glad I went, and I’ll look forward to the next one.

But not quite as much as Miss Right is looking forward to coming to the club with me on a Sunday afternoon when the footy season starts...