Old geezers can't keep up with kids

Youngsters rip it up in the city amid merry madness of drinking binges from crack of dawn till sundown

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 March, 2014, 11:50pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 March, 2014, 11:50pm

It is still dress-up day on Sunday. The only difference is that the outfits have a lot more starch in the collar.

Sunday is the day the boss comes to the private box, as well as all the other anointed execs and top clients, and the most daring fashion accessory is a knotted woolly jumper around the neck.

There are still some smatterings of festive and foolish attire mind you, just not nearly as many.

Basically, been going on two hours' sleep most of the weekend
Sevens First-Timer Jeanette Tan

At 2.15pm an announcement is made that the South Stand is nearing capacity, but that there are still some seats left.

On Saturday, they were basically full by 9am and the madness never really stopped spilling out into the evening and beyond.

There is no question a lot of the youthful revellers are licking their wounds today and well they should.

Disregard the axiom that youth will be served. It has been served and not just at the Sevens.

Hong Kong is clearly a young man's game now and while most of the geezers were tucked in on Saturday night, the youngsters tore a sizeable chunk out of the town.

No wonder they're exhausted.

It used to be you could show up on a Saturday afternoon and finagle your way into the South Stand.

Now some kids are queuing up at 7am and the party starts almost immediately. After a good 12-hour shift, it's off to Central and the Fan Zone for a couple of concerts, then head uphill to the ridiculous mass of humanity shoe-horned into Lan Kwai Fong and Wyndham Street.

I'm tired just thinking about it. And never mind how hard it is being old; it's obviously, not easy being young around here either.

Things are so docile in the South Stand that I actually decide to take a stroll and see how many senior citizens are in there feeling similarly frisky.

But the old folks can wait a bit as I come across a tall and lithe young lady from Singapore in a fetching outfit that is a cross between Cleopatra and Pippy Longstocking.

Her name is Jeanette Tan, she tells me. "Really?" I ask. "Everybody in Singapore's name is Tan."

"Well, I could tell you my name is Smith, but I don't think you would believe me," she says. So what's your outfit today Jeanette?

"Today, I am the queen of tarts," she replies before telling me this is her first Sevens and already she is addicted. "I'm loving it. It's an incredible atmosphere."

When I ask her if it's a nice break from sedate Singapore, she claims that her home is pretty cool. "But this is another level - epic!" She arrived at 7.30am yesterday to queue up for the South Stand.

"Today is much more tame and older," she says. "Yesterday was absolutely insane."

She tells me she did it all yesterday, full day in the South Stand, concert in the harbourfront Fan Zone and then Lan Kwai Fong until the wee hours.

"Basically, been going on two hours' sleep most of the weekend," she says with a surprisingly fresh smile. Must be nice to be young, I say. "It is," she replies, "but let's see how young I feel tomorrow".

Yeah, let's see how young the town feels. My ears are still ringing from the Fan Zone on Saturday night in the massive amphitheatre. It was the type of space that could easily have handled 30,000. And how cool would it have been if Bruno Mars had done his Saturday night show in front of a massive throng at the harbour, instead of playing at the sterile confines of AsiaWorld-Expo out at the airport?

As it was, De La Soul filled in admirably before giving way to the three mixologists on the turntable known as Uptown Rockers. The crowd was predictably youthful, but pleasantly respectful. "How are you mister," a young local girl asked as she passed us by. Never been better, thanks.

The Uptown Rockers are a local favourite whose repertoire is a selection of "rock'n'roll mixed with new-wave electro", and, as they break it down, the raucous crowd starts to shake joyously. The last two songs of the evening are clearly the showstoppers, but something is amiss.

I'm tired just thinking about it. And never mind how hard it is being old; it's obviously, not easy being young around here either
Tim Noonan

First they play Jesus Christ Superstar by Murray Head and then follow it up with one of the greatest tunes of all time, Town Called Malice by The Jam. I know both songs intimately and neither sounds like a mix, straight up original version is what they are of a song from 1971 and another from 1982.

There's not a kid dancing who was close to being born when either song was released, but no matter. Town Called Malice absolutely brings the house down and it's certainly a heartening development for this geezer. These kids might not need us for much, but they still need our music. Epic.