It’s shaping up to be that kind of summer, I think.
The type where things that you thought had had their day, had long since crept away for a nice sit down and a cup of tea, suddenly pop back up.
Turns out they are not tired at all. Au contraire, they are perfectly fresh and dandy, thank you, and ready to make us fall for them all over again.
Summer truly kicks off with Glastonbury, and this event is always a surprisingly reliable indicator for the way life is heading in general. As evidence, I give you wellies. No-one wore wellies with quite such panache before Kate Moss turned up at Glastonbury and showed us how.
And this year it revealed several marvellous returns to the stage, and I’m not just talking about the festival stage.
This is the Comeback Summer, and here are the best so far.
Barry Gibb: I’ll level with you, I was never a fan. Those disco beats, that hair, that high-pitched voice and those Hollywood teeth that pioneered the way for so many celebrity veneers. Not for me. But at the weekend, well it was different.
There was something brave and poignant about Barry up on that stage, wearing the jokey gold jacket passed up to him from the crowd, watching in wonder as the security guards showed off their dance moves to Stayin Alive. And then afterwards, when he quietly said: “I look around and I don’t see my brothers.” Suddenly I was a Barry fan. And he did write some decent tunes.
Nakedness: I think we’re going to see more of it. Not the glossy photoshoot version, but the silly, homemade version. I sense a hippy vibe in the air this summer, stronger than for many a year, and hippies do real-world flesh. It was in evidence on stage when Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis placed a careful arm around a naked campaigner for the White Ribbon Alliance, promoting birth safety. It was there in the audience too - I mean, I know it was hot but those bikinis showed an enthusiasm for the real flesh of real people that hasn’t been seen since the 1960s.
Vince Cable: He’s been around in politics for twenty years and he lost his seat in 2015 when he was 72 years old. Job done, time for that rest with a nice cup of tea, you might think. Time to indulge his passion for ballroom dancing. But not a bit of it. Not only has Vince come storming back into politics, retaking his Twickenham seat, but he is now in the running to be leader of the Lib Dem party. I know they don’t have that many MPs to choose from, but still. Who doesn’t admire a 74-year-old with the energy to want to be the Comeback Kid.
Sunshine: Oh I don’t know, maybe it’s the state of the nation, the state of the world, but the recent blast of cracking-flags weather has been very welcome. We have embraced it with our usual British mix of delight and daftness, dragging out our old clothes, old chairs and old cliches. And references to the summer of ‘76 have been everywhere, until it feels like this heatwave - if it lasts longer than two days in a row it’s definitely a heatwave - is actually visiting us from the past, which is fine. Don’t bring back the standpipes though. That would be a comeback too far.
Liam Gallagher: the ultimate annoying younger brother has become the ultimate Comeback Kid. We all expected it to be Noel, he was the actual talent who wrote the actual songs, the one who looked like he had a brain in his head. But no, turns out it was the loud, loutish one who had the stamina and the talent to come storming back. Liam Gallagher is having one heck of a summer, hurling fresh insults at his brother, releasing new music and, as he never tires of telling us, looking pretty good too.
Jeremy Corbyn: It seems a long time ago that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was considered a liability. Sometimes, a few weeks can be a whole lifetime away. At Glastonbury, he drew the biggest crowd of all and his name was chanted across the 900-acre site. Now that’s a comeback.
NO CUTTING COMMENTS
Well yes, some men’s hairstyles deserve derision I suppose.
The mullet would be a case in point, and probably the footballers’ perm too.
And yet. And yet. At least these blokes were trying.
Rod Stewart’s hair was a mullet of sorts, yet at its spiky best that was good hair, I won’t have anyone say otherwise.
Now there is the man bun, reaching the point of derision. The point where people begin to roll their eyes or curl their lip at sight of one. I don’t know why. I like a man bun, I think it is a style that fits and flatters.
I liked it on David Beckham, I like it on footballer Gareth Bale, even though the word is that he only wears it to disguise a bald patch. I don’t care, it suits him.
The thing is, any style is better than close cropped hair. I’m so tired of seeing men with boring short hair, or shaven heads.
I want another comeback this summer, one where unlikely men grow their hair, the way they did in the 1960s. I know the world has changed since then, and that the sight of a man with hair touching his collar is not going to look quite as ...dangerous.
But still, it would be lovely to have that long-haired look back. We surely all know by now that flowing locks over chiselled, masculine faces can look sensational.
If you don’t know this yet, catch up with Versailles, a drama entirely designed around lovely hairstyles for its men, and none the worse for that.
TIME TO EAT THE LITTLE CRITTERS
There comes a time to give in gracefully. We have reached that time.
Insects must be given a chance. It isn’t appropriate anymore to just have the eating of them confined to the really nasty challenge on I’m A Celebrity.
Nations all over the world regard them as normal food, and we really should do the same.
A Belgian company is the latest to try to change our Western tastes.
They breed crickets, dry them, flavour them and sell them. The garlic and tomato is popular.
And they grind them into flour too.
Insects are plentiful, they contain a lot of protein, they don’t need nearly as much food and water as cows, and they don’t produce anything like the levels of methane gas.
We are running out of arguments for our distaste.
Sooner or later we are going to have to take the plunge, we know this. So...you go first.