BRACE yourselves, I’ve got some shocking news. My faith in humanity has been restored. In London.

That’s a lot to process, isn’t it? First off, I can reassure you that I haven’t been kidnapped and a cheerier, equally dashing, doppelganger parachuted in to replace me. It’s fair to point out that this may also be a fleeting version of me, destined to have evaporated like the mist on a sunny morning by the time you read this.

But hey – I’m in a happy place for the time being. All thanks to a trip to Wembley Stadium last Saturday to see Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra. I haven’t been there for 25 years... or ever, if you take into account the fact that it’s been replaced since I went to the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert in 1992.

True, the day could have started better. As we approached Arnside station in the car, a train was rattling across the viaduct, accompanied by a dawning realisation that we’d got the departure time wrong. I really didn’t know I could still run that fast. Or pant that loudly in a quiet carriage.

The normal tension of a countryside-dweller visiting London melted away on the tube, when we struck up a conversation with some fellow fans (which presumably broke several by-laws).

If that wasn’t already somewhat over-chummy by the capital’s standards, the thorough security checks to get in were delightfully good-natured and friendly (getting felt-up at my age is a bonus, too), and inside the stadium it got even better. This was by far the most welcoming gig I’ve ever been too. People chatted warmly, many seemingly knew each other, and a guy I’ve never met complimented me on my T-shirt.

Every era of ELO was represented, from 70s satin bomber jackets and vintage tour Ts, to people in sky blue suits with white clouds on. The concert was glorious – I have never seen so many happy people in one place, singing madly along and grinning like it was all their birthdays and Christmases put together.

Afterwards, the inevitable queue along Wembley Way to get to the tube station (normally about as much fun as tipping spaghetti into a Dyson Airblade while wearing you best white suit) became a joy too. Someone was playing “YMCA”, and suddenly hundreds of people were singing along and performing the accompanying dance. Even our hotel-bound pit-stop for something to drink was boosted by a chat with a polite and friendly homeless guy (who got Mrs G’s planned breakfast).

On Sunday, tired and a bit croaky, we clambered onto our train home to be greeted by two very American ladies at our allocated seats who welcomed us “to the cool table”. We traded gig stories, and chatted about their trip to Glasgow and “Edingburrow”.

What a weekend. I’m smiling again now, just thinking about it.

Maybe I should put the news on the TV – that should have me back to my miserable self faster than you can say “In the House of Commons today...”

Peter Grenville