Sunday, March 15, 2009

When I stop talking for a little while, I am usually thinking about London. I am usually thinking about a particular spot in Camden or the fake Roman antiquities in the Victoria and Albert Museum. I am usually thinking about dancing til my legs ache at some random indie club in Soho.. or else I am thinking about the colour of the morning sky on the bus ride back to Seven Sisters.

Sometimes I think about how I rushed about to get a last minute ticket to New Order in Hyde Park. It was where we first met, standing next to each other, watching the Psychedelic Furs. I had asked to see his program. It was very new-fangled in that it was laminated like a backstage pass. You see, I was lost - there were no freely available programs.

We spent the whole day together, walking in a muddied field, engaged in deep conversation. We talked about musical interests that (we believed) precious few shared. I so vividly remember how he described the significance of the Pet Shop Boys' This Must Be The Place I've Waited Years To Leave. I have no doubt in my mind that I told him of my profound love of Erasure's album The Innocents. We laughed and gushed, walking from tent to tent, stage to stage, talking about his musical writing and my radio fumbling. He was very obliging in letting me watch all the bands I'd wished to see that day: Battle, Graham Coxon, Fischerspooner and the Dears.

We were muddied and drenched when New Order started playing, yet it was perfect. I couldn't have imagined a circumstance like it. There were moments in New Order's set, their cadences, drum beats, lyrics and hooks that resonated so strongly. It seemed so terribly apt yet so wholly unexpected when they played Run Wild. I couldn't believe I was there.

We organised to meet up late Monday night, four days later. I remember him waiting outside the fake Marquee Club in Leicester Square. I was late of course. We had originally planned to go to a New Romantic club night in Oxford Circus. However, no real event really eventuated that night. Yet, somehow it was one of the most exciting nights of my life. Andrew, Gaby, He and I sat on the edge of the Piccadilly Circus fountain, sitting, talking and laughing all night long. It must have been one or two o'clock in the morning when we started to walk in circles around the center of London. From Piccadilly Circus to Soho to Oxford Circus, back to Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square to Trafalgar Square... and then back again. I remember the precise moment when I wished for him to hold my hand, he was speaking about London by the Smiths. I don't ever think I'd ever felt as much relief as when he did.

It seems like a totally mythical scenario, in retrospect. It was just like any of the songs we talked about: Tonight is Forever by the Pet Shop Boys, There is a Light That Never Goes Out by the Smiths, But Not Tonight by Depeche Mode. Nowadays, the memory seems to live in that strictly musical realm, that farfetched realm, that thoroughly perfect realm. Sometimes I have to stop talking for a little while longer to wonder if it really happened at all.

Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Electro Podcast #12
Röyksopp - Happy Up Here
Pet Shop Boys - Love etc
Danger - 11h30
Whitest Boy Alive - Gravity
Hercules in NY - Deadweight
Dr Baker - Kaos (from Budbrain Megademo I)
Bitmap Brothers - Gods
Bomb the Bass - Megablast (from Xenon II)

Download (28.5 MB)

12 comments:

adam said...

:) Beautiful x

Mike said...

I just stuck all your podcasts on my shiny new iPod (in it's s&m gimp mask) Love them all plus on the good side you sound a bit like Jane Gazzo one of my fave BBC 6 Music deejays, which is no bad thing. :)

Eleanor said...

I'm thrilled to say the least! You're FAMOUS!

PS Jane Gazzo did my course at uni!

Mike said...

Famous? Me? She did your uni course huh? Did she make you all listen to Half Man Half Biscuit?

Eleanor said...

Nono, never met the girl. She's just notable alumni.

Mike said...

Ah I had this mental image of her in a mortar board and gown pointing to a picture of a microphone etc. and banging on about HMHB. ;) just a little insight into the silly twisted world of Mike.

britpopsurvivor said...

The club night in this lovely tale didn't happen to be my own London Loves, did it? We were based in Soho at the time. Dean Street, to be precise.

britpopsurvivor said...

Now I've actually listened to the podcast: I enjoyed it. I have an issue with the Whitest Boy Alive, though - I am the whitest boy alive.

Best games on the Amiga: Sensible World of Soccer, Speedball 2, Frontier: Elite 2, Cannon Fodder. I found an Amiga abandoned in the street a few years ago; I took it in and cared for it. Then my useless flatmate spent the next six months playing Sim City in the living room

Eleanor said...

The club night was White Heat at Madame Jojo's, but I was known to frequent Frog at Mean Fiddler among other places. Should have gone to KOKO but I never got my act together.

I can't believe you picked up an abandoned Amiga! What are the chances, after all who would dare abandon an Amiga and all the delights it has to offer?

Mike said...

Ah Amiga & Britpop memories can it get any better?

britpopsurvivor said...

@ Eleanor

Ah! Frog and Koko were both a bit too haircut indie trendy for me. That's code for "I'm too old", by the way. White Heat I quite liked, as they often had some great bands on.

I think a neighbour was having a clear-out. The Amiga was there, with plug, disk drive, games, everything. We couldn't believe it - in fact, we thought it must have been a mistake. But then it looked like it was about to rain, so we grabbed it. Happy times.

Penny said...

i work in camden!