D is for…

Dozen wicked words by Longpigs

First time I heard it live: So after bagging a job in Mexico in 1996, I kind of decided that I would see as many live bands as possible before I left, because, you know, there might not be music in Mexico or something like that. Anyway, probably on one of our Saturdays in The Oxford Arms we decided we would go to see Sleeper. They had that one good song and they might be alright. Benjamin* called up about a week before and said he had a spare ticket, did I know someone who might want to go. “Sure,” I said. “I’ll call my big brother.” And I did.  Pat wasn’t a hundred percent bothered about going, but it was a free ticket so he agreed. And there it was, sorted. Well, in those pre-mobile phone days that’s how it was done, wasn’t it?

Come the day I was late. I wasn’t too worried, as I had a reputation of always being late and was aware that my friends regularly told me to be somewhere half an hour in advance to make sure I got there. But Benjamin wasn’t there and he had the tickets and neither was Bro. I waited and paced, I paced and waited and it slowly became clear that London transport was a complete nightmare that night and despite my lateness, everybody else was later. Finally against all my expectations I spotted Benjamin in the crowd… with a girl. It must have been all over my face because after a quick hello and some comments about the tube mess Benjamin asked me if I had found someone to take the ticket. I nodded.

It was a bit awkward really, the girl was here and Bro wasn’t, but Pat had been promised the ticket first. We loitered for a bit, we tootled out to the pub across the road and finally when Big Bro didn’t turn up we decided he just hadn’t made it across London and we decided to go in.

We dumped our coats, we went in and we shuffled our way to somewhere just past the middle and waited. And then Longpigs came on.

Very rarely do I bother to listen to a support band, let alone like them, but the Longpigs blew me away. They finished off by plugging their CD, which I went and bought the very next day.

First time I heard it:  As a teenager at one point there were three hi-fi in a very small  terraced flat, where we occupied the first floor and attic rooms. I don’t actually remember how noisy it was, but it must have been quite a cacophony at times. Anyway, the main point is that best hi-fi was Dad’s. On that Saturday after I bought The sun is always out, everyone was out and I lay on the floor at that optimal point where the sound from the speakers merges and I put it on almost as loud as the night before. And I listened to the whole thing on repeat over and over again.

And if you are wondering about my brother, about halfway through Sleeper’s first song there was a bit of a rush and this conga line of people came pushing past. Right at the end of the line was… my brother.

Later, after the gig we finally got round to asking how he got in.

“Well I was pacing about outside by the backstage door really pissed off that I’d got stuck on the tube, arrived late and you hadn’t even waited for me.”

I scuffed the pavement with my toe. And that wasn’t even the half of it, he didn’t even know that even if he had arrived on time he didn’t have a ticket.

“And then this guy opened the back door and came out for a fag,” Pat continued. “He took one look at me and said you look really pissed off. Do you want to come in?”

*not his real name



One response to “D is for…

  1. Pingback: E is for… | A wanderer in red shoes·

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