Saturday Night Coming Up

Another story from my clubbing days and this one is definitely not for the faint hearted.

And I should immediately stress, I am not directly involved in this one, it’s about some people I know, so the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

You’ll see why I’m so keen to disassociate myself from any direct involvement in this one shortly. But first, a wee litmus test.

Watch this (poorly captured – sorry!) clip. If you’re like Partridge at the start of the clip, do not read on. If you’re like Partridge at the end of the clip, you’ll probably be ok. By the end of this, you will know if today’s story is for you or not.

Still here? Ok, then I’ll continue.

The first thing I’d say is: each to their own. If that’s how you get your kicks, fill your boots. Wellingtons or waders. Assuming it’s all consensual, of course.

As I said, I need to change the name of the two main protagonists in this one. I don’t actually know the name of one of them, which makes things slightly less complicated. And as for the other – well, this is set in Wales and he had a good stout, traditional Welsh surname, y’know like Jones, Williams, Evans.

Evans – that’ll do. And, categorically, it is not the actual name of the person involved.

I first met ‘Evans’ in a club in Cardiff, The Emporium in case you’re interested. Possibly the finest club ever to exist, but I’ll get into why that is another time.

So, I first meet ‘Evans’ there, but I’m already aware who he is as he works for the same company as me. But this night is the first time I’ve ever actually spoken to him.

And I say “to” quite correctly here, because seconds after we’re introduced, it becomes very obvious that ‘Evans’ has taken something and he is not doing okay on it. Sporadically and unpredictably, he seems angry, destructive, possibly homicidal, definitely suicidal.

Though ‘off my nut’ myself, I spend the rest of the night making sure he’s ok, talking him through it, calming him down, and by the end of the night, as he’s coming down, he’s fine. I’ll be honest, I’d not had the greatest night out of my life, but knowing that ‘Evans’ wasn’t about to throw himself in front of a speeding car was satisfaction enough.

Over the next few months, Evans doesn’t exactly join the little group I’m with, but he’s sort of on the peripherals. We all know his history and look out for him. Because that’s what you do.

Enter the other player in this story. A woman who many would say was too old to still be clubbing, but when you’re on pills you’re remarkably non-judgemental about that kind of thing.  I’d place her in her 50s at best, maybe her 60s, possibly her 70s. If not, she’s had a really tough life.

We would see her, but not speak to her, every time we went to this particular club night.

And then one night, when I was out with my mate Rob, this:

“Did you hear about ‘Evans’?”

I feared the worst.

“No, what?”

“You know that really old looking woman who always turns up here at about 1 in the morning?”

I am aghast.

“No……! He didn’t….did he……?”

Rob looks at me and nods.

“But it’s better than that,” he says.

And then he tells me.

Evans and this older lady had gone home together. Nothing wrong with that, whatever tickles your fancy and all that.


Sorry, but I need to be fairly graphic now, and as an Englishman that does not sit comfortably.

Let’s say that ‘Evans’ and the pensioner are involved in the physical act of love. He is lying on his back, and she is astride him.

And then she lifts herself off of him, and scooches upwards, so that she is over his chest.

Where, without asking if it’s ok, or even checking that the bedding is waterproof, she just lets go.

And ‘Evans’ is drenched in steaming warm pensioner piss.

Look, I’m not here to judge. Maybe it’s fine. Maybe she didn’t think she could make it to the toilet in time. We’ve all been there (I don’t mean astride ‘Evans’). Maybe in the world of water sports you don’t check your partner is into it first too. Maybe ‘Evans’ was okay with it (he wasn’t, he definitely wasn’t, which is why I know about it).

This was maybe 15 years ago, which leads me to ask: societally, when did we get to the point where we cared so little about our fellow man, and so much about our own gratification, that we don’t even bother to ask permission before we urinate on someone?

For the record: it’s not okay. My waterproof top-sheet is my own business and nobody else’s.

Let’s have a tune, and I suppose I’d make it an absolute belter to justify everything you’ve just read/endured:


Atlantic Ocean – Waterfall

With apologies to anyone who can never hear this tune again without that image.

More soon! Less yucky, I promise.

Adios Amigo

I’ve been pretty busy recently.

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve managed to post something every day this week, but I don’t mean busy in those terms.

I mean in real life, what with life-shattering events that I still haven’t expanded on (and I’m not going to), and the World Cup and…oh, you know. Life. Just life.

Before I started writing this blog, I would generally get home from work and the first thing I’d do would be to have a quick trawl of my favourite blogs, see what they had to say, what they’d posted. But since I started writing here, that happens less and less frequently.

And so it was that it was only a couple of days ago, that I found out that Drew over at Across The Kitchen Table, after nine and a half years of unparalleled brilliance, had decided to hang up his external hard-drive and call it a day.

I have oft cited Jim over at The Vinyl Villain as the main influence on me doing this, but that’s only part of the story. There are many other people whose blogs I visited daily before I joined in, to whom I owe a massive debt and Drew’s was definitely one of them.

I hope beyond hope that he will return again. We all need a break from doing this every now and then, nobody knows this more than me, and I haven’t even posted something of interest on every single day since I started as Drew has.

If you come back Drew, we’ll all be here, with open arms.

If you don’t, well, thank you, for everything. You’ve given us so much I wouldn’t know where to start in breaking it down.

Including this – and such high regard are you held in that last time I posted it, someone told me off for doing so before you had, because it was your song, and you get to post it every year before we’re allowed to.

Which is absolutely fair and right.

It also means that now, this song, is Forever Drew.


Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – That Summer Feeling

More soon.

The Best Band You’ve Never Heard Of

You know the schtick round these parts by now: post a song within a series, or drop a vaguely amusing story (and link it to a song), or bang on about politics (and link it to a song) blah blah blah.

But the songs I post are generally older ones that you all know already, or maybe have forgotten about; as historically I have never been first to discover a band, I prefer to leave all that “breaking new acts” to those with a better ear for that kind of thing, and a better turn of phrase for describing it than I.

But this morning: something different. The story of a band who peaked in the mid-to-late 1980s then promptly vanished without a trace, amid animosity, violence and even rumours of death and murder.

And I know for a fact that you won’t have heard of them, or anything by them.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the magnificent:

Third Light

I mention Third Light now because today the three founder members, Rob, Phil and “Swing” will be reconvening. It is the first time they have laid eyes on each other in over thirty years.

Let’s get the admin out of the way first: Third Light is one of the coolest band names ever. Fact. But what does it mean? Well, Wikipedia tells us that Third Light is supposedly  a superstition among soldiers during the Crimean War to World War II. Since then it has been considered bad luck for three people to share a light from the same match. The superstition goes that if three soldiers lit their cigarettes from the same match, the man who was third on the match would be shot. The enemy would be alerted to their presence by the first light, able to take aim by the second, and by the third…well, you get the idea.

It would turn out to be a most prophetic name.

The trio first met at school, but had little to do with each other until one Friday night in their final year when a “disco”, for want of a better word, was held in the school hall. But this was no ordinary school disco, it was open to locals too. And more importantly, it had a fully licensed bar. And even more importantly than that, one of the more senior teachers worked behind the bar and he was perfectly happy to serve alcohol to his pupils, even when he recognised them out of uniform, so to speak. (Indeed, it was this teacher and this act of generosity which inspired the first band name suggested: Cliff and the Babes, a name rejected for sounding too much like a novelty act. As if Cliff would have anything to do with children. Take heed, BBC!)

The three found themselves at the bar together, supping pints of snakebite and black, all suddenly aware that they were rocking a very similar look: dressed all in black, hair spiked-up, skinny tight jeans. It was to become a look adopted by their many fans over the next few years; indeed you sometimes spot them to this day. You might know them as goths, or Emo, but back in the day they were known as Lighters.

And it was in this crowded bar on that Friday night that the three of them looked each other up and down and all came to the same decision: it’s not my round. And then they came to another one: these two geeks are my ticket out of here.

They didn’t need a ticket out of there that night though; they were chased out by a group of local thugs who didn’t appreciate people turning up looking a bit different. That night they were forever united as the pitchfork brandishing and flaming torch waving lynch mob kicked seven bells of shit out of them on the village green. Apparently it’s quite hard running away from danger when you’re in skinny jeans, a flouncy blouse and winkle-pickers. If there was any justice in this world, which we know there isn’t, but if there was, then there would be a blue plaque to them there now.  But there isn’t.

The next day, the freshly bandaged three amigos met up again, and their master plan was hatched. They would buy guitars and maybe even learn to play them. The group was split on the need to actually learn how to play their instruments: Phil thought it was important, Rob said he wasn’t going to bother unless the other two definitely were going to, “Swing” pointed out that Sid Vicious couldn’t play his bass guitar and it never did him any harm, Rob and Phil agreed that was a fair point, but the heroin addiction and propensity to murder his own girlfriend didn’t exactly do him much good either.

They did agree that the first step in their march to world domination was to gain notoriety. And so it was that they went to the pub, played some pool and politely agreed with the regular customers that you don’t get two shots on the black, put loads of money in the juke box, programmed it to play Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s Love Missile F1-11 on repeat until all of their money had run out, then left mid-way through the first rendition.

But the cracks were already appearing. Phil did buy a guitar and set about learning some basic chords. Rob told him to let him know once he could play A7, and he’d think about trying to. But several months later, when Phil had mastered that chord, Rob sent him away again, with the same instruction, but this time for F#, but as a bar chord, mind, not the easy way. The chain of command had been established.

“Swing” meanwhile got hold of an electric guitar which, rather than make any attempt at learning to play, he set about taking apart to see how it worked. And after he’d done that, he realised he didn’t know how to put it back together again, so that was the end of that. Back to being the Sid of the band it was, then.

And still the music, the sweet, sweet music kept not coming. The trio worked hard on their “difficult first album”; they designed a logo (as above) and came up with a title: “It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing.”

And then, the irony-o-meter went off the scale as suddenly the band no longer had Swing. He disappeared without a trace. Many said that he was dead, some said he was murdered. Then came the usual Lord Lucan-esque rumours that he had been spotted. In much the same way as conspiracy theorists said that Paul McCartney was dead because he appeared on the cover of Abbey Road with no shoes on, so the whispers grew that Swing had been spotted on a zebra crossing wearing nothing but his shoes.

Rob and Phil soldiered on, arranging publicity shots to send out as missives to the likes of the NME. Only one photo survives from that shoot:

Third Light promo

In a rare interview in 2015, Phil added a further layer to the mystery, when he was quoted as saying: “It’s an interesting story. Being only weeks after Swing died, Rob and I decided to push on with the new single release. This publicity shot was the first one since his death. Imagine our surprise when the picture was developed with Swing’s face in between us.”

But the band could not recover from the loss of their most enigmatic, if musically ungifted member, and they disbanded just as the major labels were forming orderly queues to sign them up (it says here).

But now they’re back, Back, BACK! And who knows, maybe this time around they may get around to actually recording something. If they do (they won’t) I suspect it will sound like a hybrid of these five bands, all of whom were cited as influences in early interviews:


The Sisters of Mercy – Alice


The Jesus & Mary Chain – Taste of Cindy


Pop Will Eat Itself – Oh Grebo I Think I Love You


The Pleasureheads – Falling Man

Front Cover

The Alarm – Third Light

Ah. Maybe that’s where they got their name from, then…

Anyway, truth be told, they’re more likely to go find a local pub which has a pool table and this on the juke box:


Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11

More soon.

PS: have a splendid weekend (this weekend) catching up, chaps.

And have a great birthday (next weekend), Bruv. Please can you put my guitar back together again sometime soon?