Saturday Night Coming Up

Because of the autobiographical/confessional nature of some of my posts – especially the ones in this series, when I want to relate a clubbing-related story where I have to mention somebody else – I will contact them first, tell them what I want to write about, and ask if they’re happy for me to use their real name, or, if they’d prefer to remain anonymous, I invite them to suggest a pseudonym which they’re happy for me to use when I write about them.

For example, Dum Dum, who appears often in this series, isn’t really called Dum Dum, of course. His real name is…aww, you don’t get me that easily! *shakes fist and grrr’s*

So tonight’s story involves a young lady who, at her request, we shall call Manon. No, I don’t understand why anyone would pick that either; it sounds like something a footballer would shout to another to warn them of an impneding tackle to me, but there you go, that’s what she wanted.

So, back when I lived in Cardiff, and in the middle of my middle-aged reinvention as a clubber, we’d been to the wedding reception of two friends of ours, which was in a slightly more westerly town, far enough away that a group of us Cardiffians hired a mini-bus to drive us there and back.

As we reached the outskirts of Cardiff on the way home, I’d ventured, semi-seriously, that legendary club-night Time Flies was on, and that I quite fancied going, not really expecting that anyone would take me up on the offer.

But to misquote Eminem, I forgot about Manon, who was bang up for it.

And so it was that after the minibus had dropped everyone else off, we directed him down to Cardiff Bay, and to the Coal Exchange.

For as long as I’d lived in Cardiff, the Coal Exchange had been predominantly a music venue, although I’d also been to wedding receptions there too. Truth be told, it was past it’s best days even then, but it remained a wonderful, if slightly decrepit, building.

In 2013, it closed due to safety issues, and as it lay dormant for years it was even the subject of a BBC documentary – Going Going Gone – by legendary documentary maker Nick Broomfield. Eventually, Cardiff Council bought it, and subsequently sold it to Signature Living, who have extensively refurbished it and it’s now a very grand looking (and rightly so) hotel:

The Coal Exchange

But I digress.

Manon and I stumbled off the minibus and up towards those main doors; it was approaching 2am by now and although the door was manned, they took one look at us and waved us through without asking us to pay.

In our heads, on that night and to this day, this made us the King & Queen of Cardiff clubbing. We didn’t need to pay to get in anywhere, our presence was sought after, demanded. Now we were here, the party could finally start!

But only after, I’m afraid to admit, a visit to the toilets to “score”. Here comes the usual disclaimer: if you really must buy drugs to enhance your night out, then don’t buy them from total strangers in the club toilet. It’s a really dumb thing to do.

That said, half an hour later, Manon and I were absolutely flying, and I remember this tune getting played, which, as it’s May Day weekend here in the UK, seems appropriate to let you hear. As with my last post in this series, it’s a bit trance-trousers, as you would expect from a Paul Van Dyk remix, but I bloody love this. Play it loud:

mayday

Members Of Mayday – 10 In 01 (Paul Van Dyk Club Mix)

I’ve always been awful at remembering names and genres of dance records, and this has often been my downfall. I once told LlÅ·r that this was by Men of Madness, which of course, he never let me forget. I imagine he’s chuckling about my error even now, affectionately calling me a twat.

More soon.

Ba Ba Ba Ba-Ba Ba Ba Ba

Every now and then I stumble across/am reminded of records which would nestle neatly into a series that I can occasionally be bothered to write.

Here’s how my Friday nights usually go: eat, watch a bit of telly, open a bottle of red, pop some tunes on, start writing some stuff that I hope is good enough to post, praying that inspiration will strike at some point.

Last night, my iPod played me this little belter that I’ve not heard for ages.

In the mid-to-late 80s, I bloody loved The Flatmates, but then I had a bit of an infatuation with girl-fronted indie bands at the time.

The Flatmates have been supporting The Wedding Present on some of their current UK dates; never having seen them back in the day I’m hoping they’ll still be on board when I go to see Gedge & co in December (health permitting!). Ten years ago, I caught The Wedding Present on their tour to mark the 20th anniversary of their Bizarro album, and The Primitives – another female-fronted band I loved but had never seen – were supporting them, and I had an absolute blast when they played.

I always thought that, had their records been slightly more polished, then The Flatmates could have been pretty big. See what you think – here’s some classic late 80s indie ba ba ba ba ba’ing:

the-flatmates-i-could-be-in-heaven-the-subway-organization

The Flatmates – I Could Be In Heaven

More soon.

A Mix-Tape Maker’s Best Friend

Sometimes I’m shocked at how long it is since I wrote a post in a certain series.

Bar tagging it into my post when Buzzcocks legend Pete Shelley died in December 2018, it’s over a year since I did one of these.

So, here’s a compilation album from 1988, which I bought because it contained sixteen songs by four bands, two by each band.

I already owned and absolutely loved, songs by two of the bands (The Raw Herbs and The Waltones), knew of the third band (The Corn Dollies) but knew nothing by them at the time, and knew nothing of the fourth band (The Rain) although I now wonder if it’s the pre-Oasis incarnation that I’ve read about.

Anyway, here’s all the songs on Edge of the Road: a Medium Cool Sampler:

Edge

The Raw Herbs – The Storm

The Raw Herbs – At My Funeral

The Waltones – The British Disease

The Waltones – Bold

If I may interject for a moment: The Waltones should have been massive. I’ve not even posted my favourite song by them (we’ll save that for another day, but if you know them, you’ll probably already know which song I mean), but they wrote ace jangly pop songs with smart lyrics, such as those in Bold, a song which compares one’s amorous feelings to a popular brand of washing powder.

“Take a look at my heart, it’s a bluey-white you’ll like” is just drop-dead brilliance in my book.

Where were we? Oh yes, I really like the next featured band, who also should have been huge:

The Corn Dollies – Mouthful Of Brains

The Corn Dollies – What Do I Ever

And then there’s this lot:

The Rain – Seven Red Apples

The Rain – Dry The Rain

I expect if anyone can, then Walter from the ever-wonderful A Few Good Times in My Life will be able to resolve my “is it/isn’t it?” quandary about The Rain/Oasis (I don’t think it is, but….) ……no pressure!

More soon.

Milkshake

I’d kind of decided to try and stay away from posting anything vaguely political for a while.

But sometimes things happen which simply can’t be ignored.

Like teeny tiny racist “Tommy” “Robinson” venturing up North to try and stir up some hatred, but instead getting doused with milkshakes two days running.

tommy-robinson-milkshake (2)

I’ve seen some commentators decrying this act as unacceptable, that the perpetrators shouldn’t resort to violence. It’s an argument that I understand, and would probably agree with ordinarily. It makes them no better than him, the argument goes.

Except.

Except it’s really funny.

And if you seek out the footage – it’s not hard to find – it’s “Robinson” and his considerably taller cronies that then pile in, fists flailing, when surely the logical response would be retaliate with a bottle of unchilled Yop.

He’s like the pint-sized one in a gang at school, who stands behind the bigger boys, peering round every now and then to shout “Yeh! Go on ‘it ‘im Dave!”

“Robinson”says he needs his henchmen “for protection”. Here’s an idea: perhaps if you stopped being such a racist fuckwit, you wouldn’t need protection.

Just sayin’.

No prizes for guessing this morning’s topical song. It’s by an extremely talented, powerful and goregous black woman, hope that doesn’t offend ol’ “Tommy”.

kelis

Kelis – Milkshake

Welcome to the Weekend.

More soon.