That’s Llŷr up there, my best friend, and today would have been that rock God’s birthday, so it seems only right that I share another memory of him.
I’ve been wanting to share this one for a while, but couldn’t quite work out how to write it so that it “works” as a written piece. I’ve ended up writing it Memento style, in reverse chronological order. Bear with me.
The story can actually be split into two separate events, and I wasn’t with Llŷr for either of them. Nevertheless, I think it pretty much sums up our relationship: always wanting to make the other one laugh, even if we weren’t actually in the presence of the other to witness it happening. Don’t worry, it will all make sense in the end.
When writing this, I was indebted to Llŷr’s older sister, Hel, who was with him for one part of the story, and who filled in the blanks for me as to what was going on and why I received the text from Llŷr that starts this story off.
To set the scene: we were living in the Flat of Filth at the time; Hel and I think it was before he got ill. Llŷr had travelled up to That London to visit Hel, leaving me high, hosed and happy all alone back in Cardiff. Don’t take that the wrong way, for as much as I loved living with him, when you live with someone – anyone – we all love a little bit of alone time every now and again.
My night of self-loving was interrupted by a text from Llŷr:
“Dude, can you think of something rude to shout at Kasabian?”
Of course I could, but I figured he had probably exhausted those possibilities already.
Over to you, Hel. If you could start off by explaining where the hell you were and why, that’d be grand:
“We were in KOKO’s in Camden. Spencer [a friend and former flat-mate of Hel’s] knew a girl who worked on The Album Chart Show which I think went out on Channel 4. They’d have a few bands on, doing one song from their current album, and one band doing about five songs. Me and Spencer saw Primal Scream doing this, and when tickets came up for Kasabian doing the same, Llŷr and I jumped at the chance, as we thought it would be hilarious.”
Just for the record: Hel, Llŷr and I are all of the opinion that all Kasabian records are absolute dog-dirt so you can read on without fear of me actually posting anything by them.
“During maybe a rubbish band [other than Kasabian] or a break in performances, me and Llŷr went to the top floor bar because it was quieter and easier/quicker to get served. We went to the balcony and who should be filming an interview but Tom and Serge [from Kasabian]. They were sitting on a sofa, and the interviewer was on another sofa, facing them. Me and Llŷr sat a bit behind the interviewer’s sofa and tried to think of things to do to put them off.”
It was probably at roughly this point that Llŷr must have sent the aforementioned text.
I’m sorry to say that my comedy chops let me down on this occasion; all I could come up with, which was neither big nor clever, was to suggest he might mouth the C-bomb at them.
“We started doing rude signs at them behind the interviewer’s back, pointing and laughing, and I think Llŷr may have mouthed the C-bomb at them. Initially they ignored us, but they got more and more agitated and so the production team asked us to leave because we were distracting them. Obviously, we found this hilarious, and could barely walk, we were laughing so much.”
And right there you have the reason everyone loved him so much: he never stopped being that cheeky little boy, acting up and trying to make his friends laugh whenever he could.
(In July 2020, Tom left Kasabian by mutual consent, having admitted to physically assaulting his then-fiancee. The use of the C-bomb, mouthed or otherwise, is therefore entirely justified and correct.)
But, other than friendship and our trust that the other would come up with something, what had prompted Llŷr to text me to seek guidance on ways to upset Kasabian?
Well, let me take you back a few weeks before his trip to That London. Llŷr had gone to a gig on his own – he’d asked me, and doubtless several other friends, if we wanted to accompany him, but none of us did, so off he trotted off all on his lonesome.
The band he went to see was Jimmy Eat World, and about an hour or so after he left the Flat of Filth, I received a text from him:
Dude, I think I’m the oldest person here. What can I do that will make me seem younger and cooler?
Easy, I replied. Make it look like you’re there ironically. Maybe start a chant of Jimmy Eats Cock?
I never said it was a clever answer.
A couple of hours later, he barrelled back into the flat.
“You bastard!” he said, smiling.
“Me? What did I do now?” I protested innocently.
“After you sent that text, that was all I could think of. I was worried all night in case I accidentally shouted it out and got lynched by a bunch of teenage girls.”
But now we had yet another private joke: whenever we were out and the DJ played something by Jimmy Eat World – and it would always be this tune (although apparently they have others) – one of us would hoik a thumb in the direction of the DJ and ask the other: “Who’s this again?”
If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this post, and wish to offend pop stars of a similar standing to Kasabian, then please use the Comments facility to seek guidance and reassurance.
Happy Birthday, dude. Miss you.