Wednesday, 30 September 2015


I don't always talk about Prader-Willi Syndrome on this blog. Sometimes I like to take a side-step. Here's the best side-step I ever took:

The year is 1989. I was 17, and on one of my first dates with a new chap I was a bit smitten with. When I’d mentioned to him in passing that I wished I’d have known The Pogues were headlining The Reading Festival, he’d declared that it wasn’t too late to go, and had avowed to “get us in by hook or by crook.” Which he did, by ‘renting’ hooky wristbands for a fiver from a crook at the gate. This impressed me no end.

I remember walking through the gate, being hit by the smell of leather jackets and stale sweat, trying to contain my excitement at a) our being smuggled in ‘illegally’ and b) the prospect of spending a music-filled day with a bloke who was not only funny and good-looking, but who seemed to be showing signs of being a bit smitten with me, too. (This was a revelation, I can assure you).

The Pogues were due on. I made the inexplicable decision at that very moment to buy a copy of If I Should Fall From Grace With God from a stall. An LP, not a CD. And I repeat, the Pogues were due on. As we made our way forwards to the general mosh area, I clutched the album (encased in a white carrier bag) to my chest and uttered, defeatedly: “Oh, bugger.” Chalking it down to experience, I stuffed it down the front of my denim jacket, wistfully realising this was probably the last I’d ever see of it, and joined in the roar as Shane and the boys shambled onto the stage. I then jumped around for the next hour and a half. It was absolute, marvellous mayhem.

When the band finished the set, the crowd spat us out, hot, happy, and hoarse. We stood there, battered, grinning, hair damp with sweat, clutching eachother’s hands. He kissed me. I didn’t know where I was anymore, but it was somewhere good.

I recovered myself and remembered my ‘new’ album. Laughing, I fished inside my jacket and pulled out the carrier bag. It looked unexpectedly uncrumpled. I stuck my hand inside and fished out the LP, and we both looked startled. The corners were square, the white of the cover was still white, there were no squashed bits, dents, folds, dirt, or damp. If I could have successfully done an impression of heavenly choirs of angels singing I would have. It was pristine.

I’ve still got it. It’s still in very good nick. Better nick than this lady of easy leisure and her rambling boy of pleasure, if I’m brutally honest, but that’s just the result of too much kalamari and macaroni. The miraculously surviving LP might well get a spin tonight on the occasion of our 20th wedding anniversary. Anyone know a Leonardo who plays accordione?

Video is The Pogues - Fiesta

No comments:

Post a Comment