I was going to drag you all along to Leeds Poly’s Friday night Bop, which I frequented during my gothiest phase under the influence of a Cure-obsessed Glaswegian who only wore purple. But then I remembered Esquires in Bedford, where Friday night in the early 90s was grunge night and my dancing partner was gorgeous Steve whose mix tape I am sad to have lost. All my memories of youthful clubbing are hazy, smokey, mostly dancing, happily alcoholic, and always feeling like I was catching up late to the last big thing.
I welcome you to this sticky-floored bear pit of a club, where the soundtrack is a perfect storm of all the bands Lisa mentioned, and then a bit more Pulp and Nirvana besides. We’ve grown up since drinking chocolate milk with vodka at Spiders; we’ve even moved on from downing a bottle of wine before leaving the house in our student days. In Bedford I had my first job, so I had money, which means the drinks are on me!
Lyle doesn’t divulge what he would have been wearing, so let’s assume it’s faded denim and DMs as he quaffs his vodka’n’whatever and lurks by the jukebox looking moody, which is probably down to his very own mind-altering substance: the smell of his own farts.
Everyone else is understandably at the other side of the room [this is how he gets to control the music], looking equally moody because that’s what we did in nightclubs. Back then Dr Pockless had copious curls (did I ever tell you about the time I shaved his head?) and green-and-purple DMs. I’ve heard that Ridings isn’t the nicest pint of bitter you can get, but here you go. Lisa has already eschewed the DMs for sneakers, but I’m thinking this may have been a Scotland thing because that stage definitely passed me by. Or it’s another of those latest things that I have only just caught up with. Seriously, I got my first pair of converse in, erm, 2013.
Talking of latest things, if Mike‘s doing it then it’s the latest thing Right Now. And right now he’s rising above the grunge to dance on a plinth in a bubble of 80s pop and a shiny suit. Pass that man a pilsner!
‘Tother Mike, wide-eyed with wonder at all the cityfolk, is swaying to the sound of the Charlatans and chewing the straw that came with his sol. If you need a quiet place to sit, get Clair to move up a bit; she’s found the only non-sticky bit of bench to sit on, and brought her own reading lamp. If she’s lucky, Pix will share her mug of Baileys and turn the heavy metal down.
Lager-lager-lager-shouting: pass the thunderbird!