It all starts a bit unusual on the Saturday with myself, Walter, Dirk, Brian, Adam and Drew walking through the town in the direction of Mono. We get there are but it’s not yet open so we wait outside watching the Germans enjoying yet another smoke. CC’s cheery face appears unexpectedly as the doors open and in we go desperate for teas and coffees to take the edge off things. It’s Hangover City.
We gather collectively round a table but not for long as Brian makes a bee-line to flick through the vinyl in a scene that was so reminiscent of High Fidelity. Except there were no cute singer-songwriters and the shop staff were wonderfully helpful, friendly and far from judgemental. The piss taking continued as the caffeine kicked-in with things going up a notch as another pop star wandered in and said hello. Brian’s face when he spotted Stephen Pastel will live long in the memory.
T-shirts, books and vinyl were handed over to the visitors as gifts and thank yous where they were crammed into bags alongside the essential purchases by all and sundry. Back into drinking mode except for Drew who only wanted Irn Bru and Brian who just wanted a bed to lie down in and dream.
Tales of Drew’s scooter days out were told in which Buckfast and Chinese punks featured heavily while Adam talked of weekenders in Blackpool where the entire luggage consisted of a toothbrush and two E’s. Brian continued to pine for a bed in which to lie down and dream.
We then split into two with the tricycle boy leading some out to his native Airdrie for the football and others went out looking for a beer garden with decent scenery and better lager than Tennent’s. A good time was had by all although my own state of mind was partly ruined by the Hibbees.
We all hooked up again in the evening at the Bon Accord where Aldo was waiting and strangeways would come along later. After 24 hours, Drew’s accent was now beginning to be partly understood and so everyone laughed as he told of Brian’s confusion on how to eat a mince pie while watching the game. Dirk mused on why the women in the beer garden had all looked like models and Walter wondered whether he had taken the wrong decision earlier. Brian still just wanted a bed in which to lie down and dream.
We went next to The Griffin where Stiff, Tank and William were waiting as yet more drink was taken and more pish was spoken. Morrissey, Mark E Smith and Phil Ramone were still getting slated. Brian saw some Irn Bru behind the counter and declared it the drink of the devil. The joys of drinking far too much after an 18 hour plane journey and no sleep had clearly turned him insane.
It was soon time for CC to take his leave at which point Brian also decided to realise his day-long ambition of a bed in which to lie down and dream. The rest of us went to Sleazy’s where we found a booth in which we could just sit and take everything in. The lights, the sounds, the décor and the beautiful young people out for the long haul. Same story as Friday – lots of hugging, lots of dancing of sorts etc. etc.
After a while Drew had to head back home and so began the first of the big sad cheerios. More drinking, more dancing of sorts and then outside together to head our separate ways. The Germans though had other ideas and after a quick smoke went back in for a final hurrah while the rest of us sought out taxis and the likes.
On Sunday I went in to make sure everyone still left in town could get to the airport on time which just left the bold Brian who was now fully recovered and refreshed after his much needed bed to lie down in and dream. There’s stories to be told from the rest of the day but they’re more suited to a Coldplay song than one by the Strap.
We met up for the weekend, it lasted for ever; got high with our friends; it was officially summer.
77,000 steps in four days said the app on the phone. I got myself some sleep eventually on Sunday night after seeing the Blue Jays sneak an unexpected win. It was the perfect end to a perfect gathering. Meeting up soon with Aldo to recall the memories and smile about it all. Drink could well be involved.
mp3 : Arab Strap – The First Big Peel Thing (Peel Session, 25 March 1997)