Saturday, March 6, 1982

Ooh, ah, yeah!

Mum left for a teaching course in Debdenshaw early in the morning. I got up at ten-thirty and was on my own so I just slobbed about, not doing any work and hating myself for it.

At half-six I set off for Pigbag.

Grant was already waiting on the damp black pavements of Queensgate and Lee rolled up shortly after. The concert was at the Community Building at Easterby Poly, and it was soon full of Pigbaggers dressed in their predictable trendy regalia of old coats, baggy trousers, pointed shoes, and short hair. I made a show of denouncing them for their shallow posturings, but even I was forced to admit the sheer hypocrisy of this, for there I was, similarly attired in an old long overcoat. “You look just the same,” Lee said.

The Community Building is a low affair, sunken below ground-level, the upper floor a food and drinks place with an incredibly cheap bar (cider 55p a pint!); the concert was down two flights of stairs in the basement in a large room piled high with equipment and coloured lights. The sound system played loud reggae and we bought drinks and waited.

It was good just seeing what lengths people go to to look different and there were many ace variations on the narrow striped trouser pattern, old coats and baggy suits galore. Lee was in his electric blue pullover and dinner jacket.

We met Peter and Laura and Halyna too, and while we were talking with them there was a general closing in on the stage as the first band came on. Mouth are from Bristol and their heavy tribal rhythms were as good, if not better than Pigbag's.

Grant began his tortured bopping, Lee shook convulsively as well, his shoulders and head swaying, and me too eventually, but then they were finished. They only did one encore, and the lights came back up and the hum of conversation resumed. Grant twisted and paced in time to the reggae.

Pigbag next. They were all brass, saxophones, and heavy rhythms and really good. It was very crowded at the front; we danced, and I could see Lee some way off in the crowd, rolling his head up and down. The heat was stifling and I was sweating cobs, my neck slimy, my T-shirt sodden; eventually, temples throbbing and desperate for fresh air, I headed for the side. Some people were standing on tables or up on other peoples' shoulders.

Again it finished all too quickly (only one encore) and the lights came up and Grant was enthusing about the crowd's lack of inhibition: “They were all chanting to the music! Best thing I’ve been to in ages!” The floor was strewn with broken glass and empty bottles, the crowd hanging back, their voices a hubbub, reluctant to leave. . . .

Me and Grant left just before midnight and rushed to try catch the last bus back but the streets were empty. I angrily got a taxi back on my own (£2.75) and hit the sack hating how yet again I’m broke.

But it was a great night. Grant obviously loved it and Lee seemed to enjoy himself too. Laura thought Grant was “strange.”

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