Wednesday, June 30, 1982

Paraffin brain

I took my books back to school in the morning, a whole box-full for English alone. It was a long drawn out performance, with forms to sign, money to pay out (for a lost text) and hanging about waiting for non-existent teachers. School was deserted.

Up in the common room that familiar air of suffocating stillness and quiet was made worse by the sunny weather. Mr. Flatters trailed prospective 3rd year middle school kids to and fro, making sarcastic asides to me and using me as a cautionary example to them. I felt odd, thinking how grown up I must look to these kids and yet once, not so long ago, it was me who looked up at the 7ths. I don’t really belong any more.

Grant called round after Tesco and we took a bus to Royden. We wandered about for a while searching vainly for the Funtime Bar, and eventually we had to ask directions. Funtime is quite small, usual night club look of lights and mirrors, the bar a soft yellow glow, up one end a polished wood dance floor and a small stage already packed with amps and equipment.

We sat at a table. The place was empty apart from two blokes in their thirties at the bar, two barmaids (one in fishnet stockings and suspenders) and the support band, decked out in sleeveless T-shirts and long spiky hair low over face at front, leather jackets, studded belts. After an hour the audience dribbled in, leather leather everywhere, studs, bandolier belts, tight trousers, not an unspiked hair in sight. We watched, waited, and drank cider.

The support band had some long un-prounceable name and were pretty forgettable on the whole, and it wasn’t long before The Nightingales themselves stepped up to the stage. They were all very unassuming to look at, just ‘normal’ type blokes, the vocalist stocky and well-built. With his jacket, shapeless trousers, thick black hair and NHS specs, he reminded me of Grant.

They didn’t go down well but I enjoyed their stuff, which was Fall-influenced, although less noisy, more tuneful and varied. Their best number was “Paraffin Brain” which I’d heard before. I started to jig and shake my leg as I stood by the bar but after a few ciders I was fluidly waving my arms and rolling my legs until I was finally told to get out on the dance floor to join the three others dancing (including Grant). I quite enjoyed it. I’ll have to get a record.

We left at twelve and walked back through silent orange black suburbs and streets.

Perhaps I try too hard writing this and that's why I think it sounds so forced and contrived.

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