Tuesday, July 27, 1982

Sheep heads

Last night Mum and Dad talked about Easterby as it was, before the late-sixties redevelopment, when the city centre was still filled with quaint old Victorian streets and buildings. When I went into town I looked at it with new eyes; places such as Felgate Road and the top end of Easterby near Northgate really are old. I looked for trousers but no go. I’ll have to go to Whincliffe.

In the evening I went to Grant’s where I met Lee and the three of us set off for the Hot Club in Lockley which opened tonight. The posters advertised “cool jazz,” dub, and a resident band The Flaming Cool Poets, so we set out with high hopes. From the looks we got we must’ve made an odd sight, Lee in his flappy overcoat, paisley scarf and purple-and-brown dyed trousers, me in my golfing jacket and Grant looking just totally scruffy.

We were way too early so we wandered about Lockley awhile. The Hot Club used to be held at Easterby Poly. but it's now based at Carrington’s on Lockley Lane. It was better than we'd expected, relatively empty and the TVs showed the Thunderbirds juxtaposed with the shower sequence from Psycho, clips from Rollerball, Close Encounters, footage of urban guerrillas, riots, Hitler at Nuremburg, long clips from The Prisoner with square-jawed steely-eyed Patrick McGoohan gassed, chased by an aggressive beach-ball, nearly blown up by exploding cricket balls. . . . The third song the DJ played was by The Pop Group and then, joy of joys, a long fifteen minute snatch of squealing Coltrane from A Love Supreme which sent the three of us into jumping spasms and twitches.

So the evening progressed, listening to the music, watching the videos, drinking cider or Pernod. I even danced toward the end, which was a big thing for me, but mostly I just sat back watching the dance floor.  Once again Grant got mocked which pissed me off because the mockers are just as straight and narrow-minded about others enjoying themselves as those they probably condemn as squares; sheep-heads. One man I particularly remember really stuck out, a strange sort of figure dressed in a dark narrow suit with short hair and an enormous, incongruous wispy Assyrian beard.

Too soon it was over, The Beatles twisting and shouting in grainy black and white, the screaming turned up to fill the place. We walked back to Grant’s, the streets silent and orange and empty, and I fell gratefully into bed.

What happened to the FC Poets?! Not a word.

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