Here comes the weekend.
Any week between 1993 and 1997.
The weekend is over but the next one is already looming large on the horizon.
I can see it.
It’s right there just after Thursday which is only twenty four hours after Wednesday which is only two days away from now.
I sit dutifully through my lectures, taking notes, asking questions, answering questions…doing my very best to be the coolest guy in the room and failing absolutely, completely and utterly. Doesn’t matter though because tomorrow is going to be Tuesday which means that it’s almost Wednesday which is half way through the week which means Friday is so close.
After the last lecture of the week I head back to my digs and I pack my bag even though I won’t be leaving until Saturday morning.
White Ben Sherman, short-sleeved, from some second hand place in Camden.
Grey, three-button, mohair suit from some second hand store in Paisley. I’ve had it tailored so that it fits perfectly.
Brogues or desert boots…depends what kind of mood I’m in.
Blue, white tipped, three button Fred Perry.
Stone Harrington jacket from Merc.
I’ve got a blue duffle coat that I paid a pound for from the Salvation Army store on Storey Street…it makes me feel a bit like Mark Morriss from The Bluetones when I wear it.
I would board the train from Paisley Gilmour Street station early in the afternoon and make my way to Glasgow Central. From there it was a short walk to Buchanan Street bus station where I would buy a packet of crisps and a Mars Bar before taking my seat on the bus to Edinburgh. I’d normally fall asleep before the end of side one of whatever tape I was listening to and wake up just as the bus was pulling into the station.
The bass player in my band (that’s right MY band) was called Matt. Like my best friend Chris he was studying in Edinburgh. Unlike Chris he had a flat that could accommodate our little gang in its entirety. Like Dallow, Spicer, Pinky and Cubitt we would assemple in the rooms of his student flat just off Morrisson Street and begin our preparations for the night.
Matt, Chris and me would be joined by little brother Mark who was, in fact, bigger than me. The four of us thought…no, genuinely believed that we were at the forefront of the Britpop scene in Scotland. We had the records. We had the clothes. We had even been to London. At one point I had used one of those business card printing machines in the bus station to make up cards for us that simply proclaimed us to be “Ace Face” with an Ace of Spades symbol in the centre of it.
You think that’s what?
I know, I know, you’re right. It’s tragic. Sad. Ridiculous. Pointless. Pretentious. A bit wanky. OK, a lot wanky. I don’t know why I did it. I was young. I was free. Kept my teeth nice and clean. I had been inspired by my dad who, as a first wave Mod, had attended a nightclub in Edinburgh called “The Place” where certain well dressed, cool and, no doubt, handy in a brawl young chaps were given black cards with “Place Face” embossed on them in gold. I have no idea if that’s true or even if my dad ever told me such a tale…doesn’t matter, it sounds like the sort of thing that should have happened which makes it better than the truth.
There we are then, sequestered in the flat of Matt.
Shoes are being polished or brushed.
Shirts are being ironed.
Hair is being dressed.
By about 11 we are ready to go.
Chris and Matt have gone to his bedroom together and are looking and behaving in a decidedly more energetic manner when they come out than they were when they went in.
I’m running on pure, unadulterated, kosher, simple, old fashioned excitement.
Our destination is the Wee Red Bar on Lauriston Place.
Every Saturday night there is a club called “The Egg” with a playlist of soul, soundtracks, Britpop, Mod and indie. It’s the only place to be…if you know that it’s the place to be. The people who know are mainly art students and people who are friends with art students. For the most part the art students look the way art students should look…like they are trying too hard to be an individual. The friends of the art students tend to look the way you would expect them to look too…like people who really wished they could have gone to art school and who are now compensating by trying even harder than the actual art students to look like individuals.
We don’t look like that.
We know we are not individuals.
We look like each other.
We look like kids who have spent far too many hours watching “Quadrophenia” and who think that Damon Albarn is their messiah.
We look like every other kid who has tuned into “Modern Life is Rubbish”.
The art school kids look down their noses at us.
The art school boys look down their noses at us…mainly because they are a bit intimidated by the fact that we actually look cool and not like we are trying to look cool.
Chris and Matt order drinks at the bar but for some reason they never seem capable of finishing them…despite that their confidence remains sky high. Mark and I keep ourselves turbo-charged with Coca-Cola which we ask to have poured into shot glasses for some reason. I’ve bought cigars…I don’t smoke. Chris and Matt smoke them. They look good doing it.
We must have looked like the type of arseholes we were desperately trying not to look like.
We spend a huge amount of time dancing.
Occasionally the better looking boys in the gang will persuade a girl to dance with them.
Who were the better looking boys?
I was quite happy dancing alone.
If by happy you mean…not all that happy really but resigned to it.
Then it’s two in the morning.
The night is over.
We start the long walk back to Matt’s flat.
There is a chippy that is still open so we get chips and more juice.
Chris and Matt are a bit less chirpy.
We stop off at a 24 hour Costcutter on Dalry Road and get crisps and chocolate.
Back in the flat we watch a film…on video.
Maybe it was “Quadrophenia”.
Maybe it was “Repo Men”.
It doesn’t matter.
We sat, lay, loafed and lounged on the sofas.
Matt and Chris had moved on from the cigars to some hand rolled cigarette.
They seemed a bit more chilled out than they had earlier in the evening.
I don’t ever remember going to bed or sleeping or waking up.
All I know is that at some point it wasn’t Saturday. Then I was the bus heading back to Glasgow and then the train to Paisley. The weekend was officially over as soon as I put my bag down in my room. I didn’t care…Friday was just around the corner.