Sunday, 6 May 2007

Number 7

There are brief moments, when circumstances converge into a perfect instant. Number Seven is such an occasion;

Where I grew up, had a small, but lively rock scene. My band was only small fry, but there were still numerous venues for us to play in. The best, by a long shot, was the Cellar.

As the name suggests, it was the cellar. Whilst small, dark and damp, the Beatles' Cavern still comes to mind. Though I doubt it smelled as bad. It was my favourite place in the world. You see, I was seventeen and for the first time ever, I felt like I fitted in; just another misfit amongst the goths, crusties and metal heads.

Upstairs, the Cellar was salubrious. It was the bar for the 'trendy' set to drink in. If you went to back of the pub however, and down the circular staircase, reminiscent of the path to the underworld, you would enter my alternative reality.

Anyway, let me cut to the chase.

Kerrie, the landlady, took a shine to me, and I to her. How could I not. She was 28 and hot, in a kind of vampish, landlady like way. She was also very assertive. So, like a doe eyed, 17 year old rabbit, I allowed her to take advantage of me. Repeatedly.

Now, I could delude myself that my rugged good looks and charm won her over, but looking back on it, I think it was more to do with pissing her ex-partner off. At the time however, I didn't give a flying fuck. For that was what I was getting. And that, my dear reader, was important beyond anything else.

Kerrie had some F-list connections in the wider music scene. One of these was Mark. He drove coaches for a living. Sometimes his firm got contracts for bands touring the UK.

Imagine my delight then, when I discovered that he was touring with one of my favourite bands - The Pixies. I loved them, still do for that matter. In my view, they were the most influential band of their time.

So Kerry, bless her, arranged for us to meet Mark and The Pixies at the Mayfair rock club in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We arrived two hours before the show. The roadies were still assembling the PA.

I didn't recognise Frank Black at first. He registered in my peripheral vision as the unassuming bloke at the back of the club. Mark introduced us.

Now, I've no recollection what we talked about, but suffice to say, I gushed a bit. I do remember however, what a nice guy he was. There are some, who enjoy only talking about themselves. Perhaps, like Narcissus, all they see is their own reflection in others. Frank appeared quite the opposite.

He seemed to give his time willingly and chatted aimlessly with Mark, Kerry & I for what felt like ages. He bought us a beer and we hung around until the audience started to enter the club. I felt so damned cool, stood next to Frank, as his fans double took.

Later, we managed to find a great spot to stand, right next to the mixing deck, on the balcony above the crowd. A place that only those who had passes could be.

So there I was, stood behind the sound engineer, in a club that I shouldn't have been in, drinking beer that I shouldn't have drunk, stood next to a woman that by rights, I shouldn't have been with, watching my new mate Frank raise the roof.

They opened with Debaser.

The crowd went wild.

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