I watched as my mate’s sister’s boyfriend put the vial up his nostril and sniffed. His head went red from the neck up. “Bloody hell,” I thought, “Vicks is strong in London!” We were on the tube, heading to a Dr Feelgood gig. I’d never seen anyone take poppers before. I was 16, and either a little too naive or a little too obsessed with cold remedies.
The Feelgoods were one of a handful of groups we saw over and over at The Town & Country Club (the other regulars being The Pogues, Stiff Little Fingers, and Voice Of The Beehive, which seemed like a perfect mix and match to us). It was a little time-bubble of gig-going, which left these bands forever linked in my head, along with the image of my giggling, cider-sloshed mates, and puce-faced Steve.
Later, there was an even bubblier era. In the early 90s, when I was a young reporter on a local newspaper, I went to loads of gigs at Northampton’s Roadmender, scarcely believing my luck at scoring free press tickets. The bubble bands from this time were Super Furry Animals, Chumbawamba, and The Blue Aeroplanes, and once, memorably, Radiohead. Listening to » Continue Reading.