Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Britpop Years

This coming weekend sees a bit of a reunion for me (although on a very small scale).  I'll be re-tracing my steps in my old stomping ground of Camden, with some good friends who I don't see nearly enough.

I was very lucky to have moved to London in the 90s, just as the britpop scene started to happen.  Having moved from dull as dishwater (at the time) Wiltshire to Tufnell Park (a stone's throw away from Camden), this was probably one of the most exciting times of my life. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, given half the chance.

It was a standing joke back then that we should give our monthly salary cheque to the barman at The Good Mixer as we spent it all in there anyway and it'd save time!  I think I pretty much went out every night of the week for around 4 years.....which is why I have a very good excuse to be a boring old bastard and stay in more often than not.  I seem to remember that Fridays were the big night out though.....meeting up at Camden tube station at 8 (on the dot) and starting off in The Good Mixer.

You really would have had to be part of it to understand what was going on in Camden then.  I am no longer phased by "famous types" as in those days, it was normal to see the likes of Jarvis, Oasis, the Blur boys etc. etc. everywhere you went.  I still have friends I made then, who would be classed as "famous" to some people but to me they're just guys I met up the pub.  So Friday nights.....the britpop & mod scene were very closely connected so everyone was well dressed and oh how we loved it!  After a few cider & blackcurrants and shouts of "Crazy Horses" to the poor guy out of Jesus Jones who used to dj there (and oh yes, he got it every week!), and laughing hysterically at the graffiti in the ladies loos (Ben Shoesmith knits his own underwear!)....we'd move on to The Spread Eagle or Dublin Castle.
Pub closing time (11.00 way back when I think) would take us down to The Monarch or HQs, or The Laurel Tree for the original Blow Up (my all time favourite club EVER)....or if we were drunk and nothing else was on.....goth night at the venue near the market that I've got a mental block on!  If we were feeling particular hardcore (which we mostly were), we'd end up in The Marathon Bar on Chalk Farm Road.....the most bizarre place.....a kebab shop that sold cans of lager til the early hours, to a weird mix of britpop musicians and mentals.

Anyway....I'm rambling....Camden these days is just not the same.....gone is The Laurel Tree, gone is George & Nickys, The Monarch has changed and The Mixer is full of nutjobs....I'm sure it always was but they got sidelined by Menswear.  We will have the best of times catching up and no doubt laughing at the graffiti in the Mixer (again) as if it were still 1995.  We might be 15 years older but we still know all the words to "He's got chops and he's alllllriighht" and god help the guy from Jesus Jones if we recognise him!

Finally.....just because:

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