Monday, 25 January 2021


I am in a bar with my friend Dee Bee. He is recounting an experience he had there and (being the dreamescape) it then seems to bleed into realtime, the recollections merging with the present, the events described unfolding before my eyes (almost as if I am witnessing/near-interacting directly – given time it all mergews into one). The bar has a glazed wall to the front and is spread over three levels each up a flight of timber central stairs and stepped back from the other, a timber handrail running alongways and tables and chairs grouped to either side. The timber is unfinished throughout and the bar has a pleasantly low-key, rustic and relaxed feel, the chatting people often reduced to dark shapes against the soft natural light. Dee Bee is staking out the (Charlatans) singer Tim BurgessTim, in his Phoenix '95 era, is animated, drinking and cajoling with a couple of male friends – hoping that he can (gently) collar him at some point and play a tune (he has been carefully planning out) on the small organ that lives on the highest level. “It's now or never...” and so Dee Bee ambles from where we are seated, approaching Tim, who is standing chatting to the left of the stairs that lead to the third level and- 

Success! We are now on the third level. Dee Bee sits on Tim's left hand side at the small (timber cased, with a high back like an upright piano) organ. They are jamming out The Charlatans track 'Weirdo', with Tim following the song's chords with single fingers while a crouched Dee Bee solos intensely on the high notes, the fingers of his right hand working away feverishly to produce a rolling, rapid riff. Dee Bee finishes on a sustained high note and I joke to (The Charlatans guitarist) Mark Collins, who has been lounging impassively next to me all this time, that it must be the 'Tinnitus Remix'. He and I laugh at this- 

I am now sitting at a table to the right of the stairs up from the first to second level. Myself, Dee Bee, Mogwai guitarist Stuart Braithwaite and A.N. Other are chatting and drinking. Dee Bee excuses himself (and A.N. gently fades out of the dreamescape) and Stuart and I continue talking. Stuart's face is all wobbly around the edges, the dreamescape applying a drunken visual effect to match his loose, boozy patter. Stuart asks me what age I am and I say I'm 43. It turns out he's actually 42(?) and, surprised, we joke about how I'm obviously ahead of the curve! I ask him what he studied at University (wondering if we might have by chance met back then) and he says Psychology. He remarks he studied for a year in Ireland then he went off to Argentina for a year (the details of which are a bit 'hazy')... Dee Bee is getting ready to leave for his train back to Edinburgh and I am torn between offering to buy Stuart a drink and heading off myself. I check the time and it is 10:12, much earlier than I thought. I decide to stay with Stuart and Dee Bee gives me quite the forlorn backward glance as he troops off down the stairs to leave. (I am quite vexed by this decision at the time.)- 

I am now out walking in a sort of docklands area with Stuart. He drops a ping pong ball, with a small black pen mark on it. I scramble to retrieve it from under a concrete bench, saying about how he should do something similar at Mogwai gigs. He then tells me about the maddest thing he (and a pal) ever did at Art School

Cut to – swimming in the water. Stuart and his pal are paddling, swigging from bottles of beer as they do so. They are barely keeping their heads above water and it laps over my dreamescape 'camera POV'. I am then standing at the edge of the pier/dock, looking down on Stuart as he awkwardly shimmies his way up the stone wall, settling his elbows then drawing up his legs. He says that this is a technique called “…?”, a statement immediately echoed by my (suddenly appeared) little brother-

No comments:

Post a Comment