When I met Caro, one of the first things that we did – in fact, something we did on the first weekend that we spent together – was to sit down in front of a computer and book a whole load of gigs to go to. None of them were by established acts and, by and large, they were bands I had seen clips of on television earlier that year.
The gigs ranged from the sublime – the sheer perverted genius of Adam Green – to the ridiculous (it took us three attempts to see The Fratellis, as we fell asleep and missed the first one, and spent too long at dinner before the second), to the mindbogglingly awful (The Sunshine Underground, a show I have so successfully erased from my mind that all I remember is where we ate beforehand and that one of !Forward Russia! was in the crowd)*
This band, however, were our first gig – and, as they say, you always remember the first one. The Highbury Garage, as it was then. Having to explain why one of our tickets was almost entirely black (for some reason it had arrived like that). How disappointed we were that the support band, Howling Belles, were rubbish**. The telephone call which I received from Bill, one of my oldest friends, checking on how I was and which, although I could hardly hear, I kept laughing through (because I was at my first show with my new girlfriend, life was pretty good at that point).
And so, you might ask, why this is a ‘guilty pleasure’. Well, if you listen to the words they are very wrong – especially if you are on one of your first dates with a new partner. For the record, I’ve never screamed at Caro’s mum, or come even close to punching her dad.
*I know, I’m losing you if you don’t like very obscure, mid-2000s, bands. Stick with it, it gets better.
**Because Caro comes from Kentucky, and is therefore a Southern Belle!