Stories from 1996. A Britpop Journal Chapter 24


18th August 1996


What an absolutely perfect day.  We woke up bleary eyed after spending the night before on a variety of Ellie’s furniture in her house in Chester, Maisie lucked out with a bed while Erin and I struggled on the springy sofas. But no one cared, even the ‘more than we intended to drink’ amount of alcohol last night could not dull our excitement or energy for the fun packed day ahead. Our bags were packed with lipgloss, disposable cameras and half bottles of vodka. This was the day we were going to see PULP!!!!!!!!!

The train journey to Warrington was a disgusting squash of armpits and crotches but once at the park it was all worth it. The sun was shining beautifully over Warrington, so much so that we all got a bad dose of festival sunburn: dodgy strapmarks and goggle eyes. The day started with a bang as Longpigs blew us away. Gorkys were fun, Numan was a legend and a great opportunity to play spot the ageing goth and, of course, SFA made some proper Welsh noise. Supergrass were the only slight disappointment – lack of atmosphere and far too serious. Lighten up Coombes.

Pulp,on the other hand, exceeded our expectations. They had obviously gone to town on the production; their set was excellent, wall to wall classics. Jarvis’s banter and prancing made us all fall head over heels for him once again. Then fireworks and an exploding portaloo to top it all off.

It was so cool to spend a wonderful sunny day with likeminded people watching brilliant bands, drinking vodka and Virgin coke from Pamela Anderson shaped bottles. A day of boiled burgers and best mates. A day to remember for ever. We all arrived back late at Ellie’s on a real high unintentionally slaying Pulp tunes. Shouting and screaming through the streets until we collapsed in a sun, vodka and good time induced heap at her door. Knackered but happy.

I am pleased to say that Erin, my cousin from the States, has immersed herself seamlessly into our group. She loves what we do and is enjoying our quaint British ways. She hadn’t really done a festival before V96. Well, not a festival like we do a festival, no halfs of lager here thanks. Erin absolutely devoured the whole experience. We had educated her with numerous Shine CDS and copies of NME on the train up North and she is in full acceptance of her new role as Britpop ambassador when she returns to the States.

We are all having such a carefree, silly time away from everything. Cardiff seems a long way away as do the emotional ties and impending adult responsibilities. Maybe if I actually bought a lottery ticket I would win and could live like this forever. I am not bothered about Lear Jets and diamonds, just tickets to see the best gigs and time with my mates would make me eternally happy.

Today is day 3 of our Up North Trip and we are all in need of a mega fry-up. I hope Ellie has some recommendations.


Then a big chill out before hitting the shops in Liverpool tomorrow. Quiggins, Quiggins, Quiggins, we haven’t graced your doors for years.

Will need some energy for that. I am going to try to stay off the booze today…….


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