Stories from 1996 Chapter 39 A Britpop Journal

Popscene flyer

Chapter 39

22 November 1996

I must have been  just cocky enough or demonstrated the correct amount of aloofness because I got the job. Obviously my drinker’s degree had nothing to do with it and it is a mere Christmas job but its better that signing on. It also means that I can enjoy the festivities to full effect and buy people some decent presents (esp. with my 20% staff discount). Novelty corkscrews and rave lights all round then this year.

A handful of us newbies went in this morning for an induction. No sign of Mr Coombes but I still hold out hope that he too has been given the honour of a Gadget Shop T-shirt. I am feeling superbly positive at the moment about everything which is how I want this topsy turvy, shimmy shimmy year to end. Most of the other staff seem great, they obviously did not want obnoxious twats after all, and I begin my new career in retail in 2 days time.

Which means it would be ridiculous not to celebrate this fact tonight at Popscene with Maisie and a couple of room fulls of other shiny happy people. I am so excited, having not been to Clwb for a while. Its dressing up time. Off to Maisie’s for some vodka and lipstick.

*      *       *      *      *      *       *        *        *        *       *      *        *        *

I am going to make a blurry eyed, hungover statement of truth – I have never since the launch of Popscene and it’s weekend brother Popshop ever had a crap night in that place. It is always rammed, with more than its fair share of Beautiful People; the music is fantastic thanks to the ‘One that got away DJ’ (to cut a long story short – he charmingly pinched my arse one week, I bravely, after a lot of Dutch Courage, asked him out another week only for him to say he was a ‘busy boy’. How bloody dare he?) and finally the atmosphere in Clwb is just amazingly, fantastically Cardiff! I truly love that place and hope I will still be returning for years to come. No where else comes close.

It was a night of dancing, flirtations and a cutey barman who we nicknamed Matthew Kelly (he had a beard) who

se gentle demeanor at the bar had Maisie cooing. We saw old friends, made new ones and got told off by the bouncers for standing on the windowsill in the toilets shouting at handsome men outside in the queue.

At the end of the evening, when we could neither dance nor drink any more, we stumbled down the cobbles to hail a taxi. This proved to be a fruitless task so, arm in arm, we braved the November wind to Canton. After about ten minutes of enthusiasm our beer jackets began to malfunction. Our noses were cold. We could see ice forming on the cars as we walked on by. Another ten minutes passed and we tortured ourselves with the thought of steaming hot vinegary chips. Alas tonight this was not meant to be as no where was open. Never in my life have I felt so cold and tired. When we eventually arrived at Maisie’s house we collapsed fully clothed in a grateful heap. A heap I have just crawled out of.


Time to chill before the next chapter of my career starts tomorrow. Go Go Gadget arms!


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