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Que Sarah, Sarah
Prelude
Sunday morning, get up at 7 AM to attempt to sail to Bristol - underthe Clifton suspension bridge & mooring the boat a brief walk from theThekla. . . . in actuality we get 200 yards, hit the opposite and thenthe tide goes out, leaving the boat high & dry (literally).So it's the more sensible plan (b) - take the train.

Monday


Arrived pretty early in Bristol, hoping to drop our bags at Simon-from-the-Foaming-Beauties place, plus Yvette wanted to get changed out of her'pass for 1/2 fare on the train ' clothes . . .Convinced I saw one of this lists Andrew's at Temple Meads, but I couldn'tbe quite sure, and I didn't see him later. The walk across town involvedthe fun game of spot the potential pop kids - was that bloke with a little map one? Or that couple, perhaps? When we arrived at King Square, Simon wasn't in (he'd been to Reading with Prolapse - the band, that is), so we just HAD to lie down in the sunshine. When he did turn up, he wasn't in any shape (or inclined) for a trek round Bristol, so we missed most of the first leg of the day. In fact thingsd ragged on so much we had to get a taxi, leaving Simon behind, to have any hope of meeting up with everyone. As the cab pulled up, I spotted a Peter Hahndorf lookalike just ahead, who introduced us to Rodney, Jen & the others - there was that strange feeling of putting names & voices to faces (likefinding out Steve Burt was American, despite the British address). And of course there were other non-list friends, so please don't think me too rude if we didn't talk to everyone, but I hadn't seen some people in months/years (and with Sarah gone, possibly won't do so again, sniff). Eventually Simon turned up, as did Denis (and Elisa, who had said she wasn't coming, so that was a nice surprise), & Jen, Michael & Lesley,and . . . well the list goes on. The ambience was great, with that early evening atmosphere, pop'kids'all around, dangling my feet over the side of the dock & sharing abottle of cheap vodka (we had to catch up somehow!) mixed with the most vilegreen lime 'flavour' drink. Eventually everyone drifted off, and wetagged along, in time to catch a few Blueboy acoustic numbers. Unfortunately, I can't say much about any of the bands up to The Orchids as I was too busy talking to people, insulting Tim Chipping, and trying to find people who'd sell me fanzines. (Thank you Rodney & Steve). Paul 'When I Grow Up' Robinson dissapeared to put on his party clothes,and came back in a fetching (or fetishing) black PVC number & white fakefur!

The music, then - rushed down for The Orchids, who seemed (to me) to be in OK form, but Yvette dragged me away, so I may have missed a stunner('Unholy Soul' being my favourite Sarah release bigger than 7"). But I wasn't going to miss Blueboy, who were storming, even if the split of their set into acoustic & electric halves meant it was a lot heavier than normal. Still 'Clearer' was amazing, and the crowd response showed that it wasn't just me who thought it was one of the best singles Sarah released. After the emotional heights & depths of Blueboy, Heavenly came on in pure party mood, though strangely playing a lot of new material (well a lot for an 'end of Sarah' gig) - we managed to get pretty near the front too, though it was a bit intense at times, & towards the end I nipped towards the back where I was introduced to Keith D'Arcy - which in some ways was a pity as I missed the end of Heavenly, but in other ways was great (to meet Keith). I also found out that Tim Chipping had been thrown off the boat after punching Neil (ex-Bouquet) in the face for calling him (Tim) arrogant - they say that the truth hurts, but not who! ! ! (Tim, for the record, is the irritating vocalist from Shelley/Orlando). And that Lesley Pastel Collison had wanted to punch this bloke who was deliberately elboing her during the bands. . .(who turned out to be someone else I knew & didn't like). So there was actual violence at a cutie gig . . . (and Yvette hit someone who wasj umping into her, but I don't think that was on the scale of Tim!). And then when we left Denis's car had been broken into, so I never got to say goodbye to half the people I meant to. So that was the downside to it all . . .The new Heavenly material sounded fine, though, so I think we'll definitely be seeing more of them soon. [Marc Spindel pointed out that Blueboy's electric set, although still wonderful, could possibly lead to them being picked up, being the closest to the current British mainstream, though I think they're (a) not 'pretty'enough & (b) not 'laddish' enough, but certainly they'd find a place in the heart of a lot of disillusioned Suede fans (as the Field Mice did to The Smiths?)]

Overall, a great night, though I can't really explain the WHY of it to most of you (how great it was to see old friends), who are probably thinking how COULD you miss Brighter, but I guess one thing that has always been important to me about Sarah is how it's brought people together (and it's in that way that it HAS changed my life), as much as the music (which is, after all, what we had in common first).

And in that respect, maybe the Piao festival was more exciting - meeting people, discovering new bands, but that's just me . . .

I had Alfred Tan & Marc Spindell over for the next couple of days (& Peter for one night) which was absolutely great, esp. as because of taking them on a 2nd hand records hunt I rediscovered a shop I'd not been in for years & found a treasure trove of things I wanted. . .

J.


Julian Lawton for the indiepop mailing-list - September 8th, 1995
Last updated: 1-Sep-1995 © 1994-2018 TweeNet Creative Commons License