Monday, August 01, 2005


Dave Blunkett and Mike Read met at the lonely hour of three pm in their favourite cafe. The Chestnut Tree was almost empty. A ray of sunlight slanting through a window fell yellow on dusty table-tops. A tinny music trickled from the radio. Mike had got clear of the nut ward OK, but he’d lost his day job. Dave had vague memories of all the Hitler Rally shit but it was slipping away even as he tried to grasp the details.

I was a fucking contender, I think, he thought.
"It feels like we’ve been doing nothing but sitting round cafes in the afternoon for years", Mike started. "Don’t you think we oughta do something with our lives?"
"Ahhh", Dave sighed, "Y’know, we’re best off keepin’ a low profile... do something with your life and you end up fucked up. Anyone with any power or influence in this world is a corrupt bastard seems to me"
"Yeah, bunch off Nazis innit"

Dave shot Mike a sharp look at this. He wondered how much his liquid-coshed mate remembered of the last few months.
"Tell you what mate" Blunkett started, "Let’s start a band"
"Alright...are you still into that industrial shit?" Mike queried.
"Nah, got sick oF it... like it’s worse than the original template... second time as farce..."

Mike Read wondered what the fuck his old mate was on about. This cunt is more spaced-out than me, he thought, and it’s not him that’s been in the big house!
"No Mike, what I’ve been getting into is this new group Talulah Gosh. It’s called the cutie-pop scene. I’m bang into it and I’ve got every copy so far of "Tea and Biscuits" Fanzine — that’s like, the Bible of the scene. It’s so fucking underground at the moment, just waiting to break big-style"

Mike Read thought about the possibilities oF getting into a twee pop band. There was a nice lass called Tracey he’d met at the outpatients’ clinic, he’d been meaning to get to know her better. We could ask her to do ‘ba ba ba’ harmonies or play tambourine, he thought. He mentioned this to Dave.
"Yeah! I’d already thought of having a whole group of girl backing singers going ‘ba ba ba’, we could call them The Kitties... and I think the overall band name could be Sunshine Sparklepops", Blunkett opined.

Something changed in the music that trickled from the radio. A cracked and jeering note, a yellow note, came into it. And then a voice was singing:
‘Club Tropicana, drinks are free — fun and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone’
Tears welled up in both men’s eyes. A passing waitress noticed that their cups were empty and came back with the teapot.