Peace + Love + Empathy

One of my many virtual internet buddies sent me a mix cd. I will be sending him one in return/retaliation shortly, but that's another matter. This cd contained some Minutemen, some Wilco, some Duke Ellington and also some Imperial Teen, three tracks of which. So I thought, Imperial Teen, never heard of them. And I hadn't, unless it's filed in the Impenetrable Archive Room in my brain, like the one we have at work.

The first track passed in a kind of, ooh, that's quite nice way, but the second track breezed in with a summery line of little harmonies like something from Glasgow circa 1996. And I knew it! I knew the track but didn't know why. It sparked off one of those nostalgia trips that I couldn't place - you know how if you smell a certain smell it reminds you of, say, your first student house, or if you hear a particular song you're immediately relocated to another location of your youth?

That's what happened with You're One by Imperial Teen. I came to the conclusion that it must have been a Steve Lamacq staple on the Evening Session those ten long years ago. My mind relocated to my evening job when I was 14, cleaning offices that were on the location of my dad's former pig farm. I have my fat, ropey walkman strapped in and I'm listening to Lamacq and Wiley - Bis have just finished, I've been listening to Ash, Cast are still to come, Delgados are live later...

I would have just started my GCSE studies, year ten. I was spotty, but not hideously so, although my dress sense left something to be desired. I dressed pretty much as I attended a recent 90s-themed party, jeans which tapered slightly in at the ankle, big big shirts, white trainers. This was 1996, bear that in mind. I probably looked like a slightly smaller version of Chandler, in fact. I would go to school on the ten-to-eight bus each morning and come home in the afternoon - by this time, I'd graduated from taking the bus straight from school to walking into town (often via Games Workshop) and getting the quarter-past-four, following an incident with a sesame seed biscuit. And another, involving a football sock being thrown out of the window. I'll get you Graham Drew, when you least expect it...

My evening would involve playing some Master System (or maybe I had the SNES by then), then tea at six and onto piano practice and homework. I'm naturallly a creature of habit in many respects, and I've taken that into adulthood, to some extent. I wish more, sometimes, but it's rarely to be. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings were for cleaning though, plus two lots on a Saturday. I raked in £35 per week at the height of my powers, a not insubstantial sum in those days, and at that age, most of which (that which wasn't manhandled by my parents into a savings account (for which I later became very grateful)) went on football stickers, miniatures and tiny pots of paint. I had quite the Space Marine collection, I'll have you know, as well as smatterings of all sorts of others.

The Evening Session was where it was at in those days. It had the first play of Paranoid Android, herald of the Album That Changed Music. It was the bastion of those cool enough to not be listening to PJ & Duncan, but not really cool enough to listen to John Peel. It was where I spent those mid-week evenings and was where my fledgling music taste was nurtured. For example, much as the concept and principle of Kula Shaker represent both the zenith of my personal horror and the nadir of all music ever, and would probably feature in my hypothetical Room 101, I can't help but tap my foot to Hey Dude.

Aaaaand... back to the present, where Mr Roddy Bottum has his Imperial Teen. That freaked me out when I heard it. Roddy Bottum did You're One? Are you serious? Roddy "Faith No More keyboards" Bottum? Goodness me, didn't see that one coming. I was just getting into The Rock when FNM split, so I was able to catch up on the full gory history in one go in the pages of Kerrang!. Roddy Bottum? Blimey.

The Music

The 'Fo
Artist: Imperial Teen
Recommended: Seasick
Label: London
Buy: Amazon


kitten said...

I put that on a mix for you ages ago. It's typical. I'm so forgettable.

To be fair it was on a ninties brit pop/indie mix called You Will Hate My Music designed to irritate you but that's not the point.

I'd pout if I thought you'd notice...

Oh Simone said...

It's true. You did. Back in the day. We met on the internet you know.