Most of what follows, unfortunately, happened.

Date: Long time ago, in a hive of scum and villainy far far away.
Venue: The thunderdome.
Crowd: Us.

The next song is a short one, but a good one.

A few miles down the road from our hometown lies a place that would’ve made Mos Eisley look like Kensington. At least, that’s what people from out of town thought. I went to school there. To me, it was another run down seaside town with not enough jobs and too many pound stores. To the rest of the band, it was renown for the drug use, homelessness and petrol station stabbings.

Naturally, we played there all the time.

On one such occasion we were already venturing into the bowels of the centre when Jake voiced his concerns.

“I don’t wanna play here.” Jake mumbles.

“We play here all the time.” I reassure him.

“But it’s not safe.” Jake is currently wearing a badge saying “See you in the pit”.

I sigh. I do this a lot in conversations with Jake. “We’ve been playing here for three years. Have you ever seen any trouble here?” Jake pauses, furrowing his brow. “Exactly. The second we actually see a fight, or anything else, then you can complain. ‘Till then? Suggest you shut up, or book the gigs yourself.”

Ritchie slams on the brakes as two guys fighting each other tussle and bumble into the road. We sit, watching this bizarre scene unfold. Fists are exchanged with reasonable commitment, before they stumble towards the car. I look to Ritchie for a solution. The answer comes in the form of a shrug.

The two struggle, rolling around on the bonnet of Ritchie’s car. It’s hard to pick a winner, the two are a blur of limbs. But as quickly as they’d appear, they scuffle and roll their way back onto the pavement and into the night.

I turn to Jake, awaiting the barrage of abuse and complaints. But he says nothing. Without saying a word, Richie drives on.

Bunch of animals in this town.


Photo by Katherine via Flickr.


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