Tuesday, May 31, 2011

1991: Those who find themselves ridiculous

I embraced Baggy and the whole Madchester scene. I say embraced; I cut my hair like the man out of The Farm (myself) and wore the clothes, liked The Stone Roses and The Mondays but that's about as far as it went. I never went to a rave or anything. At 25 I felt I was a little old for all that. Of course I wasn't, but when you're the oldest of your siblings and everything's new you don't know what to think. Still, don't think I missed much.

But until the year before I had never been to Manchester. Mrs F-C (before she was Mrs F-C) and I took a trip to see some friends there, and do the now long-forgotten Granada Studios tour, where you could go down Corrie Street and visit other sets, most which I forget, though I do have a picture of me on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street. What was that for?

Anyhoo, that trip is most memorable for the journey up. Stopping for petrol I heard the news that Thatcher had resigned while paying. Everyone was just standing around stunned. It was a moment.

This song fell into that bracket, though but by mid-91 that whole scene was coming to an end. About this time that year I joined a friend and his housemates on a driving holiday in the Loire Valley. It was a hoot. We went everywhere, sampling the local brews as we went. Surprisingly it didn't end in tears so much as someone being bet !0 Francs to eat the contents of an ashtray, which they did.

Split between two cars for the duration, our driver, a bonkers housemate with a honk of a voice that would shame Adam Boulton had Sit Down on a loop. And I mean, on a loop. I once managed to get him to play my own compilation, but he drew the line at The End by The Doors. Too long. Too old. Not James.

So Sit Down we did, all through France. Amazingly enough I still like the song, and I did learn that the song wasn't a paean to Austrian go-to Nazi specialist Max Von Sydow.


  1. For me, Sit Down immediately brings back the smell of Cambridge college "bops" - Blue Bols and vodka "cocktails" (generally mixed in a huge plastic bucket), under a thick layer of smoke machine.

    Anything by Carter USM does the same.

  2. Twenty years ago? TWENTY. Tell me it's not true. My word.

  3. Any photos of the home-made haircut?

    Sit Down was on any number of our car tapes back then, and we sang it hundreds of times while trawling up and down the A23 between the south coast, where we'd just set up home, and London, where the heart still was. I was in that phase of having my first Serious Job and a new mortgage and all, and really felt that I was getting a bit too old for 'all that'. 20 plus years later, and I'm somewhat more relaxed about such things.

    Tim Booth also became a South Coast resident. I used to go to the same masseur as him. He didn't seem to find himself remotely ridiculous; quite the opposite I'd say.

  4. What amused me at the time was the number of James fans who got really irritated by people assuming, upon Sit Down's success, that they were an exciting new discovery, whereas in fact they'd been around for years. There's nothing worse than a fan whose favourite band suddenly becomes likeable to other people.

  5. Oh look, I can comment in Safari but not Firefox.

    I do have a pic of that hairdo somehwere. It's not pretty. Was it ever? I always thought Tim Booth was a bit of a tit, wearing those bald man knitted caps you used to see. But perhaps I'm being a bit harsh.