Wifi? Check. XFM? Check. Nostalgia? Awww, check!

by Suw on February 26, 2004

Just sitting here, in the lounge, making the most of our new wifi network*, with XFM playing for the first time since I left Reading. Bliss!

For years I was used to having XFM, an indie radio station with exceptionally good taste, on in the background all day whilst I worked. I was surprised how much I missed when it became no longer possible to access Sky from my office (it’s a London based station broadcasting also on satellite). Being able to sit here now and listen to it whilst working on the laptop is wonderful.

At the moment I’m proofing my old Melody Maker features ready to go up on what will be my new CV website and I’ve just come across my first ever View from the Crew – Blur at the Brixton Academy in Jan 98.

I was shitting bricks before covering this gig. I’d never done crew interviews before and the fact that I was quite possibly the biggest Blur fan on the planet didn’t help my nerves. Blur were one of the reasons why I was a music journalist. Alex James was the reason why I started playing bass guitar.

Unfortunately, when I get nervous I sometimes also get very clumsy. At one point I remember thrusting open one of the swing doors at the back of the stage area and very nearly smashing Graham Coxon in the face with it. Poor mite looked at me in a rather shocked manner as I, in a moment of excruciating embarrassment, shouldered my way past him.

Sorry, Graham. It wasn’t rudeness on my part – more like blind terror.

However, the fact that I was working a Blur gig for the Maker did give me a feeling of legitimacy that I’d never had before. I felt like I was who I should always have been, like suddenly I was worth the air I was breathing.

In the end, despite my nerves tripping me up a little and the fact that many of the crew were hungover and grumpy (and, in one case, astoundingly rude), I got a really good feature out of it. My favourite lines still stand:

With such attention to coolness, James has managed to subordinate his bass playing almost entirely. Whilst there are plenty of bassists out there with better technique, there are few that can produce sounds that swing so effortlessly between extremes of subtlety and full in-yer-face-ness. You'd have to be a real spaniel to ignore how much his bass adds to songs like ‘Beetlebum’ or ‘Girls and Boys’.

*wifi rocks! I love this! Being able to sit in the lounge, where the seats are more comfy, the room brighter, the view… er… actually the view’s just the garden so not hugely impressive but being able to see it at all just rocks! We should allegedly be getting broadband tomorrow, at which point hopefully the network will really come into its own.

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