Saturday, 15 October 2011

On the beach

Music For An East End 'Indian Summer'

Hull Fair is just around the corner, to be followed all-too-swiftly by the changing of the clocks, Halloween and Guy Fawks.  Autumn is in the air and to mark the time of year, Great Newsome Brewery have brought out a "Back Endish Bitter".  Long, dark nights are just around the corner...
Yet here we are, on the second day of October, sat on the beach at Spurn Point enjoying temperatures that for the fifth day in a row are approaching the mid-twenties. 

Of course it's a bit late.  For the second successive year we were told that we were set for a "barbecue summer".  We got a "barbecue spring" instead.  We're now being warned that within weeks of the recent heatwave temperatures are set to plummet to well below freezing.  And we wonder why the weather forms such a big part of everyday conversation.
Given that we're having another "mad" year in terms of the weather, it was perhaps apt that two days prior to our day on "Spon 'ole" beach, I unearthed a gem of an old C60 cassette, compiled over twenty years ago and entitled "Mad Mix For A Mad Summer".  
It provided the perfect soundtrack to an afternoon spent lounging in the garden catching some very unexpected late season rays.
From the track-listing I'm guessing I originally compiled it in the summer 1990.  Most of the tracks thereon are from the two year period leading up to that year, with a few old classics thrown in for good measure.
As I played it again - for the first time in well over a decade - all manner of memories came flooding back and I was immediately transported to a different age.  In particular I could feel the pull of a balmy spring evening on Hull's Beverley Road, strolling towards De Grey Street and the Adelphi Club where local faves The Penny Candles would have the regulars lapping up their fine if at times twee melodies - not too dissimilar to some of those you'll find on here...   

Side 1
The Lotus Eaters - The First Picture of You (1983)
The Lightining Seeds - Pure (1989)
1000 Violins - A Place To Surf (1988)  
Jay & The Americans - Got Hung Up Along the Way (1967) 
Van McCoy - The Shuffle (1976)
The Primitives - Secrets (1990)
Inspiral Carpets - Find Out Why (198*)
1000 Violins - All Aboard The Lovemobile (1989)
The Ventures - Hawaii Five-O (1969) 
The Soup Dragons - Hang Ten (1986)
The Wedding Present - It's Not Unusual (1989)

Side 2
The Wedding Present - Kennedy (1989)
The Primitives - Sick Of It (1990)
The La's - There She Goes (1988) 
Jay & The Americans - Livin' Above Your Head (1966)
Bobby Goldsboro - It's Too Late (1966)
BOB - Convenience (1989)
The Driscolls - Julie Christie (1988) no link
The Sundays - Can't Be Sure (1990)
The Lightning Seeds - Joy (1989)

I maintained fairly comprehensive diaries around the time of these recordings and when flicking back through them I'm reminded just what a "lad about town" I was.  In addition to sporting jaunts with City and Rovers, much of the working week was also taken up in the pubs and clubs of Hull.  I really did use home as a hotel! 
The Adelphi was one of several regular haunts - the others for gigs being Hull Uni and The Tower and I clocked up an impressive tally of live bands during the period covered by this tape, including many of those on it; clubbing was done at Spiders and the "New" Silhouette on Park Street - not forgetting the shortlived Thursday "Rock 'n' Roll Nite" at Gatsby's (under the Paragon Station Hotel).
I was young, earning and still living at home so there was money to spend on "socialising".  In addition, losing Mum in April '89 also triggered a need to get out more, probably as an antidote to simply sitting at home to wallow in self-pity.
I seem to recall I'd intended this compilation as a sort of soundtrack to a new start as well as a new summer.  A year on from bereavement and having just about survived the first Christmas without the full family, there was the need to finally move forward and the advent of summer always helps with that.  Plus, there was a World Cup just around the corner.  Little did I know at the time that Italia '90 would provide me with a level of excitement that I am perhaps unlikely ever to experience again if recent World Cup flops are anything to go by.  
In short this little musical gem, discovered as part of one of my (in)famous "clear-outs", captures a part of my life that despite the tragedy preceding it, was one of real fulfilment.  As the final track on it proclaims, "I never realized the joy til the joy was gone."   
I wonder if in twenty years time somebody will be sat poring over some old iTunes they downloaded from the summer of 2011 and reflecting on that heatwave that lasted for, ooh, five days in late-September and accompanied an inglorious World Cup experience in another sport.  Probably not.
Of course if I were to bring out an updated "Mad Mix" compilation now, I'd have to have this Tape Five corker on it - the perfect music to watch the sun go down over the Humber.  
Now, where's that pint of Backendish Bitter...

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