Well, it’s one I keep repeating, so I may as well get it in purple and black here.
Way back in 1989, I did a fanzine, as can be found on this site. Well, not the actual fanzine, obviously. But anyway. My second flexi I put together featured a band from Scunthorpe, The Williams. The band got a lucky break, and were able to support Primal Scream, around the time of ‘Ivy Ivy Ivy’ or maybe just before, at Hull Adelphi. The Primals were so impressed with The Williams, that they invited them to play another date in Sheffield. After this, they then invited them on a leg of the ‘Primal Scream’ tour, taking in three dates down south. Because of this, a second car was needed, and I volunteered – it sounded like fun!
Fun it was, and the usual mini-stresses, as you’d expect. I remember them playing Oxford, arranging floorspace with a student at the Uni, then someone getting into a fight with that student, so all four of us in my car, ending up sleeping in my car, parked alongside the Uni, close to the station for the whole night. The last night of the three we did was in Aldershot, in a funny little venue. I was able to catch up on my sleep, and the Primals kindly invited us to some party they were having at some large house in the country.
So we get there, there’s all this funky music being played, with the band all grooving away, and a fun night (and sober) is had by all (me). Soon it’s time to head back to London, back to Lewisham where we’re all staying that night, before the big drive back up north. Being Aldershot, it’d be a drive in on the M3 – I know this now, although being in a house in the middle of nowhere, I’ve no idea where I got back into London (though it may have been the M40). We’re driving around, it’s about 2am, and the streets are fairly deserted. This is also my first time driving in London, when I’ve actually felt courageous enough to do it.
I do remember Russell Square (N London). I remember it well. I took the wrong turning there, and before I knew it, we’re driving along, trying to work out how to get to Lewisham (SE London). A car pulls up alongside us.
“Do you want biology?”
“eh?!” I reply
“Do you want biology?”
I look scared. What does he mean?! This huge man, who looks a bit scary, has pulled up alongside my car. Paul, in his infinite wisdom wrote down the number plate of the car, and off I sped, with half of The Williams gear in the back of my car, while Robert, (who was later to end up in Adorable but at this point was second guitarist), drove off with the other half, heading back to Coventry (although we didn’t know that at the time and just assumed it). I remember doing U-turns in the road, in fear, and the adrenaline pumping, hoping the amps in the back wont cause a bad accident, or something like that, and just hoping we all stay safe.
We were just indiepoppers, scared some big men were trying to pick us up! They wouldn’t stop tailing my car. It was starting to really worry me, as I drove around and around (well, if it worked for Knight Rider, it had to work for me) trying to shake them from our tail. It was no good, as these cars were huge and had less people and objects in them. Sigh.
Then I spotted a police car, and flashed and beeped him. We all started to breathe normally again. The policeman stopped, I pulled up behind him, and the car that was following us pulled in BEHIND ME. The policeman got out, and we explained what had happened. He returned within a minute.
It seems that night the rave Biology was going on, in some field in the middle of nowhere, as was prone to happen back then. These big men had seen all the amps in the back of my car, and put two and two together, coming up with 27. We all breathed indiepop sighs of relief, and headed back towards South London, feeling free of those weirdos who kept following us. I think we got back to Lewisham pretty quickly, intact and without hassle.
So yes, nothing to do with Primal Scream, and really only half to do with The Williams too, that is Stupid Story #1.