Wednesday, 19 May 2010

'Five Get Over Excited' - The Housemartins (1987)

“I am mad from Scandinavia,
I want a guy in the London area.
He must be crazy and Sagittarius,
‘Cause I am Leo and I’m hilarious”

The Lower Sixth geography field trip was billed as ‘a life changing experience’ by the class in the year above us. Can you imagine these people? I mean, who even speaks like that at 17 about a school trip to Slapton? Those three dreadful days being endlessly ferried about in a moldy minibus while everyone around me sang ‘Hotel California’ just pretty much affirmed everything I already suspected about life. And sleeping out on the fire escape every night didn’t help matters.

That’s right, the fire escape. I’m not sure how many Health & Safety regulations that contravenes, but this was 1988 and such things were still just on the ‘nice-to-have’ list. It turned out our school hadn’t organised enough beds. So someone wouldn’t be able to sleep in the main dorm with everyone else. I quickly volunteered for that and was promised a bed in a separate room. Except the bed was one of those fold-out things. And the room was basically the landing of the fire escape.

The first night I was woken up by everyone coming back from the pub and using the fire escape to sneak pass the teachers – while drunkenly belting out another chorus of ‘Hotel California’. So I put a stop to that by moving a chest of draws in front of the door – another safety no-no I would think. Then I was woken again at 4am by the light streaming through the curtain-less windows. Good times.

I’ve found an old folder that says our days were filled with the joys of fluvial data, cumulative infiltration and pebble size analysis. My strongest memory though is visiting Plymouth to conduct some kind of town centre survey, but instead conducting my own survey of the shelves of Our Price. 'Now That's What I Call Quite Good' was just out and I clearly remember holding the tape in my hands, but I didn’t have enough money to afford it. So it was back on the minibus to ride into the sunset, with The Eagles tribute band telling me "I can check out any time I want, but I can never leave." Indeed.

Spotify linky:
The Housemartins – Five Get Over Excited

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