It's been twenty years since i first heard a Scritti Politti song. It was the summer of 85, and i stayed in a friends' house for a month to take care of the cats while they were away for a holiday. A sidestreet of the West Kruiskade in the centre of Rotterdam.
21 years of age, been through various musical tastes already, the album hit me straight on the head. I was already moving away from the noise and awkwardness of early 80s new wave. C&P confirmed i liked skillfully crafted songs, not endless experimentation. Upon reading scritti interviews i began to realise this move back to the mainstream had its rationale, which i desperately wanted to understand and make my own.
I'm not sure i ever did fully understand, but it did give me a reason to start reading all sorts of books (all of them interesting), thinking all sorts of thoughts (many of them deluded) and trying to look at the world from many different perspectives (many of them one-sided). And all that time i kept on listening and singing along and dancing. Fun.
I never ever hung up a picture of Green on my wall, i was just too old to fall for such a girly thing to do. But i do have a scritti box, and kept all magazines and snippets and stuff. I guess i did always feel a connection. Just the thought that there was someone somewhere, that felt good. Since there was no chance of me meeting Green ever, i could keep this tiny bubble in my head and shape it. Not very mature, not very sensible, not very sane. It was just something that maybe you try to hide for yourself, something you can flee into when you want to get away from things. The hard things. The real things. It was a place all mine, where i felt safe.
So what do you do when that person from the bubble decides to play live? Well, there is only one option, you go see, ofcourse. So i did, and i went, now two weeks ago. For real. Looking forward to it, but anxious at the same time. This confrontation between the imaginary world which was allowed to fester on for much too long and the real world where i had no control was just plain scary. So maybe that was why i had a surreal feeling through the whole event, like i wasn't there. Being there, but at the same time not. For the past two weeks i went through the evening over and over in my mind, trying to make it clear. But it remains kinda foggy. It was an evening which simply unrolled at it was supposed to, there wasn't anything really momentous about it. Green Gartside is just a really nice guy, talking socially to most of people after the gig, patiently had his picture taken with fans. It was all just, well, normal.
And then there is the whole question of the bubble, which has, you might have guessed, bursted. Ofcourse. And you might say good riddance too. Long overdue, misses. But i do feel sad, a bit. It was just this harmless little game, toy in my mind. Nothing serious. I just miss it. But, sadness apart, its probably better like this. I won't let it keep me from going to more scritti gigs. And i won't let it keep me from enjoying the music, which always had the ability of making me feel very happy. Now maybe i can just be a regular fan, doing regular fan things. Maybe i should hang a poster in my bedroom, now, at last!
Hmm... on second thought... no thanks... no offence...
So whats the lesson learned? Something nice and sweet and innocent can turn quite nasty. I am very shy and selfconscious with strangers whose life story i know. A night without sleep is not good for you. The world is full of surprises, most of them ironic. A clear mind is better than a clouded mind. And thats a fact!
Keep it real,