I spend the morning running about at Uni trying to print an essay that I have written in the one day I had between shows. It is too short but it will have to do. For the duration of this tour I’m doing as little work as I can get away with and I don’t even seem to be missing many lectures.
In the afternoon, I walk up Sauchiehall Street for a reccy, the venue isn’t far from my flat. It’s raining and I think I see a tour bus going past. Rebecca turns up outside the Garage to instigate a queue where she is joined by the travelling Marion contingent, and my new friends Anne and Maree (the Manics fan who was at the Edinburgh show who I have since been hanging out with). We file inside as the doors open and I find Tim at the top of the stairs. I have a brainwave.
“Am I on the list tonight?”
“You can be,” says Tim “but you’ve got this far…” he points to the ticket in my hand.
“I’ve kind of promised it to somebody.” I say, giving him a pleading look.
“OK.” He says, “Wait there.”
He goes to sort it and when he comes back I use the payphone in the foyer to call JC back at my flat. She’s been indecisive about coming and I make her mind up for her. “Get down here. Now!”
I run back downstairs and approach the guy who is giving out postcards on the door. It’s still early and it’s not busy yet. I give him my ticket and explain that it’s for my friend. I tell him her name and describe her. He seems a little bemused but agrees. I go back upstairs, call JC again and tell her the plan, then race to the bar to get a pint. Marion are already starting. I find the others standing on the left hand side of the stage. I stand behind them for now. I drink half my beer and trade scathing comments about the band with Maree. I have completely gone off them and they don’t stand up to repeated viewing like Radiohead do.
On the way back from the ladies I find JC and bring her to the front. I try to explain how she’ll have to protect herself if she wants to stand here in the crush but she puts me in my place, she’s seen Stiff Little Fingers here and she knows the score. Maree, Anne, JC and I take over the front row from the Marion gang and put jumpers over the barrier to protect ourselves.
Thom’s got a little blue top on tonight and is all belly button and Paddington Bear hard stares. This is the aggressive and confrontational Radiohead that I’ve seen in Glasgow before. I feel better for being less pissed than in Sheffield and more conscious of the details. Ed is having major guitar trouble. They play Blow Out mid set and Thom says something about it being the last time they let the crew choose the set list.
“Blah Blah Blah” shouts a Glasgow heckler.
“Blah Blah Blah? Is that the best you can do?” Thom gives his best middle finger and launches into something loud.
We’re getting totally crushed at the front. Thom looks at us, concerned. I get a set list at the end.
Afterwards we reconvene near the production office in the foyer. JC is enthusing about Ed. Jonny, Phil and Colin all go past and then Ed, who speaks to me. “That wasn’t bad,” I say being understated. He disagrees “It was about the worst gig I’ve ever had with all that guitar trouble.” He doesn’t seem too troubled though. I say “See you in Preston.” And he’s off again.
JC is open mouthed. “That was Ed!”
“Yeah.” I say.
“Ed’s nice!” says JC.
I know now that Thom will come out last. He appears just before 11pm in his big blue fake fur coat. “Have you seen that Japanese girl who’s following us round like you are?” he asks. I haven’t seen her. He’s concerned about her. I ask how the gig went last night. “Fine,” says Thom “but we got to the end and I was going to say ‘thanks for having us in…’ but then I couldn’t remember where we were, I nearly said Dundee, but then Aberdeen, Dundee? Was it Dundee? Shit. In the end I just said Scotland.”
I introduce JC and say I’m proud of her for sticking it out and staying at the front.
“You looked like you were getting killed down there!” says Thom.
“Yeah it was murder.” I reply.
I feel self-conscious now I know he can see me. He wanders off in search of the Japanese girl but soon comes back. “What am I going to do now?” he asks.
“Well,” I mug, “There’s the super indie disco boogie upstairs.” (The Garage is, at this point in the mind-1990s pretty notorious for its indie discos, where misbehaving Glasgow students end up after running out of pubs).
Thom pulls a face and goes to find Jonny. They come back. He shrugs and goes upstairs.
I round up the remainder of my people and we go upstairs to The Attic, the Garage’s midweek disco. When we get to the door, the bouncer is trying to stop Thom from taking his rider-beer inside. We go in and loiter on the dance floor. Thom and Jonny find some people they seem to know and stand at the bar.
I get a beer and sit out the hated Oasis. I dance to Sabotage. Back at the bar Thom can’t get a minute to get served because of people asking for him to sign things. They play Help by The Beatles and Thom pulls a face. “Better than Oasis” he says. “Or Blur.” I’m about to argue the point on that one, when Tim appears to take them away. They’re driving to Preston tonight.
“Should have given you a laminate!” Tim says to me as they leave.