Wake up with a strange introspective feeling about last night. I shouldn’t be so paranoid. We go and pick up more fanzines from the printers and then get the bus to Piccadilly, where we bump into Lisa Abuse. She’s up to her neck in exams and isn’t coming to the show. Val, Rebecca and I adjourn to the pub. Later Rebecca tells me that Val thinks I might be losing it. Maybe I’m just not very good at trusting people. I’ve been tired and irritable. I’m not used to being in people’s pockets like this.
We head into the Union at about 5pm, its becoming quite familiar to us in here, we take up our post at the top of the stairs, from where we can hear the sound check, Thom is having another go at Human Behaviour. The band runs through Lurgee twice then Just and Fake Plastic Trees.
Maree and her friend Sadie arrive. They’d had trouble getting tickets and had to concoct an elaborate story to blag their way onto the guest list. I start trying to fill them in on the gigs they’ve missed but I keep getting distracted. Thom dashes past on his way up the stairs, he tries to say hello, I lean past Maree and say “boo” – it somehow fits the face he’s pulling at us. Tim has given me an All Areas pass again and I feel very lucky.
When we get inside the venue-proper I join Maree at the far left of the stage. The very active crowd gets progressively livelier. I give up trying to get any further forward and am out of the crush by the time Radiohead come on. I make a space at the far side and try not to get deafened by the bass or knocked over by the wind and vibrations from the PA stack.
Thom holds up his can of Red Stripe and says, “Does this look like fucking tea to you?” and is fuelled from the outset. The power is theirs. Bones is wired at the start. The crowd know all the words to High And Dry now and then they go mental for My Iron Lung. Creep is all edge of the stage stuff. “It’s still ours and it’s still good.”
“The traditional Prog Rock wig out,” Blow Out is saved for last. There’s water dripping on Thom’s head, like the venue itself is sweating. Maree gets crushed at the front but she’s happy.
I find Izzy, Myoko and the rest of their group. Val appears with instructions for me to protect the Japanese contingent from the bouncers, as they are invited to the after show. I find myself standing firm, trying to look like I know what I’m doing and saying things like “It is impossible for her to leave,” to very large men whose job it is to put us on the street. Eventually Tim appears and we manage to persuade the security people that all these fans are meant to be staying.
Val is hunting for more booze, she’s on a bit of a mission tonight. Her friends Claire and Ste are here. Claire looks very glam in a leopard coat.
We find the after show room; Ed is smoking with some people who are all sitting around a table. There’s a load of us in the room by then, I feel a bit awkward, bedraggled and drenched from the show, but we find somewhere to sit and some warm beer arrives. Rebecca is talking to Fiona and Alison, who’ve somehow managed to stick around, Val and Izzy are deep in chat and I speak to Claire and Ste. More people arrive, Phil and his wife, Colin and Jonny. Thom appears to be smoking. (In Preston Val offered him one of her Berkleys and after deriding her for smoking Menthols, he declined, and said, “Only draw!” with a saucy grin.) They must have finally found some then!
Manager Chris is around with quite a few unidentified people. They’re not going clubbing after all. I talk about festivals and the album to Claire and Ste for a while; they flit about getting the inlay card to their copy of the album signed whenever they spot a band member. Claire gets up, I steal her chair, she ends up going to the Gents because it’s nearer, and Val hugs her when she comes back. Ste says, “You can’t have her she’s mine!” which Thom catches on his way past. He laughs and gets out of the way.
Later he’s sitting cross legged on the floor, signing Myoko’s shirt, we’re sitting around, and he’s talking to Val about the gig. “It was really hot up there. Everyone was getting so crushed. Were you at the front?” he asks me.
Ste, quite well oiled by now asks Thom if his fur coat is blue. I’m rather taken by this coat, and turn round to offer my black leather jacket sleeve for comparison. It seems strangely important to establish what is black and what is blue. (I didn’t understand quite why until later).
Myoko has draped herself over Thom’s knee. She’s leaving tomorrow, to go back to Japan and graduate from her photography course. She’s finally relaxing and enjoying herself after being quite reserved up until now. Language will not be a barrier to her. Somewhere in all this Thom told Val he thought she was cool, it’s her last show tonight too. Tim suggests that I borrow Val’s laminate for the rest of the tour, but she won’t part with it.
Everyone’s leaving; I go for a hug and a feel of that blue fur coat and get squeezed back. Everyone’s hugging each other. Rebecca and I are coming to the next shows, “But not London” we chorus. We troop outside, the last to leave again. Everyone is friends and drunk together. Even Izzy’s wobbling a bit.
With an inner glow we wander off in search of a taxi. The last thing we see at the venue is Thom letting himself into the bus with the little key on a string round his neck.
Back at Val’s, we ramble drunkenly and make suggestive remarks. “Should I get a tattoo or just get a shirt printed? ‘On this day Thom Yorke said I was cool!’”