20 May 2009

Jane has spiked the cake with some party ingredients.

Now then, now then. Must say it was a bit of a surprise to hear from you after all this time. I’d heard all sorts of bits and pieces from everyone and no one. Not Ed. He didn’t even show at DiY’s 12th birthday party in London or Liam’s birthday party or Kier and Tom’s gig down at Sunblind (Shaun’s night at the old Planet Lazer now called Studio 41). 

In fact his absence from any party was noted by all. Stevie V and Sara have been brilliant filling us in on your case and Sara was all chuffed when she rang us up to say she had a letter from you. Couldn’t wait to read it. Anyway, it was the night of the big birthday party down at John and Jane’s in Margate and what with it being the birthdays of Terry, Tanya, Jane and someone else we were all in fine spirits.

Everyone has been getting on really well lately (what no crisis?) and, you know us lot, we don’t need much of an excuse to get together and party, so the rig was taken down the DJ’s assembled and the music sparked up. Everyone was given a piece of birthday cake, all moist and cake like with a topping of icing, when they arrived at the party. By 5 past 10 everyone was running around all excited like, chatting 10 to the dozen, and dancing in an exaggerated manner (so no change there then; apart from Tania anyway). I thought I must have lost a few hours and it was really 3am but no, upon investigation, Jane has spiked the cake with some party ingredients. Lashings of de ‘erb in the base and ‘base’ in the icing. They were manic maaan. Luckily I’d already partaken of some festiveness mum and dad and wrapped the cake up in some tissue paper and put it in the back of the mixer. For later.

It must have been around three by the time a sodden and rather fragrant Nero shouted in my ear: ‘I’ve got that letter from Steve! Read it now!’ and she shoved it in my hand just as I was executing yet another perfect mix for the glorious delights of a hot, sweaty dark room full of pulsating people with rolling eyes and moving arms, still talking 10 to the dozen. Luckily my new right hand man, Shaun, was there to take over whilst I slipped out to the bathroom with the, by now, crumpled card in my hand.

Once in the light, and having squeezed past what seemed like hundreds of people all crushed in the kitchen I finally found sanctuary, locked the bathroom door and opened the envelope. We knew Ed was back, not because he’d rang up to let us know what was going on but because someone spotted him in Tesco’s with his mum.

We’d thought he’d be out and about and we’d get the SP from him on your case. But no sign of him. I did think it was a bit strange that. Then hearing stories about him not visiting you very much and running (buying?) a bar and getting married and all the missing money. To be honest Steve I didn’t really listen to all this gossip coz you know what gossip is like? By the time it’s got round to your ears it’s been embellished 10 times and it’s difficult to tell truth from half-truth.

That fundraiser for you was a great success; all the performers on the boat (is that the one you are talking about?) me and Shaun warming up, K&T, Big Hair played for nothing (that’s 30 quid saved straight away!) and everyone insisted on paying a tenner to get in.

You weren’t far from everyone’s thoughts and we knew that this could be good for all of us. Unfortunately I don’t know how much was raised so can’t tell you what happened to the cash. Nero says it went straight up their nose but I’m not as cynical as that. Some of it probably went up their nose but maybe didn’t. Your guess is as good as mine. What we do know, now you’ve written, is that the money didn’t go to where it should have. You.

You’ve said Ed done many things to you out there that fucked you over. What were they? Anyway, I was stood there in this bathroom reading words from you, the first I’d heard from you in fucking ages. And I’d been really worried about you and always thought about you every day, even when you were in the UK, even when we’d fallen out (which was a lot of times over the years) you were always a big part in my life, especially in the early days, and I remembered always at the end of parties when there was just a few of us left still smoking and drinking and playing records and having a really good crack and just being with each other and, you know, what friends do when they are with each other? Forgetting problems and money worries and just laughing and living in the moment and trying to extend that moment as long as we could. That’s how I’ll always remember you no matter what came after and I even laugh about you Nicking my fiesta and driving it to Favesham and ripping up the Tangentopoli on my doorstep and even when you were pissed off with me and you didn’t tell me why I still liked you coz I always knew things would right themselves in the end and all that conflict, if you can call it that, was forgotten about the moment I started to read your letter. I even read it to myself in a scouse accent.

What I did was sort through the folder where I keep all the old Tangents and pulled out about 10 or so issues that I had doubles of. I do hope you got them and are reading them. Let me know if you did and I could probably sort our photocopies of the missing ones for you. Let me know how things really are for you Steve. Let me know when the trial is. I know Stevie V paid you a visit. How was that for you? What will happen to you?

Is the prison easy to escape from? How many letters are you allowed to receive? Can you receive goods? Is so what?

I always said to you you should write down everything that ever happened to you. That was funny. But you always went ‘naaa’. Tell you what - All you need is 50 –100 thousand words roughly jotted down then when you get back, or you can send them 1000 words at a time, is to put them together, sort them out and you’ve got a film script, a play or whatever. A testament. Or least a great diary! Sent them and I can publish them on the website if you want. Choose a pseudonym and call your self Brad. Be funny. Be angry. Tell it like it is. Remember. Who. You. Are. 1000 words a week for a year.

Can I send you a typewriter? Or a laptop (ha)? What do you fancy doing? Get them thoughts down. Now! Even if you do nothing with them writing things down gets them out of your head. It’s cathartic. I could help you handle the time.

I closed the card and it was all I could do to stop tears welling up in my eyes. Steve, how are ya? My little friend. My cheeky scouse friend. I mean, that’s all you ever were even at your most dangerous. No one deserves what has happened to you. If you were in England you’d be out by now. Although, I remember our French chums really freaking at Angelo’s party a few years back, when Kier cut his foot (see Tangent article for more details), when you were scousing it up to the max: ‘I want English money!’ I imagined a similar thing in Thailand but then again you always used to play down the risk and laugh it off.

Back out to the party I went. Nero was running around with a few sheets of paper and a pen in her hand telling everyone about her friend Steve whom everyone should write to. Even people who didn’t know you she was telling them about you and your plight and getting them to write something down on these pieces of paper. When someone did she’d shriek with delight and go on to someone else.

John and Jane were going abroad on holiday first thing Monday morning so they stopped the party early at 11am and chucked us all out. Never fear. The party people are here, so we jumped into loads of cars and sped down the Thanet way to Whitstable where we ensconced ourselves at the new tVC HQ by the sea in Tankerton and partook at our leisure the consumption of that case of beer I happened to have stashed in the fridge that we got from Neroy Billington when she got a new one. We lazed and bullshitted till it all ran out and that was the end of another weekend in the land of the rave and the home of the free.

Early next week I took a call from Rupert the artist. He’d squatted Johnnies Art House in Whitstable. The building is due for demolition, as is the Assembly Rooms, to make way for a new development for the rich twats next year sometime. Conrad and Bunny (don’t ask) had squatted the Assembly Rooms a few weeks before and had had a shit party where no one had turned up to. Anyway, Rupes was doing a squat exhibition and wanted some sounds so I went down there on the night and set up the decks. There was also work from Mark DaMico (is that how you spell his name?), Emily and Justin. When I opened the decks Justine goes ‘oh, what’s that? A piece of cake. Can I have it?’ I explained what it was and he said ‘Can I have it?’ and I said ‘OK’. Later that night I was outside and Justine came up to me, after having a full on night getting pissed, cakey, shouting and generally being on one, and said ‘I think it’s time we had a hug.’

‘OK’ I said, and he then gave me this full on blokey kinda hug that pulled me in and got tighter and tighter and I could tell he meant it because when he pulled away he looked me in the eyes and said ‘I think that’s the first time we’ve ever hugged?’

“I think it was. Yes’, I said.

He sighs, smiles and says; ‘Yes. Nice.’ And I knew exactly what he meant.

Take care Steve and have a big blokey kinda hug from me and I will write again soon. I promise.