Below is a Guest Article sent in by Queens University’s very own Ethan Rea, recounting the first time that he got high on a Night Out. Enjoy;
On the peak of the ecstasy of the moment I was. I felt like going gonzo or maybe just accounting the times. The sound shook my chest, like I felt some New wave shit coursing through my veins. Just a damn sound test and damn loud one at that. Faces around me that I knew but paid little attention to. Feeling like I was at some Lou Reed venue or some Underground gig. Red everywhere and not just the ale and Kopparberg. Shut windows as if we were all hiding some bootlegged substance. I know very little about pilgrimages to gigs and I’m practically a virgin when it comes to the “social” but in lieu of the wacky people, the university life and the wild I found myself out on a great night like waking from the day into a dream. I could make sense of everything, not some shitty blur of events. One after the other like usual. Chronology? Fuck that! When times relative you’re partying. There was no present, just the music and the gig. Pool, the green and the drink was our aperitif, savouring personalities and frustrations like nothing much else (fuck a clichéd simile). Dreaming began with a David Lynch doppelganger, a 90s kid with a Marlboro and a man who has more character and zest than a fucking lime in a marguerite being sipped by Sidney Poitier. The blur began and the discussions and the jokes where flung like mad, Jesus it was euphoria. People together talking. The journey began. Dumped the Lynchian motherfucker because reasons one cares not to remember, just waved goodbye with a “Ya know“. The air bit the dream and the three of us. Fucking neon burst across our glassed and mellow eyes. Pure culture no high or low. Fuck the elitists with their hierarchy what good did that ever do us?! At this stage I was euphoric the planning to the gig had been “nice” and the outcome would be “shite” to quote but my other self. I don’t know what I was tonight but it was pure and fucking there.
The chronology blurred and we clambered up the cement and steps of the flat streets. Speaking on the matters that bless us wild young folk. Are we even counter culture or do we just create culture? Off license for the essentials, a rucksack full of cans. The common man’s rations in the backpack of Sidney Poitier’s nemesis as one might say (ie this motherfucker). The Marlboro man with DM’s clapping on the street walking like some kid back from a Fugazi gig. Hit the street, the smoke in the air. The door that was the checkpoint. In we went welcomed by what one can only call Anton Newcombe’s half Irish half Canadian brother. The place a tip but character is better than banality. We are people with a will of a sort. Psychedelics in the air by which I mean the music not the substances. A sitar being strummed to the throbbing and explosion of hash that brought down the curtain of the dream. A guy picking a guitar and beating out lost tunes that will be revived next week in LSD. Beer and that ambiguous smell of “…something“. Business. Sidney Poitier shakes all the hands with a kind intimacy. Laughs to the darkness while Vulfpeck plays. Nice funk with the bassline hammering home the dream. The Marlboro man witnessing the dream come with a fag. The cracked ground where the night ends and the “next stage” begins. Not sleep not day. Comments on a band, The Virtual Earth Inverters, sick dudes with more psychedelic rock in them than a lysergic piece of granite. Leftism in the air but who cares? Probably one who takes all this seriously? Dali on the walls. Melting watches because what better to accompany the dream and the moment. Time? A construct from the boring. The moment? A fucking blast for the realist. The parade now stopped must continue. Bidding farewell to cool fuckers with cool vibes and cool jams. The dudes of the night. Through the narrow streets now, darkness cept for the Marlboro man’s fag. Mr Poitier makes a bid about certain “communities“. A pint is the limit. I win and the pint is assured. Ahhh, the fucking neon hits us. We come to the centre of culture. Culture of the night of the people. Who cares!? The infusion of light and our laughs and our talk. The venue! We ascend the stairs into the red room with the Underground vibe. The shut windows. More fellow pilgrims to this gig. Discussions. The dream intensifies. The natural event. The social. The sound test! Wooo, damn the noise. The meeting of Poitiers brother. A guy who loves Cormac McCarthy but is a socialist? A chill dude whose surname is Godard and who attracts too many references to unnamed pretentious cunts. A rabid Scottish girl who we are all convinced starred in Braveheart. American Christians who have been teleported to the dream. Or maybe just Hell because only I know what’s coming and no one else. A girl with modern style and New Wave vibes. The dream is real and true.
Acts play. The music grows and the amps pulse into my ears. The free pint. My dream enthused bet. And there on the stage. The Mecca of the evening – Cloakroom Q. Alternate dudes with more Mary Jane in their veins than a Beat. Drummer with a killer mask and elbow pads because bones make good drum sticks. Deductions of the dream. A blind singer because Heart of cards are on his glasses. A guitarist with a gaze that would pierce even Ian Curtis’. A synth player that looks like a Mormon version of Sherlock but is still a sick fucker. A bassist with dungarees, make up and a yellow shirt. The dream is walking on the wild side and Poitier thinks it’s good. A heckler to Poitiers brother. Old fucker with sectarian political vibes in his blood. Euthanasia? Just let Hendrix kill him with lead vibes! They stand on the stage, the red everywhere, the white light on them. We all sit. The dream spreads and flattens like space-time. Then the song. Wankman2000. A modern masterpiece. Bends and warps the dreams. The build. People exchange the promised looks and that smirk of “oh hey this is going somewhere dude”. It builds and then the crash and wooo what a blast. The dream turns into reality. Mr Poitier goes mad. The dance floor only occupied by him. The noise echoes in my brain and kicks me into life. I feel tired but I don’t care. The dream is going. The Americans look like they are praying for protection. The old fucker is quiet. I guess death by synth will fucking do! Then the second song comes and possibly better than the rest. Poitier turns to the crowd “Ya boring cunts, you’re all shite!“. At the signal I run to join and the dream bends and breaks. The light and images meld together and I forget the day and the events. Only the moment is real.
It’s sinful to remember the moment. There can only be it. The bassist smiles as he realises our affection for his skill. The lead guitarist just looks into heaven at Ian Curtis with the laser gaze. The singer spills a drink as he leans blind while screaming in that killer rock. The drummer seems to drum with his hands instead of the sticks. He’s a blur like the early day. We pogo and jump and go wild. A guy casually walks up with a whiskey, sets it down and then goes ape shit. He jumps the stage and dances with the singer. His army jacket making him look like some vet with no worries. The dream is mad and real. The living is good and pure, raw and blissful. No cares for the perception of others only the experience and the moment. More join us on the dancefloor. People everywhere now. The drinks spill and the pint is gone. Me and Mr Poitier grab each other and go mad. The drink is running like rain. A guy flails and I think he loses an arm. No up or down just the time and the people. Oh the celebration as if we all won a war. Together with no fucks given. True freedom. Then the song dies down and suddenly Joy Divisions Insight breaks on with that incredible bassline. The song pumps the air with speed and dance. We go crazy. As if the air is enthused with some otherworldly substance. The Cormac dude. Godard. Modern woman. Braveheart lassie and none of the Americans join us. They sit and look upon the demons. Probably reciting Milton as we rave and jump and spin and go mad and don’t care for them. Life is not to be taken seriously. The revelling of the dream motherfuckers! The night melts into the dreams. Like a piece of art that has taken years to create. It is finished but not for me. I must leave. I hear sighs of anger and disappointment (and probably of relief) as I leave. I stand hearing the gig go on. The dream is still with me. It will not leave. I dance under the neon clouds and a Chinese man regards me with distain. Fuck him and his seriousness. Nothing matters in the dream. The bus comes and I sit. Fading out of the dream and into sleep.
The bed hits me with instant sleep and the splitting head ache of the dream and glory welcome me to a lecture. Glances of surprise and laughter greet me after the chaos and joy. Godard. Cormac. Mr Poitier. Marlboro Man. David Lynch’s doppelganger. Modern woman. Braveheart lassie are all there. The best night of my life? So far. The dream is there and we all need to grab it at some point.