The CDs turn out to be less of a trip down memory lane and more like a turn on the memory rollercoaster. My god, the Nineties! My life from 12 to 22, and it seems like yesterday. Check out these corkers …
Even more hideous than you remember:
D:Ream – ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. Sounds precisely like the Blairite ‘smile-while-you-die’ singalong banality fest it was destined to become.
Crash Test Dummies – ‘Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm’. Even typing it makes me cross. Neil becomes hysterical during the ‘birthmarks all over her body’ verse. I mean, what?
Jimmy Nail – ‘Ain’t No Doubt’. Full-body cringe at the talky intro. Mid-Atlantic Geordie? I don’t think so. LOVED ‘Crocodile Shoes’ though! Woo!
Hepburn – ‘I Quit’. Eerily prescient title. Which Hepburn were they named after I wonder? Could it be this one?
The Lightning Seeds – ‘Lucky You’. Shit sandwich.
Plus forgotten nightmares …
Scarlet – ‘Independent Love Song’. Just why, dear?
Suggs – ‘I’m Only Sleeping’. If only he was. Unprovoked assault on a classic slice of Revolver.
Ini Kamoze – ‘Here Comes The Hotstepper’. This track sounds funkin’ amazing! I manage to strut whilst sitting down.
Shakespears Sister – ‘I Don’t Care’. Sounds so much more like The Cure than I ever realised. ‘Hot as any hottentot ...’ Genius.
Mark Morrison – ‘Return of the Mack’. Where had he even been? I can’t remember. He sings like a duck but it works. Quack.
Olive – ‘You’re Not Alone’. Sounding utterly out of step and futuristic amongst its peers. Those warped synths are complete mind control.
Kylie Minogue – ‘Put Yourself In My Place’. Smutty title. Turns out it’s my favourite ever Kylie song.
Plus forgotten gems ...
Len – ‘Steal My Sunshine’. Sounds just like Bran Van 3000. Wickedbad.
Sophie B. Hawkins – ‘Damn! I Wish I was Your Lover’. Neil puked when this came on but me and Joff were totally into it. ‘You’re the only shoe that fits, I can’t imagine I’ll grow out of it …’ Work it Hawkins.
A clear drive all the way to Ravenglass to find ourselves booked into the loveliest B&B in the world, the Rose Garth. Our window looks out onto the tidal flats which teem with plovers and gulls and crabs. We even get binoculars in the rooms so Neil and Joffrey are both in YOC heaven. We freshen up and take a walk through the landscaped woodlands. I panic slightly fearing Matthew has got us lost in a forest until it’s pointed out to me that the trees all have labels with their Latin names on. I don’t get out much, Platt Fields is remote for me.
We arrive in the grounds of the gorgeous Muncaster Castle to meet Ben and Katy and the rest of the wedding party for pre-do barbecue and beers. The castle is fairy-tale pretty, home to an owl sanctuary and allegedly full of ghosts and spirits. The views are astonishing and a wonderful summer’s evening is spent gassing, boozing and catching up with friends old and new. I go to bed drunk, happy, very excited about the next day’s festivities, with a touch of nerves just beginning to kick in, even though I don’t have to do anything except get dressed, turn up, sing ‘Jerusalem’ and drink. I’m dog-tired by the time I hit the pillow but I’d forgotten how quiet the countryside could be and I take forever to drift off to the deafening sounds of my own mind.