Last week I was in the car, and a song came on the radio. I thought to myself This sounds pretty good, I wonder who it… Oh god it’s Shed 7.
I hate Shed 7. Or so I had once told myself.
It’s 1995. I’m a lost-in-the-woods DIY punk kid, 22 with zero fashion sense, and I’m in the thick of the British music industry at a peak. MP3s aren’t a worry yet, and record companies have a shit-ton of money to blow on cocaine. I’m at Glastonbury for the first time, backstage, on my second ever professional gig as a guitar tech, with legends-to-be Ash. New Wave of New Wave is barely a thing, and Britpop doesn’t feel like a household word yet. Christ, we’re not even at Romo.
It’s summer and everyone around me is wearing sunglasses, but not for their eyes – as hairbands. (Not to be confused with hair bands.) I hate pretty much everyone. No one is there for the music, it’s all about the scene. Fucking scenesters, why can’t they be real?
Fast-forward to 2017. Shed 7 come on the radio. I had just left my kids off at school and I was racing to the Park n Ride to catch a bus into Belfast where I run my own business. I’m a fuckin grownup now.
Anyway, Shed 7 are on the radio and I think to myself, This doesn’t sound so bad, and it strikes me how tribal music is when you’re young and a total dick. Every so often, Matt Everitt is on the radio. He was in Menswear. I hated Menswear. Now when I hear them I’m like Whatever, good for them.
I’m no longer a stateless, tourbus shitpunk nobody, hating everyone in the scene. I realise now I was a part of it, and actually quite glad to have made a tiny impact. Feeling established in the backstage chronicles of the UK music industry, I don’t waste my time hating bands or their fans.
Now I hate a whole new set of people: Brexiteers, the DUP, and Trumpkins (not to be confused with the CS Lewis ones). They don’t wear sunglasses on their hair. They treasure the D__ly M__l, restrict human rights, and worship Satan’s Wotsit.
If – back in the 90s – Shed 7, Menswear, S*M*A*S*H, Blur, and Manic Street Preachers had all spilled into a volcano from a helicopter, I would’ve rejoiced. Can I just say… I was a knob.
Since 1995 I’ve doubled in age (shudder). Unsurprisingly I’m still a wee bit tribal, but my tribe got bigger. I’ve allowed myself to accept more and more people as family. Even Shed 7.
But there isn’t room in my tribe for Brexiteers, Trumpkins, and the DUP. They can all find a nice quiet wormhole and fuck somewhere else off into another galaxy, never to attain warp technology.