It was only about 10pm when a slaggle of high-heeled tit-tops fell, literally, out of the nightclub opposite where we were situated, interrupting our game of pool. One sat down in a most un-lady-like manner, burst into tears and then began to copiously vomit on her dress and the pavement. Three male friends nonchalantly arrived on the scene and chatted to each other; one occasionally glanced at the flooding pavement and moved in order to spare his shoe leather. Shortly, her female friend slumped beside her, took to her pins and wobbled off a few feet before collapsing in a heap and began to puke violently. I think she shit herself too, she certainly pissed her pants. The group of males found this highly amusing and instead of helping the poor creature they posed with her now unconscious body and took it turns to take pictures of themselves with her. A murmur of disapproval emanated from our party until one decided to deliver his opinion personally. We braced ourselves. These blokes were big cunts and we weren’t entirely sure if the larger group of similarly dressed cunts a few metres away were part of this cunt-crew.
We watched as Andy walked across the road to the group, still posing and taking pictures by the girl, and say his piece. He was gently but firmly ushered back by a tool in a Ben Sherman shirt and fucking loafers. He came back into the bar looking crestfallen.
‘That bloke with the camera is her fiancée.’ He said.
My stag do had begun after meeting my bro in Angel and heading to Surrey Quays. I was rather nervous about the whole affair, not because I don’t trust my friends to behave like friends, I just wasn’t entirely sure what was in store for me. We arrived at the brewery bang on 1pm where a small group of stags were already waiting, one of whom was my mate Dave who’d helped organise this leg of the do. We hung around chatting in the warm sunshine waiting for more chaps to arrive until the cheery lad running the impending tour ushered us inside with the offer of pitchers of beer.
The Meantime brewery is of the so-called Micro variety (the place is vast) and the beer made to tradition, original recipes. It’s been properly crafted, not just bunged in a vessel to ferment for a couple of days, and as a result the stuff is fucking sensational. By the time we’d settled into a few glasses of this stuff most of the stags had arrived, about 20 of us, and I watched with amusement as mates old and new, near and far, mingled. The tour started in earnest, our Guide was extremely informative and it occurred to me my stag do was in danger of turning into a seminar. Fortunately said Guide was highly entertaining, the topic was both interesting (and pertinent) and every 10 minutes we’d stop to sample another variety of the beer we’d been discussing. ‘Sample’ isn’t really appropriate as it has connotations of quantity, we were sampling in litres.
By the end we were all pissed, but not in a silly way. This stuff makes you feel a little high as well as wonky; it inspires a steady euphoria as opposed to random stupidity. In addition to these marvellous properties we were informed that if we drunk this and nothing else we’d have no hangover on account of its purity… We had some more beer before we left anyway, just to make sure. And to be on the safe side we took a couple of crates with us to keep us lubricated at the restaurant which, mercifully, is license free.
My brother was overseeing the operation as the official best-man but as no-one was being a wanker I think he found it relatively easy to herd us all onto the train back to Whitechapel. By now a couple of bods had drifted off (following some polite but distinctly slurred ‘excuse-me’s’) but we were joined by a few more at the Lahore Restaurant where were to indulge in kebab/curry finery of the most excellent variety, what.
Harry took control of this bit as he’d introduced me to the place in the first instance and knows the menu back to front. Starters came rolling out, poppadoms, pickles, salads, dhal, an assortment of spicy chicken and lamb, utterly sublime, the beer was going down a treat too -I’d come to the decision it was the best I’d ever drunk. I thought we were done when the main courses arrived. Sweet Christ, I was fuller than Sawney Bean but I couldn’t stop, the fucking kofta and kebabs were as moreish as crack and the naan’s wouldn’t leave me alone.
I don’t recall leaving the Lahore; we’d drunk all the beer and I was fucked out of my skull on food endorphins. We rolled through East London, all of us pregnant with undigested food but in excellent spirits, despite feeling triplet-bloated.
The walk to the Elbow Rooms in Shoreditch was a blessing in disguise because by the time we arrived all and sundry were feeling a little more up to speed with proceedings. My bro had organised a VIP corner for us but it wasn’t needed, the place was delightfully quiet, we even managed to get a full-sized pool table for the evening. Gerry (of the chart) joined us for a while, which was marvellous and around 15 of us stayed on until the wee hours, nearly all of us drinking JD and coke. It was ideal, took the edge of the dinner and was strong enough to keep us moving forward without being completely arseholed. Only Paul who’d been steadfastly drinking beer all evening was showing any sign of toppling. At one point I had to beg the doorman to let him back in because he was staggering after a white-out following a speedily consumed cigarette. I proposed to the doorman he did a ‘walk the line’ test, which he just about pulled off, but was so gone he didn’t realise he’d been given the all clear. I stayed chatting to the doorman about the state of the people opposite and every two minutes Paul would emerge arms up, walking as straight as he could, loudly exclaiming ‘look! See..!’ which nearly got him thrown out again.
By 2am, the time of closing there were a hardcore 10 of us, some melted away during the nightmarish walk through Hoxton, itself crammed with whacked out kids trying to twat their way into clubs and bars. We got the bus home and my bro, OWAICTT, Paul, Andy and Rob came back home for a nightcap, I think we had whisky, I’ve no idea. But I do recall we watched some Big Train on my PC before Paul and Andy left for home at 5-ish leaving us to finally sleep.
I woke up to the sound of OWAICTT throwing up his bootlaces, feeling oddly okay (no hangover, really, just a bit shaky) I went into the living room to find Rob crashed out on the sofa bed and my bro sprawled on the couch, both dead to the world. I made some tea and spent a few hours watching Alan Partridge youtube as OWAICTT moved between sofa bed and bathroom to deposit the gunge in his guts. Rob and my bro headed off, OWAICTT, who’d finally managed to sleep, stayed put. I watched the MotoGP and at 2-ish OWAICTT resurrected.
He and I walked to London Fields to meet IC, Mary and Ann who were having a picnic in the sunshine. After briefly saying ‘hello,’ OWAICTT headed off to catch the train to Leeds leaving us to see off the rest of the afternoon. Somehow we wound up in the pub…
This week has been both frantic and calm, the former on account of last minute wedding-based/honeymoon details and the latter because I’m knackered and can’t be arsed to do anything, except wait until next Wednesday when we fly off. Of course there is still plenty to be done whether I like it or not, I need to pack, we still have some final arrangement to make and it looks likely that we will buy our gaff in Hackney and I will sell my shit-hole in South London, both in the next few days, maybe even before the weekend.
So, this is it folks, I approach the end of an era. This time next week I’m going to get married. Fucking hell. Married. Me. Following this we’re off to Mexico for the honeymoon. Honeymoon.
I’ll post when I get back but it’s likely it’ll be a month or so, this is assuming we don’t get beheaded by Mexican bandits, that’s if we make it there in the first place, it’s a long flight, actually I’ve loads of flying to do… Christ, I’ve been so busy planning everything I’ve not had time to panic about the MASSIVE amount of time I’ll spend suspended in the fucking sky…
Gerry’s chart, a tune and I’ll see some of you end of May. Be good now.
NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE Last Week Weeks On High Pos
30 The Vaccines If You Wanna 18 9 5
29 Beady Eye Millionaire 21 3 21
28 Morrissey Glamorous Glue 28 2 28
27 Cee Lo Green Bright Lights Bigger City NE 1 27
26 Poly Styrene Virtual Boyfriend 16 10 2
25 The Black Keys Next Girl NE 1 25
24 Airborne Toxic Event Numb 27 2 24
23 The Blackout Higher And Higher 15 6 13
22 Cage The Elephant Around My Head 26 2 22
21 The Guillemots The Basket 14 6 14
20 My Passion The Mess We Made Of Our Lives 17 3 17
19 Mona Listen To Your Love NE 1 19
18 Friendly Fires Live Those Days Tonight 23 2 18
17 Cage The Elephant Shake Me Down 9 13 1
16 Nero Guilt 26 3 16
15 Hurts Illuminated 19 4 15
14 Pigeon Detectives Done In Secret 10 7 4
13 Death Cab For Cutie You Are A Tourist 11 5 9
12 Miles Kane Rearrange NE 1 12
11 The Young Knives Love My Name 8 5 7
10 Bring Me The Horizon Blessed With A Curse NE 1 10
9 The Wombats Anti-D 12 8 9
8 Feeder Side By Side 4 5 2
7 Snoop Dogg v David Guetta Sweat 5 7 5
6 The Joy Formidable Whirring 3 6 3
5 Arctic Monkeys Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved The Chair 6 4 5
4 The Kills Satellite 2 6 1
3 The National Conversation 16 7 3 3
2 P J Harvey The Glorious Land 13 2 2
1 Japanese Voyeurs Get Hole 1 4 1