Notes This is actually a partial chapter. The longer version will have reunions with all the other guests.
The best clubs are in the buildings that would otherwise be most carbon negative. They bought back what they fed the grid to power their sound systems. The one we were in was powered by a barrage on the Irwell. And hosted by that demi god Clint Boon.
God, I’ve missed him.
That old staple of fading the music down whilst the crowd sings serves the low energy club night well. A version of I Am The Resurrection that’s practically choral has me in tears. I’m a bit pathetic about that kind of thing, so I try to hide from Sally. That doesn’t work, and she soon has me wrapped in the biggest hug her little frame can manage. “This was a bad idea.”
“No, this was a great idea. I’m just a big softie.” I kiss her, “Let’s go and see who else has turned up.”
Amongst the people who weren’t surprised that I was still alive, though he had not expected me to be back in Manchester, was Mark. He’s one of the organisers of this night. He put us, and a bunch of other people, on the guest list.
The music of the post apocalypse isn’t the grinding techno or overwrought Rock we were threatened with. After all the turmoil people want something familiar. For tonight the Boon army is wishing itself back back to the nineties and early noughties, with tunes from the sixties to the eighties thrown in for good measure. There are nights for other tribes as well, maybe there’s even one for the grinding techno and overwrought Rock fraternity.
The club is packed. It smells of drains and sweat and spilt beer. Weirdly, the smoking ban still holds. The majority don’t want their clothes to stink because of the minority’s disgusting habit and the club has a policy which reflects this.
Mark’s at one end of the bar, pretending not to be keeping an eye on the staff. With the crowd he doesn’t see us until we’re almost on top of him. Before I know it I’m trapped in a bear hug. I don’t remember Mark being so affectionate, but then I used to see him at least once a week, maybe he’s just missed me. “The war hero returns!” he holds me out at arms’ length, “You’ve lost weight. Did they starve you?”
“Lots of marching around the South of France. The food was fine and plentiful.” Most of the time. But I leave that observation out of the conversation.
Good host that he is, Mark turns to Sally. “You must be Sally. I didn’t know Keith that well, but I’m sorry to hear what happened.” They hug, a lot less physical than mine. “Have you been here long?”
“A few songs. I wanted to have a look around.”
“It’s incredible what you can do with an old industrial unit. Come on up to the Very Important Prick room and see who else is already here.”