The Importance of Catching a Pint and Catching a Flight

Posted in Along Came A Spider...
November 30th, 2009 by Spider

The Elephant's Head - Camden TownThe tourists always looked the same when looking at the Camden High Street in the busy beehive sometimes referred to as London. It was a quiet afternoon pint with a musician friend of mine and someone who was referred to as an roadie – although he just travelled with the band and did little apart from getting pissed and making sexist jokes. That is when years ago when there was a band. It might’ve been a Sunday afternoon or it could’ve been Monday. The weekends in this city would always carry on.

VHS tapeI’d just seen a documentary about a Finnish hardcore punk band who had enjoyed a brief, but notable, fame in the 1980’s. Although the quality of the VHS transfer, audio in the squats television set and the unnecessarily high temperature of the cheap cider had left a lot to be desired I was still very much impressed. At the same time I was less impressed by the call from my new landlord about unpaid rent.

The band was to unite for a huge punk festival celebrating the genres 30th birthday, which was due to be held early the following year. I was excited. Might have a chance to get to see them. The next question was even more surprising. Friend of mine had seen me playing with a band slightly earlier that hot summer. An utterly shit gig, which was organised neatly to start 10 minutes before the audience would be let inside the tiny basement of the dingy pub. What was the question? “Would I join the band on the bass? There is no one suitable in Finland to do it”.

The only problem was that I didn’t live in Finland, I’d been fired from my job, was late on my rent, didn’t own a bass, had to sack off the university and come up with the money to travel as this was a charity gig. I’m a rational human being – and I said “Yes, of course. No problem”.

The rehearsals didn’t take too much time – there was onFancy a pint?e rehearsal with the full line up. The crucial weekend arrived and I was travelling from a cold Northern English industrial city to the capital. As the excruciating coach journey reached its end in Victoria station I thought I’d stretch my legs and walk to the nearby pub to have a soothing pint before hitting the other coach to get me to the airport.

As I was waiting for the second coach I got involved in a very important sms discussion – how did I rate Rage Against the Machine’s version of Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man”? I missed the coach.

Eventually I made it to the airport and arrived just as the flight departed. The ever helpful airlines were offering me a flight for the measly price of £300. Gladly I managed to persuade an employer of the cheap airline I was meant to fly with to amend my ticket for the first flight the following morning for a fair price.


As there was little else to do I headed to one of the happening airport bars. As I sat there looking at the time I received a phone call from Finland to hear that my chauffeur had arrived to pick me up from the airport more than 3 hours away from the capital. The text message had not gone through about me missing the plane – I’d probably exhausted my phone credit by texting about “Street Fighting Man”. Now I was left with no transportation from the destination airport to the gig. Did I mentioned I still didn’t have a job, was late on rent, sacked off university and had no bass?

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