ON THE STREETS OF SOHO:
I followed the man in the tan coat & matching shoes in the rain
through the streets of Soho. It was clear from the way they were
polished those shoes were important. He looked like a man who
refused to carry umbrellas in town, styling out the weather.
At the door to the private members club he pressed the buzzer &
let the door go in my face as we entered.
Back in the 90’s
this place had been one’ve our playgrounds. The faces were different,
there was a new crowd enjoying it’s exclusivity, barely containing
their thrill (in deference to ‘confident cool’), but the vibe was just
the same. The waitress who removed coffees before we’d finished
& leaned across us to clear the table reminded me of the etiquette &
hierarchy at work here. We glanced at one another & grinned
remembering the night in this very corner where I’d overheard a
conversation so vibrant & rich in it’s poetic mash of words that,
at first all I could do was listen. In those days a pen & notebook was
permanently in my hand (a camera in the other), but this conversation was
an astonishing circus acrobatic act & all I could do was listen.
When I started to write I chuckled, this was going to be a fantastic lyric.
Twenty minutes into speed scrawling I glanced up to see who I was transcribing (they were genius in their clattering dialogue that flowed with such practised ease)
There in the opposite corner were the assembled cast of ‘The Fast Show‘,
I was gutted! Even as a fully paid up drunk I’d made a pack never to steal
another writer’s work, so, drawing thick black lines through every page,
I closed the book & returned to the solitude of my bitter beer cocoon.