One day in 1995, while I was 16 and at school in the UK, I got talking to a guy called Brian Douglas. And we talked about music, and the different bands that we liked. Whilst I was hopelessly mainstream and citing things like U2, Crowded House, and Pearl Jam – this guy was just pulling names out of the air; bands I’d not only not heard, but not even heard of. And two of these (American) bands were Sebadoh and Slint.
To prove what a badass he was (and that he wasn’t just making these names up), he told me that his older brother had gone to the public library (no less), borrowed some vinyl records of these bands, and then tape recorded those mother-lovers. Not only this, but he could do me a copy if I gave him a 90 minute TDK. And lo and behold, I soon had in my grubby mitts a copy of Sebadoh – Bakesale (on side A) and Slint – Spiderland (on side B). In 1995. And I listened to those bad-boys on my walkman. A lot. And I fell in love with them.
Fast forward to 2011, 17 years later. I’m 33, living on the other side of the world, and I wake up singing Not Too Amused to myself (the track above).
And just because I’ve woken up with the song in my head, I look up Sebadoh on the mighty Interwebs. And then I find that they’ve just re-issued a remastered version of my beloved Bakesale, so I have a chat with my wife and we nip into town and pick up a copy from JB. And then while listening to it I decide to look up some album reviews for old times sake… and discover that Sebadoh (who disbanded a long time ago) have RE-banded to tour their old album as a farewell. And that they’re playing in Australia. 70Km away from where I live. In 16 days time.
This is genuinely one of those moments where I understand why the phrase the truth is stranger than fiction rings so true – I mean, really – you just couldn’t make it up – I’m absolutely psyched. I was convinced that I’d missed the boat by a good 15 years+ on this one, and that there was no way I could ever experience a Sebadoh concert in the same way that there’s no way I can go back and stand about one foot further to the left of my mate swinging a golf club when I was 10; what’s done is done, and fractured skull be damned.
But this is like going back and fixing a mistake. Like seeing Nirvana or INXS or the Beatles or something – today. Or in 16 days time…
P.S. – Bonus awesome track because you’re unequivocally worth it, and because I can:
P.P.S – Also, I still really like the Slint album, it’s just not what I’m writing about today.
Post-Gig Update: It was a great show; a little bit shambolic/bad-luck tinged (gig review: here, PDF of gig review: here), but we had a ball and it was awesome just to be there. Also got a T-Shirt and had it signed by Lou Barlow, so I thought I’d take a pic before the marker washes out!