Yesterday I had to go to Leicester for work. But the meetings I had were four hours apart, so I had loads of time to have a very slow wander around the city centre, and meet a friend for a pint during his dinner hour. I like days like this.
After I'd rummaged through Leicester's excellent open air market (stopping only to buy some old badges), I carried on through the Lanes district and found myself a bit lost. That was until I realised that I just around the corner from The Princess Charlotte, which is sadly closing down.
The Charlotte is one of those provincial UK venues that every little touring band stopped off at a few years back (see also The Narrowboat in Nottingham or the Northampton Racehorse). It was a complete and utter shit hole, but it had a soul that none of the venues sponsored by lager brand have today. People used to virtually live in these places, and you could always go in and see someone you vaguely knew, or at least get chatting to someone about music or footy or stuff. Maybe it's because I'm getting old and curmudgeonly, but that doesn't seem to happen much these days.
My most fond memory of The Charlotte is going to see Prolapse play there with Leicester's ace Kooky Monster (Julie Fairgreave from The Mai '68s was their singer) and The Council, which were Mark Hibbett's old band. I suppose it was 1993 or 1994. Anyway, it was such a thrilling night. Prolapse were my favourite band at the time, and remain a favourite. I get goosebumps just thinking about how good they were live, and how good they were that night. They were pretty amazing the next night at the Narrowboat in Nottingham, too.
I must stop whittering on about The Past, but when so much of it is disappearing it's hard not to get all misty-eyed sometimes, isn't it?
Here's Autocade by Prolapse. Ignore the homemade video, and just listen to the music. The bit where Linda sings, "Say I'm weak, and say I'm greedy" makes me shiver. This reminds me of long nights out in Nottingham and being on the dole and somehow managing not only survive on £35 a week, but also have an amazing time.