A winter in Glasgow is often as cold as f-ck, so you might have wondered why my bedroom window was as wide open as possible, but then I'd just be wondering why the f--k someone was walking through Goven at four a.m on a Saturday morning.
My mother could handle me, Johnny and Christian sipping on a few cans of beer in my shitty, box-bedroom, but she absolutely hated the fact that I hadn't been put off smoking with the experience of her sister dying from lung cancer a few years ago. The least I can do is open a window when we light up, so that she doesn't smell the smoke and work her knickers into another twist. As they say, Ignorance Is Bliss.
Christian was sitting on the edge of my bed playing PS3 and humming along to the soundtrack on Fifa10. Billy was absent mindedly finger picking on my Ibanez something or other. I always forget the letters and numbers at the end. All I know, is that its purple and sexy as f-ck. Christian is the bassist for our band, Billy is the guitarist and singer and I provide the beat, which is usually as loud and as fast as possible. Billy is easily the most talented guy I've ever met and in the few months since me and Christian first starting playing with him, we have learned A LOT.
So far we've played four gigs under the name Days Of The Weekend, and they've been four of the best nights in my fairly shitty life. The first gig we played lasted about ten minutes, because we only played three songs, and there were about 11 other bands playing the same club night. We had opened with an original we had been working on for a few days called the sixties way of thinking, which is basically a sex, drugs and rock and roll anthem. Then Billy brought things down with a piano solo, which quite frankly, was f-cking beautiful. When we finished with a cover of Blitzkrieg Bop, by the Ramones, I felt unstoppable.
That Friday night had seen us playing the same bar as our second gig, The Picnic Basket. There was a small basement which had a tiny stage in the corner and at a squeeze you could fit about 60 people down there. I'm pretty surpised that Reg, the guy who owns the place, agreed to let us play there again, as the first time wasn't exactly bouncing. It was all on condition that we pay to play, which means that we would be given fifty tickets to sell on the street, and any left over would be paid for by the band. We were entitled to 20% of ticket sales, plus an extra 5% of booze sales, if the bar shifted more than 200 pounds worth of alcohol.
Selling the tickets had been a shit-load easier than the first time. Every single ticket went, and we even got a few "Hey, I think I've heard of you..." and "People have been talking about you guys..." Recognision feels awesome.
Joe was ecstatic that we'd shifted every ticket, so he gifted us a shot of absythn, on the house, 20 mintues before we jumped on stage. Gotta love Glaswegians!
"F--k me," Billy gasped, slamming his glass down on the bar. "I keep forgetting how strong this shit is." I grinned as I noticed Christian breathing deep, and looking pale.
"You alright there wee man," I shouted in his face, laughing as Billy gave him a slap on the back. The gig was scheduled to start at nine pm, so I was pleased to see people filing in and ordering drinks from the bar. I recognised a few faces from around town and it looked like Joe had decided to let more people in for cash up front, because i saw a few faces I didn't remember selling tickets to. Oh well more people, more fans, more money.
"Oh piss off, I know a guy who can't talk properly cause he downed half a bottle of this stuff." Christian was starting to look pretty drunk so I decided that me and Billy should take him down stairs to get warmed up.
"Looking good Gregy boy!" Someone shouted. I turned and smiled as the non-musical part of our gang pushed into the bar. Kris, Frank, Johnny, Michelle, Andrew and Leila made there way over to me, as Billy steared Christian downstairs.
Kris is pretty much the leader of our group. He'll try anything, buy anything and sh-g anything, and he fights like an absolute animal, which is just aswell because he tends to get in fights a lot.
"My man," I smiled, "What you got for me tonight?" Kris moved in closer to me and pressed a bag of white powder into my pocket.
"In the bathroom." He whispered in my ear. I traded high-fives with the rest of the gang until I reached Leila, who gave me a stoney look.
"I don't know why the f--k you and Chris take that shit," She said shaking her head, "You know I'm only here because everyone else wanted to come don't you?" Leila and I have a bit of a past, which I'm actually quite sad about. We've been on and off for the past two years and when we're on, we are ON. Unfortunately she decided that because of my tendency to put stuff in my body that shouldn't be there, we had to stop. Just stop. I mean, what the f--k kind of exscuse is that? Oh and she did say some stuff about not paying enough attention to her, and I guess I wasn't entirely faithful to her the whole time.
"Good evening to you too, darling." I quipped, acting as though butter wouldn't melt. She flung me a dirty look and followed the rest of the gang downstairs, leaving me and Kris with the ever-increasing crowd inside the Picnic Basket. He eyed her up and down as she walked away, sighing to himself.
"Damn, she looks good tonight," Kris said, "How the f--k did you manage to mess that one up?" She did look good tonight and beleive me, as much as I try to face the situation with a brave face, I completely regret being a dick and would do anything to have her again.
"Whatever man," I replied as we headed towards the toilet. "She'll be back"
The toilets in The Picnic Basket could probably give the toilets in Trainspotting a run for their money as the worst shitters in Scotland. Not to mention the smell, Jesus Christ, the smell! Me and Kris locked ourselves in the first of four cubicles, and I took the clear plastic bag out of my pocket to inspect the contents.
"My uncle just got it from out in Russia," Kris said eagerly, "I tried some earlier, and f--k me it leaves you buzzing." I gave the porcelain toilet one look, and decided it would probably be best if I just took it off the back of my hand.
"Holy shit!" I spluttered, "It feels like I just wedged a chunk of rubber up my nose" Kris burst out laughing.
"Give it a minute mate." He chuckled as we left the toilets for the (slightly) cleaner air of the bar. A big guy knocked into me as we made our way towards the stairs on the other side of the room.
"Hey, watch where your walking," He spat in a posh english accent. He was wearing a long-sleeved England rugby shirt and light-wash G-Star Raw jeans. Chris turned and gave the guy a shove.
"Do you know who I am mate?" Kris growled going up on tip-toes to look the assailant straight in the eye, "You better watch what you say or you'll have a nasty blood stain to wash out of that c-nting shirt of yours." There was a good thirty people in the small bar, but somehow there was still enough space to open up in the middle of the room so that everyone could watch how things panned out and there were a few shouts of "Fight, Fight, Fight!" Rugby Shirt gave Kris a shove back and cheers started erupting from the crowd. People had come to this shitty bar to see a possibly shitty band play, but a fight was an added bonus. The shove was enough to set Kris off, and within a few seconds Rugby Shirt's nose was spurting out blood. Kris followed the punch up with a knee to the gut, a few more punches to the head, and confirmed the winner of the fight with a horric kick to the side of Rugby shirt's face, accompanied by a crunch of breaking bone.
"Not so pretty now, d-ck." As there was only about five minutes before my band was advertised to play, the bar was packed, so Joe had to jump over the bar and push through a mass of people to get to me and Kris. When he eventually reached us he gave a chuckle, and Kris a pat on the back.
"Looks like you've done some damage there, boyo," Joe said laughing, "Could of done being right here myself, to see the whole thing." Most people had gone back to their drinks and had their minds back on the gig, but there was a couple of lads who were hanging back from us, awkwardly.
"He your mate, boys?" Joe addresed them. One of them stepped forward reluctantly, deliberately avoiding eye contact.
"Erm yeah," He said quietly, " Yeah he is."
"Well then you best drag him to a hospital," Joe said stroking his beard. The boys both took a leg and a wing and started carrying Rugby Shirt out the bar.
"Oh and boys," Joe shouted after them, "Best leave out any real detail when you explain what happened to him." Joe turned to me and Kris and let out a chuckle, shaking his head.
"Cheers Uncle," Kris grinned, "Come on man, lets get downstairs." After the whole fight incident, the crowd parted for Kris, like the Red Sea did for Moses. The air in the basement somehow seemed clearer than upstairs, though that would change once more people got down I suppose. All the gang were gathered around the stage in the corner of the room, chatting away.
"Here comes MR UFC and his bitch," Andrew said, turning.
"Fancy getting started," I said to Christian and Billy, as everyone else laughed at Andrews joke, "I guess everyone'll come down when they hear some noise." The stage was at shoulder height to make it harder for people to easily disrupt the band playing, so I needed a boost up. I grabbed a pair of Christian's drum sticks, cos I don't even own a drumkit, let alone sticks. I was borrowing Christian's drum set too, which was blue and fairly battered. I hit each drum one at a time, then rattled out a few beats to get warmed up. I struck a crash symbol as hard as I could, in time with Christian and Billy playing a note each, to make sure we were all at roughly the same sound level. I feel powerful behind a drumkit.
I was right about people coming down when they heard a sound. Within half a minute people were crushed up aginst the stage and I'd lost site of Kris and all my other friends.
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen!" Billy shouted into the microphone, which was met with a huge cheer, "We are Days Of The Weekend, and I hope you brought warm clothes, cos it's cold out there and we're about to blow the f--king roof off!" It had already become a sort of tradition that we open with Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones, with me counting us into the song in German.
"I want you guys to start the biggest f--king moshpit this basment has ever seen, okay?" Billy continued, "Take it Greg!"
And that was it. Now sitting on my window sill, sucking a cancer-stick and watching my breath curl up into the night, I was thankfull for everything. I was sitting in my shitty room with my friends, I was playing my heart out in tiny sweat-soaked box venues, where I might just get the shit kicked into me one day, I was eating crap microwavable food everyday and I was slowly killing myself with ciggaretes, alcohol and drugs. But I was doing it all with my friends. And I'm having the time of my life.