It had been a long time since we’d last played the Heads – the venue at which this band first shambled on stage in a form loosely resembling its present self, albeit perhaps younger, more lithe, more wasted, more likely to wear capes and/or ludicrous hats (Yeah, I know what you might be thinking – but my Oscar the Grouch hat is not ludicrous: it’s awesome. OK?) . Our first show here was so long ago that I wasn’t even in the band yet, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing this for like almost my entire life, pretty much since the day I emerged into the world all slippery and bedraggled, feebly pawing at my first bass guitar…
So, a return to the Heads and to our one-time home town was bound to be a nostalgic one for all of us. It was powerfully so for me, having arrived by train at Southampton Central and trekked up to Talking Heads on foot – a walk I hadn’t done in ten years. I was surprised I could even remember the way. Southampton hasn’t exactly changed beyond recognition, but there were notable differences: some shit pubs had turned into good ones, some good pubs seemed to have turned shit (I was duty-bound to investigate); some kebab shops had new names; my old student digs (where I shared a damp, weed-invaded basement with a great many woodlice) now looked like a respectable house with proper windows and everything; there was a good new beer shop on Portswood High Street (from which, incidentally, was procured this week’s Beer of the Weekend: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Take a bow, you delicious bottle of robust but not overly-sweet chocolatey boozy goodness).
The Talking Heads itself, I am pleased to say, hasn’t changed much. It’s still a good old unpretentious pub-derived live music venue frequented by lovely people. It was great to see a few old faces from way back, and equally cool – and pleasantly surprising – to see a lot of new faces too. It’s good to see a new wave of people supporting a decent venue that was on the verge of closure a year or so back.
So, friends old and new, thanks for another great night. We’ll definitely not leave it so long before our next visit. Meanwhile, give us a shout in the comments box if you’ve got any memories to share of those early Talking Heads gigs. Anyone got any photos?! Would be equally good to hear from any newcomers, too: I spoke to some lovely people before and after the gig. Where should we go next time for pre-gig drinks? What’s the best takeaway these days? More importantly, just stay in touch so we can be sure to see you next time x x