Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Seafret on Tollesby Road

Seafret on Tollesby Road 1981

Seafret coming in low over Tollesby Road, 1981, Middlesbrough, bass guitar lying on the floor, acoustic propped up by the sofa, Stevie and Tom hitting that groove down in Coolsville. 'Let's hit the pub', you said - student life, half finished essay with guitar chords scrawled in the margins, a love poem that got complicated, two timed couplets stressing over their assonance. "Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around" screamed the speaker strutting it on the bay window ledge. "Well did you fuck her?" he asked "Don't be an ass - she's not like that' I said. A smile hit his lips "I saw her last night! Homemade wine! Shangri-lah!" he taunted. We traded guitar riffs in words, call and response, I called him and he responded! "What the hell, it's only sex" I shouted "Who cares!". Stevie and Tom were still dragging their song out but the tension was good. "Let's talk about something less contentious" I said "Politics, religion, the nature of reality!" He laughed as we crossed over the Tees, still misty with distant fog horns punctuating the traffic noise. He took the road to Idealism, I took the road to Existentialism, we were both tired of Dialectical Materialism. Hell, it was how we wrote songs in those days, we came at it from different angles. No song is a song with some conflict! Life was a Monty Python sketch back then with overtones of Ibsen and Brecht. "Don't fret - I'll get you a pint in" he said as we walked into the bar. I couldn't take my mind off him with her, the night before.

"Don't get too precious about it" he said "I knew her long before you did - it could easily have been the other way around!" I tipped my pint over his head and went to the bar for a Scotch - he was laughing - he knew I'd do that! Boro had just lost - you'd have thought they had drained the Tees and filled the trench with Pig Iron. "Let's gan yam" he said, 'there's a fight brewing', his forehead still dripping Real Ale! "4.30 practice tomorrow night?" "Ok" I said. "Hey" he shouted from the far side of Newport Bridge "I was only joking about her you know - what a laugh!" "You dog" I shouted back. "You see how a good song inspires you - great track that Stevie and Tom number!". he called out. I never did finish that essay, did one on Proust instead and the poem - well the complications straightened out eventually. 

Text by Trev Teasdel

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