Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Who Said (Stuck in the UK), by Planet Funk

April 2003. It was a night at the Soho. José and I had been wandering around London all day. We dropped our stuff at the hostel we were staying in, near Monument. I spread all the flyers we had collected over the day on our room's floor . One goth party called our attention. We passed by an overpriced pub for last orders, where not even José could resist a pint of Guinness (he does not drink). The jukebox played The Smiths and The Stone Roses. We stood by the bar, in silence, looking around. We said: where the fuck have we been all our lives.

We walked through narrow cobblestone streets. The club was at this basement on a dead-end street. The single bouncer was a huge guy who did nothing but stare at some football game in a miniscule tv set all night. The place reminded us so much of the underground clubs where we used to promote parties in Mexico City it was uncanny. The dj mixed new wave, electroclash and some jewels from the glam rock years. And then we listened to it. Everything was exciting about the track: the voice, what it said, the uptempo beat. Honestly, it had been a long time since we had listened to something like it; the combination of working-class anger with unavoidably danceable loops; the breakdown epic enough to give you a heart attack on the dancefloor. We were there, listeining, in awe, and we knew it: that dj was saving our lives that night.

When we left, the promoter of the party went after us asking us to stay. It was like seeing a Brit version of ourselves. The reflection was, again, uncanny. We were profoundly moved, but I can't remember if we stayed a little longer or not.

The next day I bought the 12" single. When I came back to Mexico City I managed to spin it at three or four parties, full of nostalgia for those glorious days when I was poor and in love with the ubiquitous rotten beauty of Britain and wishing I could be stuck in the UK.

Whenever I listen to it I am reminded that people are always wishing to be somewhere else no matter where they are. When I listen to it now, I am sent back to that time and place when I was unbelievably, irrationally happy without fully realizing it.

1 comment:

Manolo said...

Claro que me late; soy fan; piroclasto@gmail.com