THE BEGINNING

I’m besotted. Giddy in love. Anyone daring to suggest otherwise is aggressively cut down with a venom and poisonous revulsion typically reserved for sex criminals. It’s me and them versus the world.

itsnotm

Illustration by Gareth Arrowsmith

REEF YOUNIS HAS LOVED MANY BANDS. THE THING IS, THEY DON’T SEEM TO LOVE HIM BACK

I’m besotted. Giddy in love. Anyone daring to suggest otherwise is aggressively cut down with a venom and poisonous revulsion typically reserved for sex criminals. It’s me and them versus the world. They get me. They understand me. They speak to me like no one else does. But then…whatthefuckisthis!? It’s over!

If I’m lucky, the grim realisation will take a few minutes to sink in before it truly hits home. I feel sick to my stomach. All those hours. The emotional investment…the financial investment. Did that time mean anything to them? ANYTHING?! I gave them the best years of my life and here I am heartbroken and hurt, hurling their CDs out the window, burning their clothes, stifling a tear with every NME cover story.

These were the bands I idolised. Adored. Obsessed about. The ones where I queued outside Our Price (it was a shop) for midnight single launches; the bands I missed a day of school to see; the bands I’d spend starry-eyed minutes (whole minutes!) chatting bollocks to knowing my last train was inching out of the station. And it was all worth it. The posters, the plectrums, the t-shirts proved the loyalty, but then I got ‘Be Here Now’. I got ‘First Impressions of Earth’. I got ‘Know Your Enemy’. I got ‘One By One’. I got ‘Era Vulgaris’… I got, well, a growing timeline of confusion and disappointment. For a sickening moment, as Justice’s ‘Audio Video Disco’ beamed out my speakers for the first time, I felt it again; that sharp knot in my stomach, the little voice of doubt familiarly rushing, rattling to the front of my skull, the alarm bells and the megaphone and the violent rush of blood to the head…whatthefuckisthis?! What happened to the coruscating volume? The seedy, Gallic magnetism? The Spinal Tap dramatics?

Admittedly, it’s always been a snap judgement; a fly-by minute speed date where loyalty is either revitalised or put to the test. It’s a relationship like any other, in that when the bond is broken once it can never be the same again. And from the angry affront of failed expectation to the passing indifference of forgetting the milestones that once governed your life, you’re left despondent. Deflated. Destined to be alone until you find someone ne… WOW! Whothefuckisthis?! There’s always someone new.

For many though, the glory years are so powerful they drastically cloud any sane judgement. It’s how Oasis lollopped on for so long, and how Noel Gallagher’s new record will still do very well, thanks to people telling themselves “this is great… isn’t it?”. But if you love them, set them free. They’ll only beat you to it.

By Reef Younis


Originally published in issue 32 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. October 2011.

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