Number 116 – Shimmering wonderful shoegaze
Sight of You – Pale Saints – Chosen by SWC – Taken from ‘Sci Fi Lo Fi’ LP (2009)
If Badger’s lucky number was 117, then 116 is my non lucky number even though it contains the number 11, because 116 was in my street, growing up as a child where Andrew lived. Andrew was my nemesis, the boy who taught me how to hate. Andrew was the perfect child, he was clever, he was brilliant at football, wonderful at cricket, the faster runner in the school, tough, popular, he always had the best bike and the best football and most annoyingly really good at hide and seek. I never beat him at anything, much as I tried, I always failed. So for that matter I hated him more and more each day. Despite being all these things, he was frankly a shit winner, boastful in it to the point of rubbing your nose in it. If you were playing cricket he wouldn’t just score say 50 – which would be enough to win the game because he’d bowl us out in about five minutes, he’d have to score 220 and then whack the bowl over the fence into the weird cat woman’s garden, never to be seen again. Then laugh. So I hate the number 116.
When I was back in Kent visiting my dad a few weeks ago, I happened to bump into Andrew’s dad, Alan, who was actually alright. We got talking and I asked how Andrew was, I kind of hoped that his life had turned out badly and that after a flirtation with some scarlet woman he’d lost everything and now lived in a shack just outside Cheam spending his days toasting a solitary sausage against a single bar gas fire, sad and lonely, wearing a dead’s tramps clothes, and crying into his Batchelors Cup a Soup (chicken and mushroom flavour – the flavour of losers everywhere).
Nope. Andrew went to University, where we he studied physiotherapy. Oh right, I said, how’d that turn out – hoping here that he failed, and is now doing the above.
Nope, he got a first and then mastered in Calf and Metatarsal Injuries. Right, brilliant, then he lost everything and now keeps himself warm by eating Pot Noodles covered in fluff, rocking himself to sleep whilst cradling a can of Tennants Super? (I didn’t say that)
Nope, now he is chief physio at Old Trafford and Manchester United Football Club.
At this point I vomited – inside at least.
Then his dad told me that Andrew’s sister is Chief Consultant at St Thomas Hospital, London. At this point I excused myself because my eye was beginning to twitch.
Where was I? Oh yes music, The Pale Saints were a much unheralded shoegaze act from the mid 90s that kind of faded away without troubling anyone. ‘Sight of You’ is marvellous. It is pretty much the dictionary definition of Shoe Gaze and if it you look in the Guinness Book of Indie Pop you will see a picture of The Pale Saints and they are indeed staring at their shoes in it.
Incidentally the album I took this from, is a compilation album released by Rob Da Bank a few years back and it is an odd Shoegaze compilation featuring the likes of Chapterhouse, Ride, Slowdive but strangely no Adorable or Moose, yet contains the questionably shoegaze Dinosaur Jr. It does contain Ultra Vivid Scene though.