Unexpected Places

Well, that was certainly one of the most odd evenings I’ve had.  And a rollercoaster of emotion.

Before I begin, what’s happened recently? I received my NUJ press pass in the post (yay!) but ended up not being allocated tickets for the Guardian Student Media Conference (boo!).

Last night, I went to see Wintersleep support Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip in London, with a friend.  He shall hereby only be known as “BB”.  An simple evening out, one might think.  A train from Egham, up to our desired location via Waterloo and London Underground.  Back in time to catch last order’s at InsanityRadio‘s House Party at the SU.

On the tube. 1930 (doors open at 2000)

NS:  So, where are we going?
BB:  Club Koko?
NS:  Ah, cool.
BB:  Do you know how to get there?  I’ve got no idea.
NS:  (slightly perturbed) er…yeah, it’s in Camden, but it’s closer if we get off at Mornington Crescent.
BB:  Cool.

A true 2008 student-to-student dialogue.  It was also revealed that BB was off too see Wintersleep the following night at Koko, too.  With a different main act.  Slightly odd, seeing as there was only that gig mentioned on the website…

We arrive at Koko in Camden.  There’s a large man dressed as Uncle Sam and people dressed as cowboys filing in to the venue.  Well, our acts for tonight have certainly taken a change in musical direction…

Camden.  2000

BB:  (walking up to the door, pulling out tickets from inside jacket pocket)
Bouncer:  Er…nope.
NS:  ….what’s going on?
Bouncer:  Not ‘ere, mate.
BB:  Ah, mate – it says Club FANDANGO on here!  (chuckles)
NS: (exasperated) Well, where the bloody hell is that?

iPhone 3G to the rescue!  A quick Google reveals Club Fandango is located at 24 Highbury Grove, N1.  To the tube, to take us deeper into North London!  And we’re running late – doors are already open!

Tube takes us from Mornington Crescent to Highbury & Islington.

iPhone with Google Maps navigates us to Higbury Grove.  We start walking down the street, briskly.

2030, after walking for approximately 10 minutes.

BB:  (counting) 56…58…60
NS:  Oh, wait!
BB:  What?
NS:  Bugger.  Turn around, it’s at the other end.
(more time passes)
NS:  28…26…24.
BB:  Is this it?

We’ve arrived at a house.  Just a house in Islington. iPhone 3G now reveals that we’ve travelled to the record label’s registered address, not one of their many gig venues.  Cue tears of blood and frostbite setting in to my numbing hands.  Capacitive touchscreen sapping my soul.


BB:  Aw, mate!  It’s on the ticket!
NS: (apoplectic exasperation)
BB:  229 Great Portland Street!  How do we get there?

Nervous twitching aside,  I navigate back to the tube, and get us to change onto the Hammersmith and City line at King’s Cross for Great Portland Street.  As we’re waiting for our train, we relax.  BB sneezes.  At the precise moment a shorter Oriental lady walks in front of him, resulting in BB sneezing right onto her face.  The most hilarious event of the journey thus far.

BB, shellshocked, and I board our tube train, arrive at Great Portland Street, ask for directions to the gig venue, get heckled by the bouncer and enjoy a gig. Wonderful.  The last train to Egham leaves at 11.30, so we’ve got to elave in enough time, which we do.  We board a train at Great Portland Street Station.  Scroobius Pip is on the platform opposite, a good time was had by all.  We’ll change at Baker Street and hop to Waterloo.

Until BB and I got chatting about university.  Our course, literature, etc.


Announcer:  The next station is Finchley Road.
BB/NS:          Bugger.

We’ve missed our stop.  Fantastic.  A lengthy wait at Finchley Road to catch a train to Waterloo ensures we completely miss the last train to Egham.  Just our luck, really.  Our revised plan: a train to Staines and a cab.  We’re not talking by this point.

We arrive at Staines, befriending an Inebriated BusinessMan (IBM) at the taxi rank.  We agree to share a taxi.  When it pulls up, we are treated to:


IBM:  Where’re’you headed?
Us:   Egham (for the second time)
IBM:  (to the Taxi Driver) Awright, c’n you go to Bracknell via Egham?
TD:   Sure, sir.

Now just repeat this dialogue for the next fifteen minutes:

IBM:  So, where do you guys live?
Us:   Egham.
IBM:  So, where do you guys….

Yep.  Until we revealed we were off to a student radio station party.

IBM:  Aw, mate, what is it?
Us:   Er…it’s a student radio station.
IBM: Yeah, yeah, but what is it?
Us:   Er…it’s a student radio station.
Us:   Oh, er 1287AM…

IBM then wrestles with Taxi Driver to tune radio, with car swerving in road.  Not the safest of journeys, but we finally make it to Royal Holloway, unscathed.  InsanityRadio gains two more listeners.


We arrive at the SU just in time to see the party wrapping up.

I’d like to say that I’d seen the last of the unexpected events of the evening…