Day Twenty Five

18th October 2007 – Sheffield Corporation


“Mum, how do you catch genital herpes? ******* slept with a lesbian last night so **HE OR
 SHE** is worried **HE OR SHE** might have it.”

“Hang on, I’ll ask Nan.”


The day started with a massive kick in the balls. Well, it started with a shower and a cup of tea, 
which was nice, but then we left Cay’s flat. Grant, Sam and I totally failed to get to the van in time, earning us a parking ticket. For fuck’s sake. We had gotten up early especially. OK, Cay had to go 
to work so we had to ship out sharpish anyway, but the last thing we needed was seventy fucking 
quid’s worth of fucking parking ticket. Remember: we were being paid £50 a show. Our van costs
 us £39 a day without fuel. If no fucker watches our show – and no fucker DID watch our show
 last night – we don’t sell CDs so we lose money. Repeat this over 6 shows a week for 6 weeks and
 you’re basically losing a fuck-ton of money. Add on a £70 parking ticket and you’re basically not just
 shooting yourself in the foot, but all of your bandmates too. Some of whom are unemployed. Ho hum.

We moved the van to the local NCP car park and went off in search of breakfast. We found a
 greasy spoon offering a full English plus tea for a bargain £3.99, so settled into a corner with the
 newspapers and waited for Deborah and Simon to emerge from whatever post-party pit they had 
found themselves in. We tried to call them, but they weren’t answering, so we downed our tea and
 made our way to the Museum of Science & Industry for the Doctor Who Up Close Exhibition. I’ve written about it on this blog before and anyone who knows me will second this, but for the 
benefit of strangers I shall say it again: I am a massive, massive Doctor Who geek. I had been to the
exhibition before, when it was in Brighton, but it had grown since then. Oh, how it had grown. We
 met the Face of Boe! And K9! And the Empress of the Racnoss! We all got to pose for photographs
 with Cybermen and Slitheen and Clockwork Men and we pulled Doctorish shapes beside the
 TARDIS. We even had the chance to slip inside a Dalek – complete with voice changer – once some
 bloody kids got out of the way. Where were these bloody kids in 1988, eh? It was amazing.

Simon and Deborah finally emerged around mid-day. We drove to the Night & Day to pick up our 
equipment from the venue and made the now obligatory trip to Morrison’s, this time to buy some 
food for a picnic. We were heading through the Peak District today on our way to Sheffield, so we 
thought we’d stop and have some fun. As we meandered through the shopping aisles, it became 
apparent that one of our party had the fear. **HE OR SHE** was terrified that **HE OR SHE**
had caught genital herpes despite not actually touching the genitals of the girl **HE OR SHE** had
shared a bed and some funtimes with. We tried to assure **HIM OR HER** that it would be OK, but it was impossible. None of 586 knew for sure how one contracted herpes. There was only one
thing for it.

I phoned Mama Horry.

“Mum, how do you catch genital herpes? ******* slept with a lesbian last night so **HE OR 
SHE** is worried **HE OR SHE** might have it.”

My possibly-infected band mates jaw dropped further than I’d ever seen a jaw drop. **HE OR
 SHE** looked horrified. **HIS OR HER** hand leapt up to cover **HIS OR HER** mouth in 
horror as I pulled the phone from my ear to reassure **HIM OR HER** that Mama Horry didn’t
know so she was just asking my grandmother. On the plus side, Grandmama was able to tell us and
**HE OR SHE** got the all-clear. Or enough of one to stop **HIM OR HER** panicking further.

We hit the road and drove into the Peak District, keeping an eye out for a suitable picnic stop. Along the way we talked about this diary. I was debating turning it into a comic book. “We should
 all have superhero names!” declared Deborah. She became Johnny Gash, with Simon and I deciding that her super power was the ability to emit Johnny Cash songs from her vagina. Simon wanted to
be drawn as a Nu-Rave Ryu (from Streefighter), so that became his name. Grant was/is a glass-half-
empty kind of guy, so he became Mr Brightside, and I became Bryan Merry. Simon and I would
 spend the next couple of days opening our legs and singing Johnny Cash riffs ‘hilariously’ to taunt

Eventually we found a car park and some wooden tables near the start of a walk through some hills 
near a reservoir. It was amazing. Peaceful, beautiful and serene and basking in glorious sunshine, the only sound for miles around being the occasional bird and us. Unfortunately we sounded like 

We walked for miles, taking in the amazing views. Some members of the band picked some 
mushrooms, hoping for hallucinogenics for later. Eventually the time came and we made our way 
to Sheffield. I like Sheffield. We’d never played a bad gig there and I had been a couple of times
 with friends and always had a good time. And how can you hate a city responsible for Heaven 17, Human League, ABC and Pulp, amongst others? That’s four of my favourite bands ever. We were 
already in a good mood, but things only improved when, not only did we get a soundcheck, but we
 got a loooooong soundcheck. A luxurious soundcheck. A proper, enjoyable soundcheck where we got to test everything. The 
venue staff were all awesome, lovely chaps, and the stage was raised high into the air. I felt a fluttering in my belly. If people actually turned up, this could be a good one.

We went to the dressing room and had some lager and crisps. Our lawyer phoned. Would this
 deflate the mood? There some legal wranglings around the contract for the current single going on 
in the background that had been stressing us out somewhat. I debated whether or not to answer the 
phone. It rang and it rang until I decided to man up and answer the bloody thing. There was a pause 
while my bandmates strained to hear our lawyer’s voice as he spoke to me.




IT WAS ALL OK! We cheered. No more legal nonsense. For now. Hurrah. We got straight back on the beer 
and sent video of ourselves cheering and whooping in thanks to our lawyer and manager.

Showtime came and the gig was great. We played to a packed room for the first time in, ooh, ages 
and went down an absolute storm. People knew the songs! Well, the singles and the ones we’d put
 on MySpace. It was magnificent. We built up a good rapport with the audience. “I like your shoes!”
shouted a very pretty young girl at the front of the stage as I put my foot on the monitor, preparing 
to play some probably quite simple guitar solo. “I like you!” I responded, grinning like an idiot. Deborah
 outed me as a Who fan onstage and in a high-pitched, excited squeal I told the audience I’d met the
 Face of Boe. As a consequence, once we finished playing and took our place by the merchandise 
stall lots of men – and they were all men – came up to the merch stall to talk Doctor Who. It was
 brilliant. One chap had the single greatest anecdote ever. It went a little something like this:

Back in the day, when this stuff wasn’t cool, he used to run the Sheffield University Doctor Who
Society. The society was not huge, but they were dedicated. One of their members did a spot of
 research and discovered that a personal appearance from sixth Doctor Colin Baker would cost them
 something like a tenner each. They got excited and someone contacted Colin’s agent. A date was agreed, but now, the problem: what would they do with him? Where would they take him? Sheffield
 University’s Doctor Who Society had a large gay membership, and after a vote it was agreed to 
take him to a local gay bar and get him ratted. Colin was, by all accounts, a lovely, charming, very
 friendly man with many good stories that he was very happy to tell as the Sheffield University Doctor Who Society kept him fed with alcohol. Amazing.

As a side note, when I got married this year and it came to discussing initial thoughts for the stag 
do with my best man, I told him the Colin Baker story. “We totally need to book Colin Baker.”
I declared. Despite us finding Colin’s agents contact details, the agent never returned David’s
 messages. I kind of hate emoticons, but there really is no other way of expressing my feelings about
 this than a simple 😦

After the show was over Deb was feeling ill so went back to the hotel with the SohoDolls. Well, Matt. For the 
second night on the trot, we had somewhere to stay, thanks to Mark Heffernan’s very sweet younger 
sister Sophie, who was studying at Sheffield University. Everyone was up for a club first though, so the
 whole of 586 bar Deborah, plus Sophie Heffernan and her friends, made our way to a club called The 
Plug to down Cheeky Vimtos to a soundtrack of massive pop hits and a spot of minimal. I fucking 
love Cheeky Vimtos, but they are fucking lethal. For the uninitiated, a Cheeky Vimto is a bottle
 of blue WKD – the alcopop of champions – mixed with port. I was introduced to them at a friend’s
 wedding in deepest, darkest Kent. I don’t remember a lot, but I am assured I disgraced myself on the
 coach home and may have called more than one taxi driver a number of incredibly rude words. I’m normally a happy drunk, but on that night I was a dick. Thankfully in Sheffield I was on reasonably
good behaviour, and we all retired merrily to Sophie’s for tea, toast and contented sleep. Today had been
 absolutely fantastic.


Tomorrow, however, we would play in Doncaster, where I would succeed in getting 586
 banned from only our second venue…



About Steve Horry

Comics writer/artist, musician, former DJ.
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