Sorted – that’s my name: SORTEDDD! I was the last man standing in Madchester and the only surviving Britpop refugee. Some people say I’m just a sad old man what is trapped in the 1990s, but they are mistaken. I’m not trapped in the 1990s: I’m living there of my own free will. It’s what I want, what I want, what I really, really want.
I love the 90s, I do. It’s like the 60s turned upside down. Early 90s I was down the Hacienda every night – MADCHESTER! I knew all the bands what was on the scene: The Stone Mondays, The Happy Roses, The Inspiral Carphones… I knew ‘em all, and they knew me. You wouldn’t think it to look at me now, but back then I was heavily involved in the grey market distribution of pharmaceutical agents of euphoria to Shoegazers, Ravers and Cheesy Quavers. You name it, I’d source it: pills, wacky backy, bottles of Hooch. Crazy days.
That’s how I got my name: SORTEDDD! See, that’s not my real name. That’s just a nickname. It’s what the French would call a nom de plume. That’s French for ‘nickname’. My real name is Edward, but back in those Hacienda days, if someone was to ask you ‘Where d’you get your pills?’ you’d invariably say: ‘I saw Ted’. And where did you get your wacky-backy? ‘I saw Ted.’ And where did you get those bottles of Hooch? ‘From the bar.’
I became a bit of a cultural phenomenon. Jarvis Cocker even wrote a song about me, right after he saw me for some E’s and Whizz.
I was in a band too, you know. Remember that Madchester band what sung that ‘Oh Sit Down, Oh Sit Down’ song? Remember James (or, as I used to call them, ‘Jim’)? Remember them? We supported them. Well, we supported their support band. My old baggy beat combo – you might have heard of us – we was called ‘Spanner the Cheese Monkey.’ We was famously the only Madchester band what was based in Tipton.
You don’t remember us, do you? That’s alright – I’ll burn you a cassette later.
We was a proper band though – we had groupies and everything. Well, I say groupies – she was more of a roadie. Well someone had to do all the heavy liftin’! We had a tour bus, a proper tour bus. We bought it off the council! Well, I say it was a tour bus. It was a double decker. Well, I say it was a double decker, it was actually an old tram. Seemed to play a lot of gigs in Blackpool that year.
Remember Britpop? That was MENTALLL! Remember that time when Tony Blair had his Coronation and there was this massive big party at Number 10 with all those rock stars and celebrities? Well, we was there – helping out with the catering. The band had split up, you see. It was all ‘cause of the drugs. Our lead singer, Baljit, left to become a pharmacist. It’s what his family would have wanted.
Everyone what was anyone was at that party. Noel Gallagher, Jarvis Cocker, MC Hammer, Posh Spice, Scary Spice, Sporty Spice and Professor Stephen Hawking. There was even a couple of Teletubbies.
I didn’t much like that MC Hammer, though. A bit uncouth, if you ask me. I was carrying over this tray of vol-au-vents to President Blair – well, I say vol-au-vents, they was actually a case of Mad Dog 20-20. Remember those? Quite partial to the old Mad Dog was our Tony. He didn’t mention that in his memoirs! But don’t get me wrong – he was not an indiscriminate drinker. He wouldn’t touch Castaway or even Thunderbird Wine.
Anyway, there’s me, lugging these snot-green alcopops over to the PM when MC Hammer makes a big sideways jump and tries to grab ‘em. ‘Oi, Hammer,’ I snarled, ‘can’t touch this!’ Scuttled off with his tail between his legs, he did. Just as well he was wearing those stupid-looking trousers.
After a while I got bored with the party so I discretely left the room went for a wonder, as you do. I was walking down this dark hallway – one of them ‘corridors of power’, I suppose – when I saw something very suspicious. Right in front of me, on this very posh rug, was a very dodgy looking heap of white powder. Oi Oi, I thought, what’s going on here? Did the decent thing, of course. Made sure the coast was clear, rolled up a crisp twenty pound note (well I say it was a twenty, it was actually a fiver), held it up to my nose and took what can only be described as a heroic snort of the white powder. Turned out to be Shake and Vac. Didn’t exactly put the freshness back, although for weeks my farts would reek of lavender.
I was outraged. I mean, what sort of sicko leaves heaps of Shake & Vac lying around at a party? Innocent kids could pick it up thinking it was Bolivian Marching Powder. I thought: ‘This won’t do – someone has to take a stand!’ So I went back to the party and did something I’m not very proud of.
I put acid in the punch bowl.
Well, that livened things up a bit! Noel Gallagher thought he was Michael Jackson and did a moonwalk right across the room. Then Jarvis Cocker started thinking Noel Gallagher really was Michael Jackson, so he dropped his kecks and started waving his arse at him. Half the Cabinet were staring at a pair of curtains screaming ‘I can see them breathe! I can see them breathe!’ while the other half of the Cabinet were trying to climb into a cabinet. Tracy Emin went into the state bedrooms and made all the beds. The Spice Girls were off in a corner with some bird on Speed. What’s her name? Sandra Bullock. And the Teletubbies? Well, they just looked a bit subdued, actually.
Worst of all, though, was El Presidente himself, Tony Blair. He was going berserk, stumbling around the place yelling: ‘Where’s my Mad Dog? I want my Mad Dog! Are you hiding my Mad Dog?’ He was very aggressive. Next thing you know he was doing this ridiculous Braveheart routine, tearing off his shirt and smearing blue shit all over his face. I think it was brie. In a very unconvincing Scottish accent he screamed: ‘You can take our lives, but you cannae take my Mad Dog!”
That’s when Gordon Brown stepped in and punched Tony Blair in the face. Knocked him to the ground, he did, then started laying the boot in. Funny thing is, I don’t remember Gordon drinking that night.
Eventually the party ended, right about the time Special Branch arrived. I was taken in for questioning and they made me sign the Official Secrets Act. They said that if I ever tell anyone what happened that night I could go to prison for the rest of my life, so I’ve kept shtum.
A few years later, of course, we was going to war. A proper war, this was, not the one between Blur and Oasis. Tony Blair was on the news saying that we had to fight this Madman Insane because he had something what was very dangerous, and I remember thinking: ‘Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, Tony – what are you doing?’ I could see it in his eyes, you see. He had that glazed look of evangelical paranoia common amongst those who are having an acid flashback.
See, I knew what this war was really about. I’m no expert on international affairs, but I think it’s a bit harsh to invade a country because they’ve got vast supplies of a valuable liquid resource that you want to get your hands on.
I’m talking, of course, about WMD 20-20.