I cannot tell you how happy Urban Hymns by The Verve can still make me feel, as I wear off the previous evening’s alcohol-orientated-endeavors, by going running through the streets with my Ipod sticking my hands on a warm sunny morning. Momentarily full of guile, I’m transfixed and Transported.
It’s 1998, I’m youthfully gliding through all the good vibes of a time that had not yet paused for breath to question what it was really about. New Labour, the bubbly birth of the Internet, my home town’s footballing representatives spending a season in the top flight of that respective sport for the first time ever – you absorb all this, before you understand it, before you start questioning it, before you accidentally take the wrong junction off momemtum-way and suddenly all the colour begins to fade. Something chemical collided with the culture; like a switch this person in this photograph (who I do not recognise one bit) disappeared into a lost future. It’s like a Dimension Jump, and I’m catching sight of a myself in a world where I didn’t stunt my growth prematurely through a worrying-propagated-regime, where the 90’s feel-good-vibe didn’t finally become to be seen as nothing more than a vacuous shot of Britpop stars outside no10 with a pre-lucifer-like Tony Blair; where 9/11 and the Iraq invasion had no need in happening; where climate change was nipped in the bud early on. Of course, in hindsight such a course of events was bound to happen; under a proliferating global capitalism held up in fancy new (ethical) clothes to Western peoples’, it was bound to turn out this way. And, in hindsight, I too was bound to become who I did. 1999 was a come down year; we gave in to millennial-mailaise and reality TV in a Travis/Toaploader easy-listening style, before it all went a bit Dystopian a few years down the line. It’s just that sometimes I get these moments when a surge of optimism occurs: Sonnet, Lucky Man, The Rolling People, Come On! – The Verve’s Urban Hymns, no longer in cassette-form but as instantaneous-mp3’s activates me, and makes me think anything can happen and that I can make anything happen, but it’s still that childish idea of achievement, which has fuck all to do with career choices, and looks at the world as something alive and expansive, not contracted into a CV. Come on now!!