Notes From The Underworld; Clearing out the cobwebs and finding a new holeNotes

September 02 1997

Old punks never die- they just smell that way.

Costers is closed and part of my adolescence disappeared. I'm sitting in its cultural replacement which by all accounts is exactly the same but better. It's brighter, louder, bigger with comfier seats, two TV screens and a pinball machine. The Costers crowd have made the migration of 100 yards to another underground bar and first impressions are good. Personally it should feel like a fresh start but I cant help but miss the ghosts. Costers was a dark run down shit hole but it had a cobweb of personal history hanging from every corner. My connection to the Birmingham alternative scene it seems was the shared fetish stick of that shit hole. I'm young enough to generate new memories – but to old to invest heavily in this scene.

I'm trying hard not to draw the parallels to cockroaches who scuttle from one hidey-hole to another whenever the light is switched on because I think I owe my weird heritage more than that, but maybe its not a cruel or degrading analogy to make, after all the cockroaches is one of the most prolific and robust creatures on the planet that'll be around after the nuclear bomb hits, thats what they say isn't it? Cockroaches and lawyers. Maybe its not as cruel as I first thought, as long as there is mainstream there will be 'alternative', no matter how many times the monoculture tries to absorb it the 'fuck you' instinct of youth will reject it.

Despite what we want to believe human behavior is a very narrow and predictable pattern, the train of our thoughts only have the same tracks to run on. As long as were all pushed towards whats right, honest, and deemed decent. There will always be a minority that is innately attracted to the wrong, skewed and left hand path. These people do tend to be the ones already marginalised by normality – the non-sport played boy, the gender rebellious, the morally flexible, depressives, freaks, and angry. Even these dregs, the childishly rebellious, the conformity adverse seek company, rules and structure. So places like this will always have custom and always feel like home.

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