Icarus Record Collection
Chris describes the party in a series of vignettes. To an outsider this may seem like nonsense or fantasy, but in fact they describe specific scenes of house parties Chris attended in his early twenties, some of which I hosted.
For me, this song is very nostalgic, describing a particular time in my life, and a time where I often carried a digital camera. This means I have many photographs from this era, from these parties, and some pictures of the exact incidents Chris is singing about.
So here I have chosen some lines from Icarus Record Collection and the pictures and stories that go with them.
It was whiskey that drew it / but a vehicle ploughed through it / the house has now lost its front wall
For New Years Eve 2007/2008 we threw a party at our house on Derby Road in Manchester. In my mind this is one of the best parties we ever threw. Looking back at the pictures basically all of my friends were there, we drank a lot and had a good time. But the moment everyone will remember is at around 2 am Daniel heard a crash come from outside. We went to investigate and found a wrecked BMW, with no driver, had destroyed our front wall.
The police arrived, as did the owner of the car who said he had been at a pub in Fallowfield when his car was stolen. The theory we have is that he was driving home drunk, lost control of the car and then ran from the crash. He then reported it stolen and turned up later pretending to be a bit confused about the whole thing. But we have no idea really.
It took our mad Irish landlord, Mick, 6 months to rebuild the wall.
My hero was slain / I attributed blame / to the laughs that we put in the punch
In June 2010, we had all finished our exams and had 1 month left in our student house in Manchester. A game/party was devised. We filled a bucket with £60 worth of Lidl booze and juice. We then drunk the whole bucket according to a set of rules written on the wall. These rules were based on the action/commentary from the ongoing World Cup matches.
Chris often brings up this party. To be honest, I don't remember Chris being there. But since I had drunk my fair share of the bucket before the afternoon match finished, I believe him when he says he was.
With an offered cigarette / I got caught in a net / of a debate that I wanted to leave
This is probably a universal house party occurrence, but in particular it makes me think of the smoking area of Corporation in Sheffield. Whenever we would go back to Sheffield we would inevitably end up there and for some reason the smoking area was always far busier than the club itself. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of this but I do have a gif of the Brady Brothers getting down from the last time I went to Corp in 2015.
Transfixed on the fall of David's old chair / which he took to to tell us his story
If you have ever spent an evening drinking with Dave this line will ring dead true.
With simian airs Paul played the stairs / and left the photos too close to the fire
At the same New Year's party Paul had one too many to drink. This photo I have of him tackling Chris on the stairs seems to confirm that the lyric is true. "Paul no longer acts like a monkey" is printed on the inside cover of the Soup Review album as an apology to Paul.
Found a safe place to rest / put a pan on my chest / because the rain was beginning to fall
I think this line is about how I would (and still will) take a saucepan with me if I'm going to bed after drinking far too much. This is just in case I need to throw up. I have definitely been mocked by Chris for this. But I have 3 reasons why the pan is the perfect bedtime sicky companion:
Pans are accessible and easy to find - when you are hammered do you really want to be rummaging around for a bucket?
Pans are big enough - No one wants to see a pint glass overflow with puke.
Pans are resilient and can be washed with very hot water and strong cleaning solution until totally sterile.
Unfortunately I don't have a photo of myself asleep with a pan by my side but trust me, it has happened many times.
[Edit: Chris told me “The pan thing was more a funny thing about being addled in drink. Where you hear the rain falling outside and you're like 'well I got to get a pan to catch the rain'. But perhaps subconsciously it came from your thing!”]
I tripped over Gunther he was laid in the Hall / he woke up to sell me some water
It was not uncommon to find Gunther laying in the hall, particularly after a few drinks.
He scarpered and left us and we wandered from room to room
Another universal house party experience. But this reminds me of a time when Chris and I were walking home from town and got talking to some students outside the Octagon. One of them invited us to an after party at their house in Broomhill (pictured above). The person who invited us disappeared and we wandered from room to room.
The things I remember from this party are that we knew no one there, everyone was from Southend-on-Sea, and I had the following conversation:
Me: So where are you from?
Me: Everyone here is from Southend-on-Sea! The only thing I know about Southend-on-Sea is that These New Puritains are from there. Do you know them?
Them: Yeah, the singer went to my school. He's a dickhead. They all live in London now.