Written by Ed Robertson & Steven Page
[from: 'WBCN Naked Too', Wicked Disc, 1998]
Music Leeds was much as I left it. If anything it's become even more of a student city, everything seemingly geared towards a particular age group. As anyone who's returned to a place they once lived after years of distance will know it's difficult not to look objectively. Around every corner is a distant memory, even in the most benign of places: the statue which had a traffic cone on it's head during my first week of university which I walked past with Sharon during the first walk back to halls from town; outside The Merrion Centre where I met Rosie that last time; the old library doorway I sat in eating fish and chips when I didn't want to go back to my lodges during my second year; the telephone box I would go to cry in when I was home sick; the museum I first saw Georgina Starr and went to my first private view; the cinema which was the only place which seemed to make sense to me much of the time. There are places which have gone: the second hand bookshop where you had to leave any bags behind the counter while you look around; the coffee shop in the city centre I would go to every Wednesday as treat because I could buy a cheese and ham baguette for 95p; the market stall were I bought the belt I still wear now to keep up my jeans; the Wendy's where I ate a square burger during my first ever movie binge ('Babe', 'Sabrina', 'The American President'); that other place where I fell in love. [Originally posted 30th October 2001]
[Commentary: The first lazy appropriation of blog material. The original post is here. I'd return to Leeds again two years later to visit all my old student houses. In 2008, that blog post was found online by some people who lived in one of the houses ten years after I did. In 2009, I sort of visited them again in 2009 thanks to the magic of Google Street View. Part of my thinks about going back again now, but then I wonder what the point would be twenty years after I was a fresher. It'll either be exactly the same or different, but it'll be nothing like these memories. Perhaps if there was someone there for me to visit, talk about these old times which somehow feel still so present in the memory, but university being what it is, we gathered from across the country then returned to our own cities. There was a moment, a brief moment, when I considered staying in Leeds, I suppose you always do when you're a student and you become embedded, but I suspected I'd spend the duration trying to continue to live the student days or as would have been my case lived them "better". That was the mistake I made when I did become a student again in 2005 wanting to have the student experience but entirely "failing" again due to living in a completely different city. Returning to my post-graduate student digs would be easy if I wanted to. I'm sitting in them typing this. Nothing has changed. Much.
The video above has though. Not being able to find the original track online, this other live version is from ten years later.]