Our resident columnist Fat Roland remembers the time he met one of the guys from Orbital, his all-time favourite band. Except he doesn’t actually remember it because his brain was full of drugs, absinthe and, er, farm animals
I’ve met loads of famous people. Timmy Mallett, Tony the Tiger, Jesus, loads. It makes sense because I look like a sculpture made from the fatty tears of burger-Elvis.
I’ve seen enough telly biopics to know that fame is a curse, so I feign cool nonchalance when I do meet a star. I tut and shuffle my feet. When they namedrop their summer blockbuster, I just mutter, “Well, I was in a school play once, so shut up Keanu”.
Until Tribal Gathering. This was a crusty swamp of muddied ravers in which, to survive, you had to hoover as much stuff up your nose as possible: drugs, sherbet, absinthe, soil, farm animals, the lot. I was with a friend I shall call Pappy O’Flopwomble. Her name has been changed to protect her identity.
Pappy and I talked, danced with strangers, laughed into the night. But on the way from the line dancing tent to the Macarena tent, I spotted Thingy Hartnoll from Orbital. You know, the one with the headlamps. No, not that one, I mean the other one. I loved Orbital more than reheated quarter pounders. The fanboy in me exploded.
He was walking towards us! Thingy from Orbital! Maybe I should say something as he passed? I prepared my approach. I would either go for the legs, hoofing him like a horny piglet, or I would pretend to stumble into him like a bad romantic comedy. “Sorry, I’ve got 7-Up all over your tabard, let me just… take it off… mmmm, tabard.” Was he wearing a tabard? I don’t know.
Anyway, the point is, while I was planning an awkward fanboy introduction, Thingy said, “Hi Pappy” and Pappy said, “Hi Thingy”. Turns out Thingy Orbital knew my friend Pappy O’Flopwomble. I was suddenly in a three-way conversation with my hero.
Naturally, I tutted and shuffled my feet and played it all cool, like. Nonchalant, yeah? It was then that I discovered there are consequences to hoovering up drugs, sherbet, absinthe, soil and farm animals for 24 hours straight. The comedown. A chemical crash stomped on my brain like a neural Godzilla and I was reduced to a series of grunts and dribbles. Whatever was said, whatever chats and laughs Pappy and Thingy enjoyed, all I could perceive was a world melting into a mess of mental lard.
I’ve met loads of famous people. But meeting that hero will forever remain lost in a crusted swamp.