Thursday, May 20, 2010

2000 Troubled Teenagers

Ten years ago today - that is May 20th 2000 - I was at the Paradise Bar (now the Royal Albert) in New Cross Road for the legendary '2000 Troubled Teenagers' night. Well legendary for those who were there, as it was in the pre-blogging days of the early internet there's barely a trace of it online, so now is the time for a very late review!

(programme cover - click to enlarge)

The event was styled 'An evening dedicated to the Scottish group Belle & Sebastian', and basically consisted of a packed bar of B&S fans dancing to lots of B&S with some tracks by The Smiths and various indie-poppers. I seem to recall some Japanese people playing B&S cover versions too. A whole night of B&S was not enough for some - I think some people had a picnic first on Greenwich Hill to get in the mood. Yes it was arguably the peak of B&S obsessive fandom, though I'd still say they are my favourite band of the 1990s (and indeed still made some great tracks in the noughties).

There was a competition to make plasticine models on a B&S theme, inspired by the line in the band's song Expectations about a girl 'making life size models of the Velvet Underground in clay'. It was won by a girl who made a sculpture entitled 'Fox with a Sombrero to Wear in the Snow' (referencing another B&S song, Fox in the Snow).

There were also some free gifts like this Isobel Campbell hairclip (picture from Bus Stop at Flickr).

I believe the night was mainly put on by DJs Joe Egg and Nervous Stephen Fowler. Joe also put on gay indie/retro nights at the Paradise Bar. I see from the programme that Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden were also involved, the founders of Tatty Devine jewellery. The name of the night comes, inevitably, from a yet another B&S song, Beautiful: 'If you knew what's going on in her life, There'd be two hundred troubled teenagers to sit with her. And to talk to her'.


patrick1971 said...

I was there too; I'd just moved to New Cross at the time and was amazed to see something so cool happening in the area!

You forget to mention, though, how underprepared the Paradise Bar (as was) was for the crowd. Waits of 45 mins just to get a drink, and they even called up bar staff on the night to come in.

I still have a copy of the issue of Select magazine that covered it, and you can clearly see me in their crowd picture. A small slice of fame.

Transpontine said...

I don't remember seeing that report in Select, scan it please and I'll post it!

Harriet Vine said...

This was such a lovely night by our dear friends Joe Egg and Nervous Stephen. I remember it well, especial the clay modeling competition and dancing dancing dancing. I still have my Isobel Campbell hairclip.