Small tale of cigarettes and fishbowls.

It’s the middle of summer and we turn up to the Y theatre to see The Curve, one of Leicester’s top bands play a headline set. We made friends with them after a gig a couple of months back and they have invited us to join them backstage to “party”. When we played with them the last time the scene two hours after the gig is something Keith Richards could be proud of, there blonde’s walking around and smells of all herbs flowing through the smoking area.
The great us at the door and show us to the backstage area. When we get to the back the scene is just as famous as the one before. Pills, powders and poppers lay wasted across chairs and lay on top of tables. Mark, the bands lead singer hands us (me, Liam, Jay and our bands manager Dave) glasses of straight triple vodkas and goes onto present a bag of white powder and says “want some?”
“Not yet dude, a bit later maybe, lets get watching some bands first” I say.
“Ok lads, we are on after the next band is on”.
We all down our drinks and head towards the stage where a band is finishing up their set. We stand at the foot of the stage as The Curve start to put their gear on the stage and Mark leans over to me and says “if you want any drugs to ask our manager Chris and he will sort you out”
“Maybe later dude, lets have some drinks and watch you lads play first then we might do later”.
Mark then calls over his manager and gets him to give some more drinks, it’s the same again, straight triple vodkas and this time a beer, just to wash the vodka down with.
After 20 minutes of setting up their gear and a quick line check they start to play and almost immediately you can tell substances have taken part in their day. Song after song is out of time. They speed up or they slow down, the drummer Trey speeds up and slows down, he’s trying to keep up with the bassist who I don’t know the name of and the bassist is trying to keep up with Mark who’s dazed out in the crowd and the nameless guitarist is trying to keep up with Trey. Song after song is the same but they look like a rock and roll band and they are putting so much energy into what is a chemically fuelled performance.
They finish the set to a huge round of applause and cheers from a packed house and they wave us into the back. So we make our way and Mark comes running up to us covered in sweat and says “How was we?”
“You were ok” our manager says
“Good” and Mark and the rest of the band run off into their dressing room and telling us to join them. But at this point it’s time for us to go, we all want to hit the bars around the town centre and see where the night takes us. Liam walks into the room to see mark snorting white powder off of a chair and tells him we are leaving and that we will party another night. Liam comes walking up to me and says “shits getting wild in that room right now and I just want to get pissed so lets go, they are fucked and I want to be fucked so lets go to the nearest pub”.
Just before we leave Mark comes running over to us, his eyes glazed and still covered in sweat, his leather jacket hanging off by one arm and his white vest torn right down the middle. He says to us “You can’t go, we haven’t partied yet”
“We are going to party right now mate, we are gonna hit some bars, if you want come and join us later” says Jay
“Ok, I’ll gather the band together and meet you somewhere soonish, where are going”
“Probably the Firebug”
“See you there lads”.
Mark goes running back into the backstage area as we the leave venue and start making our way to the Firebug, all of us now starting to feel the vodka that’s now flowing through us like a wave.
On the way to the Firebug Liam spots a pub and says “lets go in there for a couple, it won’t take long”. When we go through the doors the place is empty and Wonderwall is playing on in the background. We go to the bar and we all order cocktails, those big great fishbowl cocktails with all colours of the rainbow floating around it and ice peeping over the top. All of us head towards the DJ with our bowls and start trying to dance and make complete arses of ourselves and we down the bowls while Blur finish up playing and we then go grab some more. None of us know what’s in them, we just know that they taste good and we down them again and then we all get another two and do the same thing. Liam says “I think it’s time I better be going, I’m too fucked now, I’ve drank too much goldfish water and I need to go”. So Liam leaves and me, Jay and Dave have a shot of Jack Daniels for the road and then leave for the firebug.
We get there, we hand the bouncers our id, he lets us in and we walk through the doors to a room full of people. Mark is on his own at the bar with two girls and he spots us and calls us over and gets us triple vodkas again. We all down them quick and he orders us the same again. “Lets go outside I need a cig” says jay so we all walk outside and Mark leaves the girls at the bar “I don’t even know them” he says.
We stand outside talking and sipping our triple vodka’s and Mark offers me a cigarette and I tell him I’m not hungry. He looks at me with a drunken confused look like I’ve just tried to tell him the meaning of life backwards “You’re not hungry?”
“No, I’m not hungry”.
He just looks at me and stares right through my soul “It’s just his party trick” says Jay
“Party trick?”
“Yeah, I have this thing where I will just eat a lit cigarette for no reason at all, I would do it now but like I said I’m not hungry”.
Dave shouts “Bloody do it, just bloody do it he wants to see you do it”
“Ok, I’ll bloody do it loud mouth”.
Mark then gives me a cig and I light it and smoke it half way and then put it in my mouth. I chew and chew and it burns and burns but I make it through to the end I swallow it and I still out my tongue to show everyone and they give me a big cheer.
“Do it again” says Jay.
“I can’t do it again, it’s already burnt my mouth”.
Then he gives me his and I do it again, chewing and chewing and it burns like crazy but I make it through to the end again but I wash it down with the vodka, just to help it reach my the lower ends of my stomach and to give my mouth a little booze to kill off any infection.
After spending two hours in the pub and 6 triple vodka’s we decide to leave and go home. Walking towards the McDonald’s I start to feel that’s somethings not right in my stomach and I know it’s that feeling, everything is about to come up like a volcano. I turn to Jay “I’m gonna be fucking sick”. He grabs me by the arm and pulls me towards a bush and then it happens, everything comes up. Vodka and the rainbow fishbowls all decide to make show again. For the next 30 minutes I hunch over a bush throwing up everything I can from the lower ends of my stomach and at one point a group of about 8 lads stand behind me dancing and doing a conga line and singing football songs as I water the bush with my sick. And then Jay grabs me under the arms and that’s when everything goes blank.
I wake up the next morning in Dave’s flat on his sofa and bowl on the floor. Jay slept next to me and I wake him up and say “What the hell happened last night after I was sick? I can’t remember anything after the conga ended”.
“Well we picked you up and took you back here, we put you on the bus where you fell asleep and when we got off you threw up again next to a bin for another 15 minutes and then like a zombie you stood up straight and started to walk and we had to run after you. Then for some reason you started to sing Love Me Do by The Beatles and then you fell over a curb as you tried to cross the road”.
“Oh, ok”.
“Then when we got you back here you collapsed on to the sofa and passed out so I just got you bucket and a pint of water just in case you woke up being sick again”.
“So all in all it ended up being a bloody good night out than. Just wish my tongue didn’t hurt”.
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