You’re at a parent’s 60th birthday party in a mid-price function room at a newly-refurbished hotel. You’ve been planning it for months. The buffet is waiting under clingfilm and the covers band is playing an early set with some laid-back, jazz-inflected classics that won’t offend anyone.
Suddenly, the doors to the venue burst open and five lads who work on the waltzers at the travelling fair that’s in town strut in, diving into the buffet in front of shocked onlookers and spitting vol-au-vent onto the floor as a child skids across it and into the mushed up prawns. Granny nearly spits her teeth out.
The barechested leader of the group who has a passing resemblance to Bon Scott of AC/DC walks straight over to the band with a cocky smile and whispers menacingly in the singer’s ear in a south-eastern drawl: “We’ll be playing the music now”. The song withers to a halt and the gatecrashers grab the instruments and turn the amps on full. The guitars screech and chime as the bass throbs and grinds ominously. “Enjoy yourselves” growls the leader into the mic: “This is just entertainment”. They begin to play.
It’s the best party anyone has ever been to. Despite the singer’s lack of anything approaching a tune and the young band blowing the icing off the cake with their post-punk wall of sound, it’s absolutely infectious.
Several of the guests, who appear to be in a Harry Hill lookalike contest, even manage to become the middle-aged waves underneath the crowd-surfing frontman (by now known to us as Charlie Steen) and by the end of the set even Auntie Susan is jumping around at the front with distant memories of Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen spinning in her head.
Shame at The Cluny.