My excuse for missing The Magnetic Fields at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2004 was attending the wedding reception of my first girlfriend. As apt an excuse as any for missing the Magnetic Fields…but considering I’d gone out with her for just a couple of months 10 years previously, and the wedding took place at The Brittania Hotel  – it occurred to me as being just as good an excuse for skipping out on said wedding’s reception and going to the RNCM instead. An idea I posited at the time, only to be eventually swayed by threats of violence from the bride and other invitees. How could I not stay? I’d had my chap in the mouth that made those vows.

I owed her more than just popping-in before shooting-off.

It was with ‘69 Love Songs’ that I popped my Merritt-cherry, and it left such a mark as to likely trouble my current beau with its indelible associations – but you never forget that first time. I was turned-on to the album by a lesbian friend I met at a house party (in Whalley Range held at the HQ of integral members of the now defunct Kafequeeria Collective), with whom I shared a preternatural flirtation over the ensuing months in the form of meet-ups, mixtapes and pen letters expressing our innermost torments at our lacklustre fuck buddies…


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