Four Songs (Part Three)

3. ‘The Next Life’, Suede (Suede, 1993)

She’d met someone.  Met Someone.  At a party, and it was different.  He was an actor, she told me, and was really into music.  I heard A LOT about his physical attractiveness.

Later, they appeared together in a play on the London fringe; a two-hander written by her flatmate.  The flat was on Delancey Street in Camden and we’d hole up in her room with cigarettes and wine and Brett’s excessive, extravagant voice, the churning, swooping guitars and incense, a fug of incense and I’d hear more about Simon and I, always a little embarrassed by emotion, would feel dizzy with it all, with her intensity, with this new-to-me band and the way that London was cracking open its labyrinths for her.

She gave me a tape of the album later, and then several compilation tapes with other Suede tracks on them.  I think this was when she and Simon had moved into the flat in Kilburn.  They used to take me to pubs where you could get a pint of lager for less than a quid, and we’d talk and talk about music, about the bands they were meeting through their promotions work, about drama and life and everything in that way you do when you’re young and have so much time but feel like you have none.

And they’d talk to each other, half-bickering or mocking, laughing, each following the ins-and-outs of each other’s minds so fascinatedly, so intensely that they’d appear to forget where they were, who they were with.  It made me feel safe and happy to hear them, and when I think about those times, Brett Anderson’s voice rises:  ‘see you….in your next life….’

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