Whatever happened to bonfire night?
gunpowder, treason and council organized bonfires...Whatever happened to bonfire night?

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John Robb considers hibernation

1. Going out

Town is full of bog-eyed psychopaths, leering at the girls and cranked on cheap drugs and crap booze looking for a scrap – and that’s just the cops! New Year’s Eve is truly the amateur night out; the night out for people who never go out, squeezing the last desperate juice out of the party season and looking to put a couple of people in casualty whilst they’re at it.

2. Staying in

Staying in is always wrong but on New Year’s Eve it’s something you get stuck with. Just look around town. There is nothing going on apart from plastic bars playing plastic music with double-priced plastic drinks, maybe getting to bed about mid-afternoon and putting a pillow over your head is the only way. Small furry animals have it right – hibernation is the answer.

3. Recession-busting prices

Every form of travel is doubling their fares and halving their services and then you get marooned in the middle of nowhere and the taxi is a wallet-emptying price. These are the only pounds you’ll be shedding this bank holiday.

4. Paying to get in the local
Christ, even the crap local pub charges ten quid to get in and it’s jam packed full of the people everyone has been trying to avoid all year.

5. ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1, CHEER…’

That weird moment when everyone cheers at midnight as December tumbles into January.

6. New year’s resolutions

Does anyone actually still bother with these? The bizarre wishful thinking that goes on and lasts about ten minutes into waking up ill on New Year’s Day.

7. The honours list

MBEs for rubbish pop stars that we had hoped disappeared and millionaires patted on the back for charity work and, er, Annie Lennox. Not good. Accountants can’t dance and most politicians shouldn’t be let near pop culture.

8. Jools Holland

Nice bloke etc, but please don’t play your boogie woogie piano over every track tonight.

9. Holiday ads on the TV

They just fleeced you for xmas and now they want to fleece you for summer

10. Sales

Stuff you would never buy in shops you would never go in if there wasn’t a sale on. What a bargain.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Paying a tenner to get in the local is ridiculous. They say it’s to limit the numbers but why can’t they just give out tickets for free..and stop when they reach the limit? Yeah…I’m being naive…the money…but you do usually get the first drink free ;-)
    Small Furry Animals? A tribute band for Super Furry Animals, surely ;-)

  2. with my mum and my girlfriend, it’s new years eve, i’m drinking tea, and look how i’m spending my time. it could be worse.

  3. I yearn for the day when one day a band on Later just stops playing when Jools sneaks in on his piano and says to him – “Jools, mate, nice bloke n’ all – just shut the fuck up with your boogie woogie piano for 5 FUCKING MINUTES AND LET US PLAY OUR TUNE….. thanks” and then carries on.


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