This originally appeared on the excellent, award-winning, My Band T-Shirt site.
Of course, my mother hated it. It was bright, acid-custard, yellow with a 70s style navy blue trim around the neck and arms, a discreet Pulp log on the back and I’M COMMON emblazoned across the chest.
Although we lived in a small industrial town in the armpit of the North-West, my sister and I went to the local comp and our dad was a welder, my mum had worked very hard to make sure I wasn’t common.
To tell the truth, I didn’t think I was common either. Growing up in Ellesmere Port with a name like Georgina and a school shirt from Marks and Spencer, I thought I was quite a cut above the Sharons and Nicolas in Tammy Girl that hung around outside the Wimpy. No, it wasn’t until I went to university that I realised how common I was.
But, that was still a few months away. This was mid 1995 and I was about to embark on the best summer of my young life.
I’d taken an enforced gap year between sixth form and university and in that time made a momentous discovery about life. I, was an indie kid.
From Blur to Oasis, Menswe@r to Elastica, heck, even taking in Northern Uproar, if it had a jangly guitar, a floppy haired singer, and a beat you could shuffle your Gazelles to, I was all over it. And Pulp were the crowned kings and queen of my personal indie disco.
I wore my band t-shirt with black flares, cherry red Dr. Martens, and a fitted army jacket. When I was chased out of a former-school pal’s party for being a ‘bloody hippy’ I was delighted because I knew I was getting it right: I was a Mis-shape, I was Sorted and I knew that one day I would use my mind to get my own back on all the kids who’d called me Orangina and taunted me at school. The form of this revenge was not defined but I was pretty sure it would involve coming back in a blaze of glory and lording it up in the local pub somehow.
But, for that summer, I was content to go berserk in the singles aisle of HMV, devour every word in the NME and dance Friday nights away in the nearest city’s alternative disco because, my God, other people liked this music too and some of them were wearing band t-shirts as well.
Since moving to London, playing in a band and working as a showbiz journalist, I’ve met many people my I’m Common self would have creamed her pants over, and I’ve always managed to keep my cool. But the closest I’ve ever come to Jarvis was accidentally standing next to him at a bar after another band’s gig in the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. I didn’t say anything to him, although I’m pretty certain I must have discreetly fingered his jacket, but fled to the toilet to screech down the phone about the childhood hero I’d just shared smoky air with. The person I rang? My mum. I knew she’d realise how momentous it was.