Another Sunday, Another Weekend, Spring 1991

Finally, you roll in some time on Sunday. Your flat sounds peculiarly quiet, your ears still ringing from the last few hours in front of the bass bins. You’ve got work in the morning and the substances are still rushing around your system. You go to the bathroom, catch sight of your face in the mirror; yep – huge pupils, jaw with a mind of its own. 

Retreat to the lounge where your mates are settling in and someone skins up. Netflix hasn’t been invented and anyway, you still need music, so shit TV with no volume and an accompanying soundtrack of chill-out – as millions of people in a similar state all over the country start to cocoon up together and put on Electribe 101, the Orb, the KLF or, of course, the album that would become the true soundtrack of the post-rave comedown: Blue Lines from Massive Attack. 

Blue Lines on repeat: ‘The Hymn of the Big Wheel’ ends and after a moment’s pause ‘Safe from Harm’ starts up again. Endless spliffs, stories, laughs, feet still tapping to the beats from several hours ago. Someone’s going to have go on a mission to get milk and Rizla. Heading off to the corner shop like Victorian explorer David Livingstone setting out into the African continent. Then standing at the counter, you’ve got the milk, you also seemed to have picked up a couple of Twixes, a Dunn’s River Nourishment, a massive bag of Wotsits and have successfully asked for and received more Rizla, so it looks like you’re up for the win. But now you’re stood at the counter and there are some flat, circular metal objects in your hand: you stare at them and weigh them up, they have a pleasant, chunky quality to them. They’re warm from being in your pocket, different sizes and colours, but the exact nature and function of them remain locked in that part of your brain that you really weren’t planning on using again until Monday morning at the earliest. 

 

You become aware that the man behind the counter is saying numbers. You wonder how long you’ve been standing there. The numbers are connected to the circular objects … coins! They’re coins. Now, which ones does this nice man want? Mr Newsagent Man gently takes the £4.80 from your hand with the patience of a toddler’s parent – it’s Sunday in Plumstead, half a mile from the Tasco Warehouse and you’re not the first befuddled brother who’s turned up in his shop today looking for Rizla. 

 The journey back to the flat is cold and uneventful, Plumstead is slipping into a grey, Sunday evening coma, the light of countless TVs flickering behind the lace curtains. Shut the door behind you, and ‘Blue Lines’ is segueing into ‘Be Thankful for What You Got’. All over the UK, in the countryside and in cities, people like you and your friends are swaddled up together, piecing together the weekend’s adventures, who did what, which tunes were played, our eyes still wide with excitement, as we live through the best nights of our lives.
Photos by Dave Swindells

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