Definitely Maybe Certainly
Updated: Jul 3, 2021
This was originally written in September 2019....
On this day 25 years ago, I got a train back from Newcastle to Exeter. I had been to see my girlfriend, who I was with for most of University. She was heading to France to become a nanny the following week and I got on the train home knowing that our relationship was essentially over, something I had been trying for and failing for some months.
As I got on the train, I knew my life was about to change. I had managed to extend university life by a year by getting elected as General Secretary of my student union, but was starting my first proper job after university the next day. And terrifyingly, I realised I was basically single for the first time in 3 years.
I slipped my new cassette of Oasis’ Definitely Maybe into my walkman and sat back and contemplated what happens next. I hit play, having heard Supersonic and had been told they were the new Stone Roses (a lazy comparison I still feel) - I wasn’t sure what the album was going to be like and I wasn’t sure what the next phase of my life would be like either.
From the get go, the music blew me away. I played the album over and over again - it’s a six hour journey so I must have played it 8 or 9 times consecutively.
I was nervous about lots of things, but this life affirming, thrilling album made me feel buoyant. Britpop was just taking hold and music was exciting, this chap called Tony Blair gave us some real hope of a Labour government, I had a growing collection of great Ben Sherman shirts and Fred Perry tops and I had cash on the hip. It was all good and the memory of playing that album has stayed with me. Loud guitars, singalong choruses and Liam’s snarl assuaged any fears I had and I remember heading back to my new digs feeling elated.
What followed was numerous gigs, more Fred Perrys and Ben Shermans, crashing and burning with an alarming number of women and far too many pints of beer. They were happy days, and whenever I play the album, I am transported back to post-student life Exeter; to the Cavern Club, the Timepiece, the Hole In The Wall and lots of fun. Oh, and chatting up women using the lyrics of Jon Bon Jovi (not recommended, and not very effective) - thanks for that Stevey....
I will be playing this album today, excited to be here in Australia, thinking about what I do next with my career, lining up more gigs, selecting which of the 14 Fred Perrys I packed I will wear today, and thinking by how lucky I am not to be crashing and burning in dingy clubs, but instead the other side of the world with my lovely wife.
Life’s still exciting as is Definitely Maybe.