Transplant +4: Down the dip

I’m officially entering the “dip” days now. It’s the point at which I have zero neutrophils and am likely to suffer most from the side effects of the chemo. I felt pretty unwell last night just before I went to bed, but the problems passed and I got a reasonable night’s sleep. At the moment, +4 feels like +3 – definitely not great, but very bearable.

Ever since the staff here began referring to these next few days as being the dip, I’ve had an earworm. So I’m going to share it with you, because it’s a great song. I’ve been picking through the lyrics, and they feel relevant too.

Some time in 1982 or 83, I saw Aztec Camera at a Warwick University ball. They performed in what was then known as the Rootes Workroom (I think it’s part of the Chancellor’s Suite these days). In the 80s, this was where you went to claim your grant cheque, take exams, heckle at political hustings and other staples of Warwick life. It was a curious concert venue, as the roof could only have been about 12 feet high. It made for a hot, sweaty environment and I still remember Roddy Frame complaining about it. You could barely breathe in there.

I’m certain he sang this song, as it was on their album High Land, Hard Rain. It had just been re-released (I think!) by a larger label than Rough Trade, their original record company. The YouTube video below looks to be contemporaneous. Enjoy!


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Reader Comments

  1. Andrew Morrish

    You got me thinking about Aztec Camera – I was never the greatest fan but they had some memorable songs, at least one of which makes it to my 80s “Bangers” playlist – althought that is quite a long list given my age! Quite surprised though to discover that there is only one top 10 single and 6 Top 40s – I had expected more. I suppose the competition was tough both sides of the border at that time. Roddy Frame is touring with a date in Birmingham Town Hall in late October -definitely a higher ceiling there! Who else did you see at Warwick Tim?

    • tim

      All kinds of acts. Squeeze were memorable, as were The Smiths. I went to some great classical concerts too. The most memorable wasn’t at Warwick, but when visiting a friend at Loughborough. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, supported by The Pogues. Such a good night until I lost my top radiator hose on the M1 on my way back to Coventry!

  2. Simon Gregory

    Wow That takes me back Talking about the Pogues As a brand new Senior house officer at the South Middlesex Hospital In Hounslow, West London in 1986 I was welcomed by a wonderful night sister Sr O’ Riordan As we talked I asked her something interesting about herself and she informed me that she was Elvis Costello’s mother in law, which she was as the time!

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