So here it is, the biggest thing ever is here, well the biggest thing Shetland has ever seen - Pulp.
After queueing for five hours for tickets - not that the queue was that long, it was because all the tickets had to have the date changed from 11th July 1996 to 13th August, by hand. We had our tickets, just 1400 of us, a sold out capacity crowd for the Clickimin Centre. And we were mad for it! A couple of months later the day was finally here. Pulp were here. 1400 people wound up 'til bursting throughout the islands. 1400 people, most of whom had never been to a concert before. We were told on the radio how to behave, not to bring any bags or cameras, or to mind being searched, and not to start queueing before 7 o' clock. We didn't care what they did as long as we got in.
So at 6.30 we were there about a mile from the door. We'd been for a drink at the Queen's Hotel (where the band were staying) just in case we got a glimpse. But no. 7.30 door open, inside by 8, and wondering what happens next, buy a drink of beer (or cats water as it was) and wait and wait and wait. Rumours spread; "they're coming on at 9.30", "no 10.00", "10.15", When would something happen?... And then something did. A big gasp... is it?... No, only the support band. Who are they? asked everyone and they turned out to be Chin, Candida's brothers band. Even though we had never seen them before, let alone heard them before we all when mad for them. An odd mixture of rap/dub/levellers - we would have cheered for Daniel O'Donnell by that point!
By 10.15 we had already worked up a good sweat and could hardly contain ourselves much longer - when are they coming? When? When? Now, and in a huge cloud of smoke they were there and the noise nearly blew the roof off. Straight into 'Mis-Shapes' - we didn't know what had hit us. Next, 'Do You Remember The First Time?' asked Jarvis, we would never forget it.
"On your marks, get set, What comes next?"
'Monday Morning', the best way Jarvis winds a crowd up, 'Live Bed Show', the sleaziest, and 'I Spy' like it's only done live. Stunning.
The usual "God, I'm thirsty tonight" was joined with "who's related to Candida then?", to which everyone shouted "ME!" 'F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E.' proved that most pissed Shetlanders can't spell while 'Something Changed' proved even the slow ones are good live. Then we were in for a treat. "Here's a new one", says Jarvis "I only wrote the words last night" and they launched into 'Help The Aged' for the very first time ever. Not brilliant, the words sounded like someone hung over from the Edinburgh Film Festival, but something that would grow into another masterpiece, probably.
Just when we thought we couldn't sweat any more there was 'Sorted For E's & Wizz', and we did. But wait, what's that really popular song of yours?.. oh go on, sing it, and they did! Sing it for us, the most common of the Common People, 'til we thought we'd died and gone to a very sweaty heaven. We shouted for Candida and Jarvis picked her up and she said thanks for coming. Then it was over. "More" we cried and "encore" but it looked like they'd gone for good. Saddened, we stuck around shouting and sweating gently, then a light, a chord, "they're coming back!", 'Disco 2000' and 'Babies', what more could we ask for? Only for them to come back again and again and make Candida's extremely extended family absolutely burstingly proud and happy, (and not just a little sweaty).