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Book extract: A Casual Life – In Six T-shirts by Euron Griffith

21 Apr 2024 4 minute read
A Casual Life: In Six T-shirts by Euron Griffith is published by Seren

Euron Griffith

‘You’re on after this!’

JC’s face was right up to mine and he was shouting over the music – in his own voice, not the Tony Blackburn one he used when talking into his microphone in between records.

I nodded and tried to look calm. JC stepped up to his desk, grabbed the microphone, faded down the instrumental section in Boney M’s ‘Rasputin’ and turned himself into a semi-intelligible version of the popular Radio 1 breakfast host:

‘N afder thizz remembrr weehavv agggrrreat trrrreat for you bcauz therz zome liiiive muzzzig cummming yor weeey from theee grrrrate local band TEEEEEEEECCCCCKKKK!’

Boney M were faded back up in mid-chorus and the kids of Bethel carried on clumping and thumping.

Their arrhythmical stride may have been momentarily disturbed by some of JC’s drivel but that was the price to pay at the local disco.

Actually, I wished JC had put something a little less dancey on.

‘Rasputin’ was going down thunderously well and everyone in Bethel Memorial Hall was having fun, and I feared that we were about to put a stop to it.


My TECK T-shirt tightened around my chest like cling film and I was sure the sweat was causing the felt-tip ink to smudge and run.

Only Callum seemed relaxed. He gave me the thumbs up and grinned. His apparent lack of concern terrified me even more.


JC might as well have announced that a live rat had just been spotted in the middle of the dance floor because as soon as the record finished everyone scuttled to the sides of the hall and clung on to the chairs in panic.

An eerie silence filled the place, punctuated only by the discordant and intermittent cracks from my amp and Kelvin’s uncertain and breathy ‘one two, one two’s’as he pushed Queen Fiona’s microphone virtually into his mouth.

And then we were on.

‘One, two, three, four …’


Our entire audience either covered their ears or gazed in the direction of the stage with a mixture of horror and sheer disbelief.

I plucked the heavy E string with increasing urgency on the bass; it sounded like a hippo fart.

Kelvin mooed into Queen Fiona’s microphone like a Friesian cow that had just been struck by a bus. His eyes were firmly shut – like two minus signs, blocking out the world – so he, at least, had no idea of the scale of the agony he was causing.

Neither, seemingly, did Callum, who was grinning happily as he kept producing the one chord he had managed to tease out of the egg-slicer-like strings of his brother’s impossible guitar.

Tudor had his head down and was hiding behind his cymbals as if he’d just been found guilty of shoplifting and didn’t want anyone to recognise him.


JC acted quickly. He turned off my amp at the wall, snatched Queen Fiona’s microphone from a somewhat startled Kelvin and turned into Tony Blackburn again.

‘LedzheeridforagreadlocalbandthereTECKandgradetoheerlivemuzigheeronJCsmobilediscosoletzgedbacktothechartzzandShowaddywaddyUnderrthemooonofluv …’

As Showaddywaddy kicked in JC grabbed me so forcefully that I felt a slight tear in my T-shirt – somewhere in the shoulder area.

‘Don’t ever come near my disco again. You hear?’

And that was that. The end of TECK’s first gig. And the last.

Who knows? Maybe some have since claimed they were there for this historic event. If so, I’m sure all of them wish they hadn’t been.

A Casual Life: In Six T-shirts by Euron Griffith is published by Seren and available in bookshops.

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