[Originally written August 1988]

Well What great fun the Fife Aid festival was… standing in the pissing rain for hours on end watching bands that were quite simply crap. About the only decent thing had been the Sugarcubes, but they certainly weren’t worth getting soaked for, and the fact that Captain wasn’t even definitely playing didn’t help things.

Eventually we found out that he was backstage, and would be playing… much to our relief. There would’ve been big trouble if he hadn’t played!

After a while on came a disgusting green and red jumper containing the Sensible one. He was followed by Wreckless Eric and a bass player, who I thought to myself looked very familiar. It didn’t take ling for me to recognise Paul Gray, though he did look a bit different from the last time I saw him. Obviously he’d managed to escape from the UFO that took him away in ’83.

Just for a change Captain greeted the crowd with the immortal phrase “Fuck Off”, to which I’m sure a lot of people thought “can this really be the same housewife and granny’s favourite who made Happy Talk?” Of course it was, only now there was no-one there to clean up his image for public consumption. This was the real Captain Sensible : a foul-mouthed punk!! Well not quite, but no that far from the truth!

Wreckless Eric complained that Captain was further forward than him and that he should move back. Captain however didn’t see it quite like that… “You ought to move forward you turd” was his pleasant reply. “Shall we start then?” Wreckless asked. “I can’t be fucking bothered” said Cap, but he didn’t mean it really as they went straight into the classic “Smash It Up” which saw the first real sign of action from the crowd which up ‘til now had been very subdued (not surprising really considering the conditions). Down the front there were lots of people jumping about in the mud and having a great time.

After the aural onslaught of “Smash It Up” it was the first airing of the new single “I Get So Excited”. By the time you are reading this the single should’ve been a massive hit. If it hasn’t there is something seriously wrong with the Great British Public, and shock treatment should be administered immediately. What I’m trying to say is that the song is fucking brilliant and everyone should buy it… NOW!

Following this, Wreckless gave a little speech telling everyone what the next song was about. It was a bit pointless though as it’s impossible a thing he’s saying due to hi accent! Anyway, the song was called “Swimming Against The Tide Of Reason” and (in short form) is about two people who love each other so much that they both go  to the seaside and walk into the sea together, never to be seen again… a lovely happy song!  For this one Wreckless took over on lead vocals, which I hadn’t expected, but it worked out well. Throughout the song (and the rest of the set) Captain was dodging flying beer cans directed towards the stage following his request for “more beer!”  At one point he caught a can in mid-air, took a drink, and kicked it back into the crowd… is this man cool or what?!

“A Sporting Life, and Captain don’t even know the fucking words” shouted Wreckless as they went into the “Toys Take Over’s” excellent b-side with Cleo from Tin Pan Alley having to hold up the words as Cap couldn’t remember them!

Wreckless Eric stepped up once again to do vocals on the great “Some Of Us” and the even greater “Whole Wide World” (which some of you may remember seeing on the Way They Were a few years ago). This song is a classic and I was glad to see it included in the set. It kept a good balance between Captain Sensible numbers and Wreckless Eric songs.

The final song of the day was “Glad It’s All Over” which even managed to get some of the crowd singing along (which is quite something considering how depressing the day had been). Midway through the song an incredible thing happened… for the first time on god-knows how long, the sun actually came out! “Glad It’s All Over” was the perfect song to be playing at the time… maybe it was an omen and there is some sort of future to look forward to… or perhaps it was just because the wind had blown some of the clouds away… who knows…    Anyway, it was a great finish to the set and everyone seemed to have had a great time – the band, the crowd, everyone.

With a final kick of a can into the crowd, Captain stumbled off the stage (most likely in the direction of the nearest beer) and it was over. Wreckless But Sensible – the only bright spot in a very grey day…