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band called the Get Up Kids. The bands we watched were the big bands of the time – Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Spiritualized, White Stripes, Primal Scream - bands that still bring up a weird kind of loyalty in me that, when I think about it, is really a loyalty to myself. Instant blood brothers with the Get Up Kids, Lola and I never found a chance to test our theory that we were at the festival as groupies, but that summer that I could have been one, I knew instantly that I would rather be on stage, than at the perimeter drinking the rider and wondering how it felt. The Get Up Kids left on Sunday, and we asked if we would see them again next year. They said, “You should start a band so you can come back.” So we did. We both still make music now. Fuji Rock also offered a small redemption from my first interaction with Joe - that warning in the corridor between the Brixton Academy dressing rooms. Driving back to the airport in a courtesy van, we all sang ‘Alligato’ to the tune of Elvis’ ‘In the Ghetto’, and drank the last of the alcohol. The last thing Joe ever said to me, ever, ever, was, “I like you,” tears rolling down his cheeks because we were eaving Japan. When Joe passed away that December, I grieved for my friends and their loss, and for the sweet, extraordinary man whose light had shone on me for that brief moment. The night before the news broke, sleepless in the house I shared with his daughter, I wrote him a letter on a school issue laptop promising that I would be there for her. I let the laptop go, but not the promise, and every time I make a decision as a musician, I try to remember a few things that I picked up from my first glimpses of the music industry.  See the good in people. Be the centre of a universe. For a long time I tried not to tell anyone about the origins of my musical ambitions. It felt like it was part of my friends’ private family experience, and I didn’t want to be trading on it in any way. But twelve years have gone by now, and two years ago they threw a festival to mark the first decade since his death. Joe’s campfires live on via their family charity, Strummerville, and his legacy lives on in all the ways that you know. It feels OK to talk about now. The last time I played Glastonbury, a security guard came over and said my husband was waiting for me out front, and I knew exactly who he meant. Me and the DJ joke about getting divorced some day, but actually I kind of like having a Glastonbury husband, and I’ll always be grateful to him for throwing me into a world that eventually became mine. 

Pavement Licker No. 09  

Pavement Licker started life in 2003 in a dirty London pub when artist James-Lee Duffy got friend and writer Josh Jones involved in his idea...

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