You and your mates don’t see each other as much. You’ve changed. They’ve changed. Your collective memory of the single, unending Saturday night of your teenage years is something you cherish, but you can’t quite recapture the magic. Deep down you intuit that things will never be the same, that you’ll never again feel the sense of true belonging you felt as a seventeen year old, chinning Glens on a freezing street corner, talking about the time you almost got with Sharon from French.
But that intuition, which will prove ultimately to be correct, is something we’re all ignoring. So here are six songs to prove empirically that absolutely nothing has changed between you, Eric and Jenna, and you’re all still brilliant mates.
Which you definitely are. Brilliant, brilliant mates.
1. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
This blast of childish joy was all that anyone listened to a couple of years ago. Of course, that was when Steve still called me to hang out. Steve, if you’re out there, call me? Please?
2. Flourescent Adolescent – Arctic Monkeys
“Do you remember how we all used to wear those hilarious coloured jeans? And yellow hoodies from H & M?” Yes Dave, I do remember. Yet I cannot reclaim the moment. Just like the easy rapport we once had, it has been lost to the black wastes of time.
Sorry, what was that you were saying about political correctness having gone something or other?
3. When You Were Young – The Killers
An absolute classic from the golden time when your mates were still actually your mates. Less well known is the follow-up to this, titled ‘Now You’re a Bit Older and I Pretend to Myself That I Like You So As To Preserve The Memory I Have Of My Teenage Years’.
4. Too Late (To Apologise) – Timbaland (feat. One Republic)
It’s not too late to apologise for the time you called out one of your mates for saying something stupid, and they all agreed that ‘you’d changed’. But you are too proud to apologise. And what your mate said was really stupid. But there’s a big crew reunion coming up. What should you do? Well, play it cool and do some funny dancing. Why let on that you’re trying to convince yourself that you still know who you are? It will really bum everyone out.
5. That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
‘I remember back at home they called me Pintmaster Flash’. But you’re not Pintmaster Flash any more, are you? No, now you’re Tim from Hilda’s. Even your old friends don’t call you Pintmaster Flash now, and anyway you only see each other for an awkward drink once every two months. Say it to yourself, go on – ‘Pintmaster Flash’. Understand the extent of your deracination as the words turn to Pintmaster Ash in your mouth.
6. Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
When was the last time you saw Miranda? Or Alex? Dave’s having a kid, though it seems like only yesterday he was walking around telling girls to smell his finger. When you all meet up at the pub, this comes on, and the smiles that go round diffuse the tension between you all. But later on, in your sleep, you scream the chorus into the uncaring night. Soon you will wake in the grey dawn, too fearful to articulate what you already know, that you’ll never fit in anywhere again.