For the first few weeks in Manchester, I inveigled myself into Coich's spare room while I set about registering myself with the DSS in Rusholme and looking for somewhere else to live, not really wishing to test our friendship to destruction. Eventually Jane and Jenny living high in Moss Side allowed me into their bedroom - the spare one overlooking Princess Road - and my residency in the heathen north became permanent.

The Manchester Corporation apartment was a splendid one, boasting two good sized bedrooms (and my box room) together with unrivalled views of the Harp Lager factory. It also had a phenomenal heating system that could only be regulated by opening and closing the windows and by various levels of undressing. Eventually Jenny implored me to keep my pants on - after all, it was February and there was still snow on the pavements.

It was around this time that I first saw Factory Records supremo Tony Wilson. However, Coich and Maguire arrived shortly afterwards so I was compelled to turn off Granada Reports and accompany them to the Hot Pot, a local watering hole that occasionally featured live bands. A top night out could be had downing copious quantities of Hydes Anvil while being entertained by a selection of local artistes until they were thrown off the stage by Gorrers, the large gay barman who lived two doors down from me. One unfortunate act thought it would be a splendid finale if they were to lob toilet roll around. We watched as blood rushed into Gorrers' face who hurtled over and seized the lead singer by the neck.

"Were you born a cunt?" he enquired forcefully, before urging the rest of the pub to "get it down your necks" and abandon his hospitality.

Despite our mean circumstances, we often went on after the Hottie to a night club in town, the New Continental in Harter Street. We remain life members of this club (or would, if we could find our membership cards) which instead of having a DJ, had a jukebox centre stage instead. There were often long periods of silence while people foraged for change punctuated by Zorba's Dance, one of the three records available. We would dance until dawn, or until someone woke me up and pointed me in the direction of Moss Side.

Some months after my arrival at 609 Arnesby Walk, Moss Side, Jenny moved out. It may have been my continued predilection for a nylon dressing gown three sizes too small but is more likely to be Coich's attempt to set fire to the kitchen floor during a party. There seemed to be little wrong with this to my point of view but somehow, Jenny never really saw the rationale behind my various antics. Jane on the other hand would often join in, although even she would probably have drawn the line at arson. But little else, I suspect.

Maguire and I helped Jenny move out, destroying most of her furniture on the twelve flights of stairs to the ground. But she bought us a bottle (Hirondelle) for our kindness. Jenny's departure gave us that we sought most (after Happy Hour at the Hot Pot), a permanent practice room. Almost as soon as Jenny's meagre possessions had gone, Coich's drums and our WEM PA took their place and the sound of our art rang out over the empty spaces between Arnesby Walk and the University.

My brother came up for the weekend in March. During a gig at the Thompsons Arms, we hatched a plan to lure my Polish girlfriend to the top of Snake Pass and abandon her in the snowy wastes (it wasn't going well but I was too feeble to chuck her and manslaughter seemed to be by far the most sensible option). Wearing the least sensible clothes we could find, Coich, Brooks, the Pole, my brother and I boarded the train to Glossop.

At the foot of Snake Pass, we were distracted for a few hours by a wayside pub. Having just collected our dole money a few days earlier, we could not help but venture inside. A splendid time was had by all and we continued up the pass in sodden plimsolls much the merrier. Several hours later, cut by a biting Pennine wind we reached the top exhausted but still semi-conscious. The mucky footpath we had followed on the ascent was not deemed to be wise and we followed the road back to Glossop, doing a passable impression of the retreat from Moscow. None of us had noticed that the Pole was still with us and my relationship was to continue for another seven years, until I was mercifully chucked in favour of a female wrestler from Holloway.

Slides 2010-6
Coich and I contemplate cheesecake in King Street, Manchester