Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
The best bars are the ones that are only used for drinking. The cracked stools are used for holding the full weight of grown ass men, at any hour of the day. The best bars are those that are used -- albeit sparingly -- all day long, from the mid-morning to the other mid-morning, when it's darker, quieter, sadder and wavier. They're better for all kinds of reasons, but mostly just because in their grit and the stickiness that you can't get off of the edge of the bar's surface, there's a lived in luster that's quite hard to explain. There's forfeiture in every inch of those places. They are places to wallow and stew in, almost like churches. The people that are put into Hidden Charms songs are those who can appreciate all of the above. They are people who have pissed into the filthiest urinals imaginable and found escape in the deep folds of night, in the long pours of the tap. They have learned that times are tough in ways that aren't allegorical or mythical.