My own tale of Notting Hill hipness beyond description — by chance, back in 2000 I was invited to attend the opening night of Alan McGee’s club he started a few months after Creation pissed away the last bits of champagne. What was it called, Radio 4 or Radio 5? It was in Notting Hill and I remember looking about the area as we arrived and thinking…well, not all that much I suppose. What American real estate agents would call ‘a funky neighborhood,’ without giving away whether that was supposed to be a positive or a negative.

Whereever the club was exactly, it was down a narrow staircase into a lower basement area where a band was supposed to play later (Montgolfier Brothers or Gnac, I assume the former though). We ended up leaving before that (another opportunity to see a band in close quarters in London missed!) but I remember thinking the beer of choice was nice but I failed to see what the special attention paid to it was all about (it was Finnish, I recall that much). It was all fairly cramped and hot and tiring and there were few places to sit and those that were sitting there seems distinctly disinclined to move from those locations.

I guess I was surrounded by some sort of semi-professional will-always-turn-up-at-openings crowd. For all I know I now know a number of the people who were there. But at the time I was just sorta thinking that it was a million miles away from the extended blissfloat that McGee’s money helped fund a decade beforehand, probably. Then again Dave Cavanagh’s book hadn’t come out quite yet.