I haven’t yet seen Meet Me In The Bathroom, the new documentary about the New York music scene of the early 2000s, featuring never-before-seen footage of artists including The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol and LCD Soundsystem. But several years ago, I tore through the 2017 book of the same name which inspired it, by American music journalist Lizzy Goodman. If the film is even a patch on that deeply researched, revealing, funny and controversial oral history, then I’ll probably enjoy it.
In part, I suppose, because it’s snapshot of my musical youth. Not that I was lucky enough to spend my youth anywhere near NYC – about the closest you got to the Big Apple in early-to-mid 2000s Edinburgh was drunkenly devouring an American hot from Pizza Paradise at four in the morning. But through the music, fashion and exhaustive magazine coverage of what the NME dubbed “the New Rock Revolution”, I vicariously lived and breathed it from afar for a formative phase of my student years.
I was even lucky enough to have an occasional brush with bands in its orbit as the scene blew up into a global movement, such as when a cusp-of-fame Franz Ferdinand played a spontaneous New Year’s Eve gig in my bedroom.
Not everyone is lucky to live through a proper epoch in music, small bean and ultimately transient as this one may have been compared to, say, punk or acid house. A lot of it, or at least a lot of how it was framed and hyped, was probably as much a product of a British and American music media grasping to revive the thrills, hysteria and attendant mag sales of grunge and Britpop as it was anything else. But epochs are few and far between in music, especially now, in a digital age when tastes and scenes have become atomised. This one was mine. I had the long straggly hair, I had the Converse, I had the scuffed-up leather jacket.
Life has long since moved on, just as it should. My hair’s short and greying now. Chuck Taylors just don’t pass the comfy footwear test. By chance, I found that leather jacket in a wardrobe the other day. Miraculously it still fits, but I felt like a right wally pulling it on and swiftly put it back.
But imagine life had never quite moved on?