Brief Encounter #7

wet wet wetMarti Pellow

IT was a rainy day in Glasgow, but in March it is always wet on the west of Scotland.

This particular March day in 1997 it was a very wet day outside and decidedly wet, wet, wet on the inside.

I was enjoying an afternoon music shopping in the city with my eldest son when we decided to visit Tower Records at the end of Argyle Street.

It was about 2pm as we entered the store and I was surprised to find it almost empty. Two heavy set men in black jerkins were prowling the front of the store. Searching for some Bob Dylan related CDs we made our way to the back and began browsing the shelves.

Suddenly I was aware of four arty haired guys looking at CDs a few rows in front of us. They seemed strangely familiar.

Gradually one of the young men stood next to me and glanced at the copy of the Dylan CD I had in my hand.

“Hey he’s cool,” he suddenly remarked, smiling at me.

I glanced back at him and smiled blankly.

The guy moved on and the faint recognition became more solid. I turned to my 12 year-old son and asked quietly: “Do you recognise him, Ben?”

My son looked back at me and quipped: “Yeah, I think he is the singer with Wet, Wet, Wet.”

You mean “Marti Pellow?” I asked.

“Yeah I think that’s his name,” replied Ben.

Before the “Oh my God” sensation sunk in, I looked up to see the four members of the band leave the store with a black jacketed security guard and jump into a car parked outside.

I looked in bemusement at my son before buying a copy of Ian Hunter’s You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic and continue back to our own car.

I later discovered that Wet, Wet, Wet had played a widely advertised live gig from the top floor of Tower Records about an hour before we had arrived. The store had been cleared for them to do a bit of shopping after the gig. Somehow we must have breezed past their rather lax security!