The other night I had a dream in which the Jackson Five were re-forming.
That's not the strange part. And before you ask, they'd asked Janet to fill in. Apparently LaToya hadn't been answering their calls.
Anyway, the Five - Janet, Tito, Marlon, Wossname and Thingy - we're getting back together for a worldwide tour. Clearly, being a little more advanced in years, they decided they should have backing singers. And this is where things got a little weird.
I received a phone call, telling me that I'd been selected to back up the First Family of Motown. In my dream I'd protested my lack of talent. "Me? Doing BVs for the Jacksons? But I'm not even a very good singer. And you'll need someone who can move around the stage a bit. I can't dance." But the caller was insistent. He was not to be swayed. I was to get the next plane to New York where the Five would be waiting for me and the rest of the backing singers. So I did.
Walking through Midtown Manhattan I noticed that the streets appeared to be filled with Mexican gentlemen, all wearing Genesis tour T-shirts. The 1987 Invisible Touch tour, if you're interested. I passed this off as a coincidence. I had an appointment to make, after all.
I entered the anonymous-looking bar I'd been told to find, where I met the rest of the backing singers. And, for those of you not already weirded-out by the story so far, they were; an unknown American guy who only ever said "You crazy English", a girl I work with and, for some reason, Guy Garvey, lead singer of acclaimed indie band Elbow.
I asked him: "Why are you here? I mean, out of all of us you can at least sing, but why are you here, supporting the Jacksons?"
He smiled, stroked his beard, and in a deep Lancastrian burr, replied: "I believe people should always try everything at least once. Apart from incest and Morris Dancing."
Then my dream turned into one of those scenes they have in movies, where they portray the development of a team over a sequence of cut shots, showing how an unlikely group of people get formed into a tight unit. Think "Escape to Victory", or "The Mighty Ducks". We learned "I Want You Back," could do our "ABCs" blindfolded. Goddammit, we said to ourselves, this might just work.
"You crazy English," said the American.
In one diversion, Guy took me to another part of the city, to a drop-box where he was receiving post. He pulled out a parcel. "Here, I want you to have this." It was a fur coat, a full mink, but with military badges sewn into it. I didn't know what to say. "I don't know what to say," I said.
We all arranged to meet the Jacksons at the bar, but they stayed away. So we started drinking heavily. Then one of us asked the bartender for food. Wiping his hands on his Genesis t-shirt, he brought through plates of uncooked pork - essentially a dismembered pig. The others started to argue over it. My abiding memory is of the lead singer of Mercury-prize-winning Elbow bickering with a work colleague over a pig's head.
Then I woke up.
Would anyone care to interpret this?