Hillside '86

What were you doing in the summer of 1986? For me, May, June and July were the final months at primary school. Unaware that many of us were acting out the last moments of friendship. Suddenly September came; secondary school division.

Until then, the playing fields stretched out for the rest of the summer term to enjoy between lessons. Wandering off to its far corners, trying to annoy old gardeners running out their days around smouldering bonfires and greenhouses at the bottom of gardens that backed onto the school. Kicking piles of freshly cut grass at one another, watching tadpoles develop and die magnified by the classroom fish bowl, a trip to a rural country museum and a field trip away from parents on the Welsh border at rambling old Dunfield House.

It was wonderful being a kid in that summer as the ‘pastel’ eighties were underway. Between primary and secondary. A magical twilight; the setting of childhood innocence, the dawning of awkward adolescence.

Early in 2018, Ben from epic45 sent a new track over for collaboration on their new LP. It had a working title of ‘Hillside 86’. Those chord changes instantly took me back to that summer. A sad aching nostalgia…to relive that dusk walk with lost school friends up the hillside next to Dunfield…to watch the sun drop on that July Friday evening…“here for hours, just looking down”

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