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  • Writer's pictureMatt Hopper

Wash 'n' Go


This page dates to about 2000AD. I remember laughing at it at the time and I've been looking for it ever since. It's the top 10 favourite Hull graffiti of the drummer of successful local pop band the Beautiful South. If the reader casts their eye to number 5 they will see "Wash 'n' Go".

This graffito was made by me early one morning after a drunken visit to the Silhouette nightclub. It would have been about 1992 and "Wash and Go" was our band. We were really bad, save a few tiny flickers of potential. Me and Charles started jamming together in about 1990 and one drunken night in the Welly Charles thought it would be a good idea to ask local busker Dooge to be our singer. Charles made him an offer he couldn't refuse: unlimited cups of tea and rehearsal space in his parents' stables in the pretty little East Riding village of Little Weighton. I was living in a big 1930s semi in Cottingham and Dooge used to laugh at us for being fake middle class tosser punks.

At our drunken first gig in the Adelphi, Dooge decided our name should be Wash and Go, the name of a popular brand of shampoo that incorporated conditioning functionality, saving the user precious seconds. Take two bottles into the shower?? Not me!!! I use Wash and Go!! Such a name these days would be commercial suicide as all Google searches would return shampoo links as opposed to our cutting-edge postmodern ironipunk outfit. But SEO considerations weren't a problem back then, not that anyone would ever care about anything we did, ever.

That first gig went really well. Dooge was laying under a chair on the stage, shouting incoherent prophesies about Jesus, the end of guitar-based rock and fucking sixth formers from Hymers College up the arse. If I'd been able to play well enough to accompany him with a psychedelic freakout we could have been the new Doors, man. Anyway, after a few months we all got bored and that was it.

Last time I saw Dooge he was busking down Whitefriargate in this grotesque monster mask. He had blood over his face and he told me that someone had just punched him for scaring their kid. He then asked if we should reform Wash and Go. He wanted us to do country and western versions of Crass songs. Some religious people stopped and talked to us about salvation or something and a butcher started shouting something weird outside his shop across the road. I can't remember what it was but I remember thinking, that's a weird thing for a butcher to shout. I got a really bad feeling and started to freak out. Everything felt wrong and I had to get away.

A few years later Dooge died, his body couldn't take any more abuse. The funeral was insane. All the old Hull punks came out. Faces I had known only through drunken nights in Spiders. People came up to me and said hi and I was like, It's you! OMG, I remember you!! This was about 2008 and I remember walking out of the funeral thinking, right, fuck this, I'm gonna go to college and study the shit out of art. I first met Dooge in the late 80s on an art course which we both failed. So, in 2010 I signed up for an art course and eventually earned a fine art degree, ultimately ending up back where i've always been--languishing in exquisite oblivion.

That's pretty much my brush with rock and roll: 5th best graffiti in the UK's most deprived city. Kind of like me, it was short, weird and doomed to failure.

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