His Mother Sold Soup in the School

Book: Black Swan Green

Author: David Mitchell

Music: Stand and Deliver

Composer/Artist: Adam and the Ants

As I referred to in an earlier post, Kings of the Wild Frontier was one of the first albums I ever bought. By the time Prince Charming – from which Stand and Deliver is taken – came around, an entire year later, I remained enough of a fan to enjoy the song on the radio and Top of the Pops but not enough of a fan to shell out for the album. I forget exactly how much an LP cost back then, probably four quid, but I wasn’t committed enough to blow that much cash on the record. I remember one of my best friends in school was as big a fan of Adam Ant (the Kings of the Wild Frontier version) as I was and we used to chat about it, as friends do. I think he actually joined the fan club. What I do recall quite clearly is being riven with envy when he told me he was ordering one of those Hussar uniform-like jackets / tunics that His Antness wore on the cover of Kings of the Wild Frontier. Of course he never did. He was full of shit most of the time (so he probably never actually joined the fan club at all). Even if he had bought it he would’ve only worn it in the anonymity and safety of his own bedroom. He’d have been laughed out of town if he’d shown up in school – or anywhere – in that, with or without a white stripe painted across the middle of his face. Not to mention that his mother was the woman who sold packet soup from a gigantic cauldron (it was really just a big aluminium pot) in school and she would not have suffered her son looking like Adam Ant anywhere outside of his own imagination.

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