Back in the day, when I was a teenager depending upon public transport about as much as I do now, I’d sometimes get ‘the milk train’ back from gigs and night outs in exotic places like Bournemouth or Poole. I didn’t question why there was no milk being delivered by the train – curiosity for such anachronism came later – in fact, often in a world of my own, I probably had no idea that the delivery of milk by train had largely been phased-out a generation before.
Getting the milk train was just another way of saying that you were getting the last (or first) train home, that you’d invariably had a crazy night, lost track of time as you tried even harder to impress that girl at the ice-skating rink and would likely be falling asleep in class later that day.
Mention of the milk train throughout is one of the things that draws me to the recent single, All Fucked Up, from Philip Parfitt. The way that Parfitt keeps referencing the journey home on the milk train as he languidly looks back on what has gone before is a pure delight; was it a night that saw eyes meet across a crowded dancefloor for the first time? A crumpled business card thrust in the hand of the smiling other as the clock ticks desperately nearer to the last chance saloon of the milk train. You rush to just about catch it and now sit back to feel a sort of fuzzy glow as you wonder if you’ve just met the one. You doze in and out of consciousness on the train home as dreamland beckons.
All Fucked Up is a track taken from Philip Parfitt’s album, Mental Home Recordings, that was released a few days ago on A Turntable Friends Records. It’s woozy, boozy and dripping with the sensibilities of Lou Reed. It manages to perfectly capture the optimistic yet sleepy milk train mood and I love it.