Conspiracy theory paranoia is not so uncommon – not late at night in a pub, not these days. But sheer, sincere and truly final desperation can be quite an unsettling characteristic, in a complete stranger. It’s certainly a colourful opening to an evening of bizarre and wonderful events.

Last night in Sheffield I visited a state of mind that made my flouncing poetry about ‘confusion’ and ‘bewilderment’ seem frankly and hilariously naiive.

Let me put it this way. When, simultaneously, a couple crashed to the floor, to no comment nor notice from those in the vicinity, with a complete stranger making lurid and suggestive dances in the background, for the attention of my friend, who was being told by a man in a home-made kilt that “you know, the convention is to go entirely unclothed beneath such a garment, wink wink…” …at that moment, certain scenes from Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas seemed a little less distant, than they had perhaps done so before.

Some nights, I feel encouraged to entertain the sentiment, that either something has been growing fundamentally awry, on a general social level, or I am myself insane, and the behaviour of all those around me is perfectly acceptable.

Each of those people involved, from the truly obscure and original acts performing on the bill with me, to the sex-noise-argument-in-the-street-at-3am-ninjas, were, in and of themselves, more or less understandable. But to digest such a glorious multitude in one night, is to embrace a need to question deeply your own humanity.

It was delightful.

As a wise woman once said, “I’m afraid it’s no use. It’s turtles, turtles, turtles, all the way…”

PS. Secret Folk Club at Platt Chapel this Sunday, for all you near Rusholme. Dave Rybke’s performing, as am I. Platt Chapel is a centre for great things, run by first-rate characters.