1. Your “look” was based on Oli Sykes, Gerard Way, and the Suicide Girls.
For girls, that meant having a big side-fringes, dyed hair, panda eyes, pale skin, checkered shirts, lip piercings, skinny jeans, and plimsolls. For boys, that meant… the same.
2. And you got extra “scene points” for tattoos, piercings and stretchers.
Of course, geeky glasses, pop-art necklaces, bandanas, gun buckles, and anything vintage went down well too.
3. Your Limp Bizkit t-shirt and striped knee-high socks came from the “grunger” shop in Lakeside.
4. Your bought your skateboard from Limit in Basildon.
5. And you got baggy Fubu jeans from the market.
6. Weekends were spent sitting on the skate ramps at your local park.
This is where you shared 3rd Generation iPod earphones with your friends and listened to Killswitch Engage.
7. As soon as you were old enough, you started getting the train to Camden to pick up your ~essentials~.
These included a sacred heart belt buckle, a hoody with two swallows on it, and a gun hairclip.
8. You tried to join in with the “pits” but never felt genuine “windmilling” or punching the air near the floor.
9. Your first part-time job was in HMV, because they allowed you to have piercings, show your tattoos, and wear skinny jeans and Converse to work.
10. Thurrock Music Festival was the only festival in Essex that didn’t suck.
Sikth, Million Dead and The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster all played in a field in Orsett and you’re still not sure how that happened.
11. You could get in to some over-18 nights, but you were marked with a black cross that screamed “I’m an underage loser” to everybody there.
Of course, this changed when being “Straight Edge” became cool a few years later. At that point, you seriously considered getting a black cross tattoo.
12. You loved The Fat Surfer because you could slide in the back door without fake ID.
You saw Scroobius Pip and Bring Me The Horizon there. But then you threw up Snakebite and got thrown out.
13. But you soon upgraded to The Grand Hotel Basement/JunkClub.
Where you pretended to be in Skins by listening to The Gossip and sniffing poppers.
14. You never missed a gig at The Mill in Raleigh or Chinnerys on Southend seafront.
Unless Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly were playing again.
15. And nothing could beat an underage rock night at The Hermit in Brentwood.
But you could only go if your parents agreed to give you a lift and a tenner for the three Red Bulls you’d drink.
16. You definitely danced to Panic! At The Disco in a cage at The Pink Toothbrush.
Of course, you snuck your own vodka in.