The single caused controversy because it describes a teenager going to a rave “somewhere in a field in Hampshire” and contains references to drugs. “E’s and Wizz” refers to Ecstasy and Speed, and “getting sorted” means obtaining drugs before attending an event, in particular ingesting them before entering. In addition, the single’s CD sleeve contained instructions on how to make a paper wallet to hold drugs. The Daily Mirror newspaper ran a front-page story with the headline “Ban This Sick Stunt” around the time of its release.
However, the song expresses the negative side of “getting sorted” - it refers to a “hollow feeling” that “grows and grows” and includes the line “‘Nice one!’ ‘Geezer!’ That’s as far as the conversation went.” The song’s chorus describes the difference between the highs during the rave itself and the feeling the next morning:
“In the middle of the night
It feels alright
But then tomorrow morning
Oh, then you come down”
The last line of the song is the ominous warning: “What if you never come down?”
Despite its referencing of a field in Hampshire, it is widely believed that this song was largely influenced by Cocker’s own experience watching the Stone Roses at Spike Island, Widnes, though this can be traced to his statement to this effect at Glastonbury 1995, where a large portion of the crowd were expecting to see the Stone Roses, who had pulled out at the last minute to be replaced by Pulp, and is therefore most likely a joke.
The furore surrounding the single was spoofed by Chris Morris in the Channel 4 faux-mockumentary post-broadgramme Brass Eye.
Edited by weejay on 9 Aug 2008, 11:28
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