Monday mornings at the NME often involved a trip to the typesetters, a rough little gaff between Clerkenwell and Shoreditch. It was the domain of burly tradesmen who also worked on titles such as Asian Babes, examples of which were proudly taped to the cement walls. It wasn't an attractive place, but there was a kind of romance there. In the days before email and Quark software, this was how you put your paper to bed.
So the production team would gather over bacon rolls, tetchy manners and red biros to manage the final parts to the paper - the breaking news, the live reviews and other stories that warranted a tight deadline. You may laugh, but back then, writers would deliver their copy by hand, staggering up the stairs with their precious sheaves of opinion.
James Brown, future creator of Loaded magazine, arrived with a pithy dismissal of The Pixies. They were on the edge of a breakthrough but had overplayed it. Then Mary Anne Hobbs came roaring into the room, irate that the Gunners had given us two albums of immoderate noise. Hobbs couldn't believe that their shimmy was essentially gone, but she made a good case for the decline.
Steve Lamacq had been following Nirvana for a while, interviewing the band at their Shepherd's Bush B&B when 'Bleach' had appeared, and he declared that the follow-up was going to be a popular item.
Finally, then, my chance to review Primal Scream. I'd been aware of the band from the early days, when their mate would introduce them in the sinkpits of New Cross, dressed as an undertaker. And like other critics, I was loving the various instalments of 'Screamadelica' as they appeared, track by track over the ferment of 1990 and 1991. So I gave the review an entire page and wrote it myself.
Every music writer I know wants a bit of posterity, the chance to deliver words that hold up in the future as being decently written, prescient, perhaps. I could never equal Nick Kent's review of 'Marquee Moon' or Charles Shaar Murray's discovery of 'Horses', but I wanted to try. And I guess 'Screamadelica' was my run at the prize.
Twenty years on, and the review has reappeared on the NME website. The page is full of typos, suggesting that the publication's subs are more thinly spread these days, but I enjoyed reading my old work. A little self-conscious maybe, and certainly over-arching, but neat enough. A little footnote to an amazing album.
My reward was a couple of perilous road trips with the Scream Team - to Amsterdam, Tokyo and Kawasaki. Stories worth telling, another time.