from our intrepid reporter, Stuart Jones

After months of planning and many e-mails zipping across the country, the Parrots Reunion evening finally occurred on February 7th 2004. I arrived at guitarist and BBC researcher Nick Wells' delightful house in the Elm Grove area of Brighton, with the genial host guiding me into his spacious kitchen, where I discovered twelve-feet tall, saturnine Jay Derrick holding forth over a glass of wine.

I was introduced to Nick's charming other half, Helen, and no sooner had I settled into my chair than the doorbell rang again. It was Simon Fanshawe, arch dandy from the far away days of the Resource Centre, accompanied by Brenda, former vocalist for VolSec, and her offspring. The final arrival was the Punkdaddy himself - ace guitarist, webmaster and graphic designer, Phil, the man behind so many fab songs from The Lillettes.

Two people who should have been there couldn't make it: Colin, Parrots bass player, and the fabulous Julie Blair...oh well, maybe next time - if there is a next time. There was a whiff of the pensive hanging in the air that night. Would we all get on after so many years had passed? But we needn't have worried. It turned out to be an excellent evening of reminiscing, fervent topical discussion and the refreshing of long splintered connections, helped along by superb Indian cuisine (thanks Nick and Helen!)

We chatted about post-punk Brighton and about the Birds With Ears album, which I promised to copy for Helen (must get around to that sometime...). Apart from one fiery exchange between Phil and Simon concerning the Hutton Report (and even that wasn't too savage), all went smoothly.

It was interesting swapping notes with Simon. I remember being amazed and curious back in 1979, on my first visit to the Resource Centre when I first met him, a real gay man! This was all an essential part of broadening my horizons. I was an ignorant teenager living on a Council Estate in Lancing at the time.

We chatted about how he got his career up and running at BBC Radio 4, and he asked me about what I'd done since the Attrix days. It turns out we had all done a very great deal! Then Nick brought in his laptop and we all gathered around the kitchen table and began shouting, pointing, laughing and generally whooping it up.

The reason for this was that Jay had brought along a CDR containing many ancient photographs of lots of of faces from the heady days of Brighton punk/post-punk circa 1976 to 1982. A good deal of 'Hey, isn't that....' and 'Look! That's Rick! And there's...'

After dinner we moved into the lounge to watch a video of The Parrots and The Lillettes, filmed at the old, small Zap Club at the Attrix Reunion night in 1985, loaned to us for the evening by Julie Blair.

Following heartfelt goodbyes, Nick kindly drove me home.