When I first meet new people, my default position is to assume they don't like me, it's stupid I know but I just can't help it. Smithy was the same. When I moved to Bristol to do my MA I needed to get a job as quickly as possible (Bristol isn’t a cheap city to live in, and Masters don’t get as much student loan). I decided to try and return to a restaurant chain I had worked at 5 years before. When I turned up to my trial shift, Smithy was the supervisor and seemed incredibly confused as to why I was there - it turns out I'd been told the wrong time and was an hour or so early. Anyway, for some reason I got it into my head that Smithy didn't like me, and everyone else in the restaurant loved Smithy - if he didn't like me nobody would. This worry continued on for about a month or so until I was eventually invited to Smithy's flat in Lawrence Hill where he lived with 2 others (one of which also worked at the restaurant). This flat was visited by pretty much everyone who worked at the restaurant, either before or after a night out, for a night in, after a shift, etc. After an invite to the flat it felt like you had been officially initiated into the restaurant.
Smithy has a very wide and varied musical taste, and our strongest bonding point was our shared love of Ben Howard and everything that he does - we would often spend hours on end having the same conversation over and over about which our favourite songs were and how talented he is. A few times at Smithy’s he attempted to teach me to DJ on his digital decks, I started off shamefully bad after after a few sessions I began to get the hang of it although didn’t really know any of the songs I was “mixing”. Smithy and I then decided the best way for us to do that together would be for us to make some techno beats. We struggled to find a good time we were both free until one night after a particularly late close - we decided if we’re already up late we might as well continue. We went back to mine after work and made a techno beat, it was a new genre for me but I did actually use some of my techniques to make some interesting stuff. I actually ended up using that as the basis for a piece in a film I worked on a year or so later.
The restaurant has quarterly inspections just to check that we’re following hygiene standards, one time before the inspection period began we had an overnight deep clean session. We didn’t plan for it to happen but Smithy and I ended up underneath/inside one of the grills, it was about 2 metres of crawling to get fully inside it. We were cleaning under there for about an hour and although the conversation more than likely initially began with us talking once again about Ben Howard, we eventually moved on to talking about what was going on in our lives at the time. Not only were we underneath the huge metal grill and away from everyone else, but in the main restaurant area they had music playing - we knew under there no one could hear us. It felt as if we were children at a sleepover, building a den to tell each other secrets, except we were both in our 20s. I’m not 100% sure what “secrets” we told specifically but still to this day if either of us mention the “Den of Secrets” we know where and when we mean.
Filmed in Bristol, UK.
Known for 2 years and 1 months at the point of filming.