As a cool person, men, women and aspirational adolescents should adore and envy you in equal measures. Staring down at your feet (turned awkwardly in towards one another) and dressed like an autistic kid in the ‘80s whose outfit was chosen by his colour-blind mother, you mightn’t be the most obvious candidate for social whirlwind du jour but this is all a ruse. If all goes according to plan you won’t recognise two-thirds of the numbers in your phone and you’ll have at least two social events of some description to choose between every night from now until Judgement Day.
If you’re really cool, you’ll blow those out plans at the last minute because you got invited to a secret gig in Stockholm. And if you’re cooler still – and this is a trump card to be played sparingly – you’ll blow out those plans at the last minute to stay home, take some time to relax, work on a new song or semi-ironically watch Gremlins.
Your aforementioned mass appeal should manifest itself in having numerous, disparate groups of friends which can be categorised as follows:
a) Old, uncool friends
b) More recent, cool friends
c) Edgy celebrity friends
Your old, uncool friends are your rock: you’ve been together through thick and thin over the years, good times and bad and they’re the ones you turn to when there’s nobody else. The most important thing with this group is to establish yourself as the perennially cool friend. You don’t need to be the centre of attention but you’re always the one on the cutting edge; when they need to know what the next big thing is, they ask you. That warm feeling you get after enlightening them is perfectly normal. Savour it though, because you can’t foist your wisdom upon them; they have to ask you, but stay cool and ask you they shall. You’re practically a guru.
Longevity isn’t really a concern with your cool friends. You might’ve only known one another for a fortnight but in cool years you’re practically life-long comrades-in-arms. Remember that trends change fast and so your cool friends won’t stay cool forever; give it another six weeks and they’ll be just another unfamiliar number in your phonebook. Let’s say you befriend a burgeoning musician: the strength of your friendship is indirectly proportionate to their success. You’re as close as siblings through their struggle to make it, as they play impromptu gigs behind East End chippies and you’re still good friends when they start to get some mainstream press attention and their fan-base expands beyond a handful of cutting edge fashionistas and rabid groupies but once they get daytime airplay on Radio One, it’s time to move on.
The final group of friends is edgy celebrities: well-known enough to be either established or upcoming indie royalty but still fringe enough to have kept some integrity. There isn’t much point in being friends with edgy celebrities if other people (particularly your uncool friends) don’t know you’re friends with edgy celebrities but you need to inform them in as blasé, round-about way as possible, which can be a balancing act. The revelatory conversation should go as follows:
You: “So I was out with Florence last night…”
Uncool Friend: “Florence…?”
Y: “Florence Welch.”
Y: “From Florence and the Machine.”
UF: “Oh, right!”
Y: “Yeah so anyway, I was out with Florence…”
Your delivery must be unshakeably nonchalant until the point you have to clarify that your friend Florence is Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, which you deliver with mild annoyance: this way you’ve established that you hob-nob with modern music’s best & brightest (reinforcing your position as cool friend) but you don’t go on about it because this shit’s just everyday for someone as cool as you. It’s of paramount importance that you’re not eager to tell people: that doesn’t make you cool, it makes you a desperate hanger-on, which was acceptable if you were trailing the Libertines when they were starting out but that was nearly a decade ago and nowadays you’ll be impressing no-one. Except maybe Foals.
And so that, boys and girls, is how your social life should be divvied up. Just remember: make new friends but keep the old and make some friends in rock & roll.