Tristan Elliott

Tristan Elliott

A Goth Weekend to Remember

Hi! I’m Tristan Elliott. I’ve been asked to write a bit about how I came to be a member of the IifI team. Sorry to bore you, but here goes!

It was 2017 and, as usual, I was at the Whitby Goth Weekend. It was Friday night and I was at the Pavillion, looking forward to the bands. I thought I’d have a beer before going in, but when I went to the bar, they wanted to see ID. I told the guy I was 22 years old, but that didn’t wash if I didn’t have ID. I was feeling frustrated and trying not to lose my temper, when this fella with firey red hair came up to me, smiling broadly, and put his hand on my shoulder. “Lad,” he said, “We’re at the table over there. See - Eoghan’s waving to you. Go sit down. What are you having?”

Well, he managed to get me a beer - he told the barman that I was his nephew, 21 years old, etc. I corrected him as we sat at the table telling him I was 22 and I had come out without any ID because there was no way on earth you could get a wallet into the pocket of my lace-up jeans. I only had two 20 pound notes and my debit card which I kept in the pocket of my bespoke monster boots!

I soon found out that the red haired fellow was Ben Wylie and his friend was Eoghan Blakewell. Eoghan was dressed in amazing Victorian style, complete with a mask and cape, but Ben was just wearing black jeans and a Sisters of Mercy sweater. I felt a bit awkward being with these two older guys that I didn’t know, but they seemed pretty cool. Eoghan said he was looking forward to seeing Theatre of Hate again - he was a regular attendee of the weekend; he’d been attending for about 10 years. I was impressed.

Nothing much would have happened beyond that if Ben’s phone hadn’t rung. It was someone trying to get in touch with Eoghan, but it seemed he wasn’t fond of carrying a phone around. So Ben passed him his phone and Eoghan says something like, “Hello? I’m in Whitby having a good time, James. I left the DPSR because I wanted to be my own boss, remember? Okay, if it’s important, but I’m not missing Pussy Cat and the Dirty Johnson’s, got it? Have you got a pen? Oh, you’re recording; okay. I could sense that the entity was trying to avenge the desecration of the … uhhmm, just a minute. I think I should go somewhere a bit more private.”

I guess my mouth was hanging open and I was staring at him. He excused himself and Ben was laughing. He said to me, “Eoghan… is an author. James is his, uhmm, his publisher and…”

As he struggled for something to say, I said, “And the ‘P’ in DPSR stands for ‘publishing’, not ‘para’, as in the Department of Para-Scientific Research.”

Now it was Ben’s turn to become slack jawed. Not many people knew about the department. I explained to Ben that my father worked for them and I hoped to join them myself one day. I told him that I was considered a tech genius and I specialised in ethical hacking and he started to laugh. His reaction made me feel… embarassed, I guess, and I started to get up to go, but he stopped me and said, “Lad, if you’re that good, don’t go to work for the DPSR. Instead, see if Eoghan will take you on at IifI!”

A few beers and bands later, I was one of the team. Ben gave me his card, Eoghan jotted down my starting salary on the back, and as they say in the movies, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.