It started off alright
We'd go out Friday night
And have a drink and do whatever made us feel alright
We'd stay out all weekend
Try taking everything
But never hurt no-one and so what
You only live once, I thought
'Till I got caught
That weren't enough for you
You'd go out Monday too
And Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 'till it all caught up with you
You're everyone's best friend
'Long as they've got something
I did not know you no more
Heartbreak, a sickness I can't see
Hard Fi's Richard Archer tells the story of a young man who, as a result of his reckless lifestyle, ends up in prison at the Feltham Young Offenders' Institute, close by to the band's hometown of Staines in north Surrey. The song is inspired by the true story of Zahid Mubarek, a British Asian teenager murdered at the Feltham Institute by his cellmate - 20 year-old Robert Stewart - on 21 March 2000. Mubarek was a first-time prisoner, a mere five hours away from the end of a 3-month sentence. His crime had been stealing razor blades worth just £6.
In the song, Archer slightly adjusts the end of the story, as we'll discover later on. The semi-fictional friend seems to have begun very much the same as his peers - as Archer puts it, 'It started off alright / We'd go out Friday night / And have a drink and do whatever made us feel alright'. There was clearly a fair amount of criminal behaviour occurring on everyone's part ('We'd stay out all weekend / Try taking everything'), and eventually the authorities caught up with them. The line 'I got caught' brings to mind the album artwork for 'Stars Of CCTV', and the recurring of theme of small-time criminality that runs through the record.
However, Archer's friend was not deterred by this. A maverick and a manic socialiser ('You're everyone's best friend'), he continued to burn the midnight oil every night of the week, until Archer began to feel alienated from the person he once knew ('I did not know you no more').