Disappearer, 2013


They found him in that little bit of time between sunset and dusk. He was still alive. But it was dark and M. Hergé and his colleague M. Goscinny had no medical training, so they assumed the worst. Besides, they were on a diplomatic visit from D_ville and had not expected murder to be part of the agenda.

The evening started promisingly enough. M Hergé and M. Goscinny were shown around the painting exhibition and introduced to Bamtree’s most important figures by the town’s mayor. But an hour after they arrived the mayor had been called away on urgent business, leaving the two men somewhat out of their depth in such parochially prestigious company. When the private view began to wind down and the guests were invited to explore the renovations going on in the rest of the Guild Hall, M Hergé and M. Goscinny were without a chaperone, and decided to take their leave. As Bamtree’s most important people made their way up the main staircase, M Goscinnyd made for the main door, but his attention was caught by what looked like an unusual piece of art deco sculpture down an ill-lit, ground floor corridor. On closer inspection, the sculpture proved to be a poor imitation. But just beyond it lay the gents toilets. M. Goscinny decided to pay a visit, while M Hergé waited outside. Switching on the light, Goscinny saw blood and cried out. M Hergé went to his colleague’s aid, and found he had stepped into the aftermath of a bloody pre-meditated killing.

Later, M. Goscinny would say, “We were not certain of protocols for this situation…” “Assuming there was no person with legal authority in the Guild Hall, we left the scene to seek assistance,” said M. Hergé. “To find a policeman,” said M. Goscinny.

“We had no idea finding that policeman would lead to such complications,” said M. Hergé.


Disappearer is the seventh track on Sonic Youth’s 1990 album, Goo. The album was the band’s first release on a major label and their most accessible work. It is often unfavourably compared to their previous album, Daydream Nation, (lacking that albums panoramic sweep) but nevertheless contains a number of great alternative pop/ rock nuggets. Disappearer was released as a single in 1990. You can listen to it here.


Kingsway is part of the A4200. It runs from High Holborn (in the London Borough of Camden) to the Aldwych (in the City of Westminster, and home of Bush House – the BBC’s old home). The road was formally opened in 1905 and linked the ancient routes The Strand and High Holborn. It’s 100 feet wide and a lot of slum dwellings were demolished to make way for it. They were replaced by mid-rise buildings in a neoclassical or neo-baroque style. We’re going to head north towards High Holborn…