Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Wednesday 3 October 2007

Another day in Baker Street working away with people I am still not convinced by.  This company is a strange one, I do not have the measure of either it or my colleagues as of yet.  At least I’m not the newest person now, that honour goes to the pair that arrived three and a half weeks ago.  Perhaps I’ll ask them for their perspective once I’ve got to know them.

From here I spend the day trawling my portfolio scratching away at the few clients that I have.  On the whole this really isn’t demanding.  The record label’s accounts will always be a mess now, that was a wreckage when I arrived, issues I inherited that I did not create and thus I am not necessarily interested in remedying.

Eventually lunch arrives and with it the usual walk down to Boots.  Baker Street is not the greatest place to work along, not in contrast to the colour of Portobello Road.  I’m not convinced that this job is any better than the one I have just come from.  It pays £6000 more a year though so there is the justification in my decision.

Tonight one of our clients (THE DANDY WARHOLS) is playing at the Electric Ballroom in Camden.  They don’t have a new record out, they are over on a corporate and have decided to do a couple of shows in London while over.  After mentioning to the nice boss the other day that I was a fan (mainly based on the movie Dig!) he said that he would sort me out with guest list.  With this knowing just what a huge fan of Brian Jonestown Massacre Stevo is I easily got him on board.

In the end the working day plays out much like the others I have experienced here now during my month and a half tenure.  As I leave I pop my head into the office of the nice boss to confirm that I am still on for the guest list tonight.  He says it is still on while also making vague gestures of accompanying us later on.  I catch him while reviewing some work with the new lady Zoe and on the outset she makes comment that she would have liked to have come along also.  Really?

With Stevo being Stevo the likelihood that he will be on time tonight is not necessarily good.  In his defence he is trawling up from Colchester (possibly via Chelmsford) but I would like him to be more realistic about his movements rather than be vague and disappointing.

Once out of work I head straight to Oxford Street as with time to kill I decide to do some record shopping.  Eventually I wind up in the Virgin Megastore on the corner opposite Tottenham Court Road station.  Here I end up buying seven inch singles aplenty one of which is the re-release of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” for some reason.  Do I really need this record on vinyl?  Luckily they also have new releases from Les Savy Fav and the Beastie Boys which serves to justify and balance out my purchases.  When I arrive at the counter I find myself persuaded into buying Spaced season 2 on DVD.  In the end I buy a total of nine records at a cost of £25.49.

By now the time is 7.20PM and I haven’t heard from Stevo.  Is he still actually coming along this evening.  Seemingly with time to kill I decide to walk up Tottenham Court Road towards Camden to experience a side of town I have not seen before.

It’s a fair walk.  What is most noticeable is how things turn dark once I get over the Euston Road and exit the tourist zone.  As the street lighting begins to diminish I have to concede to feeling a tad intimidated.  How did things get so dark so quickly?

Thankfully I soon begin to recognise this part of town as I pass Mornington Crescent and the Koko that shadows it.  It relieves me to be back where the sights.  By this stage Stevo has finally touched base and he is suggesting meeting at Belushi’s.  I grimace at the idea of stepping inside there on my own but what choice do I have.

When he finally arrives he is wearing a Brian Jonestown Massacre t-shirt.  He is a real fan of this shit and not alone as elsewhere in this pub somebody is wearing similar attire.  Both of them are approaching middle age and sport sensible haircuts.

Rather than head straight to the Electric Ballroom Stevo is up for some drinks here as we catch up on things.  It is almost three years now since the company sacked me for blogging.  With this I resist enquiring too much about the firm but Stevo serves it up to me anyway.

We stay in the pub for quite some time before eventually heading out towards the venue feeling slightly drunk.

Tonight is only my second ever visit to the Electric Ballroom.  The previous time was to see Mudhoney supported by the Buff Medways and The Catheters in 2002.  It was an amazing lineup and a gig I should enjoyed more.

As we arrive at the door I live in full knowledge that I don’t have tickets for this show, I am relying on the fate of the guest list.  Once past the gorilla on the door when I eventually find myself telling the door lady our names it would appear we are not down.  This is only the third time that this has ever happened to me (the previous times both being at The Garage).  In the end it is perhaps our smart adult haircuts and drunken demeanour that prompts the girl to just whisk us inside anyway.  It doesn’t look like a sell out.

By this point the DANDY WARHOLS are into their set as psychedelic lighting cascades the stage as the darkness makes it difficult to recognise the band from our distance of by the bar.  We have left it too late, we are too far back to be touched by the sound and instead we are now wrestling in our effort to pick up on why the band was great for a minute back in the nineties.

The set is not necessarily a crowd pleaser as the songs tend to resemble one meandering jam after the other.  There is an air of new material to the set and with it the songs sure are long.  This performance it seems is not about making new friends but testing the patience of the existing.

Then amusingly they find their voice and promptly tear through their singles one after the other in a three song burst of energy which holds more sum value than the remainder of the night put together.  Soon I am reminded by these songs of why this band is worthy of my time and how they deserved a shot at the big times a while back.

Beyond this they go back to the grind churning out songs that I don’t recognise and am not necessarily in the mood to invest in.  Thank god that this was a freebie.

Stevo and I leave before the end.  It is great to see him but these are not the best of circumstances.  I can now tick DANDY WARHOLS off the list of bands to see.

From here we head back to Essex and our respective homes.  These were times.

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