Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Tuesday 20 October 2009

No headache today thankfully.

Bad vibes however before I leave the flat as I check my iPhone headphones and one of them has broken. How? When?

As I exit Bohemian Grove The Ghost is walking his dog in our forecourt as ever. I look closer today and it is a gorgeous little dog.

Upon arriving at the station I get my space in the car park and against the elements I also get my seat on the train. With this vibes improve.

However despite the abundance of empty seats on the train as we leave Colchester some guy decides to sit in the one next to me and crowd the plate.

My journey is soundtracked by the Daniel Kitson podcast of his 2005 Edinburgh show. I haven’t laughed at anything this much in a long time. I remember going to see him in early 2005 but I don’t remember it being this set. His material is the perfect combination of smart and nasty as he dissects intricacies and hypocrisies in a manner that I could only dream of achieving. I wish he would come back to Colchester.

As my journey nears London Tom begins hitting me with text messages and Lookalike Poker. All I have is the Stephen Gately lookalike for a second day running and the omnipresent Commuter Jay-Z. Things improve slightly later at the tube platform when I see a teenage Floella Benjamin.

The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.04AM. So this is how it is going to be.

After a nondescript ride to Baker Street on the journey to St Johns Wood I find myself confronted by the sight of a man with a giant green thing on his head like turban on Viagra. He is African not Asian so it isn’t an actual turban but what it is is both a mystery and alarming. Terrifying. Also a mystery to me is the distinct lack of response and concern it garners from my fellow commuters, the extras. Surely this is not something they all see everyday.

Today Tuesday turns out to be pretty much as norm. I am now well into the second quarter accounts of the new company which ensures that I am busy for the day and means it flies past like a breeze.

Heading home the train feels fucked every single night now. I cannot believe how wankerish people are as they try to crush their way onto the train just after it pulls up late into the platform. This annoyance is then compounded when the div girl in front of me swings her handbag over her shoulder and it hooks my iPhone headphones. She does this out of ignorance, blissfully aware of what has happened. As I board carriage literally attached to her she eventually realises what has occurred and apologises at which point I almost snap “you fucking want to be.” I don’t do this though, I’m a good guy.

When I get back to Colchester tonight there is a yellow car taking liberties when parked next to me. Everyday I purposely park next to the pole, risking excessive bird shit, so that cars do not have to park close to me and insert dinks into the side of my doors. Tonight however this fucking yellow piece of shit just goes too far and it probably doesn’t do my karma any good when I accidentally dink the car with my key. Repeatedly.

With time on my side I head home briefly to check on things before setting off for Ipswich tonight.

Once I head off the drive to Ipswich is the usual A12 blitz and bundle of fun. There is something about this road that always just makes me want to toe it and get the ride/drive over and done as soon as possible.

When I get to Ipswich the time is 8.45PM and I suddenly realise that Ipswich Town are playing at home. As I pass Portman Road the sight of the floodlights shining up the town and giving it a glow is almost orgasmic.

Its takes me forever to get parked in Ipswich. I hate this fucking place and after I do my fourth lap of the town’s one way system I can’t help but curse its existence. This of course being the prostitute murder capital of the country it is perhaps not the best of places to be doing laps around.

After at least twenty minutes of loop the loop I eventually concede and park on some double yellow lines. Surely I won’t be so unlucky as to get ticketed on this night.

Finally I get to McGinty’s and it sure is a weird place, well representative of Ipswich. Immediately upon stepping through the door I spot Alice and say “hi”. Then I see Staff and then I see both Lee and Doug coming out of the toilets at the same. What’s going on there?

Tonight’s show is the first being put on by new promoters The Horizontal Strand which perhaps explains why there is a ratty old woman looking for aggro checking hand stamps in a mother at a birthday party fashion.

Opening tonight are (((OH DEAR who are something of local heroes in regards to a US inspired lo-fi sound. There sound heavily recalls Sebadoh until the band lets rip into some glorious moments of noisy distortion which sets to tear apart certain songs and prevents the opportunity for any kind of sentimentality to seep in and ruin the occasion. The ride is definitely a breezy one.

SIC ALPS turn out to be resoundingly amazing, even more so than their records suggest. Their sound is one that is feeling sadly rare and allusive these days when essentially it was the noise I grew up on when so many bands routinely blew the roof off proceedings. As the band regularly swap around instruments SIC ALPS remain sounding like Trumans Water crossed with the Brian Jonestown Massacre as their songs round out in a noisy, elongated and crushing manner.

As the set plays out to many appreciative audience members right at the front are a couple of outcast punks arm in arm lapping up the sounds before them. One of them appears to have a safety pin in his ear while the other wears a strange hat as their reaction begins to feel like an enthused throwback to another time and place, one that it appears a portion of Ipswich remains in. This is not something you would ever get in Colchester (for whatever reason) and thus exists some kind of divide, which hints at the rural hickishness of Suffolk and the snobbishness of Essex.

SIC ALPS coming to town is a big thing, something I find myself struggling to describe. Their music is the kind of accomplished and expert guitar freedom that so few people are producing these days and with their performance I find myself left feeling positively nostalgic for a time that is not now. Also there is the fact that I am coming away from the show with my ears ringing in a manner that feels a rare treat these days. I wonder if lo-fi will ever become such a going concern ever again in the light of so many laptops cleaning so much up at the recording stage.

After a quick post gig social effort Staff and I are soon heading back down the A12 to the safety and haven of Essex. With the time now hitting around midnight suddenly highway maintenance appear and close off a large portion of the road. At the best of times this would be a nuisance but when this evening they decide to block the entire road for an extended period without telling us why or what they’re doing all begins to resemble something of a bad horror movie.

With this affliction it gives Staff and I the rare opportunity to catch up on the state of the nation. This generally tends to be my opportunity to catch up on what is happening in Colchester being that I am so out of the loop. As ever it doesn’t sound good.

Eventually the road workers decide to let us through but you sense it is much to their chagrin. By now we are at the front of a hefty convey so I guess the weight of frustration in waiting was becoming a bit too tangible for highway maintenance to withstand.

After a slight detour of rubbish back roads we are soon tearing up the A12 before I drop Staff in Colchester looking for a cab to Mersea. I had offered a lift to the island but he told me not to worry, which while I feel guilty in just dumping him in town does mean I avoid a probable 45 minute additional round trip to my journey.

When I finally step in at home it is by now very late meaning a rough morning awaits me in less than five hours. The things I do for music.

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