Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday 16 February 2010 – PANCAKE DAY

It is Pancake Day and the celebration of god knows what.  Additionally it is also raining heavily outside so misery abounds.  With this running against me I troll to the station where on the platform I spot one of the Kym Marsh lookalikes again.  Is she really worth noting?  In the light of such routine boredom I guess she is.

Today twenty minutes into the journey I suddenly experience a “where am I?” moment as it occurs to me that I have reached this stage of the day on autopilot, doing everything out of impulse due to familiarity of routine.  This feels like a worrying waking call.

At Witham a couple sit opposite me.  The man is wearing a North Face coat and reading a Dan Brown novel.  I just might have found my mortal enemy.  Later there is a Mick Harvey lookalike on the tube platform when I reach Liverpool Street.  Do I really need these people in my life?

When I eventually get off the tube and change lines at Baker Street I spot Bellalike.  At what point did she sneak onto my train?  She sips her Costa oblivious to my confusion and disdain.

Upon emerging at St Johns Wood the rain is pissing down hard, harder than anyone should be expecting at this time.  Later upon arrival at the restaurant the alarms are sounding off.  At first I think it is part of the music on my iPhone (SPOON) but then it becomes apparent it’s the alarms.  Not for a moment do I suspect that anyone has actually broken into the building, instead I just become worried and paranoid that my grabbing the front door of the building has set them off.  Luckily when I step into the place and swish my fob it stops the ringing and when it arrive upstairs it becomes apparent that it is the operations manager that has set them off.  He thanks me for doing the honour and bemoans that his own security fob has been updated incorrectly.

Less than ten minutes after arrival there is a noise downstairs and it is the security firm turning up, responding to the alarm.  Accompanying them is the police and suddenly the benefits of being situated in this area come to light.  Harbouring so many rich people and popstars I guess this address boasts some kind of importance when it comes to response rates.  We wouldn’t want to get any blood on the money now.

Things pick up when at 9AM the tedious link song on Chris Moyles is “Just Because” by Jane’s Addiction.  It truly shocks me that the people on the show even know that this band exists.

The Filipino brings in pancakes for us today.  This is scarily above and beyond anything ever brought in by any of my work colleagues before.  In this climate I doubt I’ll be getting pancakes in any other capacity.  Then to top this off the angry boss brings in some huge chocolate and orange muffins.

Beyond this once the day actually gets started frustratingly it turns out to be a wasteland of a day, basically I do fuck all and I am not proud of it.

When lunch arrives I go for the penne option more out of boredom than desire.  I am heading out tonight and I usually have something large for lunch in the expectation that I won’t be eating in the evening.  Often though this is not the way things eventually pan out.

With rain beginning to spray down outside I play out the afternoon in much the same manner as the morning until 5.30PM eventually comes around.

As soon as I get out of work I head straight for Camden this evening.  By this point the day is experiencing its heaviest rain yet, something I was just not prepared for mentally or physically.  Worryingly I can’t help but feel the heavy rain helps set the tone for the evening, one I am sadly already lacking enthusiasm for.

By the time I have endured the Northern Line via Kings Cross I am feeling somewhat grumpy having had to spend a cramped train journey with so many dead eyed expressions.  As I emerge from Camden tube station if anything the rain has got worse.

Immediately I head to Inverness Street and to Hache, the restaurant that Racton has suggested we eat.  When I bowl up to the front of the restaurant there is no sign of anybody.  Fortunately I then receive a text from Racton to say that they are already inside at the back of the restaurant.  I’m all right Jack.

Stepping through the place it is with a lack of the unimpressed that I take my seat.  I’m not late but everybody is sat lounging looking as if they have already been there ages and I am a latecomer to proceedings.  Make yourself at home.

Initially I am frosty towards proceedings not really happy that people have started without me but gradually I come around although at times I do feel as if I am speaking in a different language going by some of the responses I receive from comments.  I feel out of the loop and not necessarily part of this group.  I guess I’m not flattering to deceive hard enough.

There but not there.

Eventually we head to the Electric Ballroom with the rain still pissing down.  As we leave Hache we spot the other people in our party coming along to the gig tonight and they’re getting food now.  We march on regardless.  After a tenuous toil with getting tickets and getting in (well done again ATP) once inside I begin to display a disinterest in proceedings.

Me and my shadow.

When we arrive WHITE RABBITS are already into their set.  At firs they come over like some youth club version of SPOON doing Strokes songs.  Within their lineup they have a spare guy (a tool) for extra percussion and he turns out to be a true jack of all trades while also looking like Guy Picciotto.  Sadly the guitars sound weedy and this more than anything is their downfall.  Mark even stretches to the point of saying that he thought they were English because they sound like The Coral, a very fair comment.  Towards the end of their set they perform a song that at least displays some degree of balls before arriving at a bouncing climax that curiously resembles Battles.  Before my eyes and ears I see the band transform in many ways suggesting something of an identity crisis.  Their set closes with the sound of laughter from my group behind me.

By now the others have caught up with us and with this we head closer to the stage to get a better spot as I begin to suffer flashbacks to the party in November.  I don’t really feel sociable tonight, its like I’m indulging in a false capacity.  Sorry.

SPOON turn in a great set.  With a stipulated stage time from 9PM to 11PM I brace myself for a marathon set and endurance but thankfully there is plenty of great stuff in the SPOON back catalogue and arsenal to sustain a near two hour set, even if the last two records were clunkers.

It starts very strongly with “hit” aplenty in the form of “Don’t Make Me A Target” followed by “The Mystery Zone”.  Beforehand to outsiders I found myself describing this band as Elvis Costello mixed with Nirvana and I even surprise myself as this description fits incredibly comfortably tonight.

Four songs in it is “My Mathematical Mind” that towers and sends the band flying off into the stratosphere.  These days Britt Daniel looks more confident than ever having been fully established and accepted as one of the premier songwriters of this genre.

Seemingly in tribute to being in London the band do a very strange (and different) cover version of “Love Song” by The Damned, which definitely adds a new dimension to both the song and the band as it gets mutated into a state that a casual observer would probably not notice.

By the time the band reaches “The Way We Get By” they have already conquered the evening and have nothing else left to prove.  As ever the song provides a joyful minor singalong as we acknowledge our collective small victories that get us through everyday life.

On the day that the guy from The Knack dies “Got Nuffin” once more grabs at the “My Sharona” drumbeat and blasts through like a Guided By Voices song devoid of the drunkeness.  It truly rides a wave.

The night ends on “Jonathan Fisk” and a truly efficient and effective despatch.  Once again SPOON manage to prove just what a subtly exceptional outfit they always have been.

On the outset of the show I do not go overboard while all around me others make disingenuous gestures.  Maybe I shouldn’t take these things so seriously.  We leave stepping out into the rain where bootleg SPOON shirts are selling for a fiver.  You have truly made it when you are deemed worthy of production by bootleggers.

As the others poodle around I have to leave them behind as my rush to get a train home occurs.  In the end I manage to snag the 11.18PM train meaning a post midnight return to Colchester.

When I get home I hope for a Newswipe repeat which comes on at 1AM equating to an early hours bedtime.  Big mistake.

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