Friday, May 07, 2010


Friday 7 May 2010

I awaken this morning with my TV having been left on through the night and as a result I don’t really know what time it is or necessarily where I am.

This is an emergence into confusion.  On the news nobody appears to know who actually won the election.  Depressingly the Conservatives have unsurprisingly won most seats, which is a gesture in the first place that only continues to confuse me.  For the hundredth time: who is voting for them?

Television sheds no light on proceedings.  Just when I need it the most, GMTV is as garbled as ever.  Undaunted by all this I head into work in the hope of things picking up.

So is anyone actually in charge at the moment?  Coalition government?  Who are we invading now?

I can’t help but feel somewhere down the line people may rip off Clegg’s mask Scooby Doo style to reveal old man Cameron underneath.

Today will not be remembered as one of the greatest days of my life.

I get into work as one of the first as usual and with it I am now beginning to question my own sanity towards why I do this.  Searching refuge I begin the day by scoffing a bag of chilli peanuts (the ones the angry boss gave us/me earlier in the week).

I begin my day by pulling together an email to send to Sarah, which proceeds to take up the first two hours and from which the response serves to take up the rest of the day (in distraction and anticipation).

Early on Simon Heavy Metal Manager phones up to see if we are still heading to bank for Clarissa birthday drinks tonight.  It would appear that I now am prior to my heading to Shepherd’s Bush to see THE FALL this evening.

From here I have a permanently distracted day in which I accomplish very little in the face of universal confusion and concern (both personal, local and national).  Far too many times I click into Outlook in the hope of receiving an email from Sarah and before long I am reminded why it is that I don’t bother with females anymore: they drive me insane.

Lunch arrives and with it the desire for something different.  I have overdosed on restaurant food now, not that I’ll stop eating it but to the degree that I am bored and sick of it.  Sometimes I curse getting a job in a restaurant, Adam Burden has a lot to answer for: “the restaurant business is like the music business” indeed.  He told me he had a job a Time Out magazine for me, not a chain of restaurants with its head office based in St Johns Wood.  Lies lies, employment agents just don’t have a grasp.

The beginning of the afternoon gets pissed away in much the same manner as the morning but I do manage to eventually pull together one of my productive Friday afternoons as I brace myself for a bout with the consultant on Monday.

Unfortunately the afternoon experiences a downturn when I get into a weird conversation with the Kosovan waiter and the Portuguese barman.  As ever the waiter is giddy and gobby trying to make out that the English hate all foreigners and are all xenophobic.  With this he begins baiting me telling me how his life in England is so easy because he doesn’t care and doesn’t have any responsibilities (he doesn’t have a real career either).  With his words he almost seems proud to not have two pennies to rub together nor a pot to piss in.  At this point he pulls out a wodge of twenty-pound notes from his pocket – god only knows where he got those.  He truly is a man of contradictions.  Like a fool I fall into his trap when we get onto the subject of deportation and I bite, commenting negatively on a certain religious strain, which all of a sudden he belongs despite appearing to do everything that contradicts such beliefs.  Immediately he turns on me as if I have truly scolded him and trampled on his (convenient) beliefs.  Now the tone of conversation turns as he begins lecturing me how he “will never forget what you said” and in front of me a wannabe gangster turns into an angelic creature.  If I thought he was weird before, this now tops all of it.  From here I return upstairs with my head shaking in disbelief, what a fucking weirdo.

As per every Friday we break at 5PM and grab a quick drink at the bar with our boss (getting business drunk) before catching the tube down to Bond Street and across to Bank where we are meeting up with the Heavy Metal Manager for city drinks.

With a meeting time set for 6PM we get to Bank in very good time with no sign of the Heavy Metal Manager in sight.  There are painted baby elephants but no Heavy Metal Manager.  As the others begin to get twitchy, I just want to hold on and wait for the unreliable people to arrive.

Eventually I hear from the Heavy Metal Manager and he comes to meet us having decided to head to a completely different bar instead.  He leads us back to Bank station and up to a place called Coq D’Argent.

Coq D’Argent is a bar up in the skies.  It has a balcony and looking out you can see several city buildings at a high floor level.  This city is a handsome site/sight; I love these buildings but hate what is held within.  The place is poncy but not exclusive which explains just why we are allowed in.  Already members of our group are sat outside on the balcony under an umbrella smoking.  The umbrella proves somewhat necessary as the threatening clouds eventually bust out with rain.  Within minutes of arrival I hate the people and the place.

It doesn’t take long for one of the Borats to begin bugging me and querying his wages.  He almost takes glee in telling/informing me that we paid him too much last month but we still owe him some holiday pay.  When did holiday pay turn into pound notes as opposed to days off?  I just don’t deal with this shit, I make a point of royally steering wide of touching wages because everyone has an issue sooner or later

Soon the rain becomes too much and we step inside where we bundle a couple of tables together.  Quite frankly I still cannot work out why we have not been politely asked to leave, especially in the light of the degree of disdain we appear to be deriving.

Then somehow things get worse.

It does not take long for these people to get under my skin as the ex-employees of our restaurant persist in delivering some kind of “big I am” approach to proceedings.  At least this means I am happy for them to pay for all the drinks despite I probably earn as much as them combined.

I listen in on a conversation between The Girl and the pikey black waitress who now indulge in targeting their mockery at the manageress of our restaurant who apparently smells of BO and is sleeping with one of the directors.  Its frighteningly two-faced gesture built out of resentment and hostility.  I can’t help but feel and fear that these are the real traits of these people spewing out.

Later when said pikey black waitress girl physically shoves my head out of the way to get to her Borat boyfriend (who she fucked in exchange for steak) it goes beyond the pale and I refuse to indulge these idiots any further.

Unfortunately tonight I can only come away with damning opinions of the people I frequent with.  Straight from the off I should have been able to tell how things were going to go when Simon the Heavy Metal Manager made the boast that he has either worked or drank in every bar/pub within the vicinity.  The lady stood by the door of the lift could see/hear it was total bullshit, so why couldn’t our “team”?  Perhaps it was the promise of drinks on his tab or the opportunity to visit somewhere different and new.

Immediately it was obviously that we did not fit.  Even though the pikey black waitress was dressed up and looked the part soon her actions and language revealed her.  When almost half our group are from Eastern Europe suddenly you could tell that the powers that be in this bar were of the opinion that they should be working instead of being served.  Myself, even I was dressed like a tramp sorely out of place but at least I am able to acknowledge this.  Here in our group were so many armchair quarterbacks.  As I glazed over I found myself caught in a maelstrom of a conversation with one of the current waiters that is doing a business MBA.  He looks the wrong side of thirty already and talks to me in the style of Borat.  What on earth is he about?  I love these guys to bits but I just cannot take them seriously.  As I begin to overhear the bitterness in the voice of the fired assistant manager (Simon The Heavy Metal Manager) suddenly he begins to resemble the old FC Darby.  Has this guy been tooting something in order to have grown such a blinkered and inflated self-esteem?

Looking for escape I can’t help but look at the people whisking into the place on their way to places even more expensive than this.  I see a tanned lady (genuinely tanned) and she looks stunning but apples for oranges I doubt there is anybody home up there.  For the longest moment I half expect to see Sarah from last night here, the girl that has not bothered to respond to me today and equally is pretending that I don’t exist.

I continue to tow the line, happy to have a scheduled escape for 7.30PM.  These people have passed me by now, been swallowed up by their own behinds and lost touch with reality.  I can’t boast to being any better but at least I don’t feel the necessity to ram

God knows what they say about me after I leave.

As I leave the pikey black waitress blows me a kiss.  Part of me still thinks it might have been fortuitous and smart to have given her a slap, certainly she earned it.  Regardless she is dead to me now.

Boarding the lift down away from the godforsaken venue I still feel out of place as I stumble into a laboured conversation with some toff salarymen as to where the C button on the lift goes to.

From here I ride the Central Line across town from Bank to Shepherd’s Bush.  This is absolutely no fun on a Friday night.  When I finally arrive at Shepherd’s Bush I am in dire need of a piss and despite our meeting time of 8PM fast approaching I head straight into the Defectors Weld to use their toilet.

Once done I head over to the venue (the Shepherd’s Bush Empire) where I stand outside and wilt.  Despite Racton only having to come from Holland Park I find myself having to wait twenty minutes like a jilted date for his arrival.  When he eventually turns up drunk I have all but given up on humanity.  When he arrives he high fives me and apologises for being late.  Shrugging I just respond “at least you turned up”.

We enter the venue (wrong door at first) and enter into the world of the support band.  Racton buys me a drink as he says he hasn’t got the money for the ticket.  Thems the breaks currently right now.

Onstage BIG CITY SOUNDTRACK support and it just does not make any sense.  There is nothing to them or about them.  They look like they are twelve years old and with it they just murmur.  With nothing in common with THE FALL it all seems pointless as they just sound like so many faceless local indie acts formed in village halls up and down the country.

As their pretty faces address the crowd they exude Manc accents and suddenly it becomes apparent that the bassist looks like Mark E. Smith.  Are we witnessing nepotism?  With this question still hanging in the air of our mind they finish up and go home.

From here a lot wait ensues as Racton and I gargle our way through conversation.  We are both drunk.  As the crowd begins to swell we remain rooted to our spot displaying an inability to be arsed to move.  It is at this point a familiar face shuttles past.  It is Peter Serafinowicz.  Being a fan of his work as he passes I point in celebration at which exact point he decides to turn around and accidentally spots me with finger out in full on point.  Sportingly he acknowledges my mong expression and I give him the thumbs up.  Seconds later when Graham Linehan follows him closer to the stage my reaction is less enthused and embarrassing.

In order to save on money and create a shitty atmosphere it would seem a VJ has been employed to begin playing some toot at 9.40PM.  This is Safi Sniper.  The result is looped classic rock footage reduced to an audio squeal.  It is fucking awful, exhibiting hate and contempt for the audience.

Eventually as boos begin to ring out louder and louder the band finally run onto the stage.  Mark E. Smith then follows them onto stage as THE FALL promptly tear into “O.F.Y.C. Showcase”.

By now the night has already fallen flat.  Its not that THE FALL are bad, its just that this evening I don’t enjoy myself watching.  In the end unfortunately it would appear that this is yet another show for which I allow the audience to ruin the experience for me.  For far too long my attention gets drawn away from the band and onto the guy stood behind breathing on my neck.  This should not be.

Onstage unsurprisingly Mark E. Smith looks like shit as they band give off the impression that they are ploughing through this shit for Nth time.  As ever the majority of the set is culled from their latest record (Your Future Our Clutter), which is a good record so really these songs should not be failing so spectacularly for me.

Finally it all ends with an encore of “Theme From Sparta FC” during which two guys incessantly talk all the way through.  Where did they come from?  And why the fuck are they here?  Are they looking to relieve old times that were better, much like the band onstage?  Is their shit really that important that it must be discussed in the here and now?  I wish I had the courage of my convictions to tell them to shut the fuck up.  Alas I don’t.

At the close of proceedings Racton says “I am totally indifferent right now as to whether they do an encore” and I cannot disagree.  Tonight felt like a scam.

As we spew out onto the streets of Shepherd’s Bush we make a point of walking up to the Central Line tube station with view to grabbing a smoother ride back across town.  Why let the entire night go to waste.

Soon he has fucked off back up to North London while I ride the remainder of the journey back to Liverpool Street on my own trying to avoid the alcoholic gaze/glaze of Friday night.  Typically when I eventually get to Liverpool Street my night is completed when my Travelcard stops working.

In the end I board the 11.48PM giddy rutter train and it’s no fun.  After queuing for the toilet I listen in as some desperate suit chats with a couple of skanks (probably from Clacton).  To get me through I listen to the “Blood Donor” episode of Hancock’s Half Hour.  If only the world was still like that.

I finally get home around 1AM utterly obliterated: physically, mentally and emotionally.

Fin.

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