Saturday, May 22, 2010


Saturday 22 May 2010

With the sun out in force it all means that I wake up far too early for a Saturday morning today.  As I look at the clock the time is 6.20AM and surely that cannot be healthy.

Eventually after failing to resume sleep inevitably I wind up on the internet and then watching the news at 7AM where just beforehand some guy is whining about Google pulling his Youtube account due to some weird footage at a Jimmy Carr gig.  All in all it makes me suspect that at any point Google might pull these blog entries one day.  Until then though it is business as usual.

Away from this there is no news today.  A plane crashed in India and the new people running for the Labour leadership are cussing out the people that came before them with the illegal war rhetoric attached to the Gulf distraction.  Tell us something we don’t know.  I can’t help but feel Gordon Brown is chuckling to himself now that he’s got those fucking monkeys off his back.

From here I watch the latest episode of 30 Rock before pulling myself together and heading out to Asda as per routine.  Today I have absolutely no food in my apartment so this trip feels truly essential and one where I am bound to indulge in good stuff.

Once at Asda the day begins well as I finally remember to check my bank balance where I find that there is five grand in there.  Relief.  The actual grocery shopping experience proves less fruitful as I cut my finger at some point and proceed to spend the shop pissing blood all over my purchases.  Before this however I spot the school victim and his arse crack as he bends over in front of me.  This is a truly disheartening and depressing vision, the reality that comes with being the person at school everybody picks on, the way it kills a person’s spirit as they head into adulthood and fail to make anything of their life as the scars never really heal.

Eventually I get my shopping done and make it home where I finally put on a plaster and manage to stop bleeding over everything.  I wonder if I can sue Asda for this?

Halfway through the morning there is a knock on my door but I can’t be bothered to answer it.  I don’t want to invite trouble into my home.

I spend the majority of the day getting back into compiling tracks for my DJGRAM set tonight.  Initially I scour tracks for two hours on my internet PC before moving over to my Dell PC with view to burning the tracks onto disc.  From here it all goes relatively smoothly and before I know it the day has reached 3PM and I am ready to go.

With the sun still blazing I send out some feelers (some messages) to see if anyone is heading to the pub this afternoon for some beer garden drinks.  In response to my request I draw a royal blank and then people begin to get flaky about going out at all.  All in all it begins to look like the gig tonight is going to be a lonely one.  As a result all plans fizzle out.  This wouldn’t have happened back in the day with people like Justin and Allen around.

As requested I get to the Colchester Arts Centre for 6PM (almost) and my “soundcheck”.  When I arrive at Staff is outside with DISCO BITCH.  Around them I find myself acting sheepish for fear that they read my “review” of their set at this gig last year.

Tonight represents a fun reunion as slowly faces begin to turn up for soundcheck who I am finding I see less and less of these days.  The world is moving on, please let me on.

To the left of the venue are three video screens that represent the BIG IN ALBANIA contribution to proceedings.  As ever with Doug’s stuff. once switched on these screens hold promise of delivering the grotesque and disturbing.

From here we hang around as Adam does a soundcheck as I try to remember the last time I saw him and Michelle.  It should be easy to recall but just isn’t.  What is wrong with us these days?  I think we come to the conclusion that it was the Joe Lally gig last November.  Ouch!

Eventually the doors open and I begin my DJGRAM set with “Tippy City” by The Amps.  Tonight certain people were conspicuous by their absence.  This is now a sure-fire sign of times changing and people moving on.  That said when their alternative options vocally include watching Saturday night television you have to begin to question the mentally of these former hosts.  It is no secret that Saturday night television is designed and made for stupid people, these are the shows you are warned about, the ones that subconsciously break your spirit/will and force you to enjoy it, almost feel gratitude in exchange.  Dumbing down.  Happily I manage to get in a good fifty minutes of DJGRAM until the first act comes on.

The first band of the night is CATS AGAINST THE BOMB who opens with a jagged set of sounds attached to his latest selection of crushing sounds.  The hits are present as the pummelling motion of “Woodshed” later crashes into the ping pong destruction of “Guitar Wolf Man”.  Yet again Adam manages to make his guitar sound slicing and painful as the beats hit harder than ever all wrapped up in a Big Black style.

Playful as ever CATS AGAINST THE BOMB churns out his cover of “What Is Love?” by Haddaway, just as the rest of the world is now catching up to the apparent brilliance of the song (Eminem we’re all looking at you).  As the comparisons to Andrew WK still ring in our ears this truly was a set to party hard.

Next on the bill are HISSING AT SWANS who bring out their ukuleles and nervous smiles.  As ever they’re fun and charm, kitschy in a Heavenly manner and ultimately somewhat the same as last time I saw them and the time before that.  The backdrop provides the usual yuks but as “Dark Horse” reigns out they feel something of a one trick pony.

Halfway through their set they announce a raffle for a ukulele and begin some kind of contest that feels beyond my reach stuck at the back with my discs.  It all lends a kind of social club feeling to proceedings.

Following them comes UM who is a crooner of the lowest degree singing to the beats coming from his iPod.  It is a tough sell and not too many people are buying.  Personally I love him finding thoroughly belligerent, focused with the single view of getting his words out there.  There are no frills attached to his set just pure intellect of varying degrees of humour, wit and success.

Sadly tonight the audience is noticeably ambivalent while I see all good and nothing bad with his stock in trade.  In many ways UM reminds me of The Male Nurse (well, their frontman) as an intellectual set served up with so much bloodymindedness.  Afterwards I really want one of his records but it all just seems out of reach.

SHITSOCK arrive and find themselves singing “Things Can Only Get Better” in their customary drunken manner.  You sense somewhere down the line they got hit on the head and when they come to they thought they were rednecks.  That or this is what people are like in Woodbridge.

Eventually they begin relentlessly singing “give me 15 dollars I want to buy some beer” which serves to be a mantra ringing in my head long after they are finished.  Are they really as brain damaged as their request makes them sound?  Not long afterwards they are ending with “479” in equally cumbersome and memorable fashion.  They still staunchly remind me of Ten Benson in the most positive of fashion.

As I step back into playing tunes the girls from HISSING AT SWANS ask me to stop DJing so that they can do their raffle.  I’m more than happy to comply but it doesn’t look like anyone else is ready to accommodate their request so looking like a dick I continue playing songs albeit quiet ones in preparation for dropping at any moment.  I possess skills like that.  Or so I think.

While still playing quiet almost loungey tunes in preparation for being pulled suddenly I find myself being shouted at to shut up by various people in the crowd.  It would appear that in the centre of the room DURACELL is trying to begin his set.

Living up to his name DURACELL is a real pounding proposition.  The description of him being “a one man Lightning Bolt” works on some level but at a frenetic pace with more gadgets at hand he holds a lot more in his hand.

Placed on the floor in the middle of the audience and venue it is a truly plundering performance based on video game soundtracks from a better era.  After every song he hops up from his stool as steam rises from proceedings and the man gauges the crowd’s appreciation.

For some reason he reminds me of Marty Feldman had he not been bug-eyed.  As a result there is true comedy attached to the racket and concept of DURACELL whose sole intention appears to be to rock the building and illustrate what it would sound like to be inside were the walls and ceiling falling in.  When his set finally comes to a close he has the air of a man that just stormed through a workout.

Eventually DISCO BITCH arrive and do their very loud thing.  Before long they are doing their “I Like 2 Move It” cover as it all appears like a workout designed to remind of happier, more fun and free times where it felt more acceptable to be loud and explicit.  How on earth did I miss them first time round?

Within their ranks is “Cheese” who is sporting a Colchester United shirt.  Now that is the way to display your love for your home town side: get on stage and make a racket.  To further cement their affection they also perform a number about local legend Bobby George.  It’s a no-brainer.

DISCO BITCH remind me of Senser without the seriousness.  Their music is much akin to being slapped around the head by an annoying person down the pub.  In other words it’s not necessarily a good thing but the incident you are most likely to recall from the night.  It also means what is required is a high level of tolerance and patience.

With “Chase HQ” they smash out like retro futurists and remind me of all things Sega and shiny.  As I say, DISCO BITCH are a very big loud object.  Do you remember Utah Saints?  Similar thing.  At their disposal however is a guitarist that looks slightly like Brian Posehn.

Halfway through their set they do the raffle that HISSING AT SWANS attempted to get me to do.  I guess they are better people than me, more charitable if hysteric.

By the end they are stripping off to reveal all the letters of their named painted onto their bodies, sweat providing.

At the close of the night I am encouraged to continue as I play out a cold exit.  Then I play “Uzi Lover” and suddenly I find myself with some kind of hip-hop posse genuinely dancing to my selections.  From here I proceed to play every hip hop song I have at my disposal in the hope of keeping the flow running.  I score wins with playing such songs as “They Reminisce Over You” by Pete Rock and CL Smooth before eventually beginning to crap out as I run out of tracks even if the people (my people) continue dancing.  Just as I am playing “Simon Says” by Pharoahe Monch I get a reliving tap on the shoulder to make this my final track and it all comes to a positive close.

From here we all pack up for the night with some heading to after show delights while I just head home where my flat offers solace.

When I get in I notice Tom online on Facebook and after his silence all week I risk temper.  Indeed I get what I am fishing for when he comments about the Gestures chapter as being “promising.”  I find this so patronising and pretty fucking far removed from prompting me to continue with the work or allow him on board.  Promising?  What on earth does that mean?  It might be good with work?

From here I catch the end of Capitalism: A Love Story (truly it was only months ago that I saw it at the cinema) before The Man Who Wasn’t There arrives which has always been a movie that confused me slightly because nothing appears to actually happen in it.  OK, one big thing happens but beyond that not a whole lot, which I guess in a way is/was probably the intention as some kind of throwback to noir.  It is one of those movies that looks truly amazing and it is these elements that dazzle and divert away from other issues within the work.

That said I barely get ten minutes into the movie before the booze catches up with me and I pass out.

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