Thursday, July 29, 2010


Thursday 29 July 2010

Today I am back to awaking just after 7AM.  This ain’t no holiday.

From here I murmur into the day, taking in the news delivered in moronic tabloid fashion by GMTV before indulging in a “classic” episode of Frasier.  Such is routine.

I spend the morning half writing and half watching downloads while waiting for Justin and Helen to reach Colchester.

Late in the morning I receive a cool email from the Fast Lady guy continuing to say nice things about my book and writing.

Around 2PM I head out to meet up with Justin and Helen who have now arrived into Colchester.  We bump into each other at an ATM on Crouch Street before heading to the new Hogshead for a late lunch.  Unsurprisingly when we step into the place Justin exhibits/echoes the disdain for the new décor of the place that everyone has done so far.  It just doesn’t look right.

With this we step outside and grab dinner in the shade while around barfly and us other afternoon dregs types sit out in the sun consuming drinks when really they should be at work.  In the table next to us is a threesome of blonde chubby mummies with tattoos.  More or less they all look the same, choking down fags while occasionally attending to their kids.  You suspect that these are mellowed out reformed former hell raisers.  I half expect to recognise one or two of them but I don’t.

Ourselves, we are all acting shattered as if the working life has now well and truly caught up with us with a vengeance.  They have driven up from Brighton and we are all well into holiday mode.  We make the effort but conversation is struggling to flow.  Harsh times.

Lunch is good, the lasagne is a winning dish.

From here we go around town where they require essentials and I just need amusement.  As we enter HMV they have a clearance bin where I uncover a live Talib Kweli live DVD and the last Future Of The Left CD.  My impulse is that I should be buying these but I have also just spent lunch describing how this week I am discovering so much clutter around apartment.

As Helen heads off back to their hotel for a nap, Justin and I wind up in the Purple Dog.  This is the weirdest pub, it tries to be cuddly but there is just an imposing atmosphere to the place.  I do not necessarily have the best recollections/memories of this place and the last time I was here was with Mark last year where we felt subjected to the worst people on earth.  Conversation remains stunted as I describe my life as being so empty right now.  I lack the desire to travel, which seems a unique condition for me.  Obviously we discuss work and career where I am thoroughly comfortable and thoroughly bored.  Where is my lifeblood?

Eventually we head to the Hospital Arms where we are supposedly meeting up with people (Staff and Dan) at 5PM.  When we get there however nobody is to be seen so we just take up a booth where I continue to explain what Mumblecore is to Justin.  I don’t think I quite manage to sell him on the concept.

It is during the laboured exchange that we spot Dan at the bar getting a drink and we discover that everyone is out in the beer garden.  From here we head out to join them where we wind up circled around a bench where everyone appears to be a musician.  Briefly we try to snag a larger bench from the wobbly head dog lady but initially she snaps and objects to our advances before giving the bench to us by which time we don’t need or want it anymore.

Elsewhere in the corner of the beer garden is a group of loud ladies.  I can’t imagine that they know one another from anywhere but work, they just look like social scene amateurs.  Rightly or wrongly I find them interesting to observe, not least the loud black lady appearing to pretend to be American.  Then there is also the large lady that, more or less, reminds me of Zoë.  They don’t last long, unlike us grizzled fucks who they fail to bat an eyelid towards.

Eventually we make a move, heading towards the venue via a sandwich stop at Tesco.  It maintains.

We get inside the Colchester Arts Centre just in time for DAN MERRILL who is performing tonight on his 30th birthday, having to do a set for an act that has said he is not necessarily suitable for.  As a result of such fretting MERRILL being primarily a violin player works in some beats via his laptop to set up a subtly electronic performance that exhibits the best of both worlds as all comes together in great fashion as his string workout gives the piece real focus.

Following is EAT LIGHTS BECOME LIGHTS who are a strange band.  Upbeat keys play against a large erupting guitar sound which isn’t necessarily upbeat itself or complimentary.  All the while the drummer plugs away at the back in front of a video piece as the two main principals almost sound like they are playing different songs.  When the band eventually gets themselves into a groove it strangely reminds of Hawkwind for some reason.

With the support acts out of the way a crazy table of gadgets gets placed centre stage.  This is the infamous The Simeon, the engine behind SILVER APPLES.  And it looks more like something from a science fair rather than music show.

At this point an introduction video begins playing on the screen behind the stage, which is a preview of a documentary about the SILVER APPLES.  Thurston Moore features on there.  So does Suicide.  Then Damon and Graham before Mark Mothersbaugh eventually begins waxing lyrical before demonstrating how to play “Oscillation”.

Eventually Simeon takes to the stage rocking a huge cowboy hat.  From here he proceeds to tear into a pulsing machine made set of glorious retro electronica that remains sounding feisty and passionate despite being forty years old.

Without SILVER APPLES I don’t think there would have been Suicide as he churns out much the same beats as them but coupled with upbeat lyrics and vocals.  Basically it feels great to be alive in the here and now.

Soon he begins yanking on his machine, indeed oscillating the sound and producing exactly the same kind of sound I always imagined, envisaged and hoped for Game Over.  It is now that I point out this desire to Staff who appears to find the revelation hilarious.

As the set builds warmer and warmer, slowly the crowd edges closer and closer towards the stage as the pulsating beats become more and more infective and infectious.  This is a plus we had not been expecting.  Tonight there are crazy people out in attendance, which adds some degree of excitement to proceedings and also reflects that there is now a new generation of kids coming through in the scene (their own scene).

About halfway through some skinny kid with curly hair slowly and awkwardly barges past me and promptly plops himself on the edge of the stage.  He reminds me of Chris as he sips from a little glass of hard liquor that he plainly cannot handle.  He is ready to be doing this, he is off his little tits.  From here at random insertions he hops up and periodically performs some kind of random arm spraying dance.  It might appear violent did he not weight six stone.  With him he has some kind of mountain lad who appears to be his minder/handler.  At one point the kid even takes his shoes off and sits them strategically on the stage.  Why?

By the end of the set there is a genuine buzz to proceedings as the bubbling beats intensify and the songs become surprisingly further upbeat.  Eventually Simeon closes on “Oscillation” before returning for a brief encore of more joy.  Then with kids calling for more Simeon responds along the lines of “go home you crazy kids” and we have had more than our fill.

After the show said kids eventually storm the stage to check out his insane instrument The Simeon.  They mean no harm, they know not what they do.  Myself I am at the merch stall purchasing a new(ish) EP the SILVER APPLES have released.  It’s the least I can do.

It takes a while to filter out of the Arts Centre, this is summer and this is good.  With no work on the horizon tomorrow it would be rude not to join in festivities as we all eventually aim towards The Castle for some kind of after show beverage.

When we finally get moving we find ourselves walking past a couple of others who for some reason have decided to head to Smiths.  That is a place I have not frequented for several years now (not since 2003).  Historically it was the scene of so many moral defeats for me at the time.

To our surprise walking along the high street on a Thursday night isn’t akin to the war zone I was expecting/fearing.  For some reason despite being the height of summer tonight seems/feels/appears quiet as KFC and McDonalds are both closed at a relatively early hour for what should be the new Friday.

As we pass the V Bar some dumpy blonde girl pretends to be Scandinavian as she asks us if we have a light.  Nope.  With this response she then hurls some minor abuse towards us.  Such is life.

Thankfully when we get to The Castle it is also quiet, which is a good thing.  Once sat down in our group there is lots of talk of future gigs and once more I get invitations to do Game Over and/or My Shit shows/sets.  Not much chance.

As I sit looking out of the window I spot a group of drunken meatheads stomping up from Queens Street with one of them proudly carrying a Subway U beneath his arm.  Begs so many questions.

Eventually Justin and I head off at 1.30AM, going in our respective/different directions.  As I walk through the precarious surroundings of Colchester High Street I drown out all life with Your Future Our Clutter.  It proves an effective soundtrack.

When I pass the closed McDonalds some kid tugs at the door and it just opens setting off the alarms.  Who was on lock up tonight?  To his credit though the lad doesn’t step inside, he just responds “I wanted a McChicken sandwich”.

Things fail to improve as I step towards Mercury Theatre and spot three loud lairy girls walking in front of me.  As increase the volume on my iPhone and brace myself to overhear comments/flack I spot one of the girls pulling her knickers down and squatting.  I guess if you have to go you have to go.  Obviously she doesn’t spot me until she has almost finished the act at which point of recognition she screams with shame and embarrassment.  So she should.

From here I brave Crouch Street on the final leg of the walk to my car.  As I head towards the hospital where the car is parked ahead of me is a guy staggering around uncontrollably.  Like a wimp I promptly change my route to avoid passing him.  Feeble.

Finally I get to my car and drive home with the clock now pushing 2AM.  I’m too old for this shit now.

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