Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday 28 October 2010

Thursday 28 October 2010

After a relatively easy step into sleep last night my exit from slumber is equally comfortable as I come to this morning.

With instinct I flip on Daybreak and some how the programme has actually managed to be more dumbed down and insulting to intelligence than GMTV was.  This is truly inconceivable.

One of the lead stories today is how first time buyers in order to pool together a mortgage deposit now have to save two years salary without buying food, clothing or paying rent in the meantime (and its three years salary in London).  This is the ultimate fuck you to my generation and also a thoroughly ridiculous and unreasonable statistic and scenario to be spouting.  Why are they spewing out such nonsense?  Is this designed to demoralise because it’s the only product that results from the “story” and information.

As per routine I step out and head to the station in autumn darkness.  This is also demoralising.

Fortunately things run relatively comfortably from here until London and soon I am on the tube platform boarding another train to take me across London to St Johns Wood.

When I finally step into work it is quiet (unnerving).  It appears that nothing happened yesterday in my absence and now today with the Filipino off it is just me and The Girl.  For some reason whenever it is just The Girl and I in the office we tend to get on very well.  I guess we just require an audience.

Before the day really gets started suddenly we find that we already reach midday and the lunch session.  Today I am back to the penne.

Beyond lunch I chunter through the afternoon before it is time to leave at 5.30PM to see SWANS at Koko.  On the dot I exit the restaurant and head straight to Mornington Crescent.  Once I get there as I wait for the lift to pull me out of the station somebody or something kicks me from behind.  Its Racton.  I remember once pulling this gesture on my old Gringo Records cohort years ago and the guy went fucking mental.  I understand now.

Soon we bump into Mark and are looking for an apparent pub that Racton supposedly knows.  Personally I find myself questioning its existence.

Me of little faith, in the end Racton is vindicated as we discover The Victoria situated on the corner of some truly amazing apartment blocks.  In the words of Racton: “you need to kill somebody to live here”.

Inside the pub it is kind of hipster but also it smells slightly of money.  Trust fund money.  With a menu that is pizza.

When it comes to ordering drinks Racton stands alone in drinking booze, it looks like Mark and I are straight edge in comparison.  Personally I’m off the piss and Mark appears to be a really big fan of water.

In the end I order the meatiest, spiciest sounding pizza on the menu.  This is a man’s pizza.  Still it feels like a compromise.

All talk tonight appears to be of music that I am not involved in (Doomed Bird Of Providence).  They make apologies for excluding me from conversation but continue all the same.  Its my own fault really.

With the time fast heading towards 7.30PM we step back to the Koko where once inside we suddenly find ourselves faced/presented with ridiculous stage times.  At first it sounds much worse than it actually is as Racton says “SWANS are on at ten ‘til midnight” which decodes to Mark and I as 11.50PM.  Really though, isn’t a midnight curfew illegal?

Suddenly we slump at the prospect of a long night.  An event I was already struggling to build enthusiasm for now flat lines for me.  Maybe this is time to start drinking recklessly.  Except I don’t.

With the first act JAMES BLACKSHAW not onstage until 9PM we grab a table and continue our conversation, which tonight is heavy on banter.  As many chubby Goth girls with big boots continue to walk past we enter into the minefield conversation of who would play who in a movie.

After too much swearing eventually comes time for some rock action as we head to the main floor and it soon becomes apparent we have left it too late to get a good spot for the evening as so many old men now crowd and hoard the floor.

JAMES BLACKSHAW steps out on his own and proceeds to noodle in a pretty manner.  Immediately I am having flashbacks to Alexander Tucker opening for Dinosaur Jr here in 2005.  That was a size that did not fit either.  All in all it is just lame.  There is nothing that this man is doing that everyone in the audience couldn’t.  How is this supposed/designed to fit in with SWANS in the grand scheme of things?  Basically it is not, it’s a cheap trick and a favour being repaid to a friend somewhere down the line.

The guy soon finishes up doing his thing as more badly dressed oldsters squeeze their way into my being.  Is this how I am going to be in a few years time?

To my right is a tall man with a shaved head and BDSM collar.  How does he bring this look into public and more or less pull it off?  Just what does he do for a living?  No doubt it’s a role that does not require him having contact with the public.

While all this is going on around me onstage we get our first glimpse/view of Michael Gira for the evening as he blows a small kazoo at the audience.  He even does this scarily.

Eventually 10PM arrives, comes and goes before the SWANS equipment is ceremonially turned on with an explicit flick of a switch seemingly supposed to impress and astound us.  With this gesture there is confusion as the DJ continues playing his music before displaying hesitation as it then becomes apparent that the vuvuzela like buzz is actually the beginning of the set.  It is pure shit, the fucking pits.

The next thing that occurs is that Thor guy steps out onstage and begins plugging away at his wondrous percussion.  What the fuck is he about?  Regardless he is pretty confident in his purpose as he pounds out some kind of weird jangle akin to chiming church bells.  He is definitely proficient but later as we near the twenty minute mark without see the band and the gig properly beginning; you can’t help but wonder whether anybody is really/actually enjoying this.

Finally SWANS take to the stage proper as many haggard men take up their instruments and their posts.  So this is the famous (infamous) super nasty Michael Gira.  He does look like a motherfucker cutting the figure of a preachy stepfather that hates his inherited kids to the point that he beats them.  Is this really a salient demeanour?

SWANS are about repetition which I guess is designed to test the listener and audience’s limits (and patience).  In a way it does accomplish/achieve this but rather than emerging burned and exhilarated from the experience I just emerge feeling meh.

Gradually one song turns into another as Gira continues spouting supposedly intense shit about God and worship which climaxes with him just shouting “Praise God!  Praise Lord! Jesus!  Jesus Christ!  Say his name!  Come down!  Come down now!” as the room fills with his bellow and little else.  It does indeed silence the audience but for me it all feels much of muchness.  He’s not the messiah; he’s a very naughty boy.  Then I notice the clock.

In the real world the band has already been churning and gurning for forty five minutes now and as we head towards 11PM and what should be the curfew I begin sweating about getting home.  It is at this point a twat in a top hat enters our zone.  Sebastian Horsley he is not.  As he pushes his way past us an annoyed and very posh voice behind me admonishes “with all the intelligence of a fly on the windscreen”.  Fuck, suddenly I find myself surrounded by both ends of the SWANS demographic and I do not like it.

From here I proceed to try and make the best of things as I attempt to regain space from top hat for what are to be the last few songs of my evening.  Ironically this coincides with the first SWANS song of the night that possesses any real rhythm, beat or drive.  With this I indulge freely, fuck ‘em all.

Despite the set suggesting it is beginning to pick up I make a conscious decision to exit around 11PM and with a long trip home ahead of him also Kluzek joins me as we leave Racton to suffer.  It is a truly liberating feeling to be escaping at this point in time.

Soon Mark and I are heading off in different directions as I wind up on the 11.48PM train back to Essex.  It is a sadly surprisingly busy train.  Further proof that Thursday is the new Friday.

An added element of danger and fun gets attached to the journey as a girl having just eaten a McDonalds meal suddenly begins dipping her head into said McDonalds bag seemingly on the verge of throwing it all back up.  With this our carriage braces itself for a windfall of some kind as all focus is turned on her.  A few guys check on her wellbeing and I feel suspicious of their intentions.  Later she eventually exits at Chelmsford with her insides intact.

Finally as the day becomes Friday we get back to Colchester and I return home.  On Channel Four happily there are two episodes of King Of The Hill to sweeten the blow as it soon becomes apparent that I will be operating tomorrow on less than five hours sleep.  Fuck you Gira.

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