Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Wednesday 20 October 2010

After waking at 4AM and thinking that it was time to get up and go when my alarm clock eventually comes alive it feels too early, horribly ahead of schedule.  My life is scrambled.

Its another pitch black morning outside which subsequently sees me on the drag leaving for London.  My life is still scrambled.

When I finally speed out of our car park I almost run over The Ghost and his dog with my assertiveness.  Whereas yesterday when my clock said 6.44AM when I left, today it is showing 6.51AM.  The times are changing.

My drive to the station is made extra agonising when I get stuck behind an SUV seemingly unable to drive over 30 mph.  Why does a person purchase a vehicle of such high performance capabilities then piss all the potential away?  Is this some kind of Speed situation?

Once past this idiot with a bit of a rush I get to the platform relatively OK and soon board the 6.59AM, avoiding my usual recent compromise seat as it appears to have gum on it this morning.  God hates me.

Things are changing on the train at the moment, not least that Stare Girl is now sitting elsewhere in the carriage.  Did I scare her away?  Do something to offend?  Did I not stare back enough?

At Chelmsford a rookie extra boards with his salaryman father figure and immediately he proceeds to bump me for the duration/remainder of the journey, which is more than mildly annoying.

Thankfully we eventually get to Liverpool Street where I immediately head to the tube platform only to be faced by a bundle of extras.  Tactically I avoid the wanker train but even after that there is still no sign of a Metropolitan Line train.

Eventually two trains later a Watford train turns up and with it I wheel towards west London suitably late.

When I finally get to St Johns Wood as I roll up the escalator I notice that it is now joyfully sunny outside.  What happened?  Then stepping out of the station I look upon the beautiful day that is now in front of me only to suddenly trip up over some moron woman’s luggage.  The luggage thing – why?  Get a cab!

With this I get the hump but soon perk up through Schadenfreude as when I step down Loudoun Road I spot a flat back lorry take the wing mirror off a Chelsea tractor.  Good, those vehicles are unnecessary, status symbols through and through.

Once into the office I have an amazing day, incredibly productive and very satisfying.  Suddenly by the end of the day I am finding myself pleasingly ahead of schedule.

This morning I finally get around to ordering a new iPhone.  When the woman tells me of my contract options/packages she informs me that I only used two minutes of my call allowance last month and she suggests that I take a lower tariff but I don’t want to pay a large lump sum for an iPhone 4, if that makes any sense.  Eventually we get done and it’s a pretty painless transaction that will see me paying now more than I already do but it won’t be insured.  Finally the cracked screen iPhone is about to be history.

Despite my productivity today also turns out to be another distracted day (lucky my the work is easy then) and before we realise it we reach lunch in what feels/seems like no time.

In the afternoon the angry boss (or rather “Number One Boss” as the Filipino refers to him as) brings in a box of liquor chocolates for us.  We thank him and ask him what the occasion is.  There appears to be no occasion or reason, just goodwill.  Then The Girl opens the box and the chocolates are going white.  With this we screw up our faces as upon further investigation the Best Before date underneath states July 2010.  At this point we put the box back down and save them for later.  When our boss comes in and spots them he is undaunted by the whiteness and chomps away even despite the warning of the date beneath.

Soon 5.30PM arrives and we all pop off.  Myself I head towards the Southbank Centre this evening for a PAUL MORLEY event in tribute to Tony Wilson.  With time to spare before it begins rather than go direct to Waterloo I head central.

Like a geek I pop into Forbidden Planet looking for the Jonathan Ames graphic novel “The Alcoholic”.  With one of those small victories in life I actually discover the book in the clearance sale.

From here as per usual I pop my head into Fopp but buy nothing before taking my usual route from here to the South Bank past The Ivy, up St Martins Lane, across the Strand and over the Golden Jubilee Bridge.  Never accuse me of not being a creature of habit.  On the way I also take a peak at Trafalgar Square where tonight people congregating.

Tonight as England struggles with the prospect of tough love and poverty enforced by our government, I time my walk across the Golden Jubilee Bridge to perfection in time to witness the most breathtaking vision as the lights of Westminster and the Millennium Wheel cascade with a magical blue sky as the slightest sight of the sun setting inhabits the horizon.  Man cannot replicate these things, these unprepared unconstructed moments are not by design or committee.  As with life it comes with fortune.

Soon I find myself stepping into the Queen Elizabeth Hall where I snag a coffee and wait for the night to commence.  With this eventually the doors open to the Purcell Room and I step in to take my seat.  Flying high above the stage is a visage of a young Tony Wilson looking down on proceedings.  He looks straight from a better era, a time when things felt plausible and possible.

The night begins with PAUL MORLEY making introduction to his Tony Wilson tribute night, explaining the reason for the readings and the background of the event in general.  It is all to do with a book, the book that MORLEY is writing about Wilson who is rightfully being held in huge reverence.  I think this is the right guy to be writing such a book.

Amongst the things on offer this evening is a set of video interviews recorded by MORLEY’s sister that were made with view to producing a documentary on the man.  The first video features a conversation with Wilson as he drives around Manchester and gives a guide to the history of the various areas of the city proving his knowledge, passion and affection for the city to be vast as expected.  Its interesting stuff and displays a person that had definitely done his homework on his surroundings.

Afterwards poet MIKE GARRY steps out and reads a Wilson tribute that Terry Christian asked him to pen.  Over the course of many long and winding verses he proficiently goes through the history of the man and the music that emerged around him.  It is a vibrant piece read with incredible passion with inspiring content and exciting memories.  When the poem is finished he sits down with MORLEY and talks about Wilson comparing him to a cool but embarrassing dad.  From here he then does a second poem declaring Manchester as God’s own city and creation.

Following this comes the second video of Wilson where he is now being interviewed in a pub garden while walking his dog which refuses to stop barking throughout the interview causing a humorous disruption.  By now Wilson has moved onto talking about music and the current stuff he is interested (at the time mainly UK hip hop and primarily an act called Raw-T).

Next RICHARD BOON the former manager of the Buzzcocks steps out to be interviewed and talk about the influence of Wilson on the Manchester music scene.  He is not necessarily the best addition to the evening as he gets a bit too comfortable reminiscing as he stutters his way through his memories.

Eventually the third and final video plays which culminates in the sight of Wilson wrestling with his dog and he attempts to get it in the back of his car.  As the dog remains adamant it is not going to get into the car at one point even hooks its paw on the chain of the flashdrive around Wilson’s neck and almost chokes him.  After much labour he eventually gets the dog in the back of the car which prompts a cheer from the audience.  The video then moves onto a later interview where Wilson likens himself to being the Graham Nash of the Manchester music scene (the smart one of the scene) before he ends quoting Kanye West while expressing frustration that his new act Raw-T are not selling more than a thousand albums as the cultural climate goes to pot.

The night concludes with VINI REILLY who tells how Tony Wilson bought his guitar for him at a cost of £8,000 before stepping into a couple of songs of typical fragility and beauty.  The songs are sad and expressionate and even more emotive considering that REILLY only recently suffered a stroke and looks barely strong enough to carry/lift his guitar.  His playing is genuinely nice to listen to as it fills the hall with a warmth and delicate ringing.

At the close of proceedings MORLEY returns stating “we’ve overrun by 47 minutes, not bad for a tenner” and then that is it.

I leave the Southbank Centre feeling exhilarated and inspired.  With this I receive a text message from Justin telling me that he is currently watching Melt-Banana in Manchester.  What a great place to be.

From here I tear to Waterloo and back to Liverpool Street via Tottenham Court Road.  Once there I catch the 10.18PM Clacton train.  Not such a great place to be.

The front page of the Evening Standard tonight reads “EVERYONE LOSES…EVEN THE QUEEN”.  That’s a work of conflicted messages.

I arrive home with mixed emotions.

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