Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday 18 November 2010

Thursday 18 November 2010

I awaken cold and tired.  This is not good.  I also have a minor headache which all in all makes me a hateful motherfucker for the early part of this morning.

Daybreak is pathetic.  It is still milking the royal wedding in order to take/divert our attention and minds away from the real news.  Then again if it gets me a day off work next summer, bring it on.

Ultimately Daybreak does not serve its function.  Each morning I allot the first twenty minutes of the day hoping to be informed but today while I struggle to find out the score from the England v France game last night instead they are eager to show pictures from the Daily Mail of animals smiling.

Thankfully I soon shake off the stupidity and head out to the station, to London where people at least appear to be intelligent.  As I near the station a moped cuts me up at the roundabout so I promptly overtake it only then to skid at the next junction because I am now driving too fast.  I take it in my stride but it could have been bad.  I am an idiot.

From here I get parked up and soon find myself shivering on the platform.  When the train eventually turns up I manage to get my seat.  Unfortunately later at Chelmsford a disgusting large plate crowder squeezes/crushes in the seat between the Ralph Steadman lookalike and I with serves to ensure half my journey gets caked in misery.  Does this guy really have no sense of awareness of just how large he is?  What an ego.

Finally it is with the usual sense of relief that we arrive into Liverpool Street and I find refuge in stepping into London.  It is just the hump that you need to get over when it comes to London.  Once you are in it is easy.

Before long I wind up on a tube with stereotypically smelly foreign people.  Why don’t people shut up on public transport?  This is the rush, isn’t it law that we sit in silence and misery?  Beyond this early annoyance I head across town and straight into work without issue.

Once settled into work as people step in, without fail they comment along the lines of “you got through your bad luck day then”.  I just shrug a smile in response; they don’t understand the flack and hassle I have experienced on 17 November in the past.

I notice this morning that I have lost a follower on Twitter.  I have been unfollowed.  When I go through my friends and spambots I discover that it is Labour Boy Jordan Newell.  That follow was certainly fleeting.  Did I offend him?  Worse did I bore him?  I have to say I am surprised, he even included me in a #ff at one point.

So why did Labour Boy Jordan Newell even bother to follow me in the first place?  Certainly our mutual gripes towards National Express East Anglia regarding commuting from Colchester to Liverpool resonated and were the seed of some kind of common ground.  I guess not though.  I’ll keep him on the books though because I like reciting his banal tweets in the high pitched voice that matches his profile picture.  And there was me defending Labour in the summer even when it was obvious they are a bunch of hapless buffoons.  I got served.

Today it gets announced that there is to be a royal wedding next summer.  Maybe they should entitle it the “Royal Distraction”.  Whatever though its an extra day off work!

From here I do additional work on the direct cost margins.  These are now the most detailed set of figures to date that our company has ever possessed.

Eventually the day washes away as the accounts get sent off the bank ahead of deadline and all is well.

Once again the boss lets us out at 5PM which serves me perfectly as I head down to the Waterstones on Gower Street where Helen, Olly and Martin are doing an ANSWER ME THIS! reading and book signing for their new book.  To tie in a bunch of us are meeting up to lend support (as if it’s even required).  Also tonight ATARI TEENAGE RIOT is playing at the Colchester Arts Centre so I will have to rush off soon afterwards to get to the gig.

After a quick ride to Euston Square I soon arrive at the famous Waterstones where I once searched for the Lenny Bruce box set only to discover that there is now a Fopp taped onto the end of the shop.  So much win.

Not long after I arrive Racton turns up and we have a scene.  From here we troll the fresh Fopp aisles where Racton, still buzzing from a day of retail action, buys the Twin Peaks box set at a bargain price.  God bless Fopp.  Soon afterwards Eleanor turns up followed by Matthew and things begin to kick off.

At 6PM Helen and Olly step out and do various readings from their new ANSWER ME THIS! book as we get treated to something of a live mini episode.  The turn out tonight is incredible as we are barely able to get a view of proceedings as many people get in our way.  It seems incredible to think that the podcast has come so far.

They begin their reading by making comment of how weird it would be if they read a question from the book by a person in attendance.  Page 131 – that’s me!  All too soon the reading comes to a close and the signing begins as a long queue forms. 

Eventually a two-faced rape expert bowls up with smiles and disingenuous pleasantries.  Personally I can’t help but find it quite terrifying to have an expert in such an important field who is homophobic and seemingly hates me.  By this point it has become apparent that there is some kind of dinner thing happening tonight that I have not been invited to.  The truth is that as much as I wish or hope that this be my circle of friends the unfortunate reality is that they are just mere acquaintances to who I very much remain something of an outsider.

By now time is ticking as I have to speedily head off back to Colchester for ATARI TEENAGE RIOT at the Arts Centre.  As I exit I say “hi/bye” to Martin as Helen and Olly both say “hello” and call me “JGram” (this is always going to be how you win me over).

From here I quickly stomp to Euston Square where soon I am wheeling across town to Liverpool Street and finally on my way back to Colchester.  An hour later once back in Essex I step into my parents place at Balkerne Heights to say “hello” before heading over to the Colchester Arts Centre.

In the end I manage to get to the Arts Centre around 8.30PM where PHUQ is balls deep into his set.  There is no guestlist place again for me this evening so wilfully I hand over my £15 when not too long ago I would not have bothered.

PHUQ remains a big noisy object.  As he stands behind his laptop maniacally grinning he serves to concoct all styles of schizophrenic beats that are unleashed with a battering ferocity.  It plunders and saws commanding a unique response from a select portion of the audience celebrating a man stood at a computer.  He has a posse, a faithful band of underlings all worshipping at his tech altar.  I don’t receive this attention while sat behind my PC at work.  This is a strange generation and weird time to be alive.  Then it ends.

Tonight the only other person I know in attendance is Lee, not even Staff is in the house.  I guess it was a hard sell not least with the £15 price tag.

Rumours abound of the awkwardness of ATARI TEENAGE RIOT.  Word is that they demanded a vegan meal each and how Alec Empire refuses to perform if smoke comes within 30 feet of him.  Shouldn’t he be metric?  I guess this is why this is just a rumour.  That said this comes coupled with a stage time of 9PM and curfew of 10.20PM, hardly the stuff of riot.

Then it begins.  Before ATARI TEENAGE RIOT take to the stage a representative from the Anti-Nazi League (or something) makes a stage announcement and request to sign up troops.  The guy hardly seems comfortable onstage, this is not how you smash the system and defend values.

With this the set begins as pounding noise blasts out and searchlights circle and hover over the crowd as if in a modern day concentration camp.  Its all designed to distress and disorientate which is initially effective but then lingers too long.  This feels like a forced cop out, time is money.

Finally the band that is now Alec Empire, Nic Endo and CX Kidtronik bound onto the stage with a loud and high octane entrance that obliterates reservation and doubt.  What remains of ATARI TEENAGE RIOT has aged very well as they still possess a fury and purpose that serves to crush and flatten all in its way.

Throughout the set all three of them take it in turns to scream in pairs as all the hits get rolled out and Empire emerges as a very decent front man in both performance and person.

Like they haven’t been away or changed personnel they bash through songs such as “Get Out While You Can” and “Too Dead For Me” before Alec Empire takes the opportunity to make an announcement saying how The Future Of War was put on a banned list in Germany six years after its release.  With this he ups the weight of his statement by using this as an example to illustrate how the authorities are continuing to snuff out dissenting and progressive voices in art and media.  With this they promptly tear into the song as one big “fuck you” to the man.

As the set continues eventually people begin jumping onstage in a frenzy as before long the tide becomes impossible for the security to hold back.  Finally we get our riot in what is one of the most impressive gig experiences at the Colchester Arts Centre ever.

When the set finally comes to an end in the aftermath we all feel suitably slapped about the head.  I would never in my wildest imagination have expected ATARI TEENAGE RIOT to deliver in that degree.

From here we head over to the merch stall where a whole raft of CDs and DVDs are on sale at impressively fair prices.  I wind up buying their Live At Brixton Academy CD because it is so famously abrasive and impossible to listen to.  I’m awkward like that.

After this we head outside where people are mobbing Nic Endo as she is stood outside the Arts Centre office.  I have always had the biggest crush on her but shy away from getting a photo taken next to her even though the offer is on the table.

On a soiling note post gig I also hear that afterwards CX Kidtronik goes bounding up to the bar accusing the venue of shorting them on the rider and demanding a bottle of Jack Daniels.  Does he think he is Slash or something?

With this I head home with my ears ringing and feeling exhilarated.

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