Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday 11 December 2010


Saturday 11 December 2010

Sometimes I really think I am mental.  I really loved last night but I just felt too awkward and uncomfortable to fully join in.  Once again with a glimpse of what it is like to be part of a family unit I slightly break down and get depressed as it proves such a stark display of just what I am missing out on in life.  I will be 35 next year.  This is no way to lead an adult life.

I awaken around 7.30AM into what feels an unforgiving climate and existence.

As per usual (routine) I make moves towards Asda around 8.30AM where my progress is stunted and delayed by a distinct lack of enthusiasm and lifeblood on my part.

Curiously echoing my movements I notice Greenberg in the promotion DVDs for £5.  Today Greenberg is very much representative of my mindset.  Ouch, that is a very fast turnaround on that title to be on promotion (in the bargain bin) so soon.  It only feels like a few weeks since I was watching it at a BFI preview in June.  Needless to say I don’t buy it.

From here I am unsure what to buy today, what do I need?  In such a reluctant state I even find myself hesitating in buying the year end issue of Mojo.  This I buy.

Afterwards I troll around the store trying to avoid unhealthy food and failing in the process.  In the end I buy pretty much the usual stuff before a last minute flurry of toiletry purchases.  Evidently I want to improve myself for somebody.

When I go through the self service checkout as usual I scan the Saturday newspapers through first this week the bill is already over £10 even before any food or drink stuffs have gone through.  Expensive times.

Finally I get done and pay up heading straight home where I listen to Alan Davies filling in for Danny Baker on Radio Five.  He’s making a valiant effort.

As ever I attempt to pick up writing and again as ever it is to diminishing returns.  Realistically I should be heading out to do some Christmas shopping today but I am just not in the right mood.

Impressively I manage to download the entire season four of Curb Your Enthusiasm within a couple of hours so at various points I tuck into that.  I had forgotten the wonder of Larry David and how in his borderline sociopathic manner he (his persona) remains one of the few remaining examples of sticking up for yourself left on the planet.

Eventually I stagger into the afternoon where pathetically I fall asleep.  This is the slumber of the defeated.

Around 5PM I emerge in the realisation that I have wasted my day.  I hardly make up for this by watching the first two episodes of Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights.  Even worse I actually find them very funny when it is blatantly going out of its way to be shocking and disgust people.  It is something that is just mean spirited as it appears intent in offending everybody and bashing every remaining taboo with view to making us all equal and supposedly freeing us.  Maybe not.

Tonight Horizontal Strand is putting on TRUMANS WATER on in Ipswich at McGinty’s.  This was one of the first bands I ever saw play live when they supported Babes In Toyland at the Colchester Hippodrome back in 1993.  That is seventeen years ago, that is terrifying.

Before long I leave with hesitation because I don’t know if anyone from our “scene” is actually going to the gig.  In my car I hit the A12 up to Ipswich with the usual vengeance.  This road makes me insane.

On the way I listen to Radio One which is having its Dubstep weekend which sounds amazing through and through.  I’m too old to be interested in this music.

I remain little a fan of Ipswich.  Its shit.  In my youth I spent too many Saturdays here watching Ipswich Town lose at football which should have been a great father son bonding experience but if anything it drove us apart.  Had the club been more ambitious, realistic and generally exciting to this day I swear that dad and I would have a tighter/stronger bond.

I wonder if prostitutes still walk along Portman Road.

As ever it is an ache to get parked near McGinty’s but eventually I get my goal in a room that I am dubious about.

Stepping into McGinty’s is a weird experience for me.  This is hee haw country and in my big coat I feel like some kind of narc or other bogus authority figure.  In order to get to the music room I find myself having to pass a girl/lady with a face full of piercings.  What can she possibly do for a living like that?  Certainly not work in a fridge magnet factory.

From here I step into the music room (The Blue Room) where onstage a band is already playing who it turns out to be is BRING OUT GRANDAD.  Immediately I recognise the bass player as being Alice who I haven’t seen in a while.

The band perform a very decent stab and take at US indie noise with solid songs and decent hooks that ultimately remind me of Chavez for some reason.  They also remind me a Girls Against Boys a bit only without the nastiness.  It is only towards the end of the set that I notice they do not have a drummer despite playing to such a beat.  This is a pretty incredible drum machine, one that sounds like a real drummer more than I have ever witnessed before.

During their set Adam and I clock each other and soon I am being handed my first Christmas card of 2010.  When the set concludes we pick up the pieces and exchange salutations as Michelle bounces with glee as she informs me that she has found a new job.

From here we step downstairs where the bar of McGinty’s is rammed, proving too daunting and a bridge too far as instead I get into a laboured conversation with Lee regarding John Waters coupled with how much I hate pubs.

Eventually we find ourselves back upstairs where the WAXING CAPTORS are soon in full flow.  They begin with a silly version of “Saturday Night” by Whigfield as the singer bounds about in front of the stage.  People love it but I hate it.  To me the band reminds me of The Knack only without the song.

Cheese prevails as the singer whirls about the stage while a guitarist in a Triumph t-shirt with terrifying eyebrows ploughs through this shit while the bass player stands next to motionless in his stance on the other side of the stage sporting something of a “what am I doing here?” expression.

By this point the local yokels are in force and absolutely adoring it.  Behind me to my right is a gang of drunk middle aged men with simpleton accents loving the performance.  They compare the stoic bass player to the guy from Sparks.  These guys have heard of Sparks?

The set is long and testing but as with these things it doesn’t last forever.  Afterwards we finally clock up some hang time discussing our respective holiday plans.  I am not holding much breath at seeing any of these people over the Christmas period.  Things done change.

When TRUMANS WATER take to the stage it is to a hardy and dense degree of fucking around.  Of the original band it only appears that the brothers remain as they launch into an angular rather than distortion heavy set.  This band comes from an era where vocals were more screamed than sung as the riffs feel equally fluid as they work hard to arrive at their point.  Quite often songs feel as if they are cantering and falling apart as the engine room rhythm section maintains the flow while the two guitars go off in various tangents and awkward directions.  All in all it makes me feel nostalgic towards a time when bands were noisier and more intelligent, less ego driven and snobby.  Only from America.

Frustratingly tonight they don’t noodle enough but they do play through the fan whizzing at the side of the stage though as the tall guitar play places his guitar on top of the noisy contraption and allows the vibration to carry his distortion away.  Very unprofessional, it sounds fucking great.

I would like to report that this is an amazing trip down memory lane but unfortunately for some reason it fails to click with me.  Then eventually it all crashes to a conclusion having been a set slightly less dynamic than I was expecting or hoping for.  That said I still remain very much for the band on the outset, I’m just not completely convinced why.  The sad truth appears that this is a band and a sound that was long overtaken by the turn of the century.  The heads that do distortion now do so in a more restrained and purposeful manner, something I can’t decide is better or worse.

After the set we regroup to extend more Christmas cheer.  Soon I find myself reminiscing about seeing the band support Babes In Toyland in 1993 which inevitably sees us comparing our respective first gigs.

Before long I am at the merch stall desperate for items from the night.  With this I am soon chatting with the bass player boasting how I saw him play seventeen years ago.  He responds saying that he wasn’t in the band then but kindly says he remembers the band heading off on that tour.  Charmed by this within minutes I am shelling out money for their new record and a singles compilation.  I get served.

Eventually we head downstairs, a journey which halfway through requires us to stand outside the toilets while our pisshead friends unload.  This is a weird thing to do, not least as the lack of door coupled with bad angles in the ladies bathroom lends a rather revealing view of proceedings in there.  This feels like the old west.

From here we finally get fully downstairs as soon the drunks have grabbed the drummer of TRUMANS WATER and are getting him to autograph Adam’s copy of the new record.  He appears pretty amused by it all and proceeds to draw Kiss faces on the polar bears of the album’s cover.

These days I seldom see these guys and I have to admit I really miss them.  However when I begin showing Michelle pictures of my dog Bobby on my iPhone she appears to freak out at the picture of him standing up in his meredog pose.  Not long after this she and Adam head off home leaving me to shoot the shit with Doug.  I don’t think it was the photo of Bobby that prompted this reaction but I cannot be sure.

With the time now passing midnight I eventually make my excuses and sought escape of Ipswich, not least after seeing one lady too many dressed like a whore almost fall into broken glass.  Not that I can’t see this in Essex any night of the week.

Exiting Ipswich (and Suffolk) begins well as I return to my car with it still in one piece and without a parking ticket (which would have been harsh on a Saturday night).

Ipswich has changed.  The one way system is now more intricate and confusing than ever as I no longer feel that I recognise these streets anymore.  This is a point that gets emphasised when I find myself completely lost leaving town and wind up heading towards Harwich.

In the end I somehow wind up miles away from the actual A12 and by the time I join the road at the Toys R Us roundabout I find myself entering via the weirdest of junctions.  By now I have wasted a lot of time and a lot of petrol.

Happily my soundtrack is a good one with Radio One still being in the middle of its Dubstep weekend where at this point they are playing out the history of Dubstep.  This music actually prompts me to turn up the bass on my car stereo (my tape deck).  How old am I again?  Regardless it makes for an exciting drive home in the dark on the most pathetic of levels.

When I eventually get home the time is well past 1AM.  I am enjoying this hour.



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