Monday, May 08, 2006

Zut Alors!

The last day of the english football season is typically an excellent day for heavy drinking, ill behaviour and shouting on. Naturally, I was having a piece of that action so we headed to a public house of ill repute to watch the Newcastle v Chelsea clash on a dodgy Al-Jazeera feed.

Basically, for any non football fans, Newcastle beat the reigning champions Chelsea, which means they take over the mantle of champions, much like the system operated in boxing. Also, they qualified for the prestigious Intertoto Cup, where the best teams in Europe play. As such, the entire pub full of scratters and radgies were in high spirits. And Bench sportswear.

As we headed to a more refined, cultured watering hole we bumped into some chaps heading into Newcastle to see chirpy Liverpudlian tunesmiths The Zutons. Of course I jumped at the chance of a bit of gig going like a Mexican jumping bean playing on a trampoline while "Jump Around" by House of Pain plays in the background.

Pre-gigs pints were taken in Newcastle's fashionable Central Station area, all the pubs chocker to blocker with celebrating toon fans, giddy with excitement at the thought of Intertoto Cup football next year. Surveying the throng of football shirt wearing geordies, one of the chaps asked "Do you think they're all going to see The Zutons?"

A bright lad,that one.

A trip to the touts later and twenty-five quid lighter (rob dogs!) , we trousered our tickets and repaired to the Clayton Street chippy for some "good n tasty" battered sausage and chips. As ever the fine work done at this establishment was a credit to the fat-frying fraternity.

You always get some strange tramps hanging round that part of town. The time I went to see Belle and The Sebastians there were a couple of odd fellows, high on life, arguing with one another and asking passers-by to take their side. Last night was a rather persistent glaswegian cove who seemed anxious to relieve us of the strain of carrying around excess loose change.

"Hey boys, ye got any spare change, eh?"
"In a chimps cock!"

A distressing scene.

The gig was a good one, all killer no filler, uptempo no-nonsense singalong tunes. The band giving it the full feller and a capital time was had by all.

Imagine my surprise to see corkscrew-haired frontman Dave McCabes in the nearby Forth pub shortly after the gig, pressing his suit with an attractive blonde lass.

Now of course there is nothing that slightly famous types like better than to chat with the little peole, the ordinary joes, the hoi and the polloi. Especially fat chaps who have been drinking all day, that's their favourite thing ever. So I tap him on the shoulder and ask "Are you one of the Zutons?" "Er, yes" he replies. "Ah've just been to see youse, you were good".

They love all that, the celebrities.

He left with the tidy blonde some time later, perhaps his savoir faire had been ruffled by the "club singer" versions of his songs coming from the far end of the bar.

I don't really remember getting home. Sifting the evidence and analysing the available data, there was Spar sandwich and Roysters purchasing going on, but any further details remain sketchy.

Toon army!

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