Sunday, April 29, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Hey there, grapple fans. You’re back once again with the renegade master. I told you we had much to catch up on, yes?
How are you all after the time travelling thing? A little groggy? Deal with it ,bitches. We’re off for a shorter journey back to Good Friday, 2007. The venue however, remains almost the same.
This time it’s The Beat and The Specials at Newcastle’s Academy (main venue).
Those of you who have followed my musical excursions on here will realise that I live on the bleeding edge of the zeitgeist, scouring the seven seas in search of innovation, futurism and state-of-the-art swearing. I absolutely, positively reject nostalgia and any hint of harking back to some mythical golden age of music.
Mind you, that goes out the window when it comes to ska, 2-tone, reggae, all that.
“Gimme that old time religion, it’s good enough for me” just about sums it up when it comes to the rhythms of the rocksteady rudeboy.
The chance to get down and get with it to such classics as “Ghost Town”, “Doesn’t make it alright”, “Tears of a clown”, “Ranking full stop” and “Gangsters” was an opportunity not to be missed, in the eyes of this late teens groover.
It mattered little that the incarnations of the respective bands contained, at most, one member of their original line up. It was a chance to attend a 2-Tone gig of sorts, which is still a pretty good consolation prize for someone born to late to get there in 1980.
Communal singing, skanking like a looney, pogoing like Zebedee, Ranking Roger’s son Junior Ranking doing a bit of Sean Paul style MCing, a dwarf lady in a summer dress having a rare old time, it was all there and it was all good.
Suitably refreshed and eager for larks, our little group were off clubbing.
This was a different group of mates to the Camera Obscura rabble, by the way. Yes, look impressed at all the friends I’ve got. I’m like the Arctic Monkeys or Jenna Jameson on MySpace, me. That’s how many friends I have.
I love them all, I love them crazily, just like Ice-T loves his bitches.
Anyhow, the search for nightclubbing thrills and spills took us to Chinatown and the impressively named Cosmic Ballroom.
Check that for a name, The Cosmic Ballroom. Sounds like the sort of place where Marc Bolan and Bobby Gillespie would smoke a couple of crystal meths while Jimi Hendrix was in the Ladies hanging out the back of Brigitte Bardot, doesn’t it?
It was shit.
More, much more than that, it was shit and it cost ten of your english pounds to get in.
Ten large! For that kind of outlay I’d expect Norman Cook to be DJing and to be invited to join him in doing a line of charlie cocaine off of Zoe Ball’s funbags.
That didn’t happen.
What did happen was the consumption of lots of overpriced weak lager and fifteen minutes of laboured small talk with a nice looking lass before the inevitable knockback.
Ten fucking quids. Never have the words of The Specials “Friday Night, Saturday Morning” seemed so apposite.
“Two o’clock has come again, time to leave this paradise.
Hope the chip shop isn’t closed, because their pies are really nice.
I’ll eat it in a taxi queue, stand in someone else’s spew.
Wish I had lipstick on my shirt, instead of piss stains on my shoes.”
I didn’t even get a pie, me.
On that cheery note, I bid you adieu.
Camera Obscura. Giddy up, what?
Word to yo' mama, I'm back like a sack and a crack.
It's been some time since I got down and personal with you all and we have much to catch up on.
First of all, I want to take you, Life on Mars style, back in time. Not to 1973, though. That would be too obvious. Our journey takes us back to April 2nd, 2007.
Those were great times back in early April, 2007, weren't they? The fashions we wore, the food we ate, the streets paved with white dog muck, it was an exciting time to be alive.
As if all of this wasn't good enough, I went to see popular Scottish indie pop sensations Camera Obscura live in concert at Newcastle's exclusive Academy 2.
£3 a pint, since you ask.
Now, you know me, I'm all about the music. When I go to see a band I'm focusing on the tunes, the riffs and the chops like a laser beam. Chiggedy-check this review of The Belle and The Sebastian from last year if you disbelieve me.
However, it had been arranged to meet up for cold drinks with a group of, let's be frank here, knackers, prior to the gig. Left to my own devices, it would have been a couple of modish imported lagers and then off to the venue to "check out" the support acts and browse the merchandise stalls. Essentially, attempting to soak up the "vibe" of the "gig", if you will.
However, shit, as Ice-T was wont to attest, ain't like that.
To boil it down, we ended up boozin' and a-sluicin' like a crowd of navvies and ended up barrelling into the venue, stewed to the gills, just as the headline act were starting their first bopping tune.
Frankly, the plight of some of my companions was a bliddy dis-grace.
While your Colonel is a social chameleon, able to mix as easily with monobrowed manual workers earnestly debating the price of plasterboard as with serious-minded cardiganistas intent on savouring every cadence and subtlety of Caledonian country-pop, these fellows would probably have lowered the tone at a Macc Lads benefit gig in a rugby club.
"Cock up your beaver".
I could see folk tutting and shiving at their conduct and attempted to ease the situation by displaying my knowledge of the band's "obscura" works by seizing on a lull in the proceedings and calling out a request for their adaptation of the Robert Burns poem
In retrospect, this was a tactical error.
Sniggering ensued, leading in one case to tearful hysterics. If anything, my well-meant interjection had further ostracised us from our fellow audience members.
Finally, one scowling young chap turned sharply towards us and informed us in no uncertain terms that "if you wanna piss yourselves laughing, gan and do it in the place over the road".
That was us told. We calmed ourselves down and enjoyed the rest of the show in stony silence.
I joke of course. The chiding we received only made matters worse.
Despite the venue being jammed chocker-to-blocker with indie kids, there wasn't much noise between songs. Apart, that is from the oafs at the back, requesting ever more unlikely songs from the band.
Frankly, I don't think that Camera Obscura would ever play "I like to move it" by Real 2 Reel feat. The Mad Stuntman. Also, the prospects of them covering the Wu-Tang anthem "Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthin' to fuck with" are equally remote.
At the end of an excellent set we beat a hasty retreat to the safety of a nearby pub where laughter isn't considered a social faux pas.
Fancy being "ran" by a bunch of herberts in little round specs and Oxfam cardies, eh? Our crew is hardly the West Ham Inter City Headhunters or the Cardiff City Zulu Posse.
That said, we are off next week to the railway station for a "tear up" with the Deathcab for Cutie Awayday Firm.
I reckon we'll shit 'em.
Cock up your beaver!
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Hasta la easter, baby! May your buns be hot and sticky at this festive time of year as we celebrate our Lord Jesus' ascent to heaven inside a chocolate egg a la Mork out of "Mork and Mindy".
Theological asides aside, get astride, open wide and let it slip inside, cos dat ole Ins and Outs train am here, baby!
Observing your fat knacker of a DM sweating from the effort of lifting a pint, and commenting that "he has a wonderful healthy glow about him, like a pregnant lady".
Smiting the Walloons
Getting out there and workin' the streets, despite said streets being dry as a bone.
Keeping one's pimp hand strong
Punters flocking to watch ladies darts because the local pub team is full of young ladies with round heels.
The Islets of Langerhans. Very picturesque at this time of year and not at all touristy.
The return of the baseball season.
Going to a noodle bar when intoxicated.
Furiously bellowing "Divvent put nee shite on!" at anyone approaching the pub jukebox.
Strolling in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles with the love of one's life.
Earnestly discussing the Can albums with the chap in the betting shop, agreeing that "Ege Bamyasi" is their best one.
Telling anyone within earshot that "I'm livin' it and I'm lovin' it!"
Ending all of your sentences with "...and things of that nature".
Secretly pining for the return of the Ottoman Empire.
Preparing tea and scones for your husband.
Hunting down a Thompson's gazelle and ripping open it's throat with your powerful jaws and razor-sharp teeth.
Lovely old silver soup tureens, gadroon borders akimbo.
Spending an absolute aeon scrutinizing the wines in the off-license, before plumping for the cheapest red you can find.
Cis/trans isomerism. It is skill.
Trying to be like Grace Kelly, the results turning out more in the style of Matthew Kelly.
Voguish shampoos with lime in that leave one's hair smelling like a ruddy Opal Fruit and, to this cove's mind, a little dry.
Mistakenly believing that you are A Big Man and can handle a night drinking Newcastle Brown Ale.
Overly analyzing games of five-a-side after the event.
Having an intense craving for an ice cool can of Tango late at night.
Claiming to be into "burlesque" when you in fact mean "strippers".
Down-at-heel taverns filled with manual workers and shrieking tattooed harpies.
Claiming to be into "Emo, screamo and Finding Nemo"
The sudden disappearance of a much-loved Youtube clip.
Billy No-Mate types inviting people they hardly know on their stag "do".
Bottlenosed Whales. Wankers.
Being able to somehow construct triangles whose interior angles amount to more than 180 degrees.
Anyone who believes that "The Da Vinci Code" might be true.
Singing like a canary under questioning.
Reckoning that you have the ability to photosynthesise.
Vapouring on about eating chocolate as if it's crack cocaine.
Preferring Sprite to Lemonade.
Blatant public house cheating at cards.
Grown men receiving a telling off for "acting themselves".
Having two good feet.