Dynargh dhe'n Blogofrob

Friday 23rd September 2005

September again, a month with the potential to fling you into a mortar and, with its autumnal pestle, grimly powderise you. Then drive a steamroller over your remains.

Yep, September grinds me down. With the exception of last year's glorious ninth month, it brings the end of any hopes for summer, unwelcome memories of new school years (disinfected classrooms and being forced to play football in arctic storms) and getting out of bed and leaving work when it's dark.

And I haven't done much with September this year, except work and worry about work. There have, however, been a couple of recent noteworthy events.

Last week Matt, Jerry and I went to Zigfrid in Hoxton and saw Lou Rhodes doing her thing. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (and not a very good one at that, certainly not Beloved One by Lou Rhodes) it was great. My six month Guinness hiatus came to a malty end and by the time the support (excellent acoustic sets by Ed Laurie and ex-Lamber Oddur Mar Runnarson) had ended I was half-cut. Guinness or no Guinness, the atmosphere there was relaxed and ultra friendly. I found myself chatting to various people, all of whom enthusiastically chatted back. It's so unusual in London to be at a gig (or out anywhere) and for there to be a complete absence of aggression. Perhaps encouraged by this, after spotting Lou packing away and with the desire to right past wrongs, I trotted over.

"Lou," I smiled. "My name's Rob. I'd just like to say how much I enjoyed your music this evening."

Her eyes sparkled with delight. "I recognise you", she purred. "I've noticed you at some Lamb gigs. I once saw you in the Tipi field at Glastonbury, and felt so sad when you didn't come and speak to me. And then I saw you again at this year's Glastonbury. You seemed so ill, all I wanted to do was abandon the gig and nurse you back to health. But unfortunately that would have meant breaking my deal to perform there, and Michael Eavis is a real fucker when it comes to breach of contractual obligations."

"Tell me about it," I said archly. "What you need is a clause in there allowing you to forgo a performance on compassionate grounds. I'll happily draft one for you. Here's my business card."

She took it coyly. After a moment she said, "All this talk of the niceties of legal drafting makes me go weak at the knees. I don't want your office address. Take me to your home, now."

Actually, I can't quite vouch for the above being a verbatim transcript of our conversation. I'm having trouble remembering. I suspect the following may be more accurate:

Me: "Bleurggh, um, Lou, how the fahk are you you were fuurrrrkin great man."
Her [eyes sparkling with terror]: "Thank you."
Me: "Buerouhgg jegh hergl I love Lamnalldatshit and I think that...um...all reeeeeeallly good...great...urm...hfoipn."
Her: "..."
Me: "I'm ganna come again, aaand again yes I aam. Bye, great chhat."

Ah well.

The following evening I went to another gig, JJ72 again, in the Islington Academy. The requisite aggression was there this time, mainly from me getting pissed off with the gig goers who insist on barging to the front and then spend the entire gig either (a) standing there like one of those wanky out of work actors in Covent Garden pretending to be a statue or (b) chatting loudly all the way through. One such talky twat put me off-side from the start by braying away to some midget woman he was obviously trying to pull.

"Yeah, they were quite big about five years ago, they're a bit crap actually, middle of the road." Could have been worse I suppose. He could have said they sounded like Placebo.

I enjoyed the gig and was pleasantly surprised by the support, a band called Red Organ Serpent Sound. I wasn't feeling particularly optimistic when they strolled to their instruments, all face paint and bowler hats. The lead singer then bounded on stage. He was wearing what appeared to be a red sock over his head and large white rimmed dark glasses. A top hat was rammed down firmly on the sock. He was also clad in a leotard, and wore a red boxing glove on his left hand. In fact he looked a bit like this. At first, as the guitars screamed into action I worried that this might be a death metal/performance art hybrid. But it was fun, highly charged, good music. Kraftwerk inspired lyrics from a song called Autobahn - "Autobahn, autobahn...DAS AUTOBAHN". I think they probably all went to art school together.

This week I decided to go upmarket, and accompanied my parents to the Ritz for afternoon tea, after starving myself. I was a little disappointed in that it reminded me of the Egyptian Hall at Harrods, the columns dripping with gold leaf while stucco lions roared down from the ceiling. Also, our fellow tea takers were hardly what I would have expected (something out of Agatha Christie perhaps) although at least their hoop earrings went with the décor. But the service was impeccable, the tea perfect and the sandwiches and scones just kept coming. I left feeling quite sick, exactly as planned.

82 - posted at 16:58:32

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