Thursday, 21 May 2009

Thursday 21 May 2009

Annoyingly I wake up this morning with a thumping headache. Then when I get up suddenly I appear to have a stomach ache to compliment it. As a result of this I actually bypass breakfast which is a BIG rarity in my world; there is nothing worse than arriving at work feeling angry. That said in my thirty minute window for getting ready for work and leaving this morning half of it does appear to be spend sat on the toilet contemplating the world and existence as I gamble as to what colour the stools will be.

As a result of this bother the walk to the station from the car park is a real struggle this morning as I gradually begin to feel rough all over. At times like these I cannot help but resent the measures my lifestyle demands of me. A lesser person (such as The Girl) would take today off sick.

Somehow against the odds though I still manage to get “my” seat, worryingly I find myself becoming quite territorial about it these days. In the process I wind/end up sitting opposite the girl I catch the same train with every day and quite fancy. I found out yesterday that the term for this is “goldfish bowl syndrome”, a kind of scenario where boredom from repetition and familiarity will cause a person to become attracted to people they see on a regular basis.

Today I get to see just what the book that the girl is reading. When I finally clock what it is disappointingly it is Jade’s book which immediately says/tells to me, rightly or wrongly, that this girl is kind-hearted and sweet natured but has no sense of humour and a brain that has turned to mush.

The train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8AM this morning – see it is possible to arrive on time.

On the radio with additional airplay now I am finding myself more and more obsessed with the new Empire Of The Sun “We Are The People.” No mainstream song has clicked with me in this manner for a very long time.

It is another very busy day as my headache continues to rage. And this is before the constant barrage of questions and queries heads my way.

During the day my iPhone keeps ringing with the Beaumont Seymour telephone number attached. What do they want from me? Wasn’t their sacking me enough? Do they want blood now? Come on guys it was almost five years ago when you did your best to ruin me.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a day off, a much needed day off and one that I have been looking for immensely ever since I booked it. Unfortunately as my boss flaps about the status of the audit I stupidly offer to come into work and postpone the day. I’m so dumb.

Then if that was not bad enough once more the chef pisses me off again at lunchtime. I don’t tell him the food he serves up resembles dog food (either joking or serious) so why does he feel entitled to insult me with name calling? Is this a Brazilian thing? Does he come from a box in some shanty town where they never got around to taking etiquette classes?

It’s always bad when somebody begins to refer to you so explicitly in such a derogatory manner. First it signifies a distinct loss/lack of respect/face, somewhere down the line you have exposed weakness and now it is viewed here is an entrance to one of your weaknesses. Secondly it suggests the individual is attempting to gain some kind of leverage against you and a big issue/concern arises because you really need to know why this is. To be continued.

Then on top of this in the afternoon the angry boss Malcolm Tucker-esqe rumbles me at the bar getting more than drinks and sniping “not busy big man?” Fair comment and I respond like a stoner “very busy” which could have been taken a couple of ways by him but thankfully it is taken the way it was intended.

Today I take the opportunity to email Vice Magazine again to enquire about my missing subscription issues. Jesus I paid that at the beginning of March and to date I have received FUCK ALL!

Happily the day ends far better than it has been progressing as possibly off the back of the boss’s comment I make a real breakthrough on the new Sage system. Actually this breakthrough is probably more to do with the fact that this is the first uninterrupted run I have had at it to date since it was installed. With this in mind I am well poised to do truly great things with the system tomorrow now.

When I get back to Colchester I pop into the olds’ at Balkerne Heights where I get suckered into watching Eastenders with them. In the episode tonight Phil Mitchell is drunk again and I begin wonder when did he turn into Jim Lahey from Trailer Park Boys? The performance is uncanny, almost exactly the same.

Excitement abounds this evening as the third Flux Capacitor gig is taking place at The Bull again this evening. It is however always with a certain level of nervousness and dread that I approach The Bull.

When I arrive several people are already in place and a good night ahead lies in prospect.

The first act of the evening is PINDOWN who hail from Ipswich and sound like Front 242 or Sheep On Drugs in street clothing. The singer looks like a combination of a svelte Mark Thomas and a person that knows their way around Canary Wharf. Behind him flashing lights scream as a titanic industrial background of classic rave collages and police brutality footage plays out through a PA that does not appear to fully compliment or accommodate the pulsating sounds coming from the lab technician of a gentleman providing the beats. There is a nonchalance to their performance that strangely sits comfortably with the vicious soundtrack and mature anger.

During the set my boss calls my mobile and I really cannot be bothered to answer it as I sense it can only be problems/trouble. It is as if someone upstairs knows I am having fun and that it must be stopped. Afterwards I head to the bar and bump into Nina and begin talking to her regarding our respective latest adventures.

At this point my phone beeps and it is a message from the boss asking me to call him. I step outside onto the sunny streets of Colchester in the summer and push the button. On the other end of the phone he sounds tired and cheesed off. He is telling me that I should take my holiday off tomorrow as planned in light of our accounts consultant not being overly communicative or cooperative. In a defiant act of brown nose I point out that today I have made a real breakthrough on the accounts and with that momentum in mind I can probably achieve/accomplish a lot by coming in tomorrow. To this degree the boss sounds genuinely grateful.

As I return inside I end up missing both THE FEZ and MR TINKLER sets as I get caught up in conversation ranging from corporate bribery to The A-Team, Hogan Knows Best and Run’s House.

Next is the first CATS AGAINST THE BOMB set in a very long time. As ever Adam is rock solid, complete with a guitar sound that sounds sharper and harsher than previous/ever. This is a defining part of the CATS AGAINST THE BOMB experience and has always been one of his true strengths as with every performance the content and delivery has always felt fresh, as if on a constant cycle of evolving. The set is mostly taken from his terrific “Attack Of The Bunny Boilers” record that more people really should have listened to. For one man with just a guitar and a box of tricks CATS AGAINST THE BOMB always appear able to delivery a true symphony of distortion in a bleached Big Black kind of manner delivering a cover of Haddaway’s “What Is Love?” in only half an ironic manner. All in all it is a timely reminder of how much we (our scene) miss gigs by CATS.

As socialising begins to kick in the evening has been coloured by an elder man walking around the joint with different coloured patches of hair on a head somewhat flagging in fur. This it turns out is JOHN CALLAGHAN and when he takes to the stage it is something of a genuinely disturbing experience. As the rowdy audience take front stage with a frightening ferocity the campest act in the country slaps on his backing track and prances through a wrong set of half singing and at one point half stripping. This is a man that puts a lot of effort into his show as his lo-fi/DIY outfits range from a disturbing cross between a conjoined twin and Kuato from Total Recall. Then he strips! Half bowler hat and half fishnets – this is some kind of MP fantasy being acted out onstage right in front of my eyes, this is what convinces a local MP to switch from Liberal Democrat to Conservative. Yes Terry, you! The closest comparison that springs to mind is unfortunately Jonathan King’s sickening pop attempts but obviously JOHN CALLAGHAN displays a kind of awareness that old JK molesting will never have. The homemade props reach new heights as on come the robot lights get attached to his chest Star Wars style and a cube of fairy/Christmas lights encase his head. It is all about the show, the music comes secondary and escape plans in the event of fire come a close third. It is a true testament to the man that he wins over this audience, generally made up of little alpha male wannabes. It is a true victory for odd and you feel like congratulating the man for the way he serves his audience alone. Far from being a world weary has been, this is a man that knows and has seen life. Afterwards Lee informs me that he has had releases on Warp Records and I am initially shocked but then it all begins to make sense.

With the theme of Lee’s birthday still running out came birthday cake introduced in the most aggressive of manners as “CAKE!” It almost looked inevitable that a food fight was about to ensue, especially considering the binge drinking element that was making up the audience.

Thankfully there was another party game to divert attention away from a potential food fight. The game was to re-enact a lightsaber fight from Star Wars complete with the audience coming together to hum a soundtrack/score of The Emperor’s Theme. For the contest four young Jedi wannabes were required and within seconds there were four hairy people on stage frothing at the bit to use a lightsaber on each other. Out came some brightly colour foam piping which were promptly grabbed with relish and delivered in the kind of aggressive and violent manner than Darth and Luke could only ever dream about. What was supposed to be a relatively fair contest suddenly (and inevitably) turned into a full on contact sport with a spirit not in keeping with birthday party games. Things actually genuinely appeared to look like they were going to spill out into genuine GBH as Lee performed a heroic job refereeing a truly frightening affair. As the two semi finals quickly get settled the final truly descends into an extended bout of childish behaviour as the snappier big baby really pummels his lesser opponent. However through his sheer menace and ferocity despite ending the contest with both lightsabers crashing the back of the head of his apparent enemy hinting at a trip to A&E, he did actually briefly drop his lightsaber at the beginning of the contest and against the flow of the fight he actually loses on by disqualification. I just watch on slightly panicked by the event and occasion really that such an incendiary happening in a pub like this is really walking the edge.

As Lee announces the winner on stage it is a controversial result not appreciated by losing combatant. As he turns his back the sore loser grabs a lightsaber and whacks him on the back. Miraculously things eventually calm down.

By the close of the game the room has cleared quite excessively. The dancefloor that doubled as a war field remained empty in the aftermath. It is at this point a drunken lady begins talking to me, telling me how crazy the whole night is. She asks me if I am working because I really don’t fit in with what is going down and then I half think that she thinks I am performing. I really don’t want to speak to her but she is keen to inform me that she only has one leg and her other one is made of wood. Fair dues on a truly freaky night this takes the biscuit. After some nonversation she then pulls the classic pub line/move of “will you look after my chair while I go to the toilet?” I grown and suddenly feel some kind of unnecessary responsibility. Her boyfriend then chips in by saying “last time she said that to me she went for a dump.” Nice.

Just before KUNT AND THE GANG begins his/their set Lee hops onstage as MIXOMATOSIS and as a special treat to the audience this evening he literally dives into a performance of “Call On Valerie” from his “Module 23: Originality In Music” lecture. This mish mash of Steve Winwood reclaiming his best hit back from rubbish dance music is coupled with MIXOMATOSIS leaping off the stage and onto the dancefloor where he proceeds to roll through the wannabe Jedi crowd like a human lawnmower.

The night ends with KUNT AND THE GANG and another storming set from Essex’s favourite son. In many ways KUNT AND THE GANG is a lyrical genius. Very rarely is swearing so poetic and well constructed, to be this distasteful takes major talent and hours of cooking up some kind of evil thought soup whereby a large part of the person’s conscience is given to the cloakroom and replaced with a comedic masterplan. For such an underground show it is a very slick show bordering the realms of music and comedy and blurring the line as to where one artform ends and the other begins. This is multimedia, Charlie Brooker endorsed and Derek And Clive enthused. Before you realise it you find yourself singing along to “Wanking Over A Pornographic Polaroid Of An Ex-Girlfriend Who Died” because the tunes are just so upbeat and the rhymes immediately memorable, just as with the greatest pop songs in history.

KUNT AND THE GANG just does not disappoint as “Gentleman’s Wash” gets an explicit explaining and when “Men With Beards (What Are They Hiding?)” gets a run out I suddenly become quite self-conscious about the fact that I have not shaved for a few days. I have nothing to hide though. The highlight for me is the existential dilemma that is the song “Chips Or Tits” and the impossible question. Obviously Little Kunt makes an appearance, often upstaging his larger, more human namesake. The tawdry tale of dealing with the music industry in “Use My Arsehole As A Cunt” cuts scarily close to the reality of my dealings in the industry myself.

As the night overruns the peoples’ enthusiasm doesn’t, KUNT AND THE GANG ends his set with a new song and tribute to the luscious Katy Perry in the form of “I Sucked Off A Bloke” which is the building site equivalent of “I Kissed A Girl” and having grown up around building sites and seen transit vans full of porn mags the song just rings so close to the bone, the painful truth. Sporting a playful expression like a child that has just set fire to his sister’s hair KUNT AND THE GANG ends the evening on a high with an audience that has been thoroughly entertained as the third Flux Capacitor gig at The Bull proves to be the biggest success yet, both financially and artistically.

After saying my goodbyes (and congratulations to those involved) I head home to Bohm Grove hoping that my play off final tickets for Sunday have finally turned up. Unbelievably they have not, making me officially worried. On an official tip however I do discover that my swine flu leaflet has finally arrived so now I know how to deal with this latest plague. I do however note that the guy on the cover of the leaflet looks like Malcolm Tucker which may or may not be some subconscious/subliminal message for readers and worriers to not act so fucking stupid. NOMFP.

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