Friday, 26 June 2009

Friday 26 June 2009

Even the cows on my walk to the station look sad this morning.

Anyone that called his kid “Blanket” is all right by me.

I left my bedroom TV running on purpose last night in order to get the most from the rolling news coverage. Ultimately though it just served to disturb me and keep me awake meaning this morning I am a mess.

I beat the alarm clock in order to peak a look at the ITN coverage of Michael Jackson’s death ahead of the GMTV Technicolor experience that is the “news” on the horizon. So we’ve moved on from Iran now than have we? Coogan said last night that it was the Nation Of Islam that killed Jacko in order to divert attention away from the Muslim going ons in Iran right now. He of course was joking but I thought I heard that they did find a Pee Wee Herman bowtie at the scene of the tragedy.

The train journey is a solemn experience today, no one is smiling and many seem shocked/stunned/phased. Of course the majority of my fellow commuters look this way on the best of days with their expression and beaten postures.

Arrival into Liverpool Street is timed at 8.05 and today appears to be one of those mornings where everybody appears intent on walking into me at the station. No one looks where they’re going any more but they always seem to see/catch my hand coming as I give them a clip around the ear as/for punishment (deserved). I have no luck, god hates me.

At the tube platform a group of young girls giggle profusely as they take photos of each other on their mobile and it really appears to unnerve us all standing waiting for the next train. I guess different people deal with their grief in different ways.

I also see the man from last week in his dress. I make a point of not getting on the tube that he does.

This morning I almost fall asleep on the tube to Baker Street, I am already in/on holiday mode. Whether I get through the day at my desk without sleeping will now be an obstacle. Today is the predicted grey with the threat/promise of rain above. This is going to be rubbish.

Ultimately it is a slow day lacking in productivity. I do a list of things to do but by lunchtime I have barely touch it or scratched the surface due to distractions elsewhere in the office/department. This distraction takes the form of too much hand holding of the outsourced guy that is doing the new company when it would probably be just as quick for me to do it myself.

Eventually though the day comes to an end and I manage to wipe off enough things from the list in order to cover my arse.

With Racton’s gig in Fitzrovia this evening not having a very early stage time this gives me the opportunity to catch a movie beforehand and I decide on properly catching Synecdoche, New York before it leaves the cinemas.

Out of work at 5PM I head straight to Shaftsbury Avenue despite the boss wanting to have drinks. With time on my side I manage to hit Fopp where I wind up buying the new Spinal Tap CD and DVD, a Beastie Boys 12 inch compilation CD and The Shining on DVD.

As I enter the cinema it is with the last people standing that have not seen Synecdoche. Just prior to the movie beginning Racton calls me to tell me that their stage time will be around 10PM which fits in perfectly with the evening’s plans.

I have to admit watching Synecdoche on a big screen wasn’t all that different to watching it on my PC. Again it is hard work and real trawl through my mental wellbeing via Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character. I can’t help but think with this movie that Kaufman is trying to pull together some major representation of what it is to live and exist. The way in which Hoffman’s character obsesses over his play as he pieces it together is just how the rest of us strive in piecing together our own lives. With it the efforts and hard work are filled with joy and sadness, unfortunately often more sadness than joy.

This film is basically the telling of a life’s work and the example delivered is the surreal way in which the play takes on more importance than is healthy as it descends into obsession but this is just how life is, how it runs out and how before we reach our goals our time is sadly up all too soon. The characters that come into our lives, star and then move on are perfectly represented and the prolonged agony and angst caused by imbalanced feelings and relationships are often correctly displayed as vital forks in the road here.

I suspect for years people will be reading new meanings into this movie and the fact that it often drags and takes too long will be overlooked in exchange for the reality that the movie touches nerves and is painfully efficient and concise in its (failed) attempts to dismantle and put back together life.

At the beginning of the movie a woman sat on her own in front of me to the right laughs at every single inch of humour in the movie. By the end she is silent. Unlike the twat behind me to my left who appears to have brought in his weekly groceries to eat the entire way through the movie, complete with the noisiest packaging, and clumsiest unwrapping there of, in history. Finally someone behind me sure enjoys kicking the back of my seat. All these annoyances seem typical of the oversensitive nature of the movie.

When the movie ends a lonely sensation grabs hold of proceedings. With the credits being black on a white background as the lights come up it all serves to dazzle and as I leave the cinema I feel stoned and flighty. Again the movie (much like when I first watched it) has a weird and profound affect on me and a strong/strange urge to blog.

The city in the summer almost blinds me this evening. As I emerge just after eight the skies are still clear blue and it could even be midday. This is what summer is all about, why people fall in love and the atmosphere makes them horny. I love the ferocity of London on summer nights, the way it does not stop and the buzz of excitable slutty people exudes and enthuses.

I walk off Shaftsbury and onto Charing Cross Road up to Tottenham Court Road on my way to Fitzrovia. I have never knowingly been in this part of London before (seldom do I go North of Soho) but with such a name it has many promises attached.

When I finally hit Foley Street and The King & Queen it is for some reason a strangely intimidating part/area of London. This fear is actually based on nothing, only a lack of familiarity with the area and the shocking acknowledgment of some major construction work happening in the centre of London that otherwise cannot be seen from the more obvious, touristy parts of central London (Oxford Street).

Almost immediately I see Racton, bumping and falling into him in the process. This is a relief as the view of The King & Queen from the outside was playing out slightly badly for me. Fear of the unfamiliar will always bring me down.

Tonight the gig is being promoted as part of some kind of festival called SCALEDOWN, which seems to be highlighting acoustic and experimental wares of London types in smart clothes.

As we head upstairs there is already some music in progress and as I see familiar faces smiling it feels rude to be interrupting the attempted art occurring in the corner at this time.

The first act is a lad called LITTL SHYNING MAN making what I would imagine to be the sounding of a whale dying. At the close of the “set” the hosts for the evening ask him what his parents think of his music.

The hosts (and I guess promoters) for the evening are a strange pair cradling glasses of red wine and making bad jokes in a slightly menacing fashion. They are a cross between the Vic and Bob characters Tom Fun and Derek and Matt Berry. If we dare speak between acts and interrupt their spiel they make us shush until we pay attention. It’s a tactic that works for the majority of the evening.

The second act I see if someone called SPOONO who plucks away at his guitar in a John Fahey style. Often he makes his instrument sound as if two are being played. There is no doubting his talent but I’m not really into the content.

Following however comes a cuddly singer songwriter called IAN EVANS who is plainly the promoters and hosts’ favourite of the evening. He does the one-man thing with words and guitar and I’m sure manages to make a number of hearts flutter and swoon in the process. Not mine though. After a couple of dogged originals he kicks into his cover version of “Wuthering Heights” which perfect displays his pitch.

With view to going crazy on the bill the penultimate act TRIPTIK push out some weird experimental kicks using jazz instruments and amped up kitchen cutlery to make looped and ringing noise. For some reason this really causes them to show their age as it all gets very Stockhausen and seldom pleasant to the ears. Quickly the novelty wears thin and various members of the audience begin pulling faces. As they plunder on with their set some drunk foreign guy sits in the corner of the room loudly describing the set on his mobile phone to a friend. Was he put there as a plant by the toffs to add to the event of playing with forks as instruments? Ultimately it all just feels like listening to the sound of instruments dying. The things I do to be sociable.

LIMN as ever pull through and raise standards of any bill that they appear on. Playing in an acoustic setting for the first time the four of them sat in a row on chairs facing the audience makes them look almost awkward. The instrumentation has drastically changed and suddenly roles have been reversed and changed in ways that even the band appears to be struggling to adapt to. Despite this they bowl out recognisable songs from their cannon as the beats and rhythms remain. If you can imagine what a stripped down Battles or Tortoise would sound like sat around a campfire then you are almost there with calculating the sights and sounds of a LIMN acoustic gig. None of these songs have been released yet and it is to their detriment as they possess hooks and a sense of playful fun that equates to the listening enjoying the fruits as much as the band appear to be gaining themselves. In the end they prove head and shoulders above anything that comes before them this evening sounding well rehearsed, talented and a genuinely serious proposition. One rousing ovation later and their solid set is concluded.

At the close of proceedings we head downstairs and begin to saunter home. We all appear to be going off in the different directions tonight: some South, some North, some East such as myself. Downstairs in the pub a proper Friday night is in full flow and as drinking spills out onto the streets it is an almost beautiful sight in beautiful surroundings. Then I see a thoroughly wasted young lady sat on the kerb about to be sick in the pocket of her partner. Beautiful.

The close of the evening sees a slip in quality as when I get back to Liverpool Street I suddenly find myself confronted by a full and squashed train home of AC/DC fans returning from Wembley. I had joked earlier about not wanting to get beaten up by AC/DC fans this evening but I never expecting anything like this. With much alcohol in their blood and erections from the rock of Bon Scott they turn out to be loud and surprisingly intimidating. When did I turn into such a pussy? Me and my Winger t-shirt.

As I stand trying to pretend they are not there and attempting to drown them out by listening to max volume hip hop I look across and notice a girl from my school days. It is Faye. She was the queen of primary school; all us boys fancied her and she knew it. When things got to secondary school she was no longer queen and things weren’t quite so rosy but still given half a chance you would have jumped through dozens of hoops for her. Recently in the big influx of old school people discovering each other on Facebook she, like many others who didn’t speak to me at school, added me as a friend and occasionally I have found myself exchanging messages with me, perhaps (probably) in a lame attempt to see if it might be possible to rekindle (well, kindle) anything. Our exchange messages were nice enough but nothing to read again or into.

Tonight however she does not bother to acknowledge me. She is plainly present with her other half and I guess in the flesh I am not half as impressive as my Facebook profile suggest I be. It looks like she is returning from the AC/DC concert where her now inebriated other half has dragged her tonight. She turns her back on me seemingly in an attempt not to exchange glances and the reality of the world away from Facebook hits me hard once again.

I don’t really care but it just disheartens me to have confirmed and established the bad opinion and impression that I already have of people. I’d like to think it is just me and my negativity but more so it is people playing their roles.

Back in Colchester it is with great relief that I get home this evening, away from the AC/DC mobs and into my week off at home.

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