Thursday 5 November 2009
THANK GOD WE’RE NOT FLYING A PLANE HERE
Today I wake up surprisingly chipper. The reason for this is debatable and certainly not obvious.
Once out of Bohm Grove as I head down Layer Road I suddenly find we are all being held up by a person having a driving lesson at 6.45AM in the morning. What the fuck, is this person nocturnal? Are they too ugly for daylight? Consider chipper over.
The train ride turns out to be uneventful although the girl sat opposite me on the journey does remind me of Kiri from Dedham which all in all serves to make the journey uncomfortable for me, giving me the blues.
Stepping into London I possess the fear today. This is based on nothing but gut instinct. Perhaps there is something in the air. Perhaps I ate something bad. All I know is that I feel the need to be guarded and prepared for something that is seemingly lying ahead.
Walking into work is akin to walking into a morgue this morning. There is no joy or happiness here at this time.
Early The Girl telephones to say that she is ill but she is still coming in. As I sit at my desk hunched in my seat she is telling me over the line how she has only just got up out of bed. Well done. Eventually she shows her face.
The fun and games kick off around 11.30AM. Word comes through that the phones on the new company have been cut off which means one site in theatre land and two in Islington. Immediately I look into what has happened with payment of the bill before getting on the phone to our boss who is in Sussex dealing with his mother today.
As the operations manager asks us what we know about it I tell him that I am dealing with. Unfortunately he then tells angry boss Fritzl who promptly throws out his Malcolm Tucker act and stomps into our office shouting asking us what we know about a disconnection notice.
With my backup in defensive mode I take on the torrent telling him that we had seen the disconnection notice and passed it on to our boss who was going to deal with it. As he asks me who was dealing it last I can only point towards the direction of our boss’s office. In the process I feel an utter grass as I set about saving our skin by dobbing him in. Fuming the boss takes this even though visibly you can tell he wants to shout his head off some more.
What fucking kind of motivation mentality is this? Just as the guy stomped into the room I was in the middle/process of getting the line reinstalled and now by displaying this kind of attitude things are not going to get speeded up if suddenly we get the arse off the back of being verbally pummelled. The problem is that this guy has been hollering for too long at the operational level that it now seems he considers as at the same level also.
He fucks off before calling me into his office. I swiftly grab up some paperwork in case he has any questions and with the operations manager sat in the seat opposite him he grills me as to which phone lines are currently out. I mumble and stumble through the sites which he plainly knows are gone. He points out that the phones are out at lunchtime on a Thursday which is just when people call to make bookings for Friday night. I respond with “we realise this”. Its as if he thinks we do not posses any business acumen or common sense. It is not us that have dropped the ball, we are in finance we realise how key and essential basic utilities are to the basic running of an organisation. I have passed exams and gained qualifications on this ground floor knowledge. He requests that I “drop everything” and get onto getting the phones back up to which I respond “I already was” before he gets the final lick in by barking “I want an email in ten minutes telling me the phone lines are going back up.” Jesus Christ there is only so much I can do, there is no point in applying such pressure to the situation.
I return to our office shaking my head feeling unnecessarily battered by a fool. I know he is top of the pile and the guy that built this house (currently on sand) but he really should measure his bites and take stock of what and who he has working for him before unleashing a foolish looking torrent. Of course my snipes here are only because I feel wounded and undermined, having been made to look a fool myself in front of my colleagues and underlings. He definitely won the war of masculinity. All in all though this attitude and reaction is not well appreciated by myself and points towards the crap management that causes everyone to get in such messes in the first place. In the end though with a calm head I get it sorted out with a slight degree of resentment.
From here a sour atmosphere envelopes the day. I feel unnecessarily scolded and with such a tone it gets decided not to order lunch while the angry man is around, we wouldn’t want to appear to be shirking responsibilities now.
Later the Heavy Metal Manager asks me about what happened and proceeds to inform me that I owe him one because as in the latest line of querying from the angry boss regarding my boss and after work drinking he covers for me in his story. I could care less.
As a result of the huff and puff we put off lunch until 3PM when we order down with the angry boss out of sight. For some reason he made us feel undeserving of our lunch today. What a weird situation to be in.
Towards the end of proceedings a number of phone calls hatch from the consultant and for a third night running I work a little late in order to get drafts of requested schedules over to the consultant. Yet again these figures have been rushed and are littered with errors. Whether this will be visible to an untrained eye is open to debate.
Finally I get to head home and after all the bullshit of the day it is thankfully uneventful if a bit downbeat. When I get back to Bohemian Grove I discover that some of my post has just been dumped on the entrance area stairs. I take back what I say about post scabs, they’re fucking awful, bring back the regulars.
Glad to be home I watch an episode of Entourage guest starring Eric Roberts and then head over to the Colchester Arts Centre for the BLK JKS gig.
As I arrive MAGIC SKY are already in motion. Basically on stage it is a group of old heads playing a combination of Krautrock and Prog Rock, it is Silver Machine for the silver haired. I can’t decide if these songs are structured or improvised, if their construction is intentional or if it is all an exploration into their playing and an opportunity for them to have some fun. The loops are good and it all holds things together as it plays out as an interesting set.
Tonight it looks like the “scene” is going through some kind of evolution. There are new faces in tow but they are frosty and cold it seems. Yet again things feel on the downward trend.
The BIG IN ALBANIA set serves to again thrill and remind of just what a strong talent Doug is. The sick collision of horrid visuals and blunt mash-ups serve as a perfect sync to a breakdown. As ever it all assaults the senses as bastardised versions of familiar pop songs mutate and play out against the most terrifying visuals of people in military fashions busting out Michael Jackson type moves. All in all these pictures only serve to make a person feel slightly uncomfortable and queasy about the world in which we live in. These people really exist.
Headliners BLK JKS cut an impressive figure, they are an amazing sight. With a rhythm section holding a similar stance to the pairing of Canty and Lally this is a band that looks very serious about both its art and the message it carries with its material.
Coming from South Africa this is a band that gains countless comparisons as an African equivalent of TV On The Radio but for me it reminds of Trouble Funk. Also the method from which they switch from rock to reggae and back again obviously tastes like Bad Brains. The bass player that looks like Avon Barksdale reminds me of Melvin Gibbs in his playing as he stands truly stoic, the coolest and most focused cat of the performance. Elsewhere to the left playing guitar appears to be the guy from Yo Gabba Gabba. BLK JKS truly are a colourful proposition.
Their set is very clean, boosted by strong rhythms and a crazy drummer displaying his chops along with his bare chest. There is a casual pace to their playing which serves to exhibit rather than inhibit just what makes them great at this time, it being the clash of cultures they are toying with and maximising at this time.
After the set concludes there is a true reaction of wanting more from the audience so with this the bass player takes to the stage and plays out a solo effort sung in his native tongue that songs as pained as it does emotional. This truly is a great experience.
Eventually the night ends and with it our social scene appears to disappear in a puff of smoke. It all ends strangely as we find ourselves left behind holding our cocks. Is there a party somewhere that we have not been invited to?
Over by the bar I spot the bass player Molefi and in my own act of ditching my friends I head over to speak to him. He turns out to be the coolest and most enthusiastic guy, happy to be playing and visiting a different country. It feels a long time since I have met anybody enjoying touring so much. It turns out to be a true pleasure to meet him.
From here I head home still confused by what has happened with our social circle this evening. Have dark times arrived? Do dark times lay ahead? I’m concerned.