Friday 5 March 2010
Dream: E4 is coming from the South Bank where the Sugababes are their guests. The group appears to have four members now. This is getting silly.
I wake up ahead of time this morning with the day still dark outside. With it I possess a pounding headache which was perhaps brought on by too much horrible tea and caffeine last night. I could feel it drying me out as I consumed it. Poor showing on my part. All in all it is a rough start to Friday, one where I am sure I am going to be sick.
As a result of these shenanigans I am late leaving home this morning but despite a rush against the subsequent traffic hold ups I still make the train relatively safely. Indeed I actually score the equivalent of what used to be “my seat.”
Taking in some (almost) fresh air thankfully my head begins to clear as I prepare myself mentally for a potentially fiery day ahead, getting my stories (and excuses) straight in my mind. I may have to deliver at some point today.
At Witham when the train stops some guy in a North Face coat sits opposite me and I begin to scowl. I really just don’t know what it is about North Face clothing that makes me so angry. Is it the combination of it looking so bad combined with the insinuation that the wearer of the garment is a regular on the ski slopes, suggesting a person of wealth. Go fuck yourselves.
Once up into town and at Liverpool Street today once more the Metropolitan Line is still out meaning that once more I find myself on a busy shitty tube where people invade my personal space and proceed to make my life briefly full of misery. Sometimes the extras resemble sheep to me as every tube on this line this week has resembled the wanker train.
Eventually I get to St Johns Wood and I head into work with reservation, on my guard and defensive. I was told the angry boss wasn’t going to be in today but as I arrive at the restaurant I spot his car and as I reach the top of the stairs I spot him at his desk, first to arrive as ever. On cue I wish him “good morning” in my least apologetic manner. Want some?
When I sit on my seat this morning it feels truly fucked and wrecked now. I fear now it’s only a matter of time before it collapses beneath, potentially creating a crippling moment underneath. When it happens hilarity will ensue and hopefully I will not land funnily on my spine and will not require a wheelchair as a result. Have I been watching too much Garden State? Done being in a wheelchair the commute would be hell.
Gradually people begin to slope in and it would appear that the past few days have just been a lot of hot air although the Filipino does correctly comment that her job has now doubled.
I check my emails for the past couple of days and there is nothing there from the consultant so slowly I set about pulling together a work plan for the day and doing my bit but not before I buy some Southbank tickets for Udderbelly shows (Andy Zaltzman and Alexei Sayle).
The day pans out as a distracted one, my list of tasks feels an endless one and I don’t really know where to start.
It turns out that the consultant phoned up yesterday to in effect check up on me. When he was told that I was not in apparently this did not sit well with as he registered some disgust in my direction. It seems he is now going to call today, I guess to further check up on me.
Eventually we reach lunchtime and in the style of a true nihilist I go for sausage, baked beans and mashed potato. Fuck it, I no longer care.
I enter into the afternoon still with a lot to do. My concentration isn’t assisted as my boss gets into some work of his own with me that holds me up and takes me away from my own duties while all the time The Girl persists in telling me all afternoon how I am selfish. What did I do? Well, I guess it’s more what I didn’t do.
Eventually away from these two I get back to my work, happily missing the consultant’s phonecall (which my boss takes instead).
Tonight I am supposed to be hitting the Roundhouse with Germaine to see MF DOOM. I have already been boasting about this today but as the working day nears a conclusion I still have not heard from her. This worries me. Eventually however she thankfully gets in touch and touches base.
With time to spare I work a little late and finish off the accounts even though my boss’s adjustments are in my opinion distorting, verging on nonsense. If needs be I guess.
Once done I step downstairs and stop back to get a little business drunk with the boss before walking from St Johns Wood towards Camden and the Roundhouse for DOOM.
The walk through these streets is a great one, a truly impressive experience. This is Disney London, the stuff that is saved for postcards and the movies and unfortunately the existence that seems out of bounds for anyone working for a living. Herein lies some of the most impressive and largest suburban looking houses anywhere in the country (maybe the world). I would genuinely like to feel I will live here one day but common sense suggests that it sadly won’t happen for me.
Originally the plan for this evening was to meet Germaine at The Pembroke for 7.30PM but just as I head towards the pub (slightly before 7PM) she changes her mind and requests if it can be meeting at Belgo for 8PM, which isn’t much use to me bowling up to the pub at this time. Not wishing to look a gift horse in the mouth however I comply.
For the best part of an hour I sit in the beer garden of The Pembroke nursing a pint and typing notes into my iPhone. By now I have a real buzz on which is possibly which helps me remain outside as the night begins to get colder and colder.
Eventually I get to Belgo for 8PM and thankfully she soon turns up. From here we step into Belgium’s finest and order weird beers. Strong stuff. At what point was the combination of chocolate and beer considered a delicacy? It’s the combination of a true mad man.
After catching up (she recently spent a weekend in New York) we head to the Roundhouse where we get our magic gratis in. With the comp ticket comes a green wristband which apparently equates to VIP.
With this in mind we head in search of the special zone and tonight it appears to be the entire top row of the building. This feels so wrong. As we look down beneath us is a sea of people, white people.
Tonight the event is the A Taste Of Sonar festival in which so much hip electronic music is being wheeled out for those looking move in the right circles. DOOM has a stage time of 10PM but typically hip hop that hour comes and goes as he is nowhere to be seen. With this the crowd of white types begin to get restless and boo. The natives are impatient.
As the time heads towards 11PM a ripple goes through proceedings and a man in a mask takes to the stage and starts spitting. Before the show there were rumours circling of a fake DOOM performing at these shows and the best way of telling his identity is to check for a scar on his hand. That and the fact that this guy is white. Ultimately it all serves as one big hip hop prick tease.
Then we get view of the man at side stage from our vantage as he emerges from backstage with his posse like a prize-fighter on his way to the title. When he finally takes to the stage all kicks as the set begins proper, hurling his mark onto proceedings via a huge dose of shouting.
Here is the rub. Live hip hop is not a given art form, never necessarily the most polished of performances or events. Tonight this is DOOM. With his lateness you sense that this also equates to little in the way of soundcheck or preparation as all the subtleties of his act fly out of the window and the disturbed/disrupted beats rule/dominate the show. I hate to hear myself writing (even thinking) this but ultimately live hip hop can often unfortunately offend descend into the state of just one man shouting something that resembles his songs. I truly believe that the live setting is not one that is strongest set in.
Gripes like a fart aside DOOM is a great thing to witness. Wheeling out mostly material from Born Like This he bounces around the stage like a person at a homecoming. “Cellz” devoid of the Bukowski sample turns out to be something of an abortion while “Gazzillion Ear” is true for the win.
Halfway through the set he hops behind a speaker and collapses. He’s just teasing. Or is he?
From here he picks up the set, yelling his way through the remainder. Eventually the set comes thundering to an end just as things are beginning to become a bit late and panicky.
Germaine and I leave with the throngs as the Sonar Festival continues in full flow. When we get to Chalk Farm tube we part ways because the train is a Charing Cross branch and not a Bank one.
Eventually I drunkenly change lines at Tottenham Court Road and bomb across to Liverpool Street on the Central Line. By running at the station to my platform I just manage to reach the 12.18AM by a minute. This represents a total victory.
A couple of times on the train home I pass out before getting back to Colchester just after 1.30AM.