Thursday 18 March 2010
Dream: I’m in Ipswich with the usual suspects for a gig. It’s a nasty scene. We head in to see some electro noise band where the audience appear to be hicks and very different from the people in Essex and London I am used to. In a way it makes me pine for certain old days but equally I just don’t feel like I fit in. Nothing new there then.
Today I wake up with a headache yet again. I suspect it is my bed or the way in which I sleep, the shapes that I pull throughout the night. Perhaps it is the crappy pillows I rest and lay my head on. Basically I probably need a new bed and linen.
As I leave my flat this morning I notice that I have only tied the laces on my right shoe. What part of my brain considered the left shoe unnecessary?
I’m fucking coughing now.
The train ride to town is a surprisingly nice one again. As we stop at Ingatestone I spot a girl on the platform with bright purple hair and unsurprisingly she sits next to me. She is fine though, I barely know she is there as I attempt/endeavour to gain some train sleep.
Eventually we get into Liverpool Street at 7.55AM, which is truly great timing and representative of a service today being on the ball.
Beyond a nondescript tube ride across town when I get to the restaurant today I am first in and with alarm duties to boot. I always like being in first, often treating myself to a drink from the bar. There stillness that is represented by an empty restaurant sets up the day to be a calm and smooth one.
It is scary as ever to consider just how much this place has changed since I joined it almost two years ago now. In many ways this now is the strangest job I have ever had. As one day melds into the next I can’t help but feel I am operating by instincts on autopilot and getting away with it. Coming from my previous two London jobs this really is a polar opposite of proceedings, one that I am not necessarily sure does me much in the way of good. I genuinely worry about having to look elsewhere for employment when the inevitable happens. I fear when I return to the job market I will be too soft, too much out of my now apparent comfort zone and severely lacking in skills for a new marketplace that I royally struggled with two and half years ago (which eventually saw me at Baker Street and committing one of the biggest errors of my career).
On with the job though and today the consultant Mr Stewart is due in again which means that there is pressure from the off.
As the day gets into swing the IT Guy turns up also. With his visit frustratingly the network goes down. It is worryingly (and scarily) ironic that things are fine for weeks (maybe months) but as soon as he touches it, it all falls apart. Again I sense some sympathy when the consultant looks over at me and asks “does this happen often?” I have to say, it doesn’t.
While twiddling my thumbs and hoping that I haven’t lost too much work the downtime offers me the opportunity to look out of the window again (our TV at work) and I spot the teachers outside smoking and suddenly there is a hottie amongst them.
The morning comes to an end and suddenly I find myself pulled off the January accounts of the new company instead now being asked how quickly I can produce a set of P&Ls for the new version of the existing company. Basically from here I am given a day and a half to get a draft set of a month’s P&Ls done.
Tearing into work in the afternoon sirens begin to ring out outside as the police cars pounce on the Ndubz school. We look out of the window trying to work out what is going down but nothing is obvious or evident.
Eventually I rack up a productive afternoon putting me in a good position for tomorrow. I leave on cue at 5.30PM and head straight towards the ICA for tonight’s BILLY CHILDISH talk.
Tonight I head to the ICA via Charing Cross Road where I pop into Foyles and pick up the Daniel Clowes tickets on the way.
As a rare and dubious treat I pop into Forbidden Planet on Shaftsbury Avenue for a look around. I’m too old now to be going into this shop. While in the store I do however hear the song “Seventeen” by Sponge from the Mallrats soundtrack which is a song I haven’t heard in possibly ten years and it truly sends me spiralling in nostalgia, making me feel young and enthusiastic for our Kevin Smith era.
From here leaving the shop I manage to avoid Fopp and head straight to the ICA passing The Ivy in the process in the hope of catching glimpse of a star or two. No dice.
For dinner I get a Caffé Nero Milano hot chocolate. This is hardly the dinner of champions but in my world it suffices.
I get to the ICA in good time and head upstairs to where people are waiting to be let into the hall/room where tonight’s talk is being staged/held. As we all wait on the staircase to get into the Nash Room an Asian girl keeps staring at me. I quite fancy her but do I really want anything sexual to do with a girl that likes BILLY CHILDISH?
Eventually we get let into the Nash Room and we take our seats in what is a truly decadent room. As I look out of the window on my left and spot the traffic on The Mall this feels a pretty great place to be at this time.
Tonight the talk is being chaired by Matthew Higgs who has curated the exhibition and events and who BILLY CHILDISH plainly has a rapport with. On his head CHILDISH is wearing a beret which is taking the retro look yet another step into the past.
The talk is a fun one, relaxed and reluctantly spiteful. CHILDISH is on good form seeming to be a person generally content; knowing of what is nonsense in the world around us. The discussion covers the career of CHILDISH from who his influences are onto what he has learned in the creation of his own art. There is a strange modesty to him, one that is not necessarily entirely convincing. Regardless of this doubt of mine, basically the guy is very funny, a rare breed of being able to take his work deadly serious while also possessing a sense of the absurd.
At various points during the talk he does a series of acapella songs and I have to admit to getting quite excited about the delivery of “John The Revelator”, a song that has quite a personal meaning for me. He also serves up “The Bitter Cup” and “You Make Me Die”, which I truly struggle to recognise in this form (in contrast to the CHILDISH fronted Mudhoney cover version).
Over the course of the evening it turns out that CHILDISH is a prolific but difficult person with plenty of casual disdain for many of his peers. I sense he is quite confused by people’s tastes, full aware that any scene sadly seems to be more about selling oneself rather than their own art.
CHILDISH is renowned as being a true independent spirit and I guess if you stick with something for as long as he has eventually you will find your audience and cease being the traditional starving artist. This is not to say that he is without talent, it is just these things are always going to move slowly if you refuse to take shortcuts and stick to your own morals and terms, which he impressively has.
Eventually he calls it a night without it actually being too late. This suits me, an hour of his chat is as entertaining as three of most people. From here I head back up The Mall to Charing Cross station where I get snag a tube up to Tottenham Court Road and across to Liverpool Street.
I wind up on the weird orange 9PM train. Tonight it has no spare seats so annoyingly I end up having to stand all the way back to Colchester.
When I get home it is around 10PM and on TV is The Bubble. Despite the fact that tonight it has Tim Key and Josie Long on as guests they can’t even salvage the show despite even making reference to Ghostwatch. I can’t stand David Mitchell these days. Firstly he reminds me of John who I used to work with and now having had him used against me in a quote by Kerry-Jo in the most pathetic of manner it/he just represents bad times to me now.
From here I head to bed in the hope of watching Hung. Unfortunately I fall asleep and fail in this endeavour.