Wednesday, February 28, 2007

some dog shit receptacle

As I left the flat this morning our neighbour ' lesbian' Kate (as opposed to our other named Kate aka 'squeaky' Kate) was in our front garden with her two whippets. I say garden: soil, patchy grass and litter would be the best fitting description of the sorry excuse of greenery that besmooches our otherwise pretty abode . Once again she was letting the ole dogs piss and shit in the garden. I tried to look to see if she had a carrier bag or some dog shit receptacle but couldn't see anything that would indicated that she would. I've never confronted her on this, as surely she would leave the dogshit in our garden? I don't know her well enough to be so bold- Lisa knows her better as recently she discovered that she too is a social worker, which naturally changed her perception. Previously our land lords had told us that she was signing on. Lisa would often mention that she should get a job when she played her loud house music at 11am waking Lisa from her long slumbers at the weekends. I tried once more to make small talk and failed. After the ususal "morning" and "hiyas" I felt the urge to converse:

"it's a bit weird without the trees isn't it"

(oh yeah I should note that the much beloved that induce such tranquility in me during the usual summer time blues. I returned form work early in the week to see the two large Beech trees stripped of their leaves and branches. T'was as if the poor buggers had been raped and executed- left with the indignity to show their nakedness to the neighbourhood. The next day I returned from work and all that remained of these once glorious and noble tree was two stumps. What would Ashley the Tree Surgeon say?)

"yeah" She replied politely.

yeah, the leaves acted as a....urm.....urm....errrr....aa....." the word I was looking for escaped me
"...blinds of sorts, so we never needed to shut our curtains (this is not true) "


"yeah- anyway gotta catch that train...."

Once I'd walked around the corner I grimaced and sucked the air throughmy teeth and laughed at my own inadequacy at being able to talk to her. No doubt she now thinks I would covort around the bedroom, window open in the nude- although nothing could be further from the truth, I won't take my shirt off if there's a little gap between the curtains. Lisa always retorts: "Yeah Matt, there's some guy out there with a telescope watching you". This is one of the few times I can be in complete agreement with Lisa, when she states that sarcasm doesn't help.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

an Orangutang in error

Today at work the conversation of Chester Zoo arose. I'm not entirelysure as to what prompted this inane banter but as one of my colleaguesis having her wedding reception at said zoo I can only assume it was related to this topic. Tony, on a roll and as he would succinctly put it: "got his late tackle in early" and suggested the idea that Sally marries an Orangutang in error. He said at least she wouldn't have to worry about male pattern baldness. He wasn't ashamed about laughing over zealously at his own 'joke'. I just shook my head, partly in disbelief, partly out of obligation.

He asked for the name of the Orangutang in the Clint Eastwood films. Myonly input to this mid morning chat was to inform him this ape was called Clyde. For the next ten minutes Tony couldn't get passed this notion, asking everyone in the room "can you image if Sally married Clive from 'Any Which Way but Lose?' I didn't correct him.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Flase economy fatty (it's lent!)

Ahhhh, I love Lent above and beyond any other religious festivities.Seriously, I love it.This year, to proceed Lent, I have enjoyed gorging myself with as much shite I can shovel down my throat in anticipation, knowing that my plansfor this year's lent would involve me abstaining from alcohol,chocolate, cheese and crisps. In essence it is an excuse for me to goon a bit of a health kick, without having to suffer the indignity ofsaying "I'm on diet". Thus far it's gone reasonably well, having gorged myself on fruit for the last few days.

Of course lent is only three days old. Lisa found the notion of going sans booze hilarious and absurd, but asI quite reasonably pointed out to her, it is my duty as a Catholic. Ofcourse she was quick to point out that I don't go to mass and that I'vedone little else to promote the impression that I am a devotee of thefaith. To reassure her of my intentions, I've proceeded in covering mostof our pictures with a purple cloths, (well tea towels actually andthey're not purple). Anyway, this morning I received a rude awakening after weighing myselfdiscovering that I'm nearly 1 and a half stone heavier than I thought!Granted it has given me a stronger resolve to continue with my quest,however I do fel foolish that I have set up a false economy in this regards i.e. put on weight only to lose it again.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Post-rock died when the first post rock kid said "post-rock's not dead"-

So I went to see Micah P Hinson last night in the unfamiliar surroundings of a former warehouse and current art gallery. In Liverpool last night, and t'was a mighty fine night indeed.Firstly the venue resembled a large garage (something noted by the young Texan when lamenting the venues no smoking policy) and there was no stage. Aesthetically it looked great, though as the crowd grew in size, the visibility of the acts slowly disappeared from view.

The opening act, The Twighlight Sad, slowly picked up their instruments and chatted quietly whist the crowd gathered with curiosity clutching their plastic pint glasses with anticipation. Naturally, for those unenlightened to their work, with a name like The Twighlight Sad and from their appearance, I assumed it to be delicate, thoughtful shoe gazer type loveliness; but received a rude awakening when the first thunderous chords came out on full assault from the P.A. I noted that the audience moved back a step or two- driven back by the sheer force of the volume. Even before the barley audible vocals could be heard from their intense looking front man, there was no way that this band could have hailed from anywhere but Glasgow, sounding not unlike Mogwai or Aerogramme only played faster and harder, less predictably and backed by a monster of a drummer; who's aggressive pounding and continuous stomping of his bass drum had my teeth-a-rattling throughout. Despite the sparseness of the songs which were led by a delay pedaled guitar (with the delay set for two hours) the singer kept himself busy, spending a large portion of the show on his knees face the drummer, occasionally smashing the ride cymbal with a splintered drumstick, and occasionally rocking back and forth banging his head on the floor. A compelling sight to accompany the excellent sounds.

To me post-rock died when the first post rock kid said "post-rock's not dead"- however these chaps have quickly rekindled a long since dead love for this form of music.Micah P. Hinson, was a different kettle of fish altogether of course, and was only backed up by banjo/lap steel playing drummer and a harmonica (ist?), one half of The Opera Circuit who provided the musical accompaniment fro his latest release. His Southern charm warmed the crowd, introducing himself and this songs in a long since forgotten tradition; humble, gracious and informative.” Hello Ladies and gentleman, my name is Micah Paul Hinson and I come from Abilene in Texas, America. I hope you enjoy the show. "Since I last saw him nervously perform at SXSW 2005, he has followed up his highly acclaimed (though not highly enough in my opinion) debut 'The Gospel of Progress' with a collection of sparse demos recorded before his debut’s release 'The Baby and The Satellite’ and the more recent '...and the Opera Circuit' and delved from this impressive back catalogue, even throwing in Richard Hawley cover version to boot, not without a full explanation as to his choice of course.Adding a little more drama to his songs by slowing down introductions changing the tempo, was further testament to his now slick stage presence, which if you consider his age is can only be attribute to the vast amount of shoes he's performed at over the past 3 yea, touring and supporting just about anyone who could accommodate him.

Despite his reservations regarding the England's impending smoking ban, and the fact that no one really laughed at his 'jokes' it was clear to see that he was enjoying himself, so much so he and his Opera Circuit decided that they didn't need microphones and stood amongst the crowd performing acoustically on a couple of numbers, facing each other a clearly loving it. After nearly two hours, and after some of the less perseverant audience members had slinked off home, he closed the set with his 'epic': 'The Day Texas Sank to the bottom of the Sea' with it's opening lines "here's all that I have to give, I'll admit it" eloquently befitting.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mo's first gig

St Valentine's day...great.Surely St. Valentine's ought to be exclusively for the single people inthe world? Every year I lament the fact that my better half is a firm and steadybeliever in this bullshit day and as ever, I do my best to make the dayas "romantic" as possible despite my misgivings, but as the years go onI find it harder to find the enthusiasm. "Every days is like Valentine'sday" I've stated on many, many occasions to little or usually no avail.

My folks got married on Valentines day, and since their unpleasantseparation and divorce a few years back, the day seems that little bitmore hollow than it used to be. As my mother tearfully reminded me lastnight, they would have been married 31 years. So I saw Plan B last night. It was better than I thought it would be.It was just Eve and I in attendance as Lisa, bless her, had too muchwork to do. Sadly, Killa Kela was a no show- ill apparently, so we hadto make do with a not very good honkey rap outfit.

I did however bump into Mo from the rehearsal rooms and chatted for awhile on the unique forms of hip hop drumming and his love thereof. Hesheepisly admitted that this was his first ever gig! I wasflabbergasted, as I know he's played the venue several times before. He explained that he's been to see a multitude of local bands, most ofwhich he knew, but had never been a 'proper' punter. I felt happy forhim especially as he told me of his admiration for Plan B. Knowing he aspires to be a professional musician I found it a bit oddthough, especially as he's 20. I hope he enjoyed it. Anyway, Lisa and I are planning something low key (hopefully so low keyit's barely noticeable) and she just wants to relax and watch The BritsAwards! As I have a unbridled hatred of this crap back slapping awardceremony it'll be interesting to see how long I go on watching itwithout a barrgae of swearwords aimed at the Gallaghers and the otherindustry nit wits and ruining the ambience. I'm going to have to tryreal hard. Hopefully my gastronomic pursuits may perhaps act as an's hoping.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A drunken blogger's lament

Aside from the obvious problem that I’m now having to fill my day working, the problem with not having access to this ‘ere blog during “office hours” is that I’m now forced to write it in the confines of my humble abode. This sadly means I am now prone to drunken posting, and as the last post demonstrates this does not make for the greatest posts. It came as a great dissapointment for me to read it back the following day, slightly hungover and really realise that it wasn't quite the comic prose that I had thought. Rather non sensical guff. Alarmingly there doesn't appear to my ususal abbundance of grammatical and spelling fuck ups.

I headed homeward, well to my mum’s new home town of Scarborough, this past weekend and aside from the obvious enjoyment of seeing her and my brother who arrived early morning with a half defrosted slab of beef; I was reacquainted with the pleasure of a long train journey enabling me to sit and read my book (Michael Azzard’s ‘Our Band Could Be Your Life’), listen to some music and enjoying a late morning beer. If it wasn’t for the other passengers, it is in an ideal world, exactly how I would like to spend my time. Oddly enough there was no comic bad luck or disasters and this appears to have lulled me into a false sense of security as due to train difficulties both on route to work, and on my journey home resulted in my calling an innocent ticket seller a “lazy cunt” and kicking a wheelie bin. Naturally I feel fairly ashamed of myself, but due to the water being cut off today in the office I was dying to have a shit, and this made me more susceptible to being a mardy twat. I was literally full of shit

In other news: life is good! I heard the forthcoming Fall single at it genuinely sounds amazing, sadly I've already booked tickets to see LCD Soundsystem on the same day Mr. Smith and Co. arrive in town. This will be the first time in four years that I've missed his show, and as they've got better everytime I've seen the, I can only assume they will be excellent.

Off to see Plan B tomorrow and I'm not sure why agreed to go as I came to the conclusion rather quickly that I dislike his music rather intensely. Kila Kella is the support so hopefully this should make up for it. Also Micha. P. Hindson is playing a small art gallery on Thurs- just hope someone I know is willing to tag along. I've met him on a few chance encounters and finally got to see him play at SXSW 2005, so here's hoping.!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


The realisation of one’s inadequacy can come as something of a relief. “The pressures off- get on with it!” I rightfully assured myself when I looked in the mirror one morning.

Looking back now, I can see this inadequacy has plagued my life thus far. Inadequacy that was often mistakenly labeled as ‘potential’ by people paid to reassure the populace. I guess any potential fizzled out rather unspectacularly a year or so after leaving University and rather than accepting my lowly status, I’ve remained eternally optimistic. This now is where I can see my road to failure began. As a wiser man than I once said “hope can be a dangerous thing, can drive a man insane”. That wiser man was none other than Morgan Freeman, and he has the kind of screen presence that makes everything he says appear sincere. Of course he didn’t write that line, he’s just an actor and of course he was referring to life inside the walls of Shawshank Prison and naturally, Tim Robbin’s character contradicts this- encapsulating the feeling Hope can be a beautiful thing, but c’mon, it’s Morgan Freeman.

Anyway, as I continue to make my way in the world as a Jack of All, master of none, I have the confidence to believe that there is something for me in the big bad world. After much deliberation I have deducted that I shall be …a confidence trickster.

Announcing this to friends and family was something of an ordeal however, as rather than encouraging me to seek out my dreams, they didn’t really have much faith in me; lambasting me stating “I had no potential”. This was the first time in my life I had been told this, as during all my other ‘crazy follies’ such as University, art college, the band, glass blowing, fox hunting and the whole fizzy cheese debacle, those closest to me have been nothing but supportive. As I showed absolutely no potential what so ever in becoming a confidence trickster, people have immediately tried to persuade me to follow a different path in life. I feel this negativity from one and all can only be a positive thing and spur me on to achieve all I desire.

My first trick was to convince myself that I can do this. Alas, thus far I proved a harder nut to crack than I first anticipated, worrying about the legalities and the morality of such a folly not to mention my abilities. Ironically confidence was an issue. But a true grifter wouldn’t give up that easily, so I set about an elaborate scheme using all my cunning and ingenuity to trick myself into being more confident. Sadly, after weeks of setting up this sting, I miscalculated and the project was aborted. This was not only a blow to my confidence and self esteem but also a financial misnomer- having pumped exactly £2,000 into false moustaches and other gentleman thief regalia, but as chance would have it I conned myself into baring the brunt of these costs….the perfect crime and my only success in the confidence trickster trade which in turn has given me further confidence.

With confidence at an all time high, though there is some part of me (my elbow I think) that feels ill at ease with this, worried that in fact the newly acquired confidence is indeed an trick? The fact that I can’t be sure probably means I was more of a success at the art of grifting than I first thought (itself boosting my self esteem- confusing huh?) As another great man and the world’s greatest liar/confidence trickster, Kaiser Sosia said:

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist”

I confused myself enough to become utterly crest fallen with this new self esteem, and I gave up on my dream, re-realising my own inadequacy. I tried to acknowledge this to potential employees, preferring to get it out in the open and prevent the inevitable disappointment on both our parts.

Thus far, this approach was met with a mixed reaction. Some have been confused whilst others found my approach amusing. One interviewer in particular said I should be on stage but he was unsure that my being upfront regarding my failures would help me in my job, stating that it was other people’s jobs to find failures- so he hired Steve McClaren instead. I didn’t mind though. I was in over my head. As he pointed out, afterall I am one quarter Maltese.

I wasn’t bitter and took his advice regarding being on stage seriously and applied for a job as a curtain in the local theatre. I was unsuccessful, perhaps it was nerves, or perhaps it was that I couldn’t pull myself together in time. Mad as hell at another rejection I waited outside the theatre to ‘have words’ with the director and producer. After stewing in my own rage for 2 hours, and left to simmer for 35 minutes I was thoroughly cooked and charged up to these hacks to show them what I could do. They were still unimpressed however they offered some more specific advise regarding my future career on the stage and recommended I try to make with the “laugh laughs “ and become a stand up comedian. A cartoon lightbulb appeared above my head when she said this and I agreed. She said all you need is to keep being true to yourself and above all convince yourself that you could do it.

I rushed home to do exactly that

Thankfully I still had the false moustaches and other miscellaneous confidence trickster paraphernalia to do so, and worked long and hard at it. Sadly the tattoo stating “I am inadequate” written backwards on my forehead to remind me not to dream of a better life each time I look in the mirror was proving something of an hindrance to me. After all I wasn’t even sure I could persuade myself that I could convince myself!

Drastic action was called for. I sat myself down in a dimly lit room, and tied myself to a wooden chair. After an arduous few days, I had successfully convinced myself that I could grow my eyebrows upwards to cover the slogan, and once I had done this – it reassured me that I COULD convince myself of anything, and proceeded to convince myself that I should pursue the life of a comic.

My first gig was the worst. I was nervous as hell and my now enormous eyebrows repeatedly drooped down into my eyes beforehand and only applying litre of ‘Spray Mount ’ was able to keep them in place.

I was second on the bill after a Bernard Matthew’s tribute act booked erroneously instead of Bernard Manning. Due to the bird flu problems of late, his act didn’t go down too well but was certainly funnier than Manning. One of the few Turkeys on stage with the Matthews impersonator (Frank?) stole the show with a timely piece of post modern comedy, recreating the scene in Star Wars when Obi Wan can sense the destruction of the planet Alderan, only relating it to the cull of the thousands of his foul brethrens, other than that the act was poor..

My name was read out by the generically almost funny, compare. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. Alas, due to the spray mount my eyelids became glued shut. This didn’t phase me as after all I had belief.

I stepped out on stage and could feel bright lights glaring through my firmly shut eyelids and I realized that I hadn’t actually written any material and spent too much time trying to believe in my talents (or should I say -lack of). I freaked out and had a total breakdown on stage. Someone with an Irish accent heckled me until I wet myself and started to cry, and this caused the uncontrollable laughter amongst the audience silencing the Irishman’s abuse. Once I had them laughing it was like shooting fish in a barrel- wet, messy, unnecessary but easy (providing the barrel wasn’t too big of course) I told them about auditioning as a pair of curtains but being unable to pull myself together, and it lifted the roof! (Though I did feel cheap) All I had to do was convince them I was funny! I wish those pricks who rejected me during curtain audition could see me now- “I’ll show them” I raged inwardly.

I was a somebody!! I no longer felt inadequate!!!! Hope springs eternal!!!!!

After the sweat had dissolved the Spray Mount and I was able to open my eyes I walked off the stage to the sound of thunderous applause. “thank you Finch & Firkin you’ve been a wonderful audience” I emotionally bellowed. Backstage a gentleman who looked very much like myself only with a monocle and false moustache approached me and put his right arm around me, popped a lit cigar in my mouth and said “son…you’ve got potential” and offered to manage me.

I agreed and gave him his £2,000 signing on fee….”the perfect crime” I muttered under my breath.

A Yorkshire Yoda

“..the weather outside is frightful…”

Touching wood in advance to proclaiming the following; but despite the snow fall the train (for once) were running just fine. As a matter of fact there was less people huddled under the walkway, sheltered from the snow, awaiting the train than I had expected.

There was some new faces though, one of which I was most intrigued about. She was about 22, pretty, REALLY pretty, and juggling two Yakult drinks whilst trying to lock her brand new BMW. She met her goofy looking boyfriend in the ticket queue who looked young, stupid and unsuccessful. I couldn’t help wonder a) do people really believe in the ‘good bacteria’ vs ‘bad bacteria’? Scam and b) how the fuck did she get a new, sexy looking BMW?

This has bothered me all day.

I arrived at work today and was treated to a Spanish Inquisition by several colleagues regarding my supposed 'surprise' half days annual leave. It was assumed that I had sneaked out to attend a job interview. Alas this was not the case.
I had taken the afternoon off as I was still feeling ropey from the excesses of the Krazy House last Saturday, a surefire signal that "I'm getting too old for this shit". It was also time for my quarterly haircut, which I was surprised to see that when people were grilling me about what I had been up to, hadn't noticed that I'd had my ears lowered.

Apparently I missed a bit of a kafuffle whilst I was away tending to my locks. Debbie reliably informed me that; "the little cherubs" (A phrase used often to describe the little urchins whom roam and run the streets in their matching black tracksuits like a modern day equivalent to Noodles and Co. in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America) had thrown about six eggs on the front window/door in our little reception. Debbie, being as fastidious as anyone I've ever encountered before, had to clean them off immediately and regaled this to me in great detail. Not that this was overly unnecessary, it's just her shtick.

and it was a good job she was in yesterday too(she works part time), otherwise it would have been down to me to sort- and of course I would have done sweet f.a. about it , ;leaving the eggs to fester in the Bootle sunshine.

I suggested to her that she should have left it to the local window cleaner, dubbed affectionately as 'Mr. Happy' or 'Chuckles' due to the incredibly dour and miserable nature of the man. Every fortnight he cleans our three windows in about one and a half minutes and charges £5 and I thought he would appreciate the challenge.
This brought about a comment such as “They get good money do window cleaners” or something similar. I regaled that I was once offered a job as a window cleaner in Harrogate, but politely declined it, naively believing that I could achieve more with my talent, gusto and moxy than that of a life of a humble "visual technician". As I retorted to my colleagues; "looking at the way my career turned out, this was a terrible decision".

The guy who offered me this position was a small white haired gentleman in his very late sixties, who had become part of the set up in our pub football team, which I was a proud member of before attending University. As the team were pretty crap, a mixture of thugs, piss heads, men in their mid forties who were obviously pretty good back in their day and of course all of their mates, our manager Bob or 'Shaggy', had been introduced to this sweet old fool as he was a scout for Scarborough Town F.C. I think because he looked a little like a Yorkshire Yoda, it was assumed that he must have some great Brian Clough-like footballing brain. Sadly, he was never given a chance to prove this to us.

He was the town's window cleaner, and had been for some forty years. He was one of the last few Last of The Summer Wine type Yorkshireman living in my old town, and referred to everyone: man, woman and beast as 'Love'- and old Yorkshire salutation (or so we were led to believe). This at first put a few people's backs up, though the sight of him calling our Desperate Dan look-e-likey burly prison warden center back and his equally large brother as ‘love’ was too much.

On his first pre-season training session, we took the piss. He had the 'squad' running around the practice ground, and when he blew his whistle we would turn left, if he blew it twice we turned right, however whilst running away from him we chose to ignore him and kept running and running, and he kept blowing his whistle like a maniac until we were out of site. It never really improved from there, but he was nice enough to offer me a job working for him. naturally I politely declined, as I had a new life in the land of Liverpool to look forward to. The same applied when our 2nd team goalkeeper (who had eyes going in different directions- but a good shot stopper and brilliant when coming off his line) offered me a job in a car sales room where he worked.

His downfall as a 'sporting director' was the installation of a former class mate of mine as the first choice goal keeper. From playing with him in our school football team I knew how hopeless he was, and the soppy old bugger even gave him a trial for Scarborough, which of course he failed.

The poor bastard tried to get the team more cohesive, fitter and focused, but the players didn’t really want to know. When we were invited to an exhibition match against the mighty Harrogate Town A.F.C he gathered us all around in the dressing room to reveal his new secret weapon: Jelly Babies. He’d read that Curtly Ambrose and some of the other West Indian fast bowlers would eat them as a energy replacement between Overs. Sadly, they were all scoffed by players, substitutes, player’s friends, injured players, the manager ten minutes before the kick off.

I’m not sure, but I think he’s dead now.


Neil Young live at BBC 27th Feb 1971 – Old Man

Aphex Twin –Window Licker

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

social butterfly

Suitable festivities ensued last Saturday night in an 'official' night out in celebration for ole sweet Johnny's 29th birthday.

T'was a frightfully odd night odd, something you should expect once one makes the decision to venture in to the sticky floored sweat house that is Liverpool's infamous Krazy House, and for once I was genuinely looking forward to it. Once more I was accosted by several strangers throughout the night whom decided that they had some salient information that they wished to share with me. Not that I condone this sort of thing, but it begs me to ponder; why do strangers only choose to converse with me?

The first of the night's stranger conversations was partly my own fault. This twenty something woman was sat in the same vicinity as where our 'party' were festering away in the night's first bar: The Kubrick inspired Korova (, without doubt one of the finest bars this fair city has to offer- if you don't mind the gaggles of meffy Russel Brand esque student sorts, complete with scruffy beards and wooly hats, but the place is c-c-c-cool man.

This woman stood up momentarily and from my standing position I glanced over to see if she was leaving or in fact going to the bar etc. Her gaze caught mine and she sat down quickly. I immediately assumed she'd sat down quickly in order to keep her beloved seat, so I leaned over and said "I wasn't going to knick your seat you know". Alas she didn't hear me, and looked uncomfortable. I tried to redeem myself, and leaned over a second time, this time trying to laugh it off, apologising for the confusion and repeating what I'd said seconds earlier. She laughed awkwardly and said she was going to the toilet, but she loved the Suzie and The Banshees song that had just started so she'd decided to wait. Her boyfriend and her then decided to chat to0 me about Suzie and her God damned Banshees and Blondie, eventually offering to move up in order for me to get my sizeable ass on the chair. I declined and politely killed the conversation before it got out of hand, imagining the pair of them wanted to befriend me, take me home asking me to shag her whilst he filmed it on his mobile phone, or the otherway around (cue Homer style shudder).

Some ten minutes later whilst waiting at the bar a young man and young lady (both early twenties) were holding a conversation. Sadly, my head was between the two chatting kids, and as they failed to understand each other they moved their heads closer and closer so that I had to bend backwards to stop them from spitting in my ears. The chap then decided that he'd talk to me asking me if I was here to see any of the bands, which of course I wasn't. I explained away my predicament regarding the birthday felicitations and the pre-arranged shindig at the aforementioned Krazy House. He went on to explain that he was one of the promoters that night and the band were going to be huge. He explained to me that this band comprised of a drummer and a singer/guitar player. I replied "A la The Black Keys?". This was an error, as no doubt it showed too much knowledge of music, as he told me he thought I was going to say The White Stripes.

This costly error of judgment resulted in a very boring conversation about bands. I just stood smiling politely until he mentioned Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, and which point I proceeded to tell him that I'd seen them the night before (if only he'd mentioned ...And You'll Know Us by The Trail of Dead so I could have a second stab at the joke-see last entry). Unimpressed he told me he'd seen them when they played the tiny Academy venue in Liverpool. I told him I had too (this was a lie). Before I got caught out, I made some ramshackle yarn about a friend of a friend getting me in for free, but we were rather late and only got to see two songs. It worked and there was no follow up questions on the gig. He then proceeded to tell me about some of the band he was friends with. I'd not heard of any of them and smiled inwardly at this braggart's unimpressive boasts. My drinks arrived, he shook my hand and told me his name. I think I told him my name was Ruben or something like that, either way bullshitting strangers has always amused me and is a sure fire way of knowing that the Guinness is having an effect. Perhaps it was the years of lying to women in the numerous bar/pubs and clubs during my formative years in a vain attempt to persuade them I was cool, and/or interesting. (one such occasion I spent an entire night lying about my love for Oasis, stealing my friend Burdy's anecdotes- including having the back of my T-Shirt filmed by The O-Zone, presenter Jane Middlemass stating that "this was the nearest we'll come to meeting the band"- she said she had this on video at home- it came as no surprise that she ignored me the following week)

I collected my drinks and the girl my hapless new friend had been chatting to asked me if I wanted a hand. I declined but thanked her anyway. She said “you’re very well spoken” which I took as a compliment, and proceeded to talk like Charles Hawtrey/Russell Brand for several minutes, remarkably she giggled and laughed throughout. This made me feel ill at ease as she was young and pretty, so I made my escape. She asked me something as I walked away, but couldn't quite make out what she'd said and pretended I hadn't heard her imagining that she was checking out my arse as I returned to my friends.

Upon my return, Jane mockingly referred to me as a "social butterfly", and Lisa proceed to regale her with the many incidents whereupon totals strangers bore the pants off of me with inane chit chat (not literally of course).

After we were all fairly tanked up, we decided to head towards The Krazy House. When we arrived the bouncer said something and I immediately laughed out loud, but the look on his face meant that I'd probably misheard so I turned around quickly and waited to pay.

After paying, Janet looking annoyed with herself, informed me that she'd dropped a pound on the floor, and being the gentleman that I often pretend I'm not, proceeded to retrieve it. This meant crouching down at the exact same point that some emo kid was queuing up, and my head was only centimeters from his groin. I made light of this, so he didn't get the wrong impression, and I hope he understood what I meant, when I said "don't worry I've only got my head in your crotch to help my friend". From then on in, the night became something of a blur to me. I recall my usual feeling of contentment when I looked across the dance floor seeing 50 or so goth/emo/punk girls shaking their booties. Not to mention the few teenage Elvira look a likes, complete with two bald men hiding in a vest type cleavages.

As the night drew on I drank heavily, and proceeded to throw some shapes on the dance floor from Rage against The Machine to The Foo Fighters to The Proclaimers, whilst topless men danced with teenage black mascara-caked young things stripped to their bras (one such bra sporting young rock chick had one of the largest racks I’d ever been up close to before and was wearing a white bra which glowed in the dark- very hard when drunk not to get hypnotized by it shaking their thing to Led Zep’s ‘Rock n’ Roll’ ) trying avoid the hundreds of discarded glass bottles on the dance floor ; it was quintessential Krazy House. I felt a bum ‘bump’ into mine, and turning around to see as to whom had done this discovered it was the emo kid who’s crotch was rather too close to my face. I smiled and slow danced backwards through the crowd and went to the toilets. “It’s like the last days of Rome” I thought.

I discovered that their so-called newly installed toilets don’t have any facilities to wash your hands with, which came as a shock; just two massive urinals. This alarmed me to think that ¾ of the men on the dance floor hadn’t washed their hands. I decided to head back and drink some more and avoid shaking hands with anyone.

These toilets were sacred to me, as the venue was the host to my first snog on Merseyside some 11 years ago. I remember thinking I was going to get lucky so acquired a condom from the machine in these hallowed toilets. I can still recall my infuriation when the damned thing promptly swallowed my pound coin. Luckily, thanks to assistance from a stranger we bashed the thing until a Whiskey Flavored condom popped out. I never used it as a friend of hers was comatose and I helped carry him to a taxi, so instead proceeded to blow it up on my long walk home to my Halls of Residence, and instantly regretted wasting it when I arrived back in my Prison cell like room beered up and horny.

Anyhoo; something weird went down at 1.30am ish as it was rumored that Sweet Johnny had gone home in a huff following a row with his nearest and dearest. Eve-e-o was in floods of tears and surrounded by concerned friends. I shrugged my shoulders and continued to dance with Jon’s brother Sweet Benny and his sister Sweet Janey who also rightly assumed that everything would be “all-l-l rigg-g-ht”.

It wasn’t long before I was fucked and had to take a break. I then spent and estimated hour and a half glued to the big screen TV which was playing Match of the Day –Classic Matches of The Eighties. I was completely engrossed by mustachioed premed stars of yesterday playing it what now looked like Speedos, and on the occasion when cohorts and the like came over to chat, I could hear them but couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

The night continued, but once things had calmed down and Jon had been found, we decided that a journey home via a kebab shop/pizza shop was in order.

The Pizza shop was as crowded as an establishment like that could be and resembled a mosh pit at a Music Festival. I chatted to Sweet Benny about the poor quality Liverpudlian Pizzas, bragging about the excellence of Harrogate’s best asset; Chico’s Pizza. Sweet Benny told me that Sweet Johnny had informed him that “I was obsessed with this topic”.

Pizza King was the food outlet of choice. We waited patiently until Lisa spotted some rogue scally pushing in and proceeded to inform the rest of the hungry masses, who didn’t take to kindly to this. An argument ensued between an emo chick and this pilled up, skin headed little shit. The take way owners repeatedly asking, fairly timidly for him to stop swearing, but he was having none of it, and they served him quickly to try and get him out of their establishment. After receiving he chips, and continuing his shouting at these poor girls he called the kebab shop workers “bag heads”. This resulted in a cacophonous booing and people telling him to fuck off, and the smallest of the workers removed him, riding on the crest of people power. I was drunk, and continued to boo, and get my phone out and film it.

I scoffed my pizza in record time, whilst Lisa once again decided that she would wait until she got home before unwrapping her chicken kebab. This precious and over protective approach to her food consumption has always caused friction between the two of us, as I see little point in not devouring it immediately as her food is always cold when she gets back, and she always laments her decision drunkenly and often loudly.

Eventually a taxi was located. As we boarded it, I heard a fella shout “Fuck you- you knob head” in my direction. I innocently pointed to myself and asked if he was talking to me. He bounded over to where I was stood:
”What are you looking at?” he eloquently asked me.
“Where you calling me a knob head?” I asked affably.
“Who are you calling a knob head!!?” he screamed.
“No one- sorry, I thought you were talking to me?”
“What’s it got to fucking do with you? I was talking to him (taxi driver)”

Lisa, grabbed me by the collar and dragged me in the taxi and he sped off. I was quickly informed that the taxi had stopped from these two aggressors, and were quickly ejected by the driver. As we drove past them we all vigorously flicked them the ‘vs’ mouthing “wanker” and the like. I could only assume that they’d said something to the driver, who as Lisa retorted was “the only clam person we’ve met since leaving the Krazy House”.

Upon return to the flat, Lisa lied and said her Kebab was still warm and we watched Krypton Factor until 5am, both in awe of on particularly inept contestant called Marjory and how young Gordon Burns looks, with his Alan Partridge regalia.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Clench your fist and say 'fuck you'

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Last night I was in attendance for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the Manchester Academy and it t’was a fine night of music, public transport, drunkeness and ‘Clockwise’ style comedy disasters, but at least for the first time in an age both my contact lenses stayed put on my eyeballs.

As Tom astutely observed, it was good to see that the singer from said band, talks like he sings, though his squeaky New Yorker accent did bring to mind Marge Simpson’s ex Boyfriend Artie Ziff. Unusually, we were also witness to two fights, both involving some Mancunian (citation needed) ladies. Certainly an odd sight to behold, especially considering the many gigs I’ve been to I’ve never seen a fight, well one that didn’t involve any members of the band. They were very good though, but not having listened to their new album my mind did wander slightly whilst they performed, this way partly due to the beer that we had been chugging throughout. Their support band, Cold Water Kids too were very good, though I sadly missed most of their set whilst trying to buy some drinks for me and my cohorts.

Whilst waiting at the bar a young scruffy kid whom was stood next to me started a conversation regarding the song the band were currently playing. As I wasn’t in the best frame of mind for conversation at that point due to the calamitous journey to Manchester, which left me feeling so exasperated (perhaps an by-product of my newly found work ethos), I did little to keep the conversation going until he started talking on the subject of getting tickets that day to see …And You’ll Know Us From the Trail of Dead.

As he regaled this fairly boring anecdote about meeting the singer at recent Leeds festival, and all I could think was I could at last crack my ‘Who are Hansel and Grettlel’s favourite band? And You’ll Know Us by the Trial of Bread’ joke, which once he had come up for air I put to him. He laughed and then proceed to tell me how he always cracks bad jokes at funerals—though I suspect, or should I say hope, that he was in fact not being exactly truthful and trying to be funny. He then thought it would be appropriate to crack unfunny and extremely racist joke.

Eeek. I didn’t laugh and said “oh dear- that’s a bit out of order isn’t it Jade?”. He looked awkward and then sneaked in front of me in the queue. With any luck it was he whom we saw get punched in the face by the fiery berry hat clad young lady later on during the show.

After, being away from all that interest me on the internet I've been catching up with the various music blogs I enjoy reading. One such, Aquarium Drunkard (see link to right) has posted news about the now sadly defunct Arab Strap, and it brought to mind just how much I love Arab Strap, and the first time I saw them supporting Mogwai in The Duchess of York in Leeds back in the summer of '97, and the magical moment when Adian Moffat joined Mogwai on stage for 'Now We Are Taken' which he co-wrote and recorded with them on the '4 Satin E.P'. Anyway, I couldn't resist posting it:

Mogwai- Now You Are Taken

golden shower of kudos

As per post on 26th January, the buggering Council thought Police have heightened their internet filters and security, which under normal circumstances would make my life intolerable; however I have been enjoying the relative satisfaction of busting my hump and proving my worth at work. Naturally, I expect this new found zeal for corporate servitude to disappear shortly, but for the meantime I’m revelling in my newly discovered self–a lean, mean Excel Spreadsheet producing machine.

Alas, the reason for my increased office stimulation has little to do with the fact that I can’t access ANY decent websites with the exception of the BBC and Wikipedia, and more to do with the D-Day for the culmination of four years work in our department and the serving of some 500 legal notifications across the country. I had very little to do with this, but my closely honed skills of quick efficient spreadsheet (complete with decorative colour schemes- my art degree NOT going to waste thank you!) compiling and the set up of a monolithic mail merge.

As the suckers in my office are not exactly IT savvy, they have all bowed their heads in wonderment and befuddlement at my ability to produce a list of names and addresses on a spreadsheet, moreover they have all been over zealously convincing me that I shouldn’t be so modest when they scratch their heads at words like ‘filters’ and ‘mail merge’. I was at one point nervous that they may consider this work to be witch craft and proceed to lock me in the smaller of our two stationary cupboards, only occasionally prodding me with rulers until they could fathom a way of destroying me or perhaps imprisoning me in one of them’s odd flat prisons a la Superman II.

Of course this work was literally a piece of piss to do and despite protests from me that any dolt could perform these tasks; it has certainly been a while since I’ve basked in a golden shower of kudos from the upper echelons of our department. The only conceited member of the office staff not happy or wowed with my work was of course my nearest rival in the office, the fax machine, who has now had his keys to management toilet taken away from him, and I believe has started his own blog regaling his disenchantment with its station in the office pecking order.

I have also enjoyed two days of serving these notices by hand to businesses and residents alike. Of course any excuse to flee the confines of our office is always appreciated, but I especially enjoyed strolling into offices, legal documents in hand chatting to a variety of very attractive receptionists. This proved to be a most enjoyable and unexpected perk. If I was the wearer of a rimmed hat in the vein of a trilby, bowler or porkpie, I would tilt in a jocular manner to signify contentment. I don’t, so upon my return to the office I enjoyed putting my feet up on my desk, leaning back and eating a packet of crisps rather noisily.

I had also, for the first time in an age, stayed at work until after 5pm! Ye Gads!!!
This meant I had to board a much later train filled with new faces. One such train was inexplicably filled with a plethora of strangely beautiful office attired hotties, rather than the usual familiar surroundings of dour and sour faced losers. Perhaps only the disenchanted office plebs catch my usual train home, which would of course explain why there is usually a lack of any joy in the eyes of my fellow commuters. The vocationally satisfied obviously burn the midnight oil (I will not be posting any Midnight Oil tracks okay!?) preferring to stay later at work and perhaps this satisfaction and diligence increases their beauty? Of course my better half would come under that bracket, only she stays at work because it appears the shit hits the proverbial fan on a daily basis, but she is beauty no less.