How to deface this sign? A random swear word? A Fauvist splash of ferocious, masking primary? The venerable jizzing cock?
No. The defacer was clever. S/he made a mathematical addition (heh). The simple, almost minimalist placing of that Indian invention, the numeral 0.
We are both surprised and confounded. The defacer has made 0 = 45! S/he is like a baby Godel, throwing our bourgeois maths in our faces with a sneer and a burp of Red Stripe.
Dare we drive round the hairpin curves of Springwood Leisure Centre car park at fifty miles-per-hour? We can. We should. We ought to, since the sign clearly says that we are allowed. Ours is not to question the legitimacy of the sign, we revere authority, it is our blankie and best friend.
And we remain, as ever, incomplete and desolate in the face of the crumbling of truth.
Whoop! The best new track tonight was ‘It Is Nothing’ by A Place To Bury Strangers. It’s a bendy, distorty wall of shoegazey loveliness. Check out the album too, they thow a swaggering, garage twist into the mix.
The best old track was ‘Kickin’ Back’ by BeachBuggy. This is the perfect song to blast out when you’re driving round on a summer’s day. Sooo good, in a surfy, Pixies-ish way.
A man climbed onto the roof to shout out his protest at the way Derbyshire police had failed to investigate him being mugged. Malc and I were just walking up St. Peter’s Street and we joined the very calm, very peaceful crowd of onlookers who wanted to hear what he had to say.
The police turned up, mob-handed and proceeded to make the whole situation worse by provoking the onlookers. We were completely peaceful, we weren’t causing an obstruction – nothing.
And yet, the police were rude and heavy-handed, pushing us around like we were cattle. We had zero rights. They had at least three police cars and a van! For nothing. This is how they waste our money.
They pushed one woman onto her child and reduced her to tears. No apologies. When she complained to a WPC, she just ignored it.
I saw them pushing at least three other people, provoking them as much as possible. They inflamed a situation that would otherwise have amounted to not much at all. If they’d simply had a couple of officers standing around, we would have watched the bloke and then moved on. As it was, it became about asserting our civil liberty as much as the poor man’s cause.
Eventually, the bloke decided he’d made his point and climbed down. He was lead away to cheers from all of us. He hadn’t caused any damage, he’d made a peaceful protest. If only our police acted with as much civility.
It was a totally peaceful event, apart from the actions of the police. Remember, we pay their wages and yet they threaten us and treat us like peasants.
For the miniscule sum of £55, I got to see loads of wonderful bands. And I mean loads. In fact, if I have a moan, it’s that there were simply too many great bands on: I couldn’t see everything I wanted to. This is exactly the opposite of how I feel about most multi-band affairs.
Cats On Fire, on fire
The highlight for me was seeing Cats On Fire in rip-roaring form. Of the bands I saw, they got the best audience response, peeps were dancing, clapping and just happily shouting along.
But, really, there were so many fabulous artists – Au Revoir Simone, Butcher Boy, Eux Autres, Teenage Fanclub. And the spirit of the event was equally unique. There was a definite feel-good vibe for the entire weekend.
On July 12th, I played at The Head of Steam, Newcastle. It was great.
The gig was organised by Stephen This Almighty Pop and I was lucky enough to be playing with his band Kosmonaut and also with The Honda Express (featuring members of Strawberry Story).
Although Stephen thought the turnout was too low, that never matters to me. Having done both, I’d rather play to a small audience who are really into it than a hefty swell of disinterested hipsters.
The audience was perfect for me: I could look at them, try to connect with them. My songs are all intensely personal, all autobiographical so every gig is something of a confessional. Somehow, being able to see the eyes of the person you’re singing to makes it less contrived, more real.
A lovely girl came up after the gig, she’d come along because of ‘Your Woman,’ of course, but she’d danced and swayed through the rest of the set too. She said I’d made her year, bless her! That’s the kind of comment every egomaniac songwriter loves to hear. 🙂
After the gig, I was on such a high that I was mentally fit enough to go and play the Cosy Den Festival after all. You see, these things snowball…
So, a very belated thanks to Stephen and everyone I met that night. You’re brill.
I’ll write more about each of those events shortly, when I have enough thinking time to sort everything out in my head. I feel like the last four weeks, I’ve done more than in the previous six months. I’ve played two fantastic gigs, met loads of lovely new people and heard some wonderful secrets.
It’s been intense and I feel utterly drained today. I’m wondering… what now? Inevitably, there’s something of a sense of post-come about everything now. Although I know that will fade, I partly don’t want it to dissipate as it spurs me on to keep trying to be more adventurous. Innit.
So, for any regular readers, sorry for the paucity of posts. But you’ll be getting shitloads soon. 🙂