All entries for July 2005

July 04, 2005

Oasis at the City of Manchester Stadium

As a music fan there was only one place to be on Saturday 2nd June 2005… The City of Manchester Stadium watching Oasis. I hear there was some little gig down in London Village at a park somewhere with 8 people watching. I didn't quite get the details but I hope none of the kiddies swings got damaged.

It was actually a close call for me to make it to the gig. i'd thought it was on Sunday and only realised when my friend texted me at 11pm on Friday telling me to be ready at 11am. Whoops.

There were five bands playing including Oasis:

The Redwalls

No, I hadnít heard of them either. Theyíre from Chicago apparently and seemed heavily influenced by the Beatles, which I suppose explains their presence on the support at an Oasis gig. One of the singers bore a resemblance to John Lennon and they did the two-people-singing-into-one-microphone trick. For a band appearing fifth on the bill they were pretty good.

In between bands they showed highlights of Live 8 on the screen. There was a muted response to Coldplay with some members of the crowd showing two fingers to the screen. I presume they either werenít about to rush out and buy X&Y or were really big fans of poverty. I got a bit confused by it when the director kept showing pictures of a blonde women and a baby, not realising it was Gwyneth Paltrow holding Apple. How would I know? Its not like Iíve not seen Sliding Doors four times or anything like that. Heh. What Iíd like to know is if sheís a fair trade apple.

The 22–20s

I really like them so thoroughly enjoyed seeing them, though they didnít get a great response. They kicked of with Why Donít you Do it For me, and blasted through their big songs (hits?) including Such a Fool and 22 Days, favourites of mine. Unfortunately I think the size of the stadium may have been too much for them. Their sound didnít really travel that well, so I think Iíll have to see them again sometime.

Iíve discovered the perfect woman. They had people barrels of Fosters strapped to their back Ė they were mobile bars. A woman with beer on her back? Surely thatís what every guy wants.

The Bees

Iím not a huge fan, but they did okay. They got some booing from the crowd. Iím not entirely sure why. The thing that puts me off them is that one song they have that sounds a bit like the theme from Grange Hill.

The stage was bedecked round the edges with what looked a lot like fairy lights. All it needed was a few photos of Oasisí friends and you couldíve confused the City of Manchester Stadium with a girlís bedroom. Indeed, during the live 8 highlights thy showed Richard Ashcroft singing Bittersweet Symphony so I guess you could have done.

The Coral

Iím fairly indifferent to the Coral, they have a few highlights like Pass it On and Dreaming of You (Which they managed to play, when I saw them at V2003 they somehow didnít play it I think they ran out of time) but they donít do much for me. In an attempt to piss Scousers off with the obvious, tedious and pointless comparison I prefer the Zutons. However they were worth watching and as support bands go theyíre quite worthy.

The problem with Oasis is all the Chavvie fans. 90% of the crowd was lager louts. At any other gig the throwing of beer would be seen as a sign of dissatisfaction with the artists on stage, but with Oasis itís a sign of appreciation. Itís quite disgusting. At one point there was a huge empty circle on the pitch. Iím not entirely sure what its purpose was but there seemed to be a convergence of beer at that point. Bloominí Lancastrians.

Oasis

They came on to Fucking in the Bushes playing over the speakers. They started with Turn Up the Sun from Donít Believe the Truth, which by the way, I think is a stupid name. It doesnít even make sense. The screen went all blurry, I think this was an effect but the Irish woman in the seat next to me had been smoking a pipe with stuff coming out if of that didnít smell much like regular tobacco, so Iím not sure.

Before theyíd even gotten properly into the first song they had to stop as a security guard came on to talk to Noel. After a brief discussion Noel informed us that a barrier at the front has broken and they couldnít play until it had been sorted. The band stood on stage patiently waiting to play. They looked as bored as us. Liam then requested some tits. Naturally he got them, the cameraman sought out any women on peoples shoulders. The first few were reluctant, but Liamís wish was granted, not that he could see the screen. It was funny at first, but got a bit tedious after a while. I think the rest of the crowd agreed too. Whoíd have though that breasts could become dull so quickly?

After a twenty plus minute wait they got under way again. The followed Turn Up the Sun with Lyla. It went down a treat and from there they did some older stuff like Bring It On Down and Morning Glory. Noel tried to get the crowd at the front to cam down a bit, requesting they turn it to nine and a half tenths. Liam undermined him by saying ďFuck that, letís have it!Ē Noel gestured Liam over to discuss it with him. Cue aggressive shrugging by Liam and an eventual and inevitable two fingers being shown right up to Noels face. Iím never sure how much they put it on. I mean, both of them are well into their thirties now and are fathers so in theory should be calming down a bit.

Most of the gig was plugging the new album, which I suppose you might expect. Highlights were Mucky Fingers and A Bell will Ring. For The Importance of Being Idle, they put up some phrases on the screens like ďWorkers donít thinkĒ, and ďThinkers donít workĒ. It was almost like being at a dumbed down Manics gig. I was disappointed at the lack of Let There Be Love, on account of really liking that song.

They included a little (by little) from Heathen Chemistry, but steered completely clear of Be Here Now and Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, I suppose thatís understandable. They were the obligatory emotive moments with Live Forever and Donít Look Back in Anger, here I noticed a real sign of the times. Cigarette Lighters appear to have been replaced by illuminated mobile phone screens. It was surreal looking across towards the stage and seeing this sea of Nokias and Siemens. I just hope nobody had the Crazy Frog ringtone because I think theyíd have had to make a trip to Phones 4U today.

Also included was Acuiesce, a song that Iíve not heard for a while so I appreciated beign reminded how great it is. They ďfinishedĒ with Rock and Roll Star, which still sounds fantastic after all these years. Of course this wasnít the real finish, because they did an ďencoreĒ. The actual finish was My Generation.

It was a reasonable gig, but there were too many technical problems. As well as the barrier problem the sound wasnít quite right. It seemed to shift from full-on to being a bit weak now and then. Shame, but I enjoyed it anyway.


July 02, 2005

Teaching

Follow-up to Friday from Bloggle

Iíve just finished my last week in school. Unfortunately I went W.I.A (Without Internet Access) this week so was unable to blog daily reports. But here are the highlights:

Monday & Tuesday

I taught my last two lessons on these days, the lesson on Tuesday being formally observed by my mentor. This week I had a new partner in school who was a bit of a personality clash, seeing as I have one and she doesnít! Haha. She didnít endear herself to me from the off by shouting at the class I was trying to teach only a couple of hours after having met:

  1. This undermined me.
  2. Was unnecessary as the class werenít causing trouble.
  3. How dare anyone be mean to my lovely year 7s?
  4. Fuck Off!

The lessons I taught actually went quite well, not perfect but in the words of my mentor it was satisfactory. Though seeing as lessons are rated as satisfactory, good or better, itís a little worrying. I mean, I effectively scored the lowest mark possible. If Iíd started throwing chairs and tables around (my best friend nearly had his head taken off in such a scenario where a teacher kind of lost it) would that have still been satisfactory?

Being observed was a little like taking my driving test again, the teacher kept making little notes, just like an examiner marks down minors. I have to say keeping control of a car is much easier than a class of pupils. As a rule cars donít jump out of their seats and go for walks to the other side of the room or say ďI donít get itĒ. Well built ones donít anyway.

The best bit I managed with the lesson was the entry to the room. I made them wait outside (This included a conversation with pupils who had eaten pizza and curry for breakfast. As in two individual pupils, one eating pizza the other curry. Not one pupil eating pizza and curry together, thatíd just be weird) until there were enough of them there to make it worth letting them in. The idea is that you donít get dribs and drabs so the start goes smoother. So I can make the first minute go okay after two weeks teaching experience, give me another 98 and Iíll sort out the other forty-nine!

Wednesday

There was a ďYear 7 Maths Challenge DayĒ which I thoroughly enjoyed it because the pupils were relaxed because of being out of lessons and as a rule of thumb pupils in a good mood are pleasanter than grumpy bored ones. Not that my school partner agreed:

Her: ďI donít like that sort of thing.Ē
Me: ďWhat? Fun?Ē
Her: ďWell no, I mean I prefer discipline and respect.Ē

This sparked a whole row about teaching methods, she said she didnít think (actually she didnít use the word think, she just stated it as a fact) it was possible to be a good teacher without being a complete fascist. Or words to that effect.

Eventually I just said, ďLetís stop this conversationĒ, because it was about to go nuclear. Her response was ďYou started it!Ē Oh good Lord! Iíd get more maturity out of the year 7s. I tried to take the opportunity to diffuse the situation by turning it into a joke by echoing, ďYou started itĒ back at her. She didnít get it and repeated what she said. I was forgetting she has no sense of humour. Eventually I just gave up, I suppose the ďfunĒ comment might have been slightly inflammatory, but how could I possibly resist?

That nearly spoilt the day but the pupils were being funny enough for it to merely be a minor blip. They had to complete some quick mathematical puzzles and were offering bribes; I got offered Twenty Pounds, a fiver and a dinner card with ten pounds of credit on it. I refused of course, what would I want with ten pounds worth of school dinners?

Thursday & Friday

These were my final two days and there wasnít much going on. Thursday was quiet because Iíd run out lessons to teach and Friday was a ďpayback dayĒ for the staff, which meant an opportunity for them to catch up on some administrative type bits. In short it meant nothing for me to do! I did make a nice wall display of some of the work Iíd done with the year 7s. Though thereís only so much cutting and sticking I can take without getting bored. I also caught up with my own administrative bits, but it was pretty dull.

Iíve enjoyed the chance to go in to school. Itís been a nice situation to be in because Iím halfway between a pupil and a teacher so I kind of got the best of both worlds: being treated like a human being, but not having to be too serious and teacher like. Whether or not I should have been like that Iím not sure. Afterall we were there to get some genuine experience not to just piss about.

Iím pleased with how Iíve got along with the pupils. Iíve definitely managed to come across as a good guy with them. Itís not about popularity but itís nice anyway, and I really do believe that you donít need to shout (at most pupils) if you develop a good relationship with them from the start. Itís very encouraging. Naturally there are some key areas I need to work on, such as being more authoritative, but thereís a limit to how far Iíll go with that. Teachers are famed for being bossy and I donít want to end up like that. If I find I canít teach without changing then I wonít teach. Itís as simple as that.


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