All entries for Wednesday 08 June 2005

June 08, 2005

I spent last night in a David LaChapelle video

Dear Lord what a night!

Flashback to yesterday afternoon. When I left work yesterday the sun was shining. I had my ticket to the gig (Fightstar, Armour for Sleep, Brigade, and Prego at the Electric Ballroom), and all was well. Flashforward to the present, and I sit here writing this a broken man after the weirdest night in a looooong time. What happened you ask? Read on dear reader…read on.

So I got on the train down to London, and caught the tube no problem at all. I arrived at the Camden lock hotel to meet my friends, and the alcohol started to flow like…well…alcohol really. Slowly but surely we made our preparations, and strolled down to the gig to wait in a queue full of identikit emo kids and their 2-litre bottles of Strongbow. I was conversing with a young lady called Emma, a friend of a friend, and all was well.

I was only really there to see the first support act of the night (Prego). You might think that a trip down to London and an £11.00 ticket puts a high value on the first support act of a 4-band gig, but hey ho – they sent me a CD of their stuff, and I liked it a lot. True to form, Prego impressed sufficiently for me to make the obligatory t-shirt purchase from the very pleasant bearded man on the stall who assured me that "you're definitely a medium" – kind words indeed.

The entertainment out of the way, Emma and I (it would seem that she had a similarly ambivalent attitude to the majority of the evening's promised wonders – she admitted that the main reason she was there was because of young Mr. Simpson's good looks. And why not!) began the age-old tradition of 'propping up the bar'

Red Stripe happened

Southern Comfort happened

Tequila happened

There were some noises from around the corner that suggested that bands were playing, but we stuck to our guns (and our bar stools), and muscled through. I found a discarded pint at the bar, which I swiftly swapped for a fresh one with the cunning 'my pint is flat ploy'. Even more happily, our slurred request (well…demand) for free shots bore fruit with the hirstute bar manager, and more tequilas were forthcoming 'on the house'.

The bands ended. Everyone wanted to go back to the hotel. I did not. What could I do in such a situation? Swallow my pride and go to the hotel? Wander around Camden for 10 mins in a vain attempt to find 'the party', only to realise my futility and go back to the hotel? Or take the bar-lady (person? maid? who knows…who cares!) up on her kind offer of taking me out in Soho with her and her sister? Oh I think we can all guess…

So it was that I found myself in the company of two midlanders freshly arrived in the big smoke (to be honest, I think our shared midland-centric friendliness was the only reason Carla – for twas her name…I think – extended the invitation my way) on a tube to Soho, where I was reliably informed Madame JoJos was 'were the party was at'. And how…

Madame JoJos appeared on the horizon, and on paying £15 for the privilige of an evening's entertainment (what else could I do but pay their way as well), I found myself in a cavernous indie club, with a very hairy DJ (hairier, even, than the Electric Ballroom barman) spinning cutting edge floorfillers to the hip and holistically-centred London populace.

Red Stripe happened

Tequila happened

I commited the ultimate punter's sin – walking up to the DJ in an attempt to look cool I uttered the fateful phrase "could you play some Maximo Park?"

"This is Maximo Park"

"Oh right….er….Peaches?"

dear god, there was no shame, no shame whatsoever. But the best was yet to come, Suddenly three of what can only be described as LaChappelle's latest video extras bounded on stage and proceeded to release a torrent of truly awful noise on us for a good 20 minutes. Think Le Tigre crossed with Tool, and you'll start to get the idea… One man (the lead…er…screecher) was dressed in a brunette wig and polka-dot mini dress. Another was dressed in some kind of latex mask (god alone knows what of), whilst the other (the 'talent' of the band I suppose he could be called) was sporting a fetching adult-sized red romper suit, and appeared to have a Bluto mask on. You think I lie? The pictures tell their own tale…

Kelly Osbourne really has let herself go…


I seriously haven't got a CLUE

We left the club shortly after three, having imbibed more Red Stripe than is proper, and having pretended to be from NME for a while (they didn't buy it), and took a long taxi ride to the girls' house in Criklewood. It was only when I arrived there that I realised that a house in Criklewood, lovely though it was, was not a hotel in Camden (where my bag was). Being as I had to be in work by 12 today, getting back to the bag was perhaps more important than chatting nonsense with two Midlanders…

I left the house. But where was I to go? Being as my knowledge of the suburbs of London is only slightly worse than my knowledge of the suburbs of Taipei, I wondered around getting verrrry cold for a while (clad, as I was, in only a T-shirt and jeans) with only the prostitute cards in the phone booth window for amusement….hang on….PHONE BOOTH! My mobile may have been out of battery, but good old BT saved the day. £2 later, and a short wait, and a minicab was whisking me across London back to my bag (a very nice minicab man he was too – £10 from Criklewood to Camden is, I have been assured by my London friends, not bad going at all). Having woken everyone up in the hotel in a vain attempt to find a floor, I eventually crashed out.

I awoke at 9.30 and got the train back to Coventry this morning wondering if it was all a dream. Sadly the combination of Bluto photos, scuzzed-up Converse, prostitute stickers, and a sizeable hole in my bank balance have since proven that it was all too too real…

Whoever said Tuesday nights were meant to be quiet…..

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