Sunday, September 26, 2004

August 19 (Thursday): Farewell My Little Viking. Not much to report from work today, Andy gets me working on a job called RP Installations which is pretty much a bog standard job/client for this office/practise.

This morning however finds itself filled with drama when Sarah (Azmei's nutty sister) decides to send a host of abusive text messages my way due to something Drew said to her Friday night that is apparently down to me, some jokey comment from him about her living at home and having a revolving door for men coming in and out of the house and her (ha ho). Apparently this is from my working/imagination but ultimately it just too creative for something for me to make up, I can't be arsed to make up stories. Also add to this that Sarah far from actually puts out (her big failing) and she gave me all this shit about her being indecently assaulted last year. Still, Sarah goes absolutely bollo at me and it culminates when at 11.36 AM I receive a three part text message stating: "i really hate ppl who feel the need 2 slag me off u dnt knw me how dare u lie and tell drew i have dif men at my house on wot grounds did u say it?none i hate u u knw wot hap 2 me how dare u good bye have a good lifd maybe if u stoped feelin sorry 4urself u wud enjoy life and stop tryin 2 defame me". Oh my, insane in the membrane. I ask around the office, mainly Drew, just what she is exactly on about and all responses are blank and disbelieving. Amazingly though, within a few texts I manage to turn her around and calm her down but my god the girl is mixed pickles. Leave it alone Jason.

At lunchtime I fancy a Zentral Chinese buffet and Stevo and I go get some. Lunch is really stunted, rather dull and definitely not flowing in conversation. Not to worry though, the food is pretty good and the service is beautiful and pretty.

When I finally get home I rush around to burn a CD for tonight's, a CD now including tracks by Decahedron, Tortoise, Sonic Youth, Charlotte Hatherley, the Catheters, the Liars, Rapeman, Big Black etc etc.

In the evening I go into this weeks session telling the good doctor that I have now booked up for the English A-level class and that this will be one of our final sessions. She adds to this that she is off on holiday at the end of next week and that our session, our last, will now have to be moved to lunchtime (1pm). That is fine by me. Our penultimate session is seen to be full of optimism. We discuss Friday and my crazy life. She is impressed I went to see David Cross by myself and thinks all the drama of my workplace will make for a good subject to write about. This is cool This is encouragement.

With that all out of the way, I proceed to Marks and head straight to the Arts Centre to kick off. When we arrive a band is already in action. As a result of the noise, I have to shout at the door boy my name on the guestlist. Now, I do not have the best of shouting voices and for one reason or another the minus intellectual manning the door asks me my age. So on the eve of my 28th birthday, I am being asked by some whether I have reached the age of the 18 yet, a prospect which poses definite pros and cons with it. I react by just looking at the simpleton with amusement (whereas a few years ago I may well have wanted blood). Instead today, I laugh and lie and say "I'm 28!". Fucking hell this nation is going to the dogs.

The first band on are the Edmund Fitzgerald. They're a late addition to the bill I believe and do that whole hardcore instrumental thing (not unlike Cove) that seems rife these days. I used to hear it at almost every gig a few years ago as/while Reynolds were doing their thing. Basically it is caffeine free Shellac-lite, a bit like the Oxes, everyone's least favourite band I believe. That said though, when done by rhythm it often can surround surprisingly powerful/effective and tonight the Edmund Fitzgerald pull it off.

I begin my DJ set to a next to empty hall and so early in the evening, no-one wants fast/loud music, as per the majority of tracks on my CDs. Whoops. In a way I feel I am scraping the barrel with the set I play initially but who can fault Ry Cooder by Tortoise, the most fantastic of songs. Also Sixtoo sounds grand and slowly things begin to pick, even though all evening my set feels flat, not least due to the balance on the decks (I mean CD players) being pretty out of whack (although it does/did take me half the evening to realise this). One shocker song though: Butterfly Potion by Gumball (the Foetus cover) went down fantastically well.

Band two is/was One Unique Signal (One Certain Moment) (I think). Firstly, what a terrible name. Surely that name is way too close to the band name One True Voice to be comfortable? I actually saw the band once before but that was during the Paper Chase gig at the Arts Centre earlier this year when I got in the drunkest state I have ever gotten at during a gig (even drunker than Fear And Loathing ATP). On that night I could swear blind they were Blonde Redhead copyists and at the time I was deffo going to buy one of their CD-Rs. However that night, that never happened. Instead on that night, I just fell over on the dancefloor and puked. Tonight however is a whole different moment. Like China Drum (ho ho), One Unique Signal (One Certain Moment) have a singing drummer, which is an occurrence not dis-similar to a dancing bear in my opinion. Oh the torture that everyone must go through, first the drummer having to sing and concentrate on rhythms at the same time and then the aftermath of people (both band and listener alike) talking about the fact the drummer sings for hours upon end. Truly, here is a gimmick more speech worthy than Slipknot. Well, maybe not. Tonight the band sound like Joy Division and not much else. And at the end of the day, that means: you gotta LOVE the bass sound. Also though, bare in mind you can't spell the name Joy Division with the word "div".

Them out the, the night begins swinging. Disco wise, I chuck on Colchester's finest: DJ So Clear and Rup The Cunt with "King Cnut" and of course The Blitters and "Eating Your Brains". This is the stuff of culture star.

The third band on the bill are Colchester's own *Teevo. Sometime, somewhere there was some hype surrounding them at the beginning of the year (well, in our little poxy circle). They wind up being a lot less alternative and inventive that we had hoped/prayed for. Here is/was a band with a lite singer, a boy sounding like a girl which draws obvious comparisons to Placebo after initial spells of Ash and Hurricane #1 references. On they go with a very long set and the best moments almost feel directly lifted from Hole and so sound aces as a result but very unsatisfying/unfulfilling resulting in the musical equivalent of a nil-nil draw.

As the end of the night beckons I play as many loud tunes as possible: Sonic Youth, Blonde Redhead, Free Kitten, Fugazi all lovely. When I drag out Mistakes And Regrets by Trail Of Dead it is very satisfying to see Steve Cat On Form onstage airdrumming as they get prepared for their set. My only disappointment is that I never get around to playing Huggy Bear and Nation Ulysses (note to self: this is 2004 not 1992!).

And Cat On Form turn out to be a real treat. I have heard SO much shit said about Cat On Form that I have avoided them like the plague to date. And what a waste that has been as Cat On Form churn out the kind of passion that is so devoid from nearly all new bands that I have seen in the past two/three years. Who cares if they look like Fugazi-lite done by a manual, it is fast, heavy and loud and alive! Their touring schedule as always reads relentless and baring in mind that this is their last (or penultimate) set of this tour, they are still amazingly visibly putting so much into their art and craft. Of course it looks a bit silly when the shirts come off and people make concentration camp comments but what do people do about? They stand still and take it while Cat On Form carry on regardless/relentless. A real blot on the landscape occurs when the singer announces that "this song is about the commodification of the female body", the problem being no adult will ever be able to listen to a singer use the "commodification" without smirking/scoffing. Whatever though, the show ends on a high with a set far surpassing all expectations and making a huge new fan out of me. The end.

After the show, I attempt to squeeze out a final few tunes but the soundmen, wanting to get home, are rightly having none of it. Mark and myself chip after saying "thank yous" and "goodbyes" and getting some dirt on Colchester's own Peter Brame (Fame Academy fag) and then it is back to Mark's freehouse. After a long day, Mark cooks up some super pasta for the hungry DJ Gram. He rules and I rules.

np: Gumball - Butterfly Potion


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