Monday, 7 June 2010

'I know how it starts, and now I know, I know how it ends …' Adventures, Part 1

Four consecutive Tuesday evenings I bus down to the lovely Folk café bar on Burton Road, West Didsbury for pearls of wisdom from Mr Dave Haslam on the art of music writing. It’s genuinely enlightening, not to mention great fun and a bit boozy too, just like all the best things. Some great tips to be had from Dave with some lovely people in attendance. The suburbs ain’t so bad you know. Plus Katie lives up the road and has two brand new kittens which are worth the trip all by themselves. Cute!


In the midst of that, Foals play a storming gig at the Ritz. I’m so glad the Ritz is back as a proper music venue, it’s like having a miniature Apollo in the middle of town, right on my street in fact. Foals’ new material sounds really good live, a party atmosphere pervades for such serious boys. The beautiful Yannis runs through the crowd with his guitar at one point and ploughs right into me. No injuries sustained alas. My gig review will appear in the Folk in-house zine soon, eyes peeled.

The Ritz

Later that week we’re blessed with a beautiful sunny day for the christening of little Sebastian. Sebbie is the second wee lad belonging to two dear friends from school. I have one of those huge temporal jolts at how much time has gone by, followed straight away by feelings of gladness that we’ve managed to keep our friendships alive. Some friendships I’ve let fall away for one reason or another, a couple I had taken away when I wasn’t ready to let them go, others still I don’t seem to find time to invest in, though I always mean to. To have friends you met aged nine, eleven, sixteen, twenty-three, and to see them all together, changed a little bit or a lot, married or not, kids or not, living in France or not, yet not one of them grown up, not really, it’s just lovely. It’s an honour, actually.

Knott Bar, Manchester, England

The following Friday sees another raft of friends, old, new and fabulous, assemble for drinks at the Knott followed by an impromptu trip to the tirelessly brilliant Clique where we catch the last part of the Aeroplane DJ set. They’re the most exciting thing in the world right now aren’t they? Look! Listen! See!?

Despite the good times, and maybe a little bit because of them, I’m a few days into a low spell come Sunday. It’s not just the bell jar this time, things have changed in my life somewhere I didn’t want them to. I’ll not go into it. Meh. Whatever, I get positively choked watching hundreds of people cross the finish line of the Manchester 10K run. The spectators are all so proud, proud and smoking fags and eating hotdogs, which is hilarious. I feel like a slovenly hungover donkey watching Joff sail past the finish line under the hour mark. I wanted to be there to wrap him in tinfoil like they do on the telly but I just yelled instead. Go Joff!

The mighty Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells play The Corner in Fallowfield and unless Queen Morrissey himself makes an appearance I shan’t be gigging there again. Don’t get me wrong, the band are amazing, I’m actually going to BUY the CD they were that good, it’s just we didn’t see any more of them than the singer’s bangle. It’s the wrong wrong wrong place for a gig. Admittedly we weren’t so mashed this time that we could fight to the front, kidnap the band and molest them. Ahem. Neon Indian played a lush, psychedelic support slot and even spoke to the audience. No idea what he/they looks like though. No matter. Sleigh Bells, get on it, right away.

Everything Everything 'Weights' Live on Channel M

Two days later it’s back to the Ritz to catch Everything Everything play a support slot for the popular beat combo Delphic, who I don’t really get. Is it the best EE gig I’ve seen? It just might be. ‘Tin’ is absolute angel food tonight, sublime and effortless. ‘Weights’ is the song of theirs which sealed the deal for me, one day it will be considered a great British classic,. It’s mine and Katie’s song too so it’s all kinds of special. When they close the set with it this evening, Jeremy Everything, bass giant and compadre, says, ‘Thanks to everyone for coming down to see us, you’ve been lovely. This is our last song of the evening. It’s called ‘Weights’ and we’d like to dedicate it to our friend Greg.’ Blub. At the end of a week of trying to keep the dark away, it was like being handed a little candle. Thanks boys. I trip off to Bollox vs. Pussy Faggot with a spring in my step and wig out to Larry Tee and Holestar and count my blessings once again. Dance dance dance.

Amazing Chat Roulette promo video for Holestar's 'Nylon Woman' single

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