Month: August 2011

A Busy Week

So, it’s Monday afternoon, and I haven’t exercised, or even had significant free time, since last Tuesday.  I have, however, crossed London from side to side, again and again – with people loving to have events which could so easily have been geographically handy – but instead just happening to be the opposite.  Wednesday – I’m working east-ish, so Justin forces me to Covent Garden for drinks and dinner.  Thursday – I’m working in Covent Garden, so Jess invites me over to Shoreditch for dinner and a gig.  Friday – I’m working in Covent Garden – but with a gig to go to in Hammersmith, so Justin organises his fundraising party in Shoreditch.  Not cool.

But yes – drinks with Justin on Wenerei were all right.  His birthday, innit?  Some beers, then some wine, and some moroccan food – all good.

Thursday – a wee gig by a band I’d never heard of.  Jess had stumbled across them recently at Field Day – and decided they were worth checking out again.  The Bookhouse Boys.  Even Wikipedia has never heard of them – only having a listing for their namesake, the secret society from Twin Peaks.  But yeah – they’re pretty good.  Dirty swingin’ rock and roll, as I could have guessed from Jess taking a shining to them.  As well as discovering new music, I also discovered a new venue – the Old Blue Last, which is a tiny, tiny place – just a room above the main bar – but which is apparently rather good for playing up-and-comers, and occasional surprise appearances by more commercially successful acts.  So yeah, good to know.  And the Bookhouse Boys, yeah – good enough for me to grab their album.  Well worth a listen.

Friday – a horrible horrible day at work, running through a ‘practice run’ for some upcoming work – and not doing too well.  But eventually I managed to give up, and leave the office – just in time to rush home, drop off all my stuff, and then head to the Hammersmith Apollo – get myself a wine, find a decent spot, and watch the Roots take the stage.  And this they did, led onto stage by Damon “Tuba Gooding Jr” Bryson – with a giant wrap-around tuba.  Which is, as I later found out, actually called a sousaphone.  But yeah – first guy onto stage is a guy in a hoodie, with a giant wrap-around-the-body tuba, and he is rockin’ it.  Obviously very pleased with himself, and fair ’nuff.  I can’t find many videos of the performance – except for a couple including one of my favourite songs, and possibly one of the more well-known songs?  So I can’t show the amazing duelling drums, guitar solos, covers, improvs, etc, etc.  But I must say – Sweet Child of Mine, covered by the Roots, is indeed oh so sweet.  Anyway – raced out at the end, then went ALL the way across town to Shoreditch, to have a couple of drinks with Justin – who was getting people to donate money so he could go on holiday.  Which has given me oh so many ideas.  Well – just one really, which is to get people to donate money so I can go on holiday.

Saturday – I was actually really rather hungover.  But still drunk.  So tried to have a big breakfast, and then gave up – and headed to the pub.  And soon remembered what it is like with the drinking on top of the drinking, and the impaired judgement, which causes more drinking and not eating when one should, which causes further impaired judgement – and oh the vicious cycle.  But anyway – I survived.  Watched rugby, oh so much rugby.  Oh so much rugby – and I won’t bother reviewing that – I could certainly not compete with the oh-so-well-respected Rattue.  But afterwards we had more beer and thai food, which was excellent – followed by a movie.  This was the first time I’d been to the movies since, well – last time Justin dragged me along to a movie based on a comic book – which would have been Watchmen, way back in March 2009.  And within minutes, I was a seething ball of anti-capitalist liberal commie rage, wanting to riot.  It had been so long since I’d actually seen a commercial – and all of a sudden I was sitting in front of a giant screen showing thunderously loud commercials.  And they are terrible!  Bad enough to riot against.  But I’m lazy, and eventually the movie started… and that was merely bad.  Captain America.  Worse than Thor?  Maybe.  I thought I was being well restrained, but apparently some snorts of derision were escaping, as Justin kept looking over.  Sorry Justin.  I was apparently missing the irony.

Then it was Sunday, and after a day of machismo rugby and ultra-patriotic superhero action movie – it was Caro’s turn to decide on activities.  And we went to the Saatchi Gallery – to look at some art.  Plenty of art – some of it made with horsehair and blood, some just made from cars wrapped around poles, and all that jazz.  My favourite was the room which was just a giant pool of oil.  Or something.  Because it took me ages to figure out what I was looking at.  I actually thought we were looking down through a film of Gladwrap (clingwrap) to an empty room down below, which I thought was odd.  But after a while I realised that what I was actually seeing was the reflection of the ceiling – in the shiny top film of a pool of oil.  Yeah, rather odd.  After that we wandered about a bit more, tried to do some shopping – with mixed success – and then headed to Covent Garden for a couple of wines in the sun.  And then we were met by Mary – so it was off to eat mussels, drink beer, and make chit-chat.  More beer followed more beer, and I eventually got home late last night, all tuckered out.

And that was about it – my week of never being home.  Now, I have two days of being at home (hopefully) – before I head to Madrid for a few days.  Three days of work, then I’ll stay on for the long weekend, maybe pick a fight with some bulls.  Then a week or two of normalcy again, maybe, before heading to Paris for some more work.  Yay – finally getting out of London again – even if it is to just sit in an office in some other country.

Rugby Season Starts

So – a bit of a quiet period recently.

The Pajama Club gig was pretty cool.  Quite different from Crowded House, Split Enz, etc.  This is the only footage I can find of the actual gig – and it’s not even a complete song.  The rest of the links below are from different gigs, but generally pretty indicative.  The gig – really good.  Neil & Sharon certainly showed up their son.  Even made a couple of digs at him through the show – it sounded like Neil had heard about Liam’s comments, and he just kinda seemed a little apologetic for his son acting like a dick.  And other than – a good amount of good-natured banter.  Some much more successful humour and crowd interaction, etc.  And a much more subtle demonstration of Neil’s talent – with a short stint on the drums for one or two songs.  Pulled out a couple of old favourites – 1 from Finn and 1 from 7 Worlds Collide.  And yeah, convinced me to buy the album when it comes out.

Other than that – there’s been two weekends of getting up early to watch rugby.  The two All Blacks games in NZ – I had to get up earlier each Saturday morning than I usually do during the week.  Not cool.  I think all remaining games are at much more civilised hours – hooray.  After the first game – also checked out Bibby’s houseboat, which gave me house-envy.  I am slightly regretting not opting for a houseboat – but very difficult to get one all to my lonesome, I think.  And after that – went to the park to celebrate Malachy’s first birthday – in typical 1-year old style, Pimms and champagne in the sun.

Oh – and I nearly forgot.  Justin also dragged me along to see some punk rock last Wednesday.  The Bouncing Souls, who I’d never heard of before.  That was an experience.  “Punk-rockers” are just so bloody happy!  What’s up with that?  I had a guy in front of me turn to me confused and ask me why I wasn’t smiling.  No word of a lie.  And then a minute later, he was barging through people into the mad melee which was a punk-rock mosh pit.  People smashing into each other with huge grins on their faces, bloody noses, and just an overall feeling of pure bliss.  Nutters, all of them.  With Justin beside me, clearly struggling to contain himself from letting himself loose, and not always succeeding.  Nutters.