Go West, Nik Kershaw, T'Pau, Cambridge Corn Exchange.
Don't fucking judge me!

So an evening of eighties pop paradise was had by all last Saturday night. The gig had the feel of a revue show as the backing band stayed the same as the main members of Go West and Nik Kershaw and took turns to belt out the hits after a rousing opening set by Carol Decker of T'Pau.

Things I learnt from the gig:

1. That British eighties pop stars don't take themselves as seriously as their American contemporary counterparts. They know it's a bit if a laugh and that they're not saving the fucking world.

2. Far from scented lillies and rose petals in the toilet, their riders probably consisted of a few biscuits and some beer. And they were probably over the Moon with that.

3. Nik Kershaw is an awesome guitarist. And Carol Decker from T'Pau is just as pretty as I thought she was as a ten year old watching Top Of The Pops.

4. 'King Of Wishful Thinking' by Go West is one of the best soundtrack songs ever. And 'Pretty Woman' was a kinda subversive film when you think about it.

5. Dressing all in black like a member of Metallica at a pop gig, as I did, makes one feel a tad self-concious.

And you know what? It was mega. So fucking there!

Europe/Black Star Riders, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 11th March 2015.
The last time I went to a gig at the Corn Exchange was nigh on seven years ago. Not much has changed at the venue refreshingly, apart from more people recording bits of the gig on various devices. I include myself in this of course.

The gig itself was a double headliner between the two bands. Black Star Riders went on first, a band that used to tour as Thin Lizzy (with erstwhile Almighty front man Ricky Warwick stepping into Phil Lynott's boots) but changed their moniker to the gang lead by Kurt Russell in Tombstone. A wise choice methinks. No band has ever survived the death of their lead singer of course.

So the Riders' set was a deft mixture of original material and Lizzy barnstormers like 'Rosalie' and of course 'The Boys Are Back In Town'. The assembled masses went for it like they were listening to the best pub rock band in Britain. Which in a way they were, albeit one that has received deserved recent airplay on that grand bastion of beige, BBC Radio 2.

Europe were a surprise to me in more ways that one, and all of them pleasant. First of all, I thought there were more of them and maybe that's testament to their fat rock sound that millions know so well even if they swear they don't.

Secondly, the new material off their new LP (of which I had only heard the title track prior to the gig) is delightfully grungy, the kind of album a band that was stadium-sized in the 80's made when Seattle broke big in the early 90's. Great, in other words.

And last but by no means least, the fact that Joey Tempest is one hell of a front man in the classic mode, interacting with the audience like he was playing their living room, creeping up on band members playing air guitar and engaging us in chat like we were propping up the bar like two old buddies.

It was a night of unashamed rock n roll abandon, a big 'fuck you' too the too cool for school set and although Europe didn't play 'Prisoners In Paradise' or 'Carrie', owing more to the shortened sets of both bands to conform to the double headliner rule, a great time was had by all.

And yes, I was humming the synth riff to 'The Final Countdown' all the way back to the hotel.


Oh yes. This is my jam...

And why do I? Its not as if I intentionally go out to screw things up. I wake up and it just... happens all by itself.

The blues...
I've always been suspicious of blogs being used as forums for innermost feelings. So I guess this is a 180 as the Americans would say.

I'm having a pretty weird time at work. Its not that my job is boring, its in a very interesting sector, I meet new people all the time and no one day is the same as the last or the next. Its just... I'm very indifferent to it. I neither love it nor loathe it. I just... feel it if you know what I mean. I know its there. It is an entity. I am aware of it. That's about it.

If I felt people had confidence in me to do the job maybe I'd feel different, and maybe I'm doing super duper well, but there's a lot of "me-time" with the job where you're left to your own devices (very unusual for me) and in that time you begin to wonder a bit. Wonder if you're not just fucking up most of the time and people don't want to say anything because it'd be a pain in the arse to sack you then hire someone else and train them from scratch.

It doesn't help that I was third choice for my job either. That'll dent your confidence! No matter how well people say, or you think, you're doing that gnaws away at you. That there are at least two other people that the firm thought were far better suited and would have rather employed. I just happened to be the last sap standing, the one they had to employ or spend more time and money on advertising and going through the rigmarole of background checking. The hit-and-hope.

However well people say I am doing or however many times they thank me for doing something, I'll always be the one they didn't want. In fact, the one they really didn't want after the one they didn't want. I guess in that case its their own fucking fault, what do they expect from the third string? In that way my conscience is clear.

And I've noticed something else. Due to this subconscious (or not so subconscious) feeling of inadequacy, I make little errors where I should know better and they further smash what little self-confidence I have built up. Like today for example, I made a stupid mistake that 99 times out of 100 I wouldn't make. One for which I expect some kind of warning. Right? The next few days should be a barrel of laughs.

Quite frankly, I will be absolutely staggered if I last until the summer without them finally deciding to cut their losses and take their chances with someone else.

Is it just me or was life so much simpler when I was an irretrievable drug addict?

Memoirs Of A Former Dope Fiend...
Thursday nights were the best...

Read moreCollapse )

Ah shit. Its finally happened. I care.
Well I do. For years I have thought and cared about people that I have met in my life that society in general would perhaps look past or maybe, in their bullshit fascist image-conscious world, even pity. Oftentimes its people I haven't even met formally.

Like this couple that I see sometimes on my way into town. Obviously married and supported by our beautiful welfare state, for it seems that they are unable to work going on the times I have seen them. They seem happy enough, lost in each others' words as they slowly stroll back from shopping. They don't even know that it fills my heart with joy when I smile to them and they smile back. Or that I think about them often. But I know. That's enough for me.

Its not even a "championing of the underdog" thing. That would presume that there is some inevitable victory to come, and maybe there isn't. What I do know is that these wonderful people have had a seismic impact upon my life far beyond what the so-called "super-sorted" people I have met could ever fucking hope for.

I wish them every happiness, even at the expense of my own. I hope they find joy in their lives because they deserve every ounce of it.

(no subject)
"They're gonna blow my fucking head off. This is the last chance I'll have to be pretty".

Charlie Baltimore, 'The Long Kiss Goodnight'.

(no subject)
Ah depression my old friend. You've come to stay with me again...

My Top 25 Most Played tracks on my iPod.
I use Shuffle 90% of the time so any embarrassing ones, it's all the machine's fault!

1. The Space In Between - How To Destroy Angels.
2. Jet City Woman - Queensryche.
3. The Power Of Love - Gabrielle Aplin.
4. Ace Of Spades - Motorhead.
5. Rock City - The Yo-Yo's.
6. R.A.M.O.N.E.S. - Motorhead.
7. R.A.M.O.N.E.S. - The Ramones. (Yes, really. Both these two in a row).
8. Touch Me I'm Sick - Sonic Youth.
9. Crack In The Union Jack - Suede.
10. Runaways - The Killers.
11. Kayleigh - Marillion.
12. Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine) - Marvin Berry and The Starlighters.
13. Lucky - Radiohead.
14. Screamager - Therapy?
15. California Dreamin' - The Mamas And The Papas.
16. Born To Run - Wolfsbane.
17. Hold Me Now - Elastica.
18. Santa Monica - Everclear.
19. Oh My God - Guns N'Roses.
20. The Wicker Man - Iron Maiden.
21. Shining Light - Ash.
22. Zero - Smashing Pumpkins
23. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths.
24. Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode.
25. Church Of The Broken Hearted - Ginger Wildheart.

Still, not a bad old list eh? With those two versions of R.A.M.O.N.E.S. in a row and the fact that my iPod once shuffled Underkill by The Wildhearts and Overkill by Motorhead back to back, I think it's become self-aware.
Tags: , ,

Peter O'Toole? His nickname should have been Peter O'Coole.
On top of all the deserved accolades for his acting skills, he once apparently hired a bus with Guinness on tap and offered people a free drink and ride to the polling station if they voted Labour.

Nobody does eccentricity like Britain.



Log in