Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Feverish Dreams

Last night I came down with something. Normally I'll wake up ill, but this just pounced on me and suddenly I'm sweating, shivering, struggling to sleep, having trouble staying awake and generally not feeling good.

Mind you, you can always count on some quite frankly amazingly weird dreams when you're feverish. Just this afternoon I had a somewhat odd one (not involving any members of Los Campesinos! for a change) which had Paramore's Hayley Williams batting for the Boston Red Sox. Odd in itself, but running across the middle of the Sox' ground 20 feet above second base (and it wasn't Fenway Park either) happened to be the Beckton branch of the Docklands Light Railway.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tube Music

Or: punning songs to use for team names for next year's zone 1.

Frankie Goes To Chorleywood - Relax
Bethnal Green Day - St Jimmy's Park (two for one!)
Blur - Elm Parklife
Marvin Gaye - Sexual Ealing Broadway
The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset
Aerosmith - Janie's Got A Gunnersbury
Led Zeppelin - Archway to Holbourn
Simon and Garfunkel - Uxbridge Over Troubled Water
The Who - Let's See Acton Town
Pet Shop Boys - Hounslow West End Girls
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
Blood Redbridge Shoes - It's Getting Barking By The Sea
The Beatles - You've Got To Hyde Park Corner Your Hollaway
Dream Academy - Life In A Northolt Town
AC/DC - Back In Blackfriars
McLusky - Lightsaber Cockfosters Blues
Whitney Euston - I don't actually know any of her songs beside the awful Dolly Parton cover.
The Waitress - Christmas Wapping
Alice Cooper - Harrow*, Hooray
Yazz - The Only Way Is Upminster
Aerosmith - Angel
Boston Manor - Moor Park Than A Feeling
Fine Young Canon's Park - She Drives Me Crazy
Los Camdenparkpesinos - We Throw Poplar, You Throw Knightsbridge
The Clash - London City Airport Calling
Easyworld - This Is Where I Stanmore**
Queensbury of the Stonebridge Park Age - You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollis Hill, But I Feel Like A Mill Hill East
Brixton Spears - Baby One Moorgate Time

And to finish:
Los Campesinos - The International Tweexcore London Underground

*Yes, I know it's Harrow-On-The-Hill. But it loses something if I do that.
** Myself and Jack came up with a good dozen Easyworld puns on the DLR challenge last year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reading lineup

As all the cool people (well, Laura, but she's cool enough anyway) are doing this, I'd leap aboard the bandwagon like a majestic pike.

Friday
Blood Red Shoes
Be Your Own Pet
The Duke Spirit (all in a row, on the one stage)
Florence and the Machine (possibly, after The Duke Spirit, although there's some overlap)
MGMT (if I feel like it)
QOTSA
Rage Against The Machine (well, I'll give them a go. There's sod all else on against them - Babyshittles?)

Saturday
The Subways (if I'm bored and want to holler "You Got Me" at Billy)
Mystery Jets (possibly)
Los Campesinos!
Justice (possibly)
Bullet For My Valentine (maybe)
Manic Street Preachers (I want to see them live at least once)

So, Saturday'll be the day I check out the record fair at the leisure centre then.

Sunday
Nothing until half 3. Go into Reading, buy train ticket home.
Johnny Foreigner
Feeder (maybe)
Slipknot (if I feel like it)
Tenacious D (on what narcotics I'm influenced by)
Metallica (definitely. I'd leave for home after JoFo if it wasn't for them.)

I think Sunday will be spent sitting gazing at the main stage finishing off any remaining alcohol.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lounging on the farm

Due to Electric Gardens not being on this year, I was left with a gap in my Kent festival calendar. Rather than go to the new fangled, over the top Zoo8 where there was only one band I wanted to see, I plumped for the more local Lounge on the Farm, which had two. This proved to be wise, as JoFo cancelled due to a lack of money from the now bankrupt organisers.

Sensibly, rather than ride to Merton Farm just outside of Canterbury, I got the train from Maidstone. This was mainly because I was round Katy's the night before. As JoFo weren't on til 6pm we left after lunch, with me clad in just a t-shirt on top despite the grey clouds, which seemed to darken as we drew nearer the city. After a walk through town we caught the bus to the remote farm where I hoped I could purchase a ticket on the gate. This worry, combined with the two girls behind us on the bus "woop woop"ing at any chance didn't put me in the best of moods.

However, once through the gate and while waiting for Katy and Sian to get their rather pretty wristbands, I noticed Junior and Kelly from JoFo getting out of their van, which brightened my mood. Walking round to the festival site we passed Indie Mae of Burning Leaves, another band I wanted to see but couldn't as they clashed with JoFo. By this time the sun had come out and I'd even rolled up my sleeves to get some colour on my shoulders.

Having a nice explore of the site Katy pointed out that we were walking along behind Aleks Campesinos. I didn't approach her as the only time I've really spoken to her was when I was drunk (for medicinal purposes) at ULU. That and the fact that my subconscious thinks she's a grand sorceress meant I was a tad shy. Continuing to wander we passed Neil and Harriet Campesinos round by the food, and while heading to sit down on the grass near the smaller stage I nearly tripped over Ellen who was peacefully reading.

After a while of sitting, chilling and eating Haribo we decided to head to the Sheep Dip stage to see JoFo before we got sunburnt. Passing the backstage area Alexis did an extremely funny double take upon noticing my JoFo t-shirt. The stage emptied as the previous band finished and the three of us got to the barrier, and shortly afterwards we were joined by Matt, then most of Los Camp standing behind us (bloody stalkers).

JoFo opened with a b-side none of us recognised, then launched into a blistering two-punch of Henning's Favourite and next single Salt, Pepa Spinderella which got the surprisingly large sized crowd going. After that Alexis muttered that they'd better play something slower at which I shouted for "DJs Get Doubts" which was apparently too slow. So they played Eyes Wide Terrified instead, which was an ample replacement. It was a real shame that they only played half an hour as it was one of the best sets I've seen this year.

With an hour to kill before Los Camp we went in search of some food, and I had one of the nicest things I've ever put in my mouth in the Free Range burger that cost me £4. Back at the stage it started to rain so we went back inside the tent, catching the end of Onlookers' set who were really good (despite stealing the riff from La Grange by ZZ Top) and consequently we ended up on the barrier again.

It was quite sweet seeing the group warmup behind the stage, as it included Alexei and Kelly from Johnny Foreigner as well, who stood backstage (along with Junior) to watch the band’s set. The crowd were, from my limited vantage point, really enjoying the set and it showed – Gareth’s brief speech about how he got smacked in the face at T in the Park ended with him commenting that Lounge was much more fun (I don’t know whether he does this at every festival, but singing Sweet Dreams Sweet Cheeks from the middle of the crowd would suggest otherwise). His spoken word piece at the end of This Is How You Spell… was changed so that the “final, fatal livejournal entry” was “turn on the real drums, turn up the real charm” – the final words from Salt Pepper Spinderella, which is Johnny Foreigner’s next single (out September 1st – go buy it). After that song he proceeded to big up the band “did anyone see Johnny Foreigner earlier? Well I’m guessing you did” as he pointed at me wearing my Johnny Foreigner t-shirt.

I will admit that International Tweexcore Underground which followed did disappoint me slightly, which was the only sour note of the weekend. Usually Gareth replaces the whatever in “I’ve never cared about whatever…” with the name of the local football manager. Either he didn’t know who Mark Stimson was, or who the nearest club were, but sadly we didn’t get an onstage reference to Gillingham FC. However the rest of the set was great fun, every song from Hold On Now, Youngster barring Drop It Doe Eyes and And We Exhale… got an airing. You! Me! Dancing! got everybody in the tent dancing (which seems rather obvious now in writing) and Sweet Dreams saw Gareth in the crowd before him and Aleks stood on the monitors to finish.

Katy, Matt and Sian disappeared off to the Cow Shed almost immediately afterwards, as they wanted to catch Mystery Jets. I had no such desire so hung around afterwards, and had a nice chat with Gareth, who (when I mentioned Olli) asked how he was and wished to be remembered to him. After that I moved to Aleks, and in the course of events my dream came up, at which I confessed that it was me. Thankfully she wasn’t that scared and we had a nice chat about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Night Watch books. She mentioned that Ellen was a bigger Buffy fan and after getting the obligatory “hot redhead musician” picture I moved on to Ellen, whereupon we had a good 20 minute chat about Buffy, Serenity, Angel, Firefly, Nathan Fillion and Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Done with the squeeing, I wandered off to the Cow Shed via the burger stall and sat at the back, listening to Mystery Jets get their set cut short again (if it happens at Reading then I’m obviously a jinx and should be banned from seeing them again – much like Rob with his fire alarms) and blogging.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

One of those moods...

Today I was in what has been termed my "Thrush" mood - in that, while in said mood I'm an irritating c**t. For example.

Case I:

"Good morning, you're through-"
"Why isn't my broadband working?!?"
"Good morning," I repeated more forcefully, "you're through to James at Sales, can I take your order please?"

The smarter ones of you may realise that I'm in the sales department, and don't generally deal with fixing things. This fella didn't.

"Why isn't my broadband working?!?"
"Solar flares."
"Well, you'd better- what?"
"Solar flares. Violent explosions of electromagnetic radiation from our nearest star, in this case the sun. It's been known to disrupt the flux capacitors at the exchange."
*ding* Dummy mode on.
"Oh...right..."
"It's been proven recently, under Tennant's theorum. It's why there's less bees around lately."
"Ah yes, I've noticed that!"

By this time those waiting for calls (almost everyone in earshot) had started to listen in and conceal giggles.

"Of course, it could just be due to dryness on your mains socket. Have you got something to moisten them with?"
"Er, like what?"
"Well, something protruding, that's generally usually damp?"
"Oh, I could use my tongue!"

It was at this point my colleague with a conscience slapped me round the back of my head and told me to behave.

"Yeah, that might work. I'll tell you what, why don't I get you through to broadband service, they might be able to help?"
"Oh yeah, I was going to go to them first, but I thought sales might be better."

I transferred him. Electrocution's too good for them.

Case II:

I'm riding home, enjoying the sun but hungry. Anxious to get home and have my bangers and mash. I pull up behind someone in a Ford Ka at a roundabout - the car in front of her moves off, there's a clear road ahead but she's not moving. She's staring at her lap. Peeking through her rear window I notice she's texting, so I beep my horn.

She jumps, flings her phone into the passenger seat, moves off and sticks two fingers up at me through her window. Big mistake. I follow, knowing what the Canterbury ring road is like at half five on a weekday evening. The other side of the roundabout she pulls up, the traffic ahead isn't moving, and I decide to have a little chat, so pull up next to her and rap on her window with a coin I happen to keep in my jacket for such an occasion.

Without looking at me she starts to do the window up. I put my gloved hand through to stop her. She goes white. I motioned for her to move the window back down.

"Hello there!"
"H..hi..."
"What was all that about then?"
"What was...what about?"
"You making that offensive gesture out of the window at me. It really hurt my feelings."
"Wha..oh...well, you tooted at me!"
"Have you got a copy of the Highway Code there?"
"Eh?"
"Do you know it that well?"
"N-no..."
"Well, let me tell you what it says. It states that you should only use your horn to alert other road users to your presence."
"O...kay..."
"And I was alerting you to the fact that you were in my FUCKING WAY AND STOPPING ME FROM GETTING MY DINNER! Understand?"
"Yes."
"I suggest you pay more attention to the road in future. Good day."