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I sometimes write nonsense about things to try and sound clever

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NME new noise tour

blimey. I was at that courteeners thing a couple of weeks ago and by 8:30 there wasn’t even enough room to flick your lank hair around while postulating about morrissey and pretending to be from manchester like everyone in the waterfront who knew where it was was pretending to be although when he said fallowfield and sung something about students I did have a moment of I was thereism. honestly, if you’ve been feted by morrissey you might as well hang up you guitar now and get down the longsight jobcentre. remember the primitives. if you can listen to that insipid album all the way through without spiking yourself with pointy instruments then you should be ashamed as it is possibly the worst record in your collection and you can’t imagine how you ever liked it. that’s what you’ll think about the courteeners in 10 years time even though you might rather like them now. they do mean it, but its just not worth the effort.

strueth. then I were at the air traffic shenannigans a few days later where I was quite easily the way oldest person in the waterfront by a considerable margin and conspicuously male to go with it. they did rattle out their emoplay pianotastic hits-u-like with some gusto and he is a very nice man but really if you’re going to spend all night sitting at a piano then don’t be surprised if all the 4 foot tall 15 year olds get a bit bored and start trailing out to the cloakroom to avoid the rush. as far as I could tell, it was exactly the same set they played many months before at the arts centre when I was by far the oldest person there but strangely inconspicuously male. they must have been on telly or something since then.

christ on a bike. now its the nme not-as-good-as-the-used-to-be tour which consistently broke bands on the verge of greatness like bloc party kaiser chiefs franz ferdinand arctic monkey etc but now just kind of breaks wind with a flopping rollcall of new music top 5 guardian reader list voted for by you not me ones to watch artists which will never be seen again on a bill which includes less than 4 bands. having deliberately missed the first band because I was washing up or something I arrived at the waterfront to the last few number from team waterpolo and acres of space in which to wander around like it was a pub in the 80s and your mates band were playing in the function room and nobody gave a toss. it was so empty that I was able to ask for a pint of red stripe at a decibel level normally reserved for actor in films in leather bars where the music is apparently quiet enough to hear the person sat next to you talking but loud enough for assorted 90s bad hair losers to go mad ape crazy to like, the sisters of mercy or something. anyway, team waterpolo supported air traffic last week and I didn’t really need to see them again so I read email on my phone like an arse. following an agonizingly pedestrian gap, friendly fires take the stage and I quite like them in a sideways-on sensible shirt proper alternative kind of way even if it was borderline flock of seagulls at some points but just enough this side of gang of four to be respectable and he had a lovely voice. nice man.

sadly, the evening was rounded off by crystal castles, who are, in fact, republica. they tried to pretend they weren’t by lasering out our eyes with permastrobe lighting and ultra magnesium flares, but they were. suffice to say, all I heard after the few of us left filtered out into the street was ‘oh my god, they were so, like, amaaazing’, which proves I’m right.

NME boredom

while I was at the NME tour in the Least Commended Room at the UEA the other night it occurred to me that I was a bit bored which I thought I might be but ended up going anyway and in a lull between the lulls of lacklustre new music I took some notes on my mobile phone. I mean. I took notes on my mobile phone. I might have well been in a conference call about product categorization and taking down things like “specifications” and “stakeholders” or “communication plans” but no in fact what I was decanting from my half-asleep brain unto a memory stick spake of the following experience:

Cribalikes, jonglers> strokes maximo 25 year cycle

I know what it means but I was so unmoved by the whole event that I can’t be bothered to expand suffice to say that being on jo whileys playlist do not make certain it might worth trouble be but who I you seemed to like it well at least the cribs the rest was rubbish but reminded me of a night in a hall somewhere watching jamie’s brother’s band in 1981 which was quite exciting but of course I hadn’t paid 15 quid or something and I also made a cover version of things keep on switching off no sorry summer days they were the golden dawn teenage alistair crowleyites or maybe just en homage to an ercol dining table nostalgia yes for a decent night out is that too much empty spaces on the dance floor lets have a fight instead nice hair

NME 2007

alright norwich la, I ope lethal bizzle warmed you up good and proper yeah <small woop> we’re from liverpool 1 2 3 4. what? warmed you up? it’s 10 past 8. and anyway, since when should it have been wombats/milburn/holloways/pigeon detectives/other bunch of students on after lethal bizzle? I’m about as interested in the wombats as I was about the mystery jets who opened the NME tour last year who I missed because I was at a parent’s evening or something but lethal bizzle sounded like he might at least be a bit interesting even if he does just kind of shout about running away from the filth after he’s crashed his joyride up that london or wherever it is. but never mind

its not busy in the Lethargic Cramped Ruin like it was last year either, but that’s because there isn’t the same wet pants frenzy around the enemy as there was around arctic monkeys so even though its chocked up with 15 year olds there’s a satisfyingly healthy contingent of stoners and boners who look like they might have a fight later, which, coincidentally, they do. even as the wombats tread pedestrianly through their me too english eccentricities there’s loads of space to wander down to the sticky wooden floor. you’d even say it was a bit empty really. the thing about the NME tours is that they don’t turn up the house lights in between the acts, so you’re never quite sure how many people are in and what their demographic is, but in the main, everybody is short tonight, except for the occasional 6 foot 7 20 year old who’s getting lambasted by small groups of carlsberg exports for just being tall which isn’t funny really but they’ve got that pissed-up local turn of phase that I still think is funny even when they’re lobbing a pint of watery lager at your head.

after the adverts for the NME have scrolled around on the projected backdrop about a million times and we’re all wondering what the shock might be about the new radiohead album the lights that there are go dim and there’s a small ripple of enemy, enemy, enemy, after which more projection, but very loud this time, and that cleverly pitched (old idea, new audience) railway station noticeboard rattle begins as it flips through a number of provincial towns until it finally settles on norwich, which elicits a deafening “norwich, har, look, norwich, thass good hint ut” and then today’s date. it’s cringingly basic, but splendid all the same. and then the jam come on stage and do in the city a few times.

if last year was faux shakespearian ponderings from sheffield and reading, then this year is cmon norwich lets see what you’re made of up for it no f**kin abaht from the heart of the empire, erm, coventry. the enemy are quite angry about stuff, mainly inner city decay and provincial apathy and the loss of identity and the hopelessness of youth and slashed seat affairs and travelling on buses etc., but they are wantonly uplifting and undeniably up for it. I’d tell you more about them, but their web site is currently just a black page with nothing on, which is probably appropriate. I mean, they are the jam reincarnate, but without the red wellerism. not sure what else you would need to know. they shouted most of the album and there were nice fights going on between delirious stoners and petrified students in the circle of death. the sound was terrible and it was all over by about 10:30. I watched a programme about sharks and hitler when I got home.

get me some dexys

me 26
me 26 by Tim Caynes

not tonight I can’t be bothered the kids are away for half term and Ive grown a beard look I recorded the big weekend and it’s just got to bloc party what am I gonna do its 8 o’clock it’ll take me 20 minutes to walk down there but its not raining I suppose I’ll get back and do that stuff later the sheets are probably dry now I won’t be staying up that late again but does june 1st mean 00:00 june 1st or sometime around lunchtime. hang on, steam is in the US. that means about 3 o’clock. I’ll have to do work instead

tonight is the thing that last year was sh*tdisco datarock and the klaxons but this time it isn’t but everybody is having a nice time anyway. the little ones are like a mexican street band is it just me? pull tiger tail have one of those thin blokes who remind you of yourself 20 years ago but better so they’re good but I don’t recognize anything and I’m thinking actually he reminds me of the bloke from the klaxons and then the rumble strips come on and do a cover of an entire dexy’s midnight runners gig which is borderline norwich sound of the 80s and if they were fatter they could be serious drinking screen 3 and someone else all rolled into one but with a good voice like they all seem to have these days don’t anyone just shout like what they used to fair collection of two-toners and stoners where do they come from mind you it’s a cheap night out I just worked that out and here I am pint of stella.

blimey, its the small faces

just had time to wolf down the roast dinner before I bolted out the door leaving family chaos behind me like a fleeing teenager going to meet his girlfriend outside the doors of the lower common room at the university which is coincidentally where I was going but not to meet my girlfriend because she’s now my wife and I’ve just left her with some rather unpleasant washing up and 3 school packed lunches to make but that’s ok because I’ll get a list of things I won’t remember that I have to do tomorrow unless I get left a list

tonight I’m banking on the fact that 4 bands can’t all cancel at the same time seeing as tonight they’re all on at the same time and so unlike that class A fatboy shambles who got himself arrested and our finnish friends who declined to turn up at all, oh, and the wierdos who were sick or summat, I’m expecting mystery jets, we are scientists, arctic monkeys and maximo park to give us a performance that people who weren’t there will be remembering for at least, ooh, a year or so or as young alex said in 20 years when its all over will say they were there when they actually might have been down the front asking for girls aloud like what he said innit. as it happens, I’m not early enough to see the young boy with his dad in the band do their thing and they’re just sticking with agnes by the time I get to the bar for a customary stella in a ‘plastic glass’ that will be recycled before our eyes under 100s of tiny feet later on. oh well.

hang on. its busy in here. I saw the rakes a couple of weeks ago and you could stroll onto the floor and put out a deckchair pretty much, but this time its absolutely mashed full of youngsters with their hair and tshirts. not since 1981 has this place been so full of 14 year olds and I was one of them so I know and by the way I do remember 20+ years later when it’s all over because it isn’t because the band I saw then just picked up 5 grammys which is nice and so it was me down the front then except I wasn’t shouting for girls aloud, but maybe for girls, aloud but by a strange coincidence I now also have girls aloud. I’m not entirely sure that all these people are here to see we are scientists, good as they are but that dance floor bit is already moving around like a strange mass with it’s own brain and there must be about 800 people in a space where 600 is probably enough to be rather too personal. I mean, they’re good and they do american jokes and things like they’re out of a spike jonze video and everyone gives them a courteous amount of mobile phone picture taking time and then they’re gone and everybody’s looking at their watch because actually they know from previous reports that arctic monkeys will take the stage at 9 pm and so we’re all eyeing up the preferred route to the mosh pit and where we might end up when we take our feet from the floor and just let our bodies get hoofed around in a sweaty crush.

I give up caring about anything by about 8:55 and so take it upon myself to just barge through about 20 poor young girls in black mohair and squeeze past assorted 18 year old soft southerners, spilling their plastic pints on the way because they don’t deserve to have drinks on the dance floor and after about 10 minutes I’m right in the middle of the floor getting my head in everyone’s way but they should care because in approximately 30 seconds the whole place is going to go mental ape sh*t as the reason at least 50% of the people are here are about to strop onto the stage and give us 40 minutes of south yorkshire monkeyness. as they come on about 20 girls faint on the spot and about 20 boys do as well and when they launch into whatever song it was they launched into I get a flashback to the clash at the brixton academy although not because the arctic monkeys remind me of the clash at all its just that I had a strange feeling I was going to lose my shoes in the brixton academy violent mosh madness and for some reason felt it again here in the uea common room about 25 years later which maybe is what the arctic monkeys are all about except it occurs to me now that they are actually the reincarnation of the small faces which isn’t a bad thing at all and so I keep that thought in my head and jump up and down and get crushed and mashed up and frankly have more fun than a fat balding 38 year old should have when he’s surrounded by students and fake tales of san francisco is a great tune anyway and worth the entrance fee which was doubled by the time I paid it to some bloke on ebay who’s girlfriend couldn’t go.

so then they’re off and so are a sizeable section of the audience who must have to catch a really early bus or summat and so things thin out about and I’m just wringing out my ‘I swam the Pacifico’ tshirt when those lovely northern neo-punks maximo park dart on and pull a few art school poses before giving us all a 50 minute reminder why they are top of the bill after all. because they’re loads better than all the others really. and they’re really nice. so there. I sing out loud. embarassing, but worth it. lose some pressure, apply some pressure, lose some pressure, apply some pressure…

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