Things what I writ

I sometimes write nonsense about things to try and sound clever

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.

watching the pigeon detectives

the only time the waterfront has got emptier as the night got longer. I’m not sure where everybody went but huge spaces opened up as the night drew on. when I arrived there wasn’t space to swing a glow stick and just enough of a thoroughfare in front of the mixing desk to stumble over a number of pairs of converse and court shoes to the bar where it was strangely empty and while a man who looked like he tried very hard was holding his guitar in the air I shouted for a pint of stella which I didn’t really need but that’s what I do when I arrive.

not 30 minutes earlier I had been up to 2865b and witnessed the most efficient back garden firework display of modern times which latest longer then the ones from the plantation garden which we saw from the bedroom window and after a swift baked potato I shot up the earlham road to find that everybody else was looking for a parking space where actually nearly every parking space is a resident’s space and that audi a3 will get a ticket later ho ho I’ll go in the car park up the road how much is that blimey.

back inside, there was a strange propensity of upturned collars which must be the way you wear them these days although I though it went out with eric cantona kung fu kicks but then that was before most of the people in here were born apart from me and that bloke over there who looks like he should be security but he’s only looking after his girlfriend tonight excuse me mate sorry nice tattoo is that your neck sorry mate and there’s another I hope I don’t look like that he’s supposed to wait outside for his daughter not come in and wait for her. the pillar placement in the old warehouse for that’s where we are was perplexing some people and strange it is with at least 2 empty v shapes of blind spot in the middle of the floor where the occasional group of 16 year olds will delight in finding only to discover its the worst place in the building to be standing even though you’re only 5 feet from the stage that you can’t see so I’m positioned left of pillar #1 spotting the mic stand front centre which is the kind of uninteresting detail you fixate yourself with when you’re in between bands on your own with a pint of stella wondering if all the short people can see alright but then not really caring too much because you can and you’ve set your feet on the floor in such a way that you won’t move for anything even if the celebrity deathmatching starts which is doesn’t anyway not tonight a bit subdued

I’m not sorry no I’m not sorry no I’m not sorry no I’m not sorry. I saw that Ash a few days ago and that was alright in a kind of I wish charlotte hatherley was still there kind of way although that one they did at the end about twilight was enormous and he’s still got it and there was some good arm fighting going on got pushed right to the back of the pit and everything but tonight was more like it even though it seems to me that every band I see these days is just too good at what they do to be that exciting. once they rattled through the album and a couple of b sides that was it and so they left, sans encore, and so did we. they came round on the shuffle on my walkman the next day and I thought oh yes they were quite good and oh, funny how you sometimes get a genre run on shuffle at random and I got distracted and forgot everything. we are scientists on tuesday. then its double maths on wednesday. hahahahaaahaahaaa.

now entering madina lake

ooh. its dark outside. I can barely see my keyboard

if you go down to the waterfront today, well, yesterday, you’re sure for a big surprise, because you forgot its the first week of university and this is the first night out in their lives for about 700 16-year-olds who can’t see because of the sticky black hair diagonally across their face, which, coincidentally, they’re off, due to the 3 bottles of wkd cider they hid in their shoulder bag. welcome to the memo event of the month – two pairs of twins shouting at you about some nonsense about not being part of a scene or caring about the haircuts they’ve crafted especially its just the music man nobody can tell you what you like alright man its just so your f**kin life man we do this BECAUSE WE LOVE YOU MAN AND WE ALL LOVE MUSIC MAN WE LOVE YOU NORWICH YOU’RE SO AWESOME.

it was all a bit spinal woodstock in a funny way but the ear-splitting screeches of 700 wet students that responded suggested that the feeling was mutual and, this being norwich, as I am wont to point out, anything more energetic than a grunt of appreciation is about as rare as apocalypse sauce. having endured 3, yes 3 support acts who all sounded a bit like a cross between linkin park, stryper and your first band at school who played cover versions of atticus in assembly, madina lake took to the stage well after 10 just as people were thinking about the last bus home. the waterfront is a very funny place to see a band. as its so small, they have to be their own roadies, mostly, so just before they start their pompous stage entrance with gothic backing track and puffs of smoke (and a tiny stonehendge if they could), they’ve already just been on to adjust the screws on a high hat, accompanied by a small ripple of girl squeaking coming from a few people who actually know who they are.

much like I’m from barcelona had got about 15 people to clap louder than they had ever tried to before, madina lake enthused the crowd (who would probably have danced to a pin dropping by this point) so much so that there was even moshing down the front. I mean proper, arms flailing about, throwing yourself at random people in a 2 metre radius with no shirt on moshing. we haven’t seen it done properly here since theatre of hate came in the eighties and monkey brought his crowbar, so it was nice to see. there was also a healthy amount of crowd surfing going on, which, despite the legal notices around the venue, goes pretty much unchecked at the waterfront. notwithstanding all that, we also got a complimentary top-of-the-speaker-stack swallow dive into the crowd from the lead singer and copious bottle throwing. ask yourself the last time you remember seeing any of that happening in any no-cameras no-drinks no-surfing no-moshing no-dancing no-clapping no-standing no-smoking no-exit no-entry no-fun venue you go to these days (geoff, this is a cue for you to remind yourself of some north-eastern sweat hole in the late 70s). I think the music was alright but I can’t remember.

for some reason, everybody who spilled out of the place at the end just stopped outside and hung around like there was something to hang around for. having brought the megane scenic with me tonight, I headed up the road to where I’d left it. I must have passed at least 25 dads waiting on the other side of the road, arms crossed with a bunch of car keys hanging from one of their impatient fingers, ready to take jessica and her new friends home to cringleford. most of them were about my age. I shed a little tear of self-congratulation for being so tragically hip and reminded myself that, if I needed reminding, which I don’t right now, that life is too short. I’ll see you all at editors on monday

I’m from barcelona

door 6
door 6 by Tim Caynes

while two heads were as good as one I wandered wearily through the back of the cultural quarter past reclaimed tv studios and old kebabs there was a sniff of arcade fire although only 27 people were witness. a man from london town squawked in tune and had polite guitaring reflects in his glasses which were thick and heavy with the age of twenty but he’s good, hint he. by the time we’d scratched together about a hundred of us, they were tying balloons to mic stands as we were mysteriously clouded by diagonal hair and man bags from the metropolis. I was almost anticipating

avoiding the inevitable comparison with the fire, they were a bit like the fire, except they didn’t have wasps in their trousers and faces like the revolution. in fact, they had faces like the magic roundabout. in particularly, the man with the pink air bed crowd-surfing into security had a face exactly like the organ player at the end of the magic roundabout and everything. also, they didn’t sing about northern hemisphere middle class angst scenario back catalogue art rock student philisophy, but they sang about chicken pox. in fact there wasn’t really much comparison, except there were about eleven of them, which, at the waterfront, is like a telephone box trick (smile if you’re over 30, oh, you all are) and all the song sounded the same. most impressively of all, by the end, they had those there present all baying like a pack of mad pigeons for more for a full 3 minutes, which, in norwich, is as rare as 5 fingers, after which they encored straight into a laptop dj set which had 79 people in a circular conga (I was kind of wanting to leave by then, but I had to wait until someone fell over a crisp).

I’m off to the amazon when I collapse my spreadsheet. tiny cracks.

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.

peter buck smile challenge

venus 3
venus 3 by Tim Caynes

we were almost just sitting around and having a nice cup of tea in the dark as waily captain beefheart lookalike departed the stage to a single clap and relative to a norwich appreciation level that was a deafening roar considering there must have been at most 90 of us packed into the waterfront with maybe 10 square feet each to ourselves so when it all kicked off and we thronged, guardian reader-like, to the crush barriers at the front, I almost knocked someone’s deck chair over and woke them up.

we assembled as usual at the altar of Robyn Hitchcock looking our customary socially inadequate and middle-class dad selves and all did that little nod and hopelessly off time dance step which doesn’t involve much more than moving your head backwards and forwards and occasionally punching the air at waist height while ironically and whimsically smiling to yourself because you know all the words to the songs from Perspex Island. only this time is wasn’t just a guitar and morris slapping the bongos in falsetto, it was the latest roving incarnation of a rock royalty support band in the shape of the Venus 3, who, as Robyn points out, are 3/4 of R.E.M. and 3/5 of the Minus 5 or something as it is made up of Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey who all feature on the Olé Tarantula album which made up about a quarter of the set which also included a selection box of previous solos and enough Soft Boys to keep the hardcore, which in this case means old, happy, and the usual rambling english intellectual twitness from one of the archetypal english eccentrics, who happens to have most of the others featured on the album or co-writing

as R.E.M. are having a year off, most of them are touring tiny clubs as the Venus 3 in front of about 100 people at a time and when do you get to stand 10 feet from Peter Buck as he changes electric 12-strings for fun and rips power chords and byrdsy twangdangles looking like he wishes he could do it like this all the time? well, actually, he looked like somebody had just told him his cat had been sucked into an irony vortex and the challenge for the evening was to see if he ever curled his lip. but he never does. even after the gig when he’s stood behind a formica table with a few robyn cds because they left the merchandise in brighton and is surrounded by about 15 of us telling him how great it was, he still looks like he’s been slapped by the invisible man. I mean, I know he’s having a ball really.

it’s not about R.E.M. though. long before things went all Green, R.E.M. and Robyn were already mutually respectual, as the Virtual Brighton magazine notes: Beginning as a strummer in Cambridge’s folk clubs, Hitchcock developed into a bandleader, heading up folk-pop iconoclasts the Soft Boys, one of alternative rock’s least sung but most influential bands. Yet by the time bands like R.E.M. and the Replacements quoted the Soft Boys as a major influence, Hitchcock had moved on to what would become his distinguished solo career. In other words, people were here to see Robyn Hitchcock. The support band were something of a novelty. a good one though. The BBC Oxford site sums up the whole things pretty nicely, but then again, Michael Stipe joined them on stage at the Zodiac and Thom Yorke was in the audience.


neat neat neat

this is more like it. this place is like a grimy warehouse that’s been converted into a grimy venue full of 40 year old ex-punks and students. that’s because its a grimy warehouse that’s been converted into a grimy venue full of 40 year old ex-punks and students. the stage is just there, the bar is just there, and the air is just, well, its no longer air, its just a carcenagenic haze of camel lights and old holborn through which you can learn to swim to the toilets, where you can actually swim around on the floor should you choose to. this is much better than the loathesome LCR where you can get about 4 times as many people crammed in but 5 times as many of you can’t even see the stage because you’re stuck in a big hair diagonal that stretches right back to the sandwich of floor and 6 foot ceiling in front of the bar.

I should have been here last week, but of course it got cancelled at the last minute like mr doherty and our friends from finland so once again the curse of me was upon me and I’d washed my hands of the whole concept of a stiff revival evening. in the end though, the weirdos just stayed at home and I walked into the back end of someone must have nailed us together which transformed via the epic local to the stiff supergroup rendition of I’d go the whole wide world, with sensible, wreckless and lovich all on the tiny stage screaming until they were blue in the face, which lene lovich was to start with anyway, but she does scream well.

I wasn’t even sure that it was that time, as I’d just slipped another stella in and was getting comfortable, scanning around in the dark to see who I could spot from 25 years ago, when all this used to be warehouses, when the lights go out and sensible stumbles back on stage saying something about being the last night of the tour and being drunk and then they launched into 3 songs that must have been from a recent album or something because I had no clue what they were and I was thinking about slipping out the fire escape and back home to catch the end of the champions league, when they decided it was about time to whack out noise noise noise at which point I decided to stay forever and they decided to plunder the hit collection, building up to a mad grin straight through what should have been an encore to a idiotic new rose and then the light came on and I hadn’t drank my stella at all.

altogether now, “we say noise is for heroes, leave the music for zeroes, noise noise noise is for heroes, oh yeah…”