Because I’m super-hypocritical, here’s a video of Blur doing Girls And Boys in Hyde Park on Thursday, and now here’s a rant about people who spend entire gigs with their camera-phones in the air.
What is their deal? I come from a long line of dementia sufferers, and even I trust my memory enough not to have to film every single performance I ever have the fortune to get in the way of. Also, I hate smoking at gigs much more now that it’s banned indoors. Don’t you fucking burn my fucking t-shit, motherfucker. I also hate people who want to lager it up in the civilised smiling-and-head-nodding section of the crowd, rather than the dedicated elbows-in-the-air section. Also, I hate how I can find a million videos of Girls And Boys on YouTube but none of Death Of A Party or This Is A Low which, frankly, was enough to make me cry sweet tears of nostalgia.
And I hate how Blur are popular enough to fill arenas in massive parks when want I really want is to watch them at Night And Day or Moho Live or, even better, The Roadhouse, where you can smell them and they will recognise your face at the merch desk afterwards.
10 out of 10 for Blur,
2 out of 10 for the other 19,996 people there.
(Me, my friend Jo, his sister Jo - what were their parents thinking? - and my new friend Glen are all okay, and will be permitted to continue experiencing live music in the future.)
I’m sorry guys. I’ve done that thing again where I have to cancel fun stuff because I’ve bought too much Ebay shit and booked unnecessary flights to Berlin and then had unscheduled time off sick with silly made-up neck complaints.
Please think of me when you play Sing and On Yer Own and There’s No Other Way and I am sitting in my bedroom in Manchester, trying to imagine a world in which my rent cheques don’t bounce.
I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time in Hyde Park without me.
Lots of love,
PS- There is no emoticon to adequately communicate this FUCK-OFF GREAT BIG SAD FACE.
UPDATED, 23RD JULY: Scratch that. Blur is ON. I am going to walk to work for a week and only eat two meals a day and basically just fade away rather than not go to this gig, especially as everyone in the world is leaving for Glastonbury tomorrow and I want them all to be run over by steamrollers like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It’s time to Blur my face off.
I read my horoscope on the bus this morning, and it said about not jumping to conclusions because the answer I’m looking for won’t arrive until the end of the day, at which point I snorted right into the Metro’s crappy ‘lifestyle’ pages and thought to myself “That’ll be Student Finance Direct announcing they’ve set fire to all my appeal documents then” which is a pretty good impression of someone jumping to conclusions but, you know, I’ve just about had it up to HERE.
But I didn’t come by here to whinge on about how my entire future is being shat upon by bureaucracy and incompetence, no, I wanted to make a little list of everything that is fine and dandy in my world, in an attempt to keep the black clouds from circling and perhaps even let me unclench my jaw and sleep at night.
First and foremost, Kurt Vonnegut’s American publishers, Delacorte Press, is preparing to publish a collection of 14 previously unpublished stories. It matters not that I only discovered the guy when he died, so still haven’t made massive inroads into the stuff already out there, I HEART HIM SO MUCH that I may attempt some kind of pseudo-Buddhist mind control fasting thing where instead of eating while at university, I ‘digest’ a tasty nugget of creative pragmatism from Vonnegut three times a day, and save myself a couple of grand a year.
Secondly, the new film by Werner Herzog (Yes, he does sound like a condom manufacturer, but don’t all Germans?) is being shown at the Cornerhouse from the 24th of April. I read about it in The Word this month, and again today on The Guardian website, and on both occasions my interest was triggered by the word ANTARCTICA. It’s a documentary about the place, so I suspect that there may be penguins involved.
I’m still going to Burning Man, where I can run around the Nevada desert in a tie-dyed sheet and hide from my bank account/my parents/my mobile phone signal for a whole week at the beginning of September.
I was helping to fold bits of marketing gubbins for the Manchester International Festival yesterday afternoon, and I met a guy who was a student in Leicester and said he REALLY LIKED IT. I was all like “Amazing! So it won’t feel like I’m driving off the cliff of happiness to live in some Midlands backwater?” and he was all like “Nooooo! I still miss some of the pubs in Leicester – it’s a great city!” and then I was like “And you live in Manchester now and still think that?” and then he said “No, I live in Oldham with my parents, and I’m unemployed” and I was like *bit of heart dies*. But still, he liked it there. He didn’t want to leave… (in order to live in Oldham with his parents). Hmmm… This one might not strictly qualify for the Cheer Up List.
Although I wrote quite recently about how the Booker Prize is a load of balls, I’m reading Life of Pi at the moment and it is wonderful. Don’t want it to end.
I have a bit of a theatre binge to look forward to, what with Be Near Me from the National Theatre Of Scotland at The Lowry, Gob Squad’s Kitchen at Contact, Oleanna at the Bolton Octagon (I can hear the call of a public transport adventure!) and I think I’m going to try to pick up a freebie to the new thing at the Royal Exchange tomorrow night. God bless the Free Theatre Initiative.
In July, I am going to see Blur in Hyde Park, they’ve just announced Foals are supporting, and I heard something somewhere about a version of Country House on musical saw. With Albarn, you just never know if he’s joking or not.
And finally, no matter how desperate things become, how meaningless and deprived my existence, there’s always prostitution to put food on the table. Hooray for prostitution!
Well, Christmas has been and gone and I’m back in the office again. Mercifully though, I’m all on my own, so can ease myself back into the real world at my own pace. Yesterday was mental, because financial year end is looming at my other job, and I nearly forgot that my invoice deadline was 2pm. Still, at least it’s warm enough there. I’ve wheeled one of the freestanding radiators under my desk this morning, and I keep thinking I can smell the plastic coating melting away… That would not be the best thing to happen while I’m in on my own.
Incidentally, I’m only in work today because I was riddled with flu on Christmas Eve and the bastards won’t pay me sick pay. *Seeth*
Once I’d managed to blow the demons out of my nose though, this Christmas was just lovely. Going home to Mum and Dad has always been good, but this year I really needed the rest, and didn’t get the normal third day antsiness that results in family arguments over the washing up. And we went to see the Wizard Of Oz at The Lowry. We were a bit close to the front to see everything, but I’ve still got the Munchkin song in my head now. The girl who played Dorothy, Katie Schofield, had never been in a professional show before, and she was just brilliant. And they had a dog doing tricks. Proper Christmas fun. I couldn’t help giggling about something in a joke book that my Dad got from a work colleague though, possibly exacerbated by the fact that Lorna Luft is clearly only in the show because Songs My Mother Taught Me hadn’t shifted enough units for this year’s Caribbean break:
“Dear Auntie Em. Fuck you, fuck Kansas. Taking the dog. Dorothy.”
Still more exciting is the fact that, thanks to a Christmas cash injection from my folks, I’m off to see Blur in Hyde Park next summer. I’ve been having a massive internal battle over buying a Blur ticket ever since they announced their comeback. What if it’s rubbish? It’s fifty bloody quid! And it means the expense of travelling to London as well… But, it’s BLUR.
Just the five minute video on NME.com that shows them meeting up again, with ‘Tender’ playing in the background was enough to bring a tear to my eye and, as I said to my Dad, for my generation it’s the equivalent of seeing Leonard Cohen playing at the Opera House. Roll on July the 2nd.
(I’m not quite sure how to translate my own nah-nah-nahed version of Coxon’s guitar in ‘There’s No Other Way’ to this blog, but rest assured I am now singing it with some gusto.)